The Carter Herbarium of Colorado College (COCO) is named for longtime Biology professor Jack Carter. The collection includes over 12,000 specimens of plants primarily from eastern Colorado, but also from other surrounding states and regions in the Southwest U.S.
Colorado College professors like Tass Kelso, as well as students, alumni, and botanists from around the region have all been contributors to this collection, which contains a number of important specimens and records for the State of Colorado. The herbarium is not open to general public except by appointment; please contact the interim curator, Associate Professor Shane Heschel at firstname.lastname@example.org (tel 719-389-6406) for information.
The research focus of the CC Herbarium is on the flora of the Pikes Peak region that includes El Paso, Teller, Pueblo, and Fremont Counties. A flora of the Pikes Peak region has been developed based on the fieldwork of Tass Kelso over the past 20 years, and plant records from this herbarium and regional herbaria such as those at University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Wyoming. We believe this is the most comprehensive overview of the regional flora available and hope it will be useful for those interested in plant diversity here. Of course, no flora is ever complete, and new records are always being found, so all such projects should be considered a work in progress. Plant nomenclature is always in flux as well, as new information becomes available and concepts of species, genera, and families change with time.
The files below are the work of Tass Kelso and make up the Pikes Peak Flora, and are divided for convenience in printing some long pdf files. Feel free to print your own copy as needed! The file named Peak to Prairie is an overview standalone booklet (7 megabytes, with color pictures) that describes life zones and geobotanical aspects of our region. It also contains comments on weeds and rare plants. The other files represent the actual flora itself, divided into smaller pieces, for printing. It also contains an guide to identifying plant families and issues with plant names and different nomenclature. Each family (see the index at the end, part 5, has keys to the genera and a description of all the species known to our regional counties (El Paso, Pueblo, Teller, and Fremont). We have tried to avoid technical nomenclature, or to explain it if technical botanical terms are needed, to make this as easy to use as possible.