ISSN 1188-603X

No. 391 March 25, 2008 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Zdenek Kaplan et al. []

[This is an abbreviated version of the official position of the Czech Botanical Society – signed by 16 prominent botanists - on the attempts to ‘save’ endangered plant species by planting them willy-nilly where people would like to see them growing. This is a free translation of the statement published in the Bulletin of the Czech Botanical Society 42 (2): 337-338, 2007.]

Since the 19th Century, there have been recorded attempts to ‘enhance’ our flora by planting non-original plants into native plant communities. The goal of those attempts was to ‘enrich’ the indigenous flora and make them more similar to the floras of surrounding areas. This activity results not only in the introduction of new elements into the framework of the original plant communities, but it may also result in negative changes that we are not able to predict:

1) Introduction of alien elements can result in introduction of alien genetic material to the locality, which can lead to hybridization with members of the original population, and to genetic erosion of natural populations. In this way, the original gene pool can be destroyed. Furthermore, the hybridization of alien plants with the original plant population may lead to new, more vigorous genotypes that may outcompete the original population that people are trying to preserve.

2) With the introduction of new plants, alien plant pathogens can be unintentionally introduced. Such an element can lead to elimination of the original population. There is also danger in introducing genetic material that might lessen the population’s ability to resist possible infection.

3) New plants placed in a particular locality can lead to the disruption of the competition balance. The introduction can result in the disappearance of the original genotype. In extreme cases, the new genotype can become weedy and outcompete and replace the original population.

4) The intentional introduction of native plants into natural habitats will impede further studies and hence possible protection of endangered plants based on knowledge of their ecology. Even with good documentation, after some time it is difficult to tell which populations are indigenous and which are introduced elements. For instance, the repeated planting of Nymphaea species [in the Czech Republic] has made it impossible to tell which sites are native and which are the result of intentional plantings.

The aim of this article is to show to the potential ‘Engineers of Nature’ the dangers and irreversible damage that can be done by intentional transplanting into natural vegetation. We are certain that their efforts are well meant; however, it must be remembered that even the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


From: Curtis Björk, Box 131, Clearwater, BC, Canada, V0E 1N0 [], Terry McIntosh, 3-1175 14th St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 2P2; [], and Ron Hall, RR#3, site 25, comp 1, Oliver, BC, Canada, V0H 1T0

Cirsium flodmanii (Rydb.) Arthur - Asteraceae

This species is very similar to Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng., differing in having a rhizomatous rootstock, a prominent yellowish ring atop the achene, and the earliest leaves of the rosettes simple or very shallowly lobed. Additionally, it favours finer-textured soils in contrast to the sandier soils favoured by C. undulatum. We found C. flodmanii, new to British Columbia, growing in sagebrush steppe WNW of White Lake about 6.5 km SW of Okanagan Falls (Björk et al. 2008). The nearest known population grows near the southern end of the Okanagan Valley in Washington State. Collectively, these British Columbia and Washington populations are widely disjunct from its main range from the prairie provinces south to Colorado and Minnesota (Keil 2006).

Owing to the similar appearance of this species to C. undulatum, populations elsewhere in British Columbia may remain overlooked. A voucher is deposited at the University of British Columbia Herbarium (Björk 13990).

Crypsis alopecuroides (Piller & Mitterp.) Schrad. - Poaceae

This introduced Eurasian species is occasionally found in the western United States, as far north as Spokane County, Washington (Hammel & Reeder 2003). Our collection from the east shore of Osoyoos Lake (Björk 13675) constitutes the first record of this species and genus for British Columbia and Canada (Björk et al. 2008). It competes with several rare native species at the Osoyoos Lake mudflats and may be a factor in the conservation of those species. However, owing to the sensitivity of this community of diminutive annuals and the possible impacts to the native species of herbicide spraying orhand-pulling, we recommend that no control efforts be taken.

