The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
databased approximately 40 specimens collected by
Hannibal Albert Davis and his spouse, Tyreeca
Davis. No doubt more will be found as databasing
continues. The Davises usually signed their
specimens "Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Davis."
Hannibal Davis (left), Tyreeca Davis
(middle), unidentified man (right), ca. 1960
Photograph courtesy of
West Virginia University Photographic Services
Hannibal Albert Davis was born in Marshall County,
West Virginia. He earned both A. B. and M.A. degrees in mathematics from West
Virginia University. Upon completion of Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell
University in 1928, he joined the mathematics faculty West Virginia
University in Morgantown, WV, and served as that department's head from
1948-1960. Upon retirement, the Davises moved to
Freeport, Florida (ca. 1982).
Davis' botanical interests included Rubus and Viola. Rubus
leggii was named by H. A. and Tyreeca Davis in William Clarence Legg's honor (Davis,
H.A. and Tyreeca Davis. 1953. The genus Rubus in West Virginia. CASTANEA 18(1): 1-31).
"This species is dedicated to the memory of the late William C. Legg,
naturalist of Mount Lookout, Nicholas County, West Virginia, whom we
accompanied on several pleasant and profitable field trips" (p. 27-28).
The Harvard Herbaria Database lists CM
(Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) as a
major repository for Davis' herbarium specimens, though it seems likely that
WVA (West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, USA) would have many as
Dr. Wayne Davis and Dr. Elizabeth Davis Swiger established the H.A. and Tyreeca
Davis Herbarium Endowment at WVA in honor and memory of their parents.
Anonymous (1988) Davis Herbarium Goes to
Carnegie Museum. CASTANEA 53: 83.
The private herbarium of Hannibal A. and Tyrecca E. Davis has been given to the Carnegie Museum in
Pittsburgh. This consists of a 10,000 sheet general collection with emphasis
on West Virginia, and 10,000 sheets of Rubus,
mostly from eastern North America. The Rubus
material is the basis for the Davis' (with A. M. Fuller) revision of the
North American Eubati (Castanea
1967, 32: 20-37; 1968, 33:50-76; 1969, 34: 157-179; 1969, 34: 235-266; 1970,
35: 176-194; 1982, 47: 216-219). Although it contains no types, this is the
most valuable collection extant to use in identifying an unknown specimen.
For each species the Davises had a "working
type", usually from the type locality or nearby, which they had
carefully compared to the type specimen. For many species names the type is
too poor to be recognizable: too immature; floricanes
only; primocanes only; parcifronds
or novirames; a mixture of more than one species,
or other such problems. With considerable effort, often observing at
different stages of development and sometimes growing the plants, they were
able to prepare good material that they were confident represented the
The Davises visited
most of the type localities for North American Rubus
names, and their collection contains representatives for nearly all names.
All the Davises'
working materials regarding Rubus (notes
made when examining types, manuscripts, correspondence, annotated reprints,
etc.) have also been deposited at the Herbarium of the Carnegie Museum.
Partial list of publications:
Davis, Hannibal Albert (1930) Involutorial
transformations belonging to a linear complex. Am. J. of Mathematics 52(1): 53-71.
Davis, H.A. and Tyreeca
Davis (1953) The genus Rubus in West
Virginia. CASTANEA 18(1): 1-31.
Core, Earl L. and H.A. Davis (1953) New plant
records for West Virginia. CASTANEA 18(1): 31.
Davis, H.A., Albert M. Fuller, and Tyreeca Davis (1982) Some comments on Rubus.
CASTANEA 47(2): 216-219.
Davis, Hannibal A. (1990)
in “Rubus.” Castanea