George Washington Carver Fungi Collected in 1900 Found at UW-Madison

At the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri

At least 25 specimens of fungi that infect plants, collected by George Washington Carver more than a century ago, were discovered Feb. 8 in the Wisconsin State Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

The Wisconsin State Herbarium holds the nation’s second largest collection of microfungi, a type of fungus that does not form a mushroom. The university archive holds about 120,000 specimens.

Sample of microfungus collected by George Washington Carver in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1900, discovered at Wisconsin State Herbarium. Photo: Wisconsin State Herbarium


George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943) was a prominent African-American scientist with a long record of achievement. Born a slave in Missouri, he became the first black student at what is now Iowa State University, then its first black faculty member. He spent 47 years directing agricultural science at the Tuskegee Institute, which was established during Reconstruction to educate blacks.

George Washington Carver is a symbol of scientific and social accomplishment.

“He represented a marriage of scientific knowledge and popular education for economic empowerment…” -William Jones, a professor of history at UW–Madison

See more at: Specimens from George Washington Carver discovered at UW-Madison

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