The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium is the centerpiece of the Garden’s botanical research program. It is the second largest herbarium in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Herbarium holds a collection of more than seven million preserved specimens filed according to a standardized system of classification. All plant groups–flowering plants, conifers, ferns, mosses, liverworts, and algae, as well as fungi and lichens –are represented in the Herbarium collection, which is particularly strong in New World specimens. This reflects the emphasis of the research projects conducted by the Garden researchers.
The collections of the Herbarium are constantly being augmented through field research conducted by Garden staff, and through gifts, acquisitions, and exchanges of specimens from other herbaria.