The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Warren H. Wagner Fern Collection

Like orchids, ferns are another of the most fascinating and beloved of plants. In Michigan, no name is more closely associated with botany, field research, and conservation than Warren H. (Herb) Wagner. With his wife Florence, he documented the systematics, hybridization, and evolutionary history of ferns and fernlike plants. The Warren H. Wagner Fern Collection will include diminutive individuals from Wagner’s particular specialty—the Botrychiaceae—in addition to a wide variety of ferns from across the Great Lakes Region associated with the various habitats found in the Great Lakes Gardens.

Herb’s sense of curiosity about plants and the natural world inspired countless students at the University of Michigan. He served as the second Director of Matthaei Botanical Gardens from 1966-1971, where he gave shape to the combination of research, teaching, and public outreach that mark today’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.

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