ISSN 1188-603X

No. 369 January 3, 2007 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Graham C.D. Griffiths []

Rare plant surveys related to industrial proposals in NE Alberta have resulted in some additions to the Alberta list of vascular plants. In the present article I discuss three taxa I have personally collected in surveys based on Conklin during 2005 and 2006. Relevant specimens have or will be deposited in ALTA, and photographs offered for publication in Iris, the Alberta Native Plant Council Newsletter.

1. Cardamine dentata Schult.

The ranks of taxa constituting the Cardamine pratensis complex are interpreted differently in different publications. North American authors have generally treated the whole complex as a single species, within which subspecies or varieties are recognized. But in recent special European literature (e.g. Marhold et al. 2004), the complex is divided into 11 species. It is my understanding that the Flora of North America treatment now being written by Karol Marhold and collaborators will apply the nomenclature used in recent European special studies to North American material.

The basic subdivision of this complex derives from the monograph by Lovkvist (1956). He divided the material he studied into two main groups, between which he did not succeed in obtaining hybrids in crossing trials: the "Temperate Group" [including Cardamine pratensis s. str., C. palustris (= paludosa), C. matthiolii, C. granulosa and C. rivularis] and the "Arctic Group" containing the single species C. nymanii (within which he included North American material of var. angustifolia). He also recognized a third "Repent Rhizome Group" containing the Pyrenean C. crassifolia and the Siberian C. prorepens, but was unable to obtain living material of this group for experimentation. The "Repent Rhizome Group" does not occur in North America.

As far as I am aware, all collections of the Cardamine pratensis complex in Alberta prior to 2005 belong to the plant to be called C. nymanii Gandoger in the Flora of North America [= C. pratensis L. var. angustifolia Hook.]. I have seen this plant in the field east of Fort MacKay and in Elk Island National Park, also a herbarium specimen from NW of Athabasca in the University of Athabasca Herbarium. The plants flower from the end of May through June. The leaflets are thick with embedded veins; on basal leaves the terminal leaflet is not much larger than the lateral leaflets; leaflets on the upper stem leaves are narrowly wedge-shaped, not borne on petiolules. In Alberta populations the plants flower profusely; but an increased reliance on vegetative reproduction is reported towards the northern range limits of this taxon in the Arctic. The entries for "Cardamine pratensis" in the current Tracking List for rare vascular plants in Alberta (Gould 2006) and for the "Carex limosa Menyanthes trifoliata Cardamine pratensis community" in the Preliminary Ecological Community Tracking List (Allen 2006) both refer to this taxon. The occurrence of a second member of the Cardamine pratensis complex in NE Alberta first came to light in 2005. Only nonflowering plants were found during that season, on which account identification proved problematical.

I sent photographs by e-mail to numerous botanists, and eventually received a firm identification of C. pratensis L. subsp. paludosa (Knaf) Celak. from Thomas Karlsson of the Swedish Natural History Museum. An equivalent identification (as C. pratensis var. palustris) was also suggested by Canadian botanist Paul Catling. This same taxon (when ranked as a full species) is known as C. dentata Schult. in recent European special literature (e.g. Marhold et al. 2004), and I understand that this name will be used in the Flora of North America. Confirmation that this identification is correct was obtained in 2006, when the first flowering stem was found. This well shows the diagnostic feature used in published keys (e.g. Flora Europaea 1: 287), that the leaflets of all leaves (including upper stem leaves) are stalked (borne on petiolules).

So far Cardamine dentata is known from seven localities, six situated NW of Conklin and one East of Conklin (Conklin: 55 deg 38 min N, 111 deg 05 min W). The habitats are in most cases rich shrubby mossy fens (prominent shrubs including Betula pumila var. glandulifera, Larix laricina saplings and diverse Salix spp.); in one case a flooded sedge fen (dominated by Carex aquatilis). Most plants grow as emergents in waterfilled depressions, with only the tips of their basal leaves rising above water level. In Alberta populations the plants reproduce mainly by means of "adventitious shoots" arising from their leaflet blades; flowering stems are very rarely produced. The leaflets are relatively thin (veins not embedded); on basal leaves the terminal leaflet is often much larger than the lateral leaflets; leaflets on all leaves (including those on flowering stems, if present) are borne on petiolules. My observations of plants grown indoors indicate that leaflets bearing adventitious shoots may fall off and give rise to separate new plants; or, if the leaf is prostrate, the new plant may remain attached to the parent plant. In the latter case plants may appear to be connected by stolons, but the apparent stolons originated as the petioles and rhachises of basal leaves. True stolons (horizontal stems producing new plants) are not known in any North American members of the Cardamine pratensis complex.

