Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2014 v60 No 3 FallActions

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Fall 2014 Volume 60 Number 3


In This Issue..............

Rutgers University. combating 

plant blindness.....p. 159

The season of awards......p. 119

Scientists proudly state their profession!

Botany 2014 in Boise: a fantastic 


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From the Editor

                                                                                Fall 2014 Volume 60 Number 3



Editorial Committee  

Volume 60



Kathryn LeCroy  


Biological Sciences, Ecology and 


University of Pittsburgh 

4249 Fifth Avenue 

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Christopher Martine 


Department of Biology 

Bucknell University 

Lewisburg, PA 17837

Lindsey K. Tuominen 


Warnell School of Forestry & 

Natural Resources 

The University of Georgia 

Athens, GA  30605

Daniel K. Gladish 


Department of Botany &  

The Conservatory 

Miami University  

Hamilton, OH  45011

Carolyn M. Wetzel 

Biology Department 

Division of Health and  

Natural Sciences 

Holyoke Community College 

303 Homestead Ave 

Holyoke, MA 01040

Reclaim the name: #Iamabotanist is the latest 

sensation on the internet!  Well, perhaps this is a bit of 

an overstatement, but for those of us in the discipline, 

it is a real ego boost and a bit of ground truthing. We 

do identify with our specialties and subdisciplines, 

but the overarching truth that we have in common 

is that we are botanists!  It is especially timely that 

in this issue we publish two articles directly relevant 

to reclaiming the name.  “Reclaim” suggests that 

there was something very special in the past that 

perhaps has lost its luster and value.  A century ago 

botany was a premier scientific discipline in the life 

sciences.  It was taught in all the high schools and 

most colleges and universities. Leaders of the BSA 

were national leaders in science and many of them 

had their botanical roots in Cornell University, as 

well documented by Ed Cobb in his article “Cornell 

University Celebrates its Botanical Roots.”  While 

Cornell is exemplary, many institutions throughout 

the country, and especially in the Midwest, were 

leading botany to a position of distinction in the 

development of U.S. science.

Beginning in the late 1930s and early 1940s a 

serious disease began to appear in the U.S. that was 

only diagnosed in 1998—PLANT BLINDNESS!  In 

hindsight, this serious disease was a major factor 

in the steady erosion of botany and the status of 

botanists.  How can we overcome this epidemic 

to help “reclaim the name”?  Strong doses of local 

treatment are indicated, and Lena Struwe and her 

collaborators provide a good example of opening 

students’ eyes in their article, “The Making of a 

Student-Driven Online Campus Flora: An example 

from Rutgers University.”  Student engagement, 

hands-on with plants, should provide the stimulus 

for redeveloping plant sightedness—and a greater 

appreciation for botany both within the scientific 

community and with the public at large. 

I’m sure that many of you have additional examples 

d e m o n s t r a t i n g 

effective treatment 

of the insidious 

disease, Plant 

Blindness.  I 

encourage you to 

share your results 

by submitting a 

manuscript to PSB


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Table of Contents

Society News

Annual Meeting ..............................................................................................................114

Awards   .........................................................................................................................120

“Crowdfund” your research ............................................................................................123

BSA Science Education News and Notes ....................................................


Editor’s Choice ............................................................................................





ASPT Honors Chris Martine ................................................................................128

AIBS Releases New Science Advocacy Toolkit .............................................................129 

National Cleared Leaf Collection ...................................................................................129

Funding Opportunities


American Philosophical Society ..........................................................................130


Bullard Fellowship ...............................................................................................130

Missouri Botanical Garden hosts Meeting of Ecological Restoration Alliance .............131

In Memoriam


Matthew H. Hils, 1955 - 2014 ..............................................................................132 


Otto Ludwig Stein, 1925 - 2014 ...........................................................................132 

AJB Celebration Continues .............................................................................................134


Cornell University Celebrates its Botanical Roots. ........................................................141  

The Making of a Student-Driven Online Campus Flora: an example from Rutgers  

 University .............................................................................................................159

Book Reviews

Economic Botany ...........................................................................................................170

Systematics  ....................................................................................................................174

Books Received ...........................................................................................


Science and Plants for People 

Shaw Convention Centre

July 25 - 29, 2015 

Submit your symposia proposal now at

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Society News

BOTANY 2014 Conference  

A Success

BOTANY 2014 in Boise was an amazing success, 

with 1056 botanists from 49 states and 39 countries 

in attendance. (From the United States, only 

Delaware was missing!) The conference welcomed a 

large international contingent, from China, Bhutan, 

New Zealand, Nigeria, Vietnam, and more.

Boise rolled out the red carpet for the conference, 

with stores displaying “Welcome Botany” signs in 

windows throughout the city, and attendees were 

enthusiastic about the cities welcoming ambiance, 

safe and walkable venues, delicious and affordable 

restaurants.  The Boise Center and host hotel, The 

Grove, provided not only great meeting sites, but 

the important places for impromptu and planned 

locations for the attendees to meet with each other. 

One attendee described the conference as “an 

explosion of science,” and another as the “single 

week that keeps me excited and challenged 

throughout the year.”

As always, the Exhibit Hall was popular, with 

32 exhibitors on hand to bring some of the newest 

industry information to conference attendees. And 

the Poster Session was a wealth of information 

from some of the up-and-coming young scientists 

ready to present during the week-long conference.

The week started out with the traditional Botany 

in Action service project—approximately 30 

botanists put their backs into the work of weeding, 

pruning and generally buffing up for “Firewise!”--- 

the program designed to teach citizens how to 

design, plant, and care for their property so it 

survives a wildfire.

That field trip, along with others, was well-

attended and popular.  While some attendees went 

out to enjoy Idaho’s spectacular weather, others 

stayed in for an array of workshops designed to 

hone professional skills.

This year, awards were given in a new format 

called “Celebrate!” featuring a reception and an 

informal ceremony, which replaced the banquet 

from previous years. The mixer furthered the 

meeting’s reputation for opportunities to meet and 


....The week is an an explosion of science....

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

The 2014 Conference sets the stage for Botany 2015, July 25-29 in Edmonton, Alberta, with the theme 

“Science and Plants for People.” The conference site is now open for 

symposia proposals. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Conference Attendees Give 

Back to Boise with “Botany in 

Action” Service Project 

Most scientific conferences feature lectures and 

posters, but attendees rarely get a chance to actually 

give back to the host city---but then, Botany 

Conferences have always stood out for offering 

above-and-beyond experiences. 

At Botany 2014 in Boise, more than 30 botanists 

put their backs to work spiffing up the two-acre 

Firewise Demonstration Garden during the Botany 

in Action field trip. They descended on the flower 

beds to weed, prune, and deadhead as well as 

climb over the massive hill to remove the invading 

weeds to once again render the hills fireproof. 

The Garden—a cooperative project between the 

Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the college 

of Western Idaho Horticulture program, and the 

Idaho Botanical Garden—is used to show the 

public an example of how plantings can be used to 

protect homes and property in the area.

The “before and after” was evident as the group 

put their expertise to work, with the organizers of 

the trip noting the difference between the “botany 

volunteers” and some other groups, in terms of 

their unwavering energy for the task.

It may have been more than energy, one volunteer 

said.  “We just know what we are looking at with the 

plants. We know what to prune and where, how to 

deadhead, what is a weed and what is a plant. That 

makes the work fun for us. And we are learning 

here too.”

The project, located adjacent to the Idaho 

Botanical Garden, includes more than 350 native 

and domestic species, all being evaluated for 

performance and fire resistance in the Idaho 

climate.  The plants are watered in a drip system.

The Firewise project also focuses on teaching 

residents about plant choice, maintenance, and 

spacing, as well as how to plant in zones so that 

structures do not burn.  The concept of “defensible 

space” is taught so that owners learn about planting 

the right plants in the right place.

Roger Rosentreter, a botanist now retired from 

the BLM and Boise State University who started 

the Firewise project, coordinated the 2014 Botany 

in Action for the Botany Conference. He explained 

that today, perhaps with the onslaught of many 

forest fires throughout the West, the idea of the 

program is spreading. He says there is support from 

the environmental community as well as the public.

“Landscaping and roofing materials will literally 

determine if your house will burn,” Rosentreter 

said.  “What the public cares about is their houses.”
---Janice Dahl, Great Story!

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

A (Much) Younger Crowd at Botany 2014

Botany 2014 attendees may have noticed a few younger-than-usual botanists in the mix this year. Here 

are two stories of how the conference can affect those whose interest in botany has started early in life.

Youngest-Ever Presenters Win Physiological Section Award

High school students Eli Echt-Wilson and Albert Zuo were excited to be accepted to present their poster 

at Botany 2014---but they never dreamed they would win the award for the best poster presentation in 

the Physiological Section.

They developed their project, “Detailed Computational Model of Tree Growth,” working with mentor 

and post-doc Sean Hammond and spurred to achieve more by their high school science teacher, Jason 

DeWitte.  DeWitte connected the students with Hammond, who started the tree modeling work. The two 

students did the work as juniors at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Mr. Hammond told us about the Botany conference,” said Eli. “It is very exciting to be here,” chimed 

in Albert. “People have been friendly and open to come up to our poster to talk about it.”

“The project started out as fun thing, a local challenge, but it snowballed and became something really 

good,” Albert explained. “We just went with the flow!”

The young scientists entered their work earlier in the year in the Intel Science Fair and were delighted 

to see one of the judges at the Botany conference. They found their own excitement growing at the 

opportunity to attend presentations by scientists from all over the world.  

With such a stellar performance, where do these young men plan to head in their careers? Both are 

interested in computer sciences and how those are applied to other fields.  Botany is definitely still in the 


“I always wanted to be a scientist,” Eli said. “If I can apply com sci to botany or biology, it would be of 

interest to me.”

“I would definitely come back,” said Albert with a smile, his fellow scientist adding, “We’re already 

thinking about our next project.”

Eli Echt-Wilson and Albert Zuo, in the middle of filming a video presentation of their award-winning 

Physiological Section poster.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

techniques for lifting the leaves from the rock.

“I grew up with my father being a scientist in 

Los Alamos, a town of scientists, and was able to 

feel the excitement my father had for discovery 

and science,” Sarah said of the Botany Conference 

experience.  “Eagan was able to pick up on that and 

feel it himself.  That was the best/most a mother 

could have hoped for and was not disappointed.”

Sarah said Eagan began collecting unusual plants 

at age 4 with bromeliads, figuring out on his own 

what that was. This year, he made several flower 

gardens for his mother on Mother’s Day and has 

created window gardens in every available space. 

Already, Eagan has shown an interest in the loss 

of plant diversity on the planet, though his mother 

says he is not a prodigy botanist. 

Sarah said she has worked to get her son 

interested in other things, to make him better-

rounded. But his fascination with plants remains.  

And perhaps, at the center of this ongoing discover, 

the Botanical Society of America will help lead the 

---Janice Dahl, Great Story!

The Making of a Botanist

Although Botany conference organizers are 

proud to have a large representation of students, 

it’s rare when one of those students hasn’t even 

entered high school. When 11-year-old Eagan 

Brandenberger signed up for a Botany Conference 

field trip, he and his mother Sarah Brandenberger 

didn’t know quite what to expect---so perhaps they 

were surprised to see world-renowned botanists 

open their arms to someone so young.

Eagan talked about the many botanists on 

the  “Fossil  floras  associated  with  the  Middle 

Miocene  Columbia  River  Basalts  of  Northern 

Idaho”  field  trip  who were eager to share their 

help, showing him the plants and fossils. He saw 

the professional botanists keeping drawings and 

journal entries, and he kept his own journal during 

the field trips.  His mother said he started out by 

drawing flowers, emulating the botanists he saw 

doing the same, and then making notes about what 

he saw. It’s something a bit unusual for 11-year-

olds, but maybe not for those headed so intently for 

a career they’ve fallen in love with at such a young 


“The experience was amazing,” Eagan said, 

talking about 50-million-year-old fossils he 

unearthed on the three-day trip led by Dr. Steve 

Manchester.  Big leafs, little leafs, all different leafs 

clustered on a rock just “this big,” he gestured in 

excitedly explaining his discovery of fractured bald 

Cyprus. “I was really looking for an avocado…but 

I didn’t find it,” he added with the exasperation 

reserved for pre-teens. 

During the trip, they learned about geography, 

stopping at Whitebird to discover fossils right at the 

side of the road. Side by side with botanists, Eagan 

learned how to split the rock, looking at each find 

with fascination as each fossil was identified. The 

scientists taught Eagan how to split the fossils from 

the rock so that the entire rock doesn’t have to be 

carried to preserve the fossil.

“(Field trip coordinator) Bill (Rember) was 

showing me the leaf and I realized it wasn’t yet rock 

or simply impression—but an actual organic leaf,” 

Sarah said.  Later, some of the participants invited 

Eagan to “botanize” the wet lands, so they went and 

checked out the flora of the wetlands and “freed” 

some fossils from the dig.  The botanists worked 

with Eagan, Sarah said, showing him different 

Eagan Brandenberger, 11, learning about plant fossil 

identification during a Botany 2014 field trip.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Isabel Cookson 

Award (Paleobotanical Section)

Established in 1976, the Isabel Cookson Award 

recognizes the best student paper presented in the 

Paleobotanical Section.

Kelly K.S. Matsunaga  from Humboldt State 

University, for the paper, “A whole-plant concept for 

an Early Devonian (Lochkovian-Pragian) lycophyte 

from the Beartooth Butte Formation (Wyoming)” 

Co-author: Alexandru M.F. Tomescu.

 Katherine Esau Award  

(Developmental and Structural 


This award was established in 1985 with a 

gift from Dr. Esau and is augmented by ongoing 

contributions from Section members. It is given to 

the graduate student who presents the outstanding 

paper in developmental and structural botany at 

the annual meeting.

This year’s award goes to Rebecca Povilus, from 

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, for the 

paper “Pre-fertilization reproductive development 

and floral biology in the remarkable water 

lily,  Nymphaea thermarum.” Co-authors: Juan M. 

Losada and William E. Friedman.

 Physiological Section  

Li-Cor Prize

Christina Hilt, Fort Hays State University-

Advisor, Dr. Brian Maricle, for the poster 

Physiological responses of grasses to drought and 

flooding treatments” Co-author: Brian Maricle

 Maynard Moseley Award  

(Developmental & Structural and 

Paleobotanical Sections)

The Maynard Moseley Award was established 

in 1995 to honor a career of dedicated teaching, 

scholarship, and service to the furtherance of the 

botanical sciences. Dr. Moseley, known to his 

students as “Dr. Mo”, died Jan. 16, 2003 in Santa 

Barbara, CA, where he had been a professor 

since 1949. He was widely recognized for his 

enthusiasm for and dedication to teaching and 

his students, as well as for his research using floral 

and wood anatomy to understand the systematics 

and evolution of angiosperm taxa, especially 

waterlilies (PSB, Spring, 2003). The award is given 

to the best student paper, presented in either the 

Paleobotanical or Developmental and Structural 

sessions, that advances our understanding of plant 

structure in an evolutionary context.

Fabiany Herrera, from the University of Florida, 

Florida Museum of Natural History, for the 

paper “Revealing the Floristic and Biogeographic 

Composition of Paleocene to Miocene Neotropical 

Forests “ Co-authors: Steven Manchester and Carlos 


 Developmental & Structural 


Best Student Presentation Awards

Kelsey Galimba, University of Washington, 

for the poster “Gene duplication and neo-

functionalization in the APETALA3 lineage of floral 

organ identity genes in a non-core eudicot” Co-

author: Jesus Martinez-Gomez and Veronica S Di 


 Ecology Section Student 

Presentation Awards

Rachel M. Germain  (Graduate Student), 

University of Toronto, for the paper “Hidden 

responses to environmental variation: maternal 

effects reveal species niche dimensions” Co-author: 

Benjamin Gilbert

Clayton J. Visger (Graduate Student), University 

of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, 

for the paper “Niche Divergence in Tolmiea 

(Saxifragaceae): using Ecological Niche Modeling 

to develop a testable hypothesis for a diploid-

autotetraploid species pair” Co-authors: Charlotte 

Germain-Aubrey, Pamela S. Soltis, and Douglas E. 


Takashi Yamamoto, Chiba University, for the 

best Graduate Student poster “Refugia might affect 

the genetic structure of a sea-dispersal plants: Vigna 

marina” Co-authors: Koji Takayama, Reiko 

Nagashima, Yoichi Tateishi, and Tadashi Kajita

Ignacio Vera, for the best Undergraduate 

Student poster “Comparing Seed Viability and 

Harvest Consistency Across Sites and Years for the 

Federally Endangered Plant Eriastrum densifolium 

spp. sanctorum”

Davis Blasini, Chicago Botanic Garden, 

for the best Undergraduate Student poster 

Introduction of Echinacea pallida in the Prairies 

of Western Minnesota and its Possible Effects on 

Native  Echinacea angustifolia” Co-author: Stuart 


Botany 2014 AWARDS

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Genetics Section 

Student Presentation Award

Morgan Roche, Bucknell University, for the 

poster “When dioecy doesn’t pay: Population genetic 

comparisons across three breeding systems and five 

species in  Australia Solanum” Co-authors: Ingrid 

Jordon-Thaden and Chris Martine

Physiological Section Student 

Presentation Awards

Eli Echt-Wilson  and  Albert Zuo, La Cueva 

High School - Advisor, Jason DeWitte, for the paper 

A Detailed Computational Model of Tree Growth” 

Co-authors: Sean Hammond, David Hanson and 

Jason DeWitte

Keri Caudle, Fort Hays State University 

- Advisor, Dr. Brian Maricle, for the poster 

Pigment variation among ecotypes of big bluestem 

(Andropogon gerardii) across a precipitation 

gradient” Co-authors: Christina Hilt, Cera Smart, 

Diedre Kramer, Sana Cheema, Loretta Johnson, 

Sara Baer and Brian Maricle

Southeastern Section - 

Association of Southeastern 

Biologists, Poster/Paper Awards

Titian Ghandforoush, Wake Forest 

University - for the ASB 2014 presentation: 

Phylogenetic reconstruction of relationships I the 

paleotropical Vaccinieae (Ericaceae) based on DNA 

sequence data” Co-author Kathleen Kron

Kristin Emery, University of North 

Carolina at Asheville - for the ASB 2014 poster: 

Effects of open pollination, selfing, inbreeding and 

outbreeding treatments on seed set and viability 

in  Spiraea virginiana, an endangered rose” Co-

authors Jennifer Rhode Ward and H. David Clarke

Developmental & Structural 

Section Student Travel Awards

Italo Antonio Cotta Coutinho, Universidade 

Federal de Vicosa - Advisor, Renata Maria Strozi 

Alves Meira - for the Botany 2014 presentation: 

Diversity of secretory structures in  Urena 

lobata  L.: ontogenesis, anatomy and biology of the 

secretion” Co-authors: Sara Akemi Ponce Otuki, 

Valéria  Ferreira Fernandes, Renata Maria Strozi 

Alves Meira

Roux Florian, INRA - Advisor, Jana Dlouhá - for 

the Botany 2014 presentation: “Flexible juveniles or 

why trees produce ‘low quality’ wood?” Co-authors: 

Jana Dlouhá, Tancrède Almeras, Meriem Fournier

Rebecca Povilus, Harvard University - 

Advisor, William E. Friedman - for the Botany 

2014 presentation: “Pre-fertilization reproductive 

development and floral biology in the remarkable 

water lily, Nymphaea thermarum” Co-authors: Juan 

M.  Losada, William E.  Friedman

Beck Powers, University of Vermont - Advisor, 

Jill Preston - for the Botany 2014 presentation: 

Evolution of asterid HANABA TARANU-like genes 

and their role in petal fusion” Co-author: Jill Preston

 Ecology Section Student Travel 


Rachel Germain, University of Toronto - 

Advisor, Dr. Benjamin Gilbert - for the Botany 2014 

presentation: “Hidden responses to environmental 

variation: maternal effects reveal species niche 

dimensions” Co-author: Benjamin Gilbert

Jessica Peebles Spencer, Miami University - 

Advisor, Dr. David L. Gorchov - for the Botany 2014 

presentation: “Effects of the Invasive Shrub, Lonicera 

maackii, and a Generalist Herbivore, White-

tailed Deer, on Forest Floor Plant Community 

Composition” Co-author: David L. Gorchov

 Economic Botany Section 

Student Travel Awards

Lauren J. Frazee, Rutgers University - Advisor, 

Lena Struwe - for the Botany 2014 presentation: 

Urban Environmental Education and Outreach 

using Edible, Wild, and Weedy Plants” Co-authors: 

Sara Morris-Marano and Lena Struwe

Jacob Wasburn, University of Missouri - 

Advisor, J. Chris Pires - for the Botany 2014 

presentation: “Photosynthetic evolution in the grass 

tribe Paniceae” Co-authors: James Schnable, Gavin 

Conant and J. Chris Pires

 Genetics Section Student Travel 


Heather Dame, University of Ottawa - for 

the Botany 2014 presentation: “Phylogeny of the 

paraphyletic Fuireneae (Cyperaceae)” Co-authors: 

Anna K. Monfils, Derek R. Shiels, Julian Starr, 

David Pozo, Adriane L. Shorkey and Elizabeth R. 


Robert Massatti, University of Michigan - 

for the Botany 2014 presentation: “Microhabitat 

differences impact phylogeographic concordance of 

co-distributed species: genomic evidence in montane 

sedges (Carex L.) from the Rocky Mountains” Co-

author: Lacey Knowles

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Rosa Rodriguez, Florida International 

University - for the Botany 2014 presentation: 

Genetic structure, diversity, and differentiation 

of Pseudophoenix (Arecaceae) in Hispaniola” Co-

authors: Brett Jestrow, Teodoro Clase, Francisco 

Jimenez, Alan Meerow, Eugenio Valentin Santiago, 

Jose Sustache, Patrick Griffith and Javier Francisco-


 Pteridological Section & 

American Fern Society Student 

Travel Awards

Alyssa Cochran, University of North Carolina, 

Wilmington - Advisor, Dr. Eric Schuettpelz - for 

the Botany 2014 presentation: “Tryonia, a new 

taenitidoid fern genus segregated from Jamesonia 

and Eriosorus (Pteridaceae)” Co-authors: Jefferson 

Prado and Eric Schuettpelz

Jordan Metzgar, University of Alaska, Fairbanks 

- Advisor, Dr. Stefanie Ickert-Bond - for the Botany 

2014 presentation: “From eastern Asia to North 

America: historical biogeography of the parsley ferns 

(Cryptogramma)” Co-author: Stefanie Ickert-Bond

Jerald Pinson, University of North Carolina, 

Wilmington - Advisor, Dr. Eric Schuettpelz - for 

the Botany 2014 presentation: “Origin of  Vittaria 

appalachiana, the “Appalachian gametophyte”” Co-

author: Eric Schuettpelz

Sally Stevens, Purdue University  - Advisor, Dr. 

Nancy C. Emery - for the Botany 2014 presentation: 

Home is Where the Heat Is? Temperature and 

Humidity Responses in a Fern Gametophytex” Co-

author: Nancy C. Emery


Dr. Elizabeth Kellogg 

Out-going BSA Past-President, 

Danforth Center

The Botanical Society of America presents a 

special award to Dr. Kellogg expressing gratitude 

and appreciation for outstanding contributions 

and support for the Society. Toby has provided 

exemplary contributions to the Society in terms of 

leadership, time, and effort.

Dr. David Spooner 

Out-going Program Director, 

University of Wisconson

The Botanical Society of America presents a 

special award to Dr. Spooner expressing gratitude 

and appreciation for outstanding contributions 

and support for the Society. David has provided 

exemplary contributions to the Society in terms of 

leadership, time, and effort.


Dr. Linda Graham


Out-going Director-at-large 

for Development, University of 


The Botanical Society of America presents a 

special award to Dr. Graham expressing gratitude 

and appreciation for outstanding contributions 

and support for the Society. Linda has provided 

exemplary contributions to the Society in terms of 

leadership, time, and effort.

Morgan Gostel 

BSA Student Representative to the 

Board, George Mason University

The Botanical Society of America presents a 

special award to Morgan expressing gratitude and 

appreciation for outstanding contributions and 

support for the Society.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

well for increasing the number of potential donors 

for one campaign, is structured 

for a single principal investigator to launch a 

campaign. This is something they are actively 

working to change as numerous researchers have 

requested for group campaign options.

If you already have a polished grant proposal, 

this is a good place to a start. You will have to 

modify it, though, dividing it into smaller sections 

and removing ALL undefined technical language. 

This will enable the public, particularly your friends 

and family, to comprehend the importance of your 

campaign and be motivated to contribute to your 

science. A highlight of this alternative ‘open source’ 

research is that the backers (e.g. donors) receive 

updates from you as your campaign progresses and 

as your successfully funded project generates new 

data. These updates are posted by the researcher, 

and the website automatically sends an email to 

donors saying that something has been posted that 

they might be interested in. As with any company, 

though, the backers agree to be part of this 

community after they contribute until they remove 

their email from the database. 

Donors will continue to get notifications from when other projects they might be 

interested have been launched or are close to being 

funded. In addition, researchers using Experiment.

com must agree to publish their research in an open 

access journal. 

The staff at will review your 

campaign page multiple times until you and they 

”Crowdfund” your research

What do you do when you have a great research 

idea but can’t afford to pay for it? 

One option is to “crowdfund” your idea using, a small private company based 

in the venture capital of the world, San Francisco. 

From an office in the living room of a shared 

apartment in the Mission District, the staff at invited me to sit on a beanbag 

chair on their deck and talk about my research. We 

used Skype to bring Tommy Stoughton, my field 

partner, into the discussion from the other side of 

the state nearer Los Angeles. We focused on the 

differences between a crowdfunding campaign and 

a grant proposal, and the psychology of potential 

donors. Following this conversation, we hashed 

out a schedule and planned for the launch of our 

crowdfunding campaign involving alpine plant 


It isn’t necessary that you make a personal visit to 

establish a connection with the staff at Experiment.

com, but since I was in town, I wanted to meet 

these folks in their element. The bare-essentials 

living room had a large table with chairs around 

and was crowded with computer equipment -- they 

all slept in the apartment. Their job, and why we 

hire them, is to help promote and manage your 

social web-based presence to the World Wide Web 

via Social Media in this new age of technology and 

connectedness. They also manage the collection 

of individual donations that are made to your 

campaign, spending plenty of time encouraging 

principle investigators (like us) to get out there and 

find more backers. is creating a different kind of 

community of public involvement in the Scientific 

Community. What most people ask is, “It is like, but for science, right?” That is 

exactly right.  In the fall of 2013, Tommy Stoughton 

launched his own all-or-nothing $20,000 campaign 

on, but he ultimately received 

nothing when his fundraising efforts fell short by 

about $13,000. After great consideration regarding 

how or why Tommy had failed, we received 

encouragement to try again with a more realistic 

goal.  Tommy’s first attempt was designed to fund 

an entire Ph.D. dissertation, not a small paper or 

individual chapter. We decided to combine forces 

and launch the campaign together as a team, 

taking advantage of mostly non-overlapping social 

network outlets. While this strategy might work 

Ingrid Jordon-Thaden and Thomas Stoughton in 

the Ruby Mountains, Humboldt National Forest, 


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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

are confident that the public will understand your 

goals and descriptions. It helps to make a video 

of your research, your field trips, or even a small 

dialogue of you talking about your goals. You 

can repost this video on YouTube, for example, 

providing information to link the video to your 

campaign page. I posted our video before the 

launch in order to prepare our network of friends 

for the 30-day campaign.

