CHARLES VANCOUVER PIPER

Photo of Charles Piper

Charles was born on June 16, 1867, in Victoria, British Columbia. He attended the State University of Washington, getting a BS degree in 1885 and an MS degree in 1892. He received a second MS degree from Harvard in 1900, remaining there as a professor of botany and zoology until 1903, when he was appointed to the Department of Agriculture. He was first put in charge of the Grass Herbarium in the Office of the Agrostologist from 1903 to 1905 and then was put in charge of the office of Forage Crop Investigations from 1905 to 1926. Kansas Agricultural College conferred an honorary DSc degree on him in 1921. He did field work in Alaska (1904), Philippines (1911), Canal Zone (1923), and Europe (1924).

He was much interested in the flora of Washington State and published several manuals and a number of taxonomic articles throughout his working career. He became well known in agronomy thanks to his work on several forage legumes and grasses. He was instrumental in introducing Sudan grass (a kind of sorghum) from Africa. He was a golfer, who revolutionized greens by his discoveries.

Charles died on February 11, 1926, in Washington, D.C.

He was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1908 and terminated his membership in 1910.