Collections of the Hyde Herbarium

Herbarium cabinets with a Sequoiadendron and Hydrangea on display
Herbarium cabinets with a Sequoiadendron and Hydrangea on display

The Hyde Herbarium collection is comprised primarily of plants from the Washington Park Arboretum, horticulturally significant plants, and invasive plants. The collection is currently over 23,000 pressed plant specimens.  We are continually expanding the collection through active collecting by our volunteers and by trading with other herbaria.

The majority of collecting takes place in the Washington Park Arboretum, around the gardens of the Center for Urban Horticulture, in the perennial borders of the Bellevue Botanic Gardens, at the Rhododendron Species Garden, in the Miller Botanical Garden, as well as in the Union Bay Natural Area for native plants.  The herbarium also has over 600 specimens from the UW Botany Greenhouse collection.  This includes a variety of tropical ferns, carnivorous pitcher plants, giant lilies, and colorful orchids.

Washington Park Arboretum

Volunteers collecting Sassafras with fall color in the Washington Park Arboretum
Volunteers collecting Sassafras with fall color in the Washington Park Arboretum

The Herbarium has an extensive collection of voucher specimens of living and historical plants from the Washington Park Arboretum. This collection can be browsed by the public, and is a useful reference for plant identification.  The Hyde Herbarium reflects the diversity of the Washington Park Arboretum as well as the range of plants that can be grown in this region.

Landscape Plant Recognition Study Collection

A dedicated volunteer identifying plants under the microscope
A dedicated volunteer identifying plants under the microscope

This special collection represents the numerous plants students learn throughout the spring quarter in Environmental Science and Resource Management/Biology 331, also known as Landscape Plant Recognition. Herbarium specimens are provided for students to enhance their learning, as well as reference books, botanical dictionaries, a dissecting microscope and guidance from the Herbarium staff.

Invasive Plant Collections

Herbarium specimen of Lathyrus latifolius
Herbarium specimen of Lathyrus latifolius

Weeds of Washington Project

The threat of weeds has moved beyond a nuisance in the garden and a hazard to range land. Biological invasions have become a threat to our ecosystem, as garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata creeps into woodlands and English ivy, Hedera helix, chokes our trees and smothers herbaceous plants. Dr. Sarah Reichard, former Herbarium Curator, researched the biology of invasive plants. To complement her work, the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium collected weeds from around the Pacific Northwest and the world, both to document sources and movement of biological invasions and to be a bank of information about potential new weeds to this area.

Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board Collection

Since 2004, the Hyde Herbarium has curated the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board’s weed collection. Previously in storage, this collection is now available for public use at the herbarium. This collection is over 630 plant specimens and continues to grow as county noxious weed coordinators and volunteers add missing plants to the collection. The collection contains some unique weed specimens that are not found in any other of our state herbaria.

Chilean Collection

Mahonia (Pacific Northwest Native)
Mahonia (Pacific Northwest Native)

The Chilean collection was started in the late 1980’s to amass a collection of plants that would thrive in Pacific Northwest Gardens. Dr. Sarah Reichard and Dr. Clement Hamilton, herbarium curators, traveled to Magellanas, Chile to collect plants with ornamental appeal. These particular regions were selected because they have a climate that is similar to the Pacific Northwest, including cool winter rains and summer drought.

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