The University of North Carolina Herbarium
has databased approximately 3,500 specimens collected by H.L. Blomquist. No
doubt as cataloguing continues, thousands more will be found in NCU’s
collection. Most of the grasses and
ferns collected for the publication of the 1968 Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas
by Radford, Ahles, and Bell were identified by Dr. Blomquist.
NCU holds several type specimens of taxa named by H.L. Blomquist: Hexastylis naniflora
(Isotype NCU86888 ; Paratype
NCU86889) and Hexastylis pilosiflora (Paratypes
NCU20856 and NCU27474).
naniflora Blomquist “Dwarf-flower Heartleaf”
Photo by Cliff1066
The Duke University Herbarium (DUKE)
holds his type material and ca. 10,000 herbarium specimens. Other herbaria holding Blomquist’s
specimens include BUT, GH, MO, NY, PENN, U, and US. The H.L. Blomquist Garden of Southeastern Native Plants
is part of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North
Hugo Leander Blomquist (undated)
Photograph by Duke University
Information below is from Anderson, Lewis
E. (1965) In memoriam: Hugo Leander Blomquist
1885 [sic]-1964. The Bryologist
68(2): 251-254. Stable URL:
Hugo Leander Blomquist,
Professor Emeritus of Botany at Duke University, died at his home in Durham,
North Carolina on November 28, 1964.
He was born in Sorsele, Sweden, on June 5,
1885 [sic; June 5, 1888], but emigrated with his parents to Kulm, North
Dakota, in 1892 when he was seven.
[Betty Blomquist Matthews, H.L.B.’s
daughter, says that he was actually 4 years old when the family emigrated.] He spent the remainder of his childhood on
his parents’ farm where he developed a lifelong love for the soil and the
out-of-doors. He became a naturalized
citizen in 1900 and, after completing his secondary education in the public
schools of North Dakota, entered the University of Chicago. He received the B.S. degree from that
institution in 1916 and after a two-year interruption from 1912 to 1914 when
he served as principal of the high school in Deering, North Dakota. After a year of graduate work at the
University of Chicago, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a musician
first class during World War I from 1917 to 1919. After the armistice, he remained in Paris
for a number of months and studied biological chemistry at the Pasteur Institute.
Upon his return to the United
States, he resumed graduate study in botany at the University of Chicago
where he worked under the supervision of W.J.G. Land. He received the Ph.D. degree in 1921. At Chicago he came under the strong
influence of the morphology tradition of that institution and his teachers
included the noted botanists Coulter, Cowles, and Chamberlain upon whom he
drew heavily throughout his professional life that was to follow.
In 1921 Dr. Blomquist
came to Trinity College (later Duke University) as Assistant Professor of
Biology. In 1923 he was promoted to
professor and in 1935, when the Department of Biology was divided into
departments of botany and zoology, he became Chairman of Botany, a post that
he held until 1953. He became Emeritus
Professor of Botany in 1957 but remained active and productive until a few
years before his death. In 1940-1941
Professor Blomquist was exchange Professor of
Botany at the University of Puerto Rico…
taxonomic interests were exceptionally broad.
His researches included studies of every major group of plants except
the fungi, yet he possessed a good field knowledge
of the fleshy fungi and for many years taught bacteriology at Duke. In addition to his bryological
studies, he published on both freshwater and marine algae, and at the time
that his health declined was at work on a manual of the marine algae of
Puerto Rico. He was the author of a
book on the ferns of North Carolina and of another on the grasses of the
state, both illustrated with his own drawings. Other books included a Guide to the Spring and Early Summer Flora of the Piedmont of North
Carolina written with H.J. Oosting – a well known flora that underwent six editions – a popular
book entitled the Flowers of the South
in collaboration with Wilhelmina F. Greene.
Always intrigued by the “difficult” plants, Professor Blomquist concentrated on such groups of vascular plants
as grasses, sedges, rushes, Xyris, orchids, and composites.
Hugo Blomquist married Margaret Lane Mordecai (6 January 1896
– 2 October 1982) and together they had one daughter, Betty Blomquist. Hugo
& Margaret Blomquist are buried in Oakwood
Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina and the granite grave stone portrays Glade
Fern, Homalosorus pycnocarpos.
