ISSN 1188-603X

No. 433 March 3, 2011 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Jim Pojar with the help of Ray Coupe, & Elizabeth Easton

Botany BC 2011 will run from the evening of Thursday July 14th through to Sunday July 17th. The hub of the organization will be centred out of the Bracewell's Lodge and the Lincoln Creek Ranch in the Tatlayoko Lake region.

Ray Coupe has this to say: "The Tatlayoko Valley is a great place for Botany BC. It offers a range of ecosystems and being in a coast/interior transition there are some interesting vegetation assemblages (Holodiscus with subalpine fir). The Potato Range has abundant wildflowers in the parkland and on south slopes in the MS above Bracewell's. The hike up the Potato Range is at least 2 hours at the north end. Hiking up from Bracewell's probably offers more wildflowers but will take about 3 hours of steady uphill climbing. This trail is a very good trail and goes through some warm aspect balsamroot Lomatium nudicaule meadows. The parkland has been grazed for several years.. MFR has a cow exclosure at each end of the Potato Range. The one at the south end was established to look at the effect of grazing on the density and size of Claytonia lanceolata corms. I have some data from this exclosure."


Pamela Camp & John G. Gamon [in collaboration with Joe Arnett, David Giblin, Catherine Hovanic, Jack McMillen, & Jeanne Ponzetti]. 2011. Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Washington. University of Washington Press, Seattle. ISBN-13: 9780295990927 (Paperback). Price: US$39.95

We are extremely pleased to announce the completion of Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Washington. This work is the product of a long collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management, the Washington Natural Heritage Program, the Washington Native Plant Society, and the Burke Museum of the University of Washington. Sonja Nelson and Maria Yousoufian prepared the layout, and a multitude of photographers, artists, writers, and botanical reviewers contributed their work. Grants to support publication were provided by the Pendleton and Elisabeth Cary Miller Charitable Foundation and the Mountaineers Foundation; the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service provided financial support through the long history of the project.

The book was conceived to fill the long standing need for a comprehensive guide to the rare plants of Washington. These species are of great conservation significance, as well as of aesthetic and scientific value. The book includes treatments of all of the plant species currently designated as endangered, threatened, or sensitive in Washington: 317 vascular plants, six mosses, and one lichen. Each species treatment displays color photographs of the plants and their habitats, line drawings, and distribution maps. The text presents full descriptions, tips on identification, times when the species are most readily identifiable, and information on habitats and associated species. The book also includes a discussion of rarity and rare plant conservation, the synonymy of the species included, and descriptions of the ecoregions of Washington.

Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Washington has two purposes: to offer a window into the beauty and diversity of the rarest plants in the state, and to serve as a field reference for individuals who seek to find and identify these uncommon species.

Authors envision two general audiences. The first includes serious amateurs, professional botanists, and agency field staff who need a practical reference to identify rare plant species in Washington. These individuals typically rely on the Flora of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock and Cronquist (1973). Unfortunately, that excellent reference is increasingly out of date. Of the 324 species designated as endangered, threatened, or sensitive in Washington, fifty-five do not occur in Hitchcock and Cronquist at all, and sixty-six are treated under different names, necessitating a cross reference. Having confidence in identification is a high priority for these users, and the accurate technical descriptions, detailed drawings, and updated synonymy provided in the book will be critical to them.

The second, much broader, audience includes people with a keen interest in natural history, who enjoy identifying the plants they encounter in nature, and who are intrigued by this rarest component of the Washington flora. Typically these people use one of the excellent photographic references available. However, these popular guides are by necessity abridged and focus on the more common species, and include few of the rare species treated in the new book. Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Washington would be a useful and interesting complement to either the technical flora or to the many widely used photographic books.

Collaborating Organizations:

  1. The Washington Natural Heritage Program
  2. The Bureau of Land Management
  3. The Washington Native Plant Society
  4. The University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum.


