The Herbarium at the Center for Forest Mycology Research at the Forest Products Laboratory is a national repository for the collections of wood decay fungi collected by mycologists since the early 1900's. The fungus fruiting bodies (mainly conks, mushrooms, crusts or stromata) are collected in the field and then dried and briefly frozen for insect control. They are then referred to specialists for correct identification. The herbarium consists primarily of the fungal fruiting bodies and the associated specimens of decay from which cultures have been obtained (see CFMR culture collection). The herbarium was added to CFMR in 1998 and contains controlled environmental conditions and modern space-saving cabinetry. A database with descriptions of all the specimens is currently being produced. We estimate that about 70,000 specimens are housed in the collection. In many cases, DNA can be isolated from the dried fruiting bodies.
Some of the specimens are "type" specimens. These are extremely important since they are the actual fruiting bodies from which a new species has been named. These are the most valuable specimens in the collection. The type specimens include species from the genera: Armillaria, Amanita, Corticium, Crustoderma, Hygrocybe, Laetiporus, Peniophora, Phanerochaete, Phellinus, Phlebia, Pleurotus, Pseudotomentella, Tomentella, and other lesser well-known genera.
Mycologists around the world who work on the classification of wood-inhabiting fungi may obtain herbarium specimens from CFMR for inclusion in their studies. By expanding their sample size, researchers can make better decisions on species relationships and limits. We are also happy to receive dried fruiting bodies of wood-inhabiting fungi for permanent repository. The designation for the FPL herbarium is "CFMR."
To Deposit or Obtain Specimens:
Please contact Beatriz Ortiz-Santana (608-231-9526), Herbarium Director, to discuss loans of specimens or to deposit specimens in the CFMR herbarium.