Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Creating a Herbarium

The US Herbarium
The U.S. Herbarium houses over
4.5 million specimens (photo by C. Clark).

Given a large number of specimens, your herbarium should act as a reference guide to your local flora. If you have a plant for which you do not know the identification, you may first identify the plant with field guides and then check specimens in your herbarium to verify the name you give your plant. Because you may refer to your specimens often for this purpose, they should be well-made and sturdy. The herbarium should be organized logically to suit your needs.

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