While it was simply a hobby for Frank Cook, the Canadian Museum of Nature has cashed in with the amateur naturalist’s donation of more than 1,500 plant specimens including rare and endangered species of mosses.
The University of Western Ontario professor emeritus (botany/biology) amassed his collection over more than 35 years of fieldwork, starting around 1970. The 90-year-old Cook, who now lives on Barrie, taught plant physiology at Western for 35 years prior to retiring in 1987.
The new additions to Canada’s national plant collection include mosses and liverworts, both part of a distinctive group of small plants known as bryophytes. The specimens are mostly from locales in southern Ontario, with some from British Columbia as well as Australia and New Zealand.
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