The following key couplet is intended to distinguish the two members of the Cardamine pratensis complex now known in Alberta:

1a. Leaflets thick, with embedded veins; terminal leaflet of
    basal leaves normally not much larger than lateral leaflets;
    leaflets on upper stem leaves narrowly wedge-shaped, not
    borne on petiolules (petiolules evident at most on basal and
    lower stem leaves). Alberta populations flowering readily
    ............  C. nymanii Gandoger [= C. pratensis L. var.
    angustifolia Hook.]

1b. Leaflets thinner (veins not embedded); terminal leaflet of
    basal leaves often much larger than lateral leaflets; all
    leaflets borne on petiolules (including those on upper stem
    leaves). Alberta populations reproducing mainly by
    adventitious shoots arising from leaflets, rarely flowering
    ...........  C. dentata Schult. [= C. pratensis L. subsp.
    paludosa (Knaf) Celak.]

2. Euphrasia hudsoniana Fernald & Wiegand

Sell & Yeo (1970) accepted the occurrence of this species in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Labrador and Minnesota, mainly on the shores of seas, rivers and lakes. The known range can now be extended to NE Alberta on the basis of collections during 2005 and 2006 (samples identified by Ernst Vitek of the Vienna Natural History Museum). Whether this species is a longstanding resident of NE Alberta or has recently spread here as a result of industrial activity is uncertain, because we have no historical data for the districts where it occurs. It is now a common plant NW of Conklin, where it is found on roadsides, cutlines, well pads and other disturbed ground. I also found it in ditches along Secondary Highway 881 south of Conklin.

The following key is offered for distinguishing the three species of Euphrasia so far reported for Alberta:

1. Flowers relatively large and conspicuous; corolla length (to
   tip of hood) 7-8 mm; lower lip of corolla strongly spreading
   (fanshaped). Introduced populations
   ....................  E. nemorosa (Pers.) Wallr. sensu lato

1. Flowers smaller and less conspicuous; corolla length (to tip
   of hood) 3-6 mm; lower lip of corolla rather narrow (not
   strongly spreading). Native species.

   2. Long-stipitate glands abundant on leaves and calyces (in
      addition to teeth); upper cauline and lower floral leaves
      suborbicular to broadly ovate, deltoid or subcordate;
      corolla length (to tip of hood) 3-4 mm
      ....................................  E. subarctica Raup

   2. Leaves and calyces hirsute (with long simple hairs) and
      toothed, but lacking stipitate glands (the only glands
      present being the sessile glands on the lower leaf surface
      present in all species of Euphrasia); upper cauline and
      lower floral leaves lanceolate to ovate, with strongly
      cuneate (tapered) base; corolla length (to tip of hood)
      4.5-6 mm
      .......................  E. hudsoniana Fernald & Wiegand

Introduced populations of Euphrasia with large flowers found in Central and Western Alberta have been recorded under the names E. arctica Lange ex Rostrup subsp. borealis (Townsend) Wettst. (Griffiths 2002) and E. nemorosa (Pers.) Wallr. (Ford et al. 2003). These taxa were distinguished by Sell & Yeo (1970), who recorded both as introduced to Western Canada. Subsequently Downie et al. (1988) concluded that these taxa are not distinct in Eastern North America, but there remain unanswered questions since they omitted to publish their data matrix (see Griffiths 2002). Until further studies are undertaken, it is unclear whether more than one large-flowered introduced species should be recognized in Western Canada. The prior name, if all such introduced populations are referred to a single species, is E. nemorosa (Pers.) Wallr. (s. l.). I am aware of such populations in Alberta in Elk Island National Park (Griffiths 2002), Lacombe and Gadsby Lake (Ford et al. 2003), West of Hinton (Transmountain Pipeline right-ofway at 448149E 5901535N, NHMW) and 27 km South of Jasper (ALTA).

Euphrasia subarctica Raup is the taxon treated in the Flora of Alberta (Moss & Packer 1983) under the name E. arctica Lange ex Rostrup var. disjuncta (Fern. & Wieg.) Cronq., but this nomenclature does not accord with Sell & Yeo's (1970) findings. Raup's species was described from Shield rocks on the shore of Lake Athabasca, but its main distribution in Alberta is along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains, where it is common along trails, cutlines and other disturbed ground. It is not present at the sites in NE Alberta where I have found E. hudsoniana.

