|The fungi collection even includes this 1922 etching by Max Brödel on the pore surface of Ganoderma applanatum. The piece was donated by Howard A. Kelly of Johns Hopkins University in 1928. Photos by Marcia L. Ledford, U-M Photo Services|
The Herbarium, established in 1921, includes some collections dating from the founding of the U-M in 1837, a time when the University had no faculty or students but did have a collection of plants given to it by the state Legislature.
The Herbariums fungi collection has grown enormously since the beginning of the 20th century through active collecting and gifts. Specimens include plant rusts, earth tongues, insect parasites, freshwater and marine fungi, fleshy fungi from Idaho and Oregon, and even truffles and false truffles from the Pacific Northwest.
The collection numbers approximately 280,000 specimensamong the five largest in North America.
Recently added to that number were more than 7,000 dried specimens of Alaskan mushrooms donated by that states Wells-Kempton Herbarium. The Alaskan herbarium and its collection are the result of nearly 45 years of work by Phyllis E. Kempton and Virginia Wells.
Eventually, the pair traveled the entire state identifying mushrooms, building up the only mycological library in Alaska and establishing the Wells-Kempton Herbarium.
The two mycologists worked as research assistants to U-Ms Alexander H. Smith, who published several papers on new species of mushrooms based on the pairs material from Alaska.
That material now resides in the U-M Herbarium under the direction of Robert Fogel, professor of biology and curator of fungi.