Illinois Natural History Survey Herbarium (ILL)
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Mailing Address:          
 
Herbarium
The University of Illinois
Prairie Research Institute
Illinois Natural History Survey
1816 South Oak Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
 Building Address:
Robert A. Evers Laboratory
1909 South Oak Street
Champaign, Illinois 61802
Herbarium Director:                
Andrew Miller
Email: amiller7@illinois.edu
Collections Manager:
Jamie Minnaert-Grote
Email: minnaert@illinois.edu
Phone: 217-244-7332
Fax: 217-244-0729
Access:
 
Access to the collection is available to qualified researchers and is normally available from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Friday and may be arranged by contacting the Collections Manager, Jamie Minnaert-Grote or the Director, Dr. Andrew Miller. 
Specimen Loans:                 
Specimen loans are available to qualified researchers.  Loans are generally made for a period of one year, except in the case of type specimens, which are made for six months. Loans are renewable upon request. Details of the collection policy may be seen here.

 

The Robert A. Evers Laboratory - photo by Paul B. Marcum, 2012. 

 

 

 

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History: The vascular plant collections at the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ILLS) originated shortly after the Survey moved into the Natural Resources Building on the University of Illinois Campus. Prior to that time the Survey had operated out of the basement of the Natural History Building on the University of Illinois Campus and made use of the University of Illinois Plant Biology Herbarium (ILL) located in that building. Upon moving to the Natural Resources Building, located about a mile south of the Natural History Building, it soon became obvious that the Survey needed ready access to its own vascular plant collections. The survey hired Robert A. Evers in 1947 to collect vascular plants and build up that much needed resource. Robert A. Evers was a field botanist for the Survey from 1947 to 1976 (nearly 30 years) and collected an amazing 114,266 specimens, nearly 4,000 specimens per year. In all, Evers collections account for about 44% of the plant collection.

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          8 examples of the 250,000 vascular plant specimens at ILLS

 

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Herbarium compact storage space - photo by Sam Heads 2012

Holdings: The ILLS collections are mostly from the United States and predominantly from Illinois (80%), although we do have significant collections from: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (8000+), China (3,000+), Kyrgyzstan (3,000+), and Dominica (600+). The earliest vascular plant specimens from Illinois and deposited in the ILLS herbarium are Galium aparine L. collected in Macon County in 1873 and Aristida tuberculosa Nutt. collected from Carroll County in 1877 by H.S. Pepoon (original author of the Flora of Chicago Region). In 2011 the herbarium moved into a new building, the Robert A. Evers Laboratory. The specimens are housed together with two other University of Illinois vascular plant collections in Room 1010 (4,527 square feet). The collections room has compact shelving with more than 800 cabinets. For controlling insect pests, we are attempting to keep the room at 64° F (17.7° C). It is possible to search the ILLS vascular plant database at the county-level via this link: INHS Vascular Plant Collections


The three plant herbaria housed at the Evers Laboratory (ILLS, ILL, and CEL) together make up a significant data resource for Illinois, the United States, and the world (>800,000 collections).  The ILLS herbarium forms a strong Illinois collection, including a significant number of Illinois Threatened and Endangered species (>2200).  Within the ILL herbarium, approximately one-third of the specimens are early Illinois collections;one-third from other states, largely from the west; and the last third of the specimens from outside the United States.  ILL is noteworthy for its collections of Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, and Viscaceae.  It also has numerous types of Piperaceae, Quercus, and Phoradendron. Their total types are approximately 4,000 and include many holotypes. The types have been scanned and their label data captured. The images may be seen at the following website: JSTOR Global Plants. The CEL herbarium specialty is the Poaceae, particularly Andropogoneae and genera of cereals, and cultivated Fabaceae. This important crop plant collection contains many artificial hybrids of our cultivated plants and collections of their wild ancestors.

Finally, ILLS and ILL combined have algae and bryophyte collections of 5600+ and 32,000+ specimens, respectively. Within the bryophyte collections are 286 specimens collected by Thomas Drummond. These specimens were gathered during the Second Land Arctic Expedition Under the Command of Captain Franklin. The 286 specimens were published in 1828 and are likely the oldest specimens held by ILL. Also included in these holdings are about 2600+ algae exsiccati and 700 bryophyte exsiccati, with the most notable algae exsiccati being a complete set in good condition of the Phycotheca Boreali – Americana, donated by Mrs. Mary S. Snyder in 1914. This collection includes about 90% of all the marine algae found on the coasts of the United States.