Welcome to ASTC: The Herbarium of Stephen F. Austin State University (Version 21.12)

An herbarium is collection of dried, pressed plant specimens. Each specimen is mounted individually on loose sheets along with a detailed label & stored horizontally. The standard size for an herbariumn sheet is 42 x 29cm (about 11.5 x 16.5 inches). Herbarium collections are an important resource for plant science. They are essential for basic research such as investigating & resolving taxonomic (classification) problems and for investigations in systematics. Herbarium specimens enable side-by-side comparison of plants from different regions, different seasons and different time periods. They are a source of raw data for morphological variability, habitat, geographical range, and pollen features. Small portions of specimens may occasionally be sparingly used for molecular studies. Although it is often possible to identify plants with photographs, in many cases carefull examination of real specimens is essential to make a reliable determination.

The Stephen F. Austin State University herbarium (ASTC) with nearly 80,000 specimens is the 4th largest collection in Texas. The collection's curator is Dr. James Van Kley. Although the collection includes specimens from throughout North America, its focus is on the east Texas Pineywoods where it represents nearly all of the native and naturlaized species found in the region. Although the majority of our specimens are vascular plants, we have a growing collection of bryophytes. The herbarium plays a vital role in teaching and provides crucial plant identification support to our research in vegetation science. Professionals engaged in research may visit the herbarium by appointment. We also entertain loan requests and facilitate specimen exchanges with other herbaria.

The holotype specimen of Rudbeckia scabrifolia, a rare coneflower found only in certain herbaceous seeps in the east Texas Pineywoods is deposited in the collection.

Imagery of our bryophyte collection, our small wetland and aquatic vascular plant collection, and the live plant collection in the SFASU Biology greenhouse is online. In the future we hope to add specimen imagery for additional plant groups. As of Spring 2021 we are starting to digitize our main collection as part of a collaborative project with the Texas Oklahoma Regional Consortium of Herbaria (TORCH).

The holotype of Rudbeckia scabrifolia, a rare coneflower found only in certain herbaceous seeps in the east Texas Pineywoods is deposited in the collection.

What's New

Browse the Specimens: Select the Desired Gallery Below.

The Aquatic Vascular Plant Teaching Collection

image of Cyperus sp image of Rhynchospora latifolia

The ASTC Bryophyte Collection

image of Spagnum moss image of Leucobryum_albidum

The SFASU Biology Greenhouse Collection

Interior of the SFASU Biology Greenhouse Solandra grandiflora blooming in The SFASU Biology Greenhouse