From: S.F. Lomer, Honourary Research Associate, UBC Herbarium, Vancouver, B.C. e-mail:

Acorus americanus (Raf.) Raf. - Acoraceae

Rare and widespread in the BC interior, very rare in the Fraser Valley. Sweetflag has been collected from two wetland sites in Pitt Meadows (UBC: V.C. Brink s.n., T. Barnard 107), but has not been reported since 1973 Recent search efforts in the Pitt River area over the past fifteen years have revealed nothing until 2009 when I rediscovered a dense stand at the site where Vernon Brink collected it near South Gilley Slough, Pitt Meadows (UBC: Lomer 7083). The Eurasian Acorus calamus L. was recently collected In Clark Co., Washington State (Christy 1994) and in Oregon (Christy & Systma 1994). The two species differ in their chromosome level, fertility, and leaf venation (Packer & Ringius 1984, Thompson 2000).


Christy, J. A. 1994.
Noteworthy collections, Washington. Madrono 41: 332. Christy, J. A. & M.D. Sytsma. 1994.
Acorus calamus, Cabomba caroliniana, Mimulus ringens. Noteworthy Collections. Madrono 41: 333.
Packer J.G. & G.S. Ringius. 1984.
The distribution and status of Acorus (Araceae) in Canada. Can.J.Bot. 62(11): 2248-2252.
Thompson, S.A. (2000).
1. Acorus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 324. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5; 151, 1754. Pp. 124-127 in the Editorial Committee.: Flora of North America Volume 22: Magnoliophyta: Alismatidae, Arecidae, Commelinidae (in part), and Zingiberidae.

Anagallis minima (L.) Krause - Myrsinaceae

This diminutive annual had not been collected in the Fraser Valley prior to about 1999. Since that time it has been discovered at 8 sites in the Greater Vancouver area (UBC: Lomer 5668). All sites were man-made habitats and I believe that this species is a recent introduction here. It has been found in cranberry bogs, sand dredgings, disturbed peaty road clearings, gravelly roadside depressions, cleared moist gravel flats, old gravel pits, and wet field pools. It appears to be spreading. Syn: Centuculus minimus L.; Lysimachia minima (L.) U. Manns & A. Anderb.

Anemone virginiana L. - Ranunculaceae

One of the most remarkable species to occur in the Fraser Valley. This Anemone was collected by John Macoun from "woods" near Agassiz in 1889 (CAN: Macoun 931). I had assumed it was extinct long ago, if there was not a Label mix-up, but in 2010 I found a very small patch of Anemone virginiana in an alluvial meadow on an island in the Fraser River southwest of Agassiz.

Berula erecta (Huds.) Coville - Apiaceae

Local in the Okanagan, very rare in the Fraser Valley. This semi-aquatic perennial was collected near Popkum in 1938 (UBC: Glendenning s.n.) and thought to be extinct in the Fraser Valley. It was rediscovered in the Fraser Valley near Cultus Lake by Jamie Fenneman in 2008. It is abundant and dominant in a beaver dam complex on Department of National Defence land (UBC: Lomer 6756). For such a dominant population (at this site), it is surprising that it is not found elsewhere in suitable habitat. So far no other sites have been discovered, despite several searches in suitable habitat nearby, as well as west to Sumas Mt. and east to Hope.

Bidens amplissima Greene - Asteraceae

This variable species is present in the Fraser Valley from Delta to Chilliwack. The Fraser River delta contains plants that are morphologically confusing. These are rather tall slender estuary plants with long petioles and long fruits bearing long spines (UBC: Lomer 6765). It appears the slender habit is largely an environmental response to tidal inundations, while the long fruit, over 2 cm long, is genetic. Dozens of fruits were collected from Fraser estuary plants in Richmond and the longest fruit bodies averaged 13 mm and the spines averaged 8.5 mm. The longest fruit body was 17 mm and the longest spine 10 mm. These fruit traits held when plants I collected were grown under garden conditions in my front yard.

Taking these plants into account as part of the variation within the species, then it appears Bidens amplissima is more widespread than reports indicate. It can be found north to the Kimsquit River near Bella Coola (V: C. Clement KE8327) and south to Whatcom, Snohomish and King Co. of Washington State (Ganders et al. 2002). Occurrences in southern Manitoba and northwestern Nebraska may represent ephemeral introductions ( ).

