Description: 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.

Albert Pilat
(1903 – 1974)

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has catalogued 113 macrofungal specimens collected by Albert Pilat.  NCU is in the midst of cataloguing our macrofungi, including those collected by Albert Pilat; our collection can be searched at

According to the Harvard Herbarium Index of Botanists, PR and PRM hold Pilat’s original herbarium and type specimens, while duplicates are held by B, BM, DAO, FH, GH, K, MICH, OTB, PC, UPS, US and W. 1

Albert Pilat
(date &  photographer unknown)
Photograph courtesy of Arboretum Mlynany, Slovenskej akademie vied

Most of the specimens collected by Pilat in NCU’s holdings were collected in Carpatorossia.  As Dr. Jan Holec, Curator of the National Museum, Mycoloigcal Department in the Czech Republic explains:


One of Pilat’s favorite collecting areas was the Eastern Carpathians, a mountainous region that belonged to the former Czechoslovakia at the time he worked in the area [ca. 1928-1938].  Officially, the region was named “Podkarpatska Rus” (later “zeme Podokarpatoruska,” Carpatorossia in Latin) at that time.  The area has a complicated history.  During the 20th century, it belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy (up to 1918), the Czechoslovak Republic (1919-1939), Hungary (1939-1944), and in 1945 was annexed to the Soviet Union.  After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the area became a part of the independent Ukraine (since1991), where it represents a region called “Zakarpatskay oblast.” … [Pilat] devoted himself especially to the lignicolous fungi growing in mountainous virgin forests minimally influenced by man.  Such forests (mainly composed of Fagus sylvatica, Abies alba, Acer pseudoplatanus, A. platanoides, Ulmus glabra, Picea abies) are characteristic of the Eastern Carpathians.  Concerning the naturalness of vegetation, the Eastern Carpathians belong to the best-preserved regions of Europe…Due to political changes after World War II, the geographic names in the Eastern Carpthians were transliterated into Russian, then into Ukrainian an partly also totally renamed.  Consequently, the names of Pilat’s collecting sites changed considerably, too.  In present-day maps (either Russian, Ukrainian or those translitereated into English or other languages) it is almost impossible to find his collecting sites… In the Mycological Department of the National Museum, Prague (herbarium PRM), we are aware of the increasing interest in Pilat’s material collected in the Eastern Carpathians.  2 

Holec and colleagues K. Prasil (Charles University, Prague) and M. Reblova (Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences) decided to re-locate Pilat’s collecting sites and to give present-day Ukrainian equivalents for the names of towns, rivers, and other landmarks noted by Pilat.  The results of this work were published in Holec, Jan (2002)  Fungi of the Eastern Carpathians (Ukraine) – Important works by Albert Pilat, and locations of his collecting sites.  Mycotaxon 38:  1-17.




EXCERPTS FROM Singer, Rolf (1975)  Albert Pilat (1903-1974).  Mycologia 67(3):  445-447.


Dr. Pilat began to study higher fungi under the guidance of Prof. Velenovsky while still in secondary school, became assistant in the botanical Institute of Charles University, Prague in 1925, received his doctor’s degree in 1926. In 1930 he joined the staff of the National Museum in the center of Prague starting as auxiliary scientist and advanced to become head of the Mycological Department of the Museum which he helped to organize.


Dr. Pilat’s sudden death due to heart failure is only one great loss in a series of disappearances of my ecologists of approximately the same generation, all of them prominent in their respective countries and on the international scene. It is particularly sad for us who counted ourselves among his personal friends, working on the same subjects, enjoying the memory of field trips with him and with his surviving wife and nearest collaborator.  Dr. Pilat is known to American my colleges and botanists in general through his attendance at many international meetings, congresses and symposia where he was always admired not only for his valuable contribution to basidiomycete taxonomy but also for his human qualities, his broad knowledge of North American wild trees and cultivated plants.


This wide knowledge enabled Pilat to author a large number of works of very wide scope including a little known but significant book on the ecology of the higher fungi, others on horticultural plants and large, especially mycological monographs in which he helped his co--nationals to follow the progress made elsewhere while at the same time adding his own valuable observations. All his papers excelled by their accompanying illustrations.  Pilat himself was a very good photographer and was also able to secure the collaboration of first-class artists such as Dermek and Ushak.  No wonder that some of the best-illustrated works were translated and published in English and German. While some of his papers were originally published in Latin, French, and Slovakian, most were written in Czech.


His extensive travels and the collections worked over by him as they were received from “exotic” regions helped to widen the scope of his work with regard to the world flora.  Pilat collected in most of the European and some Asiatic regions (Asia Minor, Siberia, Mongolian People’s Republic) and in North America. These collections were preserved in the museum at Prague and contributed to the importance of the cryptogamic herbarium of that institution (PR). In innumerable excursions, meetings and travels, Albert Pilat was accompanied by his wife Anna Pilatova.  She created and maintained the family background and always showed sympathetic interest for her husband’s professional activity. This became particularly important when in recent years Albert Pilat did more and more of his work in his home where he had a rich library at his disposal which in his will he gave to the National Museum.


