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Herbarium space


Welcome to C.A. Taylor Herbarium (SDC)!

Our Mission

The mission of the C.A. Taylor Herbarium at SDSU is to document the flora of South Dakota and Northern Great Plains through the collection, preservation, digitization and exhibition of botanical specimens and to support and advance botanical education, research, extension and outreach opportunities.

Our Vision

The C.A. Taylor Herbarium at SDSU will advance the goals of Imagine 2023, the strategic vision of the university, through becoming an externally funded resource for biodiversity research and education, fostering a climate of inclusion and acceptance and supporting the land grant mission through partnerships with SDSU Extension and facilitation of outreach events.

SDSU C. A. Taylor Herbarium - 2023 Strategic Plan

A specimen in Herbarium with barcode

What is a Herbarium?

A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant material that is stored, catalogued and systematically arranged. Each specimen typically has associated metadata, such as the date of collection and locality. These collections serve as a point of reference for plant identification and research, and are used by professionals, land owners and the general public. We also exchange and loan specimens with other institutions.

History of the SDSU Herbarium

The herbarium dates back to 1881 and the foundation of South Dakota College. It was designated as the C. A. Taylor Herbarium in 1994 to honor Charles Arthur Taylor, Jr. who dedicated 40 years of his life to its maintenance and growth. A significant part of the herbarium is the many collections "Charlie" Taylor brought with him from the Ithaca, New York area and elsewhere. The herbarium at SDSU has grown to over 60,000 accessions due largely to more recent floristic studies focused on such areas as the Black Hills National Forest, the Fort Pierre and Grand River National Grasslands and wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region. We are in the early stages of specimen digitization, with over 14,500 databased (none imaged) thus far.

Collection Statistics

  • Over 60,000 vouchered plant specimens.
  • 2,500 plant species.
  • 14,500 databased records.