Remembering Botanist C. Ritchie Bell (1921-2013)

C. Ritchie Bell and Anne H. Lindsey (photo by David Bell)

C. Ritchie Bell and Anne H. Lindsey (photo by David Bell)

Botanist C. Ritchie Bell, one of UNC Press’s best known and most influential authors, passed away this month in Chapel Hill at the age of 91.

A dedicated scientist who dreamed big, Professor Bell was a founder and the first director (1961-1986) of the N.C. Botanical Garden, the author of several books, and a leader in the conservation of native plants and habitats. He was a member of botany faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1955-1991.

A celebration of his life will be held in Reeves Auditorium at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, April 10, at 11 a.m.

Manual of the Vascular Flora of the CarolinasUNC Press published several of Bell’s books. He is a coauthor, with Albert E. Radford and Harry E. Ahles, of Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (1964, 1968), a monumental reference work. His popular Wild Flowers of North Carolina, coauthored with William S. Justice, was published in 1968 (paperback 1987) and revised in 2005 in an edition coauthored by Anne H. Lindsey, Bell’s wife.Wild Flowers of North Carolina, 2nd edition

UNC Press began distributing two more books in 2007: Fall Color and Woodland Harvests, also coauthored by Anne H. Lindsey, and Florida Wild Flowers and Roadside Plants, coauthored by Bryan J. Taylor.

Learn more about Bell’s extraordinary career from the NC Botanical Garden and the UNC Herbarium.

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