ISSN 1188-603X

No. 134 April 30, 1996 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Mary Barkworth (

The Intermountain Herbarium and Department of Biology at Utah State University are sponsoring a workshop on moss identification. The workshop will be lead by Dr. Alma Hanson, Botanist for the Payette National Forest, who has been involved with a floristic study of mosses for some time. The workshop will start at 1 p.m. on Friday May 17 and extend to Saturday, May 18, at 5 p.m.

The cost of $60 [U.S.] ($50 if received before April 30) will include a barbecue on Friday, lunch on Saturday, and field trip on Saturday. The goal of the workshop is to help participants learn how to identify mosses and to recognize a few genera in the field. It will be geared to field botanists who can recognize a moss as a moss but may have forgotten most of what they ever knew about moss structures.

For more information, email me (Mary Barkworth) at To enroll, send your name, address, daytime telephone number, Email address (if you have one), and the enrollment fee to Dr. Mary E. Barkworth, Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5305.


From: ECOLOG-L discussion list

Conference on the Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Vernal Pool Ecosystems
June 19-21, 1996 at the Hilton Hotel in Sacramento, California

The four sessions include: (1) Vernal Pool Distribution and Characteristics; (2) Ecology, Systematics, Status and Trends of Vernal Pool Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems; (3) Conservation and Management of Vernal Pools: and (4) Vernal Pool Regulatory, Planning, and Policy Issues. The 40+ invited speakers and panelists include scientists, managers, and planners from universities, state and federal agencies, local governments, environmental consulting firms, and conservation organizations.

Fees range from $100 (early registration by student members of the sponsoring organizations) to $200 (late registration by non- students, non-members of sponsoring organizations). Fees include registration materials, lunches and refreshment breaks.

For registration and further information contact:

Mr. William Hull, Executive Secretary
Western Section of The Wildlife Society
P.O. Box 21638
Oakland, CA 94620-1638
(510) 465-4962 or fax (510) 465-1138


From: Jenifer Parsons - Washington Department of Ecology (

Many different aquatic plants have been introduced to freshwater lakes and rivers in the northwest over the last century. Some of them have apparently naturalized, and do not cause obvious problems. Others plants have a tendency to dominate native plant communities, often growing in dense, nearly monospecific colonies. They can cause drastic changes to aquatic ecosystems, as well as headaches for resource managers and recreational boaters and swimmers. A brief listing of these plants is included here (plants with an * are illegal to sell or transport in Washington):

* Myriophyllum spicatum - Eurasian watermilfoil. It has been growing in Lake Meridian, near Seattle, at least since 1965. In the early 1970's it was introduced to the Okanogan River from Lake Osoyos, and from there spread rapidly down the Columbia River. It was also discovered in Lake Washington in the mid 1970's. Currently we have identified it in 60 lakes throughout the state as well as the Pend Oreille River, the Columbia River and the Okanogan River. It is usually spread by boat trailers, and each year we find new sights where it has become estab- lished.

* Egeria densa - Brazilian elodea or anacharis. It is native to South America, and has been sold for many years as an aquarium plant. It was first discovered in the United States in 1893 at Long Island (New York). In Washington it has been in Long Lake, Kitsap County since at least the early 1970's. Currently we know of its existence in 13 western Washington lakes. Because these lakes are widely distributed it is thought that each introduc- tion resulted from a separate aquarium release.

* Hydrilla verticillata. Native to Europe, Asia and Australia. It is considered the worst aquatic nuisance plant in other parts of the U.S.A. where it has become established. Two distinct forms of Hydrilla exist, a monoecious form (both male and female flowers on the same plant) and a dioecious form (male and female flowers on separate plants). The monoecious form of Hydrilla was discovered in Washington last year in Pipe Lake, near Bellevue. We are attempting to eradicate this plant.

* Myriophyllum aquaticum - parrot feather milfoil. It is native to South America, and was imported as a plant for ornamental ponds. It has been established in the sloughs of the lower Columbia River since at least the early 1980's. Recently it was discovered distributed throughout the Chehalis River from Centralia to the mouth at Gray's Harbor. It also has been found in two small private lakes in the northwestern part of the state.

