Swink, Floyd

Individual, 2.5056
Alternate Name
Swink, Floyd A.
Vital dates
1921 – 2000 lived
Naturalist - The Morton Arboretum (1960-1963)
Taxonomist, Plant Collections/Collections and Grounds - The Morton Arboretum (1963-1995)
Taxonomist Emeritus - The Morton Arboretum (1995-2000)
Early Life: -Born Villa Park 1921 -Young champion typist -Professional speed typist 1940-1942 -Served in the navy 1942-1945 (hired because of his typing skills) -University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy, professor of botany and student in the program 1940s-1950s Lamp List: -In 1950 the 8th edition of M.L. Fernald’s Gray’s Manual of Botany was all that the Chicago region plant enthusiasts had to work with. -Dr. Herb Lamp asked Floyd to type up a list of just Chicago area plants (excluding all the others) that Chicago-region naturalists could use. -Lamp List was typed and mimeographed and ended up being in demand. -Started out of a desire to create a useful list of Chicagoland plants for the local naturalist, not the overarching botanical academia. -This was the original basis for his 1953 book A guide to the wild flowering plants of the Chicago region, and later Plants of the Chicago Region. Plants of the Chicago Region: -1969 first edition published. -Desire to serve the local naturalist community resulted in Plants of the Chicago Region alphabetical structure. Reasoning: not everyone knows plant phylogeny but everyone knows the alphabet. Upset some botanists in academia. -Continued expansion and updating resulted in 3 more editions: 1974, 1979, and 1994.
Source of Biography
The majority of this information is from conversations with Gerald Wilhelm, who worked closely with Swink and co-authored the later editions of Plants of the Chicago Region.