When it really comes down to it, there were three 

major sources of backers for our project: (1) our 

contacts and posts on Facebook, (2) the Twitter 

network, and (3) old-fashioned email, phone, and 

personal communications. Immediately upon 

launching the project, we sent individual emails 

to friends, family and colleagues, asking them to 

support our research. A high percentage of our 

backers were people we already knew. In order 

to entice an unknown science enthusiast, it’s best 

to prepare interviews with journalists or bloggers 

in advance, to promote your campaign before 

it even begins. I was a bit late in that aspect, but 

did arrange to have an article in my hometown 

newspaper (The Omaha World-Herald) a few 

days before our campaign ended. This did find a 

few people who knew me as a child and reached 

out to help. I can say that I spent approximately 

10 hours a week in a 30-day period using my 

communication outlets to encourage people to 

donate. Tommy spent an equivalent amount of time 

blogging and communicating with friends, family, 

and others.  Even though helps 

with this aspect, they do not have access to your 

personal contacts, and responsibility of promoting 

your project lies almost entirely on you. Reflecting 

again on Tommy’s first attempt to raise funds on, having a slew of project backers 

before the launch may be the quintessential key to 

a successful crowdfunding effort. Project backers 

attract more project backers as momentum builds 

toward a 100% funded campaign. 

We raised $7,170 in pledges. After a couple 

of backers’ declined credit card attempts, and’s 8% commission, we came 

away with $6,593.80. This will cover our two field 

trips this summer to the mountains of western 

Montana, central Idaho, and the Yukon, Canada. 

Any remaining funds will be used in the lab on our 

newly acquired samples. We are already planning 

a second campaign to fund the lab work we have 

proposed for newly collected samples. We will likely 

set a higher goal of $10,000 for this campaign, but 

that number is not seen by the public right away. If 

you are 100% funded before your campaign time 

ends (set by the researcher to 30, 60, or 90 days), 

this higher goal will be shown on your page as an 

‘extension’ goal. Once a project has reached greater 

than 100%, more members of the general public are 

likely to chip in. We were funded 103%, but there 

have been numerous successful projects that were 

funded over 150%.

Overall, it has been a very positive experience 

working with the team at

Crowdfunding won’t replace grant-writing—

you can’t depend on the public and your family/

friends to continue funding your research—but 

it can work once or twice as an excellent method 

for generating preliminary data for larger grant 

proposals. Crowd-source funding takes advantage 

of the natural tendency of people to get excited 

about scientific research. When a project is 85% 

funded, for example, and you let people know 

that you are progressing towards your goal, the 

momentum can REALLY build. People talk about 

your project, other backers chip in, the goal is met. 

It is like an old-fashioned fundraiser at your school 

or church, but with more technology and fewer 

chocolate chip cookies... unless you want to try 

your luck at and promise a rewards 

like oatmeal raisin or external hard drives with all 

the raw data. 
---by Ingrid Jordan-Thaden, Bucknell University

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BSA Science Education 

News and Notes

BSA Science Education News and Notes is a quarterly update about the BSA’s education efforts and the 

broader education scene.  We invite you to submit news items or ideas for future features.  Contact:  Catrina 

Adams, Acting Director of Education, at or Marshall Sundberg, PSB Editor, at psb@

New and Ongoing Society 


PlantingScience Launches 17th 

Session, Welcomes New Teachers 

and Mentors

PlantingScience, the online mentoring program 

started by the BSA in 2005, continues to reach 

hundreds of students each session. Through 

PlantingScience, plant scientists take advantage 

of the opportunity to conduct K-12 outreach 

from their own offices. They inspire middle- and 

high-school student teams to do real science 

investigations, to see themselves as scientists, and 

to open students’ eyes to plants in their world. 

We’d like to welcome the 30 new mentors 

who have registered with PlantingScience since 

last spring, and the 11 teachers who will use 

PlantingScience in their classrooms for the first 

time this fall.  We also welcome back our dedicated 

mentoring team, many of whom have been 

mentoring for over 5 years. 

We expect about 250 teams at 27 schools to 

participate this fall, from 12 states in the USA as well 

as from The Netherlands, Nigeria, and Indonesia. 

By the end of the fall’s session we will have reached 

well over 14,000 students with the program.  

If you aren’t familiar with PlantingScience, 

please stop by the website this session to see how 

the teams are doing. We feature teams each week on 

the homepage,  If you are 

interested in becoming a scientist mentor, please 

apply! The time commitment is small, and you can 

really make a difference in the students’ lives. We 

are recruiting now for the upcoming spring session, 

which will run from mid-February through mid-


BSA is pleased to sponsor the following BSA 

graduate students and post-docs as part of our 

Master Plant Science Team this year: Jesse W. 

Adams, Katie Becklin, Alan Bowsher, Riva 

Bruenn, Steven Callen, Elizabeth Georgian, Tara 

Caton, Julia Chapman, Taylor Crow, Cameron 

Douglass, Rachel Hackett, Julie Herman, Cody 

Hinchliff, Ingrid Jordon-Thaden, Irene Liao, 

Daniel Blaine Marchant, Angela McDonnell, 

Nora Mitchel, Mischa Olson, Rhiannon Peery, 

Megan Philpott, Jerald Pinson, Adam Ramsey, 

Amanda Tracey, Maria Vasquez, Evelyn Williams, 

and Bethany Zumwalde.

Fundraising efforts continue as we strive to 

expand and provide long-term support for this 

successful program. A crowdfunding campaign 

through the website is planned 

for mid-September. Sales of the ebook Inquiring 

About Plants: A Practical Guide to Engaging 

Science Practices are going well. If you have not 

gotten your copy of the e-book yet, you can learn 

more and purchase a copy at www.plantingscience.

org. All proceeds support the PlantingScience 


Join us at the Life Discovery – 

Doing Science Conference in San 

Jose, California, October 3-4

The theme for this year’s Life Discovery 

Conference (LDC) is “Realizing Vision & Change, 

Preparing for Next Generation Biology.”

Designed as a “working conference,” the LDC is 

organized to maximize interaction and exchange 

among participants. The conference features 2 

keynote speakers, 30 short presentations of best 

practices in Biology education, 9 workshops and 

more than 30 Education Share Fair Roundtable 

discussions over the 2 days of the conference. 

Additionally, there will be time for discussion 

and networking by special interest groups. All 

are welcome to bring your ideas and solutions to 

advance Biology education in the 21st century. 

Learn more and register here: http://www.esa.


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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Apply now for Upcoming Gordon Research Conference on 

Undergraduate Biology Education Research (UBER) - July 12-17, 2015, Bates 

College, Maine

Join a stellar group of colleagues from across the nation to advance our understanding of what it takes to 

change undergraduate biology programs systemically and to catalyze novel directions for future research 

at this new Gordon Research Conference. 

The specific goals of the conference are to: 

•  Bring together a diverse community of biologists, biology education scholars, disciplinary society 

leaders, and others to discuss current issues, drivers, trends and future directions in undergraduate 

biology education research. 
•  Exchange information and ideas about best practices and their implementation.
•  Foster development of new research ideas and collaborations among attendees.
•  Develop a longer-term vision for regular UBER GRC meetings.

Applications for this meeting are currently available at:  

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Two of the articles explore “plant blindness,” 

the concept developed by the late BSA member 

Jim Wandersee to describe the public’s failure to 

notice or appreciate plants. In “Attention ‘Blinks’ 

Differently for Plants and Animals,” Benjamin 

Balas and Jennifer L. Momsen demonstrate that 

there is, in fact, a fundamental difference in how 

the visual systems of college students process plant 

images versus animal images. They suggest several 

useful strategies for overcoming zoocentrism.

Janice L. Anderson, Jane P. Ellis, and Alan 

M. Jones use drawings of plant structures to 

examine plant blindness in school students.  In 

“Understanding Early Elementary Children’s 

Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure 

and Function through Drawings,” the authors 

demonstrate that young children have a basic 

knowledge of plant structure and some functions, 

but also identify some common misconceptions. 

They conclude that drawings are a very useful tool 

for assessing student understanding at this level.

In “An Evaluation of Two Hands-On Lab Styles 

for Plant Biodiversity in Undergraduate Biology,” 

John M. Basey, Anastasia P. Maines, Clinton D. 

Francis, and Brett Melbourne describe two very 

basic modifications to incorporate more student-

active learning into a traditional biodiversity course. 

Finally, Jennifer Rhode Ward, H. David Clarke, and 

Jonathan L. Horton, in “Effects of a Research-Infused 

Botanical Curriculum on Undergraduates’ Content 

Knowledge, SEM Competencies, and Attitudes 

toward Plant Sciences,” describe the benefits of 

incorporating plant-based field and laboratory 

research throughout the undergraduate curriculum 

at their institution, a public liberal arts college, 

beginning with the introductory sophomore level 

course and extending throughout the curriculum.  

They provide some useful suggestions for keeping 

the time demand manageable for faculty members.   

The Plant Sciences Education issue of CBE-Life 

Sciences Education [13(3)] is live at http://www.!  CBE-Life Sciences 

Education is online and open access, and this issue 

features an essay on Plant Behavior, by Dennis W.C. 

Liu of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; a book 

review of the children’s book, My Life as A Plant, 

published by ASPB; and seven research articles all 

linked by a pithy editorial by Diane Ebert-May and 

BSA member Emily Holt titled “Seeing the Forest 

and the Trees: Research on Plant Science Teaching 

and Learning.”  

Three of the articles report on original inquiry-

based instructional materials.  “Connections 

between Student Explanations and Arguments 

from Evidence about Plant Growth,” by Jenny 

Dauer, Jennifer Doherty, Allison Freed, and Charles 

Anderson, focuses on understanding matter and 

energy transformations during growth. Although 

the study examines middle and high school 

students, the results and suggestions are clearly 

applicable to college freshman courses.  

In “Beyond Punnett Squares: Student Word 

Association and Explanations of Phenotypic 

Variation through an Integrative Quantitative 

Genetics Unit Investigating Anthocyanin 

Inheritance and Expression in Brassica rapa Fast 

Plants,” Janet Batzli, Amber Smith, Paul Williams, 

Seth McGee, Katalin Dosa, and Jesse Pfammater 

describe a 4-week inquiry focusing first on 

quantitative inheritance and then effectively 

integrating Mendelian  genetics.  

“Optimizing Learning of Scientific Category 

Knowledge in the Classroom: The Case of Plant 

Identification” by Bruce Kirchoff, Peter Delaney, 

Meg Horton, and Rebecca Dellinger-Johnston, 

describes the application of computer software 

in an active-learning format to improve sight 

recognition of plants. The experimental design 

provides proof of concept of the tools Bruce has 

developed and demonstrated at BSA workshops for 

the past several years.  

Editor’s Choice

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The American Society of Plant 

Taxonomists honored BSA Member 

Chris Martine for his emphatic 

teaching and social media 


Teaching is like planting seeds. Lessons take root, 

understanding grows and knowledge branches 

out to new ground. Professor of Biology Chris 

Martine has been planting seeds at Bucknell for two 

years, and was recently honored for his efforts in 

disseminating knowledge of the plant sciences far 

and wide. The budding scientists he has nurtured 

here too have garnered recognition for their own 


In May, Martine was honored by the American 

Society of Plant Taxonomists with its Innovations 

in Plant Systematics Education prize. The society 

lauded Martine not only for his “contagiously 

positive and fact-based way of enhancing botanical 

learning especially among college undergraduates,” 

but also for his efforts to reach a broader audience 

through new and social media. Martine has more 

than 1,600 Twitter followers (@MartineBotany); 

blogs about plants, science and teaching for the 

Huffington Post; and writes, produces and stars in 

an educational YouTube series, “Plants are Cool, 


“People are using social media; people are 

watching things on YouTube; people are reading 

the Huffington Post,” Martine said. “I try to place 

content where people are already spending time 

watching things and reading things.”

Martine, the David Burpee Chair in Plant 

Genetics and Research, said there’s a serious motive 

underlying the entertaining, sometimes playful 

content he posts.

“I’m really concerned about people recognizing 

not only that biodiversity is declining on Earth, but 

also that there is a lot of unknown biodiversity on 

Earth that we still have a chance to discover,” he 

said. “As a botanist, I try to use plants to help people 

develop a greater appreciation for biodiversity, 

nature and this sense of discovery that we still can 

embrace. One of the things that makes plants an 

ideal model for that sort of outreach is that they’re 

everywhere—they’re really easy to find and they 

don’t move.”

He also incorporates his online persona in the 

classroom, whether by assigning his videos or 

blog posts as homework, or casually suggesting his 

students check out what he’s done next time they’re 

hanging out in one of those virtual spaces.

The seeds of curiosity Martine has planted in the 

minds of his students have clearly taken root. For 

the second year in a row, three of Martine’s students 

(Alice Butler, Ian Gilman and Morgan Roche) 

were selected to receive Undergraduate Research 

Awards by the Botanical Society of America (BSA), 

the foremost group promoting plant sciences in 

the United States. Last year the society parsed 

out only six such grants to undergraduates, with 

Bucknellians receiving half; this year it awarded 

seven, with Bucknell students again earning three 

grants. Three members of the Class of 2014—

Gemma Dugan, Anna Freundlich and Vince 

Fasanello — were also honored with Young Botanist 

of the Year awards, which recognize the cumulative 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

accomplishments made by undergraduates during 

their collegiate years.

“I get emails from [Chris] all the time saying, ‘I 

heard about this; you should apply,’ and it’s always 

something specific to my interests,” Dugan said. “He 

pays a lot of attention to helping us as individuals 

get what we want from our careers; he doesn’t just 

forward everyone the same email. To have someone 

who pushes you to apply for grants and scholarships 

has been super helpful, and I think that’s why this 

lab has been so successful.”

Martine is quick to note, however, that the 

students wrote their own grant and scholarship 

applications, and deserve final credit for their 

accomplishments. He marked two additional 

accolades garnered this year by his students 

as particularly impressive. Gilman received an 

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Training 

Fellowship from the Torrey Botanical Society, 

which he will use to attend a field course in the 

Rocky Mountains through the University of Idaho.

“It’s an award that both graduate students and 

undergraduates are eligible for,” Martine said. “It’s 

hard to know what the pool was, but he likely 

went up against graduate students as well as 

undergraduates, and was chosen.” 

Martine hopes his students and those he inspires 

online will continue to nurture an interest in botany 

as they move on. As they do, Martine will keep on 

planting seeds, wherever he can.

“Everybody can find a plant,” he said. “Everybody 

can learn something about one plant. That’s such an 

easy jumping off point to help people develop an 

understanding about nature, biodiversity and non-

human organisms.”

--Matt Hughes

AIBS Releases New Science 

Advocacy Toolkit

The American Institute of Biological Sciences 

(AIBS) has launched a new website to help 

researchers participate in the development of the 

nation’s science policy. This free online resource is 

available at

“AIBS has been a leader in its efforts to engage 

scientists in public policy,” said AIBS President Dr. 

Joseph Travis. “This new website continues this 

important work by making it easier than ever for 

researchers to be involved in the decision-making 


The Legislative Action Center is a one-stop shop 

for learning about and influencing science policy. 

Through the website, users can contact elected 

officials and sign up to interact with lawmakers.

The website offers tools and resources to inform 

researchers about recent policy developments. 

The site also announces opportunities to serve on 

federal advisory boards and to comment on federal 


The Legislative Action Center is supported by 

AIBS, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the 

Botanical Society of American, and the Association 

for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

The National Cleared Leaf 

Collection-Hickey Published 


The Division of Paleobotany at the Peabody 

Museum of Natural History is delighted to announce 

the electronic publication of the National Cleared 

Leaf Collection-Hickey (NCLC-H). The NCLC-H 

consists of over 7,000 cleared, stained and mounted 

extant leaves. It stands as the major community 

resource in the area of foliar morphology for plant 

systematists and paleobotanists around the world. 

While at the Smithsonian Institution, Leo J. Hickey 

began NCLC-H in 1969 as part of his research on 

the systematic distribution of the leaf characters of 

the flowering plants in relation to the evolution of 

a group. The NCLC-H was moved to Yale Peabody 

Museum on a long-term loan agreement when Leo 

Hickey came to the Peabody Museum of Natural 

History as Director in 1982. Sadly, Dr. Leo Hickey 

passed away in February 2013. The NCLC-H was 

returned to Smithsonian National Museum of 

Natural History in May, 2014.

The NCLC-H is currently arranged alphabetically 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

by family, then by genus and species. There are 

approximately 321 families and 1,300 genera, 

including herbaceous, parasitic, Arctic, alpine and 

derived groups such as the Asteridae, in an effort 

to elucidate the full range of dicotyledonous leaf 

morphological patterns. Also, there are a significant 

number of extinct and endangered species, such as 

Canacomyrica monticola from New Caledonia. 

The collection presently covers floras from South 

America, North Central America, Oceania and Asia. 

Most of the leaves have been taken from herbarium 

collections, with some prepared using fresh or fluid-

preserved specimens. Each specimen is vouchered 

to an authoritatively identified herbarium sheet. 

The size, scope, documentation, and the quality of 

the mounts make the NCLC-H the most important 

database of leaf architecture in the world. At the 

present time, the NCLC-H provides the main source 

of documentation for the systematic description of 

leaf architectural variationamong the dicotyledons 

and has been the basis for the current system of 

leaf architectural classification, fossil and modern 

plant identifications, ecological and paleoecological 

studies, as well as ongoing studies into the ontogeny 

of leaf venation.

The electronic publishing of NCLC-H makes 

researchers and the public easy access to the 

database. The NCLC-H is available free at 




By Shusheng Hu, Division of Paleobotany, Pea-

body Museum of Natural History, Yale University

Funding Opportunities 



Each year Harvard University awards a limited 

number of Bullard Fellowships to individuals in 

biological, social, physical and political sciences to 

promote advanced study, research or integration 

of subjects pertaining to forested ecosystems. The 

fellowships, which include stipends up to $40,000, 

are intended to provide individuals in mid-career 

with an opportunity to utilize the resources and to 

interact with personnel in any department within 

Harvard University in order to develop their own 

scientific and professional growth. In recent years 

Bullard Fellows have been associated with the 

Harvard Forest, Department of Organismic and 

Evolutionary Biology and the J. F. Kennedy School 

of Government and have worked in areas of ecology, 

forest management, policy and conservation. 

Fellowships are available for periods ranging 

from six months to one year after September 1. 

Applications from international scientists, women 

and minorities are encouraged. Fellowships are 

not intended for graduate students or recent post-

doctoral candidates. Information and application 

instructions are available on the Harvard Forest 

website  ( 

Annual deadline for applications is February 1.

American Philosophical Society 

Announces Research Programs

Information and application instructions for all 

of the Society’s programs can be accessed at  http:// Click on the “Grants” tab at 

the top of the homepage.


Brief Information About 

Individual Programs

Franklin Research Grants

Scope: This program of small grants to scholars is 

intended to support the cost of research leading to 

publication in all areas of knowledge. The Franklin 

program is particularly designed to help meet the 

cost of travel to libraries and archives for research 

purposes; the purchase of microfilm, photocopies or 

equivalent research materials; the costs associated 

with fieldwork; or laboratory research expenses. 

Eligibility: Applicants are expected to have a 

doctorate or to have published work of doctoral 

character and quality. Ph.D. candidates are not 

eligible to apply, but the Society is especially 

interested in supporting the work of young scholars 

who have recently received the doctorate. 

Award: From $1000 to $6000. 
Deadlines: October 1, December 1; notification 

in January and March.

Lewis and Clark Fund for 

Exploration and Field Research 

Scope: The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages 

exploratory field studies for the collection of 

specimens and data and to provide the imaginative 

stimulus that accompanies direct observation. 

Applications are invited from disciplines with a large 

dependence on field studies, such as archeology, 

anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, 

linguistics, and paleontology, but grants will not be 

restricted to these fields. 

Eligibility: Grants will be available to doctoral 

students who wish to participate in field studies for 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

their dissertations or for other purposes. Master’s 

candidates, undergraduates, and postdoctoral 

fellows are not eligible. 

Award: Grants will depend on travel costs but 

will ordinarily be in the range of several hundred 

dollars to about $5000.

Deadline: February 1; notification in May.

Information about All Programs

Awards are made for noncommercial research 

only. The Society makes no grants for academic 

study or classroom presentation, for travel to 

conferences, for non-scholarly projects, for 

assistance with translation, or for the preparation 

of materials for use by students. The Society does 

not pay overhead or indirect costs to any institution 

or costs of publication. 

Eligibility:  Applicants may be citizens or 

residents of the United States or American citizens 

resident abroad. Foreign nationals whose research 

can only be carried out in the United States are 

eligible, although applicants to the Lewis and 

Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in 

Astrobiology must be U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, 

or foreign nationals formally affiliated with a 

U.S. institution. Grants are made to individuals; 

institutions are not eligible to apply. Requirements 

for each program vary.

Questions concerning the Franklin and Lewis 

and Clark programs should be directed to Linda 

Musumeci, Director of Grants and Fellowships, at or 215-440-3429.

Missouri Botanical Garden 

Hosts Meeting of Ecological 

Restoration Alliance

(ST. LOUIS):   Conservation experts from the 

world’s leading botanical gardens met in St. Louis in 

July and called for a renewed effort to link ecological 

restoration with the elimination of poverty in 

natural resource-dependent communities. In 

Madagascar, for example, the Missouri Botanical 

Garden provides training and jobs to local people 

who in turn assist with ecological restoration. All too 

often, there are no viable economic alternatives to 

the degradation of biodiverse ecosystems. Member 

gardens are committed to offering alternatives that 

restore damaged land while providing income for 

those living in these areas.

Botanical Gardens are uniquely qualified to 

conduct ecological restoration given their expertise 

in horticulture and their capacity to document the 

source and genetics of plants. A garden’s reference 

plant collection provides documentation of a 

species even in areas with no remaining vegetation 

so that ecosystems can be restored in a historically 

accurate manner. Accurate species composition 

is necessary to revitalize normal function and 

regenerate ecosystem services such as watershed 

protection and nutrient cycling.

The Ecological Restoration Alliance consists 

of 18 member gardens from 10 countries. It was 

formed in response to the United Nation’s Global 

Strategy for Plant Conservation goal of restoring 

15 percent of the world’s damaged ecosystems 

by 2020. The Alliance is currently working to 

restore more than 100 degraded, damaged or 

destroyed ecosystems by 2020 including tropical 

rainforests, temperate woodlands, grasslands, 

beaches, wetlands and more through partnerships 

with academic groups, industry and government. 

Among those 100 projects are two managed by the 

Missouri Botanical Garden: Restoring diversity in 

the St. Louis Region and Preserving and Restoring 

a Rich and Diverse Flora in Madagascar.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

In Memoriam

Matthew H. Hils 


Matt Hils, Professor of Biology, Director of J.H. 

Barrow Field Station, and Director of the Center for 

the Study of Nature and Society at Hiram College, 

passed away June 10, 2014 at his residence. Matt 

received his B.A. in Biology from Thomas More 

College, his M.S. from Miami University (OH), and 

Ph.D. at University of Florida in Gainesville before 

arriving at Hiram College in 1984. 

Although Matt has made contributions to the 

systematics of several flowering plant groups 

(Saxifragaceae, Rosaceae, and Melastomataceae, 

to name a few), he will be remembered best for 

his legacy as a teacher, mentor, and friend to every 

student who entered his class. In a time when a love 

for Botany is waning in students, Matt’s unwavering 

enthusiasm sparked a love for plants among so 

many budding biologists. Matt was at his best 

in the field, hand lens to one eye and mindful of 

his students with the other. He taught many field 

courses including Systematics of Vascular Plants in 

the Smoky Mountains, Non-Vascular Plants on the 

trails of the James H. Barrow Field Station, Field 

Botany in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, A 

Natural History of the Caribbean in Trinidad and 

Tobago, and Natural History in the 21st Century in 

the Galapagos Islands. Even on campus he taught 

courses to inspire a sense of awe and wonder in 

our inner naturalist, such as Ethnobotany and his 

seminar On the Origin of Species.

Beyond his courses, Matt was a central member 

of the Hiram College community. He served as a 

faculty advisor for many in the Biology department, 

and went above and beyond to know each student 

in class. As a mentor, it was not uncommon to see 

him at a sporting event cheering on his students, or 

checking in with a student (former or present) that 

he ran into on campus. As a friend, he transcended 

academia in his availability to listen, help, and 

laugh. His dedication to these roles was authentic 

and transparent to all. Many of his students came 

to him for guidance in coursework, life, and careers 

regardless of their focus of study, and he gladly 

made an effort to guide them toward their goals. An 

avid cyclist, basketball enthusiast, and volleyball 

fan, one could expect to see Matt around campus 

and town any day, and he was always happy to see 


Thank you Matt, you will be missed but your 

lessons and love will live on. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in 

Professor Hils’ honor to the James H. Barrow Field 

Station or Hiram College.

Otto Ludwig Stein

1925 - 2014

Otto Stein was born Jan. 14, 1925, in Augsburg, 

Germany, and moved to Berlin when he was 8 years 

old. He and his parents were protected by a local 

policeman on Kristallnacht, Nov. 9-10, 1938, and 

the family moved to the United States in January, 

1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 

1944 and after the war, he served as an interpreter 

for the United Nations War Crimes Commission 

and for the first four U.S. War Crimes Tribunals at 

the former Dachau Concentration Camp. 

Upon returning to the United States, Otto 

attended the University of Minnesota through 

the G.I. bill, obtaining a doctorate in botany 

under Ernst Abbe. He completed a post-doctoral 

fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory and 

joined the botany department at the University of 

Montana at Missoula. 

