Open house planned for newly renovated Sperry Herbarium 


On Sep. 30, an open house is planned from 3 to 6 p.m. for the T.M. Sperry Herbarium at Pittsburg State University to celebrate its newly renovated space and facilities in Room 212 Hartman Hall. 

The event will feature a short presentation by Director Neil Snow, a professor of biology, on the recent completion of a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

The herbarium was officially established in 1946 by Professor Theodore M. Sperry, its namesake. Starting with some 100 specimens in 1946, under Sperry’s direction the herbarium had grown to nearly 40,000 specimens by 1974.  

Stephen Timme, a bryologist, took over the herbarium in 1989 until his retirement in 2011. 

Today, it houses approximately 42,000 vascular plants and 6,000 bryophytes, with approximately 3,000 plants waiting to be logged. Nearly all of its specimens have been databased online. 

The herbarium is fully equipped with digital and printed sources of data to identify plants regionally and across North America.  It is open to researchers during the academic year, August through April.  

Why is it important? 

The vascular plants emphasize the flora of the Kansas and Four States but include important specimens from the U.S., Australia, Africa, Madagascar, and the Peruvian Amazon.  

Bryophytes also are well represented, with collections from the southeastern U.S., the Peruvian Amazon, Costa Rica, and many other areas.