Roland Current Herbarium Projects
USNA Herbarium Current Projects


Take a look at some of our Current Projects
and see if you might enjoy Volunteering!

Documenting the Cultivated Plants of the U.S. National Arboretum Living Collections
A major duty of the herbarium is to permanently document the collections, research and plant breeding work at the National Arboretum. We are constantly checking National Arboretum collections, preparing herbarium specimens for our collection and (in some cases) verifying the identifications. Click here for information about volunteering in the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium.

image of native fern project

Some recent projects include:

  • Native ferns -- We are working with the Native Plant Curator and the Plant Records Curator to document the ferns of our Native Plant Garden, verify their identifications, update the planting maps, and prepare herbarium specimens.

  • Syringa (Lilac) -- From the breeding work of Dr. Margaret Pooler and Ruth Dix.

  • Pelargonium (Geraniums) -- From the National Herb Garden of the U.S. National Arboretum and the collection of Dr. James Graig, noted
    image of daylily project Penn State University Pelargonium plant breeder.

  • Narcissus (Daffodils) -- From the collection of Brent and Becky Heath and the extensive, U.S. National Arboretum Collection.

  • Hemerocallis (Daylilies) -- From the extensive U.S.National Arboretum collection which includes a broad selection of National Award winners.

image of botanical type project Review of the Herbarium's Nomenclatural TYPE Collection
Work is continuing on verification of the type status of sheets in this collection. Data accumulated will later be merged with the Herbarium's BGBASE files to better manage the Type specimens.

image of specimens storage project Imaging Project
We have initiated the development of an Imaging Center to capture digital images of herbarium specimens at both archival and "web" quality. This project will facilitate "virtual loans" and provide to the public, gardeners, and the scientific community a means of accessing the collection.

image of turfgrass project Turf Grasses
In an effort to make its holdings more accessible, the herbarium is imaging and databasing approximately 1,000 turf grass specimens currently on deposit at the National Arboretum Herbarium. Included are rare collections from Iran and Afghanistan.

image of field work Field work
The Herbarium has been involved in collecting all over the world. One current field project is collecting U.S. native plants of ornamental interest growing in the wild. The first site selected was Philpott Lake in south central Virginia. One hundred and nine specimens were collected for deposit and exchange by the USNA. We are also actively documenting the cultivated ornamentals grown in the southwestern U.S. to augment our existing collections.

image of mexican bamboo Invasive Species Inventory
In order to help as a resource in understanding and controlling the introduction and spread of invasive species, we have started databasing all known ornamental plants which are listed on selected state and regional invasive species lists. We are using the Mid Atlantic region as our first target. The list has been compiled by staff of the National Arboretum.

image of Freeman The U.S. National Arboretum Natural Plant Checklist
Oliver M. Freeman, former Botanist and Curator of the Living Plant Collections, published the Annotated List of Plants Growing Naturally at The National Arboretum in 1953. We are continuing to expand the list and to document all plants growing without cultivation at the U.S. National Arboretum's D.C. campus. A current listing will be added to this site soon.

image of plant explorers project Documenting U.S. National Arboretum Asian Plant Explorers
Work continues on databasing the work of NA and USDA scientists in Asia. These explorers include Frank N Meyer, Roland M. Jefferson, John L. Creech, Fredrick Meyer, Theodore "Ted" Dudley, Sylvester, Skip March, Barry Yinger, Lawernce Lee, Thomas Elias, Alan T. Whittemore, Carole Bordelon, and Kevin Conrad.

image of specimen data project Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Gift
We are currently processing a gift of approximately 3,500 herbarium specimens from the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. The gift included 390 herbarium specimens of Joseph Rock , all of which have been databased. This gift is also notable for additional collections of R.R. Stewart, A.D.E. Elmer, Henry Skinner and Edgar Wherry.

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Last Updated   October 20, 2004 8:25 AM

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