Coming from Indiana, I first met Otto as a 

beginning graduate student at Montana. Otto was 

never shy or timid about anything, but he had a 

compassion for seeing that everyone did their best. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

sectioning 96 corn seedlings, I had the disastrous 

experience of seeing all my serial sections float off 

the slides because of defective Haupt’s adhesive. I 

was devastated.  After repeating the experiment, 

Otto’s compassion exuded as he helped me section 

another 96 seedlings. That was Otto.

In Otto’s lab, my graduate student colleague, 

Elisabeth Baker Fosket (wife of Don Fosket) 

and I constantly would hear Otto expressing his 

displeasure with someone, male or female, by 

stating “I’m going to castrate you with a dull spoon!” 

So Betsy Fosket and I made a beautiful plaque 

with a large wooden spoon and a shiny brass label 

entitled “THE DULL SPOON.” We wrapped it up 

and interrupted his botany lecture and presented it 

to him in front of 200 students. Some immediately 

asked what does it say and what does it mean? He 

unabashedly told them, and said that he would use 

the spoon on these two graduate students after the 

lecture! The plaque still hangs above his office at 


For me and others, Otto was a superb analyst 

and critic with compassion to urge everyone to do 

their best. He was a great mentor to me and any 

success I have had as an educator and researcher, I 

owe to Otto. I cherish the long friendship and close 

relationship we maintained through the past 50 

years. We all continue to celebrate his contributions 

to botany and humanity. 
—David Dobbins, Professor Emeritus, Millersville 

University of Pennsylvania.

You had to know this to understand Otto and I 

relate some examples. While a first-year graduate 

student, I was learning how to use the microtome 

for a research project. At one point Otto yelled at 

me because I was not doing something right. He 

saw my startled and astonished expression and then 

sat down beside me to explain his yelling. He said, 

“I will tell you twice about something, but the third 

time I yell.” I responded that he yelled at me the first 

time and he replied, “I am getting older and don’t 

have time for the first two, so I go straight to the 

third time.” That was Otto. 

After my microtome experience, I entered his 

office and indicated I would like to do my graduate 

studies under his advisement. He said, “I don’t 

take graduate students I know nothing about.” 

He plopped a book on his desk that was Edmond 

Sinnott’ s Plant Morphogenesis  and said I should 

read it and then come see him. I took the book and 

in 3 days had read it from cover to cover. Returning 

it to him on the third day, he asked if I had read 

it. I said yes, all of it.  Unsure I had done that, he 

asked what was on page 100? I responded that it 

showed the experiment by Vochting on polarity 

of root/shoot formation in willow twigs. He 

looked astonishingly at page 100 (which had that 

description) and said, “That’s it. You can be my 

graduate student.” I knew what was on page 100 

because, in those days, libraries stamped their seal 

on page 100 of books. I never told him why I knew 

what was on page 100.

Sometimes it was difficult to predict what Otto 

would say or do. While I was taking an exam in Plant 

Systematics, he tapped on the door window and 

called me out to say he was leaving the University 

of Montana for the University of Massachusetts 

and I could either finish my degree at Montana 

or transfer to Massachusetts and to let him know 

my decision the next morning. After lamenting all 

night about what to do, I entered his office bleary 

eyed and declared I had decided to transfer to 

UMass. He responded by asking me to give him 

nine reasons I wanted to transfer! Unprepared for 

that question, I fumbled around for nine reasons 

and evidently satisfied him. Thus our relationship 

continued through the years at UMass.

Otto had a compassion that endeared me to him. 

In my Masters research I had done an experiment 

involving effects of heavy water (D


O) on the 

growth of corn seedlings. The experiment involved 

making growth measurements every 2 hours for 

48 hours. I slept in the lab for 2 days. After serial 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

The American Journal of Botany Centennial Celebration 

Continues through out 2014

The celebration of the first 100 years of the American Journal of Botany continues! The first two issues of 

the PSB this year have featured interviews with some of the AJB’s most prolific authors over the years, and 

this issue features interviews with more members of this elite group, as the following pages show.

The AJB has been promoting its anniversary with the special Centennial Review papers, which have 

appeared every month this year. These papers take a look at key research from the AJB’s past and re-

examines and updates the research to find where the field stands now and into the future. The following 

AJB Centennial Review articles are already available and can be accessed for free:

• “The relative and absolute frequencies of angiosperm sexual systems: Dioecy, monoecy, gynodioecy, 

and an updated online database” by Susanne S. Renner [101(10):1588, 2014]

• “Phloem development: Current knowledge and future perspectives” by Jung-ok Heo, Pawel Roszak, 

Kaori M. Furuta, and Ykä Helariutta [101(9):1393, 2014]

• “The role of homoploid hybridization in evolution: A century of studies synthesizing genetics and 

ecology” by Sarah B. Yakimowski and Loren H. Rieseberg [101(8):1247, 2014]

• “The polyploidy revolution then…and now: Stebbins revisited” by Douglas E. Soltis, Clayton J. 

Visger, and Pamela S. Soltis [101(7):1057, 2014]

•  “Plant evolution at the interface of paleontology and developmental biology: An organism-

centered paradigm” by Gar W. Rothwell, Sarah E. Wyatt, and Alexandru M. F. Tomescu [101(6):899, 2014]

• “Is gene flow the most important evolutionary force in plants?” by Norman C. Ellstrand [101(5):757, 2014] 
• “Repeated evolution of tricellular (and bicellular) pollen” by Joseph H. Williams, Mackenzie L. 

Taylor, and Brian C. O’Meara [101(4):559, 2014] 

• “The voice of American botanists: The founding and establishment of the American Journal of 

Botany,  ‘American botany,’ and the Great War (1906-1935)” by Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis [101(3):389, 2014] 

• “The nature of serpentine endemism” by Brian L. Anacker [101(2):219, 2014] 
• “The evolutionary-developmental origins of multicellularity” by Karl J. Niklas [101(1):6, 2014] 
•  “The  American Journal of Botany: Into the Second Century of Publication” by Judy Jernstedt 

[101(1):1, 2014] 

These articles are also hosted at, and the site also hosts other free content--- 

nearly 1000 articles from the history of the AJB, as written by the journal’s top 25 contributors! The AJB is 

one of the few surviving plant science publications published by a non-profit scientific society. The journal, 

and its authors, reviewers, editors, readers, and subscribers, are at the heart of the Botanical Society of 

America, and the strength of this connection makes the AJB stand out from many other journals.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Ray Evert

Ray Evert joined the BSA in 1955---nearly 60 

years ago!---and served as the Society President in 

1986. He also won the the Society’s most prestigious 

award, the BSA Merit Award, in 1982. Ray went 

on to publish 39 articles in the American Journal 

of Botany, and he recently took time to discuss his 

career and some of his key AJB research. 

My first article published in AJB was “Some 

aspects of cambial development in Pyrus communis” 

in 1961. My principal research interest at the 

time was the vascular cambium and seasonal 

development of the secondary phloem in trees.  

Katherine Esau was my major professor, and my 

Ph.D. thesis (Phloem structure in Pyrus communis 

and its seasonal changes. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 

1960.32, 127-194) was patterned after her similar 

study on the grapevine.

Two articles (my latest) were published in AJB 

in 1994 and dealt with vastly different  topics 

(“Ontogeny of the vascular bundles and contiguous 

tissues in the maize leaf blade by A.M. Bosabalidis, 

R.F. Evert, and W.A. Russin; the other, “Development 

and ultrastructure of the primary phloem in the shoot 

of Ephedra viridis (Ephedraceae)” by R.A. Cresson 

and R.F. Evert.

As indicated, my early research was on the 

vascular cambium and seasonal development 

of the secondary phloem in trees (eudicots and 

conifers).   With the advent of electron microscopy, 

I began ultrastructural studies on the phloem of 

woody and herbaceous eudicots, monocots, and 

gymnosperms.  This was followed by extensive 

studies on the comparative ultrastructure of 

seedless vascular plants, ranging from Psilotum 

to a broad array of ferns.  In 1978, my research 

shifted to studies on the development and structure 

of leaves of selected C3 and C4  plants, utilizing  

bright-field and electron microscopy and a variety 

of experimental procedures to gain a greater 

understanding of structure-function relationships 

in leaves.  Among the plants studied were several 

economically important crop plants: barley, maize, 

sugarcane, sugar beet, and potato.  Finally, my group 

concentrated on developmental and structural 

changes accompanying the transition of maize 

and barley leaves from importers to exporters of 

photoassimilates,  a process commonly refereed to 

as sink-to-source transition.  I emphasize “group,” 

because without my graduate students (25 PhDs, 

23 MS) with their energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, 

and innovativeness, I would have achieved far less 

of my research goals.

My research interests never strayed far from the 

phloem.  It was during a seminar in 1953, while 

working for the MS in Botany at Penn State, that 

I became interested in phloem.  There and then I 

decided to pursue a PhD, with some aspect of the 

phloem as my thesis topic.  When I told this to 

my MS mentor, Dr. David Kribs, he told me that 

I must go to UC-Davis to work with Katherine 

Esau.  Shortly after my conversation with Dr. Kribs 

I received a letter from Dr. Esau informing me that 

Dr. Kribs had written to her on my behalf, and 

that she would be happy to accept me as one of her 

graduate students; moreover, she had a teaching 

assistantship for me.  I became her “phloem ray.”

Electron microscopy was in its infancy in the 

early 1960s, so I could not have foreseen the 

ultrastructural research undertaken by my students 

and me.  Nor could I have foreseen the splendid 

collaborative research undertaken on aspects of 

leaf structure and function with Walter Eschrich 

(University of Gottingen, Germany) and C.E.J. 

Botha (Rhodes University, South Africa).

It is difficult to choose one or two of my articles 

published in AJB that stand out above the others.  

One of the earliest articles (“Callose substance 

in sieve elements”, 1964) is significant because it 

demonstrated that the sieve pores of uninjured 

sieve elements are virtually devoid of callose.  The 

article that was the most fun was “Observation 

on penetration of linden branches by stylets of the 

aphid Longistigma caryae” (1968), in which we 

Ray Evert and Katherine Esau, April 1968, in 

Madison, WI.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

demonstrated that sieve tubes greater than one year 

old are still functional.

Why have I chosen AJB as one of the journals 

in which to publish?  AJB is the premier botanical 

journal with a broad readership.  Its reproduction 

of micrographs, both photo and electron, is superb, 

a matter of great importance to an anatomist.  And 

then, there is a matter of loyalty—AJB is “home.”

Dr. Evert’s complete list of AJB publications, which 

are free for viewing throughout 2014, can be found at

Lef to right:  Ray Evert, Vernon Cheadle, Charles Heimsch, William Stern, August 1989, in Toronto.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Harvard was a place of almost total personal and 

academic isolation for me—although Barbara and 

Grady Webster, who were refreshingly friendly, 

were there that year.  I used the time to get my 

thesis ready for publication and I wrote five other 

papers.  One of the papers I wrote was on pectic 

warts, curious extrusions of pectic droplets into 

intercellular spaces of certain plants.  At the time 

I was about to write this paper, my holiday-season 

eviction from my rented room was looming. I did 

not want to take a winter vacation in a snowy city like 

New York. One was not allowed to sleep overnight 

in one’s office in the Biological Laboratories—a 

watchman signed one in and out, preventing that. 

However, I had a key to the then-new herbarium 

building. Nobody was in the building at night, and 

nobody had used the darkroom. So for the holidays, 

I was in my Biological Laboratories office during 

the day, and I slept on plant press blotters laid on 

the floor of the Herbarium darkroom at night.  

I was determined to produce a positive outcome 

from this experience, so I decided that the outcome 

would be the paper on pectic warts, and that I 

would try to get it published in American Journal of 

Botany.  A sort of revenge–triumph gesture.  It did 

appear in American Journal of Botany in 1956, the 

first paper of mine to appear (“On the Occurrence 

of Intercellular Pectic Warts in Compositae,” 43(6), 


The following year I took the job at Claremont—

the best possible job in botany, my first and last. I 

had great students at Pomona College, a first-rate 

liberal arts college, and at the Rancho Santa Ana 

Botanic Garden, I had an office and laboratory. 

It hosted a graduate program and had a truly 

astonishingly great library—much better than a 

job at a big university. Immediately my research 

program took off, and almost every year for the 

first several years after I took the job, I published 

various papers in AJB. The 1957 paper (“Leaf 

Anatomy and Ontogeny in Argyroxiphium and 

Wilkesia (Compositae),” 44(8), 696) was about the 

leaf anatomy of the famed Hawaiian silversword.  It 

manages life on alpine volcanic cinders by storing 

water in pectic gels extruded into intercellular 

spaces of the leaf—so in a sense, it was a follow-

up to the 1956 paper on pectic warts.  It was also 

a clue that the Hawaiian silverswords were related 

to the Californian tarweeds, some of which also 

had the foliar pectic gels.  I became certain by 1959 

that the Hawaiian silverswords and the Californian 

tarweeds were related, but was widely disbelieved 

Sherwin Carlquist

Dr. Sherwin Carlquist joined the BSA in 

1955---nearly 60 years ago---and published his 

very first article the following year in the American 

Journal of Botany. He has received numerous 

awards over his career, including the Grady L. 

Webster Publication Award in 2011 and the BSA 

Merit Award (the Society’s highest honor) in 1977. 

Dr. Carlquist recently shared his thoughts about his 

career and publications.

In the winter of 1955-56, after finishing my 

graduate work at Berkeley, I thought that a learning 

experience in a different locality would be of value, 

and I had a postdoctoral fellowship from NSF I 

could take anywhere.  I chose Harvard, hoping to 

imbibe some wisdom about plant anatomy from 

I. W. Bailey—he was retired, but said he would be 

available.  I got a room off campus. Adequate, but 

the owners of the house said that I would have to 

vacate at Christmastime when their children came 

home.  I accepted the deal, figuring that I could go 

see New York at that time or something.  

As it turns out, Harvard was not a good choice.  

I. W. Bailey was so ostracized for being the author 

of the “Bailey plan” to unite botanical facilities at 

Harvard that he spent the year out of town, and I 

saw him for a total of only an hour or two. Ralph 

Wetmore did come to my office weekly, but for only 

one purpose: to try to dissuade me from working 

in comparative plant anatomy.  He thought that his 

brand of morphogenesis (long since superseded) 

was where the future lay and that I was misdirected.  

Sherwin Carlquist at a scanning electron microscope 

in the midst of his research.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

until Bruce Baldwin’s molecular work showed 

indisputably that the two groups were related (a 

hybrid was even made!).  

   Most of those who published frequently in 

American Journal of Botany tended to have a central 

theme—like Norman Boke and his papers on cactus 

areole ontogeny. But I tried to put my best papers 

representing a wide range of interests in the AJB

The papers had to be brief ones—the long papers 

had to go elsewhere. And also, I was publishing 

actively and so I could put only a fraction of my 

papers in any one journal.  

For the last decade, I have been devising large-

scale synthetic views of wood and primary xylem 

evolution, and these are too big to be published 

in  AJB.  AJB and other “high-impact” journals 

have become the provinces of ambitious young 

professors, whose placement of research papers 

in such journals becomes their ticket to success 

in obtaining grants and in securing professional 

advancement.  Fortunately, my research is a low-

cost field, and I am able to finance my research 

largely out of my own pocket.  Thus, the “impact 

factor” becomes irrelevant to me, and while 

publication of my results is still a very essential part 

of my research, the precise venue for publication 

doesn’t matter.  I’m not turning my back on the 

high-impact journals so much as enjoying the 

freedom to cast my work in papers representing 

interdisciplinary interests that inevitably require 

greater length.  These long papers, ironically, do 

not have bigger audiences (too much background 

in too many fields is required, compared to single-

topic papers)—so publishing them in AJB would be 

a disservice to that journal.  

Whatever pathway one takes that preserves one’s 

research interests is good—and these pathways do 

change over time.  I am very grateful that AJB has 

been willing to host my research, and to maintain 

a high degree of diversity in what it offers readers.  

Dr. Carlquist’s complete list of AJB publications, 

which are free for viewing throughout 2014, can be 

found at

Find out more about his entire career and research at

Dr. William Crepet

Cornell University

Dr. William Crepet first started publishing in the 

AJB in 1972 and joined the BSA 6 years later—

and he’s been a Society member and AJB author 

ever since.  Over this time, he published 28 articles 

thus far in the AJB, and in 2007, he won the BSA 

Merit Award, the Society’s highest honor. Dr. Crepet 

recently reflected on his AJB publications and career.

The first article you published in AJB was   

“Investigations of North American Cycadeoids: 

Pollination Mechanisms in Cycadeoidea” in 

1972.   Take us back to that period; where were 

you, what were you doing, and what were you 

studying/most interested in at the time?  

At that time I was a second year graduate student 

at Yale with Ted Delevoryas, my advisor, and  Ian 

Sussex and Don Levin on my graduate committee.  

At the time G. Evelyn Hutchinson was teaching 

Ecological Principles, and he was also a significant 

influence on how I viewed studying paleobotany.  

Peers were also an important influence and mine 

included colleague Barbara Schaal, and office 

mates Ginny Walbot and Rod Gould (later to 

become a successful businessman in Australia).  I 

was quite interested in explicating the details of 

cycadeoidean reproductive biology. I was furiously 

breaking promising well-preserved cycadeoid 

trunks from the enormous Yale collection, amassed 

by G. R. Wieland in the late 19th century, with a 

sledgehammer and then trimming the pieces 

with oil-lubricated diamond saws in order to 

make it possible to mount and section the cones. 

Our equipment was certainly crude by today’s 

standards, and technique execution (probably not 

that different from the techniques used by Wieland) 

made all of the difference. I suppose many of my 

peers would say that graduate school was one of the 

best times in their professional lives and this was 

certainly true for me. The excitement of discovery 

combined with the inspiring environment, 

wonderful peers and peerless committee made it a 

fabulous experience.

Your latest article in the AJB was “Darwin’s 

second “abominable mystery”: Why are there so 

many angiosperm species?”  in 2009.  How has  

the thread of your research changed over time?

In a sense, I have always been interested in the 

evolution of reproductive biology in plants and in 

the evolutionary implications of shifting strategies 

in plant reproductive biology.  I made a transition 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

morphological studies in paleobotany, especially in 

the angiosperms where there was a paucity of such 

reliable studies outside of those concentrating on 

leaves and pollen. 

There has always been a balance in paleontological 

studies between the generation of reliable data 

(that is the generation of detailed descriptions 

and determination of affinities of fossil taxa) and 

the analysis of patterns based on these data. My 

emphasis has shifted somewhat to exploring the 

implications of certain patterns now that the record 

of key fossils (both organs and taxa) in seed plants, 

particularly angiosperms, has improved enough to 

allow such analyses.

In looking back at all of the articles you’ve 

published in AJB, which ones stand out above the 

others and why? 

I would say illuminating details of cycadeoid 

reproductive biology, while esoteric (Investigations 

of North American cycadeoids: Pollination 

mechanisms in CycadeoideaAJB 59: 1048, 1972),   

stands out and fleshes out our understanding 

of an important extinct group of plants. With 

respect to angiosperms, a variety of detailed 

studies of charcoalified Cretaceous flowers from 

the Turonian deposits of New Jersey set the bar for 

both description of fossil flowers in detail and the 

methods used to assess their phylogenetic position. 

These studies seem to have had a positive effect 

of the standards used in such studies in the field 

in taxa of interest when moving from Cycadeoidales 

(Bennettitales) to angiosperms when I left Yale and 

began a really enjoyable and productive postdoc in 

David Dilcher’s lab at Indiana University. Although 

the taxa of my principal interest shifted, I remained 

focused on the evolution of reproductive biology 

in plants and I think it is fair to say that together 

with David who very generously shared great fossil 

material with me, really initiated the sustained 

research on angiosperm flower fossils that persists 

and is important today. I would be neglectful if I did 

not mention my early and enjoyable collaborations 

with Else Marie Friis, who was a pioneer in the 

study of charcoalified angiosperm flowers.

There is no doubt that two major influences 

affected the thread of my research subsequently:  

the advent of precise phylogenetic methodologies 

and of course nucleic acid based phylogenetics. 

These contributed to the establishment of reliable 

patterns in the fossil record in a number of ways. 

One of which was by allowing a more objective 

method for positioning fossil taxa that have 

unique combinations of characters relative to their 

extant relatives. Hence a great deal of my research 

effort has gone into the precise identification of 

angiosperm taxa in order to establish a reliable 

pattern and exploit its implications. This aspect of 

my research has been greatly aided by my colleagues 

at Cornell who had pioneering influences in 

phylogenetic methodologies, notably including 

Kevin Nixon. The fact that my colleagues at Cornell  

were also adept at angiosperm systematics and 

had ancillary or direct interests in paleobotanical 

research, especially Alejandra Gandolfo and Karl 

Niklas, greatly affected my research trajectory 

and this paper with Karl  is an example of such 

an interaction in my favorable intellectual 

environment.  In this particular paper, we examine 

how, among other factors, reproductive strategies 

may be involved in flowering plant evolutionary 

success in the context of the fossil record. 


In looking back over the course of your research, 

what areas have you consistently explored?  What 

areas did you not expect to explore?  

As noted before, I consistently explored the 

history of reproductive structures and strategies 

in plants. However, I wasn’t sure I would be 

immersed in systematics and phylogenetics when 

my career began. Certainly phylogenetics was in 

the early stages of development as a field and in 

general, there was still a need for careful structural 

William Crepet, dressed up in his days at Yale in 

the 1970s.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

in general and are data significant to a set of the 

remaining major evolutionary mysteries grouped 

under “Darwin’s Abominable Mystery” (the 

reasons explaining angiosperm relative success and 

explanation of angiosperm origins). 

The 2004 paper with Kevin Nixon and Maria 

Gondolfo  (Fossil evidence and phylogeny: the age 

of major angiosperm clades based on mesofossil 

and macrofossil evidence from Cretaceous deposits,  

91:1666) is important because it provides a well-

rationalized and carefully constructed fossil record 

of angiosperms based conservatively on the most 

reliable evidence, creating a baseline pattern 

for angiosperm history that  also introduced an 

independent means for inferring minimum ages for 

taxa that do not have adequate fossil records that is 

independent of, but complementary to, molecular 

clock-based models. 

Why have you chosen AJB  as one of the 

journals in which you’ve published throughout 

your career?  

The AJB had an excellent reputation when I was a 

graduate student and was an appropriate venue for 

the kinds of papers that I submitted for publication. 

It has maintained its quality and appropriate 


Dr. Crepet’s complete list of AJB publications, 

which are free for viewing throughout 2014, can be 

found at

William Crepet, 2012.


The Botanical Society of America took a minute to honor the AJB with a special celebration at Botany 2014.

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new botanical society be formed to unify and serve 

the general interests of the American botanical 

community (Steer, 1958).  Although at the next 

meeting of the American Botanical Club (in 

Madison, Wisconsin), Bailey was made chairman 

of a committee to investigate the feasibility of his 

proposal and “A letter from Mr. L. H. Bailey . . . was 

read as virtually the report of the majority in favor 

of abandoning the attempt . . . .”  (Steere, 1958). 

Fortunately, Bailey’s advice was not followed and 

the new society was formally created in 1894 and 

William Trelease was elected as its first president.  


Cornell University Celebrates its 

Botanical Roots


Edward D. Cobb

Department of Plant Biology, Cornell 



DOI: 10.3732/psb.1400007

Submitted 13 October 2013.

Accepted 30 July 2014.

This article presents a brief history of the plant 

sciences at Cornell University in recognition of 

the department’s pivotal role in USA academics 

ever since the University opened its doors in 

1868. The primary justification for presenting 

this history rests on the fact that Cornell’s botany 

faculty and former students have played important 

roles in the Botanical Society of America and the 

American Journal of Botany since the formation 

of the BSA and the AJB; for example George 

Francis Atkinson (1907), Joseph C. Arthur (1919), 

Benjamin W. Duggar (1923), Liberty Hyde Bailey 

(1926), Margaret C. Ferguson (1929), Karl M. 

Wiegand (1939), and Harriet B. Creighton (1956) 

served as presidents of BSA.  Judith Skog and 

Karl J. Niklas have served more recently in this 

capacity.  In addition, many Cornellians have 

served as other officers of the BSA. Likewise, many 

have been awarded BSA merit awards including 

Bassett Maguire (1990), W. Hardy Esbaugh (1992), 

Dominick J. Paolillo, Jr. (1998), Jack B. Fischer 

(2003), William L. Crepet (2007), Dennis Stevenson 

(2010), and Charles B. Beck (2013). 

Indeed, in 1892, L. H. Bailey first suggested that a 

Thereafter, 21 Cornell botanists have served as 

presidents, including the original dissenter and 

founding instigator L. H. Bailey.

The histories of the botanical and plant science 

departments at Cornell University are rather 

complex (Fig. 1). However, the first bona fide 

botanist to be hired to the department was Albert 

N. Prentiss, (Fig. 2), who was born in Cazenovia, 

NY in 1836.  Prentiss received both his B.S. and 

M.S. degrees from Michigan Agricultural College 

and, at the age of 32, became the first faculty 

member and Chair of the Department of Botany, 

Horticulture, and Arboriculture in the College of 

Natural Sciences in 1868. It should be remembered 

that, during the 1870s, there were probably fewer 

than six professorships of botany in the U.S. 

Although botany classes were held during the first 

semester with comparatively few students, the 

popularity of classes grew rapidly and enrollment 

increased swiftly, making it difficult to find space 

for lectures. The first classes were held in Morrill 

Hall, which was originally called South Hall. During 

the following Spring semester, botany classes were 

held in the wooden chemistry building, which was 

on the present day site of Sibley Hall. As class sizes 

increased, lectures were held in various, scattered 

rooms around campus. 

Before the end of 1875, botany moved to its first 

permanent space in the southeast wing of Sage 

College (Fig. 3), which was also called Sage Hall. 

Funded by Henry W. Sage,  Sage College was built 

as a residence and dining hall for female Cornell 

students (Cleland and Stundtner, 2011), many 

of whom took courses in botany. Soon after its 

construction, a three-story addition was added 

for the botany department.  Prentiss described the 

new space as “a large lecture-room, thirty-six by 

fifty-eight feet, with seating for 156 students, which 

may be increased to 200 on demand. Adjoining 

the lecture- room is the principal laboratory, 

sixty feet in length and twenty-eight in breadth 

. . . .  Adjoining this laboratory . . . is a laboratory 

and office, eighteen by twenty-three feet, for the 

use of the professor in charge of the department” 

(Prentiss, 1890). In the Fall of 1875, botany course 

enrollments grew substantially. The enrollment of 

some of the larger classes was over 175 students. 

