Sharing the loss of Larry Mellichamp

Thomas Lawrence Mellichamp ’70, former director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, died Sept. 12.

A professor emeritus in the Biology Department, Mellichamp retired in 2014 after nearly four decades directing the development of the University’s Botanical Gardens. He completed a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University and went on to earn a doctorate in botany from the University of Michigan before returning to join the Charlotte faculty in 1976.

Mellichamp was an expert on native wildflowers, trees, shrubs and carnivorous plants, particularly Sarracenia pitcher plants. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Botanical Garden honored him as only the seventh recipient of its Flora Caroliniana Award in recognition of his enthusiasm and service to the preservation, restoration and appreciation of the natural world.

In 2015, following his retirement, the University opened the Mellichamp Native Terrace Garden honoring Mellichamp for sharing his knowledge and passion for plants with students and the Charlotte community as director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

Jeff Gillman, who succeeded Mellichamp as director of the Botanical Gardens, penned this tribute