ISSN 1188-603X

No. 189 April 14,
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


Thursday, April 16:
Native Plant Study Group. Dr. Hannah Nadel will be speaking on "Plants and Pollination." Room 118C, 1996 Classroom Building, UVIC. 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Saturday, April 17, 18:
Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society Annual Show & Plant Sale. St. Mary's Church Hall, 1701 Elgin Rd., Oak Bay. Friday 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday 100:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Plant Sale, Saturday 10:30 a.m. Admission: $2.00

Sunday, April 19:
Trial Island Field Trip with the Friends of Ecological Reserves. Starts at 9:00 a.m. from Foul Bay (=Shoal Bay). Cost: members $10.00, non-members $30 (includes 1 year membership)

Sunday, April 19:
South Vancouver Island Mycological Society - Morel Foray. Starts at 11:00 a.m. from the Mill Bay shopping plaza (in front of the Canadian Bank of Commerce).

Tuesday April 21:
Botany Night. Karen Golinski will be speaking on "Vancouver Island Wetlands." Swan Lake Nature House, 7:30 p.m.


From: Spribille_Toby/

We are pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Northwest Bryological Foray will be held in the environs of Republic, Washington, the weekend of 30-31 May 1998. The focus of this year's excursion is an area of andesite outcrops and canyons in the Okanagan Highlands of northeastern Washington. Previous bryological work in the greater Okanagan region (especially in B.C.) has shown this to be a very interesting area for bryology, and home to some spectacular disjunctions of steppe grassland mosses otherwise known from Nevada or the Ukraine! In addition, the Republic area of Washington is the source of a number of historic collections of species not otherwise known from Washington state.

The foray is sponsored this year by the botany and ecology programs of the Colville National Forest, with an interest in drawing attention to these lesser-known organisms, many of which will soon be tracked as "Sensitive" species by the U.S. Forest Service. It is a sequel to last year's bryological excursion held in Badrock Canyon near Columbia Falls, Montana, which was a chance for many beginner bryologists to learn from experts in the field and experience considerable bryological diversity in a relatively small area. The excursion was furthermore rewarded with the rediscovery of the rare Grimmia brittoniae at its type locality by one of the participants, as well as the discovery of a new location for the very rare Lobaria scrobiculata at its easternmost limits (yes, a lichen!). We were pleased at the wide interest shown in last year's event. This year, we are holding the foray a little closer to the coast and also nearer the Canadian border in an effort to encourage moss and lichen enthusiasts from throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia to take part.

Dr. Dale Vitt (University of Alberta, Edmonton, and editor of The Bryologist), our foray leader last year, will be joined by Dr. Wilfred Schofield (Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia) to lead two days of field observation and collecting for beginners and bryo-veterans alike.

For those who arrive already after work Friday, we are planning an informal gathering at Ester's Restaurant, on 90 N. Clark in Republic, in the evening (easy to find--Republic is not big). Saturday morning we will meet at the Republic Ranger Station at 8:00 AM to carpool to go to the field, led by our guide, Colville Forest Botanist Kathy Ahlenslager. After the day in the field (and perhaps after another stop at the restaurant) we will assemble in the evening at the Republic Ranger Station for slide presentations/lectures on bryological goings-on of the past year. There will also be some microscopes available for those who wish to study interesting material collected during the day.

The group will return to the field Sunday morning to investigate another nearby area before breaking up Sunday afternoon. An agenda will be passed out to participants upon arrival at the Republic Ranger Station.

We would to encourage anyone who has potential slide-show presentations or lecture topics to use this opportunity to share with other bryologists your experiences and observations of the last year or so, wherever that may have been! Anything remotely bryological would be welcome! To get your name on the agenda for a presentation, please send me an e-mail, with a brief description of the topic.

There will be no charge for participation in the foray, but to help us anticipate numbers, please send a me a brief note indicating your intent to come (my e-mail is tspribille/ Be sure to bring field clothing and boots and anticipate some time scrambling around on rocks. Hand lenses and notebooks would also be a good idea. Food will not be provided, so please plan for sack lunches in the field.

How to find Republic Ranger Station: from stoplight in Republic (the only one) go north one block on Clark, turn right on Delaware, follow it four blocks, turn left on Jefferson (at courthouse), ranger station will be on the right (180 N. Jefferson).

Motels in Republic: Klondike Inn, ph. 509-775-3555; Frontier Inn, 775-3361; Northern Inn, 775-3371.

As always, this will be full of fun!


From: James Alwyne Compton (

Research on the genus Cimicifuga L. ex Wernisch. worldwide using three different sources of data, nrDNA ITS, cpDNA trnL-F and Morphology, has revealed some interesting phylogenetic patterns.

