The Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech seamlessly integrates leading-edge multi-disciplinary research to solve complex issues of local to global relevance involving the southeastern flora with preparing the next generation of scientists and educating the public in diverse ways.
Fri., June 1, 2-4pm: Summer Reading Program Kick-Off at the Christiansburg Library.
We will provide lots of botanical activities with plant specimen displays, hands-on collecting objects, and botanical crafts and games.
Wed., June 20, 12-8pm: Open house
Details here! Come see the herbarium and some of its most special collections! Displays will include 190 year-old specimens, extinct species, and other treasures. Try pressing a plant sample or preparing a specimen! Kids activities will include making mini-museum specimens to take home, coloring station, selfie station, and a plant prize wheel. Kids and adults alike can bring plant parts to view up-close under our digital microscope.
Wed., June 27, 12-8pm: Specimen transcription day
Details and RSVP here! Help us digitize our plant specimens so that students and researchers around the world can access them online! Work together with other volunteers to database collecting information from Virginian specimens covering the last 130 years. No experience needed—all necessary training will be provided on site. Laptops will be available.
The Massey Herbarium was founded in approximately 1927 and today has over 115,000 specimens of vascular plant, fungi, bryophytes, and lichens. We are the largest herbarium in Virginia and have long been a critical resource for understanding the southeastern USA flora.
focus on the southeast
Well over half of VPI's specimens were collected in Virginia. Most of the rest are from the southeastern USA. This focus drives much of our collecting and research focus. Note: this figure is based on approx. 30% of our specimens, especially the ferns, gymnosperms, sedges, grasses, and asters. The geographic distribution might change as we database more specimens.
This map also reflects our specimen holdings across Virginia, but the size of each county or city is proportional to the number of specimens collected there.
The map is also color-coded by physiographic region, showing the strong representation of mountainous regions in VPI.
Collections by county
This map documents our specimen holdings by county or city. Red counties contributed more specimens and blue counties contributed fewer specimens. Montgomery County has been our most fertile collecting site.
These maps show transfers of specimens to the Massey Herbarium (maroon lines) and from the Massey Herbarium (orange lines) over the last 20 years. The top image shows a closer detail of transfers within North America. The bottom image shows global transfers. The lines are unweighted, so a single line can represent from 1 to 14 transfers.
We have worked with herbaria, museums, universities, and research centers on five continents and 12 countries!
Banner image of tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) by Jordan Metzgar.