About the Herbarium
The ASU Herbarium is the largest component of the Angelo State Natural History Collections (ASNHC) and comprises about 80,000 plant specimens that are pressed, dried and mounted on archival paper and filed in metal cabinets. It is the eighth-largest herbarium in Texas and represents the most complete floristic inventory of the Concho Valley of Texas.
In addition to this special emphasis, the Herbarium serves as a permanent depository for voucher specimens for floristic surveys of several unique areas in West Texas, including Big Bend National Park, Texas Nature Conservancy Big Brushy Canyon and Texas Nature Conservancy Independence Creek.
Specimens resulting from several ecological and systematic studies of rare plants are also housed in our collection. We have significant holdings in the Poaceae and Cyperaceae. Our official abbreviation is SAT.
The Herbarium employs undergraduate assistants and welcomes volunteer help.
Mr. Glenn Casey started the Herbarium in the 1940s. At that time, it was called the Goodman Herbarium, in honor of the late Oklahoma botanist and gentleman, Dr. George Goodman.
The collection languished briefly in the late 1960s after the departure of Mr. Casey and during the transition from the two-year San Angelo College to Angelo State University. It was revitalized with the arrival of Dr. Chester Rowell Jr. in 1972.
Dr. Rowell served as curator until his retirement in 1987. Dr. Bonnie Amos became curator at that time and remains in that position today.
Label data for all ASNHC specimens is currently being entered into a searchable database for management and use of the collections. This data is searchable through our Web interface.
Several large families remain to be entered. If you need information concerning a family that does not appear in a query of the database, please contact the curator.
Recent and Current Research
The ASU Department of Biology has a strong undergraduate research program. Many of the recently completed or ongoing botany research projects involve undergraduate biology majors.
Recent Herbarium research projects have centered on these six activities:
- The reproductive biology of the threatened Chisos Mountain Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus chisoensis, Cactaceae)
- Floral spectral analyses
- Reintroduction of the endangered Texas Poppy Mallow
- Investigating rare plant genetic diversity
- Establishing an experimental population of Echinocereus chisoensis
- Herbarium database implementation
Use and Loan of Specimens
The collection is available for study by all qualified visitors who set up an appointment. Requests for loans from recognized botanical institutions will be honored, provided that adequate facilities are available for the care of the specimens while on loan.
Requests must be in writing from the curator of the borrowing institution to the ASU curator. Loans are made for a period of one year with extensions possible by written request. No destructive sampling is permitted without prior consent.
We will be glad to help with the identification of plant specimens, particularly those representing the native flora of Texas. However, because of other responsibilities, we cannot always guarantee immediate responses to such requests. We can also arrange tours of the Herbarium or organize educational programs about Texas plants. Please contact the curator for additional information.