An herbarium is a biodiversity collection of pressed and dried plant specimens. They are mounted on archival quality paper, along with labels bearing information including the plant’s name, when and where it was collected, who collected it, and various data regarding habitat, abundance, or reproductive status. Specimens are maintained in specialized metal cabinets and arranged according to a classification scheme adopted by the herbarium.
The Armstrong State University Herbarium (AASU) was founded in 1967 and is one of only ten active herbaria in the state of Georgia. Our collection—which is predominantly regional with an emphasis on plants of coastal Georgia—includes more than 5000 specimens, representing over 1300 different species of flowering plants, gymnosperms, and ferns. The collection continues to expand as a result of ongoing fieldwork and is organized according to evolutionary relationships.
Supporting Teaching and Research
Herbaria are indispensible resources for plant biodiversity research and for teaching. Our herbarium can be used to:
- train taxonomists and plant conservationists to identify plants
- document the distribution and abundance of plants of interest
- track the spread of non-native and invasive species
- provide DNA for genetic studies
- teach about plants, adaptation, evolution
- learn about ecology
- verify species identification
- house voucher specimens for ecological studies
- answer questions from the general public about plant identification or respond to requests for information
For more information about the uses of herbaria, please see 100 Uses for an Herbarium (pdf) by Vicki Funk of the US National Herbarium.
For more information about our herbarium, please contact: