The John Clayton Herbarium

John Clayton (1694-1773) was one of the early collectors of plant specimens in Virginia, where he was Clerk to the County Court of Gloucester County from 1720 until his death 53 years later. 

Clayton published almost nothing himself, but his specimens have considerable importance in botanical nomenclature.

The specimens were originally dispersed through the main collection, but have been extracted and are curated as a separate collection so they can be studied more easily.

Many specimens represent type specimens for Linnaean names, and are included in the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project based at the Museum.


Voucher specimen
A specimen used for scientific study that is deposited in a permanent collection (usually in a Museum, an institution committed to long-term maintenance) for future reference.

Type specimen
This is a unique voucher specimen that serves as the basis for the taxonomic description of a species. Scientists refer back to it whenever they reassess the status of that species or need to confirm the identification of new material.