Research Resources

The BRIT Herbarium contains approximately 1,445,000 plant specimens from around the world, making it one of the largest herbaria in the United States. More can be found about the collections by visiting the About the BRIT Herbarium page.

The BRIT Herbarium is open for public use by appointment, from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Please contact us beforehand to make sure someone will be available to orient you and assist you if necessary. BRIT is closed on most national holidays. 

Digital Resources

Digital Resources

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Research Lecture Series

Research Lecture Series

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Phytophilia Blog

Phytophilia Blog

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Sumner Laboratory

Sumner Laboratory

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Research Publications

Research Publications

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Research Associates

Research Associates

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Recent Articles

Recent Research Publications Reveal the Details of New Plant Species—and Help Uncover the Workings of the Natural World

Botany is not a science for those who demand a steady routine. One day researchers might find themselves hiking up mountainsides through dense tropical rain forest or hunting down rare plants in parched deserts. The next day, they will be in the lab, peering through an electron microscope or studying DNA results.
The result of these efforts is usually a scientific paper, published in a peer-reviewed journal. Papers might describe a new species of plant or suggest a new way of approaching a problem. Taken as a whole, they reveal the workings of life on this plant.

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Red Maple trees in the Japanese Garden

Unplug and Unwind by Practicing “Shinrin-Yoku,” aka Forest Bathing

Contemporary life is full of millions of stimuli fighting for your attention. We are bombarded with alerts, notifications, pop-ups and announcements. Contrast this type of frantic living with the peaceful experience of being within nature. Trees and flowers demand nothing of you. You are free to notice what you want, or simply to be. This experience has been given a name in Japan. It is called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates to “forest bathing,” using “bathing” to mean immersing yourself within something. The term was introduced in Japan in the 1980s to encourage people to disconnect from technology and spend time outdoors.

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Ginkgo biloba leaves in autumn

For Brilliant Fall Color, Look to the Living Fossil, Ginkgo

Every autumn, guests to the Japanese Garden frequently stop and marvel at a magnificent tree located just inside the east entrance. In the fall, the leaves turn bright lemon yellow. The color is so brilliant the leaves almost appear fluorescent, as if a bundle of yellow highlighters had taken root and sprouted. This is one of the Garden’s Ginkgo biloba trees, and it holds a remarkable story. “If you are looking for a tree to add to your landscape, consider the gingko. It is not only a reliable performer and beautiful tree but also a unique horticultural specimen,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston.

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Kokedama - Japanese moss ball planter

Create Traditional Japanese Kokedama to Explore the Concept of Wabi-Sabi

One of the key concepts in traditional Japanese culture is the idea of “wabi-sabi.” This is an impossible-to-translate term that means “finding the beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete in nature.” Girls and their families can explore the concept of wabi-sabi this autumn while creating a kokedama planter. The December 4 Girls’ Nature Workshop will explore the craft of shaping planters out of soil, moss and string. The results are beautifully imperfect and unique in every way.

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Entrance to Japanese Garden decorated for the Japanese Festival

Fall Japanese Festival Celebrates Nature and Culture

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG|BRIT) invites guests to celebrate the beauty of fall in the Japanese Garden while exploring the arts and culture of Japan during the November 13-14 Fall Japanese Festival. Tickets are available at: https://brit.org/falljapanesefestival/  

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Oldest Major Botanic Garden in Texas Launches Master Planning Effort

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas announced today the launch of a multi-stakeholder Master Planning Committee and the selection of Dallas-based landscape architecture firm Studio Outside to design a comprehensive master plan to inform the direction and priorities for the next 20 years of infrastructure and facility improvements across the 120-acre campus.

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Alejandra Vasco, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Ana Niño

BRIT Librarian

Ashley Bordelon

Digitization Coordinator

Barney L. Lipscomb

Director of BRIT Press and Library, Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Research Programs

Bob O’Kennon

Research Scientist

Diego Barroso

TORCH TCN Project Manager

Erin Flinchbaugh

Conservation Program Assistant

Jason Best

Director of Biodiversity Informatics

Jessica Lane

Herbarium Assistant

Joe Lippert

Digitization Coordinator

Kelly Carroll

Herbarium Digitization Technician

Kim Norton Taylor

Conservation Research Botanist

Kimberly Shay

Press Coordinator and Assistant Editor

Manuela Dal Forno, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Megan O’Connell, Ph.D.

Conservation Botanist

Morgan Gostel, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Natch Rodriguez

Herbarium Digitization Technician

Peter Fritsch, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research / Director of the Herbarium

Rachel Carmickle

Herbarium Technician

Tiana Franklin Rehman

Herbarium Collections Manager