ISSN 1188-603X

No. 480 July 30, 2014 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O. Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


September 11-14, 2014
Nature Conservancy of Canada, near Creston, BC

The 5th Annual Wilf Schofield Bryophyte and Lichen Foray will be held at the Nature Conservancy of Canada land near Creston, BC. Come explore the "Darkwoods." Registration Fee: $15.00, Registration by 15 August and mail registration form to:

See more at:


From: Sharon Niscak with additional information added by Elizabeth Easton and Agnes Lynn

With an enthusiastic passion for botany, approximately 85 participants gathered at the beautiful campus at Pearson College UWC on the shores of Pedder Bay in Metchosin for the annual Botany BC event. Botany BC 2014 began on the evening of Thursday June 26th with opening remarks and greeting from David Hawley, the director of Pearson College. Three esteemed speakers, Richard Hebda, Michael Hawkes and Hans Roemer provided an enthralling peek at the history of the area and the botany we would be viewing over the next couple of days. Field trips and evening talks reflected the wide ecological niches of the region. These outings were designed for all levels of fitness from the easy access high elevation trips to the rugged mountain hike. Fortunately the numbers of people in each trip evened out so that most field trips only had 20 or so in each.

The Witty's Lagoon field trip featured plants of particular interest for ethno-botanists. Some of key food and medicinal plants used by First Nations were observed such as Achillea millefolium, Rosa nutkana, Grindelia integrifolia, Lomatium nudicaule and Allium acuminatum. Leader Andy McKinnon noted that a large patch of the bright red parasitic dodder Cuscuta salina, out on the point, was his highlight.

Being a wet weekend, it was most appropriate to pull on the beach shoes or gum boots and wade out in the waters at Whiffin Spit at low tide in the morning. We had wonderful leader Michael Hawkes who was assisted by Bryce Kendrick and Diane Bernard and they pointed out the characteristic identifying markers, habitat and zones for the various seaweeds and algae. Diane also described culinary uses. Although I use "seaweeds" almost daily, my appreciation was increased for the species that thrive in our cool coastal waters, especially in areas not polluted by human sewage and outfalls. How blessed we are to have the waters of the Pacific touch the outer coast of Vancouver Island.

After a tour and tasting experience at the Tugwell Creek Meadery, we made our way out to Sandcut Beach along a woodland trail and stopped to look at Trautvetteria caroliniensis and Boykinia occidentalis in the boggy area. The tide was in and several of us admired the variety of rocks, most polished by the force of water and looked for Honckenya peploides on the beach. The lecture on the geology of the region by Nick Massey that evening proved to heighten our geological curiosity. We had stopped and rested under the undercut sandstone where Sandcut Creek falls onto the beach. We looked for fossils at the waterfall as a light rain added atmosphere to this westcoast experience.

So as to offer something for those who like to scramble up rough terrain, James and Kristen Miskelly and Joel Ussery offered a look at what the rocky bluffs above the area are like in this Mediterranean climate. They moved through the lush forested areas of the dry Douglas Fir/Shore Pine/Arbutus woods to reach the undisturbed grass balds where native grasses and early summer flowers mixed with the tough bryophytes clinging to the rocky mounds.

Friday night, after everyone had dried off and had a relaxing dinner at Pearson College dining hall, we once again gathered at the Max Bell Theatre to enjoy the evening speakers. First up were Andy MacKinnon and Moralea Milne providing an excellent summary of the Metchosin BioBlitz followed by Nick Massey who regaled us with tales of terranes and plates in his talk about "The Ocean beneath your feet - Geology of the Metchosin - Sooke area".

The next day we headed to the San Juan Ridge. I chose the lower and shorter trip. This trip, like its longer equivalent, was offered both days. This trip proved to be a most rewarding experience. Sharon Godkin and Agnes Lynn were excellent leaders and provided time to linger, examine plants and photograph the bog plants and pause to enjoy the mist and fog that enclosed the area. Patches of red sundew, both Drosera anglica and Drosera rotundifolia glowed against the greens of the Marsh marigold and sphagnum mosses. Agnes pointed out the Coptis aspleniifolia in seed and noted that the cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium would be putting on a show later in the season.

