Mini-Herbarium

Sambucus_nigra_ssp_caerulea

mini-
very small or minor of its kind; miniature
origin: from miniature
herbarium |(h)ərˈbe(ə)rēəm|
noun ( pl. bariums or baria |-ˈbe(ə)rēə|)
a systematically arranged collection of dried plants.
origin: late 18th cent., from late Latin, from Latin herba ‘grass, herb.’

NOTES ON THE ALBANY HILL PLANT COLLECTION
The plants in this collection were prepared specifically for educational purposes, as a shared resource for the members of the Albany community. My hope is that teachers, organized groups, and interested individuals will use this collection, in combination with other resources, to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the natural diversity of Albany, our own “island in an urban sea.”

In the past, one means to foster such an appreciation was by encouraging interested individuals to prepare similar collections, as a hands-on approach to nature. However, given the current human-to-wildflower ratio in the Bay Area, it is now necessary to discourage the picking and collecting of native wildflowers for individual purposes. Even when wildflowers appear to be abundant, their long-term survival on Albany Hill can depend on the large stockpile of seeds that ripen in “good” years, to balance those lost during “bad” years. Please take only pictures, so that future generations will also be able to enjoy the native wildflowers of Albany Hill.

On the other hand, those plants labeled “PEST PLANT” threaten the continued natural diversity of Albany Hill. This group consists of plants that come from other parts of the world where, by a complex web of interactions with other species in that area, they were harmonious members of their community. Not all non-native species qualify as pest plants, only those that, by virtue of having left their natural checks and balances behind, are capable of overwhelming the native diversity, replacing rich stands of wildflowers with a mere handful of species. As it happens, many of these same pest plants also increase the fire hazard of the site. These pest plants are accordingly targeted by community site stewardship projects, such as Friends of Albany Hill, with the goal of developing effective, site‑specific, environmentally aware methods of removing pest plants while simultaneously encouraging natural diversity and reducing fire hazard.

It is worth noting that many of these pest plants came to California as attractive additions to gardens, and were determined to be pest plants only when they had “escaped” and begun to take over natural areas. For this reason, please do not add non-indigenous plants to wild areas; you might end up unwittingly contributing to the demise of the natural beauty that is already there. Thank you!

Barbara Ertter, April 1998

Horkelia_californica_v_calif

Ferns and Fern Allies
by common name
by scientific name
by family

Trees and Shrubs
by common name
by scientific name
by family

Herbaceous Plants
by common name
by scientific name
by family name

Grasses and Grass-Like Plants
by common name
by scientific name
by family

This mini-herbarium shows most of the plants on the
Checklist of Plants of Albany Hill 
More plants will be added to this collection in the future.

For a list of plants collected on Albany Hill for herbaria in California see results in the Consortium of California Herbaria.

List of older specimens collected on the hill.

Thanks to the University and Jepson Herbaria for the use of their photo equipment in imaging the sheets in this collection.