ISSN 1188-603X

No. 425 April 14, 2010 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: J. Ginns with thanks to Else Vellinga for her suggestions

An extraordinary lady, Leni had broad interests and was talented in a number of fields. And she was a prolific letter writer; using neither computer nor typewriter. All of the nearly 3 cms thick stack of her letters to me were hand-written.

Leni was born August 13, 1921 to a family of horticulturists that specialized in mainly growing orchids but also roses and other flowers in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands. Her father was a well known orchid grower and Leni enjoyed some orchids from her father's greenhouse all the time she lived in Edmonton. She attended Wageningen University and was awarded a Masters degree in horticulture. 1949 was an eventful year! In May her marriage to Johan August Schalkwijk, a forestry student, was followed by their immigration to Canada.

They resided in Edmonton, Alberta but spent many enjoyable months each year at the cottage on Sandy Lake. By 1968 Leni was avidly collecting mushrooms and, since she had always liked to sketch and paint, was rendering them in watercolors. Seven of her paintings can be seen on the Edmonton Art Club's gallery. She had exhibitions at the Edmonton Art Gallery, Museum of Alberta (Edmonton), the Glenbow Museum (Calgary), Canada's Museum of Civilization (Ottawa) and several other locals.

Leni soon realized that she was finding quite a number of mushrooms that she could not find names for. So in 1973 she wrote to mycologist David W. Malloch at the Canadian National Mycological Herbarium in Ottawa. This began a 30 association with the mycologists at that centre, esp. D.W. Malloch, S.A. Redhead, J. Ginns and K.N. Egger.

However, her contact with mycologists was not limited to the Ottawa group, e.g., from 1976 to 1981 she was writing and sending specimens to A.H. Smith at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. And in 1974 Leni joined the Netherlands Mycological Society and in 1988 the North American Mycological Association.

She had a number of projects aimed at attracting more people to mushrooms. Her 1975 booklet Mushrooms of the Edmonton Area treated 16 common mushrooms, each depicted in a black & white drawing by Leni, provided an introduction for persons who were beginning to collect or eat wild mushrooms. During the 1970s and 1980s Leni taught courses in the field identification of mushrooms. In 1987 she and Randy Currah founded the Edmonton Mycological Society (since 2007 known as The Alberta Mycological Society).

Leni Schalkwyk's Checklist of Alberta Fungi, published in 1989, was an annotated list of her collections. Many were of species not previously recorded in Alberta. Nearly all of the included species were represented by a voucher deposited in a reputable herbarium, thus making it possible for future students to confirm the names she and colleagues used.

The author of a number of mycological works, Leni's most extensive was the 1991 field guide to 550 mushrooms of western Canada. The book was illustrated by 107 full-page, color plates of her watercolors. The plates are 45 x 30 cm with 2 to 11 species per plate with many species represented by five fruiting bodies. To prepare the plates Leni used her earlier paintings, each usually depicting one species, and repainted them to form the plates. The plates show several widespread mushrooms painted from Arizona, Holland, Ontario, South Africa, and Spain collections; these distant locals were Leni's way of letting readers follow her travels.

Following the death of "my best friend," Johan in 2004, Leni moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where her daughter Tilly lived. Leni died January 31, 2010; her ashes to be spread, next to Johan's, in the Alberta forest they loved so well. She is survived by daughters Johanna, Tilly, and Grace, son Leo, and their families.

Selected Publications

Schalkwyk, H.M.E. 1975.
Mushrooms of the Edmonton Area. Published by the author, Edmonton. Reprinted 1977 and 1987. 32 p.
Schalkwyk, H.M.E. 1989.
Leni Schalkwyk's Checklist of Alberta Fungi. The Stinkhorn (Edmonton Mycological Club) 3 (1): 166.
Schalkwijk-Barendsen, H.M.E. 1991.
Mushrooms of Western Canada. Lone Pine Press, Edmonton. 414 p. Issued in the United States titled Mushrooms of Northwest North America.
Schalkwijk-Barendsen, H.M.E. 1991.
Checklist of fungi to accompany the book MUSHROOMS OF WESTERN CANADA. Published by the author, Edmonton. 68 p.


From: Jamie Fenneman

In late July of 2008, I discovered a relatively robust and well-established population of the exotic and highly invasive grass Brachypodium sylvaticum (Huds.) P. Beauv., also known as the Slender False-Brome, along roadsides and forest edges of the Cowichan Lake area, Vancouver Island. This population was quite extensive and occurred along several kilometers of roadsides west of the community of Youbou. This is the first record of this species in British Columbia, and suggests that it is now expanding widely beyond its primary area of infestation in western Oregon.


Brachypodium sylvaticum is native to Eurasia and northern Africa, and was first encountered as an exotic species in North America at Eugene, Oregon in 1939. It has since spread aggressively throughout much of western Oregon, especially in the Willamette Valley (Eugene, Albany, Salem, Portland), and currently covers an estimated 10,000 ha of forested and open habitats in that state. For many decades, B. sylvaticum was known in North America only from western Oregon(Barkworth 2007 and False-Brome Working Group 2006), but in 2003 a small population was discovered in coastal California (San Mateo County) and in 2007 it was discovered in southwestern Washington (Skamania County, Cowlitz County). In Washington State it is classified as a Class A Weed requiring eradication (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2010) and it is tracked in California (California Invasive Plant Council 2010) . With the discovery of this species on Vancouver Island, it appears that it is continuing to spread throughout the Pacific Northwest and threaten native species and ecosystems.


This is a large and relatively distinctive grass, and is unlike any other native or naturalized grass in British Columbia. It is a perennial and loosely cespitose species, with erect or ascending culms reaching a height of 120 cm or more. The nodes are pubescent (the best identification character of sterile plants!), and the broad (5-12 mm), flat, lax leaves are sparsely pilose on both surfaces. The racemes are suberect to pendent, and contain 3-12 rather distant spikelets arising directly from the rachis on short (<2 mm) pedicels. The spikelets are large (2-3 cm in total length), terete, and contain 6-16 (rarely more) florets. The glumes are unequal, acute, and usually pubescent, with the lower glumes 6-9 mm long and the upper glumes 8-11 mm long. The lemmas are 6-12 mm in length, lanceolate, and sparsely hairy on the backs, with straight or weakly flexuous awns 7-15 mm in length.

At first glance, Brachypodium sylvaticum is most reminiscent of the widespread and common Bromus vulgaris (Hook.) Shear, particularly in the pendent inflorescence, overall size of the plant, and appearance of the spikelets. In Brachypodium, the spikelets arise singly from the rachis and are on very short pedicels. Bromus vulgaris, in comparison, has a branched inflorescence with the spikelets at relatively long pedicels. This allows for relatively easy identification. In fact, this species is so distinctive that the population on Vancouver Island was first noticed from a moving vehicle!


Brachypodium sylvaticum is capable of completely dominating the understory of forests as well as open habitats such as meadows, grasslands, and fields, to the exclusion of almost all competing species (both native and exotic). It has a very wide ecological amplitude, especially with respect to light availability, and survives equally well in both dim forest understories as well as the full sun of open habitats. It produces copious amounts of "seeds" which are easily spread through a variety of means. Long-distance seed dispersal is usually associated with logging activities, roadside maintenance, and recreational activities (hiking, camping, etc.), while a large proportion of short-distance dispersal occurs via wildlife (especially ungulates, such as deer and elk). During invasions, it has been observed to initially disperse along roadsides and forest edges before moving into undisturbed forests or open habitats. Infestations grow from "weed epicentres", which can be either a cluster of plants or even a single plant. This mode of spreading renders control extremely difficult, because even single missed plants can act as new epicentres for infestation after control efforts have ceased. The species is of poor palatability for wildlife, and is therefore typically avoided by these species as a food source. Finally, the dense layers of thatch that build up in areas of infestation may also alter fire regimes and increase the risk and rate of spread of wildfires.