As it should be, Pilat’s work found ample recognition. The President of the CSSR [Cechoslovak Socialist Republic] honored him in 1969 with the highly coveted labor medal (rad prace) and the Czechoslovak Academy of sciences made him 1959 corresponding member.  Even after his disappearance, the impact of his work will continue to be felt by my ecologists everywhere.


On the occasion of Albert Pilat’s 70th birthday, the Czechoslovak Scientific Society for Mycology published a detailed biographical & bibliographic article:  Herink, J.  1973.  Sedmdesat let doc. Dr. Alberta Pilata Dr. Sc., clean korrespondenta CSAV.  Ceska Mykologie 27:  193-200.

The genus Pilatia was named in his honor by his mentor, Josef Velenovsky.



PUBLICATIONS (incomplete list)

Pilat, Albert.  1929.  Uber eine neue interessante Art aus der Gattung Crepidotus Fries.  Hedwigia 69:  137-147.

Pilat, Albert.  1930.  Monograpie der europaischen Stereaceen.  Hedwigia 70:  10-132.

Pilat, Albert.  1930-1931.  Poznamky k nekterym druhum rodu Pleurotus [Bemerkungen zur einigen Arten der Gattung Pleurotus].  Mykologia 7(1930):  87-97, 113-121; 8(1931):  23-29.

Pilat, Albert.  1931.  Bolbitius reticulatus v Karpatech [Bolbitius reticulatus Persoon in den Karpathen].  Mykologia 8:  7-8.

Pilat, Albert.  1933.  De Porea aurea, specie Americana in montibus Capraticis orientalibus lecta.  Hedwigia 73:  31-33.

Pilat, Albert.  1935.  Pleurotus Fries.  IN:  K. Kavina and A. Plat (eds.), Atlas des champignons de l’Europe, vol. 2, 193 p., 80 pl., Praha.

Pilat, Albert.  1936.  Sure la recolte du Pholiota albocrenulata Peck, americain, dans les Carpathes.  Rev. Mycol.  1:  303-306.

Pilat, Albert.  1938.  Hymenomycetes novi vel critici Cechoslovakiae.  Stud. Bot. Cechoslov 1:  3-7.

Pilat, Albert.  1939.  Species nova carpatica generis Flammula Fr.  Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 54 [1938]:  251-252.

Pilat, Albert.  1936-1942.  Polyporaceae I., II.  IN:  K. Kavina and A. Pilat (eds.)  Atlas des champignons de l’Europe, vol 3, 624 p. (part I:  text), 374 pl. (part II: photographs), Praha.

Pilat, Albert.  1940.  Hymenomycetes Carpatorum orientalium.  Sborn. Nar. Mus. V Praze, Rada B, Prir. Vedy (Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, Ser. B), vol. 2, no. 3:  37-80.

Pilat, Albert.  1941.  Pleurotus diffractus Pilat, species nova carpatica.  Stud. Bot. Cech.  4:  p. 40, pl. 1. 

Pilat, Albert.  1946.  Monographie des especes europeennes du genre Lentinus Fr.  IN:  K. Kavina and A. Pilat (eds.), Atlas des champignons de l’Europe, vol. 5, 46 p., 31 pl., Praha. 

Pilat, Albert.  1948.  Monographie des especes europeennes de genre Crepidotus Fr. IN:  A. Pilat (Ed.), Atlas des champignons de l’Europe, vol. 6, 84 p., 24 pl., Praha.

Pilat, Albert.  1949.  Ad monographiam Crepidotorum Europaeorum Supplementum I.  Stu.d Bot. Cechoslov 10:  149-154.

Pilat, Albert.  1953.  Hymenomycetes novi vel minus cogniti cechoslovakiae.  Sborn. Nar. Mus. V Praze, Rada B, Prir. Vedy (Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, Ser. B) 9:  p. 3-109, tab. 1-10.

Pilat, Albert and Otto Usak (illustrator).  1951.  Mushrooms:  Their morphology, biology, anatomy and histology with 120 color plates from watercolors.  [incomplete citation] 

Pilat, A. 1969.  Houby Ceskoslovenska ve svem zivotnim prostredi.  Academia, Praha.  268 p., numerous illustrations.

Svrcek, M. 1968.  K 65. Narozeninam Alberta Pilata, D.Sc. Ceska Mykologie 4:  241-246.  *Contains a list of Pilat’s publications prior to 1968.


1.  Index of Botanists.  Harvard University Herbaria.  accessed on 27 May 2014. 

2.  Holec, Jan.  2002.  Fungi of the Eastern Carpathians (Ukraine) – Important works by Albert Pilat, and locations of his collecting sites.Mycotaxon 38:  1-17.


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University of North Carolina Herbarium
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University of North Carolina
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phone: (919) 962-6931
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Last Updated: 28 May 2014