UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Larry Mellichamp [1], 2014 May 22

Identifier: OH-UA-ME0103

Scope and Contents

In this first of two interviews, Dr. Larry Mellichamp, graduate and long-time faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, reflects on his time as a student in the 1960s and as a faculty member from the 1970s to 2010s. He traces the history and development of the botanical gardens and greenhouse, describes the influence of professors Dr. Hechenbleikner and Dr. Matthews on his life, and explains Dr. Hechenbleikner’s involvement in managing the landscaping on campus. He recounts the origin of the Van Landingham Glen, the McMillan Greenhouse, and the annual plant sale and reveals the challenges of maintaining the gardens, including financial struggles and lack of staff. He shares the purpose of the botanical gardens and greenhouse and comments on numerous rare plants grown during his tenure including the Titan Arum. Other topics include faithful volunteer Harlan Jackson, Dr. Mellichamp’s family history and background, his father’s occupation in silk-screen printing and advertising, his experience growing up in Charlotte, his interest in carnivorous plants, the books he has authored, and his relationship with Bonnie Cone.


  • 2014 May 22


Language of Materials

From the Collection: The material is in English

Conditions Governing Access

Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Please contact Special Collections to request the creation of use copies for particular items; requests will be accommodated when possible. The remaining materials are open for research.

Biographical Note

Dr. Mellichamp was a 65-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place in the greenhouse on the campus of UNC Charlotte. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1948 and was educated at UNC Charlotte, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Botany (1970), and at the University of Michigan, where he earned his PhD in Botany (1976). He was employed as a professor of botany and horticulture at UNC Charlotte and as director of the university’s botanical gardens.


128 Minutes