How to submit a plant for ID via mail or email to the UNR Herbarium
The University of Nevada – Reno, Herbarium is a reference library of approximately 90,000 specimens of predominantly Great Basin native plants. Since we are an educational facility, we encourage you to bring your materials to the Herbarium for identification whenever possible. If you are unable to bring your specimens to the Herbarium, we ask that you take the following steps when sending a plant to us for identification.
1. Please include flowers, stems, leaves, roots, seeds, fruit whenever possible. If you are sending parts of a shrub or tree, please note how tall and wide they were as well.
If you are unable to send roots please note if it is clumping, sprouts up around mother plant, has a taproot, etc.
2. All specimens should be pressed flat and dried prior to mailing. We find that a phone book makes a suitable plant press for smaller materials. Feel free to bend the stem if it is too long to fit .Place any weighted object on top and leave to dry for 2-3 days. If you don’t want to sacrifice the phone book, sheets of newspaper will suffice, topped with heavy objects.
3. If you have more than one plant to send us please number them ( making yourself a note as to location, flower color, etc) so that when we contact you with any information, you have a reference to which plant we are talking about. Or collect 2 specimens and keep one for yourself, numbering it the same as the one submitted.
4. Please include a note about location: State, county, city, what kind of habitat (meadow, backyard, mountainside, etc) Also, any info about soils is useful if you have it.
5. Mail it sandwiched between 2 pieces of cardboard to:
920 Valley Rd
Reno, NV 89512
6. Include: Name, address, phone number, fax or email for us to contact you with information.
7 Plant ID by photo, slide or digital image is possible if you take 1- clear photo of entire plant, 1- photo of flower as close as your camera will allow (without blurring) looking down the throat, and 1 flower photo in profile, and 1 clear photo of leaves & stem. Those images can also be mailed or emailed to: email@example.com
8. If you are bringing a “fresh” specimen to the Herbarium, please place it in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel around the stem or roots. If you cannot bring it the same day, place it in the refrigerator until you depart for the Herbarium. If you live a distance away or are making other stops prior please place it in an ice chest or insulated bag for transport. Please write your name and number on the bag or include a note with that info.
9. The UNR Herbarium is open to the public 5 days a week, but is only staffed part time. If you arrive at the herbarium and nobody is available to help you, please leave your specimen (with your name & number) on the table in the Herbarium, or tacked on the Herbarium office door.
10. If you have any questions about collecting plant material, Herbarium hours, etc, please feel free to call 784-1105.