ISSN 1188-603X

No. 402 January 26, 2009 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


BOTANY BC 2009 will take place from the evening of Wednesday July 15th through Saturday, July 18th, 2009 , based out of Muncho Lake Provincial Park Campground and Northern Rockies Lodge approximately 200km northwest of Fort Nelson. Transportation from Prince George in vans will be available (leaving Tuesday July 14th returning Sunday July 19th). Field trips will visit sites on alluvial flood plains, the alpine, and wetlands. Many unique plants, spectacular scenery and incredible wildlife viewing.

BOTANY BC is an annual meeting of botanists and plant enthusiasts of British Columbia and is open to anyone interested in plants regardless. Although BOTANY BC meetings are focused to British Columbia, we welcome all the plant enthusiasts from the neighbouring provinces/states, and from elsewhere in the world.

Botany BC Registration and detailed program are expected to be posted to the Botany BC website by February 28, so please keep checking the website:

If you have not attended a recent Botany BC and wish to receive notification when additional details and registration forms for Botany BC 2009 are available on the Botany BC website please contact:

Elizabeth Easton (250) 953-3488 e-mail:


From: Adolf Ceska, Oldriska Ceska, John Dove, Terry Ludwar, James Mack, & David H. Wagner c/o []

For the accompanied photos see:

Polystichum californicum (D.C. Eaton) Diels was first collected in British Columbia in August, 1897 on “Rocks” at Texada Island by W.B. Anderson (coll. No. 666). A single, relatively small frond was deposited in the herbarium of the Royal British Columbia Musem (V 178). The specimen was originally identified as Polystichum scopulinum (D.C. Eaton) Maxon and was listed as such in Taylor (1963, 1970). In 1976, D.H. Wagner identified the W.B. Anderson’s specimen as Polystichum californicum with a note: “This is the only record of this sp. from B.C.” This was the only specimen that supported the claim that Polystichum californicum occurred in British Columbia and Canada (Wagner 1979). Whereas Cody & Britton (1989) followed Wagner (1979) and included P. californicum in the flora of Canada, Ceska (1991, 2000) treated this species among the species excluded from the flora of British Columbia and Canada.

Texada Island is the largest of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia Mainland. Because of its size and limited accessibility, Texada Island is still poorly known botanically, although good collecting efforts have been made lately by John Dove and Terry Ludwar. Harvey and Pamela Janszen with Marie Fontaine and Patrick Williston made three visits of Texada Island (with Marie Fontaine in June 1997, another in July 1997, and one trip with Patrick Williston in 1999) and collected several species of Botrychium and found several new locations for Ophioglossum pusillum Raf. Their effort was aimed at pteridophytes and the highland plateau of Texada Island as the possible habitats of moonworts (Janszen 1999).

On August 26, 2007, Terry Ludwar found a single plant of Polystichum californicum growing on a vertical rock wall several meters above high tide. On May 19, 2008, Adolf & Oluna Ceska took advantage of the opportunity presented when BOTANY BC 2008 was based in Powell River, and joined Terry Ludwar, John Dove and James Mack for a field trip to see this single plant. Adolf Ceska broke off three fronds and sent them to David H. Wagner, who confirmed the identification. The voucher specimens (A&OC # 34986) were deposited in the UBC (2 fronds) and OSC (1 frond) herbaria. When collecting these specimens, we realized that W.B. Anderson also might have seen only a single plant and therefore collected the minimum amount necessary for identification.

Collection data:

Polystichum californicum (D.C. Eaton) Diels - Dryopteridaceae

Canada, British Columbia: Texada Island, Van Anda municipality, Maple Bay, N of Favada Point. 49° 45.595´ N. 124° 38.049´ W. UTM 10U 382265 E 5511367 N (NAD 83) On vertical basaltic rock (Karmutsen Formation), about 2 m above the base of the coastal cliff.
Collection date: May 19, 2008
Collectors: Adolf & Oldriska Ceska, Terry Ludwar, John Dove and James Mack Coll. No.: A&OC # 34986 (UBC, OSC)
Identified by David H. Wagner
Note: This is a single plant that was found by Terry Ludwar on August 27, 2007.

