The Claude E. Garton Herbarium's digital collection public launch

Explore the Claude E. Garton’s collection of the phenomenal floral found in Northwestern Ontario at

Since the inception of the Claude E. Garton Herbarium (LKHD) at Lakehead University in 1967, dedicated amateur and professional botanists have entrusted us with over 115,000 preserved plant samples from around the world. The tireless work of these collectors driven by a deep seeded love of botany and the natural world have honoured us with the duty of care of over 200 years of botanical history.

Thanks in large part to Dr. Qing (Jason) Zou, Head of Digital Initiatives, Lakehead University Library, we are elated to announce the first portions of our collections fully digitized and available to the public. The first portions of the C.E.G. Herbarium's collection of over 33,000 flora from Northwestern Ontario are now available to view online, including our complete regional NW Ontario gymnosperm (conifer trees) and pteridophyte (fern) collections along with many astounding regional angiosperm (flowering plants) families.

The digitization of the herbarium collection allows anyone across the globe to discover their love for the fantastic floral unique to Northwestern Ontario. Astounding pockets of arctic-alpine disjunct plant species surviving in unique microclimates outside their frigid natural ranges, native tallgrass prairie and savanna species of the critically imperiled prairies of Ontario and remnant prairie species that have persisted as relicts of the grasslands that once spanned more than 90 million km2 across North America. Extraordinarily unexpected species like the dangerous Devil’s Club, separated by distances so vast from their natural range their existence here is a deeply rooted mystery. And many more phenomenal flora specimens detailing a near complete collection of all florae found in Northwestern Ontario, from the most critically endangered native species to the most troublesome introduced invasive plants.

But there is still so much more to be marveled at in our collections. We are always looking for the next generations of botanists and naturalists to discover their passion for the natural world through the looking glass into biodiversity past that is the C.E.G. Herbariums collections. Interested in becoming involved? Contact our Acting Curator Kristi Valley (née. Dysievick) - – to find out how you can help discover the bounty of biodiversity Northwestern Ontario holds and help showcase it to the world!

Lakehead University undergraduate student volunteers are eligible to have their volunteer position reflected on their cocurricular record and are eligible for some small honorariums.

The Claude E. Garton Herbarium's digital collection public