History of the Fungal Herbarium

The fungal collections were split around the year 1925, with part moving to St. Paul for use by plant pathologists in their herbarium (MPPD) and the remainder housed in the University Herbarium (MIN) in Minneapolis for floristic studies. With the move of the University Herbarium to St. Paul in 1972, the two collections were housed in different buildings.

Beginning in 1999 the collections have been combined with support from the Legislative Commission for Minnesota Resources, which made possible the initial public database, archival mounting of Minnesota fungal specimens, and archival cases for transferred specimens.

The collection is noteworthy for its coverage of the basidiomycetes, especially the rusts (Pucciniales) and its growing collection of Minnesota mushrooms. There are also substantial holdings of ascomycetes and slime molds. The rust collection includes the E.W.D. Holway collection of North and South American species, crop disease and other specimens collected in association with the USDA Cereal Disease Laboratory, St. Paul (formerly USDA Cereal Rust Laboratory) and the E.C. Swann collection.

About 750 MPPD collections, mainly of fleshy fungi, have been destroyed through improper curation in the past (list available from the curator). Recent fleshy fungal collections are mostly well documented, including description, color photos, spore prints, and DNA. They include the collections of M.G. Weaver, M.E. Palm (Suillus), D.J. McLaughlin, and his students, P.R. Leacock (Lactarius), E.M. Frieders (Eocronartiaceae) B.T. Mason Dentinger (Boletus), M. Padamsee (Psathyrella), A.G. Knudson (Ramaria), and R.A. Healy (Pachyphlodes "Pachyphloeus" and other truffles) and documentation for fire and nitrogen enrichment plots at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (P.G. Avis). Other contributors include A. Gerenday and Minnesota Mycological Society members.