The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
catalogued about 50 specimens collected by Paul M. Patterson. Though
primarily a bryologist, Patterson collected vascular plants as well, and both
are represented in NCU’s holdings.
Virginia, particularly around the Mountain Lake Biological Station in
Giles County, was a frequent collecting location. As NCU’s collection continues to be
catalogued it is likely that more specimens collected by Patterson will be
According to the Harvard Herbarium Index of
Botanists, other herbaria that hold Patterson’s specimens include NY (primary
repository) and NEBC. 3
Paul Morrison Patterson
Photograph courtesy of
Wyndham Robertson Library of Hollins University
Paul Morrison Patterson was born to Christian missionary
parents in Tenghsien (or Sutsien),
Kiangsu Province, China in 1902. He attended
Shanghai American School and got his high school education in Lexington, Virginia.7
Staunton, Virginia was considered to be Patterson’s home,
though he only visited there sporadically during his youth.4,5 He
earned a B.A. from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1925. He studied under Dr. William
Chambers Coker at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a Masters
Degree in 1927 with his thesis, “Fertilization and oogenesis in Achlya colorata.”
He earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1933.7
From 1927 to 1928 Patterson served as an Assistant
Professor at Davidson College, from 1930 to 1933 he was an Associate
Professor at the University of South Carolina, and then taught at Chester High
School & Junior College in Chester, South Carolina from 1933-1934.7 Patterson spent the majority of his career
on the faculty of Hollins College in Roanoke,
Virginia. He was on the biology
faculty at Hollins beginning in September of 1935
and retired in June, 1967. Patterson
taught for several years at Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina
after his long career at Hollins.8
Patterson served as the President of the Sullivant Moss Society 1947-1948 and the President of the
American Bryological Society from 1948-1949.7
“Over a period of years, Patterson studied over
3,000 unreported collections made mostly by personnel associated with various
colleges and universities, as well as the U.S. National Herbarium. These and his own collections (which
numbered over 1,500 in 1953-1954 alone) covered much of the state [of
Virginia] and resulted in numerous noteworthy records as well as 41 new state
records which he published in his Bryophytes of Virginia series (Patterson
1950, 1955). “ 2
Photo by Russ Kleinman & Karen Blisard, Black Range, Railroad Canyon, New Mexico, 2012
Paul M. Patterson collected Grimmia pilifera, Fissidnes osmundoides, and Eurhynchium pulchellum, and
at Egg Rock in Cabarrus County, North Carolina in 1927. According to Jan Blodgett, College
Archivist at Davidson College, Egg Rock was 20 feet high and 40 feet wide and
“became famous after Charles Hamilton, a local farmer – and later mayor of Davidson
– had postcards made around 1900 showing the large egg-shaped stone perched
on two other stones. Davidson
[College] students and town residents made the 6-mile or so trek to the farm
in Cabarrus county frequently. Dr.
Chalmers Davidson noted that “it used to be a favorite place for social
gatherings of students and townspeople – when six miles was a pleasant ride
in the country – and also for fraternity initiations.” Sadly, [in 1972] the rock, a little like
Humpty-Dumpty, came crashing down… In
[Mary Hamilton Stephens] memoirs, Living
through Changes in the Twentieth Century, she writes, “one of the
fraternities at Davidson College had a picnic there one day and put dynamite
under ‘the egg’ and blew it off. Their
sponsor came to my brother, Tom, and said they had too much to drink and were
terribly, terribly sorry and was there anything they could do? But it was too late, there was nothing that
could be done, so we decided to forgive them, but we all cried as if we had
lost a member of our family.” 1
Egg Rock, ca. 1919
NCU is in the
midst of cataloguing our bryophytes, including those collected by Paul M.
Patterson. Please visit The Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria to search our
collection. If you are interested in
helping us enter data into the database, please contact NCU’s Assistant
Curator, Carol Ann McCormick mccormickATSIGNunc.edu
Fertilization and oogenesis in Achlya colorata. M.A. Thesis, University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill.