3. Utricularia stygia Thor

Thor (1987, 1988) concluded that bladderworts generally called Utricularia ochroleuca in Europe actually consisted of two species, the true U. ochroleuca R. Hartm. and a new species he described as U. stygia (described in Swedish in his 1987 paper, validated by a Latin description in 1988). While Thor did not undertake a comprehensive review of North American material, he gave a few records of both species. He accepted the synonymy of U. occidentalis Gray (described from the Falcon Valley, Washington) with the true U. ochroleuca, as originally suggested by Ceska & Bell (1973). And in his list of collections of his new U. stygia he includes (Thor 1988): "Nova Scotia, St. Paul Island, Lena Lake, 23 July 1929 Perry & Roscoe 351a (GH); 10 Aug 1929 n 351 (GH); Northwest territories, Mackenzie River delta, south end of Richards island, 22 Jul 1934 Porsild 7076 (GH). Alaska, Kuskokwim river drainage basin, near Farewell lake, 62E 33?N 153E 37?W, 2 Aug 1949 Drury 2377 (GH)."

Last summer I discovered the first Alberta population of Utricularia stygia at a site near Janvier (512692E 6207100N NAD 83 Zone 12V, June 7-8, 2006) during field work for Matrix Solutions Inc. Plants were found in pools between sphagnum mounds in rich shrubby mossy fen (Betula pumila var. glandulifera dominant, with Salix candida, Andromeda polifolia, Oxycoccus oxycoccos, Potentilla palustris, Menyanthes trifoliata, Caltha palustris, Carex diandra, C. aquatilis, C. limosa and Trichophorum alpinum). No other species of Utricularia was found at the site. The identification of U. stygia was made by the original author, Goran Thor, in an email dated September 4, 2006. This species should be added to the Alberta Tracking List, and its status in Canada as a whole needs to be reviewed.

Among the species of Utricularia previously reported for Alberta, U. stygia most closely resembles U. intermedia Hayne on account of its flat leaf segments. The distinction between the three species with leaves of this type known in North America (two in Alberta) is as follows:

1. Green leaves entirely lacking bladders (all bladders borne on
   separate colourless stems). Leaf segments usually obtuse
   (rarely subulate). Spur as long as or almost as long as lower
   lip. Quadrifid hairs (inside bladders) consisting of two,
   almost parallel pairs of arms ........  U. intermedia Hayne

1. A few bladders on green leaves (in addition to bladders on
   separate colourless stems). Leaf segments always subulate.
   Spur half as long as lower lip. Quadrifid hairs (inside
   bladders) with radiating arms.

   2. Flowers yellow with slight reddish tinge. Lower lip flat
      or with margin slightly curved upwards, 9-11 x 12- 15 mm.
      Quadrifid hairs with angles between shorter arms (30-)52-
      97(-140) degrees, between longer and shorter arms (80-)
      106-139(-175) degrees (Thor 1988) ......  U. stygia Thor

   2. Flowers light yellow. Lower lip at first almost flat,
      later with deflexed margins, about 8 x 9 mm. Quadrifid
      hairs with angles between shorter arms (117-)146-197(-228)
      degrees, between longer and shorter arms (34-)60-93(-123)
      degrees (Thor 1988)  ..........  U. ochroleuca R. Hartm.

Important discussion on variation in Utricularia stygia and U. ochroleuca in California and Oregon is given by Schlosser (2003). It is evident that information on the distribution of both species in North America is far from complete, but both appear to be rare. Flowers of U. stygia were not found at the Alberta site. Their future discovery will assist in comparison with populations from other areas.

