RICHMOND, VA.- In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607, the University of Richmond Museums presents the exhibition, Native Plants of Virginia: Selections from the University of Richmond Herbarium, on view from February 28 to June 24, 2007. The exhibition features specimens, photographs, and botanical illustrations, with selections highlighting forest trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, utilitarian plants, weeds, and medicinal plants that were discovered by the colonists in the New World. The specimens from the University of Richmond Herbarium are shown with photographs by W. John Hayden, Professor of Biology and Curator of the Herbarium, University of Richmond, and drawings by Lara Call Gastinger, a Charlottesville, Virginia, artist and the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia, a manual of over 3,700 native and naturalized plants, to be published in 2010.
Herbaria feature large collections of preserved plants, usually in a dried form, mounted on paper and labeled with essential data. The specimens are catalogued, researched, and used in floristic projects and to monitor flora trends. Herbarium specimens are essential for teaching and study in plant anatomy, plant morphology, and plant systematics. The specimens themselves embody the morphology of the species they represent and the whole collection becomes a working example of scientific classification. The University of Richmond Herbarium (known in the botanical communitys Index Herbariorum by the acronym URV) houses approximately 20,000 specimens, dating back to 1929. The facility is maintained by the Department of Biology in the Gottwald Science Center.
Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, with Heather Campbell, Curator of Museum Programs, and Matthew Houle, Curator of Museum Collections, University Museums, in collaboration with W. John Hayden, Professor of Biology and Curator of the Herbarium, University of Richmond.