Botany Resources


Teisher J.K., M.R. McKain, B.A. Schaal and E.A. Kellogg. In Press. Evolution of C4 Photosynthesis in the Micrairoideae (Poaceae). Systematic Botany.

Julia A Tasca, Chelsea R Smith, Elizabeth A Burzynski, Brynn N Sundberg, Anthony F Lagalante, Tatyana Livshultz, Kevin PC Minbiole. 2018. HPLC‐MS detection of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and their N‐oxides in herbarium specimens dating back to the 1850s. Applications in Plant Science 6(4): e1143.

Tatyana Livshultz, Elisabeth Kaltenegger, Shannon CK Straub, Kevin Weitemier, Elliot Hirsch, Khrystyna Koval, Lumi Mema, Aaron Liston. 2018. Evolution of pyrrolizidine alkaloid biosynthesis in Apocynaceae: revisiting the defence de‐escalation hypothesis. New Phytologist 218(2): 762-773.

Mark Fishbein, Tatyana Livshultz, Shannon CK Straub, André O Simões, Julien Boutte, Angela McDonnell, Abbey Foote. 2018. Evolution on the backbone: Apocynaceae phylogenomics and new perspectives on growth forms, flowers, and fruits. American Journal of Botany 105(3): 495-513.

Tatyana Livshultz, Sonja Hochleitner, Elizabeth Lakata. 2018. Pollen transfer efficiency of Apocynum cannabinum (Apocynaceae): a comparative perspective. Journal of Pollination Ecology 22.

Tatyana Livshultz, David J. Middleton, Raymond W. J. M. van der Ham, Gillian Khew. 2018. Generic delimitation in Apocyneae (Apocynaceae). Taxon 67(2): 341-358.

John D Hall, Robert G Sheath, Richard M McCourt, Rosalina Stancheva. 2018. Ochlochaete incrustans sp. nov., a new species of freshwater ulvophycean algae from California, USA, with notes on Friedaea torrenticola. Phycologia 57(4): 465-476.

JD Hall, JC Adair, RM McCourt. 2017. Morphological and phylogenetic analysis of Cylindrocystis reveals new species and extraordinary spores with implications for our understanding of fossil Zygnematophyceae. Phycologia 56(4): 72.

KG Karol, JD Hall, W Perez, CF Delwiche, RM McCourt. 2017. Gratol-Right: Progress and Challenges in Charophytic Green Algae. Phycologia 56(4): 92.

Kenneth G Karol, Paul M Skawinski, Richard M McCourt, Michelle E Nault, Reesa Evans, Martha E Barton, Matthew S Berg, Donna J Perleberg, John D Hall. 2017. First discovery of the charophycean green alga Lychnothamnus barbatus (Charophyceae) extant in the New World. American Journal of Botany 104(7): 1108-1116.

Arthan W., M.R. McKain, P. Traiperm, C.A.D. Welker, J.K. Teisher, and E.A. Kellogg. 2017. Relationships of Southeast Asian Andropogoneae (Poaceae). Systematic Botany 42(3) 418-431.

Teisher J.K., M.R. McKain, B.A. Schaal and E.A. Kellogg. 2017. Polyphyly of Arundinoideae (Poaceae) and evolution of the twisted geniculate lemma awn. Annals of Botany 120(5): 725-738.

Soreng R., P. Peterson, K. Romaschenko, G. Davidse, J. Teisher, L. Clark, P. Barbera, L. Gillespie, and F. Zuloaga. 2017 A worldwide phylogenetic classification of the Poaceae (Gramineae) II: An update and a comparison of two 2015 classifications. Journal of Systematics and Biology 55(4): 259–290.

Online Databases

Data and images of all type and many historical specimens are available from JSTOR Global Plants. Records for these specimens and over 200,000 others and counting are also available on the herbarium's home database.

All North American lichen and bryophyte specimens from the general collections have been databased and are available from the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria, the Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria, and the iDigBio portal.

