About the Collections

The current holdings of the herbarium include more than 35,000 accessioned specimens. All plant groups are represented, with particular strengths in flowering plants (angiosperms) of the Eastern Highland Rim and the Cumberland Plateau of TN, and to a lesser extent eastern and central United States. Major contributors to the collection include Paul L. Hollister, S. K. Ballal, Gordon Hunter, Richard Simmers, and Felix G. Coe.The holdings of the herbarium consist primarily of flowering plants (angiosperms) of Tennessee, particularly of the Eastern Highland Rim and the Cumberland Plateau.

Voucher specimens are stored for use by faculty and students conducting botanical research and for teaching general biology, undergraduate and graduate courses in botany. The collection is also available for use by other researchers, educators, and the general public. In addition, specimens are available for loan to scientists at other institutions.

Older specimens collected in the early 1900s provide valuable baseline information for comparison against current species distribution and for assessment of the impact of human disturbance on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Herbarium specimens are often examined by environmental consultants, government agencies scientists, such as foresters, fish and wildlife biologists, ethnobotanists, native plant enthusiasts, and people interested in medicinal plants, to cite a few.