ISSN 1188-603X

No. 363 June 17, 2006 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Toby Spribille []

Adam Szczawinski's contribution to lichenology is also remembered in the naming of a lichen genus after him, Szczawinskia. See Funk, A. 1983. Szczawinskia, a new genus of the lichen-forming Coelomycetes. - Syesis 16: 85-88. The genus includes three species, two known from the Pacific Northwest (BC and WA) and Norway, and one from Papua New Guinea.


Bill Cody is being recognized for his numerous contributions to biodiversity awareness in the Yukon. Few individuals have made such a large and valuable contribution to the knowledge of the flora of North America found "north of 60". Bill has provided the foundation upon which all present and future studies of the Yukon flora are based.

Bill's love of northern plants is rooted in his early years as a field botanist employed with Agriculture Canada. He spent 21 years working in the Northwest Territories and four years conducting field work in Yukon. Although he retired in 1987, his enthusiasm has continued. In his spare time and on his own dime he has written 14 major papers for the Yukon, the greatest culmination of which is the Flora of the Yukon Territory.

Bill continues to collaborate with Yukoners on new records and range extensions to the flora of Yukon. Although retired for almost 20 years, Bill continues to go to his office daily. In 1998, 2000 and 2001 he returned to the Yukon to continue his botanical work and to show the territory to his children.

Bill's overall publication list is impressive: he has authored over 258 papers and books; at least 122 of these publications are based on his work in the North. His articles have appeared in journals such as: Canadian Field-Naturalist, Canadian Journal of Botany, Rhodora and Le Naturaliste Canadien. Books he has authored or coauthored include: The Ferns of Canada, Vascular Plants of the Continental Northwest Territories, Flora of Riding Mountain National Park, and most recently Flora of the Yukon Territory.

In addition to these publications, he reviewed countless manuscripts, processed over 38,000 plant collections of his own and likely an equal number for other collectors. Our largest national herbarium, "Department of Agriculture in Ottawa" (DAO), would not be what it is today without Bill's contributions. DAO is recognized as one of the top 20 herbaria in the world.

Bill has always been active in the Ottawa Field Naturalists. He has been the business manager for the Council of the journal The Canadian Field-Naturalist since 1948. He has always been more than supportive of students across Canada and has enriched countless lives with his knowledge and humility. He is an inspiration to many botanists.

To those in the plant world, Bill is already a titan. Arabis codyi and Saxifraga codyana are just two of the plant species found in the Yukon Territory that bear his name. With such a distinguished scientific career dedicated to plants in the north it is an honour to recognize William James Cody as the 2006 Yukon Biodiversity Awareness recipient.


From: Jeff M. Saarela and Chris J. Sears Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada [;]

Taxonomic Review of Zizania

Zizania L. (wild rice) is a small genus of aquatic grasses that grow in shallow water in lakes and rivers. Zizania is well known because its large caryopses have high nutritional value. Wild rice was a staple food for Native Americans, and it is now grown widely as a field crop in North America. Wild rice is the only cereal crop that is native to Canada.

Four species are currently recognized in Zizania (cf. Aiken et al. 1988; Terrell et al. 1997; Terrell and Duvall 2000). One species, the perennial Z. latifolia (Griseb.) Turcz. ex Stapf (Manchurian wild rice), is native to Asia, and three species (Z. aquatica L., Z. palustris L., and Z. texana Hitchc.) are native to North America. Zizania texana (Texas wild rice) is a perennial that is narrowly distributed in the Upper San Marcos River, Hays County, Texas (Terrell et al. 1978). Zizania aquatica (southern wild rice) and Z. palustris (northern wild rice) are both annual taxa, and have been variously recognized as a single species, Z. aquatica with multiple varieties (e.g., Fassett 1924; Hitchcock and Chase 1951) or as distinct species. Recognition of two species is supported by data from macromorphology (e.g., Dore 1969; Dore and McNeill 1980; Aiken 1986), micromorphology (Terrell and Wergin 1981), isozymes (Warwick and Aiken 1986), and anatomy (Duvall and Biesboer 1988).

Both Zizania aquatica and Z. palustris have two recognized varieties:

Zizania aquatica var. aquatica is distributed natively along the Atlantic coastal plain, from Louisiana to the drainage of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Canada, and around the Great Lakes (Dore 1969; Aiken et al. 1988). Zizania aquatica var. brevis Fassett is distributed throughout the tidal flats of the St. Lawrence River estuary (Aiken et al. 1988).

Zizania palustris var. palustris is native in Canada from Manitoba eastwards to Nova Scotia, and in the northern United States (Aiken et al. 1988). This taxon also occurs in Saskatchewan and Alberta, but it has likely been planted in these provinces (Dore 1969). Zizania palustris var. interior (Fassett) Dore (interior wild rice) is native in the north central United States and southern Manitoba (Aiken et al. 1988).

