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The Herb Society of America
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Plant Collections Project

Purpose of Plant Collections

HSA recognizes that living herb plants are the very reason for our existence and therefore encourages the cultivation and preservation of the living germplasm of herbs. The National Collections of herbs serve a role in:

  • Education - through exposing our members and the general public to a wide variety of herbs.
  • Research - by making the collections available for study.
  • Exchange - by sharing a limited number of cuttings, seeds, or plants of otherwise unavailable herbs through the Herb Society of America Seed Exchange and commercial sources.
  • Conservation - by encouraging the cultivation, reintroduction, and preservation of uncommon herbs for posterity and by serving as a repository for authentically labeled taxa.

How to Register a Collection

1. What is considered a Collection? A group of herbs * related in some significant way. For example:

  • One genus (Rosmarinus, Lavandula, Salvia, etc.)
  • Plants of the Bible
  • Useful plants of a specific region (ex: indigenous medicinal plants of the Southern Appalachians, or plants used by the American Indians in a specific region).
  • Dye plants
  • Plants with a common scent (ex: lemon-scented, oregano-scented)
  • Come up with an idea!

* Remember that an herb is a useful plant, presently or historically.

2. What information should be included?

  • Genus
  • Specific epithet
  • Cultivar Name
  • Acquired As (name under which it was acquired, correct or no)
  • Source
  • Date of acquisition
  • Zone
  • Herbarium / Slide / Photo ?

The only absolute requirements are: Genus, Specific Epithet, Cultivar name and Zone. The rest of the information is very helpful, if you have it. However, you should keep records on future acquisitions. Herbarium specimens are encouraged for verification of each plant's identification. (Make specimens of the plant in flower.) Other information you may want to keep track of is flowering times, flower color, size of plant, and its growth habit.

3. Who can register a collection? Anyone who is a member of the Herb Society of America, either units, members at large, or individuals.

Send the information to the Plant Collections Chairman, either by e-mail or USPS. The list of collections will be published in a booklet available to the membership, and the lists are on the society website, members only section.

Anne Abbott
2342 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130