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Merritt Lyndon Fernald

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Name  Merritt Fernald

Role  Botanist
Merritt Lyndon Fernald media2webbritannicacomebmedia0211902004C
Died  September 22, 1950, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Education  Orono High School, Harvard University
Books  Edible wild plants of Eastern N, Gray's New Manual of Botany - a, Biographical Memoir of Benjamin, Manual of Botany: A Handboo

Merritt Lyndon Fernald

Merritt Lyndon Fernald (October 5, 1873 – September 22, 1950) was an American botanist. He was a respected scholar of the taxonomy and phytogeography of the vascular plant flora of temperate eastern North America. During his career, Fernald published more than 850 scientific papers and wrote and edited the seventh and eighth editions of Gray's Manual of Botany. Fernald coauthored the book Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America in 1919-1920 with Alfred Kinsey, which was published in 1943.



Fernald was born in Orono, Maine. His parents were Mary Lovejoy Heywood and Merritt Caldwell Fernald, a college professor at the University of Maine. Fernald attended Orono High School, during which time he decided that he wanted to become a botanist. He collected plants around Orono and published two botanical papers while still attending high school. Fernald attended Maine State College for a year, but began working as an assistant at the Gray Herbarium at Harvard University when he was 17. He began studying at Harvard in 1891, graduated in 1897, and joined the faculty at Harvard, during which time he remained active at the Herbarium.

Fernald was awarded the 1940 Leidy Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.


Merritt Lyndon Fernald Wikipedia