Comprehensive Audit of Hyde Herbarium Now Complete

May 5th, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff

By Eve Rickenbaker, Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium manager and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences graduate student

The herbarium specimen of Pseudotsuga menziesii,  beloved Douglas fir of the Pacific Northwest, is just one of 22,500 specimens in our Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium collection at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.  During the last two and half years, a group of dedicated volunteers logged close to 1,200 hours in the herbarium completing an audit of the entire collection.

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Ross Bayton in the Hyde Herbarium with a Douglas fir specimen

Ross Bayton, our 2014 UW Botanic Gardens’ Volunteer of the Year, led the audit by generously giving 680 hours of his time.  With Ross’s botanical knowledge and expertise, he checked each of the 22,500 specimens for accuracy while adding information from each specimen into our database and organizing the collection to match current classification. Ross came to the herbarium during the fall of 2012 from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he earned a PhD in plant taxonomy.  In addition to Ross’s work, twenty-three students and community volunteers* committed over 500 hours working on the audit from October 2012 until now, April 2015.

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Eve Rickenbaker, Herbarium Manager, would like to thank Ross and each of the 23 herbarium volunteers who completed this project.

The pressed plant specimens of the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium reflect the research of faculty, staff and students at the UW Botanic Gardens.  The Herbarium includes specimens from the Washington Park Arboretum, horticulturally significant plants, and the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board collection.  We offer free plant identification services and many volunteer opportunities.  Come see us in the Herbarium at the UW Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture to see specimens such as the Douglas fir and other interesting pressed plants.

*Herbarium audit volunteers:

Larisa Campos
Kathryn Christensen
Loretta Fisher
Cole Gross
Kezhu Guo
Janice Jap
Mary Lee
Aileen Liu
Austin Lucas
Susan McDougall
Margaret McGrew
Sasha McGuire
Patricia Nevin
Loni Jean Rodrigo
Heidi Sandhorst
Paul Schloemer
Lisa Schomaker
Sarah Verlinde
Alex Von Bredow
Gabe Wisswaesser
Emily Wittenhagen
Jenny Yang
Boyang Zhao

Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium

May 29th, 2012 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

photo Have you ever stopped in to visit the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium here at the Center for Urban Horticulture? This amazing resource is home to over 20,000 plant specimens and focuses on horticulturally significant plants for gardens and landscapes. With specimens dating as far back as 1908, you can view native plant specimens taken from the UW campus from before the campus was even built. Or identify a plant growing in your garden today with the Herbarium’s free plant identification service.

In addition to providing plant identification to the public, the Herbarium serves as a resource to University of Washington students learning about plant identification. Students can compare multiple  specimens of the same plant side-by-side to observe finite details between species, something that would be very difficult to do in nature!

Want to support this great resource? Take a little piece of the UW Botanic Gardens home with a one-of-a-kind framed herbarium specimen  or stop by the Washington Park Arboretum gift shop for a pressed flower note card handmade by Herbarium volunteers.  Speaking of volunteers, the Herbarium has a large and active volunteer community and is always looking for new volunteers.

The Herbarium is run by a part-time Research Assistant and is open 20 hours per week. Check the website for current hours.