The department taught many courses including 

agricultural horticulture and landscape gardening.  

The curriculum continued to grow, and, in 1877,  

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

courses dealing with pteridology and phycology 

were taught in the Spring and Fall semesters.

In 1881, a conservatory was built for the botany 

department with funds once again provided by 

Henry W. Sage (Fig. 4). The conservatory was 

dedicated in May or June 1882. It was a large 

structure measuring over 150 feet long with several 

rooms that could be held at different temperatures 

and humidities.  The complex was designed by the 

Lord Company, which became Lord & Burnham in 1890.

The Importance of the Early 


Plant biologists were relatively rare at the time 

botany was prospering at Cornell.  Consequently, 

many of the early students in the botany department 

also served as laboratory or field instructors.  The 

first student to obtain a degree in botany at Cornell 

was David Starr Jordan.  Jordan, who was born in 

Gainesville, New York, in 1851, was also the first 

student instructor in botany at Cornell.  Although 

he entered as a B.S. degree candidate, he did such 

a notable job as an instructor that the department 

awarded him its first M.S. degree in 1872 based 

on his thesis titled The Flora of Wyoming County, 

Figure 1. Timelines of botany and the plant sciences at Cornell University.

Figure 2.  Faculty of the early years. (1868-1922): 

Prentiss (1868 – 1896),  Dudley (1876 – 1891), 

Atkinson (1892 – 1918) and Rowlee (1893 – 1922).

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

raise and for improved laboratory space. Dudley 

wrote to former fellow student G. F. Atkinson 

explaining his situation and reasons for wanting to 

leave Cornell. Beside a low salary, Dudley felt that 

the administration did little to promote scientific 

research and did not appreciate his work. Dudley 

was offered a job at Wabash College, but he was 

eventually recruited by David Starr Jordan to join 

the faculty at Stanford University in 1892.  Dudley, 

who was 42 years old at this time, took some of 

his herbarium specimens with him. He would 

eventually build the number of specimens to over 

120,000 sheets, mostly representing the flora of 


William Trelease was born in Mount Vernon, 

NY, and received his B.S. degree in 1880 in botany. 

N.Y.  Jordan later distinguished himself as the first 

president of Leland Stanford Jr. University, later 

simply called “Stanford”.

William Rane Lazenby, who received his B. 

Agr. in 1874, was an instructor in horticulture and 

the superintendent of the botanical and general 

gardens. In 1879, he was named assistant professor 

of Horticulture.  Lazenby resigned in 1881 to accept 

a position at Ohio State University where he later 

became the first director of the Ohio Experiment 

Station (Cornell Alumni News, Vol.1, No.11, 1899).

Another early student was William Russell 

Dudley who obtained a B.S. degree in 1874 and 

an M.S. in 1876, both in botany. Dudley was an 

instructor of botany from 1875-1876, after which 

he was appointed as an assistant professor in 1876. 

Dudley taught many courses including horticulture 

after W. R. Lazenby left Cornell in 1881 but his 

main area of teaching was cryptogamic botany. 

In 1886, he published The Cayuga Flora. Part 1: 

A catalogue of the Phaenogamia growing without 

cultivation in the Cayuga Lake basin, which 

catalogued some 1278 species and varieties of 

plants found in the Cayuga Lake area.  Dudley 

joined the Cornell Experiment Station in 1888 after 

he had studied mycology in Europe with Heinrich 

A. DeBary and became the cryptogamic botanist 

for the newly formed Agricultural Experiment 

Station. Dudley began working more with fungal 

diseases of plants, both ornamental and cultivated 

crops, than actually researching plants per se. After 

many years as an assistant professor and no salary 

increase, Dudley pushed President Adams for a 

Figure 4. Sage Conservatory circa 1920. (Image 

from the author’s collection.)

Figure 3

Botany laboratory at Sage College. (Image courtesy of the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium.) 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

she donated to Huguenot College is still used 

as a retreat to this day (Jasper Slingsley, personal 

communication, Dec. 2010).

Karl McKay Wiegand was born in Truxton, New 

York in 1873 and attended Ithaca High School. He 

obtained a B.S. degree in 1894 for a thesis titled 

critical study of the order Ranunculaceae from the 

standpoint of the fruit and a Ph.D. degree in 1898 

for a thesis titled Investigations on the sporogeny 

and embryology of certain monocotyledons.  After a 

brief position as Associate Professor of Botany at 

Wellesley College, west of Boston, Wiegand became 

the first department chair for the new Department 

of Botany established on February 1, 1913 in the 

College of Agriculture at Cornell.

Benjamin Minge Duggar received his Ph.D. 

degree in 1898 for a thesis titled On the morphology 

of the gametophyte and the development of the 

sporangium in some angiosperms.  He was an 

instructor from 1896 to 1900 and an Assistant 

Professor of Botany from 1900 to 1901. Duggar was 

Professor of Botany at the University of Missouri 

from 1902 to 1907.   He returned to Cornell in 

1907 to become the Chair of the first Department 

of Plant Physiology at Cornell, a position he held 

until 1911. After his retirement, at age 71, Duggar 

discovered chlorotetracycline (Aureomycin) from a 

soil bacterium.  He was to remain a life-long friend 

He assisted Dudley with The Cayuga Flora and 

went on to become the director of the Missouri 

Botanical Garden where he directed a 75 acre 

garden for over 20 years. He was a gifted botanist 

and taxonomist who also taught at the University 

of Illinois (where Trelease Woods is named in his 

honor).  He published many papers and several 

books including Winter Botany in 1918 as well as 

many practical guides for gardeners.  Trelease was 

elected the first president of the Botanical Society of 

America (BSA) in 1893.  

The first Cornell doctorate in botany was awarded 

to Joseph C. Arthur in 1886. Arthur, who was born 

in Lowville, NY, held several positions including 

that of botanist at the Geneva Experiment Station 

from 1884 to 1886. Arthur took no formal classes 

at the main campus. He later became professor of 

botany and head of the Department of Botany and 

Plant Pathology at Perdue University.  He devoted 

his life to the study of rust fungi.

Willard Winfield Rowlee came to Cornell in 

1884.  He completed his B. L. degree in 1888, and 

became an instructor the same year.  He completed 

his D.Sc. in 1893 and joined the department as 

an assistant professor (for additional details, see 


George Francis Atkinson obtained a Ph.D. from 

Cornell in 1885 and was named Assistant Professor 

of Crytogamic Botany in 1892 when he replaced W. 

R. Dudley.  Atkinson served as department Chair 

from 1896 until 1918. He wrote five botanical books 

and later devoted much of his time to mycology. 

Jane Eleanor Datcher was the first African 

American woman to receive an advanced degree 

at Cornell.  She received her B.S. degree in 1890 

for a thesis entitled A biological sketch of Hepatica 

triloba.  Datcher attended Howard Medical School 

from 1893 to 1894 and went on to teach chemistry 

from 1892 until 1934 at Dunbar High School in 

Washington, D.C.  Many of her relatives would 

eventually obtain Cornell degrees (Kammen, 2009).

Bertha Stoneman received her Ph.B. in 1894 for 

a thesis entitled Zygnemaceae cayugensis and her 

D.Sc. degree in 1896 for A comparative study of the 

development of some anthracnoses.  Stoneman was 

the first woman to get her doctorate in Botany at 

Cornell. She became a faculty member at Hugenot 

College in Wellington, Cape Colony (South Africa) 

in 1897 and also served as president of Huguenot 

College from 1928 to 1933. Stoneman wrote Plants 

and their ways in South Africa.  The property 

of L. H. Bailey. 

Margaret Clay Ferguson was born in Orleans, 

N.Y. She attended Cornell from 1897 to 1901. 

Studying under George F. Atkinson, she received her 

B.S. degree in 1899 based on a thesis titled A study 

of the sporogeny of Pinus strobus and a Ph.D. degree 

in 1901 for a thesis titled The development of the 

pollen tube and the division of the generative nucleus 

in certain species of pine.  She also did research with 

B. M. Duggar that was published in 1902 as the first 

successful germination of the spores of Agaricus  

campestris. Ferguson became a full professor and 

the Chair of the Department of Botany at Wellesley 

College (Wellesley, Massachusetts), where she 

studied plant physiology and genetics. She was 

the first woman to be elected as a vice president of 

BSA in 1922 and went on to become its first female 

president in 1929. The Margaret C. Ferguson 

Greenhouses and Visitor Center at Wellesley were 

named in her honor.

(Ella) Maude Cipperly Wiegand, who received 

her A.B. degree in 1904, was an instructor in botany 

at Cornell from 1898 to 1905. She and Karl M. 

Wiegand were married in 1906.   From 1905 until 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

1912, she was an instructor of botany at Wellesley 

College to which she donated 1000 herbarium 

specimens.  Maude, as she affectionately became 

known, became a staff member in botany at Cornell 

in 1913 where she taught and prepared materials 

for class.  She was clearly devoted to the students 

and the University.  She sold Liberty Bonds for the 

University in 1918 (Cornell Alumni News, April, 

1918) and she was remembered fondly for all that 

she did for the botany students including her famous 

steak cookouts. She insisted on buying sirloin 

steaks and preparing them for the many Summer 

and Winter field trips.  The food was transported 

in a Model T Ford, which was the first department 

vehicle purchased by Karl Wiegand.  Summer field 

trips were to McLean Bogs, Junius Ponds, Enfield 

Gorge (Fig. 5), Taughannock, Coy Glen, Buttermilk 

and Fall Creek. The Winter picnics were held in the 

gorges including Enfield Gorge.

The Beginning of the End of the 

“Other School”

In the College of Arts and Sciences, botany 

followed a different path.  After W. R. Lazenby left 

Ithaca, W. R. Dudley was asked again to help Prentiss 

teach horticulture.  Prentiss asked Cornell President 

Charles Kendall Adams for a faculty member to fill 

the need in horticulture, but Adams retorted that 

no one could be found (Cornell Alumni News, Vol. 

1-No. 11, 1899).  Eventually someone was and that 

person was none other than Liberty Hyde Bailey

who was hired in the Botany Department as a 

professor of general and experimental horticulture.  

By the Fall of 1888, Bailey was giving lectures. He 

became the Chair of Horticulture in 1889.  With the 

building of the Sage Conservatory greenhouses in 

1882, the field of floriculture and the construction 

of practical greenhouses had greatly advanced.  In 

1889, the first forcing house was built on campus by 

Bailey. These facilities, along with the designation 

of approximately 20 acres of land for use by 

horticulture, gave horticulture a major boost. 

Around the same time, Albert Prentiss had taken 

on many responsibilities on the Cornell campus.  

He was in charge of the campus grounds and its 

landscape, and in that capacity he was responsible 

for planting many trees on the campus grounds, 

which were subsequently removed to make room 

for new buildings and roads.  Unfortunately, at the 

time of his death, only a few gymnosperms that 

he had planted were still surviving (Gardening, 

1898) in part because the campus had grown so 

rapidly and in a largely unplanned way.  Indeed, 

even faculty houses were removed to make way for 

new teaching and research buildings.  Nevertheless, 

Prentiss could be very proud of the $300,000 that 

was spent to pave the paths toward the central 

campus.  This was a major improvement for the 

students that had been previously forced to walk 

through mud to get to classes for several months of 

the year.  One can only imagine the condition of the 

floors in the university buildings before these paved 

paths were built. 

In 1889, Willard W. Rowlee was appointed 

instructor and taught pharmaceutical botany 

as well as other topics. Rowlee also served as 

superintendent of grounds from 1897 until 1911. 

Previously Prentiss had been in charge of campus 

plantings.  In this capacity, Rowlee planted exotic 

Figure 5. Collection trip to Enfield Gorge, c. 1898.  From L to R: George F. Atkinson, Patrick B. Kennedy, 

Paul W. Magnus, Benjamin M. Duggar, Fred C. Stewart and Karl M. Wiegand.  

(Image courtesy of the 

Cornell Plant Pathology.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

trees, established a Crataegus collection (East of 

the Crescent) and created a water garden in front 

of the Veterinary School.  He had a vision for an 

arboretum and remained in the College of Arts 

and Sciences wherein he served as Chair of the 

department from 1918 to 1922. 

In 1892, George F. Atkinson (Cornell Ph.D. 

1885) was hired to replace Dudley. Atkinson 

had been Chair of the Botany Department at the 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and 

a Professor of Biology at the Agricultural College 

of Alabama before returning to Cornell.  Atkinson 

was a mycologist as well as a botanist. He was also 

interested in pollination and seed development in 

the Pinaceae.  

Albert N. Prentiss, who had been Chair for 28 

years, was in poor health for several years.  In the 

winter of 1896, he retired and was named professor 

emeritus for his long and faithful service to the 

university. George F. Atkinson became the head 

of the Botany Department and Willard W. Rowlee 

was advanced to the rank of Associate Professor of 

Botany (New York Times, March 9, 1896).  Prentiss 

died August 14, 1896 at the age of 60. After Prentiss’ 

passing, Rowlee became superintendent of grounds.

When the College of Arts and Sciences was 

established in 1903, the Botany Department 

was still located in Sage College. The facility was 

cramped and outdated. Several greenhouses and 

a conservatory were part of the occupied space. 

During this time a first year botany course included 

all the students not taking the zoology requirement. 

Field trips to Junius Ponds  (Fig. 6) were an annual 

ritual for upwards of 40 students to see plants 

not found in Tompkins County. Travel to Junius 

Ponds was by boat or train and horse drawn buggy. 

Today, Junius Ponds is an hour drive from Ithaca 

(just down the road from the present day Waterloo 

Premium Outlet Mall). 

While collecting fungi, Atkinson became ill 

and died of pneumonia in a hospital in Tacoma, 

Washington on November 14, 1918.  Upon 

Atkinson’s death, Willard W. Rowlee became 

department chair.  Rowlee was involved with many 

Cornell activities.  He served as superintendent of 

grounds, as the life-long secretary of his Cornell 

graduating class of 1888, as the faculty advisor 

for football and also as a trustee of the Athletics 

Association.  However, in 1921, the botany 

department in the College of Arts and Sciences was 

discontinued, and Rowlee was transferred in the 

following year to the Department of Forestry as a 

professor of dendrology.  Rowlee died in 1923 after 

a brief illness. 

The botanical facilities in Sage College were 

no longer considered adequate even though “The 

name Department of Botany lingered on in the old 

laboratories until 1923  (Thom, 1956).  The Sage 

Conservatory was deemed by the administration “a 

superfluous structure” (Cornell Daily Sun, April 14, 

1923).  It was demolished on April 13, 1923.  The 

botany department was reinstated in the College of 

Arts and Science in 1923.  It remains a part of the 

College of Agriculture and the College of Arts and 

Sciences to this day.

Figure 6. Field trip to Junius Ponds c. 1906. Back row far right, K. M. Wiegand with vasculum, to his left, 

E. J. Durand and to his left M. B. Thomas.  In the lower right, second row, W. W. Rowlee. (Image courtesy 

of the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium Photograph Collection.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Before the turn of the 20


 century, the success 

of the College of Agriculture required expansion 

and thus new agricultural buildings.  Liberty Hyde 

Bailey was a key player in the founding of the new 

College of Agriculture. He was named Dean of the 

College of Agriculture after the retirement of Isaac 

P. Roberts in the summer of 1903. Roberts came 

to Cornell in 1874 as the Professor of Agriculture.  

Subsequently he became Director of the College of 

Agriculture and the Experiment Station.  Pressure 

had been building in NY State to expand the College 

of Agriculture, and Bailey sought support from New 

York state farm groups as he increased the faculty.   

President Jacob Gould Schurman tried to secure 

funds from the state, but wanted to keep control 

of the college.  After several years of lobbying by 

agricultural organizations and some disagreement 

between the Agricultural College Faculty and 

Schurman, progress was made. The focus changed 

from getting money for new buildings to securing 

funding for a new College of Agriculture as an 

official NY State institution (Colman, 1962). The 

timing for the $250,000 funding of the college’s new 

buildings was all important.  Legislation, signed 

by Governor Odell in May of 1904, procured the 

necessary money to build Stone, Roberts and East 

Roberts buildings (Fig. 7). Ground breaking began 

on May 1, 1905 with the now famous plow pulled 

by students with Bailey gripping the handles (Fig. 8). 

Construction proceeded rapidly.  By the Fall 

of 1906, classes were held in the new building 

complex.  On April 27, 1907, Governor Charles E. 

Hughes came to campus for the dedication.  It was a 

proud day for Bailey who, in his speech, proclaimed 

that the State College fulfilled the dream of Ezra 

Cornell.  Bailey also paid tribute to Isaac P. Roberts 

for his foresight and faith and for his “long, patient 

and tenacious work” (Dorf, 1956).

The new buildings were occupied in 1907 by 

several new departments created by Bailey.  These 

included the Departments of Plant Breeding, 

Plant Physiology, and Plant Pathology, headed 

respectively by Herbert J. Webber, Benjamin M. 

Duggar, and Herbert H. Whetzel. Bailey had asked 

Whetzel to head up a botany department, but 

Whetzel selected Plant Pathology. Webber became 

chair of the Plant Biology department but changed 

the named to Plant Breeding in 1909 (Murphy 

and Kass, 2007).    Knudson became Assistant 

Professor and acting chair of Plant Physiology from 

1911 to 1913. Bailey pushed for the expansion of 

departments and areas of study.

Botany in the New College of 


Bailey quickly created other departments in 

the new college in response to his great desire 

to have as broad as possible a spectrum of the 

plant sciences taught in the Agricultural College. 

Curiously however, he delayed the formation of 

the Botany Department in the new College of 

Agriculture, probably because he felt there would 

be resistance to this part of his plan, particularly 

because the University was financially weak at this 

time.  Nevertheless, after intensive planning during 

1912, the new Department of Botany in the College 

of Agriculture was formed in February 1, 1913, 

in large part because of the increasing demand 

for more botanical instruction, which was to be 

expected in a college devoted to agriculture in a 

State wherein crops were a matter of great concern.

 From its inception, the new botany department 

was a hybrid, since it was merged with the former 

Department of Plant Physiology (created in the 

College of Agriculture in 1907).  Bailey selected 

Karl McKay Wiegand as the first head of the new 

department.  Wiegand had an intimate knowledge 

of plant biology and how it was taught at Cornell, 

having obtained two degrees from Cornell: a B.S. 

degree in 1894 (thanks to Professors Prentiss 

and Rowlee) and a Ph.D. in 1898 (with no major 

professor acknowledged).  Wiegand built the 

reputation of his new department by hiring 

Assistant Professor Lewis Knudson of Plant 

Physiology and key instructors including Arthur J. 

Eames, Maude C. Wiegand, Otis Freeman Curtis, 

Figure 7. Former Cornell President Andrew D. 

White breaking ground with L. H. Bailey for Stone, 

Roberts and East Roberts buildings, May 1, 1905.  

(Image of author’s original photo.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

the Agricultural College was met with resistance 

by the new botany department faculty perhaps 

because some felt threatened by “the new comers” 

(Colman, 1962). 

Within a few years of the College of Agriculture 

moving into Stone, Roberts and East Roberts, the 

buildings were filled beyond capacity (Fig. 10). The 

botany group had shared space in Stone Hall with 

Plant Pathology.  Before Bailey retired as Dean there 

was a push to build several new buildings including 

a Plant Industries building.  New York State funded 

$135,000 for Bailey Hall and when it was completed 

in 1913, Plant Pathology moved into offices and labs 

in the basement. The Plant Industries building was 

Figure 8. Bailey plowing the first furrow to mark the foundation for the new building. (Image courtesy 

of the Bailey Hortorium Archives.)

and William J. Robbins.  More faculty were added to 

the department later, among whom Lester W. Sharp 

(in 1914), Jacob R. Schramm (in 1915), Walter C. 

Muenscher (in 1922), and Loren C. Petry (in 1925) 

are perhaps best known. Many women were active 

in the new department as can be seen in Figure 9.

The formation of the new botany department 

was neither easy nor well received across the 

University.  Although Eames was brought into the 

botany department in the Arts College in 1912, he 

quickly transferred to the new department in the 

College of Agriculture in 1913.  The relocation of 

Rowlee and other botanists from the College of 

Arts and Sciences to the Department of Botany in 

Figure 9. Botany department, 1915. Third row on left, Karl M. Wiegand, Maude C. Wiegand. Second row L 

to R: Otis F. Curtis, Franklin P. Metcalf, William J. Robbins. Front row L to R: Ralph S. Nanz, Laurence H. 

MacDaniels, Lester W. Sharp, Cecil C. Thomas and Arthur J. Eames. (Attributed to L. H. MacDaniels.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

not funded until much later. Funding came from 

the State of New York, backed by Governor Smith 

and passed in 1927 after a seven-year fight in the 

legislature. The new building brought together five 

plant science departments and greatly improved 

conditions for the faculty and students.  Upon 

completion in 1931, the Plant Industries building 

became known as Plant Science.

 Fortunately, the new department of botany in 

the College of Agriculture flourished as it does 

today.  Wiegand himself continued to study the 

local flora with the cooperation of students, staff, 

A. J. Eames, and other faculty members. The Flora 

of the Cayuga Lake Basin, New York, published in 

1925, was an expanded version of the Cayuga Flora 

by W. R. Dudley and others published in 1886.  

Wiegand taught large courses with laboratory 

and field components.  He built a herbarium that 

contained almost 300,000 specimens. 

Early Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following provides brief biographical details 

about the early faculty and staff in the newly created 

Department of Botany in the College of Agriculture 

(for more details, see Kass and Cobb, 2007).

Arthur J. Eames graduated from Harvard with 

an A.B. degree (1908) and an A.M. degree (1910).  

He came to Cornell in 1912 as an instructor in 

botany in the College of Arts and Sciences.  In 

1913, he transferred to Wiegand’s department. 

Eames is best known for his contributions to plant 

morphology. He served as Secretary (1927-1931), 

Vice-president (1932) and President (1938) of the 

BSA.  Lewis Knudson (Cornell Ph.D. 1911) got his 

degree on Tannic Acid Fermentation with Benjamin 

M. Duggar. After acting Chair of Plant Physiology 

in 1912, he became an assistant professor of botany 

in the College of Agriculture in 1913.  Knudson 

is known for his diverse work with orchid seed 

germination, nitrogen fixing bacteria and fern 

chloroplast morphology. Knudson served as Chair 

of the department from 1941 until 1952. Lester W. 

Sharp (1912 Ph.D. University of Chicago) became 

an instructor of botany in 1914 and taught plant 

morphology and cytology.  He is remembered for 

his great sense of humor and his clever cartoons.  His 

famous spoof “The Wiffenpoof” (Eoörnis pterovelox


gobiensis, an exotic and very rare bird, which looked 

like the hood ornament of a car) co-authored with 

graduate student Cuthbert B. Fraser, continues to 

fascinate some eight decades later.  Sharp served as 

Vice-president (1929) and President (1930) of the 

BSA.  Jacob R. Schramm joined the department 

as an assistant professor in 1915 and served as a 

professor from 1917 until 1921. Schramm became 

Editor-in-chief of Biological Abstracts. He served 

as Secretary (1918-1921), Vice-president (1923) 

and President (1925) of the BSA. Otis F. Curtis 

(Cornell Ph.D. 1916) studied The stimulation of root 

growth with special reference to formation of roots in 

cuttings for his degreeCurtis became an assistant 

in botany, and subsequently rose from the rank 

of assistant professor to that of full professor. He 

taught plant physiology. His main area of research 

was translocation.  The book he wrote with Daniel 

G. Clark, An Introduction to Plant Physiology, was 

a popular text.  Curtis served as president of the 

American Society of Plant Physiologists in 1938. 

Laurence H. MacDaniels (Cornell Ph.D. 1917) was 

an assistant in the department. He wrote a text on 

plant anatomy with A. J. Eames, An introduction to 

Plant Anatomy, which is considered by many to be 

a classic in its field, rivaled only later by Katherine 

Esau’s plant anatomy textbook.  MacDaniels later 

transferred to Horticulture and became Chair of 

Floriculture in 1940.

Among the later additions to the botany 

department, the following are notable (Fig. 11).

Donald Reddick (Ph.D. 1909) submitted two 

theses, one on the Black Rot of grapes and the 

other on the development of some species of the 

Agaricaceae.  He moved into the Plant Pathology 

department in 1907, but transferred to botany 

Figure 10. Stone, Roberts and East Roberts build-

ings, Greenhouses and Fernow Hall, c. 1913 the year 

that the new botany department moved into Stone 

Hall.  (Image courtesy of Sue Thompson.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

in 1918 after some disagreements with the Chair 

of the Plant Pathology, H. H. Whetzel.  Reddick 

returned to Plant Pathology in 1930 and continued 

to do research with potatoes. He is known for the 

release of the “Essex,” a late blight resistant potato 

variety that was widely grown in Europe.  Edwin 

Fraser Hopkins (B.S. 1915; Ph.D. 1920) became 

an assistant professor of plant physiology in 1925.  

Hopkins’ research centered on mineral nutrition in 

plants.    Loren C. Petry was hired at Cornell in 

1925.  He taught taxonomy and paleobotany. Petry 

worked with the summer program for teachers and 

founded the Paleobotanical Section in the Botanical 

Society of America. Petry served as Secretary 

(1933-1936) and Vice-president (1937) of the 

BSA. Walter C. Muenscher (Cornell Ph.D. 1921) 

was a student of O. F. Curtis. Muenscher became 

an assistant professor in 1923 and a full professor 

in 1937. He was a taxonomist and weed scientist. 

Indeed, he became known as the “Wizard of weeds”.  

It is said that he visited every major swamp in New 

York and surrounding states. Muenscher wrote 

several books including WeedsPoisonous Plants of 

the United States and Aquatic Plants of the United 

States. He taught the first course on “Poisonous 

plants” in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Daniel G. Clark (Cornell B.S. 1929; Ph.D. 1936) 

was a student of Curtis as he worked in the Plant 

Physiology stock room. He taught plant physiology 

and was a popular undergraduate advisor. In fact 

he sometimes had as many as 70 advisees. He co-

authored An Introduction to Plant Physiology with 

Otis F. Curtis. 

Among the early students, the following deserve 

special recognition.

Stewart H. Burham had been an assistant in 

botany between 1904 and 1905. He served as the 

Assistant State Botanist at the New York State 

Museum in Albany until 1913.  Burham returned 

to Cornell in 1920, where he served as the assistant 

curator of the Cornell University Herbarium until 

age 70 in 1940. Mary Alida Fitch received her 

Ph. D. in plant physiology in 1912 for Studies in 

transpiration with B. M. Duggar. Fitch worked on 

North American species of Puccinia on Carex with 

J. C. Arthur. She taught botany at Oxford College 

in Oxford, Ohio and later at Howard University in 

Washington, DC from 1919 until 1931. William J. 

