Louisiana State University Herbaria

Louisiana State University Herbarium (LSU)
Louisiana State University Bernard Lowy Mycological Herbarium (LSUM)

Mission Statement

At the Louisiana State University Herbarium we study biodiversity of vascular plants, lichens, and fungi from the state of Louisiana and around the world. We maintain a permanent reference collection within these herbaria that document the historical distribution and composition of the local biodiversity, providing botanical information to researchers and the public. Our specialization is on research of native and introduced plants and fungi, their ecology and evolution.


Dr. Lowell Urbatsch » Director & Curator

Dr. Meredith Blackwell » Mycologist

Dr. Shirley Tucker » Lichenologist

Jennifer Kluse, M.Sc. » Collections Manager

Christopher Reid » Heritage Botanist

Dr. Timothy Jones » Website & ID Tools


History of LSU Herbaria

Founded in 1869, the Louisiana State University (LSU) Herbarium is the oldest collection of preserved plant specimens in the Gulf South and is the second largest collection of Louisiana plants. Originally composed entirely of specimens of vascular plants, it now also includes fine collections of lichens and fungi. In all, the LSU Herbarium contains ca. 180,000 specimens, with over 40,000 lichens (the largest lichen collection in the Gulf Region) and ca. 25,000 fungi (the second-largest collection of its kind in this region). The fungal collection is rich in Neotropical wood-decaying fungi, and Gulf Coast lichens are well represented. The LSU Herbarium is an essential resource for research, teaching, and public service, including the study of the wildflowers of Louisiana, the ecology of Louisiana marshes, the medicinal plants of the Gulf South, the environmental impact assessment in Louisiana, and the conservation of tropical rain forests.