PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
9 JULY 1963 NUMBER 3
National Fungus Collections
States Department of Agriculture
fungus herbaria of the U. S. Department of Agri-culture and the Smithsonian
Institution together comprise The National Fungus Collections. The name was
adopted in 1953 in order to simplify and standardize reference to the several
included units and yet to reflect the nature and origins of the herbaria,
replacing the name "Mycological Collections of the Bureau of Plant Industry
and Associated Units." In cooperation with the Department of Botany, Museum
of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, all of the collections are now
housed in the North Building of the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Plant
Industry Station near Beltsville, Maryland, where they are maintained as a
part of Mycology Investigations, Crops Protection Re-search Branch, Crops
Research Division, Agricultural Re-search Service. Present plans are for the
collections to be moved into the new west wing of the Smithsonian Institution's
Museum of Natural History building upon its completion. Although 'something
of the history of these collections has already been recorded by J. A. Stevenson
(Taxon 4: 181–185. 1955), a brief review may be of interest here.
accumulation of fungus specimens by the U. S. Department of Agriculture began
in 1869 with the appointment of C. C. Parry as first botanist of the newly
authorized Division of Botany. According to his first report to the then Commissioner
of Agriculture, Horace Capron, when he assumed office Parry took over all
available her-barium material from the Smithsonian Institution and during
the year added to it a complete set of the Texas fungi collected by H. W.
Ravenel and "five volumes of southern fungi" purchased from the same collector.
Since the material from the Smithsonian Institution is not identified further,
the Ravenel collections are the earliest known series of specimens acquired
and represent the beginning of our National Fungus Collections. The "five
volumes of south-ern fungi" mentioned in Parry's report referred to a complete
set of Ravenel's Fungi Caroliniani exsiccati, the first published series of
American fungi ever issued, and was one of only 3o such sets, each of which
contained duplicate specimens of 500 named fungi. Another set of the exsiccati
had been sent earlier by Ravenel to the Smithsonian Institution, according
to The private journal of Henry William Ravenel (edited by A. R. Childs),
but apparently it was not among the materials turned over to Parry and there
now seems to be no record of its continued existence.
Texas fungi mentioned in Parry's report referred to some 330 specimens collected
by Ravenel earlier in 1869 in that state. The pioneer American mycologist
had gone there on a temporary assignment by the U. S. Government to investigate
the cause of Texas cattle fever, at that time thought possibly to be caused
by fungus-infected plants eaten by the cattle. During the trip Ravenel collected
all types of botanical specimens including fungi, algae, mosses, lichens,
and phanerogamic plants. A set of the Texas lichens was obtained by Parry
in February 1870, and as early as J871 Ravenel offered to sell his entire
herbarium to the Department. Judge Frederick Watts, the then Commissioner
of Agriculture, was agreeable to its purchase, but apparently had insufficient
funds at the time. His continued interest in the collection is shown in his
published report for 1873: "An individual in Aiken, South Carolina, well known
for his researches in fungi, is possessed of a large and valuable collection
of specimens, the result of 30 years' accumulations which he proposes to sell
for Woo . . . the opportunity should not be neglected . . ." At that time
Ravenel's her-barium consisted of approximately 4000 specimens of fungi (including
moo duplicates), 624 mosses, 85 Hepaticae, 750 lichens, and 300 algae. It
was never obtained by the Department, however, and ultimately went to the
British Museum, although some further Ravenel material was secured by the
purchase of an 8-volume (Soo specimen) set of Fungi Americani exsiccati that
was issued in 1878–1882 in collaboration with M. C. Cooke, the noted
British mycologist. Cooke also had looked over many of Ravenel's Texas fungi,
which represented some of the earliest collections from that state, as is
shown in Cooke's paper on the fungi of Texas (Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1: 177-187.
1878) : ". . . a small collection of two hundred specimens, gathered a few
years since by Mr. H. W. Ravenel, has been examined; and after the determination
of these, the whole number of species [known from Texas does not exceed one
hundred and fifty."
excellent beginning made by Parry in his initiation of a fungus herbarium
was not followed up for a number of years. George Vasey, who in 1872 succeeded
Parry as Botanist, directed his curatorial energies primarily toward the higher
plants, and built the National Herbarium into a tremendous collection of some
200,000 specimens by 1888. However, Vasey mentioned in an account of the National
Herbarium published in the Botanical Gazette in 1886 (II: 153–156) that
the mycological collection in addition to the Ravenel material contained specimens
from J. B. Ellis, G. W. Clinton, B. D. Halsted. E. W. D. Holway, W. A.
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
WILLIAM L. STERN, Editor
Washington 25, D. C.
HARLAN P. BANKS Cornell University
NORMAN H. BOKE University of Oklahoma
SYDNEY S. GREENFIELD Rutgers University
ELSIE QUARTERMAN Vanderbilt University
ERICH STEINER University of Michigan
JULY 1963 VOLUME 9
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MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR PUBLICATION should be typewritten, double-spaced, and
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Between July 1963 and September 1964, the editor is being transferred to the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to accept a position
at the Forest Products Research Institute of the University of the Philippines.
During this period, Dr. Richard H. Eyde of the Smithsonian has generously
agreed to accept the editorial duties of Plant Science Bulletin. All correspondence
concerning manuscripts should be directed to his attention after July 1963.
