Piper, Charles V.

Piper, Charles V. (Vancouver)

(1867–1926) agronomist; born in Victoria, British Columbia. His parents moved to Washington soon after he was born. Between his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington (1885, 1892), he worked in his father's bakery and collected plants from the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier area. From 1893 to 1903 he taught botany at State College of Washington in Pullman. With an assistant, he collected and classified plants in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon; this work resulted in a series of classic books such as Flora of the State of Washington (1906). As director of the office of forage crops for the United States Department of Agriculture (1903–26), he sought grass samples worldwide to replace the poor Johnson grass; named for its country of origin, the Sudan grass he found was drought resistant and has remained vitally important for American hay crops. Among his other books, he coauthored Turf for Golf Courses (1917) and The Soybean (1923).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.