The Hyde Herbarium collection of plant specimens is comprised primarily of specimens from the Washington Park Arboretum, horticulturally significant plants and weeds. The collection is currently ~16,500 specimens. We are continually expanding the collection through active collecting by our volunteers and by trading with other herbaria.
Washington Park Arboretum
The herbarium has an extensive collection of voucher specimens on living and historical plants from the Washington Park Arboretum. This collection can be browsed by the public, and is a useful reference for plant identification, because the Arboretum has a wide range of specimens, including many that only infrequently turn up in garden reference books.
Horticulturally Significant Plants
The Hyde Herbarium reflects the diversity of the Washington Park Arboretum as well as the range of plants that can be grown in this region. While we do have some native plants in the collection, our primary focus is on horticullturally significant plants, which are primarily ornamental plants. The herbarium has plant specimens collected from the gardens around the Center for Urban Horticulture, Bellevue Botanic Gardens and the Rhododendron Species Garden. More recently volunteers have begun collecting specimens at the Miller Botanical Garden.
The collection also contains plant specimens that were traded with other herbaria around the United States. Our most recent trade we participated in was with the U.S. National Arboretum.
ESRM/BIOL 331 Student Collection
This special collection represents the numerous plants students learn throughout the quarter in the class 331 Landscape Plant Recognition. Specimens are provided for students as supplemental learning and for review. The Herbarium's other resources including additional plant specimens, books and assistance from herbarium staff provide many opportunities for students to successfully learn hundreds of plants.
Weeds of Washington Project
The threat of weeds has moved beyond a nuisance in the garden and a hazard to range land. Biological invasions have become a threat to our ecosystem, as garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata creeps into woodlands and English ivy, Hedera helix, chokes our trees and smothers herbaceous plants. Dr. Sarah Reichard, Herbarium Acting Curator, researches the biology of invasive plants. To complement her work, WTUH has begun an effort to collect weeds from around the Pacific Northwest and the world, both to document sources and movement of biological invasions and to be a bank of information about potential new weeds to this area.
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board Collection
Beginning in 2004, WTUH is curating the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board's weed collection. Previously in storage, this collection is now available for public use at the herbarium. This collection is over 630 plant specimens and continues to grow as county noxious weed coordinators and volunteers add missing plants to the collection. The collection contains some unique weed specimens that are not found in any other of our state herbaria.
The Chilean collection was started in the late 1980's to amass a collection of plants that would thrive in Pacific Northwest Gardens. Dr. Sarah Reichard, Curator, and Dr. Clement Hamilton, the former herbarium curator, traveled to Magellanas, Chile to collect plants with ornamental appeal. More recently, Randall Hitchin, Plant Collections Manager went to South Central Chile and returned with more specimens for the collection. These particular regions were selected because they have a climate that is similar to the Pacific Northwest, including cool winter rains and summer drought. Similar conditions suggest that plants from these regions stand a good chance of thriving in our gardens.