About the Collection
The Bell Museum is home to a sizeable plant collection—plant specimens number over 700,000 with samples of vegetative parts, cones, fruit, and seeds. The representation of Minnesota's flora is unparalleled, with over 160,000 specimens collected throughout Minnesota's history by Etlar Nielson, Olga Lakela, John W. Moore, Welby Smith, and many others. The record of historic flora of the Upper Midwest (including the Dakotas, Wisconsin, and southwestern Ontario) is among the best in the United States
There is an excellent collection of circumboreal and arctic flora due to past research interests of E. C. Abbe, W. S. Cooper, D. Lawrence, and their students. Additionally there is a collection of historic Pacific Island flora, through the efforts of J. Tilden, A. A. Heller, and J. W. Moore, and a collection of early Amazonian flora by H. H. Rusby and R. Squires as part of the early exploration (1895-1896) of the Orinoco River delta by the Orinoco Company Ltd. (of Minnesota). J. W. Congdon's collection (over 9,000 specimens) of early California plants (including Yosemite National Park) and approximately 7,000 species of early western U.S. and tropical Asia flora acquired through J. H. Sandberg's exchanges are other significant collections.
Our herbarium collections continue to expand each year with new specimens, particularly from the Minnesota Biological Survey (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) and a tropical rain forest research program in Papua New Guinea coordinated by George Weiblen and colleagues.
Collecting Guidelines (.pdf)