According to Alan Weakley, NCU Curator,
“Lewis Anderson described for me the Gray Card filing parties that used to
occur (1940’s – 1960’s at least) when the Gray Card Index would issue a new
set of cards. The UNC and Duke botanists would gather at UNC (where a shared
installation was housed) and file away. Radford, Ahles, Bell, Blomquist, Oosting, probably
Wilbur; maybe the NC State botanists were involved as well, Wells, Godfrey,
and Fox (before his tragic death) in the 1950s. Andy said that Blomquist would chain-smoke, each cigarette held firmly
between his lips as he filed, the ash getting longer and longer until it fell
into the file card drawers. When I arrived at NCU in 2002 and we still had
the physical Gray Card Index in the hallway in dark green drawers, I had to
check whether this story was wholly apocryphal, but indeed, every drawer had
a fine gray powder in the bottom...”
Blomquist, H.L. (1929)
The relation of capillary cavities in the Jungermanniaceae
to water absorption and storage.
Ecology 10: 556-557.
Blomquist, H.L. (1930) Archegonial
plants of Tortula pagorum (Milde) De Not. In North Carolina. The Bryologist 33(4): 41-43.
Blomquist, H.L. (1931) Checklist of the common mosses of
Durham, North Carolina. Jour. Elisha
Mitchell Sci. Soc. 46: 170-178.
Blomquist, H.L. (1931) Genetics of mosses. Journ. Elisha
Mitchell Sci. Soc. 46: 267-275.
Blomquist, H.L. (1931) Some Pteridophytes
of North Carolina and their distribution.
Am. Fern J. 21 (3): 81-90.
Blomquist, H.L. (1934) The American Welsh Polypody in North America. Am. Fern J. 24 (1): 24-26.
Blomquist, H.L. (1934) The North Carolina Academy of Science. Science, New Series 79(2061): 592.
(1934) Ferns of North
Carolina. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. [with
an introduction by Donald Culross Peattie.]
Blomquist, H.L. (1936) Hepaticae
of North Carolina. The Bryologist
Blomquist, H.L. (1936) The North Carolina Academy of
Science. Science, New Series
Blomquist, H.L. (1937) Hepaticae
collected in the vicinity of Mountain Lake Biological Station, Va.,
1934. Claytonia 4: 6-9.
Blomquist, H.L. (1937) Mosses of North Carolina I. Sphagnales. The Bryologist 40(4): 67-71.
Blomquist, H.L. (1937) The North Carolina Academy of
Science. Science, New Series
Blomquist, H.L. (1938) Peat mosses of the southeastern
States. Jour. Elisha Mitchell Sci.
Soc. 54: 1-21.
Blomquist, H.L. (1938) The North Carolina Academy of
Science. Science, New Series
Blomquist, H.L. (1939) Grasses new to North Carolina. Castanea 4
Blomquist, H.L. (1939) Notes on southern Hepaticae. The
Bryologist 42(2): 29-32.
Blomquist, H.L. (1939) A new species of Plagiochila from the southern
Appalachian Mountains. The Bryologist 42
Blomquist, H.L. (1939) The North Carolina Academy of
Science. Science, New Series
Blomquist, H.L. (1940) Another new species of Plagiochila
from the southern Appalachian Mountains.
The Bryologist 43(4):
Blomquist, H.L. (1940) Foray of the Southern Appalachian
Botanical Club at Highlands, N.C. Castanea 5(7):
Blomquist, H.L. and Lora Lee Robertson (1941) The development
of the peristome in Aulacomnium heterostichum. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 68(8): 569-584.
Blomquist, H.L. (1943) Drifting “seaweed” at Beaufort,
North Carolina. Am. J. of Botany
Blomquist, H.L. (1945) A new species of Hexastylis from North
Blomquist, H.L. (1945) Development of reproductive
structures in the brown alga Turbinaria turbinata.
Bot. Gazette 106(3): 290-304.
Williams, Louis G. and H.L. Blomquist (1947) A collection of
marine algae from Brazil. Bull. Torrey
Bot. Club 74(5): 383-397.
Blomquist, H.L. and H.J. Oosting
(1948) Guide to the Spring and Early Summer Flora of the Piedmont of North Carolina. Durham, North Carolina: published by the authors.
Blomquist, H.L. (1948) Asplenium monanthes in South Carolina. Am. Fern J. 38(4): 171-176.
Blomquist, H.L. and Hollis J. Rogers (1951) Sphagnum macrophyllum Bernh. The Bryologist 54(2): 95-102.
Greene, Wilhelmina F. and Hugo L. Blomquist (1953) Flowers of the
South, Native and Exotic. Chapel Hill
North Carolina: University of North
R. M. and H.L. Blomquist (1955) A comparative study of Telaranea nematodes. Am. J. Bot.
Blomquist, H.L. (1957) A revision of Hexastylis of North
Blomquist, H.L. (1960) Fruiting specimens of Sphagnum portoricense. The Bryologist 63: 225-229.