Robbins studied plant physiology with L. Knudson 

and received his Ph.D. in 1915 for his thesis titled 

The influence of certain salts on the digestion of 

starch by Penicillium camembertii. His brilliant 

career in botany and science included contact with 

most of the botanists of his time including Duggar, 

Bailey, and Barbara McClintock as well as many 

scientists at the Fairchild Tropical Garden.  Robbins 

was at the University of Missouri from 1919 to 

1938 where he served as chairman of the botany 

department.  In 1938, he became director of the 

New York Botanical Garden, a post he held until 

1958. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences 

in 1940, he served in many capacities with that 

organization.  Robbins also served on the board 

of the Fairchild Botanical Garden where he was 

president from 1962 until 1969. He was a member 

of the Boyce Thompson Institute for 29 years and 

served as its director.  He continued to do research 

and published many papers dealing with tissue 

culture, vitamins and growth substances until his 

death in 1978 (Kavanagh & Hervey, 1991).

Sterling H. Emerson (B.S. 1922), son of R. A. 

Emerson, got his Ph.D. at the California Institute 

of Technology in 1928 and spent his entire career 

at Cal Tech.  Emerson worked in several areas 

of genetics, including self-incompatibility and 

genetic recombination of Oenothera, and later on 

the biochemical genetics of Neurospora crassa. He 

became a member of the National Academy of 

Sciences.  Adriance S. Foster (B.S. 1923), became 

the first plant anatomist in the newly reorganized 

Department of Botany, University of California 

Berkley in 1934. He wrote Practical Plant Anatomy 

in 1942 and co-wrote Morphology of Vascular Plants 

Figure 11. Department October, 1930. Back Row 

L to R: unknown, unknown, Robert H. Tshudy, 

Muneo Kikucho, Walter C. Muenscher, unknown. 

Front Row: L To R: Mary Malone, Edwin F. Hop-

kins, Lewis Knudson, Otis F. Freeman, Daniel G. 

Clark. (Image gift of M. Kikucho, courtesy of Cornell 


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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Notable Students of the  

1930s to 1940

Harriet Baldwin Creighton (Ph.D. 1933) was a 

friend and colleague of Barbara McClintock.  Her 

Ph.D. thesis advisor was L. W. Sharp.  The title of 

her thesis was A cytogenetic study of crossing-over in 

Zea mays. Creighton went on to become head of the 

botany department at Wellesley College, Boston. 

She was the third woman to be elected President of 

the BSA in 1956 after serving as Vice-president in 

1955 and as the first woman Secretary of the BSA 

(1950-1954). Creighton also served as editor for the 

Plant Science Bulletin in 1958. Robert T. Clausen 

(Cornell A.B. 1933; M.S. 1934; Ph.D.  1937) was a 

student of Wiegand and worked as a taxonomist 

in the newly formed L. H. Bailey Hortorium in 

1935.  He became an assistant professor in 1939, 

an associate professor in 1941, and a full professor 

in 1949.  Clausen taught taxonomy and was the 

Curator of the Wiegand Herbarium after Wiegand 

died in 1942. He wrote Sedum of the trans-Mexican 

volcanic belt: an exposition of taxonomic methods 

and  Sedum of the North America north of the 

Mexican Plateau.  Edward Marshall Palmquist 

(Ph.D. 1936) worked with Curtis on the movement 

of carbohydrates and fluorescein. Palmquist wrote 

General Botany Laboratory with Loren C. Petry. 

Palmquist became a professor of botany at the 

University of Missouri and later served as program 

director at the NSF for Education in the Sciences 

from 1956 until 1961. Stanley J. Smith (M.S. 1939) 

wrote his thesis on the Preliminary investigations 

in  the genus Astragalus.  He became Curator of 

Botany at the New York State Museum Albany, 

NY.  Smith compiled several checklists including a 

Checklist for grasses of New York State (1965) and a 

Preliminary checklist of the vascular aquatic plants 

of Lake George (1971) with E. C. Ogden. Arthur 

W. Galston (B.S. 1940) became an important plant 

physiologist. His career was in the department of 

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at 

Yale.  Galston concentrated on plant photobiology, 

hormones, protoplasts and polyamines. Perhaps he 

is most known for the first evidence of riboflavin 

as a photo receptor for phototropism. Galston 

served as president of both the BSA (1968) and the 

American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP) 


It is not possible to give details about all the 

students who were nurtured by the Department 

of Botany. Wiegand taught seven courses to some 

852 students between 1913 and 1914 alone. By 

with Ernest M. Gifford in 1959.  Foster taught at 

Berkeley from 1934 until 1968. Barbara McClintock 

(B.S. 1923; M.S. 1925; Ph.D. 1927) studied the 

genetics and cytogenetics of Zea mays. Her M.S. 

degree thesis was titled Cytological investigation of 

the cereals.  Her Ph.D. thesis was titled A cytological 

and genetical study of triploid maize. Her major 

professor was L. W. Sharp, but she also worked with 

L. F. Randolph and Rollins A. Emerson (who was a 

corn breeder in the Department of Plant Breeding).  

McClintock was an instructor in botany at Cornell 

from 1927 to 1931.  She was elected to the National 

Academy of Sciences in 1944.  She went on to study 

corn genetics at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, 

NY and received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or 

Medicine in 1983 for her discovery of “jumping 

genes” or mobile gene elements in Z. mays. Another 

notable student was Chester A. Arnold (B.S. 1924; 

Ph.D. 1928) who was a student of L. C. Petry.  Arnold 

was the Curator of Fossil Plants at the University of 

Michigan and is best known for his research on the 

Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary periods in North 

America.  He wrote the Introduction to Paleobotany 

in 1947 and won a Distinguished Service Award 

from the Paleobotany section of the BSA.  Several 

paleobotanical taxa were named in his honor (e.g., 

Protosalvinia arnoldii).

International Congress for 

Plant Sciences,  IBC IV

An important milestone in the early history of the 

Botany Department was the International Congress 

for Plant Sciences (the Fourth International 

Botanical Congress) held in Ithaca, August 16-23, 

1926 (Fig. 12).  Professor B. M. Duggar served as 

the chairman of the Organizing Committee and 

general secretary of the meeting.  This was an 

important meeting because it was the very first 

formal opportunity for all U. S. professionals in 

the plant sciences to meet in one place.  There was 

also unrestricted international participation.  L. H. 

Bailey served as president and presiding chairman 

of the conference.  Many Cornellians were selected 

as Secretaries to represent the various disciplinary 

groups, e.g., Cytology: L. W. Sharp; Physiology: O. 

F. Curtis; Pathology: D. Reddick; and Taxonomy: K. 

M. Wiegand. The proceedings were published with 

B. M. Duggar as its editor (Duggar, 1929).

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

all areas of science, including the plant sciences, 

changed rapidly.

During this time, several notable faculty joined 

the Department of Botany.  Lowell Fitz Randolph 

(Cornell Ph.D. 1921) obtained his degree with L. 

W. Sharp and worked with the Office of Cereal 

Investigations, USDA, in Ithaca, until 1939 when 

he joined the department as a professor.  He 

resigned from the USDA in 1947, but continued in 

the botany department as a cytogeneticist working 

with Zea mays and Iris. Harlan P. Banks (Cornell 

Ph.D. 1940) studied paleobotany with L. C. Petry 

and was hired to replace Petry in 1949 (Fig. 15).  

Banks, who served as department Chair from 1952 

until 1961, was acknowledged as an outstanding 

teacher.  He taught courses in introductory botany 

and paleobotany.  Banks was also active with the 

Science Teachers Summer Program. Charles H. 

Uhl (Cornell Ph.D. 1947) got his degree with L. W. 

Sharp and worked on the cytology and taxonomy 

of the Crassulaceae. Uhl joined the faculty and 

became an assistant professor upon the retirement 

of Sharp in 1947.  Frederick C. Steward came to 

Cornell in 1927 as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.  

He worked with Otis F. Curtis. During the Knudson 

years,  Steward  joined the botany department as 

a professor in 1950.  He taught advanced plant 

1937-1938, twenty courses were taught with a total 

enrollment of 1,625 students (Fig. 13).  During a 

25-year period, 69 Ph.D. candidates and 79 masters 

candidates earned their degrees in botany (Cobb, 

2013).  In addition, Prentiss started Summer 

instruction in botany as a separate endeavor, and, 

in 1923, Wiegand helped to organize summer 

school for biology for school teachers—a program 

that was continued by L. C. Petry and later by 

Harlan P. Banks. On October 15, 1938, the botany 

department celebrated K. M. Wiegand’s 25 years as 

head of the department.  A dinner was held in the 

Plant Science building’s seminar room.  Knudson 

wrote “A Brief History of the Department of Botany” 

(Cobb, 2013).

The War and Post War Years 


With the retirement and death of Wiegand in 

1942, the department entered a new era presided 

over by Knudson (Fig. 14). The University 

Herbarium became the Wiegand Herbarium in 

Wiegand’s honor and in recognition of his long 

service to the department.

Many things were changing both here and 

abroad—students such as André Jagendorf, Reid 

Moran, and Charles Uhl went off to war, but 

fortunately returned to finish their degrees as 

Figure 12. Officers of the International Botanical Congress IV (Plant Sciences), Ithaca, NY, 1926.4



(back row) L to R: Loren C. Petry, Lester W. Sharp, James M. Sherman, Robert S. Breed, Otis F. Curtis. 3



row: Heber W. Youngken, Freeman S. Howlett, Homer L. Shantz, Charles A. Shull, Albert S. Hitchcock, 

Cornelius L. Shear, Harry M. Fitzpatrick, Roy B. Wiggins, Paul B. Sears, Herbert Hice Whetzel, Arthur John 

Heinicke. 2


 row: George Thomas Moore, Duncan S. Johnson, Henry C. Cowles, Karl McKay Wiegand, 

Charles E. Allen, Clifton D. Howe, Ralph S. Hosmer, Donald Reddick, Benjamin Minge Duggar, Jacob R. 

Shramm, Julian H. Miller. 1


 row (front row): Edwin J. Butler, Robert H. Chodat, Eduard Rubel, Carl H. Os-

tenfeld, John Briquet, John Merle Coulter, George Tischler, Egbertus Van Slogteren, Frederick J. Chittenden, 

Tor Jonson, Richard Wettstein, Ernst Lehmann. (Photo by John P. Troy.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

physiology and is perhaps best remembered as 

the scientist who first cloned carrots from pith 

cells (thereby coining the phrase cell totipotency).  

Knudson thought that Steward would eventually 

become the Chair of botany but that never 


Students of the late 1940’s to 1950

Sherret S. Chase (Ph.D. 1947) was a professor 

at Iowa State University and at SUNY Oswego. 

He also was a research geneticist and director 

of International Seed Operations for DeKalb 

AgResearch, Inc. Chase developed the “Double 

Haploid” method of Zea mays breeding. (Ching 

Hsiung)  C. H. Li (Ph.D. 1948) became an 

outstanding corn breeder and cytogeneticist in 

China. Li was able to dramatically increase crop 

yields with his varieties.  Arthur Bing (Ph.D. 1949) 

was a professor of Horticulture at Cornell and later 

directed the Cornell University-USDA Ornamentals 

Laboratory at Farmingdale, NY. Robert Folger 

Thorne (Ph.D. 1949) was a taxonomist at Rancho 

Santa Anna Botanic Garden and Claremont 

Graduate University.  His research focused on the 

evolution of flowering plants. (Haruyuki) Harry 

Kamemoto (Ph.D. 1950) became an important 

Figure 13. Botany Department June 1, 1938, our most complete department photograph. Back row (L to 

R): Milton Arnold Lessler, Gabriel Raphael Mandels, Otis Freeman Curtis, J., John Irwin Shafer, Charles 

Arthur Taylor, Sidney Robinson Kennedy, Clayton I. Swayze, Robert Haydn Tschudy, Bassett Maguire. Third 

row: Leon Berstein, Elmer Arthur Palmatier, Charles A. John, Harlan Parker Banks, Dwain Vorhis, Oren 

Lloyd Justice, Clyde E. Harris, John T. Baldwin, Jr., George Hill Mathewson Lawrence, Robert H. Williams, 

Philip Cullodin Reece, “Tom” S. Boon-Long.  Second row: Ruth Alice Petry, Beradine D. Tschudy, Rosamond 

Shurtleff, Carrolle E. Anderson, Mabel W. Allen, Mary A. Malone, Helvia Justice, Helen Heck, Ethel Belk, 

Elizabeth C. Mosher, Fannie Rane Randolph, Lois Will, Lela Koster, Louise Raynor, Eleanor Graham Coley, 

Elizabeth Richards, Doris Little, Ruth Krehl. Front row: Stewart H. Burnham, Richard August Laubengayer, 

Albert LeRoy Andrews, Edward M. Palmquist, Daniel Grover Clark, Loren Clifford Petry, Lewis Knudson, 

Karl McKay Wiegand, Lester Whyland Sharp, Otis Freeman Curtis, Walter Conrad Muenscher, Edwin 

Fraser Hopkins, Lowell Fitz Randolph, James A. de Tomisi.  (Image courtesy of the Division of Rare and 

Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.)

  Figure 14.   Chairs of the Departments of Plant 

Physiology and Botany (1907 – 1961):  Duggar 

(1907 – 1911), Wiegand (1913 – 1941), Knudson 

(1941 – 1952), and Banks (1952 – 1961).

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Dendrobium orchid and Anthurium breeder at the 

University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

The Banks and Kent Years 

1952 to 1965

During the chairmanship of H. P. Banks, several 

new faculty were hired. Some left within a few years 

undoubtedly because of the strong personality of 

F. C. Steward, who did not mesh well with newly 

hired faculty, many of whom went on to have 

accomplished careers.  For example, Walter  D.  

Bonner, Jr. came to the department in 1953. He 

was an Associate Professor of plant physiology, 

but left for the University of Pennsylvania in 1959.  

Another plant physiologist, Conrad S. Yocum, 

joined the department in 1955 and left for the 

University of Michigan in 1961. Other faculty also 

survived Steward’s personality.  John M. Kingsbury 

also joined the department as an assistant professor 

in 1954, after Walter C.  Muenscher had suffered a 

stroke and retired. Kingsbury taught courses on the 

algae and poisonous plants and went on to found 

the Shoals Marine Laboratory.  David W. Bierhorst 

joined the department in 1955, but moved to the 

University of Massachusetts in 1968 largely because 

of health problems and his dislike of the newly 

created Division of Biological Sciences. Loren Petry 

retired on July 1, 1955 (Fig. 16).

Harlan Banks stepped down as Chair of the 

department in 1961 when George C.  Kent, the 

Chair of Plant Pathology, assumed the role of an 

acting Chair and remained so until Harry T. Stinson 

became Chair of the department that subsumed the 

old botany department (the Section of Genetics, 

Development and Physiology).  Stinson served as 

Chair of the Section of Genetics, Development, 

and Physiology between 1965 and 1977.  With the 

formation of the Division of Biological Sciences, F. 

C. Steward was relocated in his own department 

as director of the Laboratory of Cell Physiology, 

Growth and Development.  Steward moved to 

Clark Hall when it opened in 1965.  Much like 

Steward, R. T. Clausen was also appointed as the 

Director of the one-manned Wiegand Herbarium, 

a position he held from 1954 until 1977.

Among the students receiving degrees (and their 

advisors) during this interval are:

David E. Fairbrothers  

(MS ‘52, Ph.D. ‘54)  

R. T. Clausen 

Charles B. Beck  

 (MS ‘52, Ph.D. ‘55)   H. P. Banks

Wayne L. Fry  

(Ph.D. ‘53) 

H. P. Banks

Nancy G. Slack  

(BS ‘52, MS ‘54) 

H. P. Banks

Robert Rabson  

(Ph.D. ‘56)  

F. C. Steward 

William C. Burger  

(MS ‘59) 

R. T. Clausen

Francis M. Hueber  

(M.S. ‘59, Ph.D. ‘60)   H. P. Banks 

James Douglas Grierson   (Ph.D. ’62)  

H. P. Banks

Abraham Der Krikorian (  Ph.D. 1965)  

F. C. Steward

The Division of Biological 

Sciences: 1965–1979

Many changes were made with the creation 

of the Division of Biological Sciences in the New 

York State College of Agriculture in 1964. In 1965, 

members of the botany department joined with 

some members of the zoology and plant breeding 

departments to become the Section of Genetics, 

Development and Physiology.  Professors Adrian 

M. Srb, Harry T. Stinson, Jr. and Bruce Wallace 

left Plant Breeding to become members of this 

new section.  During this time, several new faculty 

were added in the area of plant physiology.  André 

T. Jagendorf (Cornell B.S. 1948) joined the 

department in 1966.  Jagendorf taught and did 

research in plant physiology.  Roderick K. Clayton 

also joined in 1966 and taught plant physiology, 

most notably courses in photosynthesis.  Roger 

M. Spanswick joined the department in 1967 

and taught courses in plant water relations, but 

transferred to Biological and Environmental 

Engineering in 2001. Peter J. Davies joined the 

department in 1969 and taught plant physiology.  

Dominick J. Paolillo, Jr. (Cornell B.S. 1958) joined 

the department in 1970 to teach plant anatomy, 

morphology and development. Mandayam V. 

Parthasarathy (Cornell Ph.D. 1966) joined the 

department in 1971 and taught courses in electron 

microscopy and plant ultrastructure.

On May 1, 1973, a symposium Historical and 

Figure 15. Harlan P. Banks, Charles H. Uhl, Lewis 

Knudson and Walter C. Muenscher, 1954. (Image 

from the H. P. Banks Archives.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Current Aspects of Plant Physiology: A Symposium 

Honoring F. C. Stewart was held at Cornell to 

celebrate his retirement. Speakers from five 

prominent universities spoke at the symposium.  

The talks were published in 1975 as Historical and 

Current Aspects of Plant Physiology with Peter J. 

Davies as editor (Davies, 1975).  Later in 1977, the 

name of the section changed to Botany, Genetics 

and Development, and new faculty hires followed. 

The L. H. Bailey Hortorium also merged with the 

Wiegand Herbarium.  Neil A. Campbell came in 

1977 to teach Introductory Biology. He studied 

desert and coastal plants. Campbell’s textbook 

Biology, first published in 1987, was used to teach 

many generations of biologists world-wide.   Karl 

J. Niklas was hired upon the retirement of H. P. 

Banks in 1978.  He has taught introductory botany 

and paleobotany since then.

Figure 16. Botany Group Photo taken in 404 Plant Science, May 20, 1954. Back row: L to R: Chuck Down-

ing, Robinson Abbott, Conrad Meyer, John Pollard, Sally Watkins Christie, Charles B. Beck, Ken Howe, Da-

vid E. Fairbrothers, Marvin J. Rosenberg, Dorothy Brown Beckel, Jesse F. Clovis Third row: Dorothy Niimoto, 

Elfriede Philena Townley, Edgar Shantz, Ken Burlington, Harlan Q. Stevenson, Krishnaier Subramanyam, 

Nancy Slack, Robert T. Clausen, Robert Rabson. Second row: Joan Smith, Janice S. Sanford, Abbe, Virginia 

Rock, Ester Spielman, Dorothy Van de Mar, Ruth Petry, Thoraya Lotfy, Harlan P. Banks, Loren C. Petry, 

Lewis Knudson.  Front row: Jyotirmay Mitra, Kathryn Mears, Walter D. Bonner, Nathanael Grobbelaar, 

William B. Drake, A. S. Rao F. Randolph, Gerald Reisner, F. C. Steward, Charles H. Uhl and Mohammed 

Zahur (Absent from photo: Daniel G. Clark, James Cruise, Arthur J. Eames, Mohammed El-Ghawas, Harold 

Howard, H. Lugo-Lugo, Marjorie Maguire, Walter C. Muenscher (Department photo.)

The Banks Symposium, which was held in the Fall 

of 1979, brought together important paleobotanists 

to honor his career as a paleobotanist. Twenty-five 

authors contributed to the published two-volume 

set titled Paleobotany, Paleoecology and Evolution 

(Vols. I and II), edited by Karl J. Niklas, the organizer 

of the symposium.

Among the students receiving degrees (and their 

advisors) during these years are

Patricia Bonamo    

(M.S. ’65, Ph.D. ’66)  

H. P. Banks

Jack B. Fisher  

 (BS ’65, MS ’66)  

D. W. Bierhorst

Allan Witztum    

(Ph.D. ‘66)  

D. W. Bierhorst

Judith E. Skog  

 (Ph.D. ‘72)  

H. P. Banks

Laurence E. Skog  

 (Ph.D. ‘72)  

H. E. Moore

Stephen E. Scheckler   (BS ’66, MS ‘70, Ph.D. ‘73)  

H. P. Banks

Lee B. Kass  

(Ph.D. ‘75)  

D. J. Paolillo, Jr.

Larry H. Klotz  

(MS ’71, Ph.D. ‘77)  

H. E. Moore

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

The Section of Plant Biology 


Harry Stinson, Jr. stepped down as Chair in 1980 

when the former Section of Botany, Genetics and 

Development separated into the Section of Genetics 

and Development and the Section of Plant Biology 

(Figs. 17 and 18).  Mandayam Parthasarathy became 

the first Chair of the new Section of Plant Biology 

(1980-1983).  Successive chairs included Dominick 

J. Paolillo, Jr. (1983-1985) and André T. Jagendorf 

(1985-1986).  While Jagendorf was on sabbatical 

leave from August 1986 until June 1987, Paolillo 

and Parthasarathy served  successively as acting 

chairs. Jagendorf continued as Chair (1987-1992). 

Peter J. Davies served as Chair from 1992-1996. 

Paolillo once again served as chair from 1996 until 

1999, when William L. Crepet became Chair of the 

Department of Plant Biology. June B. Nasrallah 

(Cornell Ph.D. 1977) joined the department in 

1986. Nasrallah was a student of Adrian Srb. Her 

main research focus is on the molecular biology of 

self-incompatibility in the Brassicaceae.  She was 

elected to the National Academy of Science in 2003. 

Mikhail E. Nasrallah (Ph.D. ‘65 in Plant Breeding) 

also joined the department in 1986. 

Figure 17.  Chairs of botany / plant biology from 1964 until present: Stinson (1964 – 1980), Parthasarathy 

(1980 – 1983), Paolillo (1983 – 1985; 1996 – 1999), Jagendorf (1985 – 1992), Davies (1992 – 1996), and 

Crepet (1999 – present). 

The Department of Plant Biology  


In 1999, the Division of Biological Science, 

which was under the direction of Peter Bruns, 

was dissolved (amidst considerable controversy). 

Numerous faculty meetings were held to discuss 

the topic, and most of the faculty resisted the 

change.  Nevertheless, the final report submitted 

to the President, Hunter Rawlings III, favored 

the dismantling of the Division, which was 

accomplished without fanfare or further discussion.  

At the same time, Rawlings also mandated the 

merger of the Bailey Hortorium and the Section of 

Plant Biology to form the new Department of Plant 

Biology.  William Crepet became the first chair 

of the newly created department (Cobb, 2013). A 

curious twist of fate is that five departments will 

soon be merged to form a School of Integrative 

Plant Science with a new director and a supervisory 

council.  The five departments will be called 

sections.  Thus, 2014 will see the rebirth of a mini-

Division of Biological Sciences and a new Section 

of Plant Biology.

The Cornell Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) 

Centennial in 2004 and the BSA Centennial in 2006 

got the Department of Plant Biology thinking about 

its own centennial in CALS occurring in 2013.  A 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Figure 18. Plant Biology Faculty, early 1980s.  (From a CALS poster.)

plan was devised by the organizing committee 

(Edward Cobb, William Crepet, Karl Niklas, and 

Maria Alejandra Gandolfo Nixon) to reach out to 

as many as possible of those who have made our 

department what it is today. Invitations were sent in 

the hopes of seeing as many alumni, faculty, friends, 

and staff as possible at a two-day celebration on 

June 28th and 29th, 2013.  In recognition of the 

Department of Botany’s 145 years of history and 

service, a series of events was held that included a 

keynote lecture by a former Cornell botany student 

Marcus A. McFerren, Ph.D., M.D. (Friday, June 

28th, 2013), titled A Journey Through Plant Biology: 

Botanical Medicine & All It’s Warts, and lectures 

about the department’s history that culminated in 

a banquet (Saturday, June 29th, 2013). The series 

of events was videotaped and is available at http:// 

The rest is history (Figure 19).


The author gratefully acknowledges former 

Cornell students, colleagues, and historians Robert 

Dirig and Lee B. Kass (who provided the dates for 

the various chairs of the department) for valuable 

shared information. He also thanks Kent Loeffler 

for providing and improving rare historical images; 

the staff at Mann Library including Meg Ackerblade, 

Liz Brown, Tom Clausen, Erin Eldermire and Judy 

Wayno for their invaluable assistance; the staff at 

the Kroch Rare Manuscripts Collection especially 

Laura M. Linke for tracking down photos, and the 

Department of Plant Biology for logistical support. 

Finally, he thanks William L. Crepet, Royse P. 

Murphy, and Karl J. Niklas for their encouragement.

Figure 19. Plant Biology Retreat August 2011, held at the Cayuga Nature Center, Ithaca, NY.  Back Row: L 

to R.  Mingyue Gou, David Ruth, Wojciech Pawlowski, Ryan McQuinn,  Adrian Powell, Sam Crowell, Jim 

Reveal, Robert Raguso, Andy Vail, Bill Crepet, Elden Rowland, Simon Gunner. Third Row: Margaret Frank, 

Baijuan Du, Andre Jagendorf, Eric Fich, Lisa Earle, Alfonso Doucette, Ed Cobb, Karl Niklas, Kevin Nixon, 

Susan McCouch, Klass van Wijk, Jiping Liu, Miguel Pineros, Maureen Hanson, Randy Wayne. Second Row: 

Karin Jantz, Dezi Elzinga, Laetitia Martin, Jitae Kim, Sam Lieboff, Rob Harbert, Holly Summers, Tao Sun, 

Beth Takacs, Xian Qu, Zhilong Bao, Arnaud Germain, Mike Scanlon, Jennifer Svitko, Peter Lundquist, 

Tracey Sherwood. Front Row: Sorina Popescu, Yann-Ru Lou, Soohyun Oh, Maria Carrizales,  Gwynne Lim, 

Titima Tantikanjana, Haiyi (Heidi) Wang, Adrienne Roeder,  Maria Alejandra Gondolfo Nixon, Manuel 

Aregullin, Jian Hua, Myat Lin. (Edward D. Cobb photo.)

