Our herbarium is an archive for plant biodiversity. With over 26,000 plant specimens, it serves as a vital teaching resource, houses research quality specimens that are available digitally for research, education, and other scholarly and creative activities world wide. Plants in the collection are primarily from the Great Lakes region, focusing on wetland plants and the flora of the Beaver Island Archipelago. The plant collection is maintained in herbarium cabinets on a compactor system in 103 Brooks Hall in the Department of Biology. The CMC Herbarium has additional plant specimens on Beaver Island at the Central Michigan University Biological Station. In addition to plant specimens, the herbarium has a library of books and periodicals to assist in plant identification and research. Dissecting scopes with digital imaging capabilities are accessible. Plant presses, drying ovens and freezers are available to help process collections and maintain specimens. The herbarium is fully capable of exchanging and processing loans.
The Herbarium was established in the 1930s by biology professor Ms. Faith Johnston. Originally located in Grawn Hall, the herbarium was a single cabinet of mounted plant specimens. At the time, the University was Central Michigan College, which is why the CMC acronym is still in use.
In 1962, Dr. Matthew Hohn became director. He initiated a floristic inventory of the Beaver Island Archipelago and contributed those specimens. In 1965, the herbarium acquired more cabinets and moved to 118A Brooks Hall.
In 1992, under Dr. Daniel Wujek, the herbarium moved to its current location: 103 Brooks Hall. Wujek installed compactors, increasing capacity by 75 percent. He required students to collect specimens in his Aquatic Plants and Field Botany courses. Dr. Douglas Valek’s Dendrology class also added many specimens.
In 2005, Dr. Anna Monfils became director. She continues to enhance and expand the collection as students and faculty conduct research and document floristic inventories near and far.