The Lichen Flora of the Great Plains

Primary Researcher: Caleb A. Morse

Funding source: Endowment


Work on the project has generated approximately 30,000 specimens from throughout the Great Plains and afforded us a basic understanding of the lichen diversity of the region. Included among our recent findings are one genus and a handful of species new to science as well as several species newly documented for North America, and many more newly documented for the Great Plains and adjacent regions.


For 60 years, the staff of the R.L. McGregor Herbarium (KANU) has engaged in systematic, floristic, and ecological research focused on the Great Plains of North America, with a secondary emphasis on adjacent physiographic provinces, particularly the Interior Plains, Ozark Plateau, and Southern and Middle Rocky Mountains.  Specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and macrofungi are accumulated through our field studies as well as gift and exchange with other herbaria and individuals.  KANU houses the largest single collection documenting the floristic diversity of the grassland biome of central North America, with ca. 380,000 extant vascular plants specimens and 22,000 lichen, bryophyte, and macrofungus specimens.  Digitization of legacy data is a major, ongoing focus of our efforts.  Studies at KANU are the foundation of our involvement in the Great Plains Flora Project and Flora of North America Project.