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Literature cited

ANON. 1898. Botany at Cornell University, Ithaca, 

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ANON. 1899. Horticulture and Nature Study. 

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ANON. 1923. Razing of the Greenhouse at Sage 

Now Finished.  Cornell Daily Sun, Vol. XLIII, 

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 April, 1923, page 2. 

ANON. 1923.  Cornell Alumni News. Vol. XXV, 

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ANON. 1937. Fifty Years of Research at Cornell 

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 ANON. 1987. One Hundred Years of Agricultural 

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Publication of the Office for Research, College 

of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell 

University, Ithaca, NY.  Produced by Cornell 

Media Services.

ATKINSON, GEORGE F. 1896. Albert Nelson 

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STUNDTER. 2011. Sage Hall, Experiments 

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COBB, EDWARD D. 2013. 150 Years of Botany at 

Cornell: A History of Botany and Plant Biology. 

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

COLMAN, GOULD P. 1962.  A History of 

Agricultural Education at Cornell University. 

Ph.D Thesis, Cornell University.

DORF, PHILIP. 1956. Liberty Hyde Bailey; An 

informal Biography. Cornell University Press, 

Ithaca, NY.

DUDLEY, WILLIAM R. 1886. The Cayuga Flora. 

Part 1: A Catalogue of the Phaenogamia Growing 

Without Cultivation in the Cayuga Lake Basin. 

Ithaca, NY.

DUGGER, BENJAMIN M. (Editor) 1929. 

Proceedings of the International Congress of 

Plant Sciences, Ithaca, NY August 16–23, 1926. 

George Banta Publishing Company, Menasha, 


KAMMEN, CAROL, 2009.  Part and Apart. Cornell 

University Library, Ithaca, NY.

KASS, LEE B., and EDWARD D. COBB. 2007. 

Landmarks and Milestones in American Plant 

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Bulletin. 53 (3) (Fall): 90–101.


HERVEY. 1991. William Jacob Robbins: A 

Biographical Memoir. National Academy of 

Sciences. Washington, DC.

KNUDSON, LEWIS 1938. A Brief History of the 

Department of Botany (New York State College of 

Agriculture). Division of the Rare Manuscripts 

Collections (21-17-1778).  Cornell University, 

Ithaca, NY.

MURPHY, ROYSE P., and LEE B. KASS. 2007. 

Evolution of Plant Breeding at Cornell University: 

A Centennial History, 1907-2006.  Cornell 

University, Ithaca, NY.

PRENTISS, ALBERT N. 1890. Report of the 

Botanist. Report of the Agricultural Experiment 

Station, Ithaca, NY. pp. 44–53.

STEERE, WILLIAM C. (editor) 1958. Botanical 

Society of America, Fifty Years of Botany; 

Golden Jubilee Volume of the Botanical Society of 

America. McGraw Hill, New York, NY.

THOM, CHARLES. 1956. George Francis Atkinson: 

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International Congress of Plant Scientists held 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014


Humans are completely dependent on plants 

for our survival as the source of food for ourselves 

or for the animals that we eat, as providers of 

ecosystem services (e.g., oxygen generation, carbon 

dioxide sinks, soil stabilization) and as synthesizers 

of biofuels, building materials, medicines, oils, 

and other natural products (Costanza et al., 

1997). Furthermore, in the current age of rapid 

urbanization, biotic invasion and climate change, 

basic botanical literacy is as important as ever if 

the public is to recognize and cope with the real 

threats to plants and plant communities that we 

depend on and that define each region ecologically. 

Plant blindness, the increasingly common lack of 

knowledge and “seeing” of plants in everyday life is 

also a powerful phenomenon that affects students 

personally, as well as the focus of media, educators, 

and popular culture (Wandersee & Schussler, 2001, 

see also Hershey, 2002). Many people nowadays 

see plants just as the green background to more 

important things such as cars, buildings, golf balls, 

dogs, and the erratic groundhog. This is at least 

partially due to less of a personal connection with 

plants (and nature) during our upbringing, and also 

to the agricultural production of plants as food, 

and an overwhelmingly zoo-centric media culture, 

especially by producers such as Disney, Discovery 

Channel, and National Geographic.

Despite the universal importance of plants 

and the current need for more plant awareness, 

plant science knowledge and course offerings, 

especially field- and taxon-based botany, have been 

reduced during the last decades at high school 

and college levels (Hershey, 1996; Reinsvold, 

1999).  The National Science Education Standards 

are also weak when it comes to plant knowledge 

and understanding (Hershey, 2013). In our own 

experience, few children and teenagers today can 

identify more than 100 plant species, and the ones 

they know are mostly supermarket or garden plants 

(see also Adams et al., 2010).  

At Rutgers University, we teach a combined 

undergraduate and graduate level class in plant 

diversity and evolution and advanced plant 

systematics, which includes lectures, labs and 

written and practical assignments.  In the labs, 

we bring in over 1000 species or cultivars of 

representative plants, highlighting plants of 

ethnobotanical use, including landscaping, 

agriculture, food and spices. To increase student 

knowledge of plants in the local ecosystems, we 

The Making of a Student-Driven 

Online Campus Flora:  

an example from Rutgers University

Lena Struwe


, Lauren S. Poster


, Natalie 



, Christopher B. Zambell



and Patrick W. Sweeney


DOI: 10.3732/psb.1400008

Submitted 6 November 2013

Accepted 25 May 2014


Student participation in floristics at the university 

level is essential for the longevity and expansion of 

botany, plant ecology, and their many associated 

fields, but knowledge and college course options 

have been decreasing. In many cases students are 

unaware of the botanical biodiversity that is right 

in front of their eyes. We started a project called 

Flora of Rutgers Campus (FoRC), which provides 

students with hands-on outdoor fieldwork as an 

engaging and effective way to experience botany 

first hand. In 2011, 32 students participated in this 

project and uploaded 580 vouchered observations 

to a database. In total, we found 98 families, 200 

genera, and 259 species on the Cook/Douglass 

campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Nearly 

10% of the state’s flora was found on 317 urban/

suburban acres. This project strongly increased the 

students’ knowledge of local plants, opened their 

eyes to “see” plants everywhere, and encouraged 

students to work cooperatively. 

Key words: botany; biodiversity; campus; 

education; plant blindness; plant systematics

1 Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, 

Rutgers University, 14 College Farm Road, New 

Brunswick, NJ 08901

2 Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolution, Rutgers 

University, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, 

NJ 08901

3 Yale University, Peabody Museum of Natural History, 

PO Box 208118, New Haven, CT 06520

4 Email: 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

developed the project Flora of Rutgers Campus in 

2011, which aims to provide students with a variety 

of skills.  

Field-based botanical inventories strengthen 

skills in morphology, identification, vouchering 

and other biodocumentation, family recognition, 

georeferencing, and description. Any teaching that 

focuses on local and personally relevant issues and 

brings with it a “sense of place” for students has a 

higher chance of being found important to students 

(Gruenewald, 2003; Semken & Butler Freeman, 

2008; Kudryavtsev et al. 2012). The project provided 

students with a focused, but open-ended research 

question, a positive challenge, and a valuable 

goal—the first floristic biodiversity inventory of 

any Rutgers campus in the history of our university. 

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 

(aka “Rutgers University”) is located in three 

locations in New Jersey (Camden, Newark, and 

New Brunswick). Our project took place in the 

New Brunswick location, which is the largest part 

of the university. Of five Rutgers campuses located 

within the New Brunswick area, the campus flora 

project included two of them: the George H. 

Cook Campus, which is the old agricultural land 

grant school, and the adjoining Rutgers’ Douglass 

Campus, the former New Jersey College for 

Women. The Cook/Douglass campuses are located 

at approximately 40.48 N, 74.43 W on the east coast 

of the United States, in central New Jersey, and the 

local environment is influenced by the tidal Raritan 

River (Ashley & Renwick, 1983). New Brunswick 

is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) away from the Raritan Bay 

of the Atlantic Ocean and the distance to the outer 

coastline at Sandy Hook is 24 miles (38.6 km). 

Our area of inventory covered 317 acres (1.3 



), which included an abundance of maintained 

lawns, a remnant of an old growth hardwood 

forest (Frank G. Helyar Woods), ditches, wetlands 

(natural and artificial), and retention basins, a 

few small ponds (including Passion Puddle), one 

dammed lake (Weston Mill Pond), asphalted roads 

and parking lots, horse and cow fields, a pig, goat 

and sheep farm, a horticultural garden (Rutgers 

Garden), a research farm, an organic community 

garden, abandoned lots and fields, rocky cliffs, and 

several intensively used highways (Route 18 and US 

Route 1). 


During the fall of 2011, we challenged 32 graduate 

and undergraduate students to create a campus-

wide floristic survey of all wild and naturalized 

plant species on Cook/Douglass campuses (317 

acres, Rutgers University, NJ, USA). Students used 

both traditional tools (floras, hand lenses, knives, 

bags, herbarium presses, dissecting microscopes, 

and rubber boots) and high-tech equipment (smart 

phones with instant GPS, cameras, and internet 

identification resources). All newly found species 

had to be vouchered with herbarium specimens, 

and all observations had to have a photo of the 

plant either in the field or after being pressed (or 


Identification was accomplished by keying 

out plants using floras or online-keys, or with 

comparison with other herbarium materials 

available at Chrysler Herbarium (CHRB, at 

Rutgers University). To help with the project, we 

provided manuals on (1) how to press plants, (2) 

georeferencing, (3) using Google Maps to find 

coordinates, and (4) how to identify the 50 most 

common plant families of temperate regions. 

All herbarium vouchers were photographed and 

included in the online database.  Afterwards they 

could be donated to the CHRB at Rutgers University 

if the student so wished. 

The observation data were uploaded by students 

to an online web portal housed by Consortium of 

Northeastern Herbaria (, a 

Symbiota Software Project portal (http://symbiota.

org/tiki/tiki-index.php). Taxonomy for vascular 

plants follows the one used in the USDA-PLANTS 

database, which is the taxonomy utilized in the 

CNH portal. Classification for lichens followed 

Esslinger (2011). 

The students’ resulting herbarium specimens, 

field observations, and photos formed a Flora of 

Rutgers Campus species list, image bank, and maps 

of species locations now publicly available online 


checklist.php?cl=28). Included in the inventory 

were all vascular plants (flowering plants, conifers, 

ferns and fern allies, and lycopods), as well as 

lichens, mosses, liverworts, and algae.  Generally 

specimens representing plants grown in cultivation 

were not included in the inventory. 

Cultivated native plants were included, but 

plants that were non-native or unlikely in their 

natural range were only included if they appeared 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014


The project started in late September 2011 and 

ran until mid-December 2011, three months total, 

and over that time period, 580 observations of 259 

species were uploaded by 32 students.  (Twenty-

eight observations were plants that students had 

collected in July and August, before the start of the 


Right before our project started, our campus was 

hit by Hurricane Irene, which led to massive tree 

destruction in our area, which made epiphytes more 

accessible, but otherwise appeared not to affect our 

floristic work.  However, in late October, the project 

was interrupted by an unusually early snowstorm 

that covered all vegetation in deep, wet snow for a 

few days.  Some herbaceous plants recovered from 

this, others did not. Most of the plant observations 

(400) were recorded in September and October, 

before the storm. 

The inventory resulted in us finding 259 species 

in  200 genera, distributed among 98 families 

(Figures 2 and 3).  Compared with the reported 

species from Middlesex County, NJ on the USDA-

PLANTS database, our findings represent 19% of 

the vascular plant species found in our county, 

35% of the vascular plant genera, and 64% of the 

vascular plant families.  Compared with the total 

number of land plant species reported from New 

Jersey (3207 species) in the USDA-PLANTS database, 

we found 8%. 

to be escaped and/or naturalized to uncultivated 

areas of campus. 

In order to identify their specimens, students had 

access to a variety of taxonomic keys, and they often 

collaborated when keying out difficult specimens. 

Students also had access to botanists who could 

verify their tentative identifications: the Professor 

(LS) and Teaching Assistant (CZ) for vascular 

plants, Bill Buck of The New York Botanical Garden 

for mosses and liverworts, and Richard Harris of 

The New York Botanical Garden for lichens. Many 

identifications were incorrect at first, and this input 

and subsequent feedback was important for quality 

control of the database. Most students relied on 

keys in Rhoads and Block’s (2007) The Plants of 

Pennsylvania  and Haines’  (2011) Flora Novae-

Angliae. Gleason and Cronquist’s (1991) Manual of 

the Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States 

and Adjacent Canada was also available, although 

students then had to compare the nomenclature 

to the USDA-PLANTS Database to ensure that 

names were current. For difficult groups, students 

used Barkworth et al.’s (2007) Manual of Grasses for 

North America, Brodo et al.’s (2001) Lichens of North 

America, Hinds and Hinds’ (2007) Macrolichens of 

New England, Lincoln’s (2008) Liverworts of New 

England, and Crum and Anderson’s (1981) Mosses 

of Eastern North America. 

To provide additional incentives to students we 

set up a system of gaining points according to the 

following schedule: 10 points for finding a new 

family, 5 points for finding a new genus, 5 points for 

finding a new species, and 1 point per observation 

overall. Ten observations were mandatory for each 

student. We recruited donations of prizes (books, 

botanical items, living plants, garden clippers, etc.) 

from faculty, deans, and department chairs. 

At the end of the project, we arranged for a 

special celebration and the students got to select 

among the prizes in order of the number of points 

they had achieved.  We also got the chair of the 

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural 

Resources to promise a pizza party for the whole 

class at the end of the project, if the class managed 

to find over 250 species on our campus. 

As a separate small project, we ran a logo design 

competition, where the students provided brand-

new logos which were then voted on by the students 

(Figure 1). This was an optional assignment and 

brought out some of the design and art skills in 

some students. 

Figure 1. Logo for Flora of Rutgers Campus, devel-

oped and designed by Clayton Leadbetter, winner in 

the logo design competition. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

that were most frequently misidentified were 

Cyperus (9 collections), Persicaria (4), Plantago (3), 

Setaria (2), Digitaria (2), and Solidago (2), which 

are groups known for being challenging to identify. 

The Cyperus specimens were so difficult to identify 

using the literature that the CHRB Collections 

Manager had to pull reference materials from the 

main collection for comparison before the teaching 

assistant was sure about the species identification. 

Only four collections were misidentified at the 

generic level and those were in the Asteraceae. 

The students had access to expert help and floristic 

literature during all weeks before hand-in of the 

herbarium collections, and identification was 

practiced frequently during the indoor regular 

labs.  It should be noted that most students in the 

class had never keyed out a plant before this class. 

The student that specialized in mosses and lichens 

(NH) estimated that her initial identifications were 

about 40% wrong for lichens and 75% for mosses, 

when she first started to look at these groups for 

the project, but then she went to The New York 

Botanical Garden and was taught there how to 

identify these correctly. 

Of the 580 observations, the most commonly 

reported species was Trifolium repens (white clover, 

Fabaceae), which was reported 15 times.  The most 

species-rich family for this late fall time period 

was unsurprisingly Asteraceae, which included 27 

species on campus (10.5% of all species reported).  

The genus with the most species was Polygonum 

(Polygonaceae), with nine different species. 


Approximately half of the reported vascular plant 

species can be considered weedy species (listed in 

floristic works on weeds and/or invasive species), 

either native or non-native. Thirteen of the species 

found are classified by the USDA as invasive plants 

in the Northeast. 

Although students are often loosely familiar 

with tree groups, most of the observations of the 

plants were of forbs (356,  61% of all observations).  

Students also made many observations of trees, 

shrubs and vines (129, or 23%).  Other groups 

were less well represented in the collections:  49 

observations (8%) were grasses, sedges, or rushes, 

24 (4%) were mosses, 15 (2%) were lichens, 4 (1%) 

were ferns, and one was a liverwort.

As part of the class the students had to hand in 

10 pressed herbarium collections from 10 different 

plant families, and included in these were vouchers 

for any new species found during the Flora of 

Rutgers Campus project.  Of the total of 310 

collections that were handed in (by 31 students), 

only 33 (11%) collections were incorrectly 

identified or were lacking critical material that 

made species identification possible. The genera 

Figure 2. Example of a species found on Rutgers 

University’s Cook Campus: rosehips from Rosa 

canina (Rosaceae), easily identified based on its leaf 

and fruit characteristics. Photo by Lena Struwe.

Figure 3.  Graduate student April Jackson collecting 

species of Asclepias (milkweed, Apocynaceae) and 

Lonicera (honeysuckle, Caprifoliaceae) behind the 

old dairy barn on Cook Campus at Rutgers Univer-

sity. Photo by Lena Struwe. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

A large majority of students were strongly 

engaged in the project and spent a large amount 

of time outside of regular class collecting and 

determining plants, and then uploading specimen 

data. We estimate that the time spent outside of the 

classroom for this project amounts to an average of 

6-8 hours per student, with some students exceeding 

this average by far. The most active student (NH) 

put in over 60 hours outside the classroom. 

The students visited many different parts of 

campus for the project. As expected, most of the 

observations were recorded close to the lab building 

(Foran Hall).  The distance to Helyar Woods is 0.9 

miles (1.6 miles following roads) and predictably 

most students did not visit this area but stayed closer 

to home. The types of habitats in which students 

recorded observations included: mixed hardwood 

forests and patchy wood lots (21% of observations); 

campus lawns and landscaped areas (20%); weedy 

parking lots, roadsides, and sidewalks (15%); pond 

edges and stream banks (7%); garden plots and 

agricultural areas (7%); abandoned meadows and 

fields (6%); and aquatic habitats (2%). Twenty two 

percent of observations did not include adequate 

habitat information to classify their habitat type. 

Twenty-two of the students (69%) submitted 

more than the 10 required observations. Only 

the professor (LS) got poison ivy dermatitis and 

the project as a whole provided a great learning 

experience to the students of the class. 

Critical non-plant related skills learned during 

this class included species collection techniques, 

photography and resizing of digital images, and the 

basics of georeferencing and GPS use, including 

understanding latitude and longitude data and 

uncertainty in GPS coordinates. All students in 

the class quickly learned that the longitude of New 

Jersey needs to be negative, or their specimens 

would end up in Kazakhstan on the Google Map in 

the flora list portal (Figure 4).

At the end of the class when the points were 

tallied up, it was clear that the winner was the 

student that had largely focused on bryophytes 

and lichens (i.e., Natalie Howe, co-author on this 

paper). Her work lead to a large swath of new 

families and genera and a large lead compared to 

other students working mostly with vascular plants.  

She ended as the winner with 809 points total, 

based on 59 uploaded observations, and won the 

three subcategories of most new families, genera, 

and species reported. The runner-up (Clayton 

Leadbetter) reported the most species and most 

genera within vascular plants, accumulating 499 

points, based on 54 observations. He also won the 

category of ‘fastest point gain’ when he went from 

to 0 to 315 points in 10 days half-way through the 




Our learning goals for this project were 

accomplished by most of our students, and are 

listed here: 

•  strongly increase knowledge of and 

interest in local plants 

•  gain essential botanical skills in field 

identification, inventorying, and data management

•  gain critical spatial skills in georeferencing 

and GPS use

•  heighten appreciation and understanding 

of the biodiversity of  semi-natural and urban 


•  increase ability to ‘see’ plants everywhere, 

especially in human-influenced habitats

•  work cooperatively even when competing

In addition to these personal goals for individual 

students, this project provided the start of a long-

term dataset that can be used both as an educational 

tool in future classes, as well as for ecological and 

biodiversity research on campus. It is the first 

floristic biodiversity inventory of any Rutgers 

campus, at a university that is nearly 250 years old, 

and is the beginning of building a database of the 

flora and its ecology and biodiversity to be used in 

future classes and research.

A project of this kind is a perfect example of how 

a college campus can become a living laboratory, 

field station, and specimen exhibit, right outside 

the classroom doors.  The fact that students were 

able to record 110 observations of wild plants 

on the lawns and landscaped areas of campus, 

suggests that most college campuses will harbor 

unanticipated plant diversity, even if they aren’t 

associated with old growth forests or wetland areas. 

Additionally, the fact that 121 of the observations 

were in wooded areas, and over half of those (66) 

were in the old growth forest area far from the 

main campus, suggests that projects of this type 

encourage students to spend time in natural areas 

that they might not have otherwise visited. After 

the class was over in 2011, it was clear that most 

students loved finding new species and exploring 

the botanical diversity outside the classroom.  

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

This project strongly increased the students’ 

knowledge of local plants, heightened their 

appreciation of the natural or human-disturbed 

world and their university campus, opened their 

eyes to ‘see’ plants everywhere, and encouraged 

students to work cooperatively.

Another feature of our findings is that it is 

ultimately important to make the plant groups 

accessible to students by providing accurate and 

straightforward keys and to have access to experts 

to verify tentative identifications. Particularly 

in the moss group, most of the original student 

identifications were incorrect even after using the 

dichotomous key, so having a verification step was 

key to maintaining an accurate and useful database. 

At the time of the submission of this article 

(Fall 2013), we are running the Flora of Rutgers 

Campus project with 34 new students and the 

same incentives and learning goals.  We have also 

expanded the flora area to all five campuses in New 

Brunswick, New Jersey, so we have increased the 

habitat diversity as well as area size significantly.  

The students are building on the database we started 

in 2011, and we expect to find new species, new 

populations, and new campus areas that show high 

levels of biodiversity this year.  We are also letting 

students develop small field identification guides 

to difficult groups or genera, which will build up a 

library of online tools for local plant identification.


This project would not have been possible 

without the Consortium of Northeastern Herbaria 

and the implementation of the Symbiota software 

framework (developed by Ed Gilbert) on their 

website.  The School of Environmental and Biological 

Sciences at Rutgers University provided funding for 

the Chrysler Herbarium, and the Departments of 

Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources as well 

as Plant Biology and Pathology provided funding 

for the class and this particular project.  We also 

thank the following sponsors of student prizes 

for the Flora of Rutgers Campus project: Rutgers 

University School of Environmental and Biological 

Sciences, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment 

Station, Chrysler Herbarium, Mark Vodak, Steven 

Handel, Jason Grabosky, and Henry John-Alder in 

the Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural 

Figure 4. Map view in Google map of all collections and observations uploaded to the Flora 

of Rutgers Campus project.  The map is centered over New Brunswick, NJ, and Raritan River 

crosses the map from northwest to east. Interstate 95 (aka NJ turnpike) is the highway a few 

miles to the east side of Cook/Douglass Campus.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Resources, Joan Bennett in the Department of 

Plant Biology and Pathology, Nicoletta Graf at 

the Floriculture Greenhouse, Bruce Crawford at 

Rutgers Gardens, Consortium of Northeastern 

Herbaria, Executive Dean Bob Goodman, Mike 

Green in the Media and Marketing Office, Jean 

Marie Hartman in the Landscape Architecture 

department; and Richard Harris, James Lendemer, 

and Bill Buck at the New York Botanical Garden 

for taxonomic expertise in mosses and lichens. The 

FoRC logo was designed by Clayton Leadbetter.  

This project was supported by the New Jersey 

Agricultural Experiment Station and by the USDA-

National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Hatch 

project number NJ17610 to LS.  The co-authors 

on this paper consist of the professor leading the 

project and class (LS), the 2011 Teaching Assistant 

(CZ), the winner of the 2011 student competition 

and the 2013 Teaching Assistant (NH), CHRB 

Collections Manager and also student in the 

2011 class (LSP), and the Administrator of the 

Consortium of Northeast Herbaria’s Symbiota 

website and collaborator at Yale University (PS).


Adams, C.R., M.E. Kane, J.G. Norcini, G. Acomb, 

and C. Larsen. 2010. Awareness of and Interest 

in Native Wildflowers among College Students 

in Plant-related Disciplines: A Case Study from 

Florida. HortTechnology 20:368–376.

Allen, W. 2003. Plant Blindness. BioScience 53: 926.
Ashley, G. M., and Renwick, W. H. 1983. Channel 

Morphology and Processes at the Riverine-

Transition, the Raritan River, New Jersey, in 

Modern and Ancient Fluvial Systems (eds J. D. 

Collinson and J. Lewin). Blackwell Publishing 

Ltd., Oxford, UK.

Barkworth, M.E., L.K. Anderton, K.M. Capels, 

S. Long, and M.B. Piep, eds. 2007. Manual of 

grasses for North America. University Press of 

Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Brodo, I.M., S.D. Sharnoff, & S. Sharnoff. 2001. 

Lichens of North America. Yale University 

Press, New Haven, CT.

Costanza, R., R. D’Arge, R. de Groot, S. Farber, 

and M. Grasso. 1997. The value of the world’s 

ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 

387: 253-260.

Crum, H.A., and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of 

eastern North America, vols. 1 & 2. Columbia 

University Press, New York, NY. 1328 pp. 

Esslinger, T.L. 2011. A cumulative checklist for the 

lichen-forming, lichenicolous and allied fungi 

of the continental United States and Canada, 

ver. 17 (16 May 2011). North Dakota State 

University, Fargo, ND. (accessed September 15, 



Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist.1991. Manual of 

the Vascular Plants of the Northeastern US and 

Adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden 

Press, New York, NY. 

Gruenewald, D. A. 2003. Foundations of Place: 

A Multidisciplinary Framework for Place-

Conscious Education. American Educational 

Research Journal 40: 619-654.

Haines, A. 2011. New England Wild Flower 

Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for 

the Identification of Native and Naturalized 

Higher Vascular Plants of New England. Yale 

University Press. 1008 pp. 

Hershey, D.R. 1996. Historical perspective on 

problems in botany teaching. The American 

Biology Teacher 58(6): 340-347. 

Hershey, D.R. 2002. Plant Blindness: “We have Met 

the Enemy and He is Us.” Plant Science Bulletin 

48: 78-85.

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Science Education Standards. Available at:

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Hinds, J. W., and P. L. Hinds. 2007.  Macrolichens 

of New England. Memoirs of The New York 

Botanical Garden 96. The New York Botanical 

Garden Press. 608 pp. 

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2012. The impact of environmental education 

on sense of place among urban youth. Ecosphere 

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Pennsylvania, an illustrated manual, 2



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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Semken, S., and C. Butler Freeman. 2008. Sense 

of Place in the Practiced Assessment of Place-

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Appendix 1.  

Species list from Flora of Rutgers Campus project 

as of December 2011.  These species were all found 

in the field by students in the Plant Systematics 

class.  A total of 259 species in 200 genera and 98 

families were found, and non-seed plant groups are 

indicated in parentheses after family names below. 


Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum dentatum


Liquidambar styraciflua


Amaranthus hybridus

Amaranthus retroflexus


Allium oleraceum

Allium schoenoprasum


Leptodictyum riparium


Rhus aromatica

Rhus typhina

Toxicodendron radicans


Asimina triloba


Anomodon attenuatus

Anomodon rostratus


Daucus carota


Ilex laevigata

Ilex opaca

Ilex verticillata


Arisaema triphyllum

Lemna minor

Peltandra virginica

Symplocarpus foetidus


Hedera helix


Amandinea polyspora

Candelaria concolor

Cladonia chlorophaea

Cladonia coniocraea

Cladonia cristatella

Flavoparmelia caperata

Lecanora strobilina

Parmelia sulcata

Parmotrema perforatum

Peltigera didactyla

Physcia millegrana

Punctelia caseana

Pyrrhospora varians


Maianthemum racemosum


Asplenium platyneuron


Achillea millefolium

Ageratina altissima

Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Anthemis arvensis

Arctium minus

Artemisia ludoviciana

Bidens bipinnata

Bidens frondosa

Cichorium intybus

Cirsium vulgare

Conyza canadensis

Erechtites hieracifolia

Erigeron annuus

Eupatorium dubium

Eupatorium serotinum

Eurybia divaricata

Euthamia graminifolia

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Galinsoga quadriradiata

Helianthus annuus

Hieracium flagellare

Matricaria discoidea

Mikania scandens

Senecio vulgaris

Solidago canadensis

Solidago gigantea

Solidago rugosa

Taraxacum officinale


Impatiens capensis


Berberis thunbergii


Alnus serrulata

Betula alleghaniensis

Betula nigra

Carpinus caroliniana

Ostrya virginiana


Catalpa speciosa



Brachythecium plumosum

Brachythecium populeum


Alliaria petiolata

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Cardamine hirsuta

Lepidium virginicum

Sinapis arvensis

Sisymbrium officinale


Bryum capillare

Bryum pseudotriquetrum


Cabomba caroliniana


Calycanthus floridus


Lobelia inflata


Celtis occidentalis

Humulus japonicus


Lonicera japonica

Lonicera maackii


Cerastium pumilum

Silene latifolia

Spergularia rubra

Stellaria media


Celastrus orbiculatus

Euonymus alatus




Cephalozia lunulifolia


Ceratophyllum demersum



Chenopodium album


Clethra alnifolia


Commelina communis


Ipomoea hederacea

Ipomoea purpurea


Cornus amomum

Cornus florida


Cucumis anguria

Sicyos angulatus



Juniperus virginiana


Cyperus esculentus

Cyperus microiria

Cyperus strigosus

Scirpus cyperinus



Dennstaedtia punctilobula


Dicranella heteromalla

Thuidium delicatulum


Ceratodon purpureus



Dryopteris marginalis


Diospyros virginiana



Entodon seductrix


Vaccinium pallidum


Acalypha rhomboidea

Acalypha virginica

Euphorbia maculata

Euphorbia vermiculata


Cercis canadensis

Gymnocladus dioicus

Medicago lupulina

Medicago sativa

Robinia pseudoacacia

Trifolium campestre

Trifolium pratense

Trifolium repens


Fagus grandifolia

Quercus alba

Quercus palustris

Quercus rubra

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014



Lophocolea minor


Geranium carolinianum


Hamamelis virginiana


Hedwigia ciliata


Hypnum imponens

Platygyrium repens

Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans


Iris versicolor



Frullania eboracensis


Carya glabra

Carya ovata

Juglans nigra


Juncus tenuis


Collinsonia canadensis

Glechoma hederacea

Lamium amplexicaule

Lamium purpureum

Lycopus sp.

Prunella vulgaris


Lindera benzoin

Sassafras albidum


Leskea gracilescens


Liriodendron tulipifera

Magnolia tripetala


Abutilon theophrasti

Althaea officinalis

Hibiscus trionum

Malva neglecta


Plagiomnium cuspidatum


Mollugo verticillata


Ficus carica

Maclura pomifera

Morus alba


Morella pensylvanica


Nymphaea odorata


Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Ligustrum vulgare


Ludwigia palustris



Epifagus virginiana


Oxalis stricta


Paulownia tomentosa


Mazus pumilus


Phytolacca americana


Pinus strobus


Callitriche heterophylla

Chelone glabra

Linaria vulgaris

Plantago lanceolata

Plantago major

Plantago rugelii



Platanus occidentalis


Digitaria ciliaris

Digitaria ischaemum

Digitaria sanuinalis

Echinochloa muricata

Leersia oryzoides

Panicum virgatum

Phragmites australis

Poa autumnalis

Setaria faberi

Setaria glauca

Setaria pumila

Setaria viridis

Tridens flavus


Fallopia japonica

Persicaria longiseta

Polygonum arenastrum

Polygonum aviculare

Polygonum cespitosum

Polygonum cespitosum var


Polygonum cespitosum var


Polygonum lapathifolium

Polygonum pensylvanicum

Polygonum perfoliatum

Polygonum persicaria

Rumex obtusifolius



Atrichum angustatum

Pogonatum pensilvanicum

Polytrichum commune


Heteranthera reniformis

Pontederia cordata


Portulaca oleracea

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Anagallis arvensis

Lysimachia quadrifolia


Ranunculus hispidus


Duchesnea indica

Photinia pyrifolia

Prunus serotina

Pyrus calleryana

Rhodotypos scandens

Rosa canina

Rosa multiflora

Rubus pensilvanicus

Rubus phoenicolasius



Cephalanthus occidentalis

Galium mollugo


Acer negundo

Acer nigrum

Acer platanoides

Acer saccharinum

Acer saccharum

Aesculus glabra


Verbascum thapsus


Ailanthus altissima


Smilax rotundifolia


Datura stramonium

Physalis philadelphica

Solanum carolinense

Solanum dulcamara

Solanum ptycanthum


Typha latifolia



Boehmeria cylindrica

Pilea pumila


Viola blanda

Viola cucullata

Viola sororia


Ampelopsis brevipedunculata

Vitis vulpina


Athyrium filix-femina

Cystopteris tenuis

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Book Reviews

Economic Botany

The Genus Tulipa, Tulips of the World ..........................................................................170

Sustainable Landscaping: Principles and Practices ........................................................172

New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops ......................................................................173


Conifers around the World: Conifers of the Temperate Zones and Adjacent Regions,  


Vols. 1-2 ..................................................................................................................174

Genera Palmarum: The Evolution and Classification of Palms .....................................176

A Guide to Orchids of Myanmar ....................................................................................177

Land of Enchantment Wildflowers: A Guide to the Plants of New Mexico ...................178

Red List of the Endemic Plants of the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran,  

        Russia, and Turkey. .................................................................................................179

The Genus Tulipa: Tulips of the 


Diana Everett

2013. ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-481-6 

Cloth, US$112.00. 380 pp. 

Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, 

Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom

Artist Diana Everett has assembled an annotated 

compendium of tulips by way of a travelogue, 

commencing with her paintings of tulips from her 

time as a student at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and 

expanded through her travels to diverse regions 

where tulips occur in the wild. She enriched 

her collection of drawings and photographs 

with information about synonymy, description, 

distribution, flowering, and in some cases 

chromosome number. Everett’s explanatory text is 

expanded with chapters about current molecular 

phylogenetics and classification of Tulipa by Kew 

botanists Michael Fay and Maarten Christenhusz, 

and about tulip cultivation by Richard Wilford.
Each species is illustrated with the author’s 

botanical paintings and a color photograph of the 

plants in habitat. There are several appendices, 

preceded by a two-page glossary and a four-

page bibliography, which represents only a slight 

measure of the vast literature about Tulipa

Appendix 1 is an alphabetical checklist of the genus 

including synonyms, Appendix 2 gives a summary 

of Zonneveld’s 2009 sectional classification of the 

Economic Botany

genus, Appendix 3 is a list of nurseries stocking 

tulips, and Appendix 4 provides biographical notes 

on select “prominent Tulipa authors, collectors and 

growers”; these are followed by an index to species 

names. The taxonomic treatment of accepted species 

(Christenhusz et al., 2013) follows the arrangement 

of the species into subgenera defined by Veldkamp 

and Zonneveld (2012). For a user, however, finding 

a given species is somewhat inconvenient because 

tulip species names are not arranged alphabetically 

throughout; yet this volume’s arrangement is 

somewhat artificial because, as the author herself 

points out [p. 1], there have been many revisions of 

tulip nomenclature and classification; new studies 

generate varying opinions with regard to subgenera 

(e.g., Eker et al., 2014).
The chance choice of tulips as the subject of 

the painting portfolio for Everett’s diploma 

subsequently led her to hunt tulips in the mountains 

and steppes of Central Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, 

Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, 

Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. 

Her geographic range expands the more restricted 

botanical survey of tulips by Tojibaev and Kadirov 

(2010), for which Everett served as translator. Her 

dramatic photographs of species growing in situ 

are a study of contrasts between the surrounding 

drabness of the steppe in early spring and the deep 

crimson and gold of the tulip. The Genus Tulipa is 

well illustrated with scenic views of little-known 

regions photographed in the course of Everett’s field 

trips. For the botanist-reader, it would have been 

beneficial to include information about the ecology 

and conservation of each species.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

Comparing this book with a related horticultural-

botanical survey, The Genus Lavandula (Upson and 

Andrews, 2004), also published for Kew, the latter 

raises issues in biogeography, cites more detailed 

studies, and shows linkages between disparate parts 

of the Old World. It takes account of chromosome 

numbers. It too is beautifully illustrated with color 

plates throughout the book, including 31 full-page 

color paintings, close-up color photographs, 45 

line drawings, and numerous distribution maps. 

The Genus Lavandula includes the results of 

phylogenetic studies that provide sequence data 

for hypotheses of relationships at the sectional level 

within the genus. 
The Genus Tulipa  is disappointing for several 

reasons. It does not provide a high degree of 

confidence in the major groupings of species. John 

Parkinson (1567–1650), a historically significant 

English herbalist, gardener, and pharmacist who 

contributed a sizeable number of pre-Linnaean 

descriptions of tulips, is not mentioned on a single 

page. Parkinson apprenticed as an apothecary 

and was an important member of the Society of 

Apothecaries from its foundation in 1617, being 

awarded the title of ‘botanicus regius primarius’ 

by Charles I. Later in life, he produced his own 

herbal,  Theatrum botanicum, but his real passion 

was his garden at Long Acre in London. Paradisi in 

sole paradisus terrestris (Parkinson, 1629) captures 

his delight in his garden exquisitely. Although 

Parkinson’s descriptions pre-date Linnaeus 

(1753) and therefore have no nomenclatural 

standing, it is of huge interest to this writer that 

Parkinson (1629) described a species named Tulipa 

armeniaca, perhaps due to its geographic origin, 

but equally plausibly for the color of its flower. 

That name reappears in the literature as a synonym 

of  T. montana Lindl. (Baker, 1883) described by 

Lindley (1827). Haybusak [Armenian Plants, an 

encyclopedia] (Alishan, 1895: 283–284) gives 

details about tulip, under the name gagach. Because 

this source would be inaccessible to most readers, a 

literal translation is provided here:
“It is a flower known in many varieties and many 

beautiful colors. In springtime one is delighted by 

the sight of them, not only in gardens but (perhaps 

even more) in uncultivated places. It is one of 

the principal wild flowers [in Armenia] to the point 

that some believe that it was the tulip that Christ Our 

Lord pointed out as the wild lily (shushan vayreni). 

Because of its many colors, Saladzorets’i [the poet] 

sings: “Red tulip, white and yellow...” Despite 

the laudable and desirable circumstance of its many 

types and colors, [the  tulip] is not said to have 

any uses in the Medical Books, especially  since 

when [such books] were written down, the types 

of tulip were not so widespread, since [the variety 

mentioned in the Medical Books]  was brought 

from afar. Although [medieval physicians such 

as] Beytar  and Amirdovlat mention it under the 

eastern name of Leashe, [this variety of tulip which 

they describe] was foreign and unknown. ‘It is  a 

plant which comes from the Maka area and aids 

in  digestion...good for the stomach.’ Latin  Tulipa

French Tulipe and Russian Shushan/Tulip is a word 

which derives from Persian Tyulpent since it was 

brought to Europe in the 16th century from the 

Turks and the Tatars.
“Now as for our own Armenian variety, it is 

restricted to our nation,  since it appears to 

be a native, indigenous flower and there are 

also  variations on its name such as karkajanats, 

which have related  meanings such as “bright/

glittery/iridescent/shining” or “multi-colored.” 

Numerous types are  recalled under their Latin 

name Oculus Solis (Arm. Arevak – “eye of the sun”), 

in the Sinjar mountains. Among those [tulips] 

designated mountainous, is a particular one called 

Armenian,  T. armeniaca, known at Van, Baghesh 

[present-day Bitlis], Karin [present-day Erzeroum], 

the banks of the [upper] Euphrates, and other 

areas;  T. gesneriana  Minor, in Karin, Tsanax, and 

elsewhere; T. eichleri, in Shamaxi; T. suaveolens in 

the Caucasus; T. pulchella (Arm. Geghazan) in the 

highlands of Cilicia at an elevation of 6500–8000 

feet;  T. violacea  (Arm. Manishagoyn) among the 

Caspian Talysh; T. bibersteiniana, in the environs of 

Tiflis. Without recalling a specific type (which had 

not been determined then) at the beginning of the last 

century [18th c], Chemelli, the Italian topographer 

rapturously recalls  tulips observed at Mzhnkert 

in Basen and in the hamlets of Xorasan  which 

could become charming adornments to European 

gardens. The colors recalled by Saladzorats’i [in his 

poem above] today are called different types: Red 

Tulip, Mor Tulip, and Siwt’ma Tulip, which I do not 

know what is designated.”
Parkinson (1629: 54) included Tulipa armeniaca 

among the class of early tulips: “This small Tulipa 

is much differing from all the former (except the 

small or dwarfe white Tulipas remembred by 

Lobel and Clusius, as is before set downe) in that 

it beareth three or foure small, long, and somewhat 

narrow greene leaves, altogether at one joynt or 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

place; the stalke being not high, and naked or 

without leaves from them to the toppe, where it 

beareth one small flower like unto an ordinary red 

Tulipa, but somewhat more yellow, tending to an 

Orenge colour with a blacke bottome: the roote is 

not much bigger than the ordinary yellow Bolonia 

Tulipa, before set downe.” 
According to Francis (2014), “Parkinson provides 

an early modern example of the benefits of 

interdisciplinary study: perhaps the reason he 

was such a skilful and meticulous apothecary was 

because he was also a passionate and knowledgeable 

gardener.” Parkinson is a link between the older 

texts treating plants from the point of view of their 

utility, and the horticultural literature produced in 

the later 17th and 18th centuries. 
Visually pleasing, The Genus Tulipa will appeal to 

gardeners, tulip enthusiasts, botanical libraries, and 

botanical artists.
–Dorothea Bedigian, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. 

Louis, Missouri, USA.

Literature Cited



, G. M. 1895 [reprinted 1992]. [Haybusak 

kam haykakan busabarut yun. Armenian Plants 

or Armenian Botanical Glossary] Entry 1620. 

“Parberakan” Hratarakch ut yan Tparan, Surp 

Ghazar, Venice. [in Armenian] 



,  J.  G. 1883. Tulipa montana. The species 

of  Tulipa II. Gardener’s Chronicle & New 

Horticulturalist, May 26, p. 668.



,  M.  J.  M.,  r.  G


,  J.  C. 



,  t.  h


,  k.  B


,  P.s.  r


A.  t


,  s.  B





. 2013. Tiptoe 

through the tulips—Cultural history, molecular 

phylogenetics  anad  classification  of  Tulipa 

(Liliaceae).  Botanical Journal of the Linnean 

Society 172: 280–328.



,  i.,  M.  t.  B



  M.  k


. 2014. 

Revision of genus Tulipa.  Phytotaxa 157(1): 




, J. 2014. John Parkinson: Gardener 

and Apothecary of London. Pp. 229–246 

in S. Francia and A. Stobart [eds.], Critical 

Approaches to the History of Western Herbal 

Medicine from Classical Antiquity to the Early 

Modern Period. Bloomsbury Publishing, 

London, United Kingdom.



, J. 1827. Tulipa montana crimson 

mountain tulip. Botanical Register 13: t. 1106. 



, J. 1629. Paradisi in Sole Paradisus 

Terrestris (A Garden of all Sorts of Pleasant 

Flowers). Humfrey Lownes and Robert Young, 

London, United Kingdom.



,  k., 


  r.  k


. 2010. Tulips of 

Uzbekistan. Uzbek Academy of Sciences, 

Scientific  Centre  of  Plant  Production 

“Botanika”, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. [in Russian]



,  t., 


  s.  A


. 2004. The genus 

Lavandula. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, 




,  J.  e., 


  B.  J.  M.  z


. 2012. 

The infrageneric nomenclature of Tulipa 

(Liliaceae).  Plant Systematics and Evolution 

298: 87–92.

Sustainable Landscaping: 

Principles and Practices

Marietta Loehrlein

2014. ISBN-13: 978-1-4665-9320-6 

Cloth, US$89.95. 305 pp. 

CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca 

Raton, Florida, USA 

Landscaping has emerged as an important industry 

over the past five decades and as an art form that has 

monumental influences on the human mind and 

aesthetics. As a significant source of employment 

for architects, landscape designers and contractors, 

professional gardeners, and builders, landscape 

design is experiencing a new surge of conceptual 

changes and paradigm shifts in the basic philosophy 

behind it, making it more environmentally friendly 

and relevant to our modern lifestyle. Consequently, 

the lack of a comprehensive recent textbook for 

this emerging discipline has become a serious 

The current volume, Sustainable Landscaping: 

Principles and Practice, fills this vacuum with 

a comprehensive textbook that captures these 

paradigm shifts in a reader-friendly fashion. The 

volume points out the important challenges faced 

from the perspective of sustainability and provides 

viable solutions with sound, environmentally 

friendly approaches. The suggested solutions 

provide food for thought for designers, managers, 

builders, and researchers of sustainable landscaping, 

such as sustainable management of available 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

resources; minimizing waste generation; utilization 

of storm water; dealing with challenges of different 

water parameters for assessing water quality and 

quantity; use of integrated pest management and 

organic manures; assessing and conserving soil, 

water, and energy in the design process; utilizing 

plants judiciously across different seasons for adding 

optimal value to the redesigned landscape from 

the perspective of better economics; environment 

friendliness; and long-term sustainability in the 

design process, to mention only a few. 
The current volume is divided into 15 chapters 

approaching sustainable landscape from multiple 

perspectives in philosophical, fundamental, and 

applied terms. Topics include wind and solar energy 

conservation, water issues and water conservation, 

management of excess water in the landscape, 

soil health, sustainable fertilization, improving 

landscape soils with organic matter, pesticides 

in the landscape, integrated pest management, 

different energy sources and uses, application of 

different tools and equipment, and sustainable 

landscape materials and products. Individual 

chapters are divided into different thematic sections 

and subsections with clearly stated objectives and 

definitions of key terminologies at the beginning, 

and ending with a short summary of the chapter 

content along with a useful bibliography. 
Within each chapter, the author has provided solid 

justification and arguments for each approach, 

provided a workable background for the reader 

to comprehend different issues, and highlighted 

pros and cons in a simple language that is easily 

understandable by general landscape enthusiasts 

as well as by highly trained professionals from the 

discipline. The careful use of pictures, images, word 

diagrams, and summary tables further enhances 

the information content of each chapter. The only 

criticism is that the arrangement of different topics 

appears to be rather haphazard, and it would have 

been nice if the chapters had been grouped in 

sections with broader thematic concepts. 
The volume also includes two appendices, one 

providing useful tips for sustainability audits that 

would certainly be helpful for landscape managers 

and designers in evaluating the success and failure 

of projects and the other a helpful compilation of 

important websites used as resources in the current 

volume. The author indicates that the targeted 

readership includes landscape designers and 

architects, contractors, gardeners, and builders. 

The volume will be also useful as a standard text 

for upper-division undergraduate and graduate 

students and would be helpful for enthusiasts 

interested in learning about sustainable landscape 

–Saikat Kumar Basu, University of Lethbridge, 

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 

New Lives for Ancient and Extinct 


Paul E. Minnis, editor

2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-8165-3062-5

Hardcover, US$65.00. vi + 275 pp. 

University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, 


This volume provides a look at the subject from 

the viewpoint of the archaeologist. The editor has 

arranged for 15 experts (not including himself) 

to contribute treatments on plants as diverse as 

Iva annua (sumpweed; Asteraceae) to Maranta 

arundinacea (arrowroot; Marantaceae). And this 

is not to scant excellent treatments on Phalaris 

caroliniana (maygrass; Poaceae), Hordeum 

pusillum (little barley), and Vicia ervilia (bitter 

vetch; Fabaceae), and several others. It should be 

mentioned that species of both the Old and the 

New World are treated.
Following a thoughtful Introduction from the 

editor, the format of each chapter is a survey of the 

taxonomy of the plant, followed by a very detailed 

survey of the archaeological evidence of the plant’s 

prior cultivation, and concluding with comments 

on how, where, and why cultivation of the species 

in question might be resumed. The “extinct crop” of 

the title is a large-fruited race of Iva annua.
For many of the species, the authors have prepared 

maps, with the archaeological sites indicated 

beside modern highways and place names; for 

some species, continent-wide maps are used to 

show the sites. Occasionally, the going is a bit 

hard, when authors use certain highly specialized 

terminology—for example, with respect to dates, 

the abbreviations (or acronyms?) cal. and cal* are 

used on p. 213. I have been unable to find out the 

meanings. But these are trivial interruptions in the 

flow of the argument. Each of the nine chapters of 

this book has its own “References Cited,” blessedly 

free of abbreviations. There is a comprehensive 

index to the entire volume.
Salvia hispanica (chia; Lamiaceae) is treated in 

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zone (broadly defined). The online Gymnosperm 

Database ( is certainly 

more taxonomically comprehensive, but it seems 

unfair to compare online and print treatments and I 

will not undertake a full comparison in this review. 
The structure and layout of Conifers around 

the World is impressive, the photographs are 

of extremely high quality, and the pen-and-ink 

drawings are beautifully executed. (Sample pages 

available at:

samplepages.) The authors’ attention to detail and 

their ability to convey complex taxonomic concepts 

with clarity make this book the envy of anyone who 

has attempted to write taxonomic descriptions. 
The geographical coverage of the two volumes 

is presented inside the front cover on a 

pseudocylindrical world projection map with boxes 

drawn covering the 11 ecological regions covered 

in the books. A brief table of contents printed on 

the same page alerts the reader to the order of 

presentation. This table would be even more useful 

if it contained starting page numbers for each 

region so that the reader could quickly find their 

region of primary interest. The inside back cover 

contains another world map, this time divided into 

climatic zones. Inserted graphs show average annual 

temperatures for representative locations in each of 

the zones. Having just completed some consulting 

work where I needed to assemble this type of 

summary information for several regions, I know 

how hard it can be to find. Opening this book and 

finding the information I had just been struggling 

with laid out neatly on two pages was a revelation. 

Its placement at the back of the book makes it easy 

to find and reference while consulting the text. The 

authors’ attention to detail that is demonstrated 

through the inclusion of this material is reflected 

throughout the book.
Turning to the second volume, the inside front 

cover contains a map of the floristic regions and 

main vegetation types of the 34 regions recognized 

by Takhtajan in his 1986 book Floristic Regions of 

the World (University of California Press, Berkeley). 

The 15 regions whose conifers are discussed in 

the book are highlighted. The inside back cover 

contains a final map of the world showing its 

physical geography and the topography of the 

ocean floor. The text on this page is from a version 

of Chief Seattle’s famous 1854 speech, highlighting 

the fact that conservation themes run throughout 

both volumes. (Note: Please see http://www.snopes.

com/quotes/seattle.asp for a discussion of the 

Chapter 6; there is an especially detailed treatment 

of how artificial selection for certain horticultural 

traits might have proceeded. The Mexican origin of 

Chia Pets, ubiquitous on television at the Christmas 

season, is explained here, although without explicit 

mention of the product. The one-seeded nutlets 

have many other modern uses, including agua de 

chía, said to be very popular in Mexico today.
A continuing theme of the varied chapters in this 

book is that many ancient crops were very labor 

intensive; it may be inferred that their cultivation 

was abandoned when alternative foods became 

available. This seems to be especially the case with 

Panicum sumatrense (Poaceae), one of the “small 

millets” in the Indian subcontinent. It is today 

a crop for only the poorest of the poor. All the 

authors eschew mention of just how these ancient 

crops might be integrated into today’s agricultural 

world. And wisely so, I think, because such matters 

are enormously complex and outside the expertise 

of the authors.
The credentials of the authors are given very briefly 

on pp. 269–270, without postal or e-mail addresses. 

They are easily found on Google.
–Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University 

of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.


Conifers around the World: 

Conifers of the Temperate Zones 

and Adjacent Regions, Vols. 1–2

Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Rácz

2011. ISBN-13: 978-963-219-061-7

Cloth, $250.00. 1,089 pp. 

DendroPress, Budapest, Hungary.

If you love plants, you need to own this book. 

Conifers around the World is a massive two-volume 

compendium of the conifers of the northern and 

southern temperate region. At over 1,000 pages, 

3700 color photographs, 1,300 line drawings, and 

470 range maps, it is easily the most complete, if 

not taxonomically comprehensive, treatment of 

conifers that has ever been published. It covers 

56 of the 70 extant conifer genera, excluding 

only those that occur outside of the temperate 

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authenticity of this version of the speech, and http://  for a 

history of the different renditions of the speech.)
The first 86 pages of Volume 1 are dedicated to 

introductory material. This material includes 

a general introduction with information on 

conservation, classification, morphology, 

distribution and climate, and a brief survey of the 

evolution of conifers from the Carboniferous to the 

present. Some of these sections are very short, but 

all are very well written and well illustrated. 
Family and generic descriptions begin on page 

87 and occupy the next 45 pages. The family 

descriptions are assembled from the literature 

(cited at the end of the section) by Robert Price, the 

scientific editor of the volumes. Genus descriptions 

were written by the authors.  These descriptions are 

illustrated with detailed and absolutely gorgeous 

pen-and-ink drawings, the only drawings of this 

sort that appear in the books. One of the really 

nice things about these drawings is that, instead 

of scale markers, the images are accompanied by 

small annotations indicating their magnification. 

