The First Botanist of Alabama
On this day in 1901, The botanist Charles Theodore Mohr wrote a letter expressing his relief at completing his major work – a book called Plant Life of Alabama.
"With the completion of this life work, a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel free to take on other tasks. As long as there is work, I will go to Tuscaloosa to the Herbarium which I helped start 20 years ago. Completing my work on the herbarium is my botanical goal for the remainder of my life."
Mohr wrote those words two months before his death.
At the time his book was published he was seventy-seven years old.
Mohr spent decades gathering the information and plant specimens for his work. He was a trained pharmacist and one of Alabama's first botanists.
Born in Germany and educated in Stuttgart, Mohr traveled the world before settling in Alabama. He collected in Surinam, emigrated to the United States in 1848, took part in the California gold rush, lived briefly Mexico, Indiana, and Kentucky.
In 1857 he started Chas. Mohr & Son Pharmacists and Chemists in Mobile, Alabama.
His personal herbarium specimens were donated to the University of Alabama Herbarium (15,000 specimens) and the United States National Herbarium (18,000 specimens).
The following plants are named for Charles Theodore Mohr
Andropogon mohrii (Hack.) Hack ex Vasey Mohr's bluestem Grass family
Aristida mohrii Nash Mohr's threeawn Grass family
Eupatorium mohrii Greene Mohr's thoroughwort Aster family
Marshallia mohrii Beadle & F.E. Boynt. Mohr's Barbara's buttons Aster family
Rudbeckia mohrii Gray Mohr's coneflower Aster family
Silphium mohrii Small Mohr's rosinweed Aster family
Tephrosia mohrii (Rydb.) Godfrey pineland hoarypea Pea family
Quercus mohriana Buckl. Ex Rydb. Mohr oak Oak family