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The Stover-Ebinger Herbarium at Eastern Illinois University, given the abbreviation "EIU" in Index Herbariorum, ed. 8, holds approximately 78,000 specimens. It contains a thorough representation of the flora of the midwestern United States. Most of its holdings are specimens collected in Illinois, with a good representation from throughout the state. Some of the earliest collections were made by E.N. Transeau, during his tenure at Eastern, from 1903 to 1908.
The collection is used by faculty and students at the university, for research and in classes. Students and faculty conducting ecological studies and floristic inventories use herbarium specimens to help identify unknown plant specimens collected in the field. Students in the Plant Taxonomy, Dendrology, and the Local Flora class also use the collection to learn species and to facilitate identification of specimens. In the Wetland Plants, General Biology, Medicinal Plants, and Plant Evolution and Systematics classes, herbarium specimens are used in the classroom and laboratory to allow morphological comparison of plant taxa.
The herbarium was started with the opening of Eastern Illinois State Normal School in 1899. Originally named the Stover Herbarium for Dr. Ernest L. Stover, professor of botany from 1923-1960, the Botany Dept. faculty voted in 1995 to "expand" the name to honor John E. Ebinger on the occasion of his retirement. Dr. Ebinger collected about one-third of the specimens in the collection and served as curator from 1963-1995.
The herbarium is located in room 3043 of the Life Science Building. The gymnosperms, charophytes, and ferns and fern allies, as well as a teaching collection for the courses listed above, are located in Room 3011.
For information about vascular plants and bryophytes, contact Dr. Gordon C. Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org; https://www.eiu.edu/biology/personnel.php?id=gctucker&subcat=); our specimens of fungi and lichens were transferred to the Illinois Natural History Survey in 2015.
In cooperation with Booth Library, we are in the process of digitizing our collections. Label data are now available for about 22,000 specimens, and high-quality, digital images for about 8,500 specimens. The data and images can be accessed through The Northern Great Plains Consortium of Herbaria (http://www.ngpherbaria.org/portal/collections/index.php), or through The Keep, Booth Library's Digital Archive (http://thekeep.eiu.edu/).
Below are two specimens from the Stover-Ebinger herbarium, Sambucus canadensis (right) and Schoenoplectiella purshiana.