18 Jul 2022

Re-introducing the Bryophyte Herbarium at Texas Tech!

Although some of the early collectors at Texas Tech College did have an interest in bryophytes (especially the liverwort Riella, there were no recorded bryophytes in the TTC database in 2017. It appears that the bryophyte collection was donated to TAES in the mid-2010s by a previous herbarium director.

As we set out to re-build the Bryophyte collection, we got two large donations of specimens:

A big part of re-building the bryophyte collection has been two large donations of specimens:

  1. The Botanical Research Institute of Texas sent about 200 duplicates of Texas bryophytes made by Eula Whitehouse and others in the 1940s - 1960s.
  2. Taylor S. Quedensley sent duplicates of mosses and liverworts collected in 2019 - 2021 in central Texas.

Hannah Homoya, an undergraduate summer intern in the Herbarium, has been hard at work curating over 300 bryophyte specimens and entering them into our online data portal.

There is often debate about the best way to store bryophyte specimens: the vertical “shoe box” format saves space, but dirt and debris can fall to the bottom of the packet; while arranging packets on herbarium sheets takes a lot of space and is hard to reorganize. We settled on a compromise - specimens arranged in palm boxes by genus. Each palm box can hold a few dozen specimens, slightly overlapping so they can still be easily removed as needed. Hannah did a great job entering all labels and organizing everything into the new cabinet!

In the future we will also be adding stacked macro photography images of specimens and new collections, including some from our colleagues collecting in Antartica. Looking forward to a bright future for bryophyte specimens at Texas Tech!

a b
Undergrad intern Hannah Homoya with her completed Bryophyte organization Bryum argenteum specimens organized in a palm folder