A herbarium is a collection of dried plant specimens, organized systematically by species and providing other information such as locality of the collected specimen.
The Claude Garton Herbarium is located on the third floor (CB3027) of the Centennial Building at Lakehead University. It was established in 1967 and given the universal herbarium code of LKHD.
The present and future focus is to keep it as a regional herbarium of Northwestern Ontario. However, through exchanges in the past, the herbarium has specimens from other regions of Canada and many other parts of the world.
Currently the accessioned specimens number over 110,000 and of these there is an almost complete collection of the vascular plants of the Thunder Bay area, of which there are about 1000 species. These include the conifers, flowering plants, ferns, clubmosses and horsetails. The herbarium also contains a good representation of the local non-vascular plants : approximately 300 species of mosses; about 100 species of liverworts and approximately 200 species of lichens (which represent only about half of the local species). Substantial exchanges in the past with Finland, in particular, have added more boreal specimens of lichens and bryophytes.
The vascular plant specimens of the districts of Thunder Bay, Rainy River and Kenora that are stored in the herbarium have been entered into our computer database. Through a partnership program with Algoma University College, in the future complete records from our herbarium will be accessed through the Northern Ontario Plant Database from Sault Ste. Marie.
The Claude Garton Herbarium is open to the public (call to confirm hours of operation). Erika North is the present curator. Loans of specimens are usually reserved for institutions that are carrying out research such as plant distributions and taxonomic revisions.