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Faculty of the Ozarks Regional Herbarium include Dr. L. Michelle Bowe and Dr. Paul L. Redfearn Jr. Other botanists on the faculty of the Department of Biology and associated with the Herbarium are Dr. John S. Heywood, Dr. Alexander Wait, and Dr. Russell G. Rhodes.
Established with the date of the oldest collections,1936, the
number of specimens catalogued is over 100,000 with 48,000 bryophytes and 53,318 vascular
plants. Plant preparation, identification, and placement in the collection are described
in the "What is a herbarium" section. The collections represent most of the
introduced and native plants in Missouri, but also contains specimens from adjacent
states, especially, Arkansas, and throughout the world.
Records of the Herbarium are published by the faculty in the
journal "Missouriensis", the official publication of the Missouri Native Plant
Society. Founded in 1979 this Society is a non-profit corporation devoted to the
conservation and study of the plants growing wild in Misouri, to the education of the
public about the significance of the native flora and its habitat, and to the publication
of related information.
The emphasis in collections is mainly those from the Interior Highlands of North America. However, an active exchange program with other institutions such as Florida State University, the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, Central Missouri State University, Brigham Young University, the University of Michigan and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, along with collections by staff and students have provided reference collections from throughout the United States and Canada.
Also, the voucher collections for research done at Missouri State are an important part of the collections. Voucher collections for studies done by Redfearn in the Canary Islands and China are also housed at Missouri State University. The herbarium also maintains synusiae of Arctic Tundra & Prairie. Such synusiae are useful in teaching ecology and floristic botany since they bring together under one title plants that illustrate the characteristics of such ecosystems. An extensive separate collection of edible plants of Missouri is available. Many voucher specimens for plants published by Weber in the Botanical Record are also deposited at Missouri State.
The herbarium is registered in Herbaria of the World as Missouri State. As a registered herbarium
we can borrow specimens for study which is not always possible from non-registered
herbaria. We continuously received request for loans of plants or visits to the herbarium
to study specific groups because of the phytogeographic significance of the Ozarks
(Studies by Herbarium Associates). Over the years many students got their start in
systematics working with the staff and using the herbarium (Masters' Theses and Seminar
Papers). The herbarium is also supported by extensive holdings of Journals and references
books in the fields of plant systematics, plant ecology and plant geography.
Services provided by the faculty of the Herbarium are varied and are especially suited for public service groups. Some of the subjects that are available are:
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