The Humboldt State University Vascular Plant Herbarium (HSC) consists of nearly 100,000 specimens, with a strong emphasis in the flora of northwest California and southwest Oregon. Established in 1960, the Herbarium serves as a botanical resource for students and faculty, as well as, community members and professional botanists.
The Vascular Plant Herbarium is one part of the larger Humboldt State Herbarium which includes reference specimens and teaching collections for our courses in agrostology, bryology, mycology, phycology, and plant taxonomy.
Our collections offer excellent opportunities to learn more about the rich diversity of our native flora, local unique and rare plant species, and exotic and invasive weeds. The Herbarium also participates in loan and exchange programs with other herbaria throughout the country.
Submitting A Collection
The principal reasons for collecting plants are to document their occurrence at a particular location and to provide permanent, representative specimens for future study. In the case of smaller vascular plants, such as annual herbs, the specimen often consists of one to several complete individuals. In larger plants, such as trees or shrubs, a specimen usually consists of representative portions of vegetative and reproductive material.
Many of these specimens will eventually become housed in an herbarium, a permanent collection of pressed and dried plant specimens. Here the plants will be examined by botanists interested in such matters as distribution, verification of determinations, blooming and fruiting times, general morphological features, and anatomical details. Plant parts may also be used in chemical and genetic studies. Herbarium specimens are frequently loaned to experts doing monographic work and duplicates are often exchanged among herbaria.