About

The Pringle Herbarium, a facility of The Plant Biology Department at the University of Vermont, is a fully functional collection of dried plants. It is currently active as a resource for systematic and floristics research on a regional and international basis. The large collection is housed in Torrey Hall. Facilities at Torrey Hall include space for collections, as well as work and study space for staff, students and visiting scientists.

The herbarium is fortunate to have strong associate libraries, the Pringle Library and the Tryon Pteridophyte Library, specializing in systematics and floristics, with an emphasis on ferns. Major recent donations bring the library to some 1,500 volumes.

The collection currently includes over 300,000 sheets of mounted and accessioned plants; it is the third largest herbarium in New England. Central to the herbarium are the extensive Mexican collections of its namesake, Cyrus G. Pringle (1838-1911). Pringle’s aggressive exchange program, with a suite of approximately two dozen international and national herbaria between 1885 and 1911, brought a large geographically and taxonomically diverse representation of the world’s flora to the herbarium. Pringle’s unusually rich exchange materials, including many isotypes from his pioneering explorations in northern Latin America and southwestern United States, led exchange partners to send unusually choice materials, for example, the set of Sellow collections sent from Berlin’s herbarium, representing the beginning of Europe’s exploration of Brazil.

The herbarium is full of delightful surprises, such as: a cabinet of plant-based curiosities, botanical paintings gracing the walls, Cyrus Pringle’s set of field journals, beautiful architectural details, type specimens that are over 150 years old and rich archival materials on eminent botanists.

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