ISSN 1188-603X

No. 266 March 26, 2001 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


The Central Alaska network of the National Park Service is currently seeking applications for a Botanist position to assist in leading a vascular plant inventory study in three of Alaska's premier National Park units: Denali National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

The person in this position will take part in all aspects of the inventory study including site selection, fieldwork, specimen identification and data analysis. This is truly an exciting opportunity for field-oriented botanists. This job opportunity is posted on the USA jobs website of the United States Office of Personnel Management ( Application instructions and a more complete description may be found by performing an "agency job search" for Alaska Region of the National Park Service at this web address!!

For information about this opportunity, please call the Susanne Brown, personnel specialist for Denali National Park at (907) 683-9503. You may also contact the project principal investigator, Carl Roland at (907) 456-0479.


From: Dr. Bill Weber []

Leon Kelso was a government employee in Washington, D.C. at the Bureau of Biological Survey. His specialty was ornithology, but he was also very much interested in the Rocky Mountain Flora. He never published in a "refereed journal," and was probably the last of a breed of American scientists who felt he had to publish his own journal. This was a series which he called Biological Leaflets. It appears that he published at least 88 of these, on topics ranging from the taxonomy of owls, the anatomy of feathers, the Colorado flora, the willows (Salix) and sedges (Carex) in Colorado.

Very few sets of the Biological Leaflets remain. The University of Colorado Herbarium in Boulder has had some of them for many years, but I recently discovered many missing numbers among the papers of Askell Love, who must have carried on correspondence with Kelso over many years.

I am lacking the following numbers: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 22, 27, 46, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 80, 81-85, 87.

I am putting together a paper about him and would like to have photocopies of the missing papers, which are often only a page or two long. Probably these are not all botanical papers, for he published a lot about birds, feathers, and bioelectronic observations having to do with the migrations, homing, etc. of birds.

Thanks for that!


Dr. W.A. Weber
University of Colorado Museum
Campus Box 315
Boulder CO 80309 USA


From: Stephen Timme []
Malcolm, Bill & Nancy Malcolm. 2000.
Mosses and other bryophytes: An illustrated glossary. Micro-Optics Press, Nelson, New Zealand. iv + 220 p. ISBN 0-473-06730-7 [hard cover] Price: US$39.95

Published by:
Micro-Optics Press,
a division of Micro-Optics Ltd.
Box 320, Nelson, New Zealand

Available from:
Timber Press, Inc.
The Haseltine Building,
133 S.W. Second Ave., Suite 450,
Portland, OR 97204, USA
Tel.: 1-800-327-5680 or 1-503-227-2878,
Fax: 1-503-227-3070

The Malcolms have produced a glossary of bryophyte terms that is long overdue. This illustrated glossary is packed with the majority of terms associated with moss, liverwort and hornwort characteristics. Most are illustrated with color plates. For characteristics that are highly variable, the authors include several color plates to illustrate the variability among the bryophytes. These should give at least the beginning student of bryology a better feel for the characteristic under study. Each plate is titled by species name, characteristic (in bold-face), and a scale of measurement. There is a brief introduction and following the text a reference to some literature for further reading. This is followed by an index to the illustrations by species name. The results of this text is obviously the efforts of years of study and developing photographic techniques. This reference will ease the frustrations often encountered by the beginning student of bryology. It will also be an excellent reference to the trained bryologist as well.

[This book contains 970 full-colour close-ups and micrographs plus 22 drawings illustrating 1550 cross-referenced entries and 400 species, a comprehensive glossary and a celebration of diversity of bryophytes.]