Further collecting is needed to find its full range.

Bidens amplissima has recently been collected at several new sites in the Fraser Valley. It occasionally pops up as a waif along roadsides, in soil dumps and in agricultural fields, presumably spread by animals onto which the ripe fruits readily cling. Late season plants with limited growing time are mostly small, rayless and often lack any indentation on the leaf margins. This variability makes for a difficult species to identify.


Ganders, F., R. Klinkenberg, & B. Klinkenberg. 2002.
British Columbia loses an endemic species: Bidens amplissima (Asteraceae) also occurs in Washington State. BEN # 293 - July 12, 2002

Bidens vulgata Greene - Asteraceae

Despite the name, this species is very rare and not weedy in BC. It was found for the first time in the Fraser Valley during the CDC survey in 2008. A relatively small population was discovered in a ploughed field below Sumas Mountain (UBC: Lomer 6829) growing with Bidens amplissima, Bidens Cernua L. and Bidens tripartite L. I assume this population was introduced unintentionally as part of waterfowl enhancement plantings, so the origin may be from outside the province. Not observed in the natural wetlands nearby and not expected at other sites in the Fraser Valley, except perhaps as an introduction. It can be told from the common Bidens frondosa L. by its more numerous flower head bracts, yellower disc flowers, wider fruit and sturdier habit.

Callitriche heterophylla Pursh var. heterophylla - Callitrichaceae

In British Columbia, Callitriche heterophylla subsp. bolanderi (Hegelm.) Calder & Taylor is common, but the nominal variety is not often collected. Records exist from the Vancouver area, including Coquitlam (UBC: Lomer 90-7), Surrey (UBC: Lomer 91-125A) and Pitt Lake (V: Brayshaw 78-794B) so it should be expected in more wetland sites in the Fraser Valley.

Caltha palustris L. - Ranunculaceae

Marsh marigold, an early-flowering marsh plant is very local along the tidal shores of the Fraser River in bare muddy sites (UBC: Lomer 91-32). Known from approximately 26 sites along the north and south arms of the Fraser River in Richmond. Elsewhere in BC few sites are known, and always in estuaries or tidal influenced waters: Skeena River estuary (Forest Service Herbarium Skeena district, Smithers, BC: Pojar 99004), also locally frequent along lower Unuk River close to the border with Alaska, north of Stewart (Jim Pojar, pers. comm.). The Fraser river shores which it inhabits are generally under threat from shoreline dyking and development.

The American native populations of Caltha palustris were sometimes treated as a separate subspecies, C. palustris subsp. asarifolia (DC.) Hulten.

Caltha palustris, marsh marigold, is a popular garden plant and it has Been observed as an escape from cultivation. These plants are virtually identicalto our native populations, but usually the escaped plants are more floriferous and compact and grow away from tidal marshes, usually in parks and urban sites where they look somewhat out of place compared to the native vegetation. Plants of the North American native populations also show a stronger tendency to root at the internodes.

Cardamine parviflora var. arenicola (Britton) O.E. Schulz - Brassicaceae

An easily overlooked annual that is rarely observed in BC. It is rather difficult to identify due to a similarity with other common Cardamine species. It is a little different because it has very narrow leaflets throughout and often grows on drier sites than the other bittercresses. Known in the Fraser Valley only from a very small population in Port Coquitlam (UBC: Lomer 91-58) that may be extirpated. Its native status in the Fraser Valley isuncertain, in my opinion. Elsewhere it is known in BC only from oldcollections from Nanaimo and perhaps Goldstream (specimens not verified).

Carex amplifolia Boott - Cyperaceae

This attractive broad-leaved sedge is very local in the Fraser Valley, but rather widespread elsewhere in BC and further collecting will likely prove it is not rare in BC. It is most commonly found in the Burnaby Lake area south to the Fraser River, with an outlier population near UBC (UBC: Krajina s.n.). Elsewhere it is known in the Fraser Valley from Clayburn, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Itcan be expected in boggy seeps, wet ditches and other wet sites that are not too saturated year round.