T. G. Burrill, and A. B. Langlois. He added that the Collections were housed
in one room of the Agri-cultural Building under the care of Prof. F. Lamson
Scribner, the assistant botanist. The total number of fungus specimens at
that time was less than 3000.
the short time that Scribner was in the Department, he was very active. He
joined the Division of Botany in 1885, becoming the first Federal phytopathologist,
and immediately began publishing on plant diseases and building up the herbarium.
Within a year his work had assumed such importance that a Section of Vegetable
Pathology was set up in the Division. In his report as Chief of the Section
for 1887, Scribner noted that the herbarium consisted of 9300 labeled fungus
specimens mounted on 5572. sheets and that some 500 permanent microscopic
mounts were made during the year. P. Viala, the noted Italian mycologist with
whom he had investigated a serious outbreak of grape disease in California,
presented a collection of European fungi of the vine, and W. W. Calkins and
S. M. Tracy deposited a series of specimens collected in Florida and certain
Scribner left the Section in 1888 to become Director of the Tennessee Agricultural
Experiment Station, his position was assumed by B. T. Galloway, an assistant
hired late in 1887. Galloway continued the fine work of building up the herbarium,
as is shown by the following excerpt from his report as Chief of the Section
for the year 1889: "For the work we are engaged in a collection of fungi is
necessary; realizing this we have spared no effort to make the herbarium what
it should be. Three years ago the number of specimens in the collection did
not exceed three thousand; now there are something over fourteen thousand
named, labeled, and mounted on seven thousand herbarium sheets.
the year a large number of economic fungi have been collected, one assistant
spending a month in the field engaged in this work. . . . With the exception
of one new assistant, Mr. D. G. Fairchild, the laboratory force practically
remains the same, those now actively engaged in this work being Dr. E. F.
Smith, Miss E. A. Southworth, Mr. M. B. Waite, and Mr. D. G. Fairchild."
work of the Section was of such importance by 1890 that the Section officially
separated from the Division of Botany and formed the Division of Vegetable
Pathology. By 1891 the staff had increased to 1o, double the number in 1889;
the new additions included such noteworthy men as W. T. Swingle, N. B. Pierce,
P. H. Dorsett, and J. F. James. In his report for 1891 Galloway stated, "There
are now in the herbarium 7,865 standard sheets, upon which are mounted 16,397
specimens, representing 779 genera and 6,424 species. The more important published
exsiccati are represented, the sets in most cases being complete." He pointed
out that the fungus herbarium had reached a condition "requiring the entire
attention of one assistant and a considerable part of the time of another,"
that "The species arc arranged alphabetically, the genera according to Saccardo's
Sylloge Fungorum," and that "The entire her-barium is indexed by a card catalogue
according to hosts and fungi, the cards containing the herbarium references
as well as others giving published descriptions, etc." This last item, the
herbarium card index, has become increasingly useful with the continued growth
of the collections.
period between 1891 and 1895 was a difficult one for the collections. As the
work of the Division increased and diversified, the various aspects of the
new field of plant pathology became more attractive to mycologists assigned
to the herbarium. Galloway in later years (Phytopathology 18: 8i7. 1928) recalled
the situation: "The glamor of field service in phytopathology . . . was irresistible
so that our collections and herbaria were beginning to languish and our mycological
technique becoming rusty for lack of use. To meet the situation, insofar as
it related to the Department's work, we tried various expedients and made
numerous experiments. It was the conviction of my colleagues of the period
that our only hope was to find a good man, rich in experience and so wedded
to mycology and its attendant interests that nothing could swerve him from
the then recognized beaten path. The experiment was made, but the man failed
us." Galloway referred to F. S. Earle, who re-signed after a short time to
take a position at the New York Botanical Garden.
for the collections, Mrs. Flora W. Patterson was then found to take charge
of the herbarium. She assumed her duties in 1895 as Assistant Pathologist,
to Mycologist in 1901 shortly before the reorganization resulting in the formation
of the Bureau of Plant Industry, and immediately devoted herself to building
and improving the collections. She soon recognized the value of fungus exchange
specimens and began putting the ac-cumulated duplicate specimens into shape
suitable for distribution. In her report for 1898 she mentioned that "About
12000 specimens, representing Goo different species of fungi, arc now almost
ready to be sent out." The work was delayed, however, and the first list of
specimens and species available for exchange was not published until early
Mrs. Patterson retired in 1923, after 28 years of continuous service in charge
of the Office of Pathological Collections, the fungus herbarium had been considerably
enriched. Attempts had been made throughout the years to secure all American
exsiccati and most of the European ones. The number of accessioned specimens
had increased by more than 95,000 to a total of 114,504. The herbarium card
index, which at that time included literature citations and synonymy, contained
145,000 cards. Host and subject indexes had been kept current and had reached
totals of 96,288 and 32,400 cards, respectively.
Mrs. Patterson's retirement, the Office of Pathological Collections was combined
with the Plant Disease Survey under the direction of C. L. Shear and J. R.
Weir was transferred from work in forest pathology to become Mycologist in
Charge of the mycological unit. Weir continued the fine precedent established
in maintaining and building the herbarium, even contributing to it his out-standing
personal herbarium of some 40,000 specimens that had been assembled with particular
reference to the pathology of plants of the western United States. He was
an indefatigable collector (Phytopathology 36: 487-492. 1946) and his work
was interrupted by extensive field trips, during which he collected fungi
in a number of Central and South American countries. When he resigned in 1927
to join the Rubber Research Institute of Malaya, the number of specimens in
the herbarium had almost doubled, increasing to some 200,000, according to
an annual report for 1926 made by C. L. Shear to the then Chief of the Bureau,
W. A. Taylor.
A. Stevenson was transferred from the Foreign Plant Introduction group to
replace Weir. Although ably assisted through the years by such outstanding
mycologists as W.W. Diehl, A. E. Jenkins, V. K. Charles, E. K. Cash, E. B.
