About the Herbarium Collection
The current holdings of the herbarium include ca. 40,000 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 W. 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 as 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.