BHSU herbarium houses over 42,000 plant specimens

Black Hills State University’s herbarium houses over 42,000 vascular plants and 3,000 specimens of fungi. The herbarium was started in 1883 and is located in Jonas Hall Room 159.

The herbarium is a collection of dried plants that are identified by the scientific name as well as where the plant was collected and who collected the specimen. These plants are used for research including seeing what species are native to an area and what plants are an invasive species.

The collection is extensive with plant species collected over 100 years ago.

Many of the plants are from South Dakota and Wyoming but there are samples from all over the across the globe.

Collectors of the plants include students, professors and other plant collectors.

Dr. Mark Gable, the plant curator at the herbarium said, “The forest service also collects plants and stores them at the herbarium for research.”

The herbarium has an online database that you can get to via the schools website. It currently is only for western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming.

The herbarium is getting a new database that will include all of the Missouri Plateau. It will include information from 26 herbariums in the area. This database will allow people to look up specific plants for research purposes. This database will also plot out areas where a certain plant is found and show the location on Google Maps.

The herbarium also houses several thousand species of fossil plants from the Great Plains.

For more information on the herbarium contact Dr. Mark Gable at [email protected].