Lambert, R. W. Davidson, L. P. Lentz, and others, and although supervised
by C. L. Shear for many years, Steven-son undoubtedly contributed more than
any other single individual toward building and improving the mycological
collections. His first act was to arrange, with the assistance of F. V. Coville,
Head of the Botany Division, to have the mycological herbarium of the noted
C. G. Lloyd deposited in the Smithsonian Institution by the trustees of the
Lloyd estate. For more than 33 years Stevenson devoted himself unceasingly
to making the Collections into a world-wide reference herbarium of the most
possible usefulness and diversity of representation. Despite additional administrative
duties assumed in 1945 when he was placed in charge of the whole Division
of Mycology and Plant Disease Survey and despite the gradual decrease in the
Mycology Section staff number due to insufficient financial support, Stevenson
had by the time of his retirement built the National Fungus Collections into
one of the world's finest and largest, with the number of accessioned specimens
totaling al-most 650,000. Stevenson was in turn succeeded by the writer in
1960, but has continued to assist the group in his new capacity of Collaborator.
Reorganization in 196o again separated "Mycology" and "Plant Disease Survey,"
with the National Fungus Collections and the Mycology staff forming the new
unit called "Mycology Investigations."
fungus herbaria of the Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian Institution
are currently maintained as separate segments of the Collections. The U.S.D.A.
segment consists of a general herbarium, several smaller special collections,
various supporting indexes, a microscopic slide collection, a reference collection
of literature, a photographic negative and print collection, a topical file
of historical material, and other pertinent records. The Smithsonian segment
consists of a general herbarium, the special C. G. Lloyd herbarium with its
attendant files, negatives, and records, and the Stevenson mycological library.
U.S.D.A. general herbarium, the largest single unit, contains specimens of
all fungal groups and of world-wide distribution, but has especially good
coverage of the rusts and polypores. Here can be found the mycological and
plant pathological specimens collected or used by many of the past and present
departmental workers, including the more-or-less complete collections of W.
A. Archer, R. K. Beattie, E. R. Bethel, M. A. Carleton, V. K. Charles, W.
W. Diehl, P. H. Dorsett, J. C. Dunegan, D. Fairchild, F. D. Fromme, B. T.
Galloway, J. R. Hansbrough, G. G. Hedgcock, A. E. Jenkins, A. G. Johnson,
C. L. Lefebvre, W. A. Orton, F. W. Patterson, F. L. Scribner, C. L. Shear,
E. F. Smith, N. E. Stevens, J. A. Stevenson, W. Stuart, W. T. Swingle, M.
B. Waite, H. J. Webber, J. R. Weir, and many others. Also here are located
important series of specimens and collections received from otuside sources
by deposit, purchase, or exchange, including those of J. P. Anderson from
Alaska, G. Bresadola from Europe, W. W. Calkins from Florida, G. W. Carver
from Alabama, J. H. Faull from Massachusetts and worldwide, F. D. Heald and
F. A. Wolf from Texas, A. A. Heller from California and Puerto Rico, N. Hiratsuka
from Japan, E. W. D. Holway from Iowa and South America, W. A. Kellerman from
West Virginia and Guatemala, A. B. Langlois from Louisiana, J. Lind from Denmark,
J. L. Lowe from U. S., E. Mayor from Europe, E. D. Merrill and O. A. Reinking
from Philippine Islands, L. W. Nuttall from West Virginia, H. E. Parks from
California, A. B. Seymour from Illinois and Massachusetts, R. Sprague from
Oregon and North Dakota, P. C. Standley from Central America, F. L. Stevens
from Puerto Rico, British Guiana, Ecuador, Panama, Hawaii and Philippine Islands,
B. C. Tharp from Texas, S. M. Tracy and F. S. Earle from Mississippi, and
F. L. Wellman from
America, as well as such collections as the fungi from the Wilkes' Expedition,
the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, and the remainders of the J. B. Ellis
herbarium. In addition, the fungus herbarium of the Missouri Botanical Garden
has recently been incorporated into the general her-barium, particularly enriching
the area of the Thelephoraceae and adding such noteworthy collections as those
of E. A. Burt, N. M. Glatfelter, D. H. Linder, L. O. Overholts, P. S. Spaulding,
and W. Trelease.
the U.S.D.A. special collections, the smut fungi (Ustilaginales) of G. L.
Zundel are of particular economic importance. Acquired in 1948, this collection
of specimens, photographs, and other records are the materials used in the
extensive, specialized studies made by Zundel over a period of many years.
