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, NCU Curator

George Martin, M. D.
(29 April 1827 – 28 October 1886)


The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium curates fungal specimens collected by two different mycologists named “George Martin.”  This page is devoted to physician and mycologist George Martin who died in 1886; for information on mycologist George Willard Martin (1886-1971), click here.

NCU has about 30 fungal specimens which Dr. Martin collected; most are from his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania or from his winter home in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  He frequently signed his labels “G. Martin” and wrote “G.C.S.” for the location “Green Cove Springs,” which is in Clay County, Florida.  Specimens he collected and sent to others frequently have “Dr. Martin” as the collector.

Isotype of Isariopsis clavata Ellis & G. Martin curated by NCU
showing George Martin’s handwriting
and use of “G.C.S. Fla.” for collecting location
Green Cove Springs, Florida, United States of America
(29.991908 latitude, -81.678147 longitude)

The Field Museum (F) has two specimens of Lythrum salicaria L. collected in “Swamp near West Chester, Pa.” by George Martin in August, 1869.  “[Lythrum salicaria L. was] most likely first introduced in the late 1700’s to eastern North America in soil used for ships ballast.  By 1814 it was reported growing in freshwater marshes near port cities from Philadelphia to Boston.  Popularity as a horticultural plant, and the dispersal of seed in canal boat ballast on newly linked waterways marked purple loosestrife’s spread into the interior in the 1800s.” 1

Mycological specimens collected by George Martin are curated by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (PH; also lichens), Brown University (BRU), Cornell University (CUP), Field Museum (F; also lichens), Farlow Herbarium (FH), Miami University (MU), New York Botanical Garden (NY; also lichens & bryophytes), Oregon State University (OSC; also lichens), Purdue University (PUR & PUL), Rutgers University (CHRB), United States National Fungus Collection (BPI), University of California, Berkeley (UC), University of Florida (FLAS), University of Illinois (ILL & ILLS), University of Michigan (MICH; also lichens), University of Nebraska (NEB), University of Wisconsin (WIS), and the University of Wyoming (RMS).

According to the Records of the Abington Monthly Meeting [Society of Friends] in Montgomery, Pennsylvania, George Martin was born to George & Edith Martin on 4 April 1827.  He married Ann Trimble (1827-1890) on 6 February 1850. 2,3  The 1860 census lists Edith (age 10) and Ann H. (age 6) in the household of George (“Chemist”) & Ann Martin.4

George Martin and his collaborator J. B. Ellis named many species of fungi:

Asterina erysiphoides
Ellis & G. Martin (in Ellis, N. Amer. Fung., Ser. 2:  no. 1359 (1887).)
Phyllosticta terminalis Ellis & G. Martin; NCU possible type specimen (Catalog # NCU-F-0025796 and NCU-F-0025797)

The following taxa were published in Ellis, J. B. and George Martin.  1884.  New Florida fungi, III.  American Naturalist 18:  188-1893
Isariopsis clavata Ellis & G. Martin; NCU Isotype (Catalog # NCU-F-0025232)

The following taxa were published in Ellis, J. B. and George Martin.  1886.  New fungi.  J. of Mycology 2(11):  128-130.
Asterina purpurea Ellis & G. Martin
Dimerosporium langloisii Ellis & G. Martin
Dimerosporium nimbosum Ellis & G. Martin
Stagonospora virens Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta gossypina Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta arbutifolia Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta ludoviciana Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta adusta Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta cyrillae Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta aesculi Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta saccharina Ellis & G. Martin

The following taxa were published in Ellis, J. B. and George Martin.  1885.  New Florida fungi.  J. of Mycology 1(8):  97-101.
Patellaria cyanea Ellis & G. Martin; NCU Isotype (Catalog # NCU-F-0025676)
Ascomycetella aurantiaca Ellis & G. Martin
Asterina stomatophora Ellis & G. Martin
Sphaerella incisa Ellis & G. Martin
Ophiobolus versisporus Ellis & G. Martin
Didymosphaeria serrulata Ellis & G. Martin
Sphaeria (Anthostomella) leucobasis Ellis & G. Martin
Sphaeria sabalensioides Ellis & G. Martin
Heterosporium allii Ellis & G. Martin
Septoria pyrolae Ellis & G. Martin
Septoria consimilis Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta gordoniae Ellis & G. Martin
Phyllosticta perseae Ellis & G. Martin
Pestalozzia peregrine Ellis & G. Martin
Microsphaera densissima Ellis & G. Martin; NCU Isotype  (Catalog # NCU-F-0017861)

Ellis, J. B.  1886.  Obituary:  Dr. George Martin.  Journal of Mycology 2(12):  137-138.

With feelings of deepest regret, we have to announce the death of our colleague and friend, Dr. Geo. Martin, who died at his home in West Chester, Pa. [Pennsylvania, USA], Oct. 28th, 1886, in the sixtieth year of his age.  Since 1878, Dr. M. has devoted much time to mycological studies, especially to the examination of the parasitic leaf fungi, and only a few days before his death had completed “Synopsis of the North American Species of Septoria,” as a continuation of the series of mycological papers he had already contributed.  Having been for some years past in constant correspondence with him, we had come to place great reliance on his opinion in the determination of these often doubtful productions and cannot as yet fully realize how much his advice and assistance will be missed.


