The Texas A&M Biology Department Herbarium is located in the basement (room 9) of beautiful Butler Hall on the main campus of Texas A&M University. Our specimens are housed in a Elecompac 'compactor' unit that was installed in 1978. The 'compactor' design allows storage of the maximum number of plant specimens using minimum space because the unit opens sequentally to expose a 'range' of specimen storage boxes.
     Specimens are arranged by major taxonomic group (Algae, Lichens, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Monocots, and Dicots) within four of the six compactor ranges. Most of our specimens represent flowering plant taxa from Brazos and adjacent counties. This compactor range houses a portion of our dicot specimens. Families are arranged alphabetically, as are genera.
     Another range carries unmounted, unaccessioned specimens that serve as documention for faculty/staff/student research. The range depicted here carries Chenopodium specimens from throughout the world. Most of these were grown in the departmental greenhouse from field-collected germplasm. The herbarium also maintains a Chenopodium germplasm collections that exceeds 1,000 accessions, mostly from the Americas. 
     This area also carries an extensive sample of diversity in the genus Cucurbita (squashes, pumpkins, and gourds), a genus that has received considerable research attention from faculty and students associated with the herbarium. We also maintain a large Cucurbita germplasm and fruit collection under special temperature/humidity conditions in a nearby (rm. 005) seed storage facility 
     Processing procedures must consider the fact the dried plant specimens have a very long 'shelf life'. The plant material, if kept dry and free of insect pests, can last for hundreds of years. Thus, care is taken to insure that other components of the finished specimen - paper, ink, and glue - are of archival quality. Dried plants and labels are simply glued to high quality, herbarium-grade paper and allowed to dry in movable racks. Once dry, they are ready to accession, computerize, and file in the compactor unit. 
     The herbarium computer - Hobbes - is used mostly for specimen data entry, report generation, and many other activities of the herbarium botanist. This includes production of WWW pages, netsurfing, and electronic communication. Our searchable specimen database (see 'Informatics Resources' in table below) is maintained on this machine. Hobbes, supplied by the Department of Biology, features a 90mhz Pentium processor, lots of disk storage and great graphics capabilities. 

For more information, please select a path:

More Information on the herbarium

Herbarium personnel


Informatics Resources

'Special Topics' Research

© 1996, Herbarium, Department of Biology, Texas A&M University. These pages are being developed, with support from the Texas A&M Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in collaboration with the Texas A&M Center for the Study of Digital Libraries, for the personal use of Texas A&M systematic botany students and all with an interest in the Texas flora. They are not designed for commercial use or publication. User comments/corrections for these pages are welcome. 
Created: 26 April 1996 - Last updated: 17 Feb 2011 (link update)