The personal herbarium of C. E. Chardon of Puerto Rico, deposited in 1950,
also is maintained separately. This collection is very rich in tar-spot fungi
(Dothideales), which were Chardon's special interest, but contains specimens
of various other fungal groups, all collected in the West Indies and Central
and South America. Of great historical interest as well as for its value of
taxonomic reference is the herbarium of Ezra Michener. Michener was an amateur
botanist given per-mission to go over the Schweinitz herbarium and to extract
portions of specimens for his own herbarium. His herbarium, then, contains
many specimens that were collected both by Schweinitz and by M. A. Curtis,
another noted early American mycologist. This collection of 38 volumes was
found in a Pennsylvania library in 1917 by C. L. Shear and N. E. Stevens,
who succeeded in having it transferred to the National Fungus Collections.
important units of the U.S.D.A. collections that are maintained separately
include (1) the E. E. Morse collection of Pacific Coast Fungi; (2) the Chinese
National Herbarium, consisting of that portion of the Nanking collections
not destroyed by the Japanese; (3) the E. F. Guba collection of Monochaetia
and Pestalotia, specimens, microscopic slides, and records which were used
in Guba's extensive studies and which comprised the material used for his
monograph of those genera; (4) a series of annotated portions of P. A. Karsten's
type specimens of polypores, de-posited by J. L. Lowe with the kind permission
of the museum staff at Helsinki; (5) the C. C. Plitt lichen herbarium; (6)
the S. F. Blake collection of the lichen genus Cladonia; (7) entomogenous
fungi; and (8) a small series of specimens preserved in liquid.
Smithsonian general herbarium, like that of the U.S.D.A., is unrestricted
as to fungal group or geographic source. It contains the fungal material accumulated
in the U. S. National Herbarium since 1893 when the phanerogamic herbarium
was returned to the Smithsonian Institution during the curatorship of F. V.
Coville. Recent additions to the general herbarium are the W. H. Long and
the Goucher College herbaria. The former, received by be-quest to the Smithsonian
Institution following Dr. Long's death in 1947, consists primarily of Long's
extensive collections of Gasteromycetes and Uredinales from the south- western
United States and includes the types of his many new species. The latter,
more recently donated, contains the collections of C. B. Stifler, an alumna
of Goucher College, and J. E. Humphrey, an early U. S. phytopathologist.
largest and most important unit of the Smithsonian segment of the Collections
is the separately maintained C. G. Lloyd Mycological Collections. Acquired
in 1928 by gift from the Trustees of the Lloyd Library and Museum, this collection
of more than 58,000 specimens represents the life work of the late C. G. Lloyd
of Cincinnati, Ohio. It is particularly noteworthy for its extensive world-wide
collections of the Polyporaceae, gasteromycetes, and Xylariaceae and its large
number of type specimens. In addition to the specimens it includes some Io,000
photographic negatives with a subject index, a series of microscopic slides
of types and other specimens studied by Lloyd in Europe, his set of notebooks
also compiled in European herbaria, two sets of his mycological writings (one
as published and one as rearranged systematically in loose-leaf notebooks),
and a portion of his correspondence. Also maintained as part of the Lloyd
herbarium are accession and card catalogues in which each specimen is indexed.
recent addition to the Smithsonian segment is the personal herbarium of the
noted Italian mycologist, R. Ciferri. Acquired by purchase under a National
Science Foundation grant, this collection of 18,000 specimens is still in
the process of being curated. It is especially noteworthy in that it contains
Ciferri's extensive tropical American collections, including his exsiccati
specimens from the Dominican Re-public, and his excellent collection of Ustilaginales.
specimens comprise an important and valued segment of the Collections. Prior
to 1927, such specimens were interpolated in the U.S.D.A. general herbarium,
but ones received since that time have been maintained separately in their
volumes as issued or, where published unbound, have been bound into standard
exsiccati folders in numerical order. No attempt has been made to remove exsiccati
specimens already distributed in the herbarium and their total number is not
known. Those maintained separately now total 107,000.
addition to the herbaria, an integral part of the National Fungus Collections
is the Stevenson Mycological Library, a taxonomic reference collection of
mycological and phytopathological literature. This specialized collection
of 4500 volumes of books and journals and 45,000 reprints or separates is
an invaluable working tool, greatly facilitating the research and service
activities of the staff. The library is available as well to other workers
for reference, but not for loan. Practically all volumes that are strictly
mycological are included, but ones of broader coverage that are readily available
from the National Agricultural Library are not represented. The book and journal
series is composed primarily of the extensive, very valuable personal library
of J. A. Stevenson, who generously donated it in 1952 to the Smithsonian Institution.
The reprint series contains materials accumulated over a period of many years
from a wide variety of sources. Noteworthy are the many thousands of reprints
collected by E. F. Smith that after his death were acquired by the Department
a few exceptions, such as the exsiccati and the Michener collection which
are in bound volumes, the various herbarium units are curated uniformly. The
procedures followed do not differ greatly from those recently outlined by
D. B. O. Savile in his book Collection and care of botanical specimens (Canada
Department of Agriculture Publication 1113, Ottawa, 1962). Insofar as is practicable,
all specimens are packeted, labeled, and glued to standard-sized herbarium
sheets (161/2 X 111/2 inches). Each sheet is labeled in the lower right corner
with the name of the fungus species or variety and that of the host, if it
is known. Separate sheets are used for each host of a fungus and are filed
alphabetically by the host name. Fungus species are in turn arranged alphabetically
within genus covers, each of which bears the genus number and name, together
with letters indicating what alphabetical portion of the genus it contains.
and bulky specimens are boxed. The myxomycetes are kept in especially shallow,
covered boxes and trays, with 24 rectangular boxes per tray and 5 trays per
compartment of a standard herbarium case. All other boxed specimens are maintained
in a standardized series of covered, cardboard boxes of 4 rectangular sizes
in each of 3 different heights. These boxes number 4, 8, 16, or 32 per tray
and are thus interchangeable within the tray, effecting complete space economy.
