Herbaria (plant libraries) contain a wealth of valuable information on the distribution and abundance of plants. Recent examples include documenting earlier dates of flowering due to global warming by comparing historic specimens with modern plants and decreases in the number of stomata (openings that allow air to move in and out of plant leaves) over the past 200 years due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
We “crawled” the National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Academy of Science, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, and New York Botanical Garden Herbarium searching for plants collected by Charles Geyer in 1838 and 1839. We used a list assembled by John Torrey (that included as an appendix to Nicollet’s hydrographical map of 1843, notes from the botanical journal of Geyer, and 19th century plant specimen entry logs housed at the National Herbarium. In addition to the plants that included to date on this web site, we located another 300 which are currently being photographed.