Eleocharis geniculata (L.) Roemer & Schultes - Cyperaceae

We found Eleocharis geniculata (verified by Tony Reznicek) at the locality of historic reports of Eleocharis atropurpurea (Retz.) J. & K. Presl, where we were unable to find any plants of E. atropurpurea in two summers of searching (Björk et al. 2008). Following up our field work, we examined herbarium specimens and found that previous collections labeled E. atropurpurea from Osoyoos Lake, the only site where the species was reported for British Columbia and Canada, were actually E. geniculata. The lack of any material of E. atropurpurea from Osoyoos lake, and the close similarity of these two species leads us to believe that E. atropurpurea was misapplied in British Columbia. Accordingly, E. atropurpurea should be removed from checklists of plants of British Columbia and Canada. Voucher specimens from our field observations are available at the University of British Columbia herbarium (e.g., McIntosh TM-ELEO-2). Eleocharis geniculata has a wide range in tropical and subtropical regions, and ranges uncommonly into some temperate-zone regions (Menapace 2002). In Canada, it is otherwise known only from along the shores of Lake Erie in southern Ontario. Eleocharis geniculata differs from E. atropurpurea in having larger achenes with sessile, more flattened tubercles.

Limosella acaulis Sessé & Mocino - Scrophulariaceae

This uncommon species of western North America and Mexico differs from the more common and widespread Limosella aquatica L. in having more rounded corolla lobes and narrower leaves with scarcely expanded lamina (Wetherwax 1993). We found it growing on mud flats on the east shore of Osoyoos Lake on lands owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band. It is a range extension northward by 250 km from the nearest populations in Washington, and it is new for British Columbia and Canada (Björk et al. 2008). A voucher specimen (Björk 13674) is deposited at the University of British Columbia Herbarium.

Spiranthes diluvialis Sheviak - Orchidaceae

This new record for British Columbia and Canada is a range extension of about 20 km from the nearest population in Okanogan County, Washington State (Björk et al. 2008). A globally rare species, it is listed at the federal level as Threatened in the United States where it is known from widely scattered occurrences in the western states, east to Nebraska (Fertig et al. 2005). It is distinguished from Spiranthes romanzoffiana by its spreading lateral sepals, its longer and denser hairs in the inflorescence, and its lack of a distinctly flared distal portion of the lip (Sheviak & Brown 2002). We found a single plant of S. diluvialis (photos verified by Charles Sheviak) growing in marshes on the east shore of Osoyoos Lake on Osoyoos Indian Band land. An additional population at Mahoney Lake, about 3 km east of Vaseux Lake, was found by O. and G. Westby and subsequently identified. Due to its rarity, no specimen was collected, but a photo voucher will be deposited at the University of British Columbia Herbarium. Spiranthes diluvialis grows in diverse habitats, but unlike S. romanzoffiana Cham., it does not grow in bogs or fens, and it appears to have a preference for calcareous or moderately saline soils. In B.C. and Washington, it is associated with Carex viridula Michx. and/or Eleocharis rostellata (Torr.) Torr.

Viola adunca Sm. var. cascadensis (Baker) C.L. Hitchcock - Violaceae

Though this taxon is generally not recognized in recent floristic work, we feel that it is sharply marked from typical Viola adunca by its dense leaf pubescence, small, narrowly ovate, dark green leaves, and its habit of producing basically sessile chasmogamous early-season flowers followed by stem elongation with production of late-season cleistogamous flowers. It is known from the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington and Oregon, and in the Okanogan Mountains of Washington (Hitchcock & Cronquist 1973). We found it growing in the interface of forest with Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson and salt-flat vegetation on the margins of Mahoney Lake, about 3 km west of Vaseux Lake (Björk et al. 2008). We also observed it just east of White Lake, about 6.5 km SW of Okanagan Falls. These occurrences are the only populations known for British Columbia and Canada. The global rarity of this taxon is difficult to assess owing to its neglect, but it appears to be at best uncommon, and it is a regional endemic. A voucher is available at the University of British Columbia herbarium (Björk 13991).