The trays themselves are rectangular, cardboard boxes with lids and are of
3 depths, 11/2, 21/2, and 5 inches, each accommodating a single layer of specimen
boxes. Specimen labels are pasted on the tops of the box covers for ease of
reference. Trays are labeled essentially like genus covers and are located
as near as practicable to the sheet specimens of the same genus or species.
are arranged in the herbaria according to the system found in Saccardo's Sylloge
f ungorum. Each has a number, following the original plan published anonymously
by W. A. Kellerman in 1890 in an unnumbered publication of the State Agricultural
College, Manhattan, Kansas. Kellerman apparently arranged all of the genera
found in volumes I–VIII and addenda I–IV of the Sylloge, placing
them in the families of Saccardo's Conspectus systematicus generalis. The
genera were then numbered consecutively from r to 1523. Thus, Amanita has
the number "1"; Amanitopsis, number "2"; Lepiota, number "3"; and so on, to
Spegazzinia, which has number "1523." Further numbers have been added during
the 72 years that the system has been in use, but these have been limited
to such genera as those of the Mycelia Sterilia so that a semblance of a taxonomic
arrangement can be maintained. Practically all new genera encountered are
incorporated into the existing numerical structure by use of alphabetical
letter-adjuncts of the numbers of closely related genera. For example, when
Allescheria was added, it was assigned the number "372a" and filed next to
Eurotiuna, a near relative having the number "372." In a few instances where
single letters of the alphabet have been exhausted, genera have been assigned
double letters, such as "aa" and "bb," after the numbers. For convenience
in locating specimens, alphabetical lists of the genera with their numbers
are kept in looseleaf note-books on the herbarium study tables.
indexes comprise a useful adjunct of the Collections. One, the herbarium fungus
index, lists alphabetically all species and varieties present in the general
herbaria, special collections (except the Lloyd Collections which have their
cwn index), and exsiccati series, indicates their hosts, and names the particular
segments of the Collections in which they are located. This index, started
many years ago, now contains some 190,000 cards. A second, the herbarium host
index, is somewhat similar to the first, but lists the species under an alphabetical
arrangement of their hosts and permits the finding of specimens on that basis.
A third index, one that is very useful for nomenclatural purposes, is the
new taxa index which contains the scientific names, authors, dates, places
of publication, and, where pertinent, basonyms of all newly described fungi,
including new species and varieties, new combinations, and new names. This
index was begun in 1923 by E. K. Cash at C. L. Shear's suggestion to provide
a compilation of names for those fungi described subsequent to Saccardo's
Sylloge f ungorum. The new taxa index, now of substantial size, includes the
names published by Petrak in his "Lists" and, together with the Sylloge, provides
the most nearly complete source of names and publication data on fungi in
this hemisphere. Close cooperation is maintained with the British Commonwealth
Mycological Institute to cover the world literature as completely as possible
and all new names compiled are published by the C. M. I. in its Index of fungi,
issued twice yearly.
The mycological and plant pathological literature of the world is indexed insofar
as time permits. Begun in 1927 and substantially increased during the depression
years of the 1930's, when extra assistants were provided, the literature indexes
are currently maintained as a cooperative project with Epidemiology Investigations,
the other group formed by the reorganization of the "Section" in 1960. At the
present time only foreign literature is indexed, with cards arranged in two
catalogues where they are filed in one by the host name and in the other by
the fungus name. Although far short of complete coverage, the literature indexes
now comprise more than 1,000,000 cards and provide an extremely useful cross-section
of the literature of the field. All of the indexes are used extensively in the
information service functions of the staff and have been consulted by visiting
scientists for periods of time ranging to a year or more.
fungus exchange service has been in operation since the turn of the century
and has been an important source of acquisitions. Specimens duplicating ones
already in the herbarium are accumulated, packeted, and labeled. From time
to time lists of these specimens available for exchange
prepared and distributed to institutions and individuals to facilitate their
selection of specimens of interest to them. The current list consists of some
2I00 entries which initially represented 35,000–40,000 individual specimen
packets. First issued in 1961, the list is no longer completely accurate,
but is still available upon request.
1955 the National Fungus Collections contained approximately 550,000 specimens
and was reported by Steven-son (Taxon 4: 181–185) "to rank second in
size in the United States according to figures prepared by F. J. Seaver, formerly
Curator of Fungi of the New York Botanical Garden, the Farlow Cryptogamic
Herbarium of Harvard University taking first place." At the present time specimens
in the National Collections total more than 677,000 and include approximately
16o,000 Uredinales, as well as what J. L. Lowe of Syracuse, N. Y., has termed
"the largest and finest collection of Polyporaceae in existence."
in Mexican Schools
very recent years an increased emphasis has been placed upon botanical research
in tropical areas. Expanding populations and rapidly developing industries
are placing increased pressure on the existing undisturbed lands. A sense
of urgency has arisen to study and record the biota of these areas before
they are irrevocably altered by man's quest for a better life. In this respect,
our neighbor to the south, the Republic of Mexico, offers an excellent opportunity
for North American botanists to assist in this important task, and to work
in a tropical region of high botanical importance which is rapidly being affected
by industrialization. One may, of course, work effectively in another country
without a knowledge of the national culture and language. But it must also
be conceded that such knowledge greatly facilitates the amount of work accomplished
and contributes to the effectiveness of procedure in general. In most cases
the North American botanist, studying in Mexico, will meet his counterpart
in the Mexican university. Consequently, some knowledge of the Mexican educational
system should be helpful in appreciating the position of these people in the
system and in collaborating more effectively with them.
