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WebBonus   | Summer 2012

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Plants Collected by Norman Borlaug in Herbaria

Dr. BorlaugNorman Borlaug

Herbaria specimens come from a wide variety of sources, including explorers and amateur, but early researchers and pioneer botanists provided the bulk of the collection.

Among the notable collectors are:

*  Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug worked throughout his life to feed a hungry world. During the 1940s and ’50s, Borlaug helped transform agricultural production in Mexico. In 1945, he collected bean specimens with rust, which were sent to Purdue’s Arthur Herbarium.

Deam specimenCharles Deam collected this plant Sept. 24, 1934, on a high wooded bluff of the Ohio River in Jefferson County, east of Paynesville, Ind. (Purdue herbaria photo)

* Other crops with rust were collected by George Washington Carver. Carver was born into slavery, but became a renowned agricultural researcher, teacher and innovator. Among the herbaria’s more than 70 Carver specimens are ones he collected as an Iowa State University graduate student.

* Charles Deam, Indiana’s first state forester, discovered 25 new plant species and had 48 plants, a state recreation area and a U.S. wilderness area named after him. While most of his collection is at the Deam Herbarium at Indiana University, Purdue’s Kriebel Herbarium has more than 2,000 Deam specimens. Deam used this collection to write his classic work "Flora of Indiana," which is still used as a reference today.

Related feature: Purdue, Plants and Pioneers

 

 

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