From: Adolf Ceska []
Brayshaw, T.C. 2000.
Pondweeds, bur-reeds and their relatives of British Columbia: Aquatic families of monocotyledons. [2nd edition] Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria. 250 p. ISBN 0-7718-9574-7 Price: CDN$ 24.95

Available from your local book stores.
If not, they can order it for you from:
Raincoast Books
9050 Shaughnessy Street
Vancouver B.C., CANADA V6P 6E5
Phone: 604 323-7100, Fax: 604 323-2600

This is a revised edition of the 1985 publication (Brayshaw 1985) that was originally published by the British Columbia Provincial Museum as Occasional Paper Series no. 26. It is a treatment of 14 families of monocots with most of their members being aquatic. In this edition, Dr. Chris Brayshaw deleted several species erroneously reported in the first edition (e.g., Potamogeton diversifolius, Sparganium glomeratum), and added several species that were not known in British Columbia when the first edition was published (e.g., Elodea callitrichoides). The discussion of many species has been expanded and the author added new taxonomical treatments of certain species, such as Potamogeton filiformis and Triglochin maritima.

Chris Brayshaw's book appeared almost simultaneously with Crow & Hellquist's Aquatic and wetland plants of northeastern North America (Crow & Hellquist 2000), Flora of North America Vol. 22 (FNA editors 2000), and Kartesz' Synthesis (Kartesz 1999). When I tried to review Chris Brayshaw's book, I found myself reviewing these three publications and a CD-ROM, all at once.

All works more or less agree with each other in the treatment of the genus Potamogeton, although Brayshaw was the only one who did not accept the separation of Potamogeton subgenus Coleogeton in the genus Stuckenia. I am a strong proponent of using the stem anatomical characters for identification of broad-leaved pondweeds, but none of the recent North American treatments (except Ceska 1994 and 2001) employs this technique as a routine identification tool. Brayshaw is the only one who mentions its usefulness for identification of "eroded or otherwise mutilated material." I believe that in British Columbia Potamogeton nodosus is less common than shown on the distribution map. It is restricted to the lower Fraser River Valley (Hatzic Lake) and the Okanagan Valley and plants from other areas may belong either to another species or to Potamogeton x sparganiifolius = P. natans x P. gramineus. Morphological characters of this complex are sometimes so subtle that one has to use stem anatomical characters in order to reliably identify even the best developed specimens (Ogden 1943, Wiegleb 1990, Ceska 1994, 2001). I have seen many specimens of broad-leaved pondweeds that were annotated by E.C. Ogden (who developed this identification technique) and most of them had a small pre-printed slip on which Ogden marked his observations of stem anatomical characters.

The genus Stuckenia (=Potamogeton subgen. Coleogeton) requires major revision worldwide. With the introduction of Stuckenia filiformis subsp. occidentalis (Chris Brayshaw is possibly correct when he considers this subspecies a hybrid of S. filiformis x S. vaginata), many specimens previously treated as S. vaginata would belong to this subspecies. The boundary between S. filiformis subsp. occidentalis and S. vaginata is blurred and quite subjective. We need more studies of this complex, and the further study may show that S. vaginata is much less common in British Columbia than shown on Chris Brayshaw's map.

In the Flora of North America treatment, Haynes & Hellquist reduced Triglochin concinna to small plants of Triglochin maritima. I am sure that botanists from the Pacific Coast of North America will consider this a gross mistake. In his Triglochin treatment, Chris Brayshaw retains T. concinna. The question is what Triglochin debilis is. Chris Brayshaw investigated the type of this taxon and concluded that T. debilis can be regarded a variety of T. concinna. Brayshaw devotes about two pages to the analysis of the specimen of "T. debilis" (V 170,988) that I and my wife collected at the Osoyoos Lake. I was attracted to this plant when I saw Bill van Dieren's collection of similar plants from the Shuswap Lake area. I concur with Chris Brayshaw that more collecting and more taxonomic work in Triglochin maritima - concinna - debilis complex should be done. Kartesz (1999) recognized T. concinna as a species distinct from T. maritima, but treated T. debilis as a mere synonym of T. concinna. I agree that it is necessary to re-evaluate "Triglochin debilis" as well as the anomalous specimens from the Interior British Columbia.

