The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
catalogued about 300 specimens collected by James Rex Baird. As only a small
fraction of the collection is databased, without doubt many more will be
found. He frequently collected with
Harry E. Ahles for the “Flora of the Carolinas” project which was the basis
for the 1968 book, Manual of the
Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.
In addition to NCU, specimens collected by
Baird can be found in the herbaria of Austin Peay
State University (APSC), William & Mary (WILLI), Valdosta State
University (VSC), University of Wisconsin (WIS)
Rex Baird was born in Morganton, North
Carolina, son of Carrie Lee Burns and Clyde McDowell Baird. He earned his Bachelor degree from
Appalachian State Teacher College (now Appalachian State University in Boone)
Baird (L) and Alan S. Weakley (R)
at North Carolina Botanical Garden, June 2016
Rex Baird earned his Ph.D. at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969 under Dr. Albert E.
Radford. Baird’s thesis, “A taxonomic revision of
the plant family Myricaceae of North America, north
of Mexico,” was published in 1969.
Baird was a member of the faculty in the
Department of Natural Sciences at University of Virginia at Wise and co-chair
of the Flora Committee of the Virginia Academy of Sciences. He was also an
advisor to the Flora of Virginia
Project, which culminated with
the 2012 publication of Flora of
Virginia by Alan S. Weakley,
J. Christopher Ludwig and John F. Townsend.
Baird currently lives in Hillsborough, North