The UL Lafayette Herbarium serves the national and international botanical communities, as well as serving as the regional herbarium for Acadiana. The Herbarium loans plant specimens for study to botanical institutions around the world. The UL Lafayette Herbarium holds the most complete record-- in the form of actual plant specimens of the flora of the Acadian region of Louisiana.
The UL Lafayette Herbarium was founded in the early 1940s and presently holds about 124,000 specimens, including approximately 23,000 specimens of bryophytes (primarily mosses), and 5,000 specimens of mostly marine Algae. The Herbarium is rich in Louisiana flora, with special emphasis on Acadiana flora, wetland and coastal plants, and pteridophytes (ferns and "fern allies") of Louisiana, and on bryophytes of the southern United States. The general bryophyte holdings emphasize mosses of the Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States and Mexico, the West Indies, and Amazonia, and also include major representation of the moss family Calymperaceae from tropical regions around the world.
Important collections include those of Charles M. Allen (especially Poaceae), Garrie P. Landry, Robert J. Lemaire, Alex Lasseigne (especially Fabaceae), John J. Lynch (wetland plants), Glen Montz (wetland plants), William D. Reese (especially bryophytes), John W. Thieret, and Karl M. Vincent (especially Scrophulariaceae).
Continuing Role of the UL Lafayette Herbarium
As natural plant communities in Louisiana and Acadiana diminish due to encroachment and obliteration by development and coastal erosion, the specimens in the UL Lafayette Herbarium will become increasingly valuable as a permanent and easily accessible record of the Louisiana flora. The original living flora may be lost forever, but samples of the flora, "frozen in time" as actual specimens of the lost plants, will be forever preserved in the Herbarium. The formerly extensive and rich gallery forest along the Vermilion River, in the heart of Acadiana, is an example of a flora that is in the process of being lost to development. Like the Civil War fortifications along the Vermilion River in Lafayette, which were obliterated by commercial development, the unique and once magnificent Vermilion River Forest is virtually extinct in much of its former extent due to commercial and residential development. However, unlike the Civil War entrenchments of Lafayette, of which no trace remains, a representation of the original Vermilion River Forest is preserved in the form of plant specimens taken from undisturbed reaches of the forest in past years. These specimens--a record of the past--are preserved for the future in the UL Lafayette Herbarium.
Utilization of the UL Lafayette herbarium
In addition to its roles in teaching and research, the UL Lafayette Herbarium is also a valuable resource to the general community of south-central Louisiana. It is used by personnel from, e.g., agencies such as the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, Louisiana Parks, The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the National Wetlands Research Center. In addition to agency use, private environmental consultants and commercial agriculture support organizations use the Herbarium for, e.g., wetland plant and crop weed identification. Acadiana citizens also make use of the UL Lafayette Herbarium for identifying plants of interest, for example, plants used by traiteurs.
For more information about LAF or to arrange a time to visit the collection, please contact:
Dr. Erin Sigel
Director of the LAF Herbarium
410 E. St. Mary Blvd.
Billeaud Hall, Room 108
Lafayette, LA 70503
Louisiana Ferns and Ferns Allies . John W. Thieret, 1980. Lafayette Natural History Museum. vi + 124 pages.
Mosses of the Gulf South, from the Rio Grande to the Apalachicola. William D. Reese, 1984. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. xvi + 252 pages.
Acadiana Flora. Native and Naturalized Woody Plants of South-Central Louisiana. William Dean Reese and Garrie P. Landry, 1992. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette. xxvi + 126 pages.
Grasses of Louisiana. Charles M. Allen, 1985. University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette.
Grasses of Louisiana, Second Edition. Charles M. Allen, 1992. Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society, P.O. Box 172, Eunice, LA 70535. iv + 320 pages.
Flora Neotropica Monograph 58: Calymperaceae. William D. Reese, 1993. New York Botanical Garden. 102 pages.
