Denver Herbarium

Brigid Greene at the Denver Botanical Garden HerbariumThe Herbarium associated with the Denver Botanical Gardens has an excellent specimen collection related to the plant diversity of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountain region. And that’s not the best thing about it.

It also has one of the few actively curated ethnobotany collections in the U.S. One of the items reported was the widespread use of plants in the Cedar/Juniper family by dozens of Native American tribes for things like as a talisman to help protect against evil spirits, medicine, fuel and dyes. And although I love this kind of stuff, it’s still not the best part.

The most amazing thing about this herbarium was the quality and speed of their imaging┬ádepartment. Exceptional quality equipment and super generous people working there. They’re part of a collaborative system which allows you can search by species.

I’m including some of my favorite images here reduced, but you can click for a larger image and amazing detail.

This first image is a part of an agave plant; Agave Americana. It’s cultivated for the production of sugar and syrup. It is closely related to Agave tequilana or Agave azul (blue agave), which is used in the production of tequila.AgaveAmericanaL
The thistle below was collected in 1836 from a vacant lot in Denver, the corner of Kipling and 50th. There’s a bus stop there now.