educational experience in Mexico consists of six years o felementary (primaria),
three of secondary (secundaria), and two to three years of preparatory school
(preparatoria). Primary education is quite similar to that in the United States
in that the objectives deal with fundamentals, and develop a consciousness
of national society and culture. Secondary education amplifies the primary
experience and adds cultural depth to what has been attained on the primary
level. During these two phases, the student contacts botany through nature
study and general biology. Preparatory education is strictly concentrated
preparation for entrance into an institution of higher learning, and even
for that particular faculty in which the student expects to matriculate. Preparatory
education is considered an integral part of higher education by Mexican law
and preparatory schools are closely associated with institutions of higher
education. The curriculum of the preparatory school is more or less set by
the National Preparatory School in Mexico City. During his preparatory study,
the student usually takes a general botany course which treats those topics
ordinarily found in the general botany course of the North American university
or college. This contrasts strongly; with the situation in the United States
where a student rarely has the opportunity to study general botany until he
enters a college or university.
Mexican university is a direct descendant of the European university, and
until recent times, was physically arranged as such with buildings scattered
about a city. Lately, modern university cities (ciudades universitarias) in
which all facilities are concentrated have appeared all over the Republic.
Practically every major city in Mexico has a university city or one under
construction. Almost all institutions of higher learning are supported by
the state. The Instituto Technol6gico of Monterrey is an exception. The university
is administered by a Rector, Vice-rector, and a Secretary. An academic council
functions in matters of policy. Usually the Rector and Vice-rector serve definite
terms of office while the Secretary lends continuity to ad-ministration. Students
are represented on councils to a degree unknown in the United States. Academic
rank is more or less equal to that found in the United States, but the great
contrast is that full-time faculty members are much in the minority. Again
we have an exception in the Instituto Tecnol6gico of Monterrey which has a
full-time faculty. However, there is a movement to establish full-time faculties
in Mexican universities to provide effectiveness of instruction, development
of research, and creation of a professional group of university instructors.
If present trends continue, the ranks of part-time professors will be markedly
practically all the provincial universities the student has some opportunity
to study botany. Mostly this will be pharmaceutical botany, but in normal
schools botany is developed through a biology course. The University of Guerrero
offers three botany courses in its normal school: general botany, cryptogamic
plants, and vascular plants. These are taken by students who are specializing
in the teaching of biology. At the moment, the main centers of botanical study
which offer programs approaching those studied by botany majors in the United
States are: the National University in Mexico City (Universidad Nacional Autdnoma
de Mexico), the National Polytechnic Institute of the same city (Instituto
Politecnico Nacional) in its School of Biological Sciences (Escuela Nacional
de Ciencias Biolōgicas), the National School of Agriculture (Escuela
Nacional de Agricultura) located at Chapingo a short distance outside Mexico
City, and the Technological Institute of Monterrey (Instituto Tecnolōgico
y de Estudios Superiores).
Technological Institute of Monterrey offers the degree of Ingeniiero A_grc
nomo (Agricultural Engineer) in its School of Agriculture. This program of
study (carrera) requires a basic period of training of nine semesters and
a professional thesis. Courses required in botany are: general botany, systematic
botany, agricultural botany, cereals and legumes, plant anatomy, general genetics,
industrial plants, horticulture, general microbiology, applied plant genetics,
fruit culture, mycology, plant pathology, plant ecology, and plant physiology.
Electives may be chosen from cotton culture, citriculture, tropical crops,
agrostology, plant hormones, and herbicides. In addition to botany, the student
takes courses in animal sciences, physical sciences, and applicable engineering
areas. The campus of the Institute is located on the south side of Monterrey
and consists of mod-ern classrooms, laboratory, and dormitory buildings. A
greenhouse is located on the campus for research purposes, and an experimental
farm is established at Apodaca, a short distance to the east of Monterrey.
Research is encouraged and a herbarium has been established. A certain number
of faculty members are annually sent outside the country for advanced study;
a large number have studied in the United States. The School of Agriculture
has done much to advance the agricultural economy in the northeastern part
of Mexico and will play an increasingly important role in the development
of the nation.
Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City offers the degree of Biōlogo (Biologist)
in its School of Biological Sciences which occupies a modern campus with up-to-date
classrooms and laboratory buildings. The laboratory building devoted to botany
also contains the herbarium. Here again research is encouraged and there are
continuing plans to advance postgraduate research and provide facilities for
professional investigation in all areas of biology.
campus of the National University in Mexico City is well known to North American
tourists because of its modernistic architecture and huge size. The degree
of Bidlogo is offered and courses in general botany, plant morphology, cytology,
genetics, plant anatomy and physiology. pathology, vascular and cryptogamic
plants, and forest re-sources may be pursued. The National University has
a botanical garden and herbarium.
