SPEAKERS AND TOPICS:
Barbara M. Thiers, Ph.D., Moderator
Patricia K. Holmgren Director, William and Lynda Steere Herbarium
How a Garden Grows a Herbarium
A herbarium, as with all scientific and cultural collections, is meant to be a record of past and present, which is used to better understand our world and how it changes over time. Herbaria acquire specimens at a faster rate than most other scientific and cultural collections, which requires an intense level of organization and management, and a bold institutional vision and commitment. Over the past 125 years, The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium has grown steadily in size and breadth, and owes its preeminence to careful stewardship by The New York Botanical Garden, and to the quality and relevance of the scientific research the collection documents.
The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium is the centerpiece of the Garden's botanical research program. It is the second largest herbarium in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Herbarium holds a collection of more than seven million preserved specimens filed according to a standardized system of classification. All plant groups--flowering plants, conifers, ferns, mosses, liverworts, and algae, as well as fungi and lichens --are represented in the Herbarium collection, which is particularly strong in New World specimens. This reflects the emphasis of the research projects conducted by the Garden researchers.
The collections of the Herbarium are constantly being augmented through field research conducted by Garden staff, and through gifts, acquisitions, and exchanges of specimens from other herbaria.
Web site: William and Lynda Steere Herbarium
Explore: Herbarium and Collections Research Projects