Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Assistant Curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium.
Special thanks to Meredith Tozzer,
Alumni Records,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Herman Harrison Braxton

The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued sixteen specimens collected by Herman Harrison Braxton, who always signed his herbarium labels “H. H. Braxton.”  Most of Braxton’s specimens were collected in the Crawford Creek area of Haywood County, North Carolina, though a few were collected around Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

To date, only a single specimen collected by H. H. Braxton has been found in another herbarium.  BPI holds Hydnum murrillii (Banker) Trotter that he collected on 5 August 1926 from Crawford’s Creek in Haywood Co., North Carolina.  As herbaria across North America catalog specimens on, it is possible that more specimens collected by H. H. Braxton will be found.


H. H. Braxton ca. 1928
Photograph courtesy of Alumni Records, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Herman Harrison Braxton was born on 13 November 1906 in Saxapahaw, Alamance County, North Carolina to Nettie Emma Guthrie (25 August 1873 – 1953) and James Guy Braxton (27 September 1871 - 1954).  After graduating from Whitney High School in the village of Eli Whitney he entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1924.   While at Carolina “Brax” played dormitory & fraternity baseball and football.  Most of his fungal collecting occurred in 1926, but it is unclear why he chose to collect specimens in rural Haywood County.  In 1926 he co-authored with Dr. William Chambers Coker, “New Water Molds from the Soil,” (Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 42(1-2): 139-149).  In 1927 he and fellow mycology students W. T. Alexander, A. B. Couch and Velma Matthews contributed to “Other Water Molds from the Soil,” authored by W. C. Coker (JEMS 43(3-4):  207-226).  Braxton collected the type specimen of Brevilegnia linearis Coker “In moist clay one inch deep under lichens in an open pasture near Saxapahaw, N.C.”  Braxton is also the co-author of several fungi:  Brevilegnia unisperma Coker & Braxton, Brevilegnia unisperma var. litoralis Coker & Braxton (Thraustotheca unisperma var. litoralis Coker & Braxton), Allomyces moniliformis Coker & Braxton, Achlya abortiva Coker & Braxton, Achlya inflata Coker & Braxton, Achlya subterranea Coker & Braxton, and  Dictyuchus pseudodictyon Coker & Braxton.  He graduated from UNC-CH in 1928 with an A. B. in Botany and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Braxton earned an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland in 1932, and was a practicing physician in Chase City, Virginia for fifty-five years.   


In 1935 he married Anne Norfolk Grimm, a 1926 graduate of Goucher College.  Their son, Herman Harrison, Jr. was a graduate of UNC-CH in 1958, and their daughter, Elizabeth Anne, earned her A.B. at Wheaton College.  In addition to serving on the Chase City town council for eight years (and Anne serving for six), Dr. Braxton “started being a gentleman farmer in 1943 and haven’t been out of debt since that date.” 

Dr. Braxton died at age 82 in Chase City, Virginia on 18 November, 1988.  He is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Chase City, Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Image from:

University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931


Last Updated: 7 March 2014