National School of Agriculture is located some distance outside Mexico City
on what was formerly a private hacienda at Chapingo. The original structure
is now used as an administration building and offers the visitor the added
treat of some of Diego Rivera's early fresco work in the former chapel. Botanical
sciences are taught in a large, attractive building which also houses the
herbarium. Immediately adjacent one finds an experimental garden, and some
distance away is a large greenhouse of sufficient height to contain small
trees. Plants from the tropical areas of Mexico are grown here. The curriculum
contains courses offered in any well organized agricultural school, and leads
to the degree of Ingeniero Agrōnonso.
the University of Guadalajara has a Botanical Institute, and a regional botanical
garden is planned for the University of Guerrero. Agricultural experiment
stations are scattered in strategic locations about the nation. A program
of adiestramiento sponsored by the federal government teaches vocational agriculture
to Mexican farmers and is designed to develop new techniques to cope with
the special problems of rural life.
must be emphasized that Mexico is undergoing a period of rapid change from
an agrarian to an urban way of life. With it go all the dislocations that
such an upheaval entails. This will be reflected in the educational institutions
of the country because it is through education that problems of change must
be ameliorated. Owing to a high rate of population increase (35 per cent)
coupled with the need for expanded food production, the pressure is very great
on professional botanists to perform applied research. However, there is also
acute recognition of the need for basic research, and it is encouraged as
much as circumstances permit. One may confidently look forward to increased
activity in this area. With the complexity and variety of the Mexican flora
and the diversity of ecological situations, we should expect an upsurge in
botanical science. Historically this would be in keeping with the keen appreciation
of plant life for which the Mexicans have been noted, and which they still
display to an extent not known in the more urbanized areas of the Western
American botanists interested in communicating with teachers and investigators
in those institutions mentioned in this article may find the following listing
Tccnol6gico y de E. S.. Monterrey. N. L.. Mexico:
Leonel Robles G.
Paulino Rojas Mendoza.
Manuel Rojas Garcidueiias.
Politēcnico National, Mexico, D. P.. Mexico:
Gast6n Guzman H.
Nacional de Agricultura, Chapingo, Edo. Mexico, Mexico: Prof. Efraim Ilernandez
Nacional Autōnoma de Mexico, Mexico, D. F., Mexico: Prof. Maximino Martinez.
Botanical Society of Mexico welcomes cooperation of North American botanists.
It publishes the professional journal Boletin de la Sociedad Botcinica de
Mexico. Inquiries about membership should he directed to:
Botanica do Mexico
Post. No. 30203
P. 7 Mm. No. 27
D. F., Mexico
dues arc S4.00 US.
Unversily of Arizona
year, the Teaching Section of the Botanical Society of America will present
an instructive and thought-provoking program at the Amherst meetings. It is
noteworthy that so many outstanding teachers and research biologists have
cooperated to make this program possible. Two symposia have been planned and
two films produced as special projects will be a part of the paper session,
the largest in
years. The first of the two symposia is entitled, "The Use of Living Material
in the Teaching of Botany." Participants and their topics are:
Paul A. Vestal, Rollins College
Richard C. Starr, Indiana University
Ralph Emerson, University of California
Bryophytes: William C. Stecre, New York Botanical Garden Ptcridophytcs: David
W. Bierhorst, Cornell University
second symposium, "Biologists' Role in Improving Science at the Elementary,
High School and College Levels," should present a challenge to all biologists.
It is now recognized that we as scientists must become actively en-gaged in
the improvement of education in the sciences. While the symposium will consider
curriculum improvement at all levels, special emphasis will be directed to
the elementary school effort where professional biologists are becoming increasingly
involved. Participating in this symposium will be:
B. Kurtz, Jr., The University of Arizona: "Help Wanted."
B. Scars, Chairman, AAAS Commission on Science Instruction:
of AAAS in the Improvement of Science Teaching." Herbert L. Mason, University
of California: "Analysis of Problems in
Science at the Elementary School Level."
H. Weston, Education Science Services, Inc.: "Development of a Microbiology
Unit for the Fifth Grade."
E. Hadary, American University: "The Molecular Approach to Biology at the
Fifth and Sixth Grade Levels."
V. Mayer, Wayne State University: "The Research Biologist
the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)."
Johns Hopkins III, Harvard University: "Innovations in Introductory Biology
Teaching at Harvard."
symposia have been planned to provide for a maximum exchange of ideas between
the teaching biologist and the research biologist. The National Association
of Biology Teachers has accepted an invitation to co-sponsor the two symposia.
Emeritus Walter C. Muenscher, renowned ex-pert on weeds and poisonous plants,
died at his home in Ithaca on March 20, 1963. Professor Muenscher was born
in Germany and as a child came to the United States where he was raised on
a farm in the state of Washington. He was graduated from Washington State
College and earned the masterate in botany from the University of Nebraska,
and the doctorate from Cornell University. In 1916, he began his professional
career in botany as an instructor at Cornell; he was made a full professor
in 1937 and retired from active service in 1954.
young botanists have been brought up on Muenscher's useful books: Keys to
woody plants, Weeds, Poisonous plants, Keys to spring plants, and Aquatic
plants of the United States are still standards in many taxonomy courses.
Dr. Muenscher was active in wildlife conservation and was a board member of
the Wildlife Preservation Society and a trustee of the Wildflower Preservation
Society of America. He was a member of several professional botanical societies
and received a Certificate of Merit from the Botanical Society of America.
In 1958, a group of his former students honored him by erecting a bronze plaque
bearing his name in the poisonous plants garden near the Plant Science Building
on the Cornell campus.
regarding the INTERNATIONAL CODE OF BOTANI-
NOMENCLATURE (1961) must be submitted to the Rap-,
, Dr. J. Lanjouw, Lange Nieuwstraat io ,
Netherlands, before October I, 1963. All proposals will be published in Taxon.
Nomenclature proposals will be presented to the Tenth International Botanical
Congress by the Rapporteur-gin&al in a Synopsis of proposals to be published
in January 1964. The sessions of the Nomenclature Section of the Congress
will be held in Edinburgh, Great Britain from July 29 to August i, 1964. The
Congress itself will meet from August 3 to August 12, 1964.