Literature Cited

Allen, L. 2006.
Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre Preliminary Ecological Community Tracking List. Alberta Community Development, Edmonton. 116 p.
Ceska, A. & M.A.M. Bell. 1973.
Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) in the Pacific Northwest. Madrono 22:74-84.
Downie, S. R., A. Quintin, & J. McNeill. 1988.
Le statut des Euphrasia borealis, E. nemorosa et E. stricta dans l'est de l'Amerique du Nord: une analyse numerique. Can. J. Bot. 66: 2208- 2216.
Ford, E., S. Glass, & G. Hughes. 2003.
Encounters of the rare kind. Iris no. 43: 7-8.
Gould, J. 2006.
Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre Tracking and Watch Lists - Vascular Plants, Mosses, Liverworts and Hornworts. Alberta Community Development, Edmonton. 25 p.
Griffiths, G. C. D. 2002.
A second species of eyebright (Euphrasia, Scrophulariaceae) in Alberta. BEN # 299: 46.
Lovkvist, B. 1956.
The Cardamine pratensis complex. Outlines of its cytogenetics and taxonomy. Symbolae Botanicae Upsalienses XIV, no. 2. 131 + xvi p.
Marhold, K., J. Lihova, M. Pern, & W. Bleeker. 2004.
Comparative ITS and AFLP analysis of diploid Cardamine (Brassicaceae) taxa from closely related polyploid complexes. Annals of Botany 93: 507-520.
Moss, E. H. & J. G. Packer. 1983.
Flora of Alberta. 2nd edition. University of Toronto Press. xiii + 687 p.
Schlosser, E. 2003.
Utricularia stygia in California, USA, and U. ochroleuca at its southern range. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 32: 113-121.
Sell, P. D. & P. F. Yeo. 1970.
A revision of the North American species of Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 63: 189- 233.
Thor, G. 1987.
Sumpbladdra, Utricularia stygia, en ny svensk art. Sv. Bot. Tidskr. 81: 273-280.
Thor, G. 1988.
The genus Utricularia in the Nordic countries, with special emphasis on U. stygia and U. ochroleuca. Nord. J. Bot. 8: 213-225.
Tutin, T. G. et al. (eds.) 1964.
Flora Europaea, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. xxxii + 464 p.


From: Toby Spribille [], Curtis Bjork [], Trevor Goward [] and Tor Tonsberg []

Though spotted owls and many other birds and mammals depend on trees, they don't actually grow on them. Lichens, of course, are different.

In recent years we have become fascinated by the epiphytic crustose lichens of our region. To date, we have passed more than 30,000 specimens under our collective microscopes. So far we have documented some 550 species - a number that grows larger by the day. Included in this count are scores of species that still appear to have no names. During the same period, we have undertaken floristic studies in three of British Columbia's forest regions and one national forest in Montana. In each study, the resulting list of epiphytic lichens has exceeded 275 species. Rather astonishingly, we found that epiphytic lichen species (especially crustose lichens) often far outnumber vascular plants and bryophytes combined!

We've decided to formalize our project by announcing its main objective: a flora of the epiphytic crustose lichens of British Columbia. When published, this will constitute Part III of Trevor Goward's Lichens of British Columbia series, and will follow roughly the same format. As with earlier volumes, we hope our work will be useful not just in British Columbia, but also in adjacent states and provinces. And to hedge our bets, we intend to incorporate several species known from surrounding regions, though not yet specifically recorded from British Columbia.

Funding for the flora project has yet to be secured. For the time being, we are looking forward to additional field work of the sort we have already undertaken. We hope our fellow lichenologists in both Canada and the U.S. (and for that matter, those in other countries who have worked in this region) will support this project by: (1) sending along difficult or otherwise interesting specimens; (2) letting us know of opportunities for floristic research on epiphytic crusts; and (3) joining us at workshops, one of which we will announce soon for the coming summer.

Here's to fruitful collaboration in the years ahead to lichenologists everywhere!


Cullen, James. 2006.
Practical Plant Identification: Including a Key to Native and Cultivated Flowering Plants in North Temperate Regions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 357 p. ISBN 0-521-86152-7 [hardback] Price: US$75.00 ISBN 0-5211-67877-3 [softcover] Price: US$29.99

"Practical Plant Identification is an essential guide to identifying flowering plant families (wild or cultivated) in the northern hemisphere. Details of plant structure and terminology accompany practical keys to identify 318 families into which flowering plants are currently divided. Specifically designed for practical use, the keys can easily be worked backwards for checking identifications. Containing descriptions of families and listings of the genera within, it also includes a section on further identification to generic and specific levels."

"A successor to the author's bestselling The Identification of Flowering Plant Families, this new guide is fully revised and updated, and retains the same concise userfriendly approach. Cullen skillfully leads the reader from restrictive disciplines of older taxonomy, into an era of increasing numbers of plant families defined by DNA analysis. Aimed primarily at students of botany and horticulture, this is a perfect introduction to plant identification for anyone interested in plant taxonomy."

"Illustrations and explanations of plant structure and the associated terminology enable accurate identifications to be made. Practical keys allow for accurate and precise identification, and can easily be worked backwards for checking. A helpful section explains the use of botanical literature for further identification, and lists the more important general texts."


Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Examining the plant: a brief survey of plant structure and its associated terminology; Using the keys; Keys; 'Spot' characters; Arrangement and description of families; Further identification and annotated bibliography; Glossary; Index.

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