Over 37,000 fungal records including types, historical collections, and slime molds can be accessed and their labels viewed on the Mycoportal.

Similarly, our collection of macroalgae is fully databased and imaged and can be searched on the Macroalgal Herbarium Portal.

All vascular plant specimens from Taiwan are available at Plants of Taiwan.

A rapidly growing number of vascular plant specimens from PA, NJ, MD, NY, DE, and Washington D.C. is available on the Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Portal.

Collection Policies

The herbarium is governed by the Academy's general policy on collections (revised 2001). This document overviews those aspects of particular relevance to most users of the herbarium, including access, specimen acquisition, loans, destructive sampling, deposition of specimens, and use of digital specimen images.

For all requests and inquiries regarding the collection, please email collections staff at

Collection Access

Achievement of the Herbarium's missions in research, teaching and service demands that the collections be easily accessible. At the same time, the herbarium consists of delicate and irreplaceable specimens, which means that protection and preservation of the collection are central to the staff's curation activities. The policy on access to the collection thus attempts to achieve a balance between the goals of easy access and protection.

The herbarium is open by appointment between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday (except Academy holidays). After hours and weekend use can be arranged if necessary. Upon initial arrival, visitors must sign in at the museum security desk and be escorted to the collection wing of the building. Visitors should sign the herbarium's guest book.

Qualified individuals may use the collections; herbarium staff will assist novice users until they are familiar with standard protocol for handling specimens. Visitors may use workspace, scopes and networked computers (PC and Mac) provided on ample bench top in an alcove of the main herbarium (6th floor) and in the research area on the 5th floor. Plug-ins for personal laptop computers are also provided. These computers allow access to databases both at the Academy and other institutions and a label making program as well as printing and scanning resources. High-resolution digital photography can be provided by the in-house Greenfield digital imaging center. Plant materials brought in by visitors for study can be used only in designated areas unless they have been frozen.

Holdings of seed plants in the General Herbarium are organized following an updated De Dalla Torre and Harms system for families and genera are ordered alphabetically within families. The fruit, seed and cone collection is ordered following the General Herbarium. Ferns and fern allies are also shelved in alphabetical order. Bryophytes and lichens are ordered alphabetically by genus; fungi follow the system of Engler & Prantl. The paleobotanical collection is ordered by site and collector. In addition to our regular collection, types and important historical collections are held separately in the climate-controlled Types and Special Collections Room on the 5th floor.

The herbarium maintains a small collection of reference books and reprints for use by staff and visitors. These books do not normally leave the department. The Ewell Sale Stewart Library contained within the Academy houses an extensive collection of botanical reference books and botanical journals. The library allows reference materials to be used within the Academy with the appropriate permission.

Specimen Acquisition

Because of the resources involved in permanent curation of plant specimens, only those of high quality with good documentation are accepted. We require also proof of legal collecting and export (if applies) of the botanical specimens. The herbarium seeks to expand collections via research activities and exchange in support of research endeavors of staff members and associates, and to build on existing strengths. Preparation of specimens for incorporation into the collection follows standard herbarium procedures.


PH loans materials to institutions for study by professional researchers, provided that adequate facilities are available for care of the specimens while on loan. Loans are normally for a one-year period (type specimens for six months), extendable upon request. The herbarium has an historical beetle infestation problem making it crucial that all outgoing specimens are frozen for at least one week prior to sending. Loans are managed using an Access database and a file system. It is expected that specimens returned will be annotated appropriately and that any publication generated based on PH specimens will cite the herbarium. 

NOTICE: In order to avoid the holiday mail at the end of each year, we have a herbarium shipping moratorium from December 10 to January 10.

Destructive Sampling

Requests for destructive sampling require a brief description of research goals and sampling protocols. If permission is granted, specimens must be annotated to indicate structure and quantity removed, nature of study and Genbank or other database registration number if available.

Specimen Imaging

People interested in obtaining and/or publishing specimen images should contact the collection manager at