vPlants: a Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region.

The online resource for plants of the Chicago Region, offering:

  • Specimen data and images
  • Species descriptions
  • Distribution by county
  • Photo galleries
meadow of flowers along edge of lake.

Currently the site contains data for more than 120,000 plant specimens records from more than 30 institutions. The core of these collections, ca, 80,000, come from three institution with particularly rich Chicago Region collections: the Field Museum of Natural History, The Morton Arboretum, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. These three institutions formed vPlants in 2001.

The original vPlants system was built to be a scalable herbarium data portal for the Chicago region. In 2015, the system was migrated to Symbiota, where data are now combined with data from herbaria spread across the U.S., many contributing specimens that increase our knowledge of the Chicagoland flora.

Map of North America showing location of Chicago Region. The vPlants Region is located within four states at the south end of Lake Michigan. The vPlants Region includes 24 counties.

Why focus on the Chicago Region?

What is a herbarium?

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Information provided on this page applies to the Chicago Region and may not be relevant or complete for other regions.