Addthis

addthis button

Economic Botany Collections

Unlike most biological collections, the breadth of the collection cannot adequately be described in taxonomic terms alone. Because of their historic value,  the variety of plant parts utilized (bark, fruits, seeds) and the degree of processing (powders, liquids, finished products) they have a unique filing and storage system.

General categories in the collection include:

more

Unlike most biological collections, the breadth of the collection cannot adequately be described in taxonomic terms alone. Because of their historic value,  the variety of plant parts utilized (bark, fruits, seeds) and the degree of processing (powders, liquids, finished products) they have a unique filing and storage system.

General categories in the collection include:

  • unprocessed economically useful plant parts: seeds, fruit, roots, leaves, flowers, stems, bark, tubers, wood
  • unprocessed food products often with samples of many different cultivars from different parts of the world: corn cobs, wheat, soybeans, pecans, etc.
  • prepared foods: tortillas, breads, macaroni, coffee and coffee substitutes, sugar from various sources
  • plant extracts: varnish, starch, latex (processed and unprocessed rubber), resins (many kinds of copal), waxes, oils, essential oils
  • artifacts and items made of plant materials:  mats, baskets, hats, brooms and brushes, cigars, snuff, medicines, rope and twine, musical instruments, textiles with and without plant-based dyes
  • processing demonstrations (partially-processed plant materials in various stages of completion), intended to demonstrate the steps from raw materials to a product such as rope, wheat flour, or Panama hats.
  • artistic representations of economic plants: plant models, prints
  • special collections: collected as part of a particular survey or expedition.  These also have publications associated with them, which are listed separately below.
  1. G. F. Gaumer, M.D. 1897-98 expedition in Yucatan, Mexico. Collection and associated notes formed a basis of publication Millspaugh, C. F.  1898.
  2. Field, H. & R. Martin  1934 expedition to study medicinal plants of Iran and Iraq.  Collections formed the basis of publication: Hooper, David.  1937.
  3. A. Ghafoor & S. Goodman. 1990 expeditions to southern Balochistan, Pakistan. Basis of publication:  Goodman, Steven M. and Abdul Ghafoor. 1992.  The ethnobotany of southern Balochistan, Pakistan :  with particular reference to medicinal plants. Fieldiana. Botany, new ser., no. 31, Chicago, Ill. :  Field Museum of Natural History, (Publication ; 1442)
     

There is also an extensive library of books and reprints associated with the collection.

 

less

Collections

More than 12,000 economic botany specimens are housed in the Timothy C. Plowman Economic Botany Collection. The collection comprises economic "useful" plants and plant products, with the primary emphasis on seed plants.