Botany Collection
Botany Collection
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The examples on this page represent the many specimens in the Illinois State Museum herbarium and pollen reference collections.

On the herbarium page (below) is a specimen of yellow lady slipper, an example of a plant from the 19th century that is now rare. Early herbarium specimens provide a valuable record of rare plants and those that are no longer present in the state. They serve as a record of the plant's existence in a particular place and time.


Acer Saccharinum,
Silver Maple

  Common plants are also an important part of the collections. Silver maple is a common tree that is often planted as an ornamental. It is widespread throughout Illinois. This herbarium specimen was collected in 1957.

Lady Slipper

Cypripedium calceolus L.,
Yellow Lady's Slipper


Some of the smallest specimens in the museum's collections are pollen grains. Palynologists at the Illinois State Museum collect reference pollen to help them identify the fossil pollen that they find in lake sediments.



  The pollen grain (left) comes from a weedy plant in the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) that is common in dried out lake beds, along streams in bottomlands of Illinois. Native Americans cultivated goosefoot and other species for their seeds.
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