As a herbarium in a land grant institution, part of our mission is to assist with the identification of plants from Texas and beyond. This effort often originates with a local County Extension Agent, and many times ends here at the herbarium when agents send specimens to us for identification or verification.
Because morphological differences separating two closely related species are often minute, the efficient and accurate identification of plants requires an actual specimen, not an image or picture. Ideally, the herbarium would like to have 2-3 samples of each unidentified “species” sent for identification. Duplicates are desirable because typically the specimen utilized for identification is destroyed or damaged in the process. These duplicates will also provide the herbarium with a set of vouchers for deposition in the collection following the completion of the identification(s). Properly collected and documented vouchers will become permanent additions to the herbarium collection and provide research material for a broad range of studies of the Texas flora.
Before sending any specimens, be sure to contact herbarium staff.
This will ensure proper collection methods are utilized, and that sufficient data is included to allow the specimens to be used as vouchers. This will also alert us to expect the shipment in the mail. As an initial step, refer to our plant collection guide and the Herbarium Policies and Procedures (paragraph about acquisitions) for more information.
S. M. Tracy Herbarium (TAES/TAMU), Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-2138