A.C. MOORE HERBARIUM / UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA / SPRING 2016
THE A.C. MOORE HERBARIUM FROM A-Z
Hello herbarium friends! The A.C. Moore Herbarium is right in the middle of one of its busiest periods ever, with lots of projects and research coupled with a record-breaking output in public service. We've seen a number of changes — one of which is the new format of our newsletter. This year's installment of Florascope features a streamlined 'zine style with more images. Let us know what you think of the look.
JOHN NELSON CURATOR OF THE HERBARIUM
In this edition, we are presenting an A-Z overview of the herbarium. We hope you'll enjoy reading it, and we hope that you stay in touch with us through the coming year. It's a great time to be enjoying, studying and documenting the plant life around us.
Arader & Art
The hallway outside the A.C . Moore
We are running out of space for bo-
Herbarium is now an art gallery.
tanical collections and for the people
This past summer, Graham Arader do-
who curate and use them. Our 125,000
nated to the university, via the Thomas
specimens are housed in less than
Cooper Library, an amazing collection
1,500 square feet, and there is space
of framed, original botanical prints,
for only 18,000 additional specimens.
A.C. Moore Herbarium Curator / John Nelson Assistant Curator / Herrick Brown
including works by Leonhart Fuchs,
We’re on the lookout for more space!
College of Arts and Sciences Interim dean / Roger Sawyer Department of Biological Sciences Department chair / Johannes Stratmann Stay Connected: University Home Page: sc.edu A.C. Moore Herbarium: herbarium.biol.sc.edu Facebook: A.C. Moore Herbarium Magazine Designer / Brinnan Wimberly Photographer / Kim Truett
George Ehret and Joseph Redouté. We are especially pleased to display a portion of these historic examples of 16th-18th century botanical art.
Batson Wade T. Batson Jr., a beloved professor of botany at Carolina, passed away Feb. 14, 2015, just shy of his 103rd birthday. Dr. B brought a love of botany and
The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, genetics, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University of South Carolina has designated as the ADA Title II, Section 504 and Title IX coordinator the Executive Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs. The Office of the Executive Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs is located at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 805, Columbia, SC; telephone 803-777-3854. UCS15336 2/16
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biodiversity to many students, some of whom now have students of their own. His legacy as a botanist and teacher will endure.
Wade T. Batson Jr.
Digitization We have embarked on digitizing specimens from South Carolina and the rest of the Southeast. This multiyear project is funded by a grant in collaboration with USC’s Center for Digital Humanities.
rowth Whether performed by beginning botanists or seasoned researchers, documentation of the occurrences of plants
is of paramount importance. This is made possible by the processing of collected plants into useful scientific objects, which is what a properly prepared herbarium specimen represents. A.C. Moore Herbarium specimens have come from a variety of places, and this past summer we were thrilled to receive specimens comprising the Westvaco Herbarium, a set of nearly 2,200 specimens collected by David Bourgeois. These beautiful specimens represent an
Education & Exchange
excellent assortment of coastal plain species from
The herbarium focuses on research, education and
as native and cultivated species from elsewhere.
public service. Our main collection is an educa-
We are fortunate to have this collection, and we are
tional resource, and specimens are regularly used
happy to have on board Sarah Taylor, a botanist from
for teaching undergraduate courses, as well as for
Texas, whose family now calls Columbia home. In
public display. We are also exchanging specimens
addition to processing specimens within the Ravenel
with Vietnam’s Institute of Tropical Botany in Ho Chi
collection (see “Ravenel”), Sarah is overseeing the
Minh City. Such specimens make it easier to illustrate,
Westvaco collection. She is well underway with the
in a teaching situation, a variety of plant families not
process of assessing specimen condition and repair-
present in the Southeast.
ing those that need it before further processing. A
growing herbarium can always use another botanist.
previous Westvaco forest properties in S.C., as well
John Edwards Fairey III (1940-2015), herbarium curator at Clemson University and a former student of Prof. Wade Batson, died Feb. 1, 2015. Many of his specimens reside in the A.C. Moore Herbarium as evidence of his commitment and devotion to botany in S.C. Sanguinaria canadensis
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erbarium The A.C. Moore Herbarium was begun by Andrew Charles Moore in 1907. Moore was the first chair of the fledgling biology department at USC, and his original specimens (about 400) are housed separately within the collection. The herbarium experienced a tremendous revitalization during the 1970s and ’80s under the curation of Cindy Aulbach-Smith and in association with South Carolina’s Nongame and Heritage Trust Program, now a part of S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Presently, the collec-
tions include about 125,000 specimens, mostly of vascular plants, but also including algae, mosses, liverworts and lichens. Taking care of any biological collection comes with its own set of needs and procedures. Specimens must be kept absolutely dry and stored in secure steel cases. The threat of insect pests is a very serious one; we do not use any insecticides but rely on pest prevention. All specimens that enter the herbarium are carefully inspected, then temporarily frozen at negative 80°C. Specimens treated in this way will last indefinitely.
