Arthur Stanley Pease

(22 September 1881 – 7 January 1964)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued about fifty vascular plants and half a dozen fungi collected by Arthur Stanley Pease. It is likely that more will be found as cataloging continues. Most of Pease’s specimens held by NCU are from New England.

NCU’s vascular plant specimens can be searched at; our mycological collection can be searched at

Pease was a scholar of the classics and a respected botanist. While Pease published extensively in his field of expertise (see below), he also published in his avocation. He even succeeded in publishing papers combining both — see “Mythology and mycology” (1947), “Notes on ancient grafting” (1933), and “A noteworthy survival” (1923).

Noted botanist Merritt Lyndon Fernald (1873-1950) was a close friend of Pease, and wrote, “how, with such a keen interest in plants and their natural habitats, he was lured into classical philology is beyond the comprehension of a mere botanist of more limited horizon” (Fernald, Merritt L. 1951. Arthur Stanley Pease, the Botanical Explorer. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 60: 11-21).  Fernald named Draba peasei found near Cape Rosier on the Gaspe Peninsula, in his friend’s honor:

Draba Peasei, with which it is a great pleasure to associate the name of its discoverer, ARTHUR STANLEY PEASE, distinguished classical scholar and keen amateur botanist, was at first identified by me as D. oligosperma Hook. of the Rocky Mountain region and under that name was reported by Pease, RHODORA, xxxi. 55 (1929). [Fernald, M. L. (1934) Draba in temperate northeastern America. Rhodora 36: 298-299.]


Other plants named in Pease’s honor include:
Antennaria peasei Fernald — Rhodoroa 26: 101. 1924.
Hieracium peasei Gand. — Bull. Soc. Bot. France 65: 51. 1918.
Salix peasei Fernald — Rhodora 19: 223. 1917.

Pease himself described an impressive list of taxa:
Aster puniceus L. f. albiligulatus Pease & A.H. Moore — Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 37: 354. 1924.
Botrychium lanceolatum var. angustisegmentum Pease & A. H. Moore — Rhodora 8: 229. 1906.
Carex josselynii (Fernald) Mackenzie ex Pease — Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 188. 1924.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. var. andinum Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 75. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. ciliatum Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 76. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. fernaldii Pease & A. H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 73. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. glaucum Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 71. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. var. gmelini Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 75. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. var. hornemanni (W.D.J. Koch) Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 73. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. var. latiglume Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 73. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. pilosifolium Pease — Rhodora 12: 75. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. pringlei (Scribn. & J. G. Sm.) Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 76. 1910.
Agropyron caninum (L.) P. Beauv. f. pubescens Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 71. 1910.
Agropyron caninium (L.) P. Beauv. var. tenerum Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 12: 71. 1910.
Potentilla tridentata Aiton f. hirsutifolia Pease — Rhodora 16: 195. 1914.
Houstonia caerulea (L.) Hook. var. faxonorum Pease & A.H. Moore — Rhodora 9: 210. 1907.
Epifagus virginiana (L.) W.P.C. Barton f. atropurpurea Pease — Rhodora 54: 140. 1952.

A summary of Pease’s scholarly life can be found in “Faculty Minute on Arthur Stanley Pease, 1881-1964” from the Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 69: ix-xi.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (with an emphasis on his botanical writings)
Pease, Arthur Stanley (1902) Hieracium praealtum at Andover, Massachusetts. Rhodora 4: 197.
—- (1902) Two new stations for Arceuthobium. Rhodora 4: 249.
—- (1902) Erodium malacoides at Lawrence, Massachusetts. Rhodora 5: 39.
—- (1903) Genus Trisetum in Andover, Massachusetts. Rhodora 5: 289.
—- (1904) Preliminary lists of New England Plants XV. Rhodora 6: 85-88.
—- (1905) Notes on the accentuation of certain Generic names. Rhodora 7: 157.
—- (1906) Peculiarities of Botrychium lanceolatum in America. 8: 229.
—- (1907) Notes on stoning among the Greeks and Romans. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 38: 5-18.
—- (1907) Alpine variety of Houstonia caerulea. Rhodora 9: 209.
—- (1908) Four introduced plants at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rhodora 10: 167.
—- (1908) Preliminary lists of New England Plants XV, addenda. Rhodora 10: 36.
—- (1909) Certain railroad weeds of northern New Hampshire. Rhodora 11: 30.
—- (1909) Cryptogramma stelleri in New Hampshire. Rhodora 11: 64.
—- (1909) A Juncus new to New England. Rhodora 11: 31.
Pease, Arthur Stanley and Albert Hanford Moore (1910) Agropyron caninum and its North American allies. Rhodora 12: 61- 77.
Pease, Arthur Stanley (1911) The omen of sneezing. Classical Philology 6(4): 429-443.
—- (1911) Helianthus subrhomboideus in New Hampshire. Rhodora 13: 103.
—- (1914) A form of Potentilla tridentata. Rhodora 16: 194.
—- (1915) Arenaria stricta in the White Mountains. Rhodora 17: 232.
—- (1915) A northern Solidago in the White Mountains. Rhodora 17: 72.
—- (1917) Is Aster tardiflorus a hybrid? Rhodora 19: 88.
—- (1917) Taraxacum ceratophorum in New England. Rhodora 19: 111.
—- (1918) Nuttall and Pickering in the White Mountains. Rhodora 20: 39.
—- (1920) The son of Croesus. Classical Philology 15 (2): 201-202.
—- (1921) Gray Pine and Arbor-Vitae. Rhodora 23: 247.
—- (1923) A noteworthy survival. The Classical Review 37 (7/8): 165-166.
—- (1924) Vascular flora of Coos County, New Hampshire. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 37 (3).
—- (1924) Eleocharis tuberculosa in New Hampshire. Rhodora 26: 37.
—- (1926) Things without honor. Classical Philology 21 (1): 27-42.
—- (1927) The loves of the plants. Classical Philology 22 (1): 94-98.
—- (1928) Plants new to Coos County, New Hampshire. Rhodora 30: 104.
—- (1928) Reports on the flora of Massachusetts I. Rhodora 30: 12.
—- (1929) A day in Gaspe. Rhodora 31: 54-56.
—- (1930) Botanical notes from northern Vermont. Rhodora 32: 17.
—- (1930) A Carex new to New England. Rhodora 32: 258.
—- (1933) Notes on ancient grafting. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Assoication 64: 66-76.
—- (1935) Panicum longifolium in New Hampshire. Rhodora 37: 267.
—- (1942) Some aspects of invisibility. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 53: 1-36.
—- (1943) Polygonum puritanorum in Maine. Rhodora 45: 215.
—- (1944) Cirsium Flodmani in New Hampshire 46: 87.
—- (1946) Sequestered vales of life. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press. [Includes accounts of his botanical ramblings with Fernald.]
—- (1947) Mythology and mycology. Classical Philology 42 (4): 253.
—- (1950) Holcus mollis in New Hampshire. Rhodora 52: 75.
—- (1951) Merritt Lyndon Fernald, 1873-1950. Rhodora 53: 33-39.
—- (1951) The New England Botanical Club a half-century ago and later. Rhodora 53: 97-105.
—- (1952) A sketch of the development of ancient botany. The Phoenix 6: 44-51.
—- (1952) A color-form of Beech-drops. Rhodora 54: 140.
—- (1960) Calypso in New Hampshire. Rhodora 62: 141.
—- (1961) Campanular persistence. Rhodora 63: 29.
Schultes, Richard Evan and Arthur Stanley Pease (1963) Generic names of orchids: their origin and meaning. New York, Academic Press.
Pease, Arthur Stanley (1964) A flora of northern New Hampshire. Cambridge, Massachusetts: New England Botanic Club, Inc. [Revision of the Vascular Flora of Coos County, New Hampshire, pub. in 1924 as v. 37, no. 3 of the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History.]

