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McGill Herbarium

Carex crinita, a wetland sedge sedge species

Bog plant Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

Carex sect. Paniceae

Endangered species Carex lupuliformis

Collection site in Maryland for Carex meadii

Globally rare Carex roanensis

Herbarium specimen - Dryas drummondii collected on Anticosti Island, QC

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) berries on reindeer lichen

A label from our Holmes Collection, for Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum) collected on the Island of Montreal in 1821

Herbarium specimen of arctic plant Blue Mountainheath (Phyllodoce caerulea)

Jordane Roy-Leblanc and Laura Plourde go sampling by canoe for Laura's MSc thesis on floodplain Carex

Data sampling at Molson Nature Reserve

Work study student Ellie Goud prepares herbarium specimens

Dr. Martin Lechowicz and a friend press plants at McGill's Subarctic Research Station in Schefferville, QC

The McGill University Herbarium is a research museum of dried plant specimens currently housed within the Plant Science Department and located on the first floor of the Raymond Building, Macdonald Campus.

The McGill College Herbarium and the Macdonald College Herbarium were united into a combined university herbarium in 1971, at which time all the plant specimens were moved to the Macdonald Campus. The original McGill College Herbarium was founded in 1856 with a gift of more than 500 plant specimens collected in the Montreal region in the early 1820s by A. F. Holmes, one of the founders and first head of the McGill medical faculty. These specimens are among the earliest plant specimens collected in Canada which were not sent to European herbaria. The Holmes collection is only one of a rich set of 19th-century collections housed within the McGill Herbarium.

The Macdonald College Herbarium was founded in 1907 with a gift of specimens from John Macoun to be used for teaching in the Faculty of Agriculture. It subsequently developed extensive collections from the circumpolar arctic and subarctic, through the research activities of students and staff and exchanges with herbaria in Copenhagen and Leningrad. With the merger of the two herbaria in 1971, the herbarium numbered nearly 90,000 specimens. It has since grown to more than 140,000 plant specimens that document the research activities of McGill staff and students over the past century and serve as a rich source of research material for biologists.

For further details about the history of the McGill University Herbarium, please read the following article from the Collection Forum [.pdf].