As a public service, the A.C. Moore Herbarium provides
Carefully prepared plant specimens are the bread and
free plant identifications. Weeds, houseplants, agri-
butter of any properly curated herbarium collection,
cultural pest plants, cultivated species — we look at
but type specimens are the jewels. A type specimen
everything. Have a plant for which you need a name?
is one that is specifically indicated at the time of the
Bring it by, snail mail it (see “Ziplock”) or email us a
publication of a new plant name. In a sense, type speci-
picture. Last year we addressed 932 inquiries, and many
mens are the most important of all for they crystallize
plants brought in for identification were added to our
the concept of a newly described species. Presently our herbarium contains 71 types.
nowledge Marvin Brown is developing a critical synthesis of botanical study on the Waccamaw Neck in Georgetown County, one of the most
fascinating botanical regions of the state. As a graduate student in USC’s School of the Environment, he will be completing requirements for a Master’s in Earth and Environmental Resource Management (M.E.E.R.M.) in 2016. Marvin’s work includes an assemblage of all the independent botany projects on the Neck, beginning Podostemum ceratophyllum
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with those of Wade Batson and John Barry in the 1960s
Coastal Sciences. More recent projects include John
Nelson’s inventories of the Tom Yawkey Wildlife
South Carolina is now recognized as the only state
within the university’s Baruch Center for Marine and
Center, Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach
in the nation in which “Carolina hedge-nettle” oc-
State Park. Marvin has also had his boots on the ground
curs. A species in the mint family with the scientific
to wrap up an inventory of the Prince George Tract
name Stachys caroliniana, Carolina hedge-nettle was
near Pawley’s Island, a continuation of a project
first found by USC alumnus Doug Rayner, Ph.D. ’74, in
begun by Billy Seckinger. The Waccamaw Neck has
Charleston County. John Nelson, B.S. ’73, then located
revealed an enormous diversity of plant life, dis-
it in Georgetown County; both populations are associ-
tributed through a network of fascinating habitats.
ated with the Santee River delta. Their research is a
At least three rare species are now known from
clear indication that understanding the state’s plant life
this area: Amaranthus pumilus (“Beach pigweed”),
is an ongoing process. How many more new species are
Trichostema nesophilum (“Dune blue-curls”) and
out there waiting to be recognized?
Stachys caroliniana (“Carolina hedge-nettle”). This stretch of S.C.’s coastline has experienced a tremendous amount of development and its accompanying disturbance. Nevertheless, the Waccamaw Neck represents one of the most significant complexes of natural regions in the state.
Lexington County In 2015, the A.C. Moore Herbarium received a generous grant from our friends at the Lexington County Master Gardeners Association. This grant has been incorporated into our endowment, enabling us, this past summer, to purchase 3,000 sheets of mounting paper — we were almost out! We hope to continue our relationship with LCMGA, whose members always are welcome for a tour of the herbarium or a field trip.
Making It Grow Tune into S.C. ETV on Tuesday nights
H Stachys caroliniana
utreach Because the A.C. Moore Herbarium is part of the state’s flagship university, herbarium staff consider it a responsibility to make their botani-
at 7 p.m. for “Making it Grow," a
cal expertise available to the public. One of the ways
homegrown hour of gardening
in which we get the word out to the public is through
tips and visits to interesting
a weekly column, “Mystery Plant,” which is provided to
places in the state. Herbarium
many newspapers in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and
curator John Nelson is a regular
Virginia. The column features an unusual or otherwise
member of the "Making it Grow"
interesting plant along with a clue to its identity in the
cast, presenting a mystery plant each week.
form of a photo and explanatory essay. Interested in having this column in your local newspaper? Let the
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able by appointment to the public for educational tours
The Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Col-
ern states. The A.C. Moore Herbarium has collaborated
editor know about it. In addition, the herbarium is avail-
Plantman is that A.C. Moore Herbarium associate who stands ready to identify plants for anyone, anywhere, who sends
lections is a consortium of 233 herbaria in 13 southeastwith SERNEC since 2006 and most recently is a partner in an NSF-sponsored project to digitize more than three million specimens held in herbaria across the Southeast.