The following brief sketch of his life is taken from a West Chester paper:
“Dr. George Martin was born near Claymont, Delaware County, Pa. [Pennsylvania, USA] and received his early education at the Westtown Friends’ Boarding School, after which he became a student at the Pennsylvania University, where he graduated in medicine about 1847.  He first practiced his profession at Concordville, Delaware County [Pennsylvania, USA], where he remained about three years.  Owing to delicate health, he next became connected with the Fifth Street Dispensary, Philadelphia, in which he remained some five years, at the expiration of which time he engaged with his cousin, John M. Sharpless, in the latter’s chrome works in the city of Chester.  During the war [American Civil War], he was connected with soldiers’ hospitals in Chester, and in which he rendered efficient and untiring services.  In 1866 he came to West Chester, where he continued to live until the time of his death.  During the last eight or ten years, his health was such as to lead him and his wife to pass the winter season in Florida, they leaving here in the fall and returning in the spring.  This year his disease – that of kidney troubles – became more alarming during the summer, until about ten days ago, when it became evident that he could not survive.  At the time of his death, he was one of the managers of the Pennsylvania Training School at Media, also a bright member of the Chester County Medical Society, and during his active practice was a member of the College of Physicians, of Philadelphia.


In his demise, the medical profession loses one of its shining lights, he having devoted many years to schooling himself in the knowledge relating to all that pertained thereto.  In scientific pursuits, he was also a close and learned student, as well as a botanist of such not as to lead him into close associations with the leading botanists of the day, his principal study in this department being that of fungi.  Dr. Martin was a genial and good citizen.  Plain and retiring in his manners, he was beloved by all and honored at home and abroad, and well may it be said that a truly good man has been taken from our midst.”


Rothrock, J. T. (1886)  Dr. George Martin.  Botanical Gazette 11(12):  338.

Those interested in mycology will be pained to learn of the recent death of Dr. George Martin.  The study of our American fungi was with the deceased a thing of recent years, and was taken up mainly because he saw in it an opening for good work in its relation to practical medicine.  However it was not long before he became so interested in these plants that almost his whole leisure and strength were given to them.  When one remembers how many of the specimens in Ellis’ Centuries of North American Fungi were collected, and how many more were critically studied by Dr. Martin, there will be a surprise to know that he had been for years an invalid whose life hung upon the slenderest thread.  The deceased left behind him a manuscript volume which might well be published as a memorial of his labors.  It contains a large number of colored illustrations, with spore measurements, and descriptions of the fungi he had studied.  Such a volume would be a real boon to American mycologists.  During his life, when urged by his friends to publish it, his modesty always led him to evade the question or to depreciate the real value of what he had done.  He was distinguished as a physician, high-toned and honorable as a man, public-spirited as a citizen, and warm-hearted as a friend.  None can regret his death more than his neighbors in West Chester, Pa. [Pennsylvania], who knew and loved him well.  



Martin, George.  1887.  Enumeration and descriptions of the Septorias of North America.  J. of Mycology 3(4):  37-41.
---.  1887.  Enumeration and description of the Septorias of North America (continued).  J. of Mycology 3(5):  49-53.
---.  1887.  Enumeration and description of the Septorias of North America (continued).  J. of Mycology 3(6):  61-69.
---.  1887.  ---.  1887.  Enumeration and description of the Septorias of North America (continued).  J. of Mycology 3(7):  73-82.
---.  1887.  Enumeration and description of the Septorias of North America (continued).  J. of Mycology 3(8):  85-91.
---.  1886.  The Phyllostictas of North America.  J. of Mycology 2(2):  13-20.
---.  1886.  The Phyllostictas of North America (continued).  J. of Mycology 2(3):  25-27.
Ellis, J. B. and George Martin.  1886.  New fungi.  J. of Mycology 2(11):  128-130. 
Stable URL:
Martin, George.  1885.  Synopsis of the North American species of Asterina, Dimerosporium and Meliola.  J. of Mycology 1(11):  133-139.
---.  1885.  Synopsis of the North American species of Asterina, Dimerosporium and Meliola (continued).  J. of Mycology 1(12):  145-148.
Ellis, J. B. and George Martin.  1885.  New Florida fungi.  J. of  Mycology 1(8):  97-101. 
Stable URL:


1.  Rockwell, Fulton.  2001.  Introduced Species Summary Project:  Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).  accessed on 6 June 2017. 
2.  Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvanai; Births, Deaths, Etc. 1815; Collection:  Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number:  MR Ph12.  Source Information:  U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc. 2014.  Accessed 6 June 2017.

3.  Haverford College; Haverford, Pennsylvania; Records of Births, Deaths, Etc., 1724-1935; Collection:  Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes.  U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.  Accessed on 6 June 2017.
4.  Year:  1860; Census Place:  Chester South Ward, Delaware, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1105; Page:  236; Family History Library Film:  805105.  Source Information:  1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.   Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data:  1860 U.S. census, population schedule.  NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls.  Washington, D. C.:  National Archives and records Administration, n.d.  Accessed 6 June 2017.


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


Last Updated: 6 June  2017