BLOOMINGTON - Indiana University has announced its project to provide online access to the complete collection of the IU Herbarium, launched in 2014, is now complete. The collection features more than 160,000 preserved plant specimens, including over 72,000 specimens. 

The IU Herbarium was founded in 1885, and its largest collection is the preserved plant samples of Charles and Stella Deam. The other specimens span 85 countries and joined the collection over time through the efforts of IU researchers.

The university says the new online access will be important to the work of the global plant research community, as well as backyard gardeners and nature enthusiasts who want to learn more about the plants in their environment.

"This 21st-century digital herbarium is a gift to the people of Indiana," said Eric Knox, director of the IU Herbarium and a senior scientist in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology, in a news release. "The botanical information system fundamentally transforms how people identify plants and how researchers conduct science. Hoosiers no longer need an elaborate vocabulary of Greek and Latin technical terms to identify their state's native and naturalized flora."