Dr. Edwin Hubert Eames, M.D. (1865-1948)

In 1948, the personal collection of E.H. Eames was given as a gift to the fledgling herbarium at the University of Connecticut. At well over 100,000 specimens, the Eames collection became the cornerstone of what would become the University's George Safford Torrey Herbarium. Torrey himself called Eames "the leading amateur collector in the state."

Although a medical doctor by profession, Eames was certainly a botanist by vocation. In a 1901 article on New England herbaria published in the journal Rhodora, Eames is credited with already having accumulated in eleven years of collecting an herbarium of about 8500 specimens of phaenogams and vascular cryptogams, including about 4200 species. A generalist collector, he concentrated most notably on Connecticut collections, especially around the area of Bridgeport where he lived. Eames also made important early expeditions to remote areas of northern New England, Newfoundland, the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and other parts of eastern North America. He often traveled, collected, and conferred with other regional botanists including C.C. Godfrey, J.F. Collins, and M.L. Fernald.

His keen eye and sense of taxonomy led Eames to describe several new species, varieties, and forms, many of them represented by type specimens at the Gray Herbarium. His comprehensive knowledge of the local flora also enabled him to collect and note many new introductions to Connecticut and New England, thus providing important early dates for the arrival of many exotic plant species in the region. Eames was a co-founder of the Connecticut Botanical Society and an early member of the New England Botanical Club.

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