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Botanical Reference Collections

The LacCore Facility curates pollen and seed reference collections for use by any researcher to advance the interpretation of sediment core samples. 

The LacCore Pollen Reference Collection contains about 22,300 slides made from about 15,700 accessions (samples of pollen or spores from one or more flowers (sporangia) of a single plant). Over 10,000 accessions were prepared at the University of Minnesota since the collection was established in 1958.  About 91% of those have preparations in bulk, stored in glass vials, from which additional slides may be made. Nearly 5,800 reference slides have been obtained by exchange or purchase from other labs. The oldest reference slides are from 1940 and 1945, and the latest slides added to the collection were made in 2015.  About 300 (or more, after reviewing/updating the plant taxonomy) vascular plant families are presented in the pollen collection as follow: fern allies – all, ferns: ~78%, gymnosperms: ~80%, dicotyledons: ~70%, monocotyledons: ~ 54%. The collection emphasizes the flora of the Northern Hemisphere, especially Eastern North America (> 4800 slides), following by SE Asia (> 2500 slides), Western North America (> 2100), and Africa (~ 2000) slides).  Other well-represented floras are from Europe, the Middle East, and Hawaii.  Reference pollen slides of species with distribution in some parts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand are available as well.

Contact the LacCore Curator for details.