ISSN 1188-603X

No. 133 April 9, 1996 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


April 14, 1996 (Sunday): Flower Appreciation Day.
Guided walks at Thetis Lake Park at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

April 16, 1996 (Tuesday): Botany Night.
Mike Ryan will talk on "British Columbia rare bryophytes." Swan Lake Nature House, 7:30 p.m.

April 19 + 20, 1996 (Friday p.m. and Saturday): Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society - Spring Show.
St. Mary's, 1701 Elgin Street, Oak Bay. Friday 2:00 - 9:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Plant sale Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Admission $2.00.

April 20 + 21, 1996 (Saturday and Sunday): Gardening for Wildlife.
Native plant gardening demonstration and sale. Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

April 27, 1996 (Saturday): Native Plant Garden Tour.
Self-guided tour through eleven Victoria gardens that feature native plants and low water use. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets $5.00, available in major bookstores and garden centres. Organized by the Native Plants Study Group of the Victoria Horticultural Society. Call 598-2909 or 598-5329, if you need more information.


From: Mary Stensvold (

Jeff McKinney of Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri is studying ethnobotany in southeastern Alaska. He has been in southeastern since March 1995, and is working in both Hoonah and Sitka. His research focuses on the medicinal uses of plants by the Tlingit people. He can be reached at Box 6465, Sitka, Alaska 99835, or at:


From: originally on

APRIL 2, 1747: JOHANN JACOB DILLENIUS dies at Oxford, England, after an attack of apoplexy. Born in Germany in 1687, Dillenius studied medicine at Giessen and was eventually appointed doctor to the town. His interest in botany won him election to the Caesare Leopoldina-Carolina Academia Naturae Curiosum, and he soon published a flora of the region around Giessen, "Catalogus plantarum circa Gissam sponte nascentium" (Frankfurt am Main, 1718). Because Dillenius was critical of Bachmann, whose botanical system was then popular, he did not find favor in German systematic circles, and he emigrated to England in 1721 at the invitation of William Sherard, who hired Dillenius to work on his botanical encyclopedia. In England Dillenius was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1724 he oversaw the publication of the final edition of John Ray's "Synopsis plantarum" (London, 1724). He played host to Linnaeus in 1736 when the Swedish botanist visited Oxford, and published "Historia muscorum", an influential study of the cryptogams, in 1741. His herbarium will be preserved in the collections of Oxford University.

[Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server ( for more information.]


Coleman, Ronald A. 1995. The wild orchids of California.
Comstock Publishing Associates, Cornell University Press,Ithaca, NY. 201 p. ISBN 0-8014-3012-7 [hard cover] Price US$45.00.

"This profusely illustrated field guide covers the 32 species of orchids that grow wild in California. The first book on California's native orchids, it will be a valuable resource for professionals and hobyists alike."

"... To help readers identify the orchids, 129 exquisite color photographs show close-up details of the flowers, as well as the leaves, seed capsules, and habitats. Distribution maps document the counties in which the species grow. ... Coleman includes keys to the genera and species, and discusses the relative rarity of the different flowers and the threats to their continued existence in the wild."


From: Adolf Ceska (

The publication "The rare vascular plants of British Columbia" (Straley, G. B. et al. 1985. - Syllogeus 59: 1-165) has been available on gopher for some time (cf. BEN # 70, Feb 14, 1994). The data are WAIS searchable, i.e., you can search for the plant name (no common names, though), or for any words mentioned in the text (e.g., Victoria, Nanaimo, etc.). The search is limited to twenty successful hits.

The CONSERVATION DATA CENTRE vascular plant tracking lists (RED and BLUE as of February 29, 1996, YELLOW as of January 28, 1994) were added to the file and listed in the field called "BC CDC status." The CDC tracking lists change continuously due to new data acquisitions from herbaria and field work. Please request an updated version from the Conservation Data Centre if your work warrants it.

I added a field with SYNONYMS for those taxa that have been known under different names. In order to facilitate searches, I included some orthographic variants (e.g. Carex hystericina vs. C. hystricina).

I would like to thank Gerald Straley for his permission to use this list on the gopher, to Bob Scheer for his computer transcription of the original publication, and to George Douglas for providing Conservation Data Centre status ratings.


From: James L. Reveal ( originally posted on TAXACOM (

The INDICES NOMINUM SUPRAGENERICORUM PLANTARUM VASCULARIUM databases, being prepared by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and the Norton- Brown Herbarium at the University of Maryland in cooperation with the National Agricultural Library, has been updated with several additions. The databases are available at:

The first database is a listing of names above the rank of genus for extant vascular plants. To date, the literature up to approximately 1860 has been consulted. As in the past, only validly published and legitimate names are reported. Also, it is important to remember that the data are being constantly changed as more and more literature is reviewed.

The second database attempts to provide a concordance of all family names according to modern authors in an expanded format from that presented in the first volume of FLORA NORTH AMERICA. All of the family names are validly published (or currently treated in App. IIB of the Code) as if validly published. A number of additional names are in the process of being validated by myself and others. These will be added when available.

The third database is a summary, at the family level, of numerous systems of classification, namely those presented by Brummitt (1992), Cronquist (1981, 1988), Dahlgren (1989a, 1989b), Greuter et al. (1993), Gunn et al. (1992), Thorne (1992a, 1992b), Watson & Dallwitz (1991, 1995+) and Wielgorskaya (1995). My own views are also presented. Linear arrangments are given for Cronquist, Dahlgren, Reveal and Thorne; the others are alphabetical listings.

A new addition to this database are links to the family descriptions available online by Watson & Dallwitz, the USDA/GRIN generic listings being compiled by John Wiersema, and a series of illustrations from a variety of sites.

The fourth database is new. The linear sequences of Cronquist, Dahlgren and Thorne are outlined in detail at the ranks of division, subdivision, classes, subclass, superorder, order and family as appropriate. By changing formats from one author to another, and from one level of ranks to another, it is possible to do a comparative review of different portions of each author's system of classification.

In preparing this database, a surprisingly large number of commonly used names were found not to be validly published. While several are listed here, a full citation is not yet available for several. As these names have been in common use for years (in some cases nearly 30 years!), their continued use here is only a matter of convenience.

HELP buttons with useful (hopefully) information is available on all databases. As before, additions, corrections and comments may be sent to me directly.

Submissions, subscriptions, etc.: BEN is archived on gopher The URL is: gopher:// Also archived at