Inspired by similar displays at National Park visitor centers, displays we find valuable for learning about regional floras, the Herbarium staff assembled 50 panels of common local plants. These are real plants, dried and pressed, and protected by transparent panels so they can be handled easily by visitors and used in educational programs. Each has a label with the plant's common name, scientific name, and a brief habitat description. The focus is on common, showy plants that visitors are likely to encounter in the Front Range mountains and plains. These panels bridge the gap between living plants in their native habitat, and herbarium specimens which are fragile and less accessible. They will be displayed at the Museum as an attractive, informative aid to species recognition and knowledge.
This is a work in progress; in the coming growing season more plants will be collected and added to the display. We also plan to add supplemental information to the back of the panels – information on their ecology and ways humans have utilized the plant for medicine, food, or ritual.