The NIU Herbarium (DEK)


Photo of Melvin Duvall in herbariumWebsite:

Status: State university.

Foundation: 1962. Number of specimens: 22,000.

Herbarium: Local wild and cultivated vascular plants; representation of world flora; bryophytes of Illinois and adjacent areas of upper midwestern U.S.
Exchange available: Vascular plants of upper midwestern U.S. Wanted: Worldwide.
Remarks: Most bryophytes of DEK on long-term loan to MO.

The herbarium at NIU is an internationally recognized systematic collection, initiated in the 1960s and enlarged significantly during the 1970s to the present. The International Association for Plant Taxonomy has assigned it the code DEK by which it is known and acknowledged worldwide in Index herbariorum (see

Holdings presently total about 19,000 specimens of vascular plants plus an additional 8000 bryophytes. A very large portion of the bryophytes (about 6000 specimens) is on permanent loan to MO (Missouri Botanic Garden).

Special collections include a definitive collection of the genus Dahlia, which contains holotypes and isotypes plus a thoroughly documented array of hybrids between authenticated wild species. A second important collection is of Arbutus that also includes type material. The troublesome genus Agrimonia is more completely documented at DEK than at any other herbarium in the world.

DEK presently maintains exchange relationships with more than 26 domestic and 6 foreign herbaria. As a consequence, coverage, while emphasizing the flora of Illinois, is worldwide.

Arrangement of the herbarium holdings within the major taxa (pteridophytes, gymnosperms, angiosperms) is alphabetical by family, genus, and species.


DEKALB (DEK): Herbarium, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2861, U.S.A.

Photo of Paul SorensenCorrespondent: Paul D. Sørensen,

Phone: ( 815) 753-7848
Fax: (815) 753-0461

Curator: PAUL D. SØRENSEN, 1934,

Photo of Melvin DuvallAssociated Staff: Melvin R. Duvall. 1956,, Telephone: (815) 753-7806 (paleoherbs; Poaceae; Acoranae; molecular sys-tematics and evolution).

Genevieve Kline, Research Associate