Once established, this species is exceedingly difficult to control. Herbicides (e.g., glyphosate/Roundup), which are usually applied in late summer or fall, have proven to be moderately effective in some environments, but their use near waterways and in sensitive ecosystems is not ideal. Manual control methods, including mowing and burning, appear to be ineffective, as does hand removal of individual plants (except in very small patches). Hand removal is further complicated by the ability of this species to regenerate from even small root fragments that might remain in the soil.

Although no non-chemical treatments have been found to be effective in battling this species when used in isolation, a combination of non-chemical methods (e.g., mowing, hand pulling) with chemical application has shown some successes. For example, combining a multi-year mowing regime (mowing in early July) with fall herbicide treatment has shown to be relatively successful in exhausting the seed bank while continuously killing the mature and immature plants. However, given the costs and effort associated with these treatments (especially for large infestations), preventive measures such as cleaning footware and clothing after visiting areas with known infestations are likely the best method for limiting its spread in the Pacific Northwest. Overall, it appears that containment of known infestations is the best solution given our current understanding of the control of this species.


Barkworth, M.E. 2007.
Brachypodium. Pages 187-192 in Barkworth M.E., K.M. Capels, S. Long, L.K. Anderton and M.B. Piep, eds. Flora of North America, Volume 24, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, Part 1. Oxford University Press, New York.
California Invasive Plant Council. 2010.
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false-brome).
False-brome Working Group. 2003.
Invasive Plant Alert False-brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum). Available at
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. 2010.
2010 Weed List.


From: Paul M. Catling (1) and Michael J. Oldham (2) (1)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environmental Health, Biodiversity, Saunders Bldg., Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6 Canada (2) Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, Ontario.

No species of Pyracantha is listed as an escape from cultivation in Ontario (Catling 1997, Newmaster et al. 1998). However, Pyracantha coccinea M. Roemer, was reported by Gregory (2003) from the Niagara Gorge, and later by Oldham (2010) as a rare escape in the Niagara region on the basis of Gregory's report. A specimen supporting these reports, determined by P.W. Ball and confirmed by us, is located at TRTE. The specimen is without fruit and cannot be determined to variety

The next escaped plant of Pyracantha coccinea was found approx. 16 km to the west. This 0.5 m tall shrub occurred in vacant land with a variety of weedy plants including Centaurea spp. in gravelly soil at the St. Catherines train station. The site appears to have always been a train yard and the plants in the immediate vicinity are aggressive weeds and well known escapes, with no plants that persist after cultivation. The circumstantial evidence thus strongly suggested that the shrub was an escape from cultivation. This fruiting specimen was identified as var. lalandii Dipp (see below). On 28 February 2010 when the shrub was noticed it had characteristic dark greenish-red leaves and orange fruit making it very conspicuous in white snow. At a distance it appeared to be a scraggly Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). Since there was only a single plant in a habitat destined for development in the near future (Stationmaster, pers. comm.) it did not appear to be a serious threat. However the early stages of spread of this low shrub could easily go undetected. The abundant fruit and thorny stems would likely provide some advantage to a spreading invasive and dispersal by birds could enable rapid and long distance colonization.


Everlasting Thorn was reported (sub Cotoneaster pyracantha (L.) Spach) by Fernald (1950) to be escaped from cultivation in the eastern US north to Pennsylvania (Fernald 1950). It is now well established in the south (Nesom 2010) and also known to be naturalized in New York (Nesom 2010) and has been reported as naturalized in British Columbia, first by Scoggan (1978) and more recently by Douglas et al. (1999). The native range extends from southern Europe to western Asia and it is naturalized in Europe, South Africa, Australia and Japan (Nesom 2010).

