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The collection is notable for its holdings of Canadian and northern U. S. plant species near the southern margin of their geographic range. The oldest specimen in the collection dates from 1846 (Florida), but most are from the 1940s through the present.
Plant scientists visit the herbarium for the purpose of examining specimens that are important in their research, or they may arrange for a loan of specimens to be sent to their home institution. Duplicates of specimens collected by UMD botanists are sometimes provided to other herbaria, usually in exchange for specimens we receive from them. The Olga Lakela Herbarium is listed in Index Herbariorum, with its international code being DUL.
Since 1990, Lakela Herbarium personnel provided the first documentation for the occurrence of many species outside of cultivation in their respective states. These first occurring species are listed below.
A listing of the nomenclatural type specimens held by the Lakela Herbarium is provided.