More than one-third of our 1,100,000 specimens having been collected within the state of Wisconsin. However, vascular plants from most the world’s floras also are well represented, and the holdings from certain areas, such as the Upper Midwest, eastern North America and western Mexico, are widely recognized as resources of global significance.
Certain plant groups and geographic regions have been the long-term focus of UW-Madison research. Thus, Solanum (potato, tomato, nightshade), Zea (corn), Capparacae (Caper Family), violets, magnolias, aquatic plants, parasitic fungi and arctic lichens are especially well-represented and form the basis of many published papers, monographs, books and regional floras. Active far beyond what might be expected from its size and budget, the Herbarium serves as the basis for several major, long-term floristic and distributional projects, such as the world famous flora of the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve. The recent (2003) donation of the 50,000 specimen wood voucher collection from the USDA Forest Product Laboratory is a world reknowned collection, and has increased the international significance of the herbarium’s holdings.