Polystichum californicum is an allopolyploid species that originated from hybridization between a species with entire pinnae (P. imbricans [D.C. Eaton] D.H. Wagner) and a completely bipinnnate species (P. dudleyi Maxon) with consequent doubling of chromosomes. Thus, its pinnae are incised but not fully divided; its pinnules are never distinct and upper pinnae are nearly entire in small individuals. Two species of similar form (and parentage) are P. scopulinum and P. andersonii Hopkins. Polystichum scopulinum has parents with short scales below, which it inherits. P. californicum, however, has slender, hair like infralaminar scales [small, fuzzy scales found on the underside of the pinna] similar to those on P. dudleyi. Polystichum californicum is usually bigger than P. scopulinum but the size range of these two overlap. Both of these are mainly chasmophytes, growing in cracks in rocks. Polystichum andersonii is a much bigger fern than P. californicum and is generally a forest floor fern. Like P. californicum, it has filiform scales on its under-surface; however, it ALWAYS has a bulbil on the rachis in the upper 1/5 of the frond. Sometimes more than one bulbil is present but at least one is always present. Neither P. californicum nor P. scopulinum produce bulbils. Northern Polystichum setigerum is a forest floor species that has all pinnae incised to the costa. For the key to the North American Polystichum species see Wagner (1993):

Note: We should be aware that the Polystichum californicum illustration by Jeanne Janish in Hitchcock et. al. (1969, p. 88) is actually a drawing of a sterile hybrid between Polystichum munitum and P. scopulinum. I have seen the specimen (it is at WS) and also plants in the field from the same (or nearby) locality in Kittitas County. This hybrid looks like P. californicum; the critical features are, again, the filiform infralaminar scales in P. californicum which are lacking in the hybrid and the aborted sporangia on the hybrid. – D.H. Wagner

The range of Polystichum californicum in California extends from California from San Bernardino County north: Outer North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains (Smith & Lemieux 1993). In Oregon it occurs in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, and Linn Counties (Oregon Plant Atlas - online). In Washington is rarer and it is known from Thurston & Pierce Counties (Burke Museum … 2006, Washington Natural Heritage Program).

There is a striking similarity between the distribution of Polystichum californicum and the distribution of Woodwardia fimbriata, especially in Oregon and Washington. In British Columbia, Woodwardia fimbriata is known only from Lasqueti and Texada Islands and from Saanich Inlet near Victoria. On Texada Island, Woodwardia fimbriata is unusually abundant. The closest site of W. fimbriata is only about 500 m from the Polystichum californicum locality. It should be noted that the first collection of Woodwardia fimbriata in British Columbia was made by W.B. Anderson, probably also close to his Polystichum californicum site. W.B. Anderson’s collection number for Woodwardia fimbriata was # 668, vs. # 666 for Polystichum californicum.


We would like to thank to Ed Alverson, Elizabeth Easton, and Jan Kirkby for their help with this note.


Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. 2006.
Vascular Plant Database.
Ceska, A. 1991.
Pteridophytes. Pp. 111-137 in Douglas, G.W., G. B. Straley & D. Meidinger [editors]. The vascular plants of British Columbia. Part 3 – Dicotyledons (Primulaceae through Zygophyllaceae) and Pteridophytes. Special Report Series, no. 3, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC, Canada. 177 p.
Ceska, A. 2000.
Pteridophytes. Pp. 260-343 in Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger & J. Pojar [editors]. Illustrated flora of British Columbia. Volume 5 Dicotyledons (Salicaceae through Zygophyllaceae) and Pteridophytes. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks & Ministry of Forests, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 389 p.
Cody, W.J. & D.M. Britton. 1989.
Ferns & fern allies of Canada. Publication 1829/E, Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 430 p.
Hitchcock, C.L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, & J.W. Thompson. 1969.
Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 1: Vascular cryptogams, gymnosperms, and monocotyledons. Univ. of Washington Press, Seattle.
Janszen, H. 1999.
Rare Fern Research on Texada Island. The Log, Autumn 1999: 4-5.
Oregon Plant Atlas - Version 3.0 Copyright (C) 1999-2007.
Oregon Flora Project.
Smith, A.R. & T. Lemieux. 1993a.
Blechnaceae Deer Fern family. P. 90 in Hickman, J.C. [ed.] The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, California. 1400 p.,14,15
Smith, A.R. & T. Lemieux. 1993b.
Dryopteridaceae Wood Fern family. Pp. 91-94 in Hickman, J.C. [ed.] The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, California. 1400 p.,31,32
Taylor, T. M. C. 1963.
The ferns and fern allies of British Columbia. British Columbia. Prov. Mus. Handbook No. 12. Victoria, Canada. 172 p.
Taylor, T. M. C. 1970.
Pacific northwest ferns and their allies. Univ. Toronto Press. Toronto. 247 p.
Wagner, D. H. 1979.
Systematics of Polystichum in western North America north of Mexico. Pteridologia 1: 1-64.
Wagner, D.H. 1993.
12, Polystichum Roth … Pp. 290-299 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 2: Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. 475 p.
Washington Natural Heritage Program and U.S.D.I. Bureau of Land Management.
Field Guide to Selected Rare Vascular Plants of Washington.

For the illustration to this article see:


An interview of Frederik Velinsky (FV) (Czech Radio – Cesky Rozhlas Sever) with Dr. Martin Konvicka (MK) (Entomologist, South Bohemian University, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic) for the magazine Planetarium of the Czech Radio – Cesky Rozhlas Sever on June 15, 2008. The original program is available in Czech language at [Translated by Adolf Ceska and edited by James Miskelly]

FV: The decline of the butterflies in the Czech Republic and in Europe as a whole is so obvious that it is conspicuous not only to the specialists, but to the laymen alike. What is the reason for this decline? Entomologists have already collected enough data to allow the decline not only to be monitored and evaluated, but also explained, at least to some degree. Martin Konvicka, of the Entomological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the South-Bohemian University in Ceske Budejovice, is one of those specialists who study the ecology of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera).

FV: How much have butterflies declined in Europe and especially in the Czech Republic?

MK: Butterflies are the most attractive group of insects. >From their survey, we can judge the well being not only of this group, but also the well-being of other insects and other animal groups. For almost a half-century, entomologists have been witnessing a decline, in some cases fast, in other cases slower, of butterflies in central and western Europe. In my estimate, about 20% of the European butterflies are endangered. In the Czech Republic, it is about one third of all the butterfly species. One hundred years ago, about 161 species of butterflies were known in the area of the Czech Republic. From that number, 18 species have become extirpated. That’s about 11%. Of the rest, about 50% of butterflies are endangered. Even more important and more obvious is that we are not losing only the rare butterflies that used to live at a few sites. From year to year, we can also see the rapid decline of other, previously common species, those that we were able to see in meadows, fields and gardens. Those species are rapidly declining, not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the whole of Europe.

FV: When did people start to study this decline more systematically?

MK: Butterflies are a very attractive group, and have caught the attention of artists, naturalists and butterfly collectors, as we can see from the many parodies that have ridiculed entomologists. Thus, we can rely on the large number of people who have noticed this decline in butterflies. More precise data about the decline of butterflies are available in Europe since about the 1980’s. In the Czech Republic, zoologists Ivo Novak and Karel Spitzer wrote in the 1980’s that twenty years before, in the 1960’s, one could see about 40 species of butterflies on a stroll through meadows and field, whereas in 1980’s this number dropped down to about 10 or 11 species. This situation has not improved, rather it has gotten worse.

FV: You mentioned that 18 species of butterflies have been extirpated from the Czech Republic. What are the most striking examples?

