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The Potpourri Ingredients Collection is unique because it is one of only two known collections. It is also the largest in the world!

The Potpourri Ingredients Collection established in 2004 at DOV, is a growing collection of 1,673 samples. In 2003, an APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service) employee discovered beetle larvae (Chlorophorus strobilicora) in an infested pine cone in North Carolina at a Target store. On December 5, 2003, PPQ (Plant Protection & Quarantine) issued a limited recall on affected pine cones from Target retail stores only. PPQ expanded the recall nationwide based on pest finds in additional retail chains. On December 12, 2003, PPQ issued a national recall on pine cones originating in India. As a consequence, DDA (Delaware Department of Agriculture, Plant Industries Section) seized potpourri at retail outlets in Delaware in December 2003. Samples from these seizures in Delaware were then turned over to DOV with the question, “What are these botanicals, and are they of concern?” Since then, APHIS has supported the development of an illustrated LUCID software key for potpourri ingredients.
The only other institutional potpourri collection in the world is:
Kew Gardens, England (http://

Each sample in the Potpourri Ingredients Collection is:
authenticated by the company and the commercial outlet where it was collected
identified to at least family, but most often to species.

Plenty of books on classic potpourri (rose petals, lavender, etc.) exist, but none have been published which deal with the current retail product, which consists mostly of lawn sweepings or industry waste from India, Thailand, Australia, and Brazil that have been bleached or stained and then scented with synthetic fragrances! The samples in this collection include potentially invasive or poisonous species, while others are known to be carriers of plant diseases that affect U.S. crops.

The Potpourri Ingredients Collection is intended for display, scientific research, teaching, education and other Herbarium programs.

In addition to the support of APHIS, donations to the Potpourri Ingredients Collection have included the following, with thanks. We welcome your future participation!

Mr. Randy Ciurlino
Ms. Carmel Hawkey
Ms. Pat Kenny
Dr. Faith Kuehn
Ms. Ruth Smith
Dr. Thomas Zanoni