Tristram Seidler; Curator


The University of Massachusetts Herbarium, Amherst, is a regional resource with approximately 241,300 mounted vascular plants, algae and bryophtyes as well as a fruit and seed collection. It includes three herbaria; the Amherst College Herbarium (AC), started in 1829 by Professor Edward Hitchcock and one of the oldest herbaria in the country, the Massachusetts State Herbarium (MASS) founded in 1867 by W. S. Clark, the third president of the University, and the recently acquired Phippen-LaCroix Herbarium (TUFT).

The collection is world wide in scope due in large part to an extensive exchange program during the time H. E. Ahles was curator (1966-1981), but the focus is on Western Massachusetts and New England. Other well represented geographical areas include Eastern North America and the tropical pacific (Collections largely from O. Degener and A. C. Smith).

Historically important collections include the "State Cabinet" (The Massachusetts state Herbarium collected prior to 1850), the 15,000 specimen collection of W. W. Denslow (1826-1868), specimens from Sapporo, Japan collected in 1876-1877 by William S. Clark and David P. Penhallow, and the 25,000 specimen collection of Addison Brown (1830-1913). The latter collection has specimens collected by Pringle, Parish, J. T. Howell and A. A. Heller and includes many types.

Collections of local interest include those of A. S. Goodale and colleagues from the Swift River Watershed, much of which is now under the Quabbin Reservoir, the New England collections of H. E. Ahles, the Roberta Poland collection from Deerfield, as well a voucher collections for the Flora of Fort Devens, Flora of Worcester, and surveys of Camp Edwards, Camp Curtis Guild, and Westover Air Force Base. Other recently acquired collections include the 370 specimen collection of Ester C. Cowles (MAC 1905) and the 6000+ specimen New England collection of C. B. Hellquist, which is rich in aquatic vascular plants.

Searchable Databases or collection websites

Botanical Collections of William S. Clark and David P. Penhallow, Sapporo Japan 1876-1877
Images of herbarium specimens collected by William S. Clark and David P. Penhallow during their voyage to Japan in the late 1800s.
Holyoke Range Checklist
Checklist of Vascular Plants from the Holyoke Range Massachusetts, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts
Catalogue of Hepaticae from Massachusetts. These specimens are duplicates from the collection of Dr. R. M. Schuster. Most of his collection is in the Field Museum.
Type Specimens
We have cataloged 1214 type specimens from our collection. Many of the types are from the herbarium of Addison Brown LL. D. (1830-1913) which was given to Amherst College in 1915. Most types in the catalog have been checked against electronic type catalogs of the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH) the Smithsonian (US) or the New York Botanical Garden (NY). Other verification is indicated by the name person doing the verification.
Types from the following families have been catalogued:
Acanthaceae, Alismaceae, Amaranthaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Apiaceae, Apocynaceae, Arecaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Bromeliaceae, Burseraceae, Campanulaceae, Capparaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae, Commelinaceae, Convolvulaceae, Crassulaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Gentianaceae, Juncaceae, Liliaceae, Lythraceae, Malvaceae, Onagraceae, Piperaceae, Rubiaceae, Santalaceae, Sapindaceae, Symplocaceae, Theaceae, Verbenaceae.
Roberta G. Poland Deerfield Area Collections
Roberta Poland taught mathematics and physics at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield MA and was an active and dedicated botanist. This catalogue is based on the specimens from the Deerfield area.
FSFC Seed Collection
The Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Control Department (FSFC) Botanical Collection consists of over 10,000 botanical specimens of seeds, and fruits gathered over the last 100 years.
Plant Pathology Database
The Plant Pathology Herbarium from the Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences contains specimens that are catalogued and can be searched by pathogen, common pathogen name, or common name of the host.

Please direct questions or comments to Tristram Seidler, Curator <tseidler@bio.umass.edu>