Botanic gardens and arboreta use herbarium specimens to verify the authenticity of their living plant collections. The PHA has a scientific approach to plant collections and a commitment to plant records. In addition to ensuring correct nomenclature, the herbarium specimens create an historical record of the plants at the Arboretum. Herbarium sheets also verify our plant exploration activities on Martha’s Vineyard, in eastern North America, and in Asia. With each voucher specimen is accompanying ecological and habitat information. These specimens and the accompanying data document the physical occurrence and distribution of plants over time. The information is stored in our plant records database and shared with local, state, regional, and national conservation organizations.
The PHA’s herbarium collection began in 2001, with a gift of algae specimens from island resident and seaweed expert Rose Treat. Since then our local plant documentation work has led to numerous specimens of lichens, mosses, marine algae, and vascular plants.
Sadly on November 17, 2011, Rose Treat, artist, naturalist and Arboretum friend, passed away at the age of 102. Known as Rosie to her friends, the gift of her marine algae (seaweed) collection in December of 2001 marked the beginning of the Arboretum’s herbarium; a total of 421 seaweed specimens are now housed at the PHA herbarium in special protective cabinets. A memorial in her honor will be held at the PHA on June 9, 2012.
Some samples of her work.