Herbarium specimens are useful once they are curated properly and made available to the public. It's a little known fact that the oldest herbarium specimens in the world are nearly 500 years old, and for over two centuries, herbarium specimens have been the basis for most information on plant species published in floras and guidebooks. They are used for a multitude of purposes, including plant identification, understanding past and present species geographic distributions, and extraction of specimen DNA. The Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium General Support Fund provides current-use, immediate income to support the curation of older specimens that are not yet labeled or mounted onto paper, as well as, efforts to make our specimens available online.
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