MK: We have good information on many of the butterflies. For instance, the Danube Clouded Yellow, Colias myrmidone (Esper), lived in the warmer areas of the entire Czech Republic, but recently it is seen occasionally only in the White Carpathian Mountains. The Apollo butterfly, Parnassius apollo L., that is in the logo of the [Czech] Nature Conservancy, used to live at several tens of localities in the Czech Republic. Today, we know it only from one site where it has been artificially re-introduced. Another example is the Tree Grayling, Hipparchia statilinus (Hufnagel), a relatively large butterfly living in sandy habitats along the river Elbe. Today, both the sandy habitats and the butterflies are gone. Those were just a few examples of the ‘day’ butterflies.

Probably even more significant is the decline of moths that are, with about 3,000 species, far more numerous than the butterflies. Unfortunately, we do not know the precise numbers of this group, since the moths are more cryptic than the true butterflies. However, we can name several tens of species, both large and small, that used to be quite common one hundred years ago, but are almost unknown today.

FV: Is this decline specific for butterflies or does it touch other small animals?

MK: Unfortunately, the situation is bad with all the small animals. The Red book of invertebrates of the Czech Republic that appeared in 2006 contains all the data, not only for butterflies, but also for beetles, bees, wasps, etc. We have lost about 15% of scarab beetles of the family Scarabaeidae, 5% of long-horned beetles of the family Cerambycidae, and 15% of wasps and bees. If you look at the numbers, you can see that in all the well-known groups about 5 to 10 percent of species have disappeared from our fauna. We have to project those percentages into the absolute numbers. If we have about 30,000 species of insect in the Czech Republic, those 5 to 10 percent represent the loss of 2,000 or 3,000 species that have disappeared from our area. The situation is similar among the smaller vertebrates, such as birds, especially those that feed on insects.

FV: What is the reason for this decline? Is it a broader trend concerning all of Europe or is it a result of small local threats that added together have had this negative impact?

MK: This is a broader problem, but I have to say a few words for explanation. Many rare species are persisting better than before and their protection has had positive results. This is most obvious in birds, mammals and all the larger vertebrates. The situation is also relatively good with vascular plants. We have a large number of endangered species in these groups, but we do not see such a rapid decline as we can witness in insects and other invertebrates. Present-day nature conservation, landscape management and landscape ecology address the protection of plants, birds, and mammals reasonably well, but we fail to protect insects. This is alarming, since the number of insect species is much larger than that of birds or other vertebrates. At the same time, insect species are involved in a number of interwoven ecological interactions. We have to realize that pollination of many economically important plants depends on insects and that insects play an important role in soil processes, control of harmful insects, etc.

Now I am going back to your question that relates to this. What has happened in the last fifty years in central and western Europe? We have significantly changed the structure of natural environments and landscapes. Intensification of agriculture and forestry resulted in homogenization of the landscape. The former mosaic of small fields, meadows, forest margins, hedges, small quarries, and sand pits has been replaced with large homogenous areas with sharp boundaries between them. Why is this important? Those 3,000 species of insect, all that huge diversity of organisms, has lived in our area thanks to the great specialization of the different species. Many species are narrowly specialised. For instance, the Alcon Blue, Maculinea alcon (Denis & Schiffermueller), needs a gentian for its caterpillars. The adult butterflies, on the other hand, do not need the gentian any more, but require nectar of other plants. They also need shrubs for cover from their enemies. Butterflies are not too mobile. We see the butterfly flying around, but it’s not so simple as it looks. Most butterflies do not fly over long distances. In what used to be a mosaic of small areas in the landscape, butterflies used to have all they needed close together, nectar, cover and host plants. That has changed and today we have extensive meadows and extensive fields. Forests are all managed the same way over large areas, planted with the same few tree species and the same agricultural and sylvicultural techniques are being used. In this way, we have homogenized the landscape and removed a large number of suitable sites for many species that have nowhere to live anymore.

FV: Even after all you have said, there is no doubt that there are serious intentions to protect nature both in Europe and in the Czech Republic. In spite of the number of serious projects, some of them are not working for the insects and butterflies as well as we would like them to work. What are we doing wrong?