Cabomba caroliniana - native to the southeastern United States, also a popular aquarium plant. It is established in sloughs of the lower Columbia River, and also causes problems in several coastal lakes of Oregon.

Nymphaea odorata - fragrant water-lily. Is native to the eastern United States and was introduced in Washington in the late 1800's. It has become widespread, and its many horticultural varieties are often planted in lakes. This plant has become quite dense in some lakes with extensive shallow areas, and has proved difficult to control.

There are also several other exotic plants with a more limited distribution in Washington. However, they appear to be replacing native plant communities where they are established, and may be a cause for future concern. These are: Ludwigia uruguayensis - water primrose. There is some debate about the name of this plant, and whether in fact it is a non-native. It appears to be limited to sloughs of the lower Columbia River, where it is the dominant plant in a community composed of several non-native plants (Egeria densa, Myriophyllum aquaticum, Myriophyllum spicatum and Cabomba caroliniana). Nymphoides peltata - floating heart. Native to Eurasia and established in the Spokane Reservoir (Long Lake), near Spokane. It is forming dense mats of floating leaves in shallow areas of this reservoir. Sagittaria graminea - grass-leaved arrowhead. Native to eastern North America. In Washington it is known only from Lake Roesiger, where it has become the dominate submersed plant in many areas of the lake. This plant has caused problem where it has been introduced in Australia. Utricularia inflata - Big floating bladderwort. Native to southern and eastern North America. It has been introduced to several western Washington lakes, and occasionally grows to nuisance proportions.

Each of these plants was originally introduced to the state through the aquarium or ornamental plant trade. People either intentionally planted them in ponds and lakes, or they were inadvertently introduced when unwanted pet fish were discarded into lakes (there are some HUGE goldfish out there). The Department of Ecology is currently working on educational materials to be distributed through aquarium stores and nurseries asking people not to release any plants or animals they purchase into the environment. Also, we are trying to promote the use of native plants for such hobbies.


Dawn Loewen is a University of Victoria student who started her M.Sc. work on ecology, ethnobotany and variation of Glacier Lily, Erythronium grandiflorum [BEN 127]. Please, send her a message, if you know interesting stands of this plant, or anything else that could help her in her work. Her address is Dawn Loewen (DCL@UVIC.CA) and you can call her at "Erythronium grandiflorum hotline" toll number: 1-800-595-0686


Weber, W.A. & R.C. Wittman. 1996.
Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope. Revised Edition. University of Colorado Press, Boulder, CO. 496 p., 102 fig., ISBN 0-87081-3867-0 [alk.paper]
Weber, W.A. & R.C. Wittman. 1996.
Colorado Flora: Western Slope. Revised Edition. University of Colorado Press, Boulder, CO. 523 p., 64 color plates, 107 fig., ISBN 0-877-81-388-9 [alk.paper].

These updated guides, intended both for the student and scientist, offer a complete, authoritative reference to the plants of Colorado. Both volumes discuss plant geography, special botanical features of the mountain ranges, basins, and plains, and explain basic terminology. Interesting anecdotes and introductions are given for each plant family, and hints on recognizing the largest families are provided as well. Each volume includes a complete glossary, derivations of scientific names, indices to common and scientific names, and hundreds of illustrations. These two volumes have been regarded as the most complete guides available and are essential to readers interested in Colorado's plant life.

Wiliam A. Weber is professor emeritus with a half century of experience in Colorado, and former curator of the University of Colorado Museum Herbarium. He is recognized as the preeminent authority on the flora of Colorado, and his earlier volume, Rocky Mountain Flora, has been in print since 1953. Ronald C. Wittmann is a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and co-author with William Weber of the Catalog of the Flora of Colorado.

Order from University Press of Colorado, P.O.Box 849, Niwot, CO 80544. Toll-free number 1-800-268-6044. $US29.95 per volume, shipping $3.00 for first book, $1.00 for each additional.


