Organization of the Herbarium

ORGANIZATION OF THE HERBARIUM

Herbarium specimens are mounted on 100% rag paper, with locality data, collector information and determination printed on a label affixed at the lower right corner of the sheet. Each sheet is sequentially numbered as it is prepared for inclusion. Within the herbarium, specimens are stored in one of six compactor modules that occupy the Specimen Collection Room. The vascular plant collection is filed by family, all of which are arranged according to the Engler's Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien (1954, 1964) system which starts with gymnosperms followed by dicots then monocots. Type specimens are in a separate fireproof Type Room and are filed alphabetically by genus and species using the basionym. Most of the type specimens are also on microfiche, and data for all type specimens are in a computer database.

Within each of the major taxonomic categories mentioned above, filing is a geographically modified alphabetical system by genus and species with cultivated specimens filed separately at the beginning of each genus. All folders are color-coded. The color-coded filing order starts with cultivated plants followed by a geographic sequence as follows:

 

Folder sequence:

 

Cultivated

 

Non-California North America

 

California

 Mexico except the State of Chiapas


 Chiapas, Mexico


 South American and West Indies


 Europe, Middle East, and North Asia


 East, Southeast, and South Asia


 Pacific Islands including Australia and New Zealand


 Africa

 

STATISTICS on the SPECIMEN HOLDINGS in the HERBARIUM of the BOTANY DEPARTMENT

The Botany Department of the California Academy of Sciences contains two herbaria, the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University (DS). These two herbaria function as a single unit although the Dudley Herbarium is still the legal property of Stanford University.

The combined herbaria (CAS/DS) are the largest collection of vascular plants in the western United States and the sixth largest collection of vascular plants in the United States overall. The following data are as of October 31, 2006.

 

 

Geographic regions of the world used as different folder colors for specimens:

 

 

Vascular/Non-Vascular

Contact the Department

  • Botany Administrator
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5361 (direct)