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:
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
OS Museum of Biological Diversity
of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
YOU Youngstown State University in
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
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.
Jennings, Otto E. (1909) Some
new or otherwise noteworthy plants from Ohio.
The Ohio Naturalist 9 (4):
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
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.
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.
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.:
cristata intermedia. Edge of
swamp. Braceville, Trumbull Co. Almon N. Rood.
deweyana Schw. Dewey’s Sedge. “Dry soil, top of rocks.” Nelson Ledge, Nelson Twp., Portage CO. Roscoe J. Webb. Received from Almon N. Rood.
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.
compressa Aust. Flattened
Wild-oat-grass. Braceville Twp.,
Trumbull Co. Almon N. Rood.
balticus Willd. Baltic Rush. Mantua Twp., Portage Co. R. J. Webb and Almon N. Rood.
alnifolium Marsh. Hobblebush. Windham Twp., Portage Co. R.J. Webb, L.S. Hopkins and Almon N. Rood.
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.
philadelphicum Bernh. Philadelphia
Panic-grass. Phalanx, Trumbull
County. Almon N. Rood.
Rood, Almon N. (1913 ) Juncus monostichus in Ohio. Rhodora 15: