|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS
|No. 382 October 16, 2007
It is with great sadness we must report the passing of Ed Tisch. Ed was a botanist and teacher extraordinaire, spending 41 years teaching biology and botany in Port Angeles, Washington at Peninsula College. Ed Tisch joined Peninsula College in 1966, just one year after classes began on the present campus.
Ed was a friend and mentor to many, including us. His boundless enthusiasm for the natural world, particularly plants, was contagious. During his teaching career he taught on the order of 9,000 students including Nelsa and H.W. Buck Buckingham and one of us (Diane Doss). Ed was a gentle teacher. His many-colored, exquisitely detailed chalk drawings would grow clear across the front board of his classroom, giving his students the x-ray vision to know plants inside and out. Within a few weeks of beginning his introductory botany course, the world was transformed.
Some of our lives were transformed, too. During the second week of her first class with Ed, Diane decided to follow in Ed's footsteps and teach college botany herself. Buck Buckingham, a retired Navy Chaplain, became so enthusiastic about botany because of Ed; he took the evening class several times and created (we presume with Ed) an arboretum containing all but three or four species of shrubs and trees native to the Olympic Peninsula on his own property. It was in Ed's class that Buck met (and later married) Nelsa Morrison. The collaboration of Ed, Nelsa, and Buck led to publication of Vascular Plants of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington: A Catalog in 1979 (published by the National Park Service University of Washington Cooperative Park Studies Unit, College of Forest Resources, Seattle), and later, a list of 100 or so native plants not previously known to occur on the Olympic Peninsula. (N. M. Buckingham and E. L. Tisch. 1983. Additions to the native vascular flora of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Madrono 30 (4): 67-78.).
For those of us fortunate enough to know Ed Tisch it is not difficult measure his stature as a botanist and ecologist. People who did not know Ed have no idea of the magnitude of his contribution to botany, particularly with regard to the Olympic Peninsula. Consequently we wish to share some insights.
The Olympic Peninsula in the far northwest corner of Washington State was initially explored by a number of well-known botanists beginning with Archibald Menzies and the Vancouver expedition (he discovered Opuntia fragilis at Discovery Bay), and followed by Charles Pickering in 1841, Professor Louis F. Henderson in 1890 (who produced the first OP list of 500 plants), Charles V. Piper (first Washington State Flora), and J. B. Flett (Flora of Mount Rainier, collected type specimens of the OP endemics Erigeron flettii, Synthyris pinnatifida var. lanuginosa, [now S. lanuginosa], and Viola flettii. Flett became friends with E. B. Webster, a local publisher. Encouraged by Flett, Webster collected plants and provided extensive local knowledge to botanists exploring the area between 1900 and 1915. Webster's collection of over 600 plants (including collections by Flett) was donated to Olympic National Park and provides the foundation of the ONP herbarium. Between 1930 and 1940, an additional 1200 or so specimens were added to the ONP herbarium. It was during this period of time that G. N. Jones was working on the Olympic Peninsula, ultimately publishing A Botanical Survey of the Olympic Peninsula in 1938 (University of Washington Press Publications in Biology Number 5). This book was the first comprehensive look at the OP flora and serves as a benchmark.
Ed Tisch arrived on the Olympic Peninsula in 1966; the first of his more than 100 specimens in the ONP herbarium is dated 31 August, 1966. Up to that point there were approximately 2200 vascular plant specimens in the park herbarium; today there are nearly 8,000 specimens. Of these, more than half are attributable to Ed, his students, and friends. Ed Tisch initiated modern botanical exploration of, and a renewed interest in the unique flora of the Olympic Peninsula. In addition to encouraging botanical exploration of the Peninsula, Ed discovered two previously undescribed taxa: Saxifraga tischii Skelly and Corallorhiza maculata (Raf.) Raf. var. ozettensis E.L. Tisch. Botanically, Edward L. Tisch followed in the footprints of giants.
Ed Tisch was a man of many talents. For example, as a schoolboy in Upstate New York, Tisch won a poetry contest judged by Sylvia Plath, and met Robert Frost, personally. In 1974 he co-founded the Foothills Poetry Series (now the Foothills Writers Series) along with Peninsula College English professor Jack Estes and local poets Tim McNnulty and Mike O'Connor. Ed continued to write poetry, publishing several in a special book At the Open End of a Flower, produced in 2004.
Ed inspired many people in many ways. We were quite touched by a letter read at the Celebrate the Life of Ed Tisch at Peninsula College from four families in Chile (where Ed was a in the very first group of Peace Corps Volunteers). One of the writers said, "I became an engineer because of Ed." Ed continued to visit and correspond with people he met in Chile for more than 40 years. He also inspired Schreiner's wife to begin running - she still runs, 35 years later. He inspired Doss to teach botany and horticulture - the list goes on.
Ed received his M.S. from the University of Montana and his B.A. from the University of Arizona. His family is establishing an Ed Tisch scholarship fund at Peninsula College for the study of the natural environment on the North Olympic Peninsula. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Joanne, and three children, Ehrin Tisch of Port Angeles, Jessica Garretson of Anacortes and Joe Ingram of Seattle; two grandchildren, Dylan and Colin, both age 2; brothers John and Jerry Tisch of New York state; and his favorite Aunt Ruth of Prescott, Arizona.
And of course, we all miss you, Ed. We will do our best to carry on, trying step into those enormous footprints, and carry your work forward.
A potluck Family and Friends celebration of Ed's life will be held on Saturday, October 27 at 2:00 in the Campfire Clubhouse at Jesse Webster Park in Port Angeles.
Haiku from Olympic Flora by Edward L. Tisch
The entire sky
Leans in all directions
Trying to match your blue.
The Wilhelm Suksdorf property in Bingen, WA has been put on the market for $199,000 by the current owners, who are going through a divorce. That price is not supported by the dropping local real estate market and was initially priced at $150,000 in early September. The realtor is obligated to forward any offer made to the attorneys for the owners.
The West Klickitat County Historical Society [WKCHS] has been working toward the goal of obtaining the original home and moving it onto the Gorge Heritage Museum [GHM] site which is owned and supported by the City of Bingen.
The WKCHS has pledged $50,000 towards the purchase of the home & property, which is an important part of State and local history that needs to be preserved. The WKCHS welcomes pledges from those who support this effort in order to purchase and move Wilhelm's home to a safe site. The estimated costs to purchase the property and move/restore the home are as follows:
|Purchase the home and property:
|$150,000+ (Our initial offer)
|Moving the home to the GHM site:
|Cost of new foundation/utilities:
|Cleanup of existing lot:
|5,000 (with volunteer help)
|Restoration of house:
|20,000 (with volunteer help)
|Estimated Total Cost:
|Sale of the 9000 sq. foot lot:
|Estimated pledge amount required:
(Living only a block away from this historic home, my personal feeling is that a prospective buyer of the property may not want to save this 97 year-old home, so that an agreement to remove it for preservation could be a possibility).
If an acceptable agreement is reached, GHM will put out an item in the White Salmon Enterprise and also to our membership for pledges. Would Pacific Northwest botanists also help to save this house by their financial contributions?
(1) Biodiversity, National Program on Environmental Health, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Wm. Saunders Bldg., Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C6 [email@example.com ] (2) 711 Colborne St., New Westminster, BC, Canada V3L 5V6 [firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Continuing interest in the threat of invasive alien species has required a series of updates to the checklist and related information
Here the term "naturalized" is used since "invasive" has acquired the meaning of being problematic as a result of displacing native or cultivated species. Some plants that have become naturalized (reproducing and spreading on their own outdoors) are not necessarily problematic. Of course a species that has established may not yet be a serious problem, but it may become problematic, in which case the term "invasive" would apply to it. For information on the risk of invasiveness of woody plants, see the hierarchical predictive model produced by Reichard and Hamilton (1997).
Japanese Walnut, Juglans ailanthifolia Carr.
This species was excluded from the British Columbia flora due to lack of persistence (Douglas et al. 1999). However, Juglans ailanthifolia is persistent and established in British Columbia. It is becoming more frequent in Greater Vancouver, usually near river shores and water edges. It is commonly grown, much more so than the eastern butternut (Juglans cinerea L.), and has apparently reached the point where the escaped trees are now old enough to start new trees.
Further east in the upper the Fraser Valley there are dozens of trees visible along Highway 1 from Agassiz to Hope. On uninhabited Herrling Island in the Fraser River there is a huge plantation of Juglans ailanthifolia, possibly including hybrids with J. cinerea, and trees have escaped there as well. It is anticipated that this species will be added to the flora of BC in the next update.
Specimens: Rivershore, Herrling Island, 5 km east of Agassiz, BC, 49.2486 °N, -121.6861 °W, 1995-10-28, Frank Lomer 95-232 (UBC); Dyke shore, unnamed island in Fraser River, 2.5 km west of Port Mann Dridge, Surrey, BC, 49.2202 °N, -122.8468 °W, Frank Lomer 97-593 (UBC).
English Walnut, Juglans regia L. vAlthough occasionally grown in southern British Columbia, not previously reported as an escape from cultivation in Canada. At least at present, its limited spread at Osoyoos (specimen cited below) does not represent or suggest a serious problem. In the vicinity of Osoyoos there are trees of various ages from less than 1 m tall to several m tall along roads, ditches and fence lines. These trees appear not to have been planted. Some of the larger of these are producing fruit. These observations suggest reproduction of spreading plants and the species is thus added to the list, although Whittemore & Stone (1997) have suggested that although seedlings are occasionally reported in North America, they rarely if ever live to maturity. English Walnut is easily distinguished from most other walnuts by the glabrous, instead of pubescent fruits, and by the entire, instead of serrated leaflets. Northern California Walnut (Juglans hindsii Jepson ex R.E. Smith) has been widely introduced outside its California range for grafting English Walnut. It is now naturalized in many areas of the west, but can be distinguished by its serrated leaflets.
Some of the Juglans hindsii X J. regia hybrids are more difficult to identify (Whittemore & Stone 1997).
Specimen: Open roadside of Lakeshore Drive, East Osoyoos, 49.0172 °N, -119.4345 °W, 2007-06-04, P.M. Catling (DAO).
Salt-Cedar, Tamarix ramosissima Ledebour
A large shrub or small tree, Salt-Cedar is native to Africa and Eurasia. It was introduced into the to the western U.S. in the early 1800s for use as an ornamental and to control erosion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has ranked it as one of the most harmful invasive species in the U.S. It depletes groundwater, increases surface salt concentration and degrades habitats for native species of plants and animals. Its groundwater-absorbing qualities may be adding to the severity of the drought in the western U.S. Baum (1967) had one record of it in Canada from the Experimental Station in Morden where it was presumably cultivated. In 2007 it was found growing without cultivation and apparently not planted in damp ditches near Penticton (specimen cited below) and on the sandy shores of Osoyoos Lake (at East Osoyoos etc.) where both small and large plants occurred with poplars and native vegetation suggesting natural spread. It was also observed in roadside ditches near Osoyoos. An unidentified species of Tamarix was also observed along a sandy path above Osoyoos Lake on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve northeast of Osoyoos. Although these were the only observations of apparent spread, it was observed many times in the Okanagan valley in cultivation as a garden ornamental. In at least some situations the cultivated plants fail to produce seed so more study is required to determine the origin of the apparently escaped plants.
Although Baum reported specimens of Tamarix chinensis Lour. from British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec and noted that it is "cultivated and naturalized to a large extent", it is not clear if there was ever any evidence of naturalization in Canada. Baum also reports having seen records for Tamarix parviflora DC. in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. It is not clear whether or not these referred to cultivated or escaped plants but it was excluded from the British Columbia flora by Douglas et al. (2000) as a result of not persisting in the wild.
Tamarix ramosissima differs from other North American species in having all of the staminal filaments inserted under the lobes of the disk but near the margin, 4-merous flowers and sepals more or less entire.
Specimen: ditch on E side of hwy 97 on NW side of Penticton, 49.5012 °N, -119.6171 °W, 2007-06-04, P.M. Catling (DAO).
For information on other woody plants, either recently established or spreading in Canada, see Catling et al. (1996), Catling & Carbyn (2005) and Catling (2005, 2006, 2007).
This is the first complete flora ever prepared for Mt. Adams. foot level to the highest reaches of the mountain. The book is similar to the Flora of Mount Rainier Park (see BEN # 251 - June 10, 2000) in size and format and covers 843 species that occur at Mount Adams above the 4,000 foot level, a unique blending of Cascade and sage/steppe floras. Each species is fully described and accurate identification is provided by keys. The keys are relatively simple, but quite reliable.
Mount Adams has seldom been visited by botanists since Suksdorf's time. Authors'fieldwork spanned three summers, during which time they collected over 600 vouchers, while off-seasons time was spent in northwest herbaria.
The Flora contains many references to the older collections, such as those made by Suksdorf, Flett, Howell and Henderson.
Introductory chapters cover the geology, ecology, ethnobotany, and history of botanical explorations of the area. Especially valuable is the comparison of the Mount Adams flora with its more northern neighbour Mount Rainier.
The book is an important addition to the knowledge of the flora of the Pacific Northwest.
Per Magnus Joergensen, ed. 2007. Botanikkens historie I Norge [History of Botany in Norway]. Fagbokforlaget Vignostad & Bjoeke AS, ISBN 978-82-450-0499. 96 pages, profusely illustrated. Price: The price from the editor (on the nettshop) is Norwegian kr. 428, - [One Euro = ca. 8 N kr.]
Following his editing of the beautiful book on the life and work of Johan Havaas (reviewed in BEN # 354, Dec. 22, 2005) and his numerous papers on Norwegian botanical history, including a recent paper, History of lichenology in Norway up to 1973, in Bibliotheca Lichenologica 95: 41-61. Recently, this preeminent Norwegian lichenologist, world authority of the lichen family Pannariaceae, has produced this exceptional illustrated history of botany in his country. The book is dedicated to the memory of Professor Finn-Egil Eckblad (1924-2000), who had assembled a great amount of material contribution to the subject.
This work is in large part the editor's own contribution, and is supported by many other Norwegian botanists whose authorship is noted in the individual chapters. The text helpfully bold-faces all of the personal names of the players in this botanical odyssey. The language throughout is Norwegian, but this should be no drawback to ones enjoyment since it is profusely illustrated in color and black and white. Figure 1 is that of the first plant illustration on a granite stone dating from 500 B.C. The chapters (roughly translated here):
The illustrations are stunning and often amusing: portraits, landscapes, handwritten letters, title pages, plant species, old drawings, buildings, cartoons, Professor Scholander as a child, holding a load of red beets. Altogether this is a book that is not only useful for its information, but a joy to pursue at leisure.
The book is also reviewed in Blyttia 2007 (2): 73-75.
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