Natural History Museum of Utah

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Botany

Established in the late 1800s, the Garrett Herbarium includes more than 135,000 specimens and is an important regional and national resource for information on plant biodiversity.

Fun Facts

No other collection in the world has such a complete representation of plants from the Wasatch Front and Salt Lake Valley.

The flora of our region is rapidly being altered and displaced by urbanization.  The herbarium provides a crucial historic baseline from which to judge the environmental health of the entire Salt Lake region.

The oldest specimen in the collection dates to 1828.  The oldest plant from Utah is from 1885.

To kill any pests, all specimens were cryofumigated (frozen) before being moved to the Rio Tinto Center.  All new specimens will be similarly frozen prior to being integrated into the herbarium.

Because our collection has never been chemically fumigated it is a plant source of DNA for researchers.

The newest specimens added to the collection include pollen samples.  This is an important and growing reference collection indispensable for studying ancient pollen as a method of reconstructing prehistoric vegetation communities and climate.

The Museum is actively involved in fighting noxious weed invasions along the sites' area of the Bonneville Shoreline trail and Heritage Preserve.