As a Land Grant Institution, an important part of the mission of the University of Arizona is to serve the public.

In keeping with this mission, the University of Arizona Herbarium provides plant identification services free of charge to researchers from non-profit and public sector institutions, government organizations at all levels, and the general public.

To request help identifying a plant, feel free to mail us specimens or email us photos.

The following information will help us help you:

  • Location
  • Cultivation status (planted in a garden? volunteering in a yard? wild in the mountains?)
  • Features (flower color?, odor?)
  • Scale of the photo (2 inches? 2 feet?)
  • Close-up photos of the flowers, fruits, leaves, and stems, in addition to an overview shot are ideal, but send us what you can!

Do we charge? Not really.
For-profit organizations that wish to use our services are requested to make a donation of $50 per hour to the University of Arizona Foundation: Herbarium Discretionary Account. This fund is used to improve the herbarium and its ability to serve the public. For more information on how to make a donation, please contact Shelley McMahon.

Bear in mind that, at certain times (e.g., during heavy monsoon seasons or end-of-semester project due dates), we receive more plant identification requests than our staff can handle. Depending on our work load at the time, and in particular if the number of specimens is large or if the identifications will be particularly time-consuming, the best path may be to assist you in identifying the plants yourself by directing you to the appropriate identification resources (taxonomic literature, herbarium specimens) and/or providing partial determinations to family or genus. We are always happy to train people in using our resources.

The main focus of our specimen collection and taxonomic literature is the native and naturalized flora of the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico. We are most likely to be successful in providing identifications for plants from this region. We do not generally provide information for cultivated plants, although we partner with the Pima County Master Gardeners to assist as needed.