MK: We can explain it better if we compare insects with birds or plants, where the conservation measures really work. When we want to protect certain plant species, we protect them in a nature reserve. We call this “in situ”. There, we can control the ecological conditions to suit the needs of the plant. Such a way, we can keep the plant there for a long, if not infinite, time, about the same way as if we kept it in a botanical garden or on the rockery. This is how many reserves work. People do not realize it, but the protection reserves are in fact botanical gardens.

The situation is different in birds. Even though birds are quite specialized and have special requirements, they are mobile, have a longer life span and are, to some degree, intelligent. Such a vertebrate can actively look for suitable habitat for its survival and reproduction. It is likely that, with its longer life span, it will eventually find it. The insect can move as well, we cannot keep it in the garden, but its radius is smaller, in average no more than several hundred hectares. On one hand, this is a larger area than we could artificially adjust for their requirements. On the other hand, insects cannot actively seek suitable habitats over large areas. When we destroy the natural habitat of a certain locality, we can transplant a plant, or the birds could seek out another suitable habitat. The insect species, on the other hand, usually die out when their habitats are destroyed.

FV: According to Martin Konvicka, butterflies could help to facilitate a return of the natural mosaic in the landscape. Sometimes one does not need too much. One can leave patches of uncut lawn in a city park or a few raw logs on the ground. Around the supermarkets, one can plant Crataegus, wild roses or spiraea instead of introduced trees. This can be done in private gardens as well. A patch of stinging nettle in a garden corner will attract tortoiseshell or peacock butterflies. With the help of the general public, The Entomological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences is collecting the information about the butterfly distribution. Why?

MK: We, entomologists, need as much information about the butterflies as we can get. We need it from the whole area of the Czech Republic and from different times of the year. This cannot be achieved by a small number of professional entomologists. This is why we are trying to involve the general public. We are trying to recruit people to send us their observations of butterflies either via e-mail or by snail mail. One does not have to be a specialist, nor know all of our 143 butterfly species. It is enough if the people interested in this project can recognize a few butterflies, tortoiseshells, swallowtails, sulphurs. The project has its own web page: where one can find all that is needed for this collaboration. I would like to stress that we appreciate every record you can send us, even if it be the only single observation you made, such as that you saw a Peacock Butterfly, Inachis io Linné, at your cottage. Volunteer observers have been sending us tens of thousands observations every year. We can then analyze those data statistically and we can trace the correlations between the occurrence of the butterflies and weather to see the impact of various land management methods. Or, to be more precise, we hope that we will be able to do such analyses. In order to illustrate what we are aiming to, I would like to give an example of our colleagues in Great Britain, where a similar project has been running for more than twenty years. The British entomologists are getting almost 250,000 observations every year. Such a giant data set contains a lot of valuable information.

FV: Those who would like to send their observations to the databank entomologists do not even have to know butterflies. It is enough if people take a photo of a butterfly and note where and when the photo was taken. Is that right?

MK: Digital photography is a great help. One does not have to know butterflies. It is possible to take a picture of the butterfly, even if held in hand in the case of smaller or more timid species. We will respond to every record we receive, will identify the butterfly for the sender, and will put the information into our database.

FV: What should be the result of this project?

MK: A new atlas of butterfly distribution will be one of the results of this project. It is planned to appear in 2012. We published a similar Atlas in 2002, but that one was not complete, since it lacked broader public participation. This time we expect better coverage of the area, a finer mapping grid, and a host of other information, such as annual fluctuation of butterflies, ten-year trends, etc. We have already been working with those data. Another feature of the butterfly distribution data is that they are available upon request to anyone who asks for them. For instance, if you want to know which butterflies are known from the Jindrichuv Hradec area, you can contact us on our web pages and we will send you a list. We are sending this information to the nature conservation organizations, municipalities, district and regional offices and to anyone who asks for it. For non-commercial purposes, this information is provided free-of-charge. The data are already widely used. When there is some development planned for a certain area, or if there is a new road being built, we are asked if this would result in the destruction of an important butterfly locality. Plans are then adjusted accordingly. The data were also used in the designations of new protected areas within the action Natura 2000. My colleague Jiri Benes is in charge of answering those requests and he would be able to tell you about many interesting aspects of his work.

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