St. Ambrose University Herbarium:
An Overview

In 1914 the herbarium of St. Ambrose University was established by Monsignor Ulrich A. Hauber as an addition to the biology department. Presently 151 of Hauber's collections from that first year and over 900 of his plant specimens in total may be found in the biology department's herbarium. Hauber's collections provided the foundation for the floristically significant and historically important facility that exists today.

The St. Ambrose University assemblage, like small herbaria around the world, is of critical importance, because it documents the vegetation, ecology, and biodiversity of a specific region. Just over 3200 specimens in the St. Ambrose University herbarium (~72% of the total) were collected in Iowa and about 2300 (~50% of the complete herbarium) document the flora of the Quad Cities area, the region within which the university is found. Though the herbarium has a regional focus, the collection displays considerable diversity.

Approximately 4500 specimens of angiosperms, bryophytes, fungi, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes in 228 families may be found in the herbarium today. The collection includes plants from the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland, but the majority of the specimens originated in the United States. From a historical perspective, 85 of the earliest specimens date to the late 1800s and nearly three-quarters of the plants in the herbarium were collected from 1910 to 1940. Over 4000 of the herbarium specimens were collected in excess of 50 years ago and just over 800 date back 100 years or more.

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