The Illinois Natural History Survey Herbarium (our acronym is ILLS) is composed of four distinct collections: vascular plants, fungi, algae and bryophytes. The vascular plant collection is by far the largest with about 225,000 specimens, followed by the mycological collection with about 55,000. The bryophytes and algae total less than 2,000 specimens. The vascular plants are mostly from the United States and predominantly from Illinois, although we do have some significant collections from: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (4,000 and growing), Kyrgyzstan (2,200), and Dominica (700). Robert A. Evers, a field botanist with the Survey for nearly 30 years (19471976) collected an amazing 114,800 specimens, or about 51% of the vascular plant collection. The Fungi are from throughout the United States and Canada with a large pathological collection from Illinois, a large aquatic collection from the southeastern United States, and a smaller collection from the neotropics.
The Herbarium Collection contains 340 types, 192 holotypes and 148 isotypes and/or paratypes. The holotypes are predominantly fungi (191 holotypes) with only a single holotype in the vascular plants. The isotypes and/or paratypes are also predominantly fungi (139) with only nine in the vascular plants. The ILLS herbarium is the third largest in Illinois; the Field Museum (F) in Chicago is the largest (2,415,000) and the University of Illinois in Urbana (ILL) is the second largest (520,000). Nationally, out of more than 500 herbaria, the ILLS herbarium ranks forty-seventh, the ILL herbarium ranks twenty-first, and the F herbarium ranks fourth. In the next few years, ILLS and ILL may combine if plans for a new building are realized, and the combined collection would then rank fifteenth nationally.
We have recently (early 1996) moved the herbarium into a newly renovated room that has compact shelving. For controlling insect pests, we are attempting to keep the room at about 55º F (13º C) with low humidity. The herbarium is located in Room 393 Natural Resources Building on the campus of the University of Illinois. [The herbarium of the University of Illinois (ILL) is located in the Natural History Building.]
It is possible to search the ILLS vascular plant database at the county-level at this URL: http://ellipse.inhs.uiuc.edu:591/INHSCollections/plantsearch.html We are collaborating with the vPlants project of the Field Museum, Morton Arboretum, and Chicago Botanic Garden to incorporate our records from the greater Chicago region into their database.
Contact information for the herbarium:
A large number of botanists are associated with the Illinois Natural History Survey, many associated with long-term projects funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Critical Trends Assessment Project.
Crane, J. Leland, Ph.D., Emeritus
Ebinger, John (affiliate)
Edwards, Adrienne, Ph.D.
Feist, Mary Ann
Handel, William C.
Hill, Steven R., Ph.D.
Levin, Geoffrey A., Ph.D.
Marcum, Paul B.
Miller, Andrew, Ph.D.
Molano-Flores, Brenda, Ph.D.
Nickrent, Daniel L. (affiliate)
Nevling, Lorin I., Ph.D., Emeritus
Phillippe, Loy R., Ph.D.
Plocher, Alan, Ph.D.
Robertson, Kenneth R., Ph.D.
Taft, John B., Ph.D.
Information about the ILLS herbarium is also available on the INHS www server.
Last update: 28 October 2004
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