For instance, a drawing of the mature cones of Abies 

(p. 94) bears a small “1/2” in the lower right-hand 

corner indicating that it is one half life-size. I find 

these types of scale indications much more useful 

than the typical scale bars, which are often difficult 

to interpret, partly because they are seldom sized 

consistently in all images. I was able to gain a very 

good idea of the size of the illustrated structures 

from the scale notations.
Since we are discussing the pen-and-ink drawings, 

this may be the place to mention one of my few 

complaints about the book, as it concerns these 

images. Though the pen-and-ink drawings are 

absolutely beautiful, they were printed in color 

so that they appear slightly brown, almost as if 

they were a tintype or a duotone (Figure 1; cone 

of  Chamaecyparis obtusa var. obtusa [p. 99, top, 

drawing B2]). This effect is created by the use of 

colored as well as black ink on every page when the 

book was sent to press (Figure 2). This was likely a 

compromise forced on the authors by the printing 

house in order to economically allow the book to 

be printed in color. Essentially every other page of 

the book, except those containing the pen-and-ink 

drawings, contains at least one color photograph. 

Printing the drawings with only black ink would 

likely have necessitated a separate press run for 

only these pages, significantly increasing the cost of 

the book. As much as I understand why the authors 

wanted to avoid cost increases on an already 

expensive book, the reduction in quality of these 

stunning images is lamentable.
The main body of the book begins on page 133 and 

continues through the two volumes to page 928 in 

Volume 2. (Pagination is continuous through the 

two volumes.) Each section of this portion of the 

book begins with an overview of the world region, 

including information on the human history of 

the region, the geological history, the geographic 

regions, the climatic zones, vegetation history, 

and an introduction to the conifers of the region. 

These introductions are followed by range maps of 

the included species, which are presented together 

instead of on the species pages for easy comparison. 

Again, having just searched for this information for 

another project, I very much appreciate the ease 

with which this is made available on these pages. 

Although these maps are a valuable resource in and 

of themselves, they would be even more valuable 

if the authors had made the data available as GIS-

accessible files on their website. Easy access to GIS-

compliant range maps would have increased the 

value of the data immeasurably.
The bulk of the book is made up of species 

description pages. These are arranged alphabetically 

by species within a region. The family name is given 

in the top left corner of each page, while the top 

right corner contains the species name in a much 

larger font size. At the bottom of the page, the 

world region is listed so that readers can always be 

sure of their place in the book. An introduction to 

the species occurs at the top of the page, followed 

by a synoptic morphological description. The 

majority of the page is occupied by photographs. 

The introduction includes information on the 

elevational range, a description of the typical habitat 

including associated species, and distinguishing 

characteristics from easily confused species. The 

synoptic descriptions are relatively short but include 

original observations on size and color, in addition 

to the more usual information. The arrangement 

of the plates is semi-standardized, with the largest 

photograph (of the full plant) usually placed along 

the cut margin and smaller detail photographs 

of the leaves and cones along the bound margin. 

Standardization really helps the reader find relevant 

information and make comparisons among taxa, so 

I was happy to see that the authors have used it as 

much as possible.
The final two sections of the books (Vol. 2) are a 

Bark Gallery (pp. 929–1004) and an Appendix 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

(pp. 1005–1037). The bark gallery contains 648 

photographs (72 pages with nine images per 

page), which seems like a large number until 

you consider the range of variation that needs to 

be represented. With 541 taxa to cover, this left 

space for only a few of the most notable variants. 

The order of arrangement is alphabetical, as in the 

main text. Scale is indicated on these photographs 

by a notation in the caption indicating the trunk 

diameter. I personally do not think that scale is 

extremely important when considering bark, but 

if it is included I would have preferred that some 

other method could have been found. I found it 

difficult to translate stem diameters into anything 

meaningful in terms of bark pattern elements. 
The appendix contains brief descriptions of 28 taxa 

that were excluded from the regional chapters for 

various reasons. Infraspecific taxa are included 

here, as well as taxa for which the requisite images 

were not available, and new species that were 

published after the main sections were completed. 

A few nomenclatural problems are also dealt with 

here, in more detail than would have been possible 

in the main sections.
Conifers around the World is a fantastic book. The 

authors’ love of these plants comes through on 

almost every page, and is clearly expressed in the 

introduction. The level of detail is astounding, 

the photographs are beautiful, the range maps 

are extremely helpful, the species pages are laid 

out in a way that makes the information easily 

accessible, and the 72 pages of bark photographs 

are unprecedented in any publication of which I am 

aware. It is an indictment of the publishing industry 

that this book had to be published privately. No 

commercial publisher would have allowed the 

authors the freedom to produce this book. No 

commercial publisher would have produced 

something so beautiful.
–Bruce Kirchoff, University of North Carolina at 

Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Genera Palmarum: The Evolution 

and Classification of Palms

John Dransfield, Natalie Uhl, Conny 

Asmussen, William Baker, Madeline Harley, 

and Carl Lewis

2008. ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-182-2

Hardcover, $170.00. xi + 732 pp.

Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, 

Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom.

It appears that this book, originally published in 

2008, has undergone a second printing, because 

the website of the University of Chicago Press notes 

that it was published in February of 2014.
Officially, this is not the second edition of Genera 

Palmarum by Natalie Uhl and John Dransfield 

(published in 1987); that is, the title page says 

nothing to that point. Nonetheless, the authors 

themselves refer to the 1987 title as “Edition 1” in 

their introduction (p. vii), and advertising copy 

from the publisher refers to “the new edition.” 

And for all practical purposes, it is a new edition, 

greatly expanded from its predecessor, enhanced 

with excellent color photography throughout. The 

full-page line drawings that graced the 1987 work 

are repeated. The SEM pictures of pollen grains are 

an addition. The phylogenetic hypotheses are now 

based on molecular evidence. I think there are only 

two cladograms in the entire book, however. 
Both versions feature a very helpful alphabetical 

listing of the genera of palms on the inside front 

and back covers, including both the accepted 

names as well as the names that are synonymized. 

The two lists appear to be nearly identical. A 

notable addition is the genus Tahina, which was 

first published in 2008, when this book was in its 

final stages of preparation. The genus is named for 

Anne-Tahina Metz, the daughter of the discoverer 

of the palm—which one knows because all the 

accepted generic names are explained or translated, 

a most useful feature not found in the earlier work. 

It happens that Tahina is a hapaxanthic species; 

that is, it flowers and fruits once, and then dies. The 

Greek roots are hapax, meaning “once,” and anthos

meaning “flower.” One learns that hapaxanthy is 

fairly widespread in palms, and is to be found in 

16 genera representing two (out of five) subfamilies 

(p. 5).
There is a key to distinguish the subfamilies (p. 137) 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

and for each subfamily a following key to the tribes, 

and then a key to the genera (where appropriate). 

If a taxonomic account of a genus to species level 

exists, it is cited.
The glossary is a necessary addition to a book like 

this, because of the specialized terminology of the 

palm world. This one is unusual because it includes 

color photographs to illustrate the words.
The work concludes with two indexes; the first is 

to scientific names, the second to subjects, like 

hapaxanthy vs. pleonanthy (from pleo, meaning 

“more than once,” and anthos, meaning “flower”).
The 1987 edition of Genera Palmarum made no 

claim of permanency, nor does the current (2008) 

version. The earlier work stimulated a great amount 

of further work in palms, because it synthesized 

a vast literature and also pointed out what wasn’t 

known. In short, excellent works like these almost 

guarantee that a third version will appear a few 

decades from now.
–Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University 

of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

A Guide to Orchids of Myanmar

Hubert Kurzweil and Saw Lwin

2014. ISBN-13: 978-983-812-147-7 

Paperback, US$67.00. 196 pp. 

Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota 

Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a country rich in 

orchids, but they are not as well known as they 

should be. One review was published 130 years ago 

(Parish, 1883). The author, Charles Samuel Pollock 

Parish (1822–1897), was a British missionary and 

an accomplished amateur botanist with a special 

interest in orchids (Anonymous, 1897a). Parish 

discovered a large number of species, many of which 

were described individually by H. G. Reichenbach 

(1823–1889) and later included in an enumeration 

(Reichenbach, 1874). 
The first book on the orchids of Burma (including 

the Andaman Islands) is by an amateur, Captain 

Bartle Grant of the Border Regiment and Adjutant 

of the Rangoon Volunteer Rifles (Grant, 1895). 

At the time of publication, the book was praised 

(Anonymous, 1896) by the Gardeners’ Chronicle

“Too great praise cannot be bestowed …[on] 

Captain Grant’s work [which] will be of inestimable 

service.” But, as the orchid world contains, then 

as now, petty jealousies, backbiting, animosities, 

and treachery, the Orchid Album decreed that it 

“will not be of great value” because it “has serious 

defects” (Anonymous, 1897b). It did not take 

long for this book to become rare and expensive. 

(I bought my copy in the late 1960s for a pretty 

penny.) A reasonable-quality reprint was published 

in 1966 by the Central Press in Rangoon. As I recall, 

it cost only US$2.00 at the official rate of exchange, 

but the Burmese government prohibited its export 

(I had to smuggle out my copy).
Over the years, orchids found in Burma were 

included in several publications and books, but 

there were no major publications dealing specifically 

with them. Political instability, regressive regimes, 

and visa limitations (for many years, visitors were 

limited to seven-day stays) are the reasons for this. 

I visited Burma ca. 1970, 1975, and 1979 and was 

taken to the forests by my friend Saw Han (at that 

time assistant director of the forestry department), 

but not being a taxonomist I could only look 

with amazement at the beautiful orchids and take 

pictures. Burmese botanists did collect and study 

the orchids of Burma during that period, but there 

were few, if any, publications.
Collection of Burmese orchids and publications 

about them has increased since the regime changes 

of a few years ago, but this is the first major, 

internationally published, full-color book on the 

orchids of Myanmar. The effort is international. 

One of the authors is an Austrian-born orchid 

taxonomist stationed in Singapore (Kurzweil); the 

other is an orchid specialist from Myanmar (Saw 

Lwin). The publisher is Malaysian (located in 

Sabah, Borneo) and well known for exquisite books 

about orchids and other natural history subjects. 

[Full disclosure: I consider Kurzweil a friend, have 

met Lwin several times at orchid conferences, and 

have spent time over a cup of tea with Chan Chew 

Lun, owner of the publishing house.]
The book is not physically large (21.5 × 15. 2 cm 

and vii + 196 pp.), but it provides a large amount 

of information. The introduction, illustrated with 

color and black-and-white photographs, describes 

briefly, but well, the geography, climate, and 

vegetation of Myanmar; the orchid flora (affinities 

to other regions, endemics, structure of roots, 

stems, and flowers); history of orchidology in the 

country; and uses of the local orchids. Conservation 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

is covered by Jacob Phelp (National University of 

Singapore) in a separate section. This is followed by 

what seems to be a very useful and usable key of the 

orchid groups in Myanmar. (I had no opportunity 

to test it.)
A list of the orchid genera found in Myanmar 

that are featured in the book is followed by 

descriptions and illustrations of 116 species (one 

per page, pp. 51–167). Each description includes 

two photographs (one of a plant in bloom or an 

inflorescence bearing flowers, and the other a close-

up of a flower), a standard taxonomic description, 

and indication of habitat and distribution. Pages 

168–172 are devoted to an extensive glossary that 

will be of great benefit for orchid growers and 

even botanists who work with other plants. The 

suggested reading list is short (15 entries), but 

should have been longer. Acknowledgments and 

photo credits follow. Welcome features are the two 

indexes (general on p. 176 and scientific names 

on pp 177–181). The last 14 pages of the book 

are devoted to a checklist of the Orchidaceae of 

Myanmar by Paul Ormerod and Hubert Kurzweil. 

Given that the book does not illustrate all orchids of 

Myanmar, this checklist is most welcome.
The publication of Grant’s book and this one is 

separated by 119 years, perhaps a record interval 

between books on the orchids of the same country. 

Nearly half a century passed from the publication 

of the reprint of Grant’s book and the present 

volume. Both are a long time, but the excellent 

content and production of this book make the wait 

well worthwhile.
I enjoyed placing the original and the reprint of 

Grant’s book, Reichenbach’s article, Parish’s paper, 

and this volume next to each other and reading 

similar descriptions. However, I am sure that this 

book can be enjoyed all by itself.

Literature Cited

Anonymous. 1896. The orchids of Burma. 

Gardeners’ Chronicle 20 (N.S. 3): 568.

Anonymous. 1897a. Obituary, Rev. C. S. P. Parish. 

Gardeners’ Chronicle 22 (Ser. 3): 295.

Anonymous. 1897b. Review. The orchid of Burma 

(and Andaman Islands). Text under plates 517–

518 in R. Warner and H. Williams (eds.), The 

Orchid Volume, Vol. XI. Victoria and Paradise 

Nurseries, Upper Holloway, London, United 


Grant, B. 1895. The orchids of Burma (including 

the Andaman Islands). Hanthawaddy Press, 

Rangoon, Burma. Reprint 1966 by Central 

Press, Rangoon, Burma.

Parish, C. S. P. 1883. Order Orchidaceae. Pp. 148–

202 in F. Mason (ed.), Burma, its people and 

productions 2. Rewritten and enlarged by W. 

Theobald. Austin and Sons, Hertford, United 


Reichenbach, H. G. 1874. Enumeration of the 

orchids collected by the Rev. E. C. Parish in the  

neighbourhood of Moulmein, with descriptions 

of the new species. Transactions of the Linnean 

Society of London 30: 133–155, plates 27–32.

–Joseph Arditti, Professor Emeritus, University of 

California, Irvine, California, USA

Land of Enchantment Wildflowers: 

A Guide to the Plants of New 


Willa F. Finley and LaShara J. Nieland

2013. ISBN-13: 978-0-89672-822-6

Paperback, US$29.95. 352 pp.

Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas, 


This is a full-color work, in which some 200 

commonly encountered herbaceous plants are 

pictured and discussed, but not in any usual sense 

described. There are no keys; one finds one’s plant 

by flower color: red, yellow, green, etc. But the 

color-tabbed page edges are subtly tinted, and the 

“red” looks orange to my eye. “White flowers” gets a 

gun-metal gray tab.
According to Allred (Flora Neomexicana, 2008, 

a work not cited in the bibliography), there are 

3696 species of vascular plants in New Mexico, an 

area about the same size as modern Poland. It’s an 

unavoidable fact that a book that includes only 200 

species can scarcely qualify as a guide to the plants 

of the state. 
On Cover 4, the publisher calls this “The New 

Mexico companion to Lone Star Wildflowers.” That 

title, by these same authors, is similarly subtitled 

“A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants.” Again, the 

authors must have made some very hard choices as 

to what to include.
I recall my first plant taxonomy class, when the 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

The book concludes with a glossary, a bibliography, and 

a very thorough index, important in a work that relies on 

multiple common names. The book will become a 

favorite of tourists, surely, along with all those who 

delight in excellent color photographs.
–Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University 

of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

professor said “No, we don’t include that in the 

herbarium—it’s just a weed from Europe.” The 

present authors do not harbor such silly prejudices, 

and obvious roadside weeds like Hound’s Tongue, 

Cynoglossum officinale, regularly over a meter tall, 

are included, along with Peganum harmala L., with 

a delightful story of how it came to be introduced 

from the Old World.
In lieu of descriptions, the authors explain all the 

Latin names, give some botanical history where 

appropriate, and especially feature uses of the plant 

by Native Americans and early settlers. Toxicity is 

also mentioned. Many of the plants featured in this 

book are alleged to be cures for everything from 

fallen arches to baldness. Wisely, the authors refrain 

from commenting on the efficacy of such remedies; 

the obligatory warning about possibly poisoning 

oneself is on page 5.
A search at for “flowering plants of 

New Mexico” will turn up at least the second and 

third editions of Flowering Plants of New Mexico, 

by Robert DeWitt Ivey, which features keys (after a 

fashion) and copious line drawings. There are no 

color photographs, but at least one can tell if the 

leaves are opposite or alternate, which is sometimes 

tricky in color photographs that concentrate on the 

flowers themselves. (The search does not turn up 

the title under review here.)
Pretty much at random, I turned to the account 

of Zinnia (pp. 84–86). The genus is indeed named 

by Linnaeus in honor of Johann Gottfried Zinn 

(1727–1759), author of Catalogus Plantarum Horti 

Academici et Agri Gottingensis (1757). Finley and 

Nieland repeat the tale that Zinn himself travelled 

to Mexico and collected the seed of what is today 

the common garden zinnia, Zinnia elegans Jacquin, 

1789. They may be forgiven, because the story is to 

be found in many places on the Internet (University 

of Wisconsin Garden Facts, for example). If only it 

were true! Linnaeus’ decision to found the genus 

Zinnia Systema Vegetabilium ed. 10, 2: 1221, 1759) 

was spurred by Zinn’s description (p. 409 and plate 

1 in his Catalogus) of a kind of “Rudbeckia,” for lack 

of a better place to put it. Zinn himself expressed 

considerable doubt as to what genus his plant 

belonged to and in any case made no comment 

whatever as to the seed source. Had he travelled 

to Mexico (a most improbable voyage and trek at 

that time in history) and personally returned with 

the seeds, he would surely have said so. Various 

biographical sketches (both old and modern) of 

Zinn make no mention of his having travelled to Mexico.

Red List of the Endemic Plants of 

the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, 

Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey

James Solomon, Tatyana Shulkina, and 

George E. Schatz, editors

2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-915279-82-1

Cloth, US$65.00. 451 pp. 

Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, 

Missouri, USA

Realizing the magnitude and importance of the 

ever-increasing threat to biodiversity, a new global 

standard in assessing environmental risk—the 

IUCN Red List of Endemic Plants—was prepared 

about the Caucasus region, linked to the Red List 

of Ecosystems. Straddling Europe and Asia and 

rich in endemic vascular plants, the Caucasus was 

identified as a biodiversity hotspot designated 

as a conservation priority in 2003 by the Critical 

Ecosystem Partnership Fund, part of the global 

initiative designed to safeguard the world’s rare 

and threatened species. This publication about the 

endemic plants of the Caucasus region contains the 

first floristic analysis of that territory, comprising 

all of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and sections 

of Iran, the Russian Federation, and Turkey. 
The book’s foreword, written by Peter Raven, draws 

attention to the fact that the biodiversity of the 

Caucasus region is being lost at an alarming rate. 

Nearly half of the territory in the hotspot has been 

transformed by human activities: the unsustainable 

harvesting of natural resources, including plants, 

animals and marine species. The loss, degradation, 

or fragmentation of ecosystems through land 

conversion for agriculture, forest clearing, and other 

activities have most heavily impacted the plains, 

foothills, and subalpine belts. Native floodplain 

vegetation remains on only half of its original 

area in the northern Caucasus, and only 2–3% of 

original riparian forests remain in the southern 

Caucasus. The major threats to biodiversity in the 

region are illegal logging, fuel wood harvesting, 

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

and the timber trade; overgrazing, poaching, and 

the illegal wildlife trade; overfishing; infrastructure 

development; and pollution of rivers and wetlands.
All of the IUCN’s Red Listing processes rely on 

the willingness of experts to contribute and pool 

their collective knowledge to make the most 

reliable estimates of species status. Without their 

enthusiastic commitment to species conservation, 

this kind of regional overview would not be possible. 

It identifies those species that are threatened with 

extinction at the regional level so that appropriate 

conservation action can be taken to improve their 

This Red List publication summarizes results 

for selected vascular plants in the Caucasus. 

The Red List is a functional tool that will evolve 

with time as species are reassessed according 

to new information or situations. It is aimed at 

stimulating and supporting research, monitoring, 

and conservation action at local, regional, and 

international levels, especially for Threatened, Near 

Threatened, and Data Deficient species. However, 

this volume leaves out a unit with conclusions and 

recommendations about which threatened vascular 

plant species require further conservation actions 

to improve their status.
The species names included were those contributed 

by authors from each country; therefore, some 

omissions are inevitable. Nomenclature is also 

open-ended: the editors indicate that it is beyond the 

scope of this volume to resolve the circumscription 

and application of taxonomic conflicts. Therefore, 

for example, the name Iris iberica Hoffm. utilized in 

this volume should be revised as I. iberica Steven, 

which has priority of publication, and was applied 

correctly by Akopian (2010). The editors write that 

the absence of an “x” indicates that a particular 

country does not have evidence of the presence of 

this species, under this name. However, considering 

the same example, although Turkey does not report 

I. iberica” (as named in this volume) it is present 

there; also in the case of I. iberica, no subspecies 

are indicated in this work, although they figure in 

Akopian (2010). 
The book’s arrangement follows, more or less, the 

same pattern for each of the six chapters, each 

chapter reporting on one of the six nations: [a] opens 

with a synopsis in the language script (alphabet) 

of each respective country, augmented with 

each associated nation’s flag; [b] an introductory 

environmental summary preceding the main 

text: nation’s capital, other cities, population, 

language, flora, botanical institutions, protected 

areas; [c] ecology: climate, flora and vegetation, 

main threats; [d] thematic content: distribution 

of endemic species within each type of vegetation 

zone; [e] description of the top 50 species viewed 

as each country’s National Conservation Priorities, 

followed by a distribution map of each species; [f] 

succinct bibliography. Printed on thick, heavy-

duty paper with a high-gloss finish, the book’s 140 

photographs are presented with high-quality, bright 

color vibrancy.

Collectively, the participating authors of each 

chapter represent the robust scholarship of 

botany in their respective countries, i.e., sourced 

from botanical gardens, institutes of botany, or 

universities. The editors are all current or former 

research staff at the Missouri Botanical Garden: 

James Solomon, Associate Curator and Curator 

of the Herbarium; Tatyana Shulkina, Associate 

Curator, Former Soviet Union (the Caucasus) 

Projects; and George Schatz, Curator, Africa and 

Madagascar, and Project Supervisor, Coordination 

and Development of Plant Red List Assessments for 

the Caucasus Biodiversity Hotspot.
An electronic version of this volume would enable 

it to become a more readily updatable, dynamic, 

living tool, as opposed to a static hard copy.
Regrettably, one error crept into the text, containing 

a symbolic and disturbing omission. The opening 

sentence of the chapter on Turkey, written by Ekim, 

Terzioğlu, Emanağaoğlu, and Coşkunçelebi (p. 210) 

states: “The Caucasian region of Turkey occupies 

the northeastern portion of the country, bounded 

on the east by Georgia and Azerbaijan and southeast 

by Iran.” It appears that Armenia was purged from 

among the countries bordering Turkey. Within 

the Caucasus region, Armenia shares a border of 

268 km with Turkey, Georgia 252 km, Iran 499 

km, while Turkey shares no common border with 

Azerbaijan, aside from a 9-km land bridge ceded by 

Iran that connects it to Nakhichevan.
–Dorothea Bedigian, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. 

Louis, Missouri, USA.

Literature Cited

Akopian, J. A. 2010. Conservation of native 

plant diversity at the Yerevan Botanic Garden, 

Armenia. Kew Bulletin 65(4): 663–669.

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Books Received

Anatomy of the Monocotyledons, Volume 10, Orchidaceae. 2014. William Louis 

Stern. ISBN: 978-0-19968-907-1 (Cloth, US$150.00) 288 pp. Oxford University Press, 

Cary, North Carolina, USA. 

Compendium of Rhododendron and Azalea Diseases and Pests, 2nd ed. 2014.

Robert G. Linderman, and D. Michael Benson (eds.). ISBN 978-0-89054-436-5 

(Paperback, US$99.00) 144 pp. 173 color images. American Phytopathological 

Society, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. 

Essentials of Conservation Biology, 6th ed. 2014. Richard B. Primack. ISBN 

978-1-60535-289-3 (Cloth US$94.95) 603 pp. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, 

Massachusetts, USA.

Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve. 2014. Chris Thorogood and Simon 

Hiscock. ISBN 978-184246-497-7 (Cloth US$60.00) 272 pp. Royal Botanic Gardens, 

Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom, distributed in US by University of Chicago 

Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Ireland’s Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland

2014. Peter Wyse Jackson. ISBN 978-0-91527-978-4 (Cloth US$60.00) 754 pp. 

Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Magnolias in Art and Cultivation. 2014. Barbara Oozeerally, Jim Gardiner, and 

Stephen A. Spongberg. ISBN 978-1-84246-499-1 (Cloth US$150.00) 268 pp. Royal 

Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom, distributed in US by 

University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Plant Biographies (Plant’s Eye View of the Planet and Man). 2014. Sue Eland. ISBN 

978-0-9576539-0-0 (CD-ROM £59.99, US$100.00).

Plant Systematics: The Origin, Interpretation, and Ordering of Plant Biodiversity. 

2014. Tod F. Stuessy, Daniel J. Crawford, Douglas E. Soltis, and Pamela S. Soltis. ISBN 

978-3-87429-452-2 (Cloth €98.00) 425 pp. Koeltz Scientific Books, Koenigstein, 


Trees of Eastern North America. 2014. Gil Nelson, Christopher J. Earle, and Richard 

Spellenberg. ISBN 978-0-691-14591-4 (Paperback US$29.95) 720 pp. Princeton 

University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

Trees of Western North America. 2014. Richard Spellenberg, Christopher J. Earle, 

and Gil Nelson. ISBN 978-0-691-14580-8 (Paperback US$29.95) 560 pp. Princeton 

University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

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Plant Science Bulletin 60(3) 2014

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Plant Science Bulletin

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The Botanical Society of 

America is a membership 

society whose mission  is to: 

promote botany, the field of 

basic science dealing with the 

study & inquiry into the form, 

function, development, diversity, 

reproduction, evolution, & uses 

of plants & their interactions 

within the biosphere.

ISSN 0032-0919 

Published quarterly by  

Botanical Society of America, Inc.  

4475 Castleman Avenue 

St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 

Periodicals postage is paid at  

St. Louis, MO & additional  

mailing offices. 


Send address changes to:

Botanical Society of America 

Business Office 

P.O. Box 299 

St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 

The yearly subscription rate of  

$15  is included in the membership  

Address Editorial Matters (only) to: 

Marshall D. Sundberg 


Department of Biological Sciences  

Emporia State University  

1200 Commercial St. 

Emporia, KS 66801-5057 

Phone 620-341-5605

Plant Science 


                                                                                Fall 2014 Volume 60 Number 3

In September 2014, the BSA launched a social media campaign 

inviting anyone studying the plant sciences to “reclaim the name” of 

being a botanist. Botanists from around the world held up signs to show 

what they study and where they are from, centered around the hashtag 

#iamabotanist. The field can sometimes appear to be a “quiet science,” 

and the campaign served as a way for botanists to be recognized, for 

them to promote their scientific research interests, and to spread 

the news about the BSA being a home for all botanists, regardless of 


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