Botany Collection (Herbarium)
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science houses about 4,500 plant specimens (pressed plants mounted on sheets or in books, leaf litter samples, pine cones, seeds, wood samples) of ca. 240 families, collected between the mid-19th century and today. The herbarium contains mostly material from the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains ecoregions, including material representing host plants for insects from the entomology collection and voucher specimens of plants used in the dioramas. The herbarium is mainly an auxiliary resource for nonbotanical projects and exhibits but currently gets integrated in the regional herbaria database consortium SEINET, where the Herbarium forms a part of the Rocky Mountain Regional Consortium. This will raise awareness in the research community about the herbarium’s existence, and we hope it will increase the usage of our specimens.
The herbarium collection was established by Ernest H. Brunquist, honorary curator of botany from 1959‒1978. The material was donated by many different collectors, with the oldest specimen collected in 1859. In 2014, we received Kirk Johnson’s herbarium as a substantial addition. The strength of the collection is that it provides a representative collection of plants from the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains ecoregions. The voucher material for the dioramas was collected when the dioramas were built.