New additions for the Herbarium's Great Lakes holdings

Posted: 3/19/2013

Sanguisoraba canadensisSanguisorba canadensis

Over the past year the Herbarium saw the addition of several important items to its holdings. In conjunction with surveys of the natural areas under the jurisdiction of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, it was decided that plant specimens from natural areas at the Gardens would be better held at the University Herbarium, rather than in the small Botanical Gardens collection, and these specimens have now been incorporated into our holdings and are available for researchers (such as the Sanguisorba canadensis pictured). Their long term significance is that they form an important baseline for these protected natural areas as they change in the future.

Calypso bulbosa
Collected June 11, 1945 Mackinaw City

The Herbarium also acquired the private herbarium of the late Edward G. Voss, Professor and Curator Emeritus at the University of Michigan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and University of Michigan Herbarium. This was a small synoptic collection, held at the family cottage in northern Michigan, and was focused mostly on the flora of the Straights of Mackinaw region, especially the Great Lakes shores. It was largely duplicated in our holdings and the holdings at the Biological Station. However, it included many early collections by Dr. Voss, some made even before he entered University, that were not duplicated, and thus strengthens our knowledge of the flora of this interesting area prior to 1950.

 

Rhexia virginica
The showiest coastal plain disjunct from the Pierce collections
 

Finally, the Herbarium acquired, through the kindness of his widow Mary, collections of Gary J. Pierce, formerly on the faculty of Niagara University and, more recently, Administrator for the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Barry County, Michigan. These collections are primarily duplicates of collections that were made for his Masters work at Western Michigan University and his Doctoral work at University of Wyoming, plus some collections made after his return to Michigan. While the primary set of collections associated with his Masters work, on coastal plain disjuncts, and his Doctoral work on Mexican grasses, are available at WMU and RM respectively, duplicates were never distributed. The material is especially rich in collections made in the early 1970’s from the numerous small lakes in SW Michigan with coastal plain disjunct plants on their shores; many of which are now much more developed and altered than 40 years ago.