Collections The McGregor Herbarium houses approximately 400,000 specimens accumulated by Botany staff during the past 150 years.

The majority of these comprise exsiccatae, seed, boxed, and fluid-preserved vascular plant specimens. The herbarium also houses smaller holdings of bryophytes and fungi, and a rapidly growing lichen collection.  Additional resources in the herbarium  include a library of 1,400 books and 14,000 scientific articles, and a collection of more than 50,000 photographic slides and digital images.

The botany collections can be searched here and lichens collections can be searched here.

  • We house the largest single collection of plants from the grassland biome of central North America; an estimated 65% of the specimens are from that region. Other important holdings in the collection reflect specific taxonomic and geographic interests of current and former staff.
  • Label data for essentially all of our lichen specimens and roughly 2/3 of our vascular plants specimens have been databased and are accessible digitally.  Digital records for lichens represent 440 genera and 1,320 species; for vascular plants they represent 1,940 genera and 9,030 species.
  • Though our collections come primarily from North America, KANU houses lichen and vascular plant specimens from 18 and 62 countries, respectively.
  • We house the largest collections of lichens and vascular plants from Kansas—nearly 7,700 and 135,000 specimens, respectively.
  • Since 1970, KANU has accessioned an average of 2,500 specimens annually.

Our collection ranks in the top 5% of U.S. herbaria in the number of accessioned specimens. Vascular plants holdings are rich in Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Fabaceae, Juncaceae, and Poaceae.


Plant Identification

As a public service, Botany identifies plants from specimens and photographs free of charge. For identification of more than 10 specimens at a time, please contact the herbarium before submitting any materials.  Dried or fresh specimens may be sent to us at our mailing address; images may be sent via email to Some details are helpful in determining the identity of a plant.


Accessing the Collection

Botany strives to provide make its legacy data as widely accessible as possible.  Data can be obtained by accessing our on-line databases containing specimen records, through loans of specimens and associated data (see our loan policy for details), or by visiting the herbarium.  Working space is available for visitors.


Collection Policies

For those interested in using the collections, Botany has a detailed collection management policy addressing acquisitions, deaccession, loans, destructive sampling, data use, pest management, and disaster preparedness and recovery.

The botanical collections of Botany are available for scientific study  via loan to accredited institutions. Generally, loans are made for taxonomic or floristic research only, but exceptions may be made for other kinds of botanical investigation.

Requests for loans must be in writing from an official staff member of the institution where the specimens will be stored.