Virtual Herbarium

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The Wichita State University (WSU) Herbarium is an active, regional collection with data that fill an important geographical gap in the Great Plains region. Specimens and associated data are essential in the management of invasive species and endangered species, as well as our understanding of shifts in phenology and distribution over time. The WSU Herbarium contains about 4,500 electronically databased specimens, including vascular plants, mosses, and lichens. Our vision is to produce an on-line “virtual herbarium”, complete with zoomable images of all specimens in our collection linked to specimen-level data that enable discovery of seasonality and distributional data, historical data on the collector, and educational activities for using this on-line resource.

Specimens in the WSU Herbarium date back as far as 1895, and they are primarily from south-central Kansas. Flora associated with WSU Reserves provide information on flora from regions that are now primarily agricultural or ranching. Active botanical research contributes to the collection, including on-going plant population research and plant community research at Wichita State University. Newly accessioned herbarium specimens are proactively geo-referenced; previously accessioned specimens are being retroactively geo-referenced. These data will allow for on-the-fly mapping for investigation of distributional patterns.

The Wichita State University Herbarium is located in the Hubbard Hall, Room 306.

Mary Liz Jameson, Leland Russell, and Jim Culhane


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