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Arthur Fungarium (PUR)

One of the first photo-capable microscopes used by early Purdue scientists
One of the first photo-capable microscopes used by early Purdue scientists is also housed at the herbaria. (Photo courtesy of Purdue AgComm/Tom Campbell)

Arthur Fungarium (PUR​)

The Arthur Fungarium was established in 1​887 by Dr. Joseph C. Arthur​ (McCain and Hennen 1993), a pioneer American plant pathologist and mycologist (Cummins 1978). The Fungarium is housed within the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University and has been considered the most important collection of plant rust fungi in the world with almost 110,000 specimens collected from a across a broad geographic distribution and historical time line. Its past Directors, J. C. Arthur (11871915), George B. Cummins (1938–1971), and Joe F. Hennen (1971–1995), are known the world over as the leading scientists in the field of Urediniology (the study of rust fungi​).

Arthur alone named 29 genera and 309 species of rust fungi from North America that are sti​ll considered valid and an additional 50 species from other countries such as India and the Philippines. Additionally, Arthur published 12 volumes of the North American Flora (Arthur 1907-1931) and the first and, to this day, only monograph of the rust fungi of North America (Arthur 1934), in addition to a staggering 289 peer-reviewed publications during his lifetime. Cummins was equally as prolific and influential, producing among numerous important works, the "bible" of Urediniology, The Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi, now in its 3rd edition (Cummins and Hiratsuka 2003).​​​​

For more details on the early history of the Arthur Fungarium see History of the Arthur Herbarium at Purdue University by Baxter & Kerns. ​


  • Arthur, JC. 1907-1931. Order Uredinales. North American Flora, 7: 83–969.
  • Arthur JC. 1934. Man​ual of the rusts in United States and Canada. Purdue Research Foundation, Lafayette. 438 pp.
  • Cummins GB.  1978. J. C. Arthur: The Man and His work. Annual Review of Phytopathology,16:1930.​Cummins GB, Hiratsuka Y. 2003. Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi 3rd edition. APSPress, St. Paul, Minnesota. 225 pp.​
  • McCain JW, Hennen JF. 1993. The Arthur Herbarium Centennial: 100 Years of Uredinology in Indiana and the Great Lakes Region. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 9: 389–395.​

The Arthur Herbarium office space