Welcome to the Arthur Fungarium (PUR)


The Arthur Fungarium (PUR) was established in 1​887 by Dr. Joseph C. Arthur​, a pioneering American plant pathologist and mycologist. 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 across a broad geographic distribution and historical timeline. Its past Directors, J. C. Arthur (1887–1915), 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. Of his 289 publications, 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, Manual of the Rusts of United States and Canada (Arthur 1934). Cummins was equally as prolific and influential, producing among numerous important works, the "holy text" of urediniology, The Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi, now in its 3rd edition (Cummins and Hiratsuka 2003).

Though Arthur was not hired at Purdue University until 1887, some consider Arthur's first publication on rust fungi in 1883 to be the initiation of what would become the PUR, with the centennial of the PUR celebrated in 1982 (McCain and Hennen 1982). Thus, we approach the 150th anniversary of the PUR in 2032. For more details on the early history of the Arthur Fungarium see History of the Arthur Fungarium at Purdue University by J. W. Baxter and F. D. Kerns.

One of World's Largest

110,000 collections of 5,000 species

Biodiversity in Pucciniales

132 genera in 14 families

Cereal Pathogens

1480 Puccinia species

Facts and Resources

PUR MyCoPortal Database

View the digitalized PUR records

Rust Fungi

What are rust fungi?

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Important Collections

George Washington Carver, Captain James Cook, and more!

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Facts about the holdings of the Arthur Fungarium

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Arthur, JC. 1907–1931. Order Uredinales. North American Flora 7: 83–969.

Arthur JC. 1934. Manual 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: 19–30. Link here.

Cummins GB, Hiratsuka Y. 2003. Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi 3rd edition. APS Press, 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. Link here.