Welcome to Botanical Collections
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Disclaimer: The Field Museum's online Botanical Collections Database may contain specimens and historical records that are culturally sensitive. The collections include specimens dating back over 200 years collected from all around the world. Some records may also include offensive language. These records do not reflect the Field Museum’s current viewpoint but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the time period when specimens were collected or cataloged.
We welcome feedback. The web database is not a complete record of the Museum’s botanical holdings, and documentation for specimens will vary due to when and how they were collected as well as how recently they were acquired. While efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of the information available on this website, some content may contain errors. We work with communities and stakeholders around the world to interpret the collections in order to promote a greater understanding of global heritage and, through consultation, will revise or remove information that is inaccurate or inappropriate. We encourage and welcome members of communities, scholars, and others to contact us to confirm or clarify data found here.
The John G. Searle Herbarium is the fifth largest herbarium in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world's preeminent depositories of Central and South American plants. The herbarium contains almost 3 million specimens of flowering plants, ferns and lycopods, bryophytes, lichenized fungi and fungi worldwide. As of January, 2018, we have databased over 954,000 specimens, including 98,000 type specimens.
Loans of Field Museum botanical specimens are made to institutions and not to individuals. The head of the borrowing institution assumes complete responsibility for the safe custody and return of the specimens. Specimens should be stored in insect-free airtight cases. They must be treated with extreme care in such a manner that will conserve them indefinitely for study in the future.
Please visit here for regulations governing herbarium loans from The Field Museum (F) prior to requesting a loan.
- contact name
- email address
- phone number
- group requested - bryophytes, ferns, seed plants, confers, lichens, fungi
- purpose of loan
- destructive sampling, yes or no, if yes, what type?
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Matt von Konrat
Head of Botanical Collections
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
The Botanical Collections thank the Searle Family [foundation name here], The National Science Foundation, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, our donors, and our countless volunteers, students and collaborators throughout the world for their continued support of our collections and research programs.
The Museum manages the fifth largest herbarium in the Western Hemisphere, estimated to include almost 3 million specimens of angiosperms, gymnosperms, pteridophytes, bryophytes, fungi (including lichenized ascomycetes), and algae. The Herbarium was established in 1894 based on acquisitions from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Numerous botanical expeditions, sponsored or co-sponsored by The Field Museum, have established the herbarium as one of the world's preeminent depositories of Central and South American plants and approximately sixty percent of the phanerogam collections are from these areas. See here for a detailed history of the John G. Searle Herbarium.
- Collections Registrar – Anna Balla
- Curator Emeritus – Michael Dillon
- Collections Assistant – Darlene Dowdy-Pritchett
- Curator Emeritus – John Engel
- Research Assistant II – Wyatt Gaswick
- Tropical Plant Scientist – Nancy Hensold
- Collections Specialist – Maria Kawasaki
- Digital Media Specialist – Daniel Le
- Vice President, Science and Education; Curator, Lichenized Fungi – Thorsten Lumbsch
- Field Guide Devloper – Juliana Philipp
- Mellon Senior Conservation Ecologist – Nigel Pitman
- MacArthur Curator of Flowering Plants and Section Head – Richard Ree
- Head of Botanical Collections; McCarter Collections Manager, Bryophytes and Pteridophytes – Matthew Von Konrat
- MacArthur Senior Conservation Ecologist and Director of the Andes-Amazon Program – Corine Vriesendorp
- Collections Manager – Todd Widhelm