|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 243 March 14, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii was recently listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species. This rare lupine is a host plant of the Fender's blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), an endangered Willamette Valley, Oregon, endemic. Most published descriptions of the lupine indicate its geographic range includes only western Oregon, although populations have been found in recent years in south-western Washington. In Rare Vascular Plants of British Columbia (Douglas, Straley, and Meidinger 1998), however, this taxon is included and cited from southern Vancouver Island. This is a considerable range extension, and prompted me to borrow specimens with this name from the herbarium at the Royal British Columbia Museum (V). I had expected them to be misnamed, but to my surprise, they appeared to be correctly identified. The museum sent five specimens (listed below), all of which had been annotated by such Lupinus luminaries as C.P. Smith and David Dunn. I found no reason to disagree with these earlier determinations. Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii does indeed appear to be native to Vancouver Island.
All of the specimens that I reviewed were collected in the 1920's from the Oak Bay area near Victoria. One has the word "Introduced" penciled on to it in C.P. Smith's handwriting. If Smith felt the taxon was adventive, that might explain why he did not mention it from British Columbia in his publications on the genus. In The Lupines of Canada and Alaska, Dunn (1966) includes this taxon and states that it is probably introduced, but concedes that it could be relictual to Vancouver Island. This latter notion seems most likely, since this lupine is neither showy nor weedy and thus unlikely to be easily spread. Also, other plant species have disjunctions from Oregon to Vancouver Island, so it is not that strange to see this lupine show that pattern, as well. It seems prudent from a conservation perspective to consider the Vancouver Island material native, and the species should still be looked for in the Victoria area. In addition, we should keep our eyes open for it in adjacent regions such as the NE Olympic Peninsula and the Gulf and San Juan Islands.
Since the distribution of Fender's blue butterfly is closely tied to the lupine, I also inspected the specimens closely for eggs of the butterfly (which are laid on the undersides of the leaves). I saw no eggs, but some leaves showed evidence of herbivory by insects, a calling card of some butterfly larvae. This insect herbivory is pretty inconclusive, however, and although the lupine was present on Vancouver Island as late as the 1920's, the presence of the butterfly is uncertain and seems unlikely. In fact, other blues occur in this region and may have utilized this lupine as a food plant near Victoria.
The nomenclature of this lupine also deserves a comment. It was originally described as Lupinus oreganus by Heller, and this name still has some merit. This lupine clearly falls naturally within what C.P. Smith called the Calcaratus complex, which include L. sulphureus. Phillips (1955) reduced L. oreganus to a subspecies of L. sulphureus, but he did so without explanation. Clearly, though, he took a broad view of Lupinus sulphureus because he recognized five subspecies. Even so, what Phillips called L. sulphureus is a very diverse group, and Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii stands out as geographically isolated and morphologically distinct. It has a characteristic kink or ruffle in the banner, which, combined with long leaf petioles and glabrous upper leaf-surfaces makes it easy to identify. The geographic isolation of the taxon, its ease of identification, and lack of obvious intermediates between other subspecies argue in my mind for specific rank. I am not an authority on perennial lupines, however, and I am cautioned by Smith's (1946) sage words that when it comes to the Calcarati, "if you are looking for trouble, you will find it here." I bring up this taxonomic subject to fuel conversation and debate and to hear what others may think.
I thank George Douglas and Ed Alverson for prodding me to look into the report of this lupine from Vancouver Island and providing feedback on some of the ideas offered here. Thanks also to Ken Chambers for his insights into the nomenclature of this group.
Records of Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii on Vancouver Island: Specimens from Royal British Columbia Museum Victoria (V)
The Washington Rare Plant Conservation Program is organizing a two-day conference to discuss issues related specifically to the conservation and management of rare plants-vascular and nonvascular-and rare ecosystems in Washington. The conference is schedule for April 17-18, 2000 and will be held at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, WA.
This is the first-ever meeting focused entirely on Washington rare species and ecosystems and will bring together researchers, managers, and other individuals with a variety of interests in this area. The goal of this conference is simple: to share ideas and strategies for the conservation of our rare, native flora.
For more information see http://depts.washington.edu/rareplnt/ !
A while ago you posted information about my grandmother, Theodora Gray (published as Theodora Stanwell Fletcher) and her book Driftwood Valley:
I thought it might be appropriate to let people know that my grandmother has since passed on. She was of good health until the spring of 1998 when she fell ill. She slowly recovered but never to her original health. This Christmas, with family visiting, she again fell ill. She finally passed on in mid January. She was found in her bed with her bird book and binoculars at her side. She had just turned 94.
Since her passing our family has received many wonderful cards and letters from people who knew my grandmother or read her books (there were three). She touched many people's lives and she will be missed.
Massive in size, weight, and Teutonic thoroughness, but surprisingly inexpensive, indeed a bargain (about US$72.75 at current exchange rates) in view of its completeness and excellence, this synonymized checklist of the vascular plants of Germany is the first detailed one for this country in 60 years (since R. Mansfeld, Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 58a: 1-323, 1940). The 31-page textual front matter has a comprehensive introduction, which includes a 3-page bibliography and a 4-page glossary. The introduction should be digested to use effectively this rich and complex work. There then follows a 516-page alphabetical listing of taxa from Abies through Zostera noltii. This gives accepted names in bold type plus synonyms indented in normal type, in all some 4200 species and infraspecific taxa in 777 genera, with synonyms about 15,000 names total. Coverage involves 3 families, 8 genera, and 12 species (plus infraspecific taxa) of gymnosperms, despite the titular "Bluetenpflanzen."
Specifically, the work accepts 2674/2705 "normal" species, 936 apomictic ones, and 109/114 nothospecies (hybrid species), for a total of 3719/3755 species, plus 369/374 assorted infraspecific taxa, for a grand total of 4088/4129 taxa The numbers divided by a slash reflect a broad or conservative versus a narrow or liberal species concept of Oenothera (pp. 330-340). Oenothera I by lumper W. Dietrich has 7 species, including 2 nothospecies, but no infraspecific taxa, whereas Oenothera II by splitter K. Rostanski has 46 species, including 7 nothospecies and 9 varieties. The 1-page English summary lists 12 new combinations and typifications, whereas page 17 lists 70 important name changes (all of these names were previously published).
Synonymy is referenced and extensive (basionyms first, other synonyms chronological), for instance, 35 names for Cystopteris fragilis or 15 for Calamintha nepeta. Throughout the work and appearing in red type are synonyms cross-referenced to the accepted names. Notes on systematics, nomenclature, as well as biology of genera and species also appear in red type and often are extensive, for example, four pages for Ranunculus, three for Polypodium, or two on Taraxacum. These red-type comments alone make this compilation very significant, including for taxonomists working far beyond Germany.
Following the invaluable 516-page alphabetical list of taxa is a 64-page chapter consisting of five parts:
Ending this monster work are (a) a 28-page bibliography to the alphabetical list of taxa and to the list of chromosome numbers, and (b) a 121-page index listing, sans page numbers, accepted names and synonyms cross-referenced to the former. [The section on chromosome numbers and the index have separate parts for Oenothera I and II (see above).] Alas, the valuable introduction is not indexed.
This fine work is remarkably free of typos and other slips. The book is very user friendly, once one understands what the red type, shading, boxes, bolding, etc., signify. Due to the completeness and excellence of this work, it would be a pity if its being in German would restrict its use (and sales!) to mainly central Europe. This dual synonymized checklist- chromosome list for Germany should be incredibly valuable to systematists in many other lands. Kudos to all involved for a tremendous accomplishment.