Botany And Herbarium

Botany + Herbarium Collections

The Herbarium's total holdings number more than 660,000 specimens of vascular and nonvascular plants, fungi, lichens, and marine algae. The oldest specimens in the collections date to the late 1800s.

The Herbarium collections maintain a regional focus on the Pacific Northwest, which for our purposes includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory. Other significant holdings come from California, the remaining areas of Western North America, and the Northern Pacific Rim.

Over 400,000 specimens from the Herbarium collection are accessible through this database and the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria website. For most vascular plant specimens, only label data are available. Both specimen label data and images are available for most nonvascular plant, fungal, lichen, and marine algae specimens.

WTU Collections Map
You may also access a map of Washington state showing all vascular plant specimen collection localities in the WTU Herbarium database.

Primary support for specimen database projects has been provided by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. National Park Service, Washington Native Plant Society, and Herbarium donors.

Collection Details

Macro image of the short, red petals of an Indian paintbrush (castilleja hispida) flower
Photo: Mark Egger
Vascular Plants

375,000 specimens
206,000 in database
1,154 type specimens

The Herbarium houses the largest collection of Pacific Northwest vascular plants in North America. Other geographic areas with strong representation include California, Nevada, and the Russian Far East. Taxonomically well-represented groups include ferns, Cyperaceae (sedges), Juncaceae (rushes), and Castilleja (Indian paintbrushes).

All vascular plant types in the collection are imaged, databased, and available online through support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation's Global Plants Initiative Program.

 

Stocky mushrooms with yellow caps with white frosting over them. One is upright and one has been uprooted and is laying on its side.
Photo: Andrew Park
Fungi

78,000 specimens
74,000 in database
350 type specimens

Macrofungi comprise the majority of the fungi collection, with particularly strong holdings in the genera Cortinarius and Inocybe. The geographic focus of the collections is the Pacific Northwest, with additional strong holdings from Arctic North America.

All fungal types in the collection are imaged, databased, and available online.

 

Closeup of twig with green, yellow, and grey lichens growing on it
Photo: Richard Droker
Lichens

33,000 specimens
32,000 in database
30 type specimens

Macrolichens from the Pacific Northwest comprise the majority of the holdings. There is also an extensive collection of pin lichens and some soil crust lichens.

All lichen types in the collection are imaged, databased, and available online.

Macro image of small, spiky green leaves of Bucklandiellla occidentalis moss
Photo: Dan Paquette
Bryophytes

118,000 specimens
74,000 in database
57 type specimens

Mosses, hornworts, and liverworts comprise the bryophyte collection, with the majority of the holdings from the Pacific Northwest. Other geographic areas represented include California, Nevada, and eastern North America.

All bryophyte types in the collection are imaged, databased, and available online.

Olive green seaweed with white raised texture on it
Photo: Robert J. Waaland
Algae

23,000 specimens
17,000 in database
30 type specimens

Marine macroalgae from the Pacific Northwest comprise the core of the holdings. Other geographic areas with strong representation include California, Australia, and New Zealand.

All of the algae types in the collection are imaged, databased, and available online.

Collections-Related Services

For more information about specimen loans or visiting the collections, see the Services and Policies page.

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