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, Asst. Curator.

Leland “Lee” Shanor
(21 July 1914 – 31 March 1993)

NCU has cataloged about 40 fungi collected by Lee Shanor, and as our macrofungal collection continues to be cataloged additional specimens collected by him will be found.  In North Carolina Shanor frequently collected in Chapel Hill, Orange County and Highlands, Macon County. Other herbaria that hold specimens collected by Shanor include the Farlow Herbarium at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (FH), Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign (ILLS), the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx (NY), The United States National Fungus Collections in Beltsville, Maryland (BPI), the University of Illinois in Urbana (ILL), and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville(TENN). 

A catalog of NCU fungi, including those collected by Lee Shanor, can be found at

Leland Shanor1

Dr. Shanor’s spouse, Mary Williams Ward Shanor, was also a mycologist who deposited specimens at NCU. 



Excerpts from Kimbrough, James W. (1995)  Leland Shanor, 1914-1993.  Mycologia 87(5):  745-748.  Stable URL: 


Mycologists and other friends in biology, botany, and educational circles were saddened to learn of Leland Shanor’s death on March 31, 1993, at his home in Gainesville, Florida [United States of America].  In 1985 he had retired as professor and former chairman of the Botany Department at the University of Florida after a career filled with rich and varied activities.


Lee Shanor was born in Butler, Pennsylvania [U.S.A.] on July 21, 1914, where he grew up and received his early education.  He entered Maryville College in the foothills of the Tennessee Smokies where he received his A.B. degree in 1935…He then entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his M.A. degree in 1937 and his Ph.D. in 1939.  While at [UNC-CH], he was an assistant and teaching fellow in Botany.  Under the leadership of W. C. Coker and J. N. Couch he acquired a long and abiding interest in mycology, especially the aquatic fungi.  It was there that he met Mary Williams Ward, whom he married on June 20, 1940 in Burgaw, North Carolina.  While in Chapel Hill, he busied himself outside the classroom with running a men’s boarding house and the acquisition of property, the first of many real estate ventures throughout his life. 


After graduation, Lee became Instructor of Botany at Clemson College in South Carolina [U.S.A.] and the following year Instructor of Botany at the University of Illinois in Urbana [U.S.A.].  After a leave of absence from 1943 to 1946 during World War II, he rejoined the faculty at the University of Illinois as Assistant Professor.  He remained mycologically active throughout the war years, serving as Plant Pathologist of the Emergency Plant Disease Project in Beltsville, as Research Mycologist for the George Washington University Tropical Deterioration Project, and Research Associate for the University of Pennsylvania Johnson Foundation project in the Panama Canal Zone.  A number of publications resulted from his research on tropical deterioration and fungal-proofing of textiles.  After returning to the University of Illinois, he rose to the rank of Professor and in 1951 became Curator of the Mycological Collections. 


As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina,  Lee became very supportive of Highlands Biological Station at Highlands, North Carolina, where in 1937 he received a fellowship to work in their laboratory.  In 1939 he became Director of the Highlands Museum of Natural History and in 1956 was elected to the Board of Trustees of Highlands Biological Station, where he served until his retirement in 1985. 


A marked change occurred in Lee’s career when he departed the University of Illinois in 1956 and joined the faculty of Florida State University in Tallahassee as Professor of Botany and Chairman of Biological Sciences.  Much more of his time was devoted to administration and less to research and graduate student supervision.  While at Florida State he became Dean of the Division of Advanced Studies in the Florida Institute of Continuing Studies and Division Director of [National Science Foundation’s] Division of Undergraduate Studies.  In 1965 the Shanors moved across state to Gainesville where Lee became Professor of Botany and Chairman of the Botany Department at the University of Florida. 


Leland Shanor is buried near his wife, Mary Williams Ward Shanor,  in Rockfish Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Wallace, Duplin County, North Carolina.2


See for a complete list of Leland Shanor’s publications.


1.  Kimbrough, James W. (1995)  Leland Shanor, 1914-1993Mycologia 87(5):  745-748.

2.  accessed on 15 January 2014.

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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 16 January 2014