About the Herbarium
Through its Research Programs, the Garden manages the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU), the premier plant and fungi biodiversity collection in the region. With over 800,000 specimens dating from the mid-1800’s, this collection is the definitive resource for plant identification and geographic distribution in the Southeastern United States. The Herbarium is a key scientific resource that provides data to researchers, land managers, government agencies, conservation organizations, and the public.
An herbarium is a research collection of botanical specimens with associated label data. Our collections include:
- Fungi and lichenized fungi from around the world, with a focus on specimens from Southeastern United States (ca. 38,000 specimens)
- Algae from around the world focusing on red marine macroalgae from temperate zones and coralline algae (ca. 53,000 specimens)
- Vascular plants (ferns, grasses, wildflowers and trees) and non-vascular plants (mosses, hornworts and liverworts) from around the world with a focus on native flora of the Southeastern United States (ca. 750,000 specimens)
- Fossils focused on the plants of the Devonian (ca. 10,000 specimens)
Herbarium specimens are used…
- by scientists to describe plant and fungi species new to science
- by land managers to document current and historical distributions of imperiled plants and fungi
- by students to record the flora of parks and public lands
- by farmers to document new weeds and plant pathogens and to map their spread across our region
- by horticulturalists to record blooming/fruiting times for seed collection
- by the public to identify plants and fungi found in yards and natural areas
An important note about offensive or derogatory language on collection labels…
Collection records at NCU may contain language that reflects historical place or taxon names in an original form that is no longer acceptable or appropriate in an inclusive environment. Because NCU preserves data in their original form to retain authenticity and to facilitate research, we have chosen to facilitate conversations and are committed to address the problem of racial, derogatory and demeaning language that may be found in our database. Insensitive or offensive language is not condoned by NCU. Please contact the Herbarium Director or Curator to learn more.