Björk, C.R., T. McIntosh & R. Hall. 2008.
Noteworthy Collections: British Columbia. Madro?o 54: 366-367.
Fertig, W., R. Black & P. Wolken. 2005.
Rangewide Status Review of Ute Ladies'-Tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis). s%20reviewFertig2005.pdf Accessed 10 October, 2007.
Hammel, B.E. & J.R. Reeder. 2003.
Crypsis in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 25. New York. Oxford University Press. 783 p.
Hitchcock, C.L. & A. Cronquist. 1973.
Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an Illustrated Manual. Seattle. University of Washington Press. 730 p.
Keil, D.J. 2006.
Cirsium in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 19. New York. Oxford University Press. 610 p.
Menapace, F.J. 2002.
Eleocharis in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 23. New York. Oxford University Press. 640 p.
Sheviak, C.J. & P.M. Brown. 2002.
Spiranthes in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 26. New York. Oxford University Press. 723 p.
Wetherwax, M. 1993.
Limosella in Hickman, J.C. ed. 1993. Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. Berkeley. University of California Press. 1424 p.


From: Curtis Björk, Box 131 Clearwater, BC, Canada V0E 1N0 []

Antennaria corymbosa E. Nels. - Asteraceae

This species grows sporadically in the western United States, mostly in the Rocky Mountains (Bayer, 2006). It grows primarily in moist, peaty meadows and fens, making it ecologically distinctive among species of Antennaria (Björk, 2008). It can be recognized from Antennaria microphylla Rydb. and other similar species by its sparse, narrow leaves and by the dark gray-green spot on the phyllaries. I found a small population at the headwaters of the Blue River about 3 km ESE of Murtle Lake, shortly outside the boundary of Wells Gray Provincial Park. There it grows on the margin of a fen dominated by Carex utriculata Boott, where it was growing on moss tussocks with Carex disperma Dewey and Viola macloskeyi Lloyd. This population is the first known in British Columbia and Canada, and it is disjunct by a distance of about 450 km from northeast Washington State. A voucher is available at the University of British Columbia Herbarium (Björk 9415).

Epilobium pygmaeum (Speg.) Hoch & P.H. Raven (syn. Boisduvalia glabella [Nutt.] Walp.) - Onagraceae

This species was formerly reported for British Columbia (Douglas et al. 2002), but no extant populations or precise locations of previous collections were known. The discovery of this species in vernal pools in the Nicola Basin constitutes its rediscovery for B.C. and Canada. I found it in three small, highly disturbed vernal pools in grassland and shrub steppe in the uplands between the Nicola River and Quilchena Creek 25-30 km east of Merritt. These pools and most of the surrounding landscape are badly overgrazed, and two of the pools are artificially deepened to serve as watering holes for cattle. Despite these disturbances, their hydrology (of flooding in late winter and spring and receding waterlines through late spring into summer) remains adequate in providing the sparsely vegetated, sun-baked mud soils favoured by "amphibious" vernal pool annuals. Associated species are Alopecurus carolinianus Walt., Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fern., Eleocharis macrostachya Britt., Limosella aquatica L., Myosurus minimus L., Plagiobothrys leptocladus (Greene) I.M. Johnst.[see below], Rorippa curvisiliqua (Hook.) Bess. ex Britt., and Veronica peregrina L. Ongoing severe disturbance over time could eliminate Epilobium pygmaeum from these sites as trampling by cattle, (especially when the soil is moist) aids the spread of nonnative plants, alters the soil texture, or severs the plants at the stem. A voucher is available at the University of British Columbia Herbarium (Björk 14816).

Festuca washingtonica Alexeev - Poaceae

This species is a regional endemic of eastern Washington, where it is known from few populations along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains from Franklin County north to Okanogan County (Darbyshire, 2007). It is similar to Festuca viridula Vasey, from which it differs in having longer lemma awns, a larger stature, and in having a tuft of hairs on the top of the ovary. It grows in habitats similar to those of F. viridula, but in relatively dry regions. I found this species growing in grassland-woodland mosaic on Richter Pass, on the southeast slopes of Mount Kobau, about 4.5 km west of Osoyoos Lake. Associated species include Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex Roem., Artemisia tridentata Nutt., Ericameria nauseosa (Pallas ex Pursh) Nesom & Beird, Festuca campestris Rydb., and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco. It was previously reported for BC in the Flora of North America based on my specimen, but Darbyshire (2007) erroneously gave the location as Vancouver Island. The Richter Pass population is the only one known for British Columbia and Canada. A voucher is deposited at the University of British Columbia Herbarium (Björk 11064).

