James Duke, 88, Globe-Trotting Authority on Healing Plants, will be Dead

Dr. Duke had his own remedies. “To cure a cold, he mashes up the stems along with leaves of forsythia,” Ms. Raver wrote. “To help strengthen weak capillaries, he makes ‘rutinade’ through violet along with buckwheat flowers, lemongrass along with rhubarb stalks, along with herbs high in rutin (anise, chamomile, mint, rose hips).”

Dr. Duke’s authoritative reference book through 1997 has sold more than 1.5 million copies, according to its publisher, Rodale Press.

He also made lemonade through the wild plant Mayapple along with wrote a ditty about the item:

Penobscot Indians up in Maine

Had a very pithy sayin’:

Rub the root on every day

along with the item will take your warts away!

. . . I’ll venture to prognosticate

Before my song will be sung:

This particular herb will help eradicate

Cancer of the lung.

James Alan Duke was born on April 4, 1929, in Eastlake, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., to Robert Edwin along with Martha (Truss) Duke. His love of plants, he wrote, came through his mother, an avid gardener, along with through spending time inside the woods of rural Alabama with “country cousins” along with an elderly neighbor, who introduced him to edible wild plants, like chestnuts along with watercress.

His parallel love of music began when he was 5 years old: He was selling magazines to help earn money for his family when he encountered bluegrass musicians in a local college dormitory.

After the family moved to North Carolina, he learned to play the bass fiddle in high school along with began performing with Homer Briarhopper along with His Dixie Dudes, a country band he had heard on the radio. At 16, he played on a 78-r.p.m. record of which the band cut in Nashville.

Dr. Duke attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where his bass playing caught the ear of Johnny Satterfield, a big-band leader who taught there. He recruited Jim Duke as a jazz bassist, on the condition of which he enroll inside the music program.

His native love of botany kicked in, though, along with through 1952 to 1960 he earned bachelor’s, master’s along with doctoral degrees in botany at Chapel Hill. He did postdoctoral work as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis along with curatorial work at the Missouri Botanical Gardens there.

Botany along with music continued to be entwined in his life, however. While working, he could pick up gigs at clubs along with perform with jazz, blues along with country singers.