Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now


Rocky Mountain Herbarium Database (

See Below: • Help, • Informative Exercise, • Exercise for Students

• Help

Data entry page is built for detailed searches but most users will search by Scientific Name (Genus, Species, possibly ssp. or var.) to find specimen records. The record(s) appear on right. If you type just the genus, records for all species appear alphabetically in sets of 100.

Restricted searcher: nomenclatural type specimens, click on box
specimens records with images, click on box

Map – use cursor (“hand”) to center map, click on screen several times to enlarge it (or +/-) and resolve squares (collection sites), click on a squares and one to many collections (scientific names) appear, each with the collection date, click on one and the full record appears on right, possibly with image.

Polygon function selects all specimen records from the area circumscribed. Select a search area on map, click [Create Polygon], click curser on each corner to define area, complete the perimeter, then click [Stop Editing], click on [Species List] to get list by family. If you click on [Specimen Search] you get all records of species in the area.

Plant Names – Common or Scientific in RM Database as of 2008. Go to Browse, top left corner of screen, click on Scientific Names, a list of families appears, click on a family, a list of species appears. Click on Common Names and a list of common names of each species appears sorted by genus. Common names follow Plants Database (USDA Plants). They are not searchable in RM Database.

• Informative Exercise

For an informative exercise, enter Gentianopsis (genus), detonsa (species), elegans (variety), 420+ specimen records appear, many with images (by clicking on the image it can be enlarged five times). The Google map shows the coarse distribution of the species. By clicking on the map several times, it enlarges and the collection sites resolve. Click on a square and the label data appear on the right. If you choose not to enter a scientific name, a polygon can be used to circumscribe an area, then by hitting [Search Specimens] specimen records of all species appear in sets of 100.

Other examples:
Wyoming State Tree – plains cottonwood Populus, deltoides, occidentalis (Populus deltoides var.
Wyoming State Flower – Wyoming Indian painbrush Castilleja, lineariifolia (Castilleja lineariifolia)
Big sagebrush – Artemisia tridentata. There are four varieties in Wyoming, three of which are common:

  • var. tridentata – basin big sagebrush
  • var. wyomingensis – Wyoming big sagebrush
  • var. vaseyana – mountain big sagebrush

Birch – Betula – there are three species in Wyoming:

  • B. glandulosa – resin birch
  • B. occidentalis – water birch
  • B. papyifera – paper birch

Douglas-fir – Pseudotsuga example: Pseudotsuga menziesii

Juniper – Juniperus examples: Juniperus communis – common, J. scopulorum – Rocky Mountain,

J. osteosperma – Utah

Pine – Pinus examples: Pinus albicaulis – white bark, P. contorta – lodgepole, P. edulis – pinyon ,

P. flexilis limber, P. ponderosa – ponderosa

Poison oak – Toxicodendron example: Toxicodendron rydbergii

Poppy – Papavera example: Papavera kluanense – alpine

Spruce – Picea examples: Picea engelmannii – Engelmann, P. glauca – white, P. pungens – Colorado blue

Stawberry – Frageria examples: Frageria vesca – woodland, F. virginiana – Virginia

Sunflower – Helianthus examples: Helianthus annuus – common, H. nuttallii – Nuttall’s

Thistle – Cirsium example: Cirsium arvense – Canada, C. canescens – prairie, Carduus example: Carduus
nutans – bull, Salsola example: Salsola tragus – Russian, Onopordum example: Onopordum acanthium – Scotch


• Exercise for Students (Dorothy Tuthill, Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center)

Rocky Mountain Herbarium Database ( is an online tool that can be used to locate plant species in Wyoming and beyond. It is also useful for compiling species lists for specific areas, define by a location or polygon.

Try these exercises:
1. Our state tree is Plains Cottonwood, Populus deltoides variety occidentalis. Use the RM database to find out where in the state it grows. Has it ever been collected in Laramie? If so, where?
2. Out state flower is Wyoming Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja linariifolia. Is this the only Paintbrush species found in our state? Generate a list of all the Castillejas in WY. How many are there?
3. Return to the search page to search for C. linariifolia, and restrict results to specimens with images. Click on a “pretty” specimen. Zoom in on the specimen. Are the stems pubescent (hairy) or glabrous (smooth)?
4. Zoom in on the search map and use the polygon tool to define an area of interest to you. Generate a list of all of the species that have been collected within that area. How long is your list? Which plant family is most diverse?

RM Logo
Contact Us

Department of Botany, 3165

Aven Nelson Room 114

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 1-307-766-2384

Fax: 1-307-766-2851


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon