Lillian E. Arnold

Lillian Eleanore Arnold  (1 September 1895 – May 1987)

Lillian Eleanore Arnold was born on 1 September 1895 in Downingtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her father, Burt G. Arnold, was a physician and her mother, Winifred, was a homemaker (5).  Lillian completed a Bachelor of Science degree at John B. Stetson University in Deland, Florida in 1918. From 1918 to 1920 she was a librarian at the Carnegie Library in Bradenton, Florida. In 1927 she began a long association with the Department of Plant Pathology, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in Gainesville, Florida, first as a stenographer and later as an assistant botanist. She attended the University of Florida  starting in 1929, and completed a Masters of Science in 1934.

In July, 1936, Ms. Arnold joined the staff of the Herbarium of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station as an assistant botanist. In 1948, she was the Herbarium’s Acting Curator (2).  The 1955 Gainesville City Directory lists Lillian as “assoc botanist U of Fla” and her younger brother, P. T. Dix Arnold as “assoc prof Agrl Exp Sta” (6, 7).  Ms. Arnold retired from the University of Florida after more than 30 years of service (3). The Florida Natural History Museum Herbarium (FLAS) in Gainesville is the primary repository for her specimens.

NCU has databased about 30 specimens collected by Ms. Arnold. Most were collected in Florida. The earliest specimens, NCU accession #29035 Pteris cretica (L.) Small and NCU accession #29045 Dryopteris floridana (Hook) Kuntze (= Dryopteris ludoviciana (Kunze) Small), were collected in October 1931 at the Devil’s Millhopper, Alachua County, Florida. This site was the focus of her Master’s Thesis, “A study of the more conspicuous flora of the Devil’s Millhopper,” completed in 1934 at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Devil’s Millhopper, a sinkhole that is 120 feet deep and 500 feet across, was purchased by the state of Florida in 1974, and has been open to the public as a state park since 1976.

Ms. Arnold frequently collected with Erdman West, and they co-authored The Native Trees of Florida in 1946.

Ms. Arnold collected the type specimen of a fungus and it was named in her honor in 1940 (4):
Russula Arnoldae sp. nov. Type collection by Lillian E. Arnold, near Gainesville, Fla., September 25, 1938 (F 18230).
A very handsome, highly-colored specimen with yellow, spinulose spores and mild flesh.

Ms. Arnold died in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida in May, 1987.


Arnold, Lillian E. 1934. A study of the more conspicuous flora of the Devil’s Millhopper. Master’s Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Arnold, Lillian E. 1936. A field trip to the Devil’s Millhopper. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 52: 77-90.

Arnold, Lillian. 1954. Some honey plants of Florida. University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 548, Gainesville, Florida. 47 pp.

Arnold, Lillian E. and John Beckner. 1955. A fern genus new to the United States. American Fern Journal 45(1): 10-11.

West, Erdman and Lillian E. Arnold. 1946. The Native Trees of Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 212 pp.

West, Erdman and Lillian E. Arnold. 1956. The Native Trees of Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 218 pp.

1. personal communication, Kent Perkins, Manager of the Collection, FLAS. He excerpted the information from correspondence between Arnold and Dr. John Hendley Barnhart for his biographical card catalog.

2. Jones, George Neville and Edna Meadows. 1948. Principal Institutional Herbaria of the United States. American Midland Naturalist 40(3): 724-740.

3. accessed on 25 October, 2006.

4. Murrill, William A. 1940. Additions to the Florida fungi II. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 67(1): 57-66.

5.  Fourteenth Census of the United States:  1920 — Population.  Florida, Manatee County, Bradenton, District 0121.  1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc. 2010.  accessed on 2 August 2019.

6.  Gainesville, Florida, City Directory, 1955.  U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  accessed 2 August 2019.

7.  Memorial.  1983.  P. T. Dix Arnold.  Journal of Animal Science 56(6):  1463.  [P. T. Dix, Lillian E. Arnold’s brother, was Professor Emeritus in Dairy Science at the University of Florida, following a career at the University which spanned 1931 to 1959.]