Zizania in British Columbia

Populations of Zizania have been reported from a few areas in British Columbia, but these were likely planted or otherwise introduced, as Zizania is not believed to be native to the province. Zizania has thus been variously included in (e.g., Taylor and MacBryde 1977; Warrington 1994; Douglas et al. 2001) or excluded from (Hubbard 1969; Douglas et al. 1994) floristic treatments of British Columbia.

While fishing in 2004 in Widgeon Slough near Pitt Lake (north of Pitt Meadows) in southwestern British Columbia, we encountered a large and vigorous population of Zizania aquatica var. aquatica. The population had not been documented previously. Without doing a formal survey, we estimate that several hundred plants were growing in the shallow water on either side of the creek. Widgeon Slough is part of a larger area that has been used and inhabited historically by people of the Katzie First Nation, thus it is very likely that the species was at one time planted there and the grains harvested for consumption. Interestingly, band members of the Katzie First Nation were not aware of the population when contacted (Mike Leon, personal communication 2006). We do not know how long the population has existed, or if it persisted beyond the 2004 growing season. Its discovery is noteworthy because it occurs close to Vancouver near the heavily-used Grant Narrows Regional Park, in the well- botanized Fraser River Valley. It is conceivable that the population has been overlooked by botanists in the past because it is accessible only by boat. Prior to this collection, Zizania had not been recorded in the province since 1987.

A voucher specimen of our collection has been deposited in UBC:

Zizania aquatica L. var. aquatica. British Columbia: Locally abundant in shallow tidal water (just above sea level) along edges of Widgeon Slough beside Siwash Island, near the confluence of Pitt River and Pitt Lake (Fox River Reach), north of Pitt Meadows. 49 deg. 21' 04" N. 122 deg. 39' 03" W. (UTM 10 525350 5466550) (Map 92G/7b), 5 September 2004, J.M. Saarela 285, C.J. Sears, H.S. Rai, & R. May (UBC).

Discovery of this population prompted a search for other records of Zizania from British Columbia. We have located five previous records of wild rice in the province. There are two collections of Zizania in the herbarium (UBC) at the University of British Columbia. One of these is clearly identifiable as Z. aquatica var. aquatica. The second specimen lacks reproductive structures. It is determined as Z. aquatica, but we are unable to confirm this identification based only on vegetative characteristics. Two British Columbia collections are present in the herbarium at the Royal British Columbia Museum (V), and one is present in the herbarium at the University of Victoria (UVIC). We have not seen these latter four collections, but they have been identified previously as Z. aquatica. There are no collections of Zizania from BC in herbaria at the University of Alberta (ALTA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa (DAO), or the Prince Rupert Forest Region (SMI). Specimen information for known records is presented below.

Known Collections of Zizania aquatica from British Columbia

British Columbia: Head of Meldrum Creek, 4 Jul 1948, I. McTaggard-Cowan 75 (UBC!) (no reproductive structures); Kawkawa Lake, Hope, 31 August 1951, T. C. Brayshaw 51597 (UBC!); North Pender Island, Mollison Pond (local name), 13 July 1959, T.R. Ashlees.n. (UVIC); Cape Ball, Queen Charlotte Islands, saline slough,2 Aug. 1970 (planted spring 1970), N. Turner 211 (V); Terrace, small lake 11.2 km on Kalum Rd., 12 Aug. 1987, A. & O. Ceska 22909 (V, a and b).

Zizania palustris has not been reported from British Columbia. This species has larger grains compared with Z. aquatica, and it is favoured commercially. It is therefore possible that Z. palustris might be planted in the province in the future, so we present a key to distinguish Z. aquatica and Z. palustris.

Taxonomic Key to the Annual Species of Zizania L. [adapted from Dore (1969); Aiken et al. (1988), and Terrell et al. (1997)]

  1. Lemmas of female spikelets delicate, thin, and papery, scabrous over the whole surface and along vein ribs; paleas scabrous. Male spikelets usually < 1.5 mm wide before anthesis ..................................... Z. aquatica
  1. Lemmas of female spikelets firm and tough; scabrous only on the margins at the apex, on the awn, and sometimes on the vein ribs; paleas glabrous. Male spikelets usually 1.5--2 mm wide before anthesis ........................ Z. palustris


We are grateful to Hardeep Rai and Ryan May for camaraderie while fishing and for help collecting the species; Frank Lomer for discussion concerning the distribution of Zizania in British Columbia; and Jacques Cayouette (DAO), Kathleen Capels (Utah State University), Jenifer Penny (British Columbia Conservation Data Centre), Karen McKeown (SMI), Dorothy Fabijan (ALTA), Ken Marr (V), and Erica Wheeler (UVIC) for help tracking down records of Zizania. Sean Graham (UBC) provided comments that improved the manuscript.


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Personal Communication

Leon, Mike. 2006.
Member of the Katzie Band Council. (604) 465-8961, []

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