Pyracantha coccinea is available in many nurseries in southern Ontario and is reported as capable of growth to hardiness zone 6, but some cultivars are listed as hardy north to and including zone 4. It is recommended as a hedge, ground cover and for general landscaping. Among the advantages listed are long-lasting attractive berries, trespass-inhibiting thorns, and twigs that resist consumption by deer.


With climate warming it is conceivable that this southern naturalized plant will begin to escape from cultivation more widely in Canada. This may be hastened by the increasing urbanization of rural areas which leads to a strong development of horticultural flora, a major source of alien and invasive plants.

Although the berries are sometimes reported to be attractive to birds, overripe Pyracantha berries cause disorientation in waxwings leading to excessive mortality (Fitzwater 1988). In the south, the naturalized plants sometimes form impenetrable thickets that exclude other species (M. Klyn, Texas Parks and Wildlife, pers. comm.).


Pyracantha coccinea is easily distinguished from the somewhat similar species of Cotoneaster by its crenate leaf margins. Other useful identification features are the persistent leaves, small fruits (ca. 1 cm) in short, broad more or less flat-topped clusters, 5 connate pistils, 5 nutlets each with two fertile ovules, and leafy thorns. Pyracantha coccinea differs from other escaped and commonly cultivated species of Pyracantha in North America in its glabrous leaves with crenate margins and pointed tips (Nesom 2010). The var. lalandii apparently differs from the typical variety in being more vigorous and hardier and has less deeply crenate leaves and larger fruit that is orange-red instead of bright red (Rehder 1937, Bailey 1949). The relationship between this and Pyracantha crenulata (D. Don) M. Roemer var. crenulata (see Ku and Sponberg 2003) is unclear.


Pyracantha coccinea M. Roemer, Fam. Nat. Syn. Monogr. 3 : 219. 1847. The name is conserved (nom, cons.) against the heterotypic synonym (Vienna ICBN, Art. 14.4 & App. IV) Mespilus pauciflora Poir., nom. rej. (Muñoz and Aedo 1998, Brummit 2000). nom. nov. for Mespilus pyracantha L.

Synonyms include: Mespilus pyracantha L., Sp. Pl. : 478. 1753. Crataegus pyracantha (L.) Medik, Gesch. Bot. 84. 1793. Mespilus pauciflora Poir. in Lamarck, Encycl. 4 : 441. 1798. Cotoneaster pyracantha (L.) Spach, Hist. Veg. Phan. 2: 78. 1834. See also (Muñoz and Aedo 1998)

SPECIMEN EXAMINED: ONTARIO: Regional Municipality of Niagara: vacant ground at St. Catherines train station, 43.14849N, -79.25839W, P.M. Catling, B. Kostiuk, 28 Feb. 2010 (DAO); limestone ledge along the Niagara Gorge at Sir Adam Beck Generating Station, (approx. 43.13654N, -79.05082W, accuracy likely correct to within 2 km) D.R. Gregory, 4 June 2003 (TRTE).


