The UCO herbarium is a member of the Texas Oklahoma Consortium of Herbaria (TORCH) and is participating in digitization of herbarium specimens collected in Oklahoma and Texas. These images and data will be available in the TORCH Data Portal. The herbarium is listed on the Index Herbariorum. It provides sources for teaching and learning about plants, fungi, and lichens, especially those in central Oklahoma. The Herbarium provides a resource for documenting the biodiversity of these groups of organisms in the region and makes this information available world-wide. The Vascular Plants collection is accessible in the TORCH Collections Portal. The Fungi collection can be accessed in the Mycology Collections Portal. The Lichen collection is accessible through the Lichen Collections Portal. All three portals are data collection efforts through Symbiota and Integrated Digital Biocollections.
Approximately 18,000 vascular plant specimens are housed in the herbarium with over 90% collected from Oklahoma. Most of specimens in the collection are of vascular plants collected by students enrolled in Plant Taxonomy classes. Other specimens include voucher specimens for research done by faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students . These activities add hundreds of vascular plant specimens to the herbarium each year. The herbarium also houses over 300 voucher specimens from the Cimarron Gypsum Hills region of Oklahoma, including specimens from Alabaster Caverns State Park and UCO’s field station Selman Living Laboratory. The pollination research of Dr. John F. Barthell and Dr. Gloria M. Caddell has increased the insect collection in the invertebrate museum as well as the plant collection in the herbarium. This research is one of the few efforts to document pollinators in the crosstimbers region of the U.S. Soon floristic inventory voucher specimens from Arcadia Lake and Chandler Park will be added to the collection. Curator-Jenna Messick, Ph.D.
Fungi and Lichen
Faculty and graduate student research and Mycology classes add fungi to the mycological collection that Dr. Clark L. Ovrebo began 18 years ago. With 4,000 specimens, it is now the largest holding of higher fleshy fungi in the state of Oklahoma. Curator - Clark Ovrebo, Ph.D.
The active lichen collection of Dr. Sheila A. Strawn and Steven G. Strawn, consists of over 1,100 specimens and is also housed in the herbarium. The lichen collection consists of 268 species from Oklahoma, within 38 families, and 88 genera. Several hundred specimens from other states in the U.S. are also housed at CSU Herbarium and will be added to Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria.