Liriodendron tulipifera flower

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


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled December 2010 by Carol Ann McCormick,
Assistant Curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium.
Special thanks to Dorothy Rood Jacobs, Almon Rood’s granddaughter, for family information. 
Thanks also to Melissa Davis, Collections Manager of the Kent State University Herbarium and to Cara Gilgenbach,
Head, Special Collections & Archives, Kent State University Libraries
for information on L.S. Hopkins and photograph of first men’s basketball team of Kent State Normal School.

Almon N. Rood
(17 February 1876 – 5 October 1964)

“I was never successful at finding things I searched for; always found something else and then stumbled on the thing I wanted when I was not looking for it.”

Almon N. Rood, as quoted by Ernest W. Vickers in “The pinnatifid spleenwort in north-eastern Ohio,” Fern Bulletin 18(1):  4.


The University of North Carolina Herbarium has only a few specimens collected by Almon N. Rood.  The Harvard Herbaria database of botanists lists other herbaria holding Rood’s specimens as:

DPU   Truman G. Yuncker Herbarium of DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
GH     Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
KE      Tom S. & Miwako K. Cooperrider Herbarium of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
MSC   Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan
OS       Museum of Biological Diversity of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
YOU   Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio 



Almon Rood with youngsters at a 4-H Camp, undated.  Photo courtesy of Dorothy Rood Jacobs.

Almon Nicholson Rood was born in Braceville, Trumbull County, Ohio (USA) on 17 February 1876.  He was married to Pearl Augusta Waters (1875 – 1943) and together they had two children, Nolan Waters Rood (1903 – 1986) and Velma M. Rood (1909-1987). 

The Roods were millers by trade.  Franklin Auran Rood (Almon’s father) and his cousin, Franklin Wahl Rood, bought a grist mill from Eli Barnum, the brother of P.T. Barnam.  Almon eventually took over the mill from his father and bought out his cousins’ shares in the business.

Almon Rood had many interests including botany and geneology.  He was primarily self-taught, though he did attend Hiram College (Hiram, Ohio) for a year. 

Almon N. Rood died in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio on 5 October 1964 at the age of 88.  The Rood family gave his botanical collections (4,000 herbarium specimens and 3,000 seed specimens) to The Tom S. and Miwako K. Cooperrider Herbarium of Kent State University (KE), and the University also purchased Rood’s library.

Mr. Rood was clearly a well-respected naturalist and enthusiastic botanical collector.  He had herbarium labels custom printed “FROM THE Herbarium of Almon N. Rood  Phalanx, Ohio.”  Rood corresponded with other naturalists and academic botanists. 

In August, 1908, a specimen of Club Moss was received from Mr. Almon N. Rood, of Phalanx, Trumbull County, Ohio, with the interesting information that he had found it early in the fall of 1907, growing on the perpendicular face of rocks at Nelson Ledge, Portage County, Ohio.  After puzzling over this plant for some time, Mr. Rood sent a specimen to a prominent botanist in the East and was informed that it was [Lycopodium] Selago L.  The plant was growing on cliffs of “sub-carboniferous conglomerate,” the height of the cliffs being not over 75 feet and the surroundings in general were not such as would be expected in a locality harboring L. Selago.

On August 18, 1908, Prof. L.S. Hopkins [Kent State Normal School, now Kent State University] and Mr. Roscoe J. Webb [1875-1925, resident of Garrettsville, Ohio], acting under direction of Mr. Rood, found a considerable colony of the plant at the first locality, Nelson Ledges.  On the 23d of August, 1908, Mr. Rood and Supt. F.N. Barber, of Crafton, Pa., discovered a second locality for the Club Moss on conglomerate cliffs at Woodworth’s Glen, in southern Portage County, Ohio, there being here quite a number of the plants and many of the plants being in inaccessible locations.

The writer has examined a number of these plants and there can be no doubt that they represent true L. lucidulum porophilum first described as a species by Lloyd and Underwood, and ranging from Newfd. And Quebec to Wisconsin and southward to Alabama and the Carolinas.  [This taxon is now known as Huperzia porophila.] The specimens we have examined clearly point to a subordinate relationship to Lycopodium lucidulum Michx. Rather than to a distinct specific identity…  The plant is being critically studied by Prof. L.S. Hopkins from whom we may expect a more detailed report.

n  FROM   Jennings, Otto E. (1909)  Some new or otherwise noteworthy plants from Ohio.  The Ohio Naturalist 9 (4):  440-442.

The Nelson Ledges were incorporated into Kennedy-Nelson Ledges State Park in 1949.  Unfortunately, the population of Huperzia porophila discovered there by Rood is no longer present.  I have checked our files and Ohio herbarium records and the only known report or specimen from Nelson-Kennedy Ledges is by Almon Rood.*  A number of botanists, including myself have visited this park and have not rediscovered the population.  Portions of the ledges have been degraded by rock climbing and it’s possible the population no longer occurs there.  All modern records for H. porophila (1970 to present) have been from southern Ohio,” says Rick Gardner, Botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

·         KE11010 Lycopodium lucidulum L. porophilum Lloyd & Underwood.  Portage County, Ohio:  Rocky side of ravine, Woodworth’s Glen.  A N Rood #684

The “Prof. L.S. Hopkins” in the above except is Lewis Sylvester Hopkins (1872-1945), a botanist at Kent State Normal School (now Kent State University) in Kent, Ohio.  According to Cara Gilgenbach, Head of Special Collections & Archives at Kent State University Libraries, “Hopkins was among our earliest faculty members appointed, in 1913 when classes were first held on the Kent campus (we were founded in 1910, but no buildings for classrooms were ready until 1913).  He was appointed Head of the Department of Biology, a post he held at the Kent State Normal School (later Kent State Normal College) until 1920.  Also, he served as the school’s first men’s basketball coach.”  Hopkins earned his B.A. in Psychology and the Science & History of Education from Antioch College in 1899.  He taught science and served as principal in several high schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania before assuming his post at Kent.  He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Torrey Botanical Club, and the Ohio Academy of Science.  He was a member & secretary of the American Fern Society, and curator of the Society Herbarium (Kent State Normal School Catalog, 1915).  According to the Harvard Herbaria database of botanists, L.S. Hopkins’ herbarium specimens are now held by OS (Ohio State University), BR (National Botanic Garden of Belgium) and NY (New York Botanical Garden).

Roscoe J. Webb (1875-1925) was a frequent co-collector of Rood’s.  Ralph W. Dexter writes, “Roscoe J. Webb of Garrettsville, Ohio, wrote to a fellow naturalist, Almon Rood, on 17 January 1922 that, “I suspect that the Evening Grosbeak came to Warner’s, ‘six miles from Youngstown.’” [Ralph W. Dexter (1968)  Incursions of the Evening Grosbeak in Northeastern Ohio, 1860-1967.  Bird-Banding 39(4):  306-309.] 

Ernest Waters Vickers (1869 – 1 October 1960) was another botanical colleague of Rood’s.  Vickers was born in Mahoning County, Ohio, and in the 1920 US Federal Census, his profession is listed as “section hand -- railroad.”  By the 1930 Census, his profession is listed as “botanist -- Park.”  Vickers was a frequent contributor to The Wilson Bulletin, an ornithological publication.  The Harvard Herbaria database of botanical collectors notes that Vicker’s specimens are held by YUO.   

To date, only one publication by Rood has been found; perhaps others exist.  Many of Rood’s collections are cited in a series of John H. Schaffner’s publications on the flora of Ohio. 

Schaffner, John H. [date?] Additions to the Revised Catalog of Ohio Vascular Plants I.  Papers of the Department of Botany, The Ohio State University, No.  319:  288-294 >>
64.  Lycopodium inundatum L.  Bog Club-moss  Bottom of abandoned stone quarry, Braceville Twp., Trumbull Co., Almon N. Rood [ p. 288]
68.  Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring.  Rock Selaginella.  Newell Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage Co.  Almon N. Rood, R.J. Webb, and E.W. Vickers [p. 288]
145.1.  Scirpus heterochaetus Chase.  Pale Great Bulrush.  In a swamp, Mantua Twp., Portage Co. Almon N. Rood [p. 289]
187.  Mariscus mariscoides (Muhl.) Ktz.  Twig-rush.  Cedar Swamp, Champaign Co.  Wm. C. Werner.  Mantua Twp., Portage Co., Almon N. Rood. [p. 289]
305.  Carex cryptolepis Mack.  Small Yellow Sedge.  Mantua Twp., Portage Co.  Almon N. Rood and R.J. Webb. [p. 289]
333.1.  Bromus altissimus Pursh.  Tall Brome-grass.  Braceville Twp., Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood.  Painseville, Lake Co.  Wm. C. Werner [p. 289]
599.1.  Juncus greenei Oakes and Tuck.  Green’s Rush.  Abundant in low, wet swale.  Phalanx, Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood. [p. 290]
1214.  Crataegus brainerdi Sarg.  Brainerd’s Hawthorn.  Farmington Twp., Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood [p. 292]

Schaffner, John H. Schaffner [date?] Additions to the revised catalog of Ohio vascular plants III.  Papers from the Dept. of Botany, The Ohio State University, No. 363.:  297-303  >>

35b.  Dryopteris cristata intermedia.  Edge of swamp.  Braceville, Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood.

220.  Carex deweyana Schw.  Dewey’s Sedge.  “Dry soil, top of rocks.”  Nelson Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage CO.  Roscoe J. Webb.  Received from Almon N. Rood.

288.1.  Carex sprenglii Dew. (C. longirostris Torr.)  Long-beaked Sedge.  “Dry soil, top of rocks.”  Nelson Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage Co.  Roscoe J. Webb.  Received from Almon N. Rood.

384.  Danthonia compressa Aust.  Flattened Wild-oat-grass.  Braceville Twp., Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood.

594.  Juncus balticus Willd.  Baltic Rush.  Mantua Twp., Portage Co.  R. J. Webb and Almon N. Rood.

1973.  Viburnum alnifolium Marsh.  Hobblebush.  Windham Twp., Portage Co.  R.J. Webb, L.S. Hopkins and Almon N. Rood.

2282.1.  Hieracium floribundum Wimm. and Grab.  Smoothish Hawkweed.  From Europe.  Warren Twp., Trumbull Co.  Almon N. Rood.


Schaffner, John H. [date?].  Additions to the catalog of Ohio vascular plants for 1915.  [full citation?]  pp. 104 >>
324.  Poa debilis Torr.  Weak Spear-grass.  Phalanx, Trumbull County.  Almon N. Rood.

427.  Panicum philadelphicum Bernh.  Philadelphia Panic-grass.  Phalanx, Trumbull County.  Almon N. Rood.



Rood, Almon N. (1913 ) Juncus monostichus in Ohio.  Rhodora 15:  62.


The UNC Herbarium would appreciate receiving more information about Almon N. Rood. Please contact Carol Ann McCormick, Assistant Curator, by email or by phone at (919) 962-6931.

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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: 4 October 2011