The Ozarks Regional Herbarium is an active resource of Missouri State University for the community, region, state, and federal agencies. There are over 100,000
specimens catalogued and housed in the herbarium, currently located in the Kings
Street Annex, Room 313 on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. In the collection
are over 48,000 moss collections from the world and over 66,000 vascular plant
representatives from throughout the United States. The oldest collections date from 1936.
Dr. Paul L. Redfearn Jr. is Emeritus Professor and current ex-officio curator of the herbarium, and Dr. Michelle Bowel is the curator. In addition, Dr. John S. Heywood , Dr. Alexander Wait, are faculty of the Department of Biology at Missouri State University and Dr. Russell Rhodes, Emeritus Professor of Biology, are associated with the herbarium.
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 references 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. A 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 (see below for examples). Over the years many students got their start in systematics working with the staff and using the herbarium. The herbarium is also supported by extensive holdings of Journals and references books in the fields of plant systematics, plant ecology and plant geography.
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