Bailey, L.H. 1949.
Manual of cultivated plants most commonly grown in the United States and Canada. The MacMillan Company, New York. 1116 p.
Brummitt, R. K. 2000.
Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 49. Taxon 49: 268.
Catling, P.M. 1997.
The problem of invading alien trees and shrubs: some observations in Ontario and a Canadian checklist. Canadian Field-Naturalist 111: 338-342.
Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger & J. Pojar. 1999.
Illustrated flora of British Columbia, vol. 4, Dicotyledons (Orobanchaceae through Rubiaceae). British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC. 427 p.
Fernald, M.L. 1950.
Gray's manual of Botany, 8th ed. American Book Company, New York. 1632 p.
Fitzwater, W.D. 1988.
Solutions to urban bird problems. Proceedings of the thirteenth vertebrate pest conference, University of Nebraska. Pp. 254-259.
Gregory, D. 2003.
Sir Adam Beck Natural Areas Survey. Ontario Power Generation.
Ku T. and S.A. Spongberg. 2003 (online).
Pyracantha. Flora of China 9: 108 - Page 108. Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at
Muñoz G. F. and C. Aedo. 1998.
(1335) Proposal to conserve the name Pyracantha coccinea against Mespilus pauciflora (Rosaceae). Taxon 47:171172.
Nesom, G. 2010.
Pyracantha (Rosaceae) naturalized in Texas and the southeastern United States. Phytoneuron 2010 2: 1-6.
Newmaster, S. G., A. Lehela, P.W.C. Uhlig, S. McMurray, & M.J. Oldham. 1998.
Ontario plant list. Ontario Forest Research Institute, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), Forest Research Information Paper 123.
Oldham, M. J. 2010.
Checklist of the vascular plants of Niagara Regional Municipality. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. 212 p.
Rehder, A. 1937.
Manual of cultivated trees and shrubs hardy in North America. MacMillan Co., New York. 930 p.
Scoggan, H.J. 1978.
The flora of Canada, part 3 Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences Publications in Botany 7(3): 547-1115.


From: Adolf Ceska
Sell, Peter & Gina Murrell. 2009.
Flora of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 3: Mimosaceae Lentibulariaceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. xxvii+595 p. ISBN 978-0-521-55337-7 [hard cover] US$260.00
Ordering information:

From the cover:

"Planned in five volumes, this critical flora provides a definitive account of the native species, naturalised species, frequent garden escapes and casuals found in the British Isles. Full keys and descriptions will enable the user to name all plants occurring in the wild, plus some ornamental trees and shrubs. For the first time detailed accounts of all the large apomictic genera are given and many infraspecific variants included. Each species entry begins with the accepted Latin name, synonyms and the common English name. A detailed description follows, including information on flowering period, pollination and chromosome number. Separate descriptions are given for infraspecific taxa. Information on the status, ecology and distribution (including worldwide distribution) of the species and infraspecific taxa is also given."

The work is an outstanding continuation of the modern British floras that started (at least for me) with Clapham et. al. (1952) and followed with Stace (1991, 1997). While Stace's two editions omitted apomictic species, many of the infraspecific taxa and most of the hybrids, this flora deals with them in full. With full treatments of infraspecific taxa, Sell & Murrell's Flora reminds me of Rothmaler's Kritischer Band of the Exkursionsflora of Deutschland (see Jager & Werner 2005). There the apomictic taxa were dealt with differently in the various "Band # 4" editions, but that's always better than to ignore them.

In the Acknowledgements Dr. Sell mentions the inspiration Stace's flora had on him. He also hints that a new edition of Hybridization and the Flora of British Isles is being prepared a group of botanists under the direction of C.A. Stace.

This volume is a wonderful, user-friendly work. Treatments of apomictic taxa and infraspecific variation and an extensive bibliography makes this work indispensible not only for the British Isles, but also for other regions with circumpolar species or with European introductions. It is a pity that the high price makes it out-of-reach to many of the students who could profit from this scholarly work.

Sell and Murrell's book is the third volume of the five-volume Flora of Great Britain and Ireland. Like the five-volume Hitchcock, et al., Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Cambridge Press has been publishing their volumes backwards, from the fifth one to the first. The first (or last?) three volumes have been published so far.

Here are the published titles in the series:

The two volumes not yet published are:

To view some introductory chapters go to


Clapham, A.R., T.G. Tutin & E.F. Warburg. 1952.
Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Jager, E.J. & K. Werner (2005):
Rothmaler - Exkursionsflora von Deutschland, Band 4, Gefäßpflanzen, Kritischer Band. Ed. 10. Spektrum Akad. Verlag, München.
Stace, C. A. 1991.
New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Stace, C. A. 1997.
New Flora of the British Isles. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

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