From: Mary E. Barkworth and Stephen W. Clyde. Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5305. (

Two primary roles of herbaria are a) providing reliably identified specimens against which to check new specimens and b) providing verifiable distributional data for individual taxa. Herbaria could serve these roles more effectively by collaborating in the development of a "Virtual Herbarium". "Specimens" in the Virtual Herbarium would be a linked set of image and text files designed to show the diagnostic features of a taxon. The images would be documented by standard herbarium specimens. "Visitors" to the Virtual Herbarium would be able to find out which features are considered most important in distinguishing one species from another by reading the text material and clarify their understanding of this material by looking at the images. The textual material in the Virtual Herbarium need not be restricted to morphological information but, because we see identification as a primary role of the Virtual Herbarium, we would emphasize such information during the initial development.

Distributional data would be obtained from a distributed database system that, on request, would draw information from the databases of the collaborating herbaria. Herbaria would have the option of maintaining their database on a local server or the central server. Similarly, they could combine their own database structure with a tool that makes it accessible to the central system or adopt a database developed as part of this project. Our goal is to make it feasible for ALL herbaria to participate in development of the Virtual Herbarium, from those that exist primarily because of someone's dedication to those that have several staff members.

An essential element of the Virtual Herbarium will be a data model that informs visitors of differences in the interpretation and application of scientific names. To make this a truly beneficial element, we propose that it should include access to information as to why different names are applied to a particular taxon - or a particular name is applied to different groups of plants. Such a feature would eliminate some (not all) of the nomenclatural differences that currently exist between herbaria and help both taxonomists and non-taxonomists cope with the confusion associated with changes in nomenclature.

Development of a Virtual Herbarium offers numerous advantages that real herbaria cannot offer. These include easy access to information about a wide range of species and related information. The distributional data could be presented in the form of distribution maps and/or checklists and would be linked to its source, enabling researchers to determine which specimens it would be particularly worthwhile to borrow. It would also be easy to highlight data from an individual herbarium, thereby highlighting its contribution and (we hope) making it easier to justify continued or increased investment in its development. We would emphasize that the Virtual Herbarium would not replace real herbaria and real specimens; information in the Virtual Herbarium would have to be documented by specimens in real herbaria if it is to have the credibility needed to justify the expense of its development.

Various approaches could be used in developing the Virtual Herbarium. We strongly advocate a collaborative approach, one that would involve frequent discussion among participating herbaria. These discussions should also include representatives of those who use herbaria. The annual meetings of the Northwest Science Society would be an appropriate venue for such meetings if, as we suggested in the proposal that we submitted to the National Science Foundation, we start the development of the Virtual Herbarium in northwestern North America.

We would be delighted to receive comments from anyone interested in this concept of a Virtual Herbarium. They could either be sent to me (Mary Barkworth, or shared with others via the Herb-L (Intermountain and Pacific Northwest Herbarium Discussion: HERB-L@IDBSU.IDBSU.EDU).


From: Thomas Duncan (tdunc@BUTTERCUP.MIP.BERKELEY.EDU) originally posted on TAXACOM (TAXACOM@CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU)

The SMASCH Project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is developing a database of text data and images of specimens that document the distribution and classification of the plants of California. The project began in 1992. By 1999, the SMASCH database at the University and Jepson Herbaria will contain records for approximately 300,000 accessions.

In February 1996, NSF conducted a site visit to the SMASCH Project. As a result the MIP and the SMASCH Project are undertaking a redesign of our home page, preparing SMASCH for distribution through the WWW by July 31, 1996, and beginning data entry for the next year of the project (80,000 accession records will be entered during the next twelve months). The current status of our activities toward these goals is contained in "What's New" at "".


From: Dana Lepofsky (

A new email group has been set up to facilitate communication between ethnobiologists. If you would like to participate you may subscribe by sending the following message
subscribe ethno-bio

to the list processor at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, B.C.)

The ethno-bio list is intended to encourage discussion about the use of plants and animals by native peoples worldwide. To send mail to the list, use the address

To send mail about the list (such as your membership in the list), use the address

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