Plagiobothrys leptocladus (E. Greene) I.M. Johnst. - Boraginaceae

Newly discovered for British Columbia in vernal pools in the Nicola Basin. I found it in four small, highly disturbed vernal pools in grassland and shrub steppe in the uplands between the Nicola River and Quilchena Creek, and shortly west of Quilchena Creek 25-30 km east of Merritt. Habitat, associated species and threats as for Epilobium pygmaeum, see above. This species may account for most records of Plagiobothrys scouleri (Hook. & Arn.) I.M. Jonhnst. in interior British Columbia and so could be found to be widespread in the province. Plagiobothrys leptocladus can be distinguished based on its consistently procumbent habit, distinctly upwardly widening pedicels, calyx lobes expanding asymmetrically after flowering, and by the basal nutlet attachment. It is more apt to grow in higher-pH/more saline vernal pools and in salt-flat habitats than most members of the P. scouleri complex. A voucher specimen is deposited at the University of British Columbia Herbarium (Björk 14817).


Bayer, R.J. 2006.
Antennaria in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 19. New York. Oxford University Press. 610 p.
Björk, C.R. 2008.
Noteworthy Collections: British Columbia. Madro?o 54: 366-367.
Darbyshire, S. 2007.
Festuca in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America. Vol. 24. New York. Oxford University Press. 944 p.
Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, & J. Pojar. 2002.
Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Vol. 8. Victoria. British Columbia Ministry of Forests. 457 p.


From: David Brownstein []

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and the Virtual Museum of Canada are pleased to announce the launch of "John Davidson: The Legacy of a Canadian Botanist/L'heritage d'un botaniste canadien" .

This digital resource tells the story of 'Botany John' Davidson (1878-1970).

Davidson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and was active in the Aberdeen Workingmen's Natural History and Scientific Society. He emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1911 and popularized nature study through illustrated public lectures. He created the Vancouver Natural History Society and the University of British Columbia's herbarium and botanical garden. Today, many consider Davidson an environmental folk hero for his conservation efforts.

The website houses over 5000 digitized objects, including Davidson's herbarium sheets, lantern slide collection, field notes and speech texts, as well as oral history interviews and contextual narratives. is an invaluable resource for students and researchers interested in the history of botany in both Scotland and northwestern North America. We particularly invite your participation in the online forum to discuss photographs from the collection.


From: James Miskely
Acorn, J. & I. Sheldon. 2006.
Butterflies of British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing Ltd., Edmonton. 360 p. ISBN-13: 978-1551051130 [soft cover] Price: $28.95

Butterfly enthusiasts in BC have long wanted for a good field guide. Available field guides provided incomplete treatment of our area, while regional reference books were not portable enough for the field. In Lone Pine Publishing’s new Butterflies of British Columbia, we have a real field guide that is specific to this province. John Acorn’s text is light and engaging. He makes an effort to present the technical details of our butterfly fauna in an accessible way, but allows the reader to dismiss the scientific side and focus on the fun and excitement of just being a good watcher. Ian Sheldon’s illustrations are spectacular; they look natural and they look like the creature really looks! The layout of the species accounts is very nice: There are some general remarks (heavy on taxonomy), notes on identifications, larval host plants, habitat, and flight season. Range maps provided are quite general, but will still help in eliminating the species that don’t occur in your area. Especially useful for anyone new to butterflies will be the synonyms (as butterfly names vary a lot from book to book) and inset illustrations of similar species. As with any book, there are a few errors and omissions. Botanically minded butterfly watchers will find the lists of larval host plants often miss plants that are locally important in BC. I’m sure this affordable and portable book will be a boon to butterfly watchers throughout BC. I applaud the author’s effort to keep it light and concentrate on the joys of natural history in its purest form: just getting out and looking.