ISSN 1188-603X

No. 139 June 22, 1996 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Adolf Ceska (

Dr. Askell Love was a world leader in the science of plant cytotaxonomy and phytogeography. His friend, Dr. William A. Weber, published a short "In Memoriam" note and a bibliography of Dr. Love's works in the Acta Botanica Islandica (12[1995]: 3-5 and 6-34, respectively). I have a small surplus of reprints that I can send you, if you are interested. Please, send me your mailing address, and please, use my freenet adress:

NOT; you may create a mail storm, if you use BEN's address.


1858: ROBERT BROWN dies in London in the Soho Square house left to him by Joseph Banks, his long-time patron. One of the preeminent taxonomic botanists of the early nineteenth century, Brown had been an exceptionally industrious student of medicine and botany as a young man in his native Scotland. Following a period of naval service as a surgeon's mate, he was appointed in 1801 as a naturalist on the Investigator, a British Admiralty ship preparing to sail around the world. The Investigator voyage gave Brown an extensive knowledge of the plants of the southern hemisphere, and he returned with specimens of nearly 4,000 species. As a leading figure in London scientific circles, Brown played an important role in the establishment of the Department of Botany in the British Museum, and served as Librarian and President of the Linnean Society. Charles Darwin in his Autobiography will recollect the many hours he spent in Brown's company:

I saw a good deal of Robert Brown, "facile Princeps Botanicorum," as he was called by Humboldt; and before I was married I used to go and sit with him almost every Sunday morning. He seemed to me to be chiefly remarkable for the minuteness of his observations and their perfect accuracy. He never propounded to me any large scientific views in biology. His knowledge was extraordinarily great, and much died with him, owing to his excessive fear of ever making a mistake. He poured out his knowledge to me in the most unreserved manner, yet was strangely jealous on some points....Hooker told me that he was a complete miser, and knew himself to be a miser, about his dried plants; and he would not lend specimens to Hooker, who was describing the plants of Tierra del Fuego, although well knowing that he himself would never make any use of the collections from this country. On the other hand he was capable of the most generous actions. When old, much out of health and quite unfit for any exertion, he daily visited (as Hooker told me) an old man-servant, who lived at a distance and whom he supported, and read aloud to him. This is enough to make up for any degree of scientific penuriousness or jealousy. He was rather given to sneering at anyone who wrote about what he did not fully understand: I remember praising Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences to him, and he answered, "Yes, I suppose that he has read the prefaces of very many books."

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

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Orr, E.L. & W.N. Orr. 1996.
Geology of the Pacific Northwest. McGraw Hill Co., Inc. vi+409 p. ISBN 0-07-048018-4 [soft cover] Price: US$39.95.

This book is a large format publication, filled with many photographs, maps, diagrams and drawings and containing long chapters on British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.


Brayshaw, T. C. 1996.
Catkin-bearing plants of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria. 213 p. ISBN 0-7718-9458-9 [soft cover] Price CDN$24.95

This is a new, updated edition of Dr. Brayshaw's 1976 treatment of Salix, Populus, Betula etc. in British Columbia. Several species new to British Columbia were added and the distribution maps were updated to include collections up to 1989. The publication can be ordered from (Visa & Mastercard accepted):

Royal Museum Gift Shop
675 Belleville Street
Victoria, B.C.
Canada V8V 1X4
Tel: 604-356-0505
Fax: 604-356-8197


From: Fiddlehead Forum 23(2), March-April 1996

The American Fern Society now has a homepage on the worldwide web! The page is a


Pteridonet is a new on-line listserve dedicated to the topic of ferns. To subscribe send a message

 subscribe Pteridonet Your full name


In November 1995, I lost my job of a botany curator in the Royal British Columbia Museum, due to the downsizing that took place in the British Columbia Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture. From December 1995 to April 1996 I worked in the B.C. Ministry of Forests on problems of vegetation classification (essentially developing a new version of the COENOS computer program) and on classification of wetland plant communities. Since May 1996 I have been working as an Ecologist in the Conservation Data Centre, B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. My responsibility is vegetation classification and identification of rare and endangered plant communities. My new address is

Adolf Ceska
B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
Conservation Data Centre
780 Blanshard Street
Victoria, B.C.
Canada V8V 1X4
Phone: 604-356-7855 (work), 604-477-1211 (home)
Fax: 604-387-2733

My private address is:
Adolf Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3S2

I would like to thank all the BEN readers for their support and encouragement (please, send me more news and contributions to post on BEN !). I would like to stress that BEN does not reflect official positions of my employers. Nevertheless, if you know about some "rare and endangered" vegetation or ecosystem in British Columbia that should get into the official mill, please, let me know. Many thanks again.

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