The six North American species in the genus have clearly shown an east-west relationship crossing the central divide linking species now separated by up to two thousand land miles. Each of the three data sets analysed produced highly congruent topologies and showed that the six species fell into three clades:

  1. C. arizonica and C. elata & C. rubifolia
  2. C. americana, C. laciniata
  3. C. racemosa
1). C. arizonica S. Watson, a rare plant found in a few damp sites in Arizona only, sister to a dichotomy of C. elata Nutt. restricted to Oregon, Washington and recently discovered sites in British Columbia, and C. rubifolia Kearney, restricted to the Appalachian states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Both C. elata and C. rubifolia possess biternate leaves with large palmate terminal leaflets with five principal veins. C. arizonica has triternate leaves with narrower palmate terminal leaflets and three principal veins. The staminodes (petals) of all three species are antheroid, narrow and bifid at apex. Staminodes on C. elata are extremely rarely produced. Seeds on all three species are different. C. arizonica has seeds with furfuraceous scales longest on the margins, those of C. rubifolia are furfuraceous but equal in length around the circumference and those of C. elata are not furfuraceous but undulate without scales. There are three bracts on all species subtending each pedicel, those of C. elata and C. rubifolia are caducous at anthesis, those of C. arizonica are persistent. The carpels (1-3 per flower) of all three are borne on short stipes.

2). Cimicifuga americana Michx. also found in the same Appalachian states as for i but at higher elevations, was found to align closely with the western N. American C. laciniata S.Watson found in very boggy habitats in Oregon and Washington. Both these species possess triternate leaves with narrow trilobed terminal leaflets with three principal veins. Both species possess cream coloured broadly cupuliform nectar bearing stamionodes. The bracts of C. americana are unique in the genus as one is found subtending each pedicel whereas two are found along the pedicel length. C. laciniata has a single bract subtending each pedicel. The carpels of both species are borne on long stipes. The seeds are similar to those of C. arizonica. Carpel numbers range from one to five.

3). The remaining species C. racemosa (L.) Nutt. was not found to belong with either the preceding clades. It has a wide eastern USA and south-eastern Canadian distribution. It possesses triternate leaves with narrow trilobed terminal leaflets with three principal veins. The staminodes are similar to the C. arizonica/C. elata/C. rubifolia clade but always present. There is a single persistent bract subtending each pedicel and the seeds are crescent shaped and ridged along the margins but not undulate or furfuraceous. Carpel number is one per flower.


The Alaska Rare Plant Forum met in Fairbanks March 25-27. This meeting was one of the best attended ever with over 30 people arriving from all over Alaska and Yukon, Canada, representing several government agencies, academic institutes, and private research endeavors. These annual meetings offer a unique opportunity for botanists and ecologists working throughout the state to share ideas, results, and future plans for their respective areas. Presentations of various projects were given Wednesday and Thursday at the BLM-Northern District Office, followed by workshops and demonstration events at the University of Alaska Museum Herbarium on Friday.

Here are some of the highlights from this year's Forum. Phil Caswell (NPS) reported on several species being tracked by the Alaska Natural Heritage Program (AKNHP) from Lake Clark NP where he has volunteered as a botanist for the last 2 seasons. Bruce Bennett (Canadian Wildlife Service) has found several new species for the regional plant checklist during his work in the Beaver River area of SE Yukon, Canada, and has revised the list of rare plants for the Yukon, working closely with Dr. William Cody. Mary Stensvold (USFS-Sitka) recorded the occurrence of Polystichum kruckebergii, new to the state, from a serpentine slope in SE Alaska. Rob Lipkin (AKNHP) presented the new 'Alaska rare plant field guide', authored by him and David Murray (UAF Museum Herbarium) and published jointly by several federal agencies and the AKNHP. Carolyn Parker (UAF Museum Herbarium) summarized the first season of a BLM-sponsored floristic survey of the Nulato Hills, western Alaska, including finding a large population of the recently described rare species Douglasia beringensis, known previously from only 2 sites on the Seward Peninsula. Carl Roland (NPS) compared the endemic floras of Wrangell-St. Elias NPP, Nulato Hills, and Yukon-Tanana Upland, and suggested that probable patterns of plant migration into different regions of Alaska could be supported by looking carefully at their respective endemic floras. Using maps he had generated, Keith Boggs (AKNHP) demonstrated the extend to which some concentrations of our rare species, such as in southern Seward Peninsula and the central Arctic North Slope, are poorly, if at all, protected by existing management policy. David Murray updated us on the Flora of North America project, which has grown to over 30 volumes! Elena Conti (UAF Museum-Herbarium) described how molecular information can be used to address taxonomic and phylogenetic problems and included an example of a rare species from the Southern Alps of Italy. UAF graduate student Jan Jorgensen introduced her project using DNA sequencing in an attempt to sort out the taxonomy of Oxytropis arctica var. barnebyana of northwestern Alaska.

The workshop on sedge and grass identification offered by Carolyn Parker and Mary Stensvold was so popular we now realize similar events should be planned for future meetings. Jim Anderson (UAF Biosciences Library) demonstrated electronic scientific indexes available on the web. Other various electronic resources such as interactive keys, web sites, species lists, mapping programs, etc. were introduced in an informal session.

If attendance and energy level are any indication, the meeting was a great success. Next year's meeting will be in late March in Anchorage, and will be announced later in this newsletter. Anyone wanting to contact any of the researchers mentioned above can contact them through this newsletter or through the Alaska Rare Plant address list at


The Third Edition of the Canadian System of Soil Classification (1998)
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