Carex comosa Boott - Cyperaceae

Local in the Okanagan, rare elsewhere. Old collections from the Fraser Valley from 1912 (UBC: Henry s.n.) up to 1978: Chilliwack; McDonald Park, near the Park on "Goose Lake" (V: Ceska et al. 1163). Surprisingly, it was discovered at three new sites in the Fraser Valley in 2008, after going un-noticed for a period of several years. It is well adapted to disturbed marshy shores and should be secure in the protected areas it has been found in: Cheam Wetlands Regional Park (UBC: T. Taylor 116), Burnaby Lake (UBC: Lomer 7065), and Sumas Mt. waterfowl habitat on private property. Also found in 2010 in a railroad ditch west of Agassiz, and a wetland east of Agassiz. I suspect that, though native in the Fraser Valley, it has also been introduced as part of waterfowl enhancement plantings. I was told this was done in Cheam Wetlands Regional Park.

Carex hystericina Muhl. ex Willd. - Cyperaceae

Collected from dredged sand in Coquitlam, east of Vancouver (UBC: Lomer 98-183), but this was an impermanent site from preload dumpings prior to Building construction. The seed must have been washed down the river from sites in the interior where this rare species is known from the Fraser River drainage, among other places. In 2010 a single plant was observed along a sandy meadow shore on an island southwest of Agassiz. So it appears this species can arise naturally from seeds brought down the Fraser River originating from interior plants. [Editorial note: Carex hystricina (Porcupine Sedge) would have been a more proper name than Carex hystericina (Hysterical Sedge), but the ICBN does not allow this orthographic correction. - Adolf Ceska]

Carex interrupta Boeck. - Cyperaceae

Until about 1996 this species was rarely collected or seen in BC. In subsequent years it has proven to be an abundant species, but one of rather restricted habitat in the Fraser Valley. It grows primarily along the eroding firm mud banks of the Fraser River and proximal tributaries from Hope to Surrey (UBC: Lomer 97-36). Rarely elsewhere such as a boggy ditch in Richmond near the Fraser River (UBC: Lomer 96-20). Still rather rare overall and somewhat threatened by habitat destruction, especially dyking for riverside development. It looks somewhat like Carex lenticularis Michx., except that it is rhizomatous and grows in dense colonies, the lowest spikelet is often remotely flowered in the proximal portion (interrupted) and the perigynium is smaller.

Carex scoparia Schkuhr ex Willd. var. scoparia - Cyperaceae

This sedge is most abundant in BC in the Fraser Valley. It grows in wet sites that may dry out by summer's end or remain wet year round. It does well in disturbed man-made habitats such as wet fields, hydro line right-of-ways, roadside ditches, and boggy clearings. It can best be recognized by its leafy, clumped habit and compact, to somewhat loosely arranged, often nodding heads of pointed spikelets. It has been recorded from 30 sites in Greater Vancouver, mainly in the Burnaby-Coquitlam-Surrey area (UBC: Lomer 96-190), and is also locally frequent east to Chilliwack.

Carex vulpinoidea Michx. - Cyperaceae

This densely leafy sedge is occasionally encountered in low wet sites from Vancouver to Chilliwack. Recorded from 8 sites in Greater Vancouver, it is most frequent between Abbotsford and Chilliwack (UBC: Faris 142). It does well in wet grassy clearings such as ditchbanks and road verges, is somewhat adapted to disturbance, and is not really threatened by development unless there is wholesale removal of the natural vegetation.

Cephalanthera austiniae (A. Gray) Heller - Orchidaceae

This myco-heterotroph occurs on both sides of the Fraser River, e.g., (UBC: Kennedy 5079; UBC K. Tye s.n; UBC: H.H. Ross, s.n.). It is extremely rare here and apparently does not flower every year, so it may remain dormant for long periods. Syn.: Eburophyton austiniae (Gray) Heller

