Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Department ofBotany


 Map of the Flora of the Flora of the Washington-Baltimore Area

 Historic DC Map of 1917

 DC Gazetteer of collections localities

The Department of Botany in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution (SI), maintains the D.C. (District of Columbia) Herbarium as a separate part of the worldwide U.S. National Herbarium. The D.C. Herbarium, now enlarged to cover the Washington-Baltimore Area, includes a separate section for Plummer's Island, MD, a much studied island in the Potomac just below the American Legion ("Cabin John") Bridge of the Capital Beltway. The DC Herbarium holds over 57,000 specimens.

Query the DC Specimen Database

Visit the DC Gazetteer

The D.C. Herbarium, as originally compiled, was the basis for A.S. Hitchcock's and Paul Standley's Flora of the District of Columbia and Vicinity (1919), which covered a 15-mile radius from the Capitol. As expanded in the 1940s, it was the basis for Frederick Hermann's Checklist (1941, 1946) for the Washington-Baltimore Area. Recently, it was used by Stanwyn Shetler to revise the Checklist.

Herbarium specimens are plants that have been pressed, dried, mounted flat on large sheets of heavy, acid-free paper, and labelled with essential collecting data, a procedure following time-honored practice.

Living specimens of many of the region's native wildflowers have been planted in Fern Valley, a natural stream valley in the U.S. National Arboretum.

The D.C. Herbarium is completely inventoried and recorded in the computerized catalog system using KE EMu. The Herbarium is available for use by appointment to any qualified person.

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