Others took the higher elevation San Juan Ridge Trail hike and all reports indicated that the flora was similar to the shorter walk although they did get up high enough to also see the Rhododendron albiflorum in bloom. Hans Roemer led the trip on Friday and Andy MacKinnon led this same trip on Saturday. They were assisted by members of the local Kludahk group who maintain the trail.

On the Saturday, Hans Roemer with Adolf and Oluna Ceska were co-leaders with our very own sphagnum expert Karen Golinski on a visit to a peatland on the Jordon plateau. This bog has exceptional species normally only found at much higher elevations. As well as a good number of flowering plants and sedges, there are almost a dozen sphagnum species in that one area. Too much to cover in a short day trip.

Thanks goes out to the Queesto Community Forest who led us into the active logging areas plus the Capital Regional District Parks and Water Board whose cooperation made these field trips possible.

Saturday evening was another sampling of the amazing work that has or is taking place in British Columbia. Erica Wheeler provided a great overview of the Vascular Flora of BC project and James Miskelly gave a very interesting talk about past work on the Oak Woodland and Meadow Restoration at Rocky Point.

Of course another important component of the evening was the annual AGM where the participants at the current Botany BC nominate and then vote on the location for the next year's Botany BC.

After three rounds of voting the final decision was that Botany BC 2015 will be held at Trophy Mountain/Well Gray Park, north of Clearwater. Details will be posted to the Botany BC website ( ) early in the new year!

On Sunday, many of the participants went out to Avatar Grove and to view Big Lonely Doug with the Ancient Forest Alliance. Some carried on to Mesachie Lake on their way home. With three pairs of sodden footwear in my trunk, I decided that I would make the circle trip later in the month.


From: O. & A. Ceska

During the BOTANY BC field trip to Jordan Ridge wetlands, the participants found several interesting fungi (plus Siphula ceratites lichen). Specimens were identified and preserved for the UBC fungal herbarium by Oluna Ceska and photographed for Mushroom Observer by Adolf Ceska. The most interesting collection was Entoloma with marginate gills that Oluna identified as Entoloma caliginosum. The collections are documented in the Mushroom Observer List: [In the Mushroom Observer (MO) list, if you click on the fungus mane or on the tag photo, you will get an MO observation usually with more photos, and in turn, if you click on the photos there, you can get the particular photos in various sizes. Try it, it works!] The collection of peat bog fungi was not big, but it was interesting. Our thanks go to the BOTANY BC organizers & participants, and especially to Hans Roemer, who took us (and Juliet Pendray & James Holkko) to Jordan Ridge again one week after the BOTANY BC.


From: Stephen Darbyshire Stephen.Darbyshire@AGR.GC.CA

In 1972 the Canadian Journal of Plant Science announced a new series of peer-reviewed articles on the biology of plants that are weedy in Canada. The series, The Biology of Canadian Weeds, resulted from a recommendation by the Canada Weed Committee, an early predecessor of the Canadian Weed Science Society. The purpose is to bring together published and unpublished information on the biology of Canadian weeds in a review format. As an overview of taxonomy/identification, ecology and human-plant interactions, these accounts were intended to provide detailed biological information (including sources), be utilized as a basis for effective, economical and safe control methods and to assist in meeting the information needs of regulatory agencies in Canada. It was also hoped that the series would identify knowledge deficiencies and stimulate further research on the biology of economically important Canadian weeds.

Since the series began there have been more than 150 accounts published on almost 200 species. The value of the series to those interested in weed science as well as plant ecology has been widely recognized and in 1979 Agriculture Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) published the first compilation volume containing the first 32 accounts. As of 2012, four subsequent compilation volumes have been published (the last 3 by the Agricultural Institute of Canada), collating all the accounts up to number 129. The species accounts in each compilation volume are indicated on the list at

A limited number of the compilation volumes 1,3,4, and 5 are available without charge. To receive one or more volumes, send your request, along with your mailing address, to Amanda Ward (Amanda.Ward@AGR.GC.CA).

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