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Our Lady of the Lake University Herbarium (LLC)

The LLC herbarium was founded in 1932 through the efforts of Sister Mary Clare Metz (1907–1998) at what was then known as Our Lady of the Lake College, the first accredited institution of higher learning in San Antonio, which was started in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence. Metz spent her adult life as a nun in this order, which sent her to college to study biology at a time when the school needed life-sciences faculty. She collected more than 1,000 specimens during her doctoral work at the Catholic University of America, where her research resulted in A Flora of Bexar County, Texas, the first detailed study of the plant life of the San Antonio area. After achieving her Ph.D., Sister Mary went on to a lengthy career teaching biology courses at Our Lady of the Lake, and also curated the LLC herbarium. She was so revered by the faculty and student body, that the building that currently houses the herbarium and other science functions is named in her honor.

The herbarium currently curates ca. 10,000 specimens with a heavy emphasis on the flora of the San Antonio metropolitan region. After Metz retired, the herbarium entered a less active phase. However, starting in 2021 the herbarium has been revitalized and increasingly is being used for teaching and research.


  • Assistant Professor and Curator: Mason Kulbaba, mkulbaba@ollusa.edu, +1 210 431-4090


Our Lady of the Lake University
Herbarium, Biology Department
411 Southwest 24th Street
San Antonio, Texas   78207-4689
United States
+1 210 431-4090

Collection Statistics

  • 6,389 specimen records
  • 50 (0.78%) georeferenced
  • 6,389 (100%) with images (6,396 total images)
  • 3,668 (57%) identified to species
  • 133 families
  • 772 genera
  • 2,383 species
  • 2,486 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)

Extra Statistics

Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Data snapshot of local collection database
Last Update:
Digital Metadata:EML File
Geographic Distribution - California
Click on the specimen record counts within the parenthesis to return the records for that term
  • San Benito (1)