Liriodendron tulipifera flower

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

Weakley's Flora



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium

Charles Edward Raynal

Information compiled by Lisa Giencke, August 2006.
Vita and photograph provided by Dudley J. Raynal, grandson of Charles E. Raynal.

The NCU Herbarium has currently databased about 10 specimens collected by Charles E. Raynal between 1932 and 1939. Half are from Statesville, where he was a Presbyterian minister, and several of the others are from a collecting trip he made with H. R. Totten in May 1938.

Charles E. Raynal with big-leaf magnolia
(Magnolia macrophylla)

Charles Edward Raynal was born on March 17, 1877 in Savannah, Georgia, son of Pierre Napolean Raynal of Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, Alsace, France and his wife Rebecca Ann Girardeau of Liberty County, Georgia. Educated in private schools, he attended Southwestern Presbyterian University, Clarksville, Tennessee (BA, BD, 1903) and Princeton University and Theological Seminary Princeton, New Jersey (1903 - 1904). Awarded Doctor of Divinity degree by Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, 1914.

Ordained in the ministry by Northern Alabama Presbytery, he served as Assistant Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama (1904-1907); Pastor of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina (1907-1909) and Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Statesville, North Carolina (1909-1944). Married Margaret Mayo Scott, 1914. Children: four sons, one daughter. Charles E. Raynal died December 1, 1944.

A botanist by avocation, Charles E. Raynal acquired a substantial botanical library including many first edition copies of works by Carolina Botanists. He botanized widely in the Carolinas (frequently when in South Carolina with Dr. F. Dudley Jones, his close personal friend and fellow Presbyterian minister). He corresponded on many occasions with Dr. J. K. Small of the New York Botanical Garden and sent specimens for identification and verification to Dr. Small. He was an avid student of woody plants, both native and ornamental, and wrote several papers of botanical interest, some of which were published. He was a committed conservationist, a fact reflected both in his collection of scientific articles, pamphlets, on books and in his own writings.

(Written by Dudley J. Raynal, January, 1980)

Among the woody species that caught Raynal's attention was a North Carolina state-level rare species, Magnolia macrophylla (see picture above). His first herbarium specimen sent to NCU is of a branch and some petals of that species collected in May 1932. Raynal apparently led a collecting trip later that year to show two known locations of the plant to William Chambers Coker. Raynal also sent live specimens to Coker and his research assistant, Alma Holland Beers, which each planted in their yards in Chapel Hill. The tree planted in Beer's yard in the Gimghoul neighborhood in the 1930s still grows there today, and many mature trees can be found naturalized in nearby Battle Park.

Selected Publications

Raynal, Charles E (1928) Friend of Man - The Tree Speaks. American Forests and Forest Life 34: 290-291.

Raynal, Charles E. (1938) Bigleaf Magnolia. American Forests 44: 204-206.

         Curriculum in Ecology                 North Carolina Botanical Garden               Biology Department
                   Curriculum                               North Carolina                                 UNC
In Ecology Botanical Garden Biology Department

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: 6 September 2006