M. (1930) The
mosses of Mt. Desert Island, Maine.
The Bryologist 33(6): 83-89.
Patterson, Paul M. and Eleonora
Armitage (1939) The Sullivant
Moss Society’s 1939 Foray. The
Bryologist 42(5): 125-128.
M. (1940) A
preliminary list of the mosses of Mountain Lake, Virginia. The Bryologist 43(6): 159-166.
--- (1940) Corticolous
bryophyte societies at Mountain Lake, Virginia. Am. Midland Naturalist 23(2) 421-441.
--- (1943) Some ecological
observations on bryophtyes. The Bryologist 46(1): 1-13.
--- (1943) Additional mosses
from Mountain Lake, Virginia. The
Bryologist 46(4): 126-128.
Paul M. Patterson, Frances E. Wynne, Henry S. Conard
bryophyte herbarium. A moss
collection: preparation and care. The Bryologist 48(4): 198-202.
M. (1944) Additional
mosses from Mountain Lake, Virginia. II. The Bryologist 47(1): 23-29.
--- (1946) Osmotic values of
bryophytes and problems presented by refractory types. Am. J. of Botany 33(7): 604-611.
--- (1949) The
bryophytes of Virginia. I. Bryophytes reported in the literature. Castanea
--- (1949) Our Society’s new
name: The American Bryological
Society. The Bryologist 52(1): 28.
--- (1950) The bryophytes of
Virginia. II. New or noteworthy records. The Bryologist 53(1): 27-42.
--- (1953) The aberrant
behavior of the peristome teeth of certain
mosses. The Bryologist 56(3): 157-159.
--- (1953) Discovery of Forsstroemia ohioensis
in Virginia with an examination of the validity of the generic name. The Bryologist 56(4): 249-256.
--- (1955) Additions and
corrections to the bryophyte flora of the Shenandoah National Park. Castanea
--- (1955) Bryophtes
of Virginia. IV. New or noteworthy records. II. The Bryologist 58(3): 215-225.
--- (1957) The effect of
indole-3-acetic acid on certain growth phases in bryophtyes. The Bryologist 60(3): 277-283.
M. and Jane S. Baber. (1961) Factors breaking vegetative dormancy in
certain mosses. The Bryologist 64(4): 336-338.
M. and A. Sewell Freeman (1963) The effect of photoperiod on certain
ferns. Am. Fern J. 53(3): 126-128.
--- (1964) Problems
presented by byrophytic xerophytism. The Bryologist 67(4): 390-396.
--- (1965) John Clayton’s
collection of Virginia mosses. The
Bryologist 68(1): 105-109.
1. Blodgett, Jan. 2011.
Around the D: Egg Rock. The Davidson College Archives & Special
Collections Blog. 10 August 2011. http://sites.davidson.edu/aroundthed/egg-rock/ accessed on 19 March 2013.
2. Breil, David
A. 2003. Common and occasional bryophytes of the
Virginia Piedmont. Banisteria
3. Index of Botanists. Harvard University Herbaria. http://kiki.huh.harvard.edu/databases/botanist_search.php?mode=details&id=16800 accessed on 19 March 2013.
Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Passport Applications for Travel to China, 1906-1925; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 1244180 / MLR Number A1 540; Box #: 4421; Volume #: 9. Accessed thru Ancestry.com 19 March 2013
Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Emergency Passport Applications, Argentina thru Venezuela,
Number: ARC Identifier 1244183 / MLR
Number A1 544; Box #: 4487; Volume #: 4.
Accessed thru Ancestry.com 19 March 2013.
6. Source Citation: Number: 226-40-1490; Issue
State: Virginia; Issue Date: Before 1951.
Ancestry.com. Social Security Death
Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011.
Original data: Social Security
Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social
Security Administration. Accessed on
19 March 2013.
7. “Virginians in the Public Eye”
The Commonwealth, August
1951, p. 28.
pers. comm., Beth Harris, Special Collections & Govt. Information
Librarian, Wyndham Robertson Library, Hollis University.