Theses and Selected Publications
Botanical study of the Five Islands of Louisiana . William D. Reese and John W. Thieret, 1966. Castanea 31: 251-277.
The Native Annual Parietaria (Urticaceae) of the Conterminous United States and Canada. Parietaria (Urticaceae) of the conterminous United States and Canada. Billy D. Hinton, 1968. (M.S. thesis)
A Study of the Mosses of the Upland Areas of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Andrew W. Westling, III, 1970. (M.S. thesis)
Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Louisiana. Part I. Ferns and Fern Allies,
Gymnosperms, and Monocotyledons. John W. Thieret, 1972. Lafayette
Natural History Museum Technical Bulletin 2. ii + 48 pages.
Aquatic and Marsh Plants of Louisiana: A Checklist. John W. Thieret, 1972.
Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research Journal 13(1): 1-45.
A Floristic and Ecological Study of the Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of the Florida Parishes, Louisiana. Wayne R. Guerke, 1972. (M.S. thesis)
Louisiana Legumes. Alex Lasseigne, 1973. (M.S. thesis)
A Revision of the Moss Genus Cryphaea (Cryphaeaceae) in North America North of Mexico. Monte G. Manuel, 1972. (M.S. thesis)
Rhynchosporae and Scleriae of Louisiana. John O. Joyce, 1974. (M.S. thesis)
Grasses of Louisiana. Charles M. Allen, 1975. (Ph.D. dissertation)
An Anatomical Study of the Gametophyte of Selected Species of Syrrhopodon (Musci). Alan J. Neumann, 1977. (M.S. thesis)
Distribution and Evolutionary Significance of Chlorophyllous and Non-chlorophyllous spores in the Musci. Martha L. Marin, 1981. (M.S. thesis)
Scrophulariaceae of Louisiana. Karl M. Vincent, 1982. (M.S. thesis)
Hepatics of the Tertiary Uplands of Louisiana--A Floristic Study. Debra A. Waters, 1986. (M.S. thesis)
Defensive Structures in the Genus Pinus: Heterochronic Changes in Bark Ontogeny and their Evolutionary Implications. Dean C. Adams, 1994. (M.S. thesis)
Some Recent Publications From LAF
Zamiaceae. Garrie P. Landry, 1993. Pages 347-349 in Flora of North America North of Mexico, Vol. 2. New York, Oxford.
Sabal palmetto naturalized in western Louisiana. G. P. Landry and W. D. Reese, 1996. Principes 40(4): 177-178.
Alopecurus myosuroides and Sclerochloa dura (Poaceae) new to Louisiana. J. K. Saichuk, C. M. Allen & W. D. Reese, 2000. Sida 19(2): 411-412.
Extreme leaf dimorphism in Calymperaceae. William D. Reese, 2000. Bryologist 103: 534-540.
The gemmae of the Calymperaceae. William D. Reese, 2001. Bryologist 104: 102-109.
Gemmipars in the Calymperaceae. William D. Reese, 2001. Bryologist 104: 119-122.
Calymperaceae, pp. 70-102, in Li Xing-jiang, M. R. Crosby & Si He (Eds.), Moss Flora of China, English Version, Vol. 2, Fissidentaceae to Ptychomitriaceae. William D. Reese and Lin Bang-Juan, 2001. Beijing and St. Louis.
FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA (FNA)
For the FNA project, centered at the Missouri Botanical Garden, in St. Louis, hundreds of specimens from the UL Lafayette Herbarium are routinely loaned to botanical investigators at institutions all over the United States and Canada. William D. Reese is a member of the Flora of North America Editorial Committee for bryophytes, and is also a Taxon Editor for bryophytes for the FNA project.
Garrie Landry contributed the treatment of Zamia to Volume 2 of Flora North America, published in 1993. William D. Reese has written treatments of 15 genera of North American mosses for the Flora of North America project which are provisionally published on the World Wide Web. The treatments may be viewed at: http://www.nybg.org/bsci/bfna
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a Member Institution of the Flora of North America Association.