Rarely seen, except in cartoon drawings, Plantman
Thomas Cooper Library
wears a green cape and possess extraordinary powers
We have engaged with USC’s Thomas Cooper Library
a plant specimen to the herbarium.
of plant demystification.
in a fascinating exhibit titled “Defining Botany: the Cul-
ture and Science of Plants.” This exhibit imaginatively
Questions are the product of curiosity and the start of knowledge. Miranda Millerick, a student in USC’s Department of History, held a semester-long internship in the herbarium, focusing her research on the life and scientific endeavors of Velma Matthews, one of South Carolina’s premier woman botanists of the 20th century. In her study of Matthews’ extensive collection of ferns, Miranda has mapped the process of developing this collection.
brought together published materials, art work and herbarium specimens to illustrate how plants are
depicted and the profound ways in which these pro-
cesses have changed through the centuries.
One of the most important botanical collections in the U.S. is the 19th century Henry W. Ravenel Collection of Converse College. This collection is being repaired at the A.C. Moore Herbarium and made available to the scientific community. Portions of Ravenel’s accumulated herbarium of vascular plants were earlier distributed to herbaria at Harvard, Brown and the Charleston Museum as well as other universities and institutions. The largest remaining portion resides at the A.C. Moore Herbarium, consisting of nearly 6,300 sheets.
nderway Spring is already underway, but it's brisk and chilly outside. Nevertheless, there are plenty of plants to be studied. Since 1907, scores of
botanists have deposited their collections within the A.C. Moore Herbarium, and we have received many specimens on exchange from nonlocal and historic collectors. We are particularly pleased to be the institutional home base for Keith A. Bradley (pictured on the cover). Keith is an expert on the flora of Florida and has been expanding his areas of expertise within coastal Georgia and all of South Carolina. We look forward to his continued activity in the field, and additional specimens as one result. Our collection efforts for the herbarium know no timetable, and there are plenty of botanical finds to be had. It’s the time to be studying mosses and lichens, but also the early bloomers. What’s blooming where you live?
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Volunteers The A.C. Moore Herbarium is a busy place: something in the collection always needs attention. Susan Creed, an herbarium volunteer for several years, is a Columbia resident and a master naturalist. She is quite skilled at mounting herbarium specimens, a task that requires careful hands and attention to detail. The specimens she has produced are botanically significant as archival scientific objects
and even suitable for framing! Contact us to learn more about volunteering in the herbarium.
illiams Austin Williams, an Honors College student, is studying plant life along Gills Creek in Richland
County. His honors thesis will include a description and listing of vascular plants dominating the creek’s watershed, along with commentary concerning the effects of the October 2015 flood.
Xylem Xylem isn’t the only tissue found in a stem crosssection. As part of an undergraduate independent research project, USC student Catherine Garner has partnered with biology professor emeritus John M. Herr to study stem anatomy of different species in the mint family (Lamiaceae) as a way of discerning differences that could be used taxonomically. Her
You Are you interested in botany and natural history? Perhaps you want to learn more about plants growing around your home and make a collection of them. There are plenty of opportunities to learn by helping at the herbarium, perhaps by working with a fascinating assortment of specimens. People make this place work, and we invite you to be part of it.
Zip Lock As in a zip lock baggy, the perfect container for sending plant specimens to the herbarium for identification. Place part of the plant — with flowers and fruits, if possible — inside the baggy with a damp paper towel. Poke a small hole in the baggy and mail it to us. We’ll identify it right away.
comparative study includes examination of herbarium specimens, as well as living material. Her study has included Stachys caroliniana, the first scientific inquiry into this new and rare species.
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Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #766 Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC 29208
We make South Carolina more vibrant. Janice C. Swab has devoted her life to university teaching and botanical research, and through a gift to her alma mater, she continues to inspire future scientists. The Swab Botanical Award will support students’ research for years to come at USC’s A.C. Moore Herbarium.
CAROLINA CHANGES EVERYTHING SOUTHCAROLINA.EDU/VIBRANT
JANICE C. SWAB BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 1965 USC COLUMBIA
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