Liriodendron tulipifera flower

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


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Compiled by Carol Ann McCormick, Asst. Curator, NCU

Frederick W. Case, Jr.
(16 February 1927 – 12 January 2011)


The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued approximately 50 of Fred Case's specimens. With only about 10% of the collection catalogued, no doubt more specimens collected by him will be found.

He was awarded the Peter H. Raven Scientific Outreach Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Arthur Hoyt Scott Garden & Horticultural Award.

Longtime collaborator Larry Mellichamp named Sarracenis X casei, a natural hybrid between S. alabamensis ssp. wherryi and S. psittacina, in honor of Fred Case in 2008.  Mellichamp has deposited an isotype of this at NCU.


Anonymous (2011)  Obituaries:  Frederick W. Case, Jr.  1927-2011 .  Flora of North America Newsletter 25(1):  13.

Well-known teacher and botanist Frederick W. Case Jr. passed away on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 83.  The son of the late Julia Blanche (Coash) and Frederick W. Case Sr., was born February 16, 1927, in Saginaw, Michigan.  He married Roberta Elizabeth (Boots) Burckhart, February 14, 1953.  She passed away June 8, 1998.  He was a graduate of Arthur Hill High School and received his Bachelor of Science and Master's in education from the University of Michigan.  He served with the U.S. Army during WWII.  He returned to Arthur Hill High where he taught biology and natural science until his retirement and was named their Honor Alumnus in 1978.  Fred was named the Outstanding Biology Teacher in Michigan in 1971 and Outstanding Science Teacher in 1987.  Fred and Roberta authored three books and authored or co-authored many articles for magazines and scientific publications about native orchids, trilliums, insectivorous plants, wildflowers, and gardening; among them are his treatment of Trillium and Sarracenia (co-authored with Lawrence Millichamp [sic]).  He received numerous awards and recognition for his achievements in botany and lectured extensively.  He had been associated with Cranbrook Institute of Science, the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Longwood Gardens, the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Committee on Endangered and Threatened Plants, the Michigan Botanical Club, North American Rock Garden Society, the Saginaw Valley Audubon Society, Saginaw Valley Orchid Society, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Nature Association, and many other horticultural groups.  He enjoyed opera, theatre, reading traveling, fine dining, and ketchup.  Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Nature Conservancy of Alabama, Roberta Case - Pine Hill Reserve, the Michigan Nature Association, the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square, or the charity of their choice.


Johnson, Bob. January 14, 2011.  A Life Remembered:  Frederick W. Case, Jr.  The Saginaw News.  Saginaw, Michigan, USA.

Nature lover, educator, botanist and expert gardener Frederick W. Case Jr. never forgot a student’s name, relatives recalled.  The longtime biology and natural science teacher at Arthur Hill High School died of complications from prostate cancer Wednesday.  A resident of Thomas Township, he was 83.  “He was a prominent teacher at Arthur Hill for a long time.  He cared about his students and never forgot their names, “said son, David B. Case of Thomas Township.  The son recalled a time on vacation when a former student approached his father.  “He didn’t think my dad remembered him.  Not only did Dad remember his name, he called off the name of the students that sat around him,” said Case, 54.  “What shocked me was that the kid was in his class 30 years earlier,” said Frederick Case’s daughter-in-law, Sharon Leaman-Case, 54.  “He never forgot a name.”  David case said his dad also enjoyed opera, classical music and fine dining.  Frederick was married to Roberta Case for 45 years, until her death in 1998.  And besides being “a champion of his students,” Frederick Case was passionate about orchids, flowers and nature, his son said.  Case was a founding member of the Saginaw Valley Orchid Society, his son said.  Frederick Case wrote or co-wrote “Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region, “ “Trillium” and “Wildflowers of the Great Lakes Region.”  He won the All Area Arts Award in 2002 from the Saginaw Community Enrichment Commission.  “He also wrote numerous articles on plants, gardens and orchids,” his son said.  “People worldwide visited his garden.  Someone could call to ask him a question about gardening, and he would invite them over.  They would most of the times leave with plants and his friendship.”  Sharon Leaman-Case said her father-in-law once turned down an offer from Martha Stewart to take pictures in his garden.  “She was just starting out on television and wanted to take pictures of his garden and interview him, but he didn’t know who she was, so he turned her down.  I would always tease him about it,” she said.


Kiger, Robert W., Frederick W. Case, Jr., and J. Chris Pires.  2001.  New infraspecific names in North American Liliales.  Taxon 50(1):  201.

Wells, James R., Frederick W. Case, Jr., and T. Lawrence Mellichamp.  1999.  Wildflowers of the Western Great Lakes Region.  Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bulletin 63, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Case, Frederick W. and Roberta B. Case. 1997.  Trilliums.  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.  ISBN 0-88192-374-5.

Case, Frederick W., Jr.  1987.  Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region.  Revised Edition.  Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Case, Frederick W., Jr.  1978.  Wild Flowers of the Northeastern States.  McGraw-Hill, New York.

Case, Frederick W., Jr. 1964.  Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region.   Cranbrook Insitute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.


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University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
fax: (919) 962-6930

Last Updated: 22 August 2011