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Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center

 

The TEX and LL herbaria contain over 1,000,000 total specimens and are among the largest herbaria in the southwestern United States. The facility ranks 13th in size across the nation. About a quarter of the specimens were collected in Texas, the largest holdings of Texas plants in the world. Nearly half of the specimens are from Latin America, with an especially strong representation from Mexico and northern Central America. Presently the number of new specimens accessioned into the Plant Resources Center’s herbaria is growing at an approximate rate of 7,000 per year.

History

The origins of the Plant Resources Center date back to the about 1890, when UT's first biology instructor, Frederick W. Simonds, donated his plant collections. Over the years, collections from other collaborators including professor William L. Bray, Dr. Mary Sophie Young, Marshal Johnston, and Billie Turner, substantially increased the number of specimens. It was in the late 1980's when the transfer of Dr. Cyrus L. Lundell’s private collection brought up the collection close to the million of specimens, positioning the Plant Resources Center as one of the biggest plant collections in the Southwest United States.

Composition

The herbarium collection at UT contains many unique collections that are represented only here, or in very few other herbaria. Complete or nearly complete sets include the collections of Cyrus L. and Amelia Lundell, Marshall C. Johnston, James Henrickson, Robert Runyon, Elias Contreras, Percy H. Gentle, Eizi Matuda, and Billie L. Turner. The Plant Resources Center also has significant holdings of Donovan S. Correll, Sydney F. Blake, George B. Hinton and son, Harold N. Moldenke, Cornelius H. Muller, William A. Silvius, and Ivan M. Johnston, as well as significant holdings of Cyrus G. Pringle, Rogers McVaugh, and numerous other well-known plant collectors. Over 8,000 taxa are represented in the Type Collection.

Taxonomic concentration

The collection excels in holdings of the large plant family Asteraceae (sunflower family) from around the world, with more than 200,000 sheets. This large concentration of composites is partly due to the acquisition of the S. F. Blake collection of Asteraceae by the Lundell Herbarium. This large private collection was assembled by one of the foremost Asteraceae workers of the 20th century. Because of his willingness to identify Asteraceae from throughout the world, Blake amassed not only a large collection, but a very diverse one, both systematically and geographically.

The Blake collection is intercalated with the very large TEX collection of global Asteraceae assembled by the 60 or more monographers (most students and faculty at UT, especially B. L. Turner and his students, as well as J. Panero) who have worked in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico over the last 40 years. Comparatively few of these collections have been widely distributed among other U.S. institutions.

Because of the research interests of the staff and graduate students, especially comprehensive collections have been, or are being, accumulated for the plant families Chloranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Krameriaceae, Lamiaceae, Polygalaceae and Rhamnaceae. Also strongly represented are the Boraginaceae, Poaceae, and Scrophulariaceae.

In the late 1980s, the acquisition of the Lundell herbarium (LL) added ca. 315,000 specimens to the Plant Resources Center’s collections. These were accumulated throughout his career by the well-known botanist and archaeologist, Cyrus L. Lundell, who collected many specimens and also acquired the personal herbaria of several other botanists. With this acquisition, the Plant Resources Center became a major resource for material of the angiosperm families Celastraceae, Eriocaulaceae, Myrsinaceae, Sapotaceae and Verbenaceae.

Location

The Plant Resources Center is located in the Main Building (aka. the Tower) on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Our main entrance is Room 127, located on the east hallway on the first floor (one up from ground).

 

BIERNER, MARK W
Mark W Bierner
Research Affiliate - Sr Research Fellow
My research is in the area of plant systematics focusing of the evolution and classification of species in the sunflower family, Asteraceae.
512-820-9723
MAI 127
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GILBERT, LAWRENCE E
512-471-2825
PAT 440
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HANSEN, DEBRA R
Debra R Hansen
Assistant Professor of Instruction
I am an evolutionary botanist; I study how plants are related to one another, and how various traits have evolved in certain lineages.
512-232-8491
NMS 2.104
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Horning, Amber L. No
Amber L Horning
Assistant Curator
512-471-9437
MAI
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JANSEN, ROBERT
Robert K Jansen
Professor, Director (Academic)
Sidney F. and Doris Blake Centennial Professorship in Systematic Botany and the Blake Collection

Plant molecular evolution, comparative genomics, plant systematics
512-471-8827
BIO 212
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PANERO, JOSE L
Jose L Panero
Associate Professor, Associate Director (Academic)
512-232-1990
BIO
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SIMPSON, BERYL B No
Beryl B Simpson
Professor Emeritus
C. L. Lundell Chair of Systematic Botany

WENDT, THOMAS No
Thomas Wendt
Research Affiliate - Sr Research Fellow
512-475-6159
MAI T901
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Yatskievych, George No
George A Yatskievych
Curator, Lecturer
Plant systematics & conservation, collections-based botany
512-471-5904
MAI 127
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