In his 1985 treatment of Sparganium, Chris Brayshaw published three new combinations in Sparganium angustifolium. He treated Sparganium emersum as a subspecies of Sparganium angustifolium. In turn, he treated Sparganium chloropetalum as a variety of S. angustifolium subsp. emersum, and S. multipedunculatum as a variety of S. angustifolium subsp. angustifolium. Cook & Nicholls (1986) recognized Sparganium angustifolium and S. emersum as two distinct species and synonymized S. multipedunculatum with S. angustifolium and S. chlorocarpum with S. emersum. Whilst Flora of North America and Crow & Hellquist (2000) followed Cook & Nicholls' treatment, Brayshaw (2000) follows his original 1985 treatment of a single species with two subspecies and four varieties. Kartesz (1999) reduced all four taxa into S. angustifolium and listed Chris Brayshaw's subspecies and varieties as mere synonyms. Consequently, Sparganium emersum got completely lost from North America in Kartesz' "Synthesis". In my opinion, Sparganium angustifolium and S. emersum are two distinct species and it was a mistake that Brayshaw (2000) and Kartesz (1999) did not follow the Sparganium treatment by Cook and Nicholls (1986).

Chris Brayshaw has an enviable gift of being able to do his own botanical illustrations. It is a great asset when a botanist can transform his ideas into precise botanical illustrations, and Chris Brayshaw's illustrations belong to the best in its class.

The Royal British Columbia Museum has to be commended for publishing this treatment. I liked the return to the format close to the B.C. Provincial Museum's favourite "Handbook" format (although these new "Handbooks" are few inches larger than the original Handbooks and the assignment to any series has been dropped). It is a pity that the manuscript was not more carefully edited and reviewed by a plant taxonomist to avoid misspellings such as "stiff-leafed" and other "-leafed" pondweeds (I have never dreamt about having to correct Chris Brayshaw's English!), citing Triglochin debilis (M.E.Jones) Love and Love as a synonym of one species and its basionym T. maritima var. debilis M.E. Jones as a synonym of another species, etc. In spite of these shortcomings, Chris Brayshaw's book is a significant contribution to the knowledge of aquatic monocots in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.


Brayshaw, T.C. 1985.
Pondweeds and bur-reed, and their relatives: Aquatic families of monocotyledons in British Columbia. Occasional Papers of the British Columbia Provincial Museum, no. 26. Province of British Columbia, Victoria, B.C. 166 p.
Ceska, A. 1994.
Potamogetonaceae. Pp. 146-151, 177-178, 184 in: Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley and D. Meidinger [eds.] The vascular plants of British Columbia. Part 4 - Monocotyledons. Special Report Series 2, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Research Branch, Victoria. 257 p. [See BEN # 75]
Ceska, A. 2001 [in press].
Potamogetonaceae. In: Douglas, G.W., J. Pojar & D. Meidinger. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Vol. 7.
Cook, C.D.K. & M.S. Nicholls. 1986.
A monographic study of the genus Sparganium (Sparganiaceae). Part 1. Subgenus Xanthosparganium Holmberg. Bot. Helvetica 96: 213-267.
Crow, Garrett E. & C. Barre Hellquist. 2000.
Aquatic and wetland plants of northeastern North America: a revised and enlarged edition of Norman C. Fassett's A manual of aquatic plants. Volume 2: Angiosperms: monocotyledons. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. LV+400 p. [See BEN # 261]
Flora of North America, Editorial Committee. 2000.
Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 22, Magnoliophyta: Alismatidae, Arecidae, Commelinidae (in part) and Zingiberidae. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO. xxii + 352 p.
Kartesz, J.T. & C.A. Meacham. 1999.
Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC. [CD-ROM] [See BEN # 237]
Ogden, E.C. 1943.
The broad-leaved species of Potamogeton of North America north of Mexico. Rhodora 45: 57-105, 119-163, 171-214.
Wiegleb, G. 1990.
The importance of stem anatomical characters for the systematics of the genus Potamogeton L. Flora 184: 197-208.

Send "subscribe BEN-L" or "unsubscribe BEN-L" (no apostrophes) to
Send submissions to
BEN is archived at: