Happy birthday to a true plant pioneer! Little known fact: In addition to Carver’s work on peanuts and sweet potatoes, he was also an avid mycologist.
While at Iowa State, he developed a talent for collecting fungal specimens. Since mycology was a scientific discipline that required a high degree of training and sophisticated equipment for proper identification, and Carver had neither training nor equipment, he often sought the aid of trained mycologists. While his preliminary identifications were remarkably accurate, Carver’s real gift was for finding rare and new species. Throughout his career, he sent specimens to numerous mycologists and plant pathologists.
At least 100 of Carver’s fungal specimens found their way to the Garden’s Steere Herbarium, most likely through his friendship with J.B. Ellis. ~AR
Happy birthday, George Washington Carver! Born on this day in 1865, Carver improved the economy of the South by demonstrating the commercial possibilities of peanuts and sweet potatoes. His “Movable School” educated impoverished farmers. His stamp was issued 1998 as part of the Celebrate the Century: 1910s stamp pane.