Herbarium Services

Specimen consultation

Specimens at the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium (DOV) can be freely consulted for research and teaching. Visits should be arranged by sending a request that also includes collections and taxa of interest. Consultation of the collections for profit should be disclosed and may incur a charge to the visitors. Any accompanying specimen needed during visits must be shipped to and received by DOV at least a week in advance to allow for quarantine. All visitors are expected to observe DOV’s regulations and code of conduct, which include, but are not limited to, signing the registration booklet, leaving food and drink outside the collection area, closing the cabinet doors when not in use, keeping herbarium sheets horizontal and face up, not turning the sheets like book pages, annotating the specimens as necessary, but most importantly getting acquainted with the regulations before using the specimens.  


As a general policy, DOV only makes loans to recognized herbaria in Index Herbariorum. Request for loans should include the name of the researcher, taxa of interest, nature and scope of the study, and geographic scope of specimens requested. Loans are for a period of one year and can be extended upon request to the curator; however, they should be returned at the earliest opportunity. Transfer of loans to a third party is strictly prohibited unless previously authorized by DOV. When authorized, such transfer can only be made between recognized institutions, and under no circumstances to individuals. All material within a loan must be returned at the same time and should be annotated as appropriate. Care must be taken to pack the specimens well to prevent damage during shipment.


Except for type specimens and specimens of extinct or threatened taxa, removal of small amounts of material for dissection is generally permissible provided that the material is adequate. Material in the fragment packet should be used first, if available, before removing material from the specimen. All dissected portions must be placed in a fragment packet attached to the sheet. Destructive sampling or removal of substantial amounts of material that would significantly alter a specimen requires prior approval from DOV’s curator and the signing of a Material Transfer Agreement. DOV reserves the right to refuse to provide samples for any reason, at its sole discretion. Permission for destructive sampling may be granted only for non-commercial applications in support of anatomical, chemical, molecular, and palynological studies. The specimen should not be damaged beyond use and scientific value. For each specimen sampled, annotation should be affixed, indicating the type of sample removed, nature of study, researcher’s name and institution, date of removal, and as necessary identification. A specimen cannot be sampled twice for the same type of study. Destructive sampling of type specimens is prohibited.


Visitors wishing to take photographs of collections at DOV must obtain permission to do so. Images of herbarium specimens may be used for research. However, written permission must be obtained to use such images for publication, or in any other way, and DOV must be acknowledged.

Plant Identification

DOV provides plant identification service at no charge. Plants may be submitted through Cooperative Extension or brought directly to the herbarium. Samples should not just be a single leaf and should at least comprise a stem and a few leaves, and, if possible, should also include flowers and/or fruits. All samples must be sealed in a plastic bag and accompanied by locality information.

This service is not for emergencies; medical attention should be sought as soon as possible in case of plant poisoning.