The C. V. Starr Virtual Herbarium is the gateway to the digitized specimens of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium. Currently, 3 million specimen records and 2 million images are available. Every month, about 30,000 new records and images are added.
Explore our online special exhibition to celebrate the Steere Herbarium as the centerpiece of the Garden's botanical research program and learn some of the many ways that Garden scientists are working to study and save the plants of the world.
Searches in the Virtual Herbarium are word-based by default. The fastest searches are made by using whole words as the criteria. Wildcard characters can be used to find partial words, but search times will be significantly longer.
Use an asterisk (\*) as a substitute for any number of characters in a word. (Example: "South\*" in the Province/State field will return specimen records from "South Dakota," "South Carolina," etc.)
Use an exclamation mark before a word to specifically exclude that word from the search. (Example: "Panicum" in the Genus field and "\!diffusum" in the Species field will return all records of Panicum exceptPanicum diffusum.)
Use quotation marks preceded by backslash (\") to search for exact phrases. Words not enclosed by quotation marks will be used to search for records with all of the words, but not necessarily in the order typed.
*The Scientific Name field can be used to search by the genus, species, infraspecies, and author abbreviations of a name.
Example 1: the search term "viridis" finds specimens of Rauvolfia viridis , Amaranthus viridis, etc.
Example 2: the term "Ekman" finds specimen records of numerous taxa described by Erik Ekman.
Search for type specimens by their basionyms rather than their current names.
Many of our records from rapid digitization projects will only have a family, scientific name, barcode number and image available at this time. Please limit your searches to these fields to maximize your query results or use the OCR Text query to search via the OCR text generated from the specimen image.
The VH download CSV is restricted to 50,000 records. You can request an export of a of a larger dataset by writing to Melissa Tulig (firstname.lastname@example.org) with you search criteria.
In an effort to meet our obligation to protect populations of endangered species from over-collection, some of our specimen data (such as specific locality information) have been removed from those online records for endangered species. These data are made available to researchers on request. We are aware that making our herbarium specimen data available involves striking a delicate balance between access to data that are important to research and the potentially reckless posting of sensitive information. To that end, we have removed specific locality information for Appendix 1 species listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).