Edwin Hunt

The Old Oriskany Swamp

It was on this day in 1869 that the botanist Edwin Hunt collected the last known specimen of Arethusa bulbosa in the old Oriskany swamp in New York.

Arethusa bulbosa is known as Dragon's Mouth Orchid and it is found in the eastern and central parts of the United States and Canada, from South Carolina to Saskatchewan.  One of Hunt's former students shared his recollections of his teacher:

"Mr. Hunt was an expert in the preparation of his botanical specimens. Hunt was ever-guarded in his knowledge of the locality. He did not believe in sharing it if he thought someone would exhaust it. He knew only too well how many years of patient industry he had spent on his collection."

And then he recalled:

"We journeyed many miles together and he always seemed 2 inches taller when we got into the woods.  He was a very rapid walker and when on a botanical excursion, it was a difficult matter to keep up with him.  I have a faint but pleasant recollection of running at his heels for a distance of 12 miles."

The Crataegus huntiana is named in memory of Edwin Hunt.

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Edwin Hunt
Edwin Hunt

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