Ceratophyllum echinatum A. Gray - Ceratophyllaceae

An aquatic plant, much like the common C. demersum L., but it is more slender and its leaves are three-times dichotomously divided. Also, its fruits have winged margin with several spines between the terminal spine and the basal ones. It tends to grow in oligotrophic sites that are not too common in the Lower Fraser Valley: Devil's Lake, west of Hope (V: Ceska & Mitchell 1861) and in Mill Lake in Abbodsford (V: Ceska & Mitchell 1572). In addition to these localities, Ceska & Ceska (1980) reported C. echinatum from several sites on Vancouver Island and from One-Mile Lake near Pemberton (V: Ceska & Ceska 1534). In the western North America, Ceratophyllum echinatum occurs from Oregon to northern British Columbia (Les 1986). Les (l.c.) mapped its distribution and concluded that it is an eastern North American species with disjunct parts of its total area in western parts of North America. This distributions is the result of repeated glaciations. There are several other aquatic species in British Columbia that have a similar distributional pattern: e.g., Heteranthera dubia (Jacq.) MacM., Myriophyllum farwellii Morong, Myriophyllum pinnatum (Walt.) B.S.P., Myriophyllum quitense Kunth, Potamogeton oakesianus J.W. Robbins, Potamogeton strictifolius Benn., Utricularia gibba L., and Wolffia borealis (Engelm. ex Hegelm.) Landolt ex Landolt & Wildi.


Ceska A. & O. Ceska. 1980.
Additions to the flora of British Columbia. Canad. Field-Naturalist 94: 69-74.
Les, D. H. 1986.
The phytogeography of Ceratophyllum demersum and C. Echinatum in glaciated North America. Canad. J. Bot. 64: 498-509.

Chamaesyce serpyllifolia (Pers.) Small subsp. serpyllifolia - Euphorbiaceae

A rare prostrate annual that grows along sandy receded pool, pond and lake margins in southwest and south-central BC; not dry sites as reported in most literature. Though the sites may by dry when the plants are mature, this species seems to require saturation during dormancy unlike the similar and common Chamaesyce glyptosperma (Engelm.) Small, which is a weedy species often found along roadsides. In BC C. serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia is known from a few lakeshores on Vancouver Island, the Thompson River from Spence's Bridge to Kamloops, Shuswap Lake, and the Okanagan from Osoyoos North to Vaseux Lake.

Chamaesyce serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia was found for the first Time in the Fraser Valley during the Conservation Data Centre survey in South Langley along a sandy receded lakeshore that was once a gravel pit (UBC: Lomer 6887). About 40 plants were growing with Corrigiola litoralis L., Anagallis minima (L.) Krause, Lindernia dubia var. anagallidea (Michx.) Cooperr., and Plagiobothrys scouleri (Hook. & Arn.) I.M. Johnst. In 2010 more than 100 plants were observed at the same site.

Clarkia amoena var. caurina (Abrams) C.L. Hitchc. - Onagraceae

There is a small population of this attractive annual species growing on south-facing rocky knolls on Sumas Mountain (UBC: Lomer 4433). It is more common on the Gulf Islands and southern Vancouver Island, but it could be expected from other south-facing rocky bluffs in the Fraser Valley. It is not known elsewhere on the BC mainland.

Claytonia washingtoniana (Suksd.) Suksd. - Portulacaceae

This species is an allotetraploid derived from hybridization of two common diploid parents: Claytonia perfoliata Donn ex Willd. and C. sibirica L. (Fellows 1971, Miller & Chambers 2006). It grows on mossy rock outcrops on the north side of the Fraser River from Horseshoe Bay east to Harrison Lake (Miller & Chambers 2006). It is early flowering from March to May and typically grows on low diversity mossy sites that dry out completely by the end of spring.


Fellows, C.E. 1971.
A cytotaxonomic study of the origin of Claytonia Washingtoniana. M.S. Thesis. Humboldt State College, Arcata. [_non vidi - cited in Miller & Chambers 2006.]
Miller, J.M. & K.L. Chambers. 2006.
Systematics of Claytonia (Portulaceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 78: 1-236.

Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidel - Poaceae

Coleanthus subtilis has a very fragmented area of distribution. It is rare in central Europe, with historical records in Russia and Austria (Hejny 1969, Woike 1999). It was recently discovered in southern Poland (Fabiszewski & Cebrat 2003). In Asia it has been recorded in the Ob River watershed (Taran 1994) and in the Amur River floodplain (Nechajev & Nechajev 1972, 1973).

In North America this species was first collected by T.J. Howell on Sauvie Island near Portland, OR in 1880 and later along the Columbia River from Bingen, WA to Portland, OR by W. Suksdorf and others from 1883 to 1927. In British Columbia it was first spotted by O. & A. Ceska at Shuswap Lake in September 1989 and a few days later collected by M.E. Martin on Sept. 18, 1989 (V: Martin, s.n.). The same year, A. & O. Ceska collected it again on Sauvie Island, OR (V: A. & O. Ceska 26885) and on Hatzic Lake in the Lower Fraser Valley (V: A. & O. Ceska 26868) - see also Ceska (1995). At the BOTANY BC 2002 in Castlegar, O. Ceska spotted two plants of Coleanthus subtilis at the exposed bottom of Lower Arrow Lake near Syringa Creek Provincial Park (A. Ceska, personal communication).

The North American botanists were puzzled by the occurrence of this species in North America and either considered it introduced (Hitchcock et al. 1969: 539) or were confused about its native status there (Flora of North America vol. 24: 618). Recently, Catling (2009) reported Coleanthus subtilis from the Northwest Territories and concluded that it should be considered "native at all of its North American sites" and gave several valid arguments for this thesis: 1) its restricted and unusual habitat; 2) global rarity; 3) suffusive rarity, which has sometimes been mistaken for introduction; 4) occurrence in botanically rich regions and close association with rare native species; 5) relatively early [or late] year of collection; 6) distribution corresponding to well recognized native pattern; 7) lack of evidence of spread to anthropogenic habitats; and 8) the fact that it is easily overlooked by early collectors because it appears at intervals of several years only when water levels have dropped sufficiently.


Fabiszewski, J. & J. Cebrat. 2003.
Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidel - a new species to the Polish vascular flora. Acta Soc. Bot. Poloniae 72: 135-138.
Hejny, S. 1969.
Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Deidl in der Tschechoslowakei. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 4: 345-399.
Necajev, A.P. & A,A, Necajev. 1972.
Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidl in the Amur Basin. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 7: 339-347.
Nechaev AP, Nechaev AA. 1973.
Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidl. v priamurskoi chasti areala. [_Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidl. in the Amur part of its area.] Bot. Zhurn. 58. (3): 440-446.
Woike, S. 1969.
Beitrag zur Verkommen von Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidl (Feines Scheidenbluetgrass) in Europa. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 4: 401-413.
Taran, G.S. 1994.
Floodplain Ephemeretum of Middle Ob - a New Class for Siberia, Isoëto-Nanojuncetea Br.-Bl. et Tx. 1943 on the Northern Border of Expansion. Siberian Journal of Ecology 5: 578-582.
Woike S. 1969.
Beitrag zum Vorkommen von Coleanthus subtilis (Tratt.) Seidl (Feines Scheidenblütgrass) in Europa. Folia. Geobot. Phytotax. 4: 401-413.

Crassula aquatica (L.) Schoenl. - Crassulaceae

A local plant of muddy sites usually along major rivers in BC such as the Columbia, Fraser, Harrison, Pitt and Pend d'Oreille Rivers. It is abundant and co-dominant in tidal mudflats along the lower Fraser River from Steveston to Langley and along the Pitt River to Pitt Lake, as well as east To Harrison Lake (UBC: Straley 6267). It is widespread in southern BC from Vancouver Island to the Rocky Mt Trench. Now it is known from enough sites that I suggest its removal from the BC rare plant tracking list. Syn.: Tillaea aquatica L.

Cuscuta campestris Yunck. - Cuscutaceae

This parasitic species looks like a tangle of orangey string and can grow on a variety of hosts including cultivated plants. It has been found in the Vancouver area growing on potato plants in a garden and basil in a greenhouse (UBC: Lomer 6701). In the Fraser River Valley, it has not yet been found outside of Greater Vancouver.

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