Bean, Ralph C. (1964) Arthur Stanley Pease. Rhodora 66 (765): 3-5.
It is seldom that classical scholarship and an enduring interest in systematic botany go hand in hand. However, these were the life interest of Professor Arthur Stanley Pease who died January 7, 1964, after a short illness.
Professor Pease was born at Somers, Connecticut, September 22, 1881, the son of Theodore Claudius and Abby Frances (Cutter) Pease. He fitted for college at Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, and while he lived in Andover he acquainted himself with the plants which grew there as well as with the flora of near-by towns in Essex County, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1902, summa cum laude, received his A.M. in 1903 and his Ph.D. in 1906.
The following year, he devoted to travel and study abroad, spending most of his time in Italy and Greece. From 1906 to 1909, Professor Pease was instructor in Latin at Harvard and Radcliffe. In 1909 he married Henrietta Faxon in Cohasset, Massachusetts. There was one daughter, Henrietta, born July 14, 1912, who married Professor Sherwood L. Washburn of Berkely, California in 1938.
Professor Pease was appointed Assistant Professor of Latin at the University of Illinois in 1909. He became full professor as well as the Curator of the Classical Museum.
He went to Amherst College in Massachusetts, in 1924, to become Professor of Latin, a position which he held until 1927, when he was elected President of Amherst College. He continued in this office for five years until 1932. His interest and tastes were, however, in teaching and research, and he finally made the momentous decision to resign the presidency of Amherst and return to his Alma Mater as Professor of Latin. He made this change in 1932, and in 1942, he was appointed Pope Professor of Latin at Harvard. He continued active teaching until his retirement in 1950 when he became Professor Emeritus.
But his retirement did not bring an end to his activities in his chosen field. In 1955 he published the first volume of an annotated text and critical edition of Cicero’s treatise “On the Nature of the Gods.” The second volume followed in 1958. More recently, during the last two years, he collaborated with Dr. Richard Evans Schultes of the Harvard Botanical Museum in writing a book on the Generic Names of the Orchids, which came off the press on the day of his death.
Professor Pease received honorary degrees from Williams, in 1931, and Amherst, in 1933. He was Trustee of Andover Theological Seminary and of the Loeb Classical Library. Over the years he was a member of various groups of classical scholars, among them the American Philological Association of which he at one time was President. He had also served as Vice-President of the American Academy of Arts and Science, as President of Phi Beta Kappa at Illinois, at Amherst and at Harvard, and as President of the Cambridge Book Club. He contributed many papers to classical journals.
But, to those interested in botany, it is Professor Pease’s work in New England botany for which he will be especially remembered. He spent much of his time between semesters in the field in the study and identification of plants. He not only collected in New England, but, wherever he went, he was always alert in observing the plants of that area. He traveled widely in the United States and Canada, especially in Newfoundland, Gaspe and the Maritime Provinces, and in Europe as well. He contributed greatly to our knowledge of the plants of these regions. To the botanical friends who often went with him on these expeditions he proved a delightful traveling companion not only because of his knowledge of the plants but also because of his wide general interests and his inimitable sense of humor.
In his earlier years he had built up an herbarium of over 12,000 sheets which, in 1912, he gave to the Gray Herbarium and the herbarium of the New England Botanical Club. Each year thereafter the summers’ collection would be added to these herbaria.
For many years Professor Pease had a summer home at Randolph, New Hampshire. He was an enthusiastic mountain climber and was for a time President of the Randolph Mountain Club. He was also a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and had served as Vice-President. He contributed articles from time to time to Appalachia. He studied the plants of the White Mountains critically. This resulted in his publication in 1924 of “The Vascular Flora of Coos County, New Hampshire,” which embodied his many years’ study of the area. The same analytical mind which made him the keen critic of the Latin texts was used in the study and identification of the plants of the northern New Hampshire flora. This year there is being published an enlarged and much improved edition of this Flora which incorporates the result of forty more years of his study in the area. As he himself wrote, “Love of out-of-door life, particularly in the mountains, has proved an excellent balance to the professional indoor activities.”
He was a long-time member of the New England Botanical Club which he joined in 1902 and served as President from 1934 to 1937. Articles by him appeared in Rhodora from time to time. His first article was in 1902 and the last in 1961. In addition to his contributions in his special fields, he published, in 1946, a book of essays”Sequestered Vales of Life.”