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Plant images of Cucurbita foetida, Echinocereus coccineus, Pulsatilla patens ssp. multifida
 © 2004 Robert Sivinski
Cucurbita foetida, Echinocereus coccineus, and Pulsatilla patens ssp. multifida © 2004 Robert Sivinski

General Overview


An herbarium is a collection of pressed and mounted plant specimens with associated documentation. An herbarium represents the physical records of plant biodiversity, biogeographical distribution and ecology for a region. Herbarium specimens are examined by a variety of users such as university researchers, environmental consultants, government agency scientists, and native plant enthusiasts. In addition, herbarium specimens are sent on loan to specialists around the world.

The University of New Mexico Herbarium (UNM) is open to students, researchers and the general public who have an interest in the flora of our state. The UNM Herbarium is one of seven Divisions of the Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB). The University of New Mexico Herbarium has a total of ca. 115,000 accessioned specimens of mainly vascular plants collected in New Mexico and surrounding southwestern states. In addition to the specimen collections, the herbarium has a library, reprint collection, and a new laboratory for cytogenetics.

The herbarium is open by appointment only during regular business hours. In December 2010 Jane Mygatt retired from the University of New Mexico. A search for her replacement is underway. Visitors must call or e-mail the Curator, Tim Lowrey in advance (505-277-2604 or tlowrey 'at' to arrange a date and time for using the collection.

The herbarium is located on the second floor in CERIA (Building 83). When visitors arrive they should call from the phone in the foyer (277-3781). Only the last 5 digits are needed when calling from a campus phone (i.e., 7-3781). Directions to CERIA


herbarium images
Herbarium images © 2003 Jane Mygatt



Visiting the Collection

  • When you arrive, please check in with the collection manager
  • Please sign the Guestbook and indicate what taxa (or other resources) will be used
  • In order to prevent accidental introduction of pests all specimens brought into the Herbarium must go through the appropriate pest control treatment
  • First time visitors must be trained in specimen handling
  • There is no food or drink allowed inside the collection room or near the specimens
  • Do not remove anything (ie. specimens, books, equipment) from the herbarium without consent of the curator or collection manager
  • Visitors must be evacuated if the fire alarm sounds

Proper Specimen Handling

  • Keep folders horizontal when carrying and removing from the cases
  • Keep herbarium sheets specimen-side-up... Do not turn them over like pages in a book
  • Please do not refile specimens... misfiled specimens may never be found




herbarium images
Herbarium images 2003 Jane Mygatt



Taxonomic Composition


Taxonomic Group# specimens
Ferns & allies1984




Geographic Composition

Geographic composition of databased specimens as of March 2008.


CountryState# Specimens
USANew Mexico84840
.other southwestern states13874
Mexico .1586
Canada .714
Other Countries.439



Databasing Activities

In 2002, an intensive phase of database development and specimen label entry was initiated by funds received from the Institute of Natural Resource Analysis and Management (INRAM). The collection is fully databased and we are in the process of georeferencing locality information.

Online access to UNM Herbarium records for New Mexico specimens is available through the New Mexico Biodiversity Collections Consortium (NMBCC) Gateway to New Mexico Biodiversity website.