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Preserving the Past for the Future
Dr. Donald G. “Dutch” Huttleston, here seen mounting specimens, served as Longwood’s taxonomist from 1955 to 1986. He was part of the original technical staff assembled by Longwood’s first director, Dr. Russell Seibert.
Since the 1950s, we’ve been committed to striking a balance between our past and our future. As part of this effort we rely heavily on our Herbarium. In this climate controlled environment, specimens from our plant collection of more than 10,000 taxa are lovingly preserved for future reference.
All specimens are pressed, dried, mounted, and catalogued in our plant records database with a complete description. This vouchering process provides us with a physical record of the species–both living and dead–that comprise our collection.
Longwood’s Herbarium Collection
There are over 14,000 specimens in our Herbarium, which are used by our instructors in their classes and by researchers at Longwood and around the world. Several hundred specimens are added each year. All the specimens are photographed and digital copies can be seen in Plant Explorer.
Some examples of our Herbarium specimens include:
- Fuchsia × hybrida ‘Lord Beaconsfield', a heat-tolerant variety that is still used heavily in our hanging baskets. Fuchsia cultivars comprised the first nine accessioned plants at Longwood.
- Encephalartos woodii, a cycad species that is extinct in the wild but still alive in our Conservatory
- Several specimens of Tabebuia species collected by our first Director, Dr. Russell Seibert
- The hybrid waterlily Nymphaea ‘Aquarius’ and other cultivars created by Longwood