TENTH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON SYSTEMATICS will be
at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19,
1963. The subject of the Symposium this year will be, "Pollination Relationships
and Systematics." A botanist and zoologist will serve as co-chairmen and five
invited papers will be given on different aspects of the problem as it relates
to botanical and zoological systematics. The SYMPosIuM is aided by a grant
from the National Science Foundation. For further information ad-dress Dr.
Robert L. Dressler, The Missouri Botanical Gar-den, 2315 Tower Grove Avenue,
St Louis 10, Missouri.
College of Guam at Agana is inaugurating a journal devoted to the sciences
in Micronesia to be titled MICRONESICA. In particular, the fields of anthropology,
botany, and zoology will be included as they pertain to the Micronesian area
of the Pacific and related regions. The subscription price will be less than
$5.00 for the first volume. Interested persons are invited to write to the
editor, Dr. Benjamin C. Stone, College of Guam, P. O. Box 97, Agana, Guam.
WILLIAM C. COKER HALL of the University of North Carolina will be dedicated
in the fall of 1963. This building is for the exclusive occupancy of the Department
of Botany and is being named in honor of Dr. William C. Coker who established
the department in 1908, six years after he joined the faculty of the university.
The building has four stories and is intended to house lecture rooms and undergraduate
laboratories as well as research laboratories, the departmental library, and
herbarium. A research green-house is attached to COKER HALL which will be
operated in conjunction with another recently completed greenhouse located
at the North Carolina Botanical Garden under the supervision of the Department
of Botany. Funds for COKER HALL were provided by the State of North Carolina,
the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. The
greenhouse at the Botanical Garden was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. St. Pierre
DuBose of Chapel Hill.
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN has undertaken the preparation of a series of illustrated
books on the wild flowers of the United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
The books will be directed to the amateur with little or no botanical training
and will present wild flowers without the embellishment of technical descriptive
terms found in manuals and floras. It is planned to treat the United States
in five regions, a volume being devoted to each: the north-eastern states,
the southeastern states, the central plains and mountains, the Southwest,
and the Pacific Northwest. The work will be under the direction of Dr. Harold
W. Rickett, and Dr. William C. Steere will serve as General Editor. Presently,
color transparencies of wild flowers are being sought by the staff, and botanists
are urged to send their best "shots" to Dr. Rickett.
following botanists have been appointed to the staff at the University of
Iowa: DR. MARTIN A. RosINsKI, formerly of the University of Maine, as mycologist;
DR. ROBIN L. CUANY, formerly of the Instituto Interamericano de Ciencias Agricola,
Turrialba, Costa Rica, to teach genetics and cytogenetics; DR. THOMAS E. MELCI-IERT,
formerly of the University of Texas, as Curator of the Herbarium and Taxonomist.
WILLIAM C. AsI-IBY of the Department of Botany at Southern Illinois University
has received a National Science Foundation grant to study the effects of moisture
conditions on plants. Dr. Ashby's studies will be carried out in the field,
and he will attempt to relate moisture balance to the limitation of plant
June, DR. THOMAS R. SODERSTROM Of the Smithsonian Department of Botany departed
for a four-month plant collecting trip to the Wilhelmina Mountains of Surinam.
This trip is in conjunction with a continuing study by Dr. Bassett Maguire
of the New York Botanical Garden to investigate the flora of northern South
JOHN E. EBINGER of Roanoke College has accepted a position in the Department
of Botany at Eastern Illinois University.
WALLACE R. ERNST, presently a staff member in the Harvard University Herbarium,
has accepted a position as
Curator in the Division of Phanerogams of the Department of Botany at the
Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Ernst will have charge of curating the Old World
collections and will collaborate with Dr. A. C. Smith in further studies on
the flora of the Fiji Islands.
ROBERT ORNDUFF, presently of the Department of Botany at Duke University,
has accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of Botany
on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Dr. Ornduff will be
responsible for developing a new course in systematics. DR. DONALD E. STONE
of Tulane will replace Dr. Ornduff at Duke.
GEORGE C. KENT has been appointed Head, Department of Botany, Cornell University.
He has served as Acting Head since September 1, 1961, following the resignation
of Dr. Harlan P. Banks who wished to devote more time to research and teaching.
Dr. Kent will retain his Headship of the Department of Plant Pathology as
Well. Dr. Kent was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he received
his A.B. in 1933.
F. C. STEWARD and H. P. BANKS received Guggenheim Fellowships for 1963-1964.
Steward will continue his studies of cell biology, metabolism, growth and
development in plants, and has recently been named director of a new laboratory
established for these purposes. The new unit is distinct from the Cornell
Department of Botany with which Dr. Steward was formerly associated.
will continue his work on the origin of land plants. He plans to collaborate
with Professor Suzanne Leclercq, Head, Laboratory of Paleobotany, University
of Liege, Belgium, during Spring term 1964. He will also study collections
of Devonian plants in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Britain and Prague, Czechoslovakia
prior to the X International Botanical Congress in Edinburgh.
SUZANNE LECLERCQ, Corresponding Member of the Botanical Society of America,
spent the months of May and June 1963 collaborating with H. P. Banks, Department
of Botany, Cornell and F. M. Hueber, U. S. National Museum, on the study of
a Lower Devonian fern-like plant. Prior to her arrival at Cornell, Professor
LecIercq lectured at University of California, Berkeley, Washington University,
St. Louis, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.