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Close-up of wildflowers in the forest

Floyd Bartley Herbarium

The Floyd Bartley Herbarium is the largest holding of vascular plant specimens from Appalachian Ohio. It is particularly rich in specimens from southern and southeastern Ohio, due to the efforts of Floyd Bartley and subsequent botanists who have been active in the region. The Herbarium collections consist of approximately 55,000 mounted and accessioned specimens, plus several thousand additional unmounted and unaccessioned specimens still being processed. Of these, 30,657 specimens were collected in Ohio, with the remainder being mostly from other parts of the eastern United States. The Bartley Herbarium is the main repository for flora projects conducted in this region, as well as the recipient of vouchers from ecological investigations and regional systematic studies of particular plant groups.

Close-up of ferns growing on the side of sandstone
Visitors look at different plant specimens on display of a museum wall

Floyd Bartley was born on April 9, 1888 in Ross County. Although he had no formal education beyond grade school and considered himself an amateur botanist, he was arguably the best field botanist in the state. Bartley’s primary collecting partner was Leslie Pontius, whom Bartley referred to as “one of Ohio’s outstanding field naturalists”, and it seems likely that he encouraged and taught Bartley about the Ohio flora. Floyd Bartley donated his private herbarium to Ohio University in May of 1957, and he was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame on October 5, 2005, in recognition of his contributions to understanding of the Ohio flora.

The Herbarium is a full-fledged research facility, with cabinets in manual compactors for vascular plants, fungi and algae; cabinets for bryophyte packets; three computers; light microscope and dissecting scope with interchangeable video imaging system; a large-format flatbed scanner for specimen imaging. sink, supply cabinets, benchtop space and large mounting table. This facility was funded by a generous National Science Foundation grant to support herbarium collection upgrades and database/imaging projects. The Bartley Herbarium has capacity to expand to 100,000-150,000 specimens with extra cabinets to support ongoing research projects. The Floyd Bartley Herbarium is curated by Professor Harvey Ballard and used by Ohio University researchers, including undergraduate and graduate students, for ongoing work into the evolution and ecology of Appalachian ecosystems. Learn more about the herbarium collection