ISSN 1188-603X

No. 507 August 17, 2016 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6

DR. ARTHUR R. KRUCKEBERG (MARCH 21, 1920 – MAY 25, 2016)

From: Prof. Richard Olmstead


Art Kruckeberg, Emeritus Professor of Botany, University of Washington, died on May 25, 2016, at age 96. Art left a legacy as a scholar, teacher, promoter of gardening with native plants, and conservation activist.

Art joined the Botany Department as an Assistant Professor in 1950 after completing his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. He grew up in California and was imbued with all things botanical from an early age; his family owned a publishing house called Kruckeberg Press, which published gardening and horticultural publications. He began grad school in 1941 at Stanford, where he spent the previous summer as a field assistant for the famous botanical research team of Jens Clausen, David Keck, and William Heisey (Clausen, Keck, and Heisey rolls off the tongue of most botanists the way Tinker, Evers, and Chance does baseball aficionados).

Due to forces beyond his control, graduate study would have to wait. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Art enlisted in the Navy and was recruited into their language program, where he learned Japanese. He spent the rest of the war years and a year of postwar occupation, translating Japanese documents and interpreting interrogations of captured Japanese prisoners. To the very end of his life, Art was proud of his mastery of Japanese. I had the occasion to spend a week at a conference in Japan with Art in 1989; he could still speak the language AND remembered the plants he had seen there even though it had been over 40 years since he had left Japan.

After the war, he returned to California to start grad school again, this time at Berkeley. He completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Herbert Mason, with Hans Jenny and G. Ledyard Stebbins on his committee. Mason had recently begun studying the unique flora found on serpentine soils in California. Art's dissertation (An Experimental Inquiry into the Nature of Endemism on Serpentine Soils) helped bring the descriptive work on serpentine endemism into the realm of experimental science. Art maintained a research program on serpentine plants throughout his career, writing several books for both academic and lay audiences, in addition to a significant body of scientific publications.

Once Art's academic bona fides were well established, he increasingly devoted his attention to public outreach through his writings, promotion of conservation activism, and pushing for the establishment of environmental legislation to preserve lands for their value to biodiversity. In 1972, he led the movement to create the Washington Natural Area Preserves Act, in 1973, he developed the first list of rare and endangered plants in Washington, in 1976 he helped found the Washington Native Plant Society, in 1982 he helped create the Washington Natural Heritage Program within the Department of Natural Resources to oversee management of natural area preserves and endangered species, and during those years also served on the US Forest Service commission to identify parcels of federal land to preserve as Research Natural Areas. Art was awarded the prestigious Peter Raven Award for public outreach in botany by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists in 2006.

Art leaves a living legacy in the form of the 4-acre garden he and his wife Mareen developed over the course of 50 years in Shoreline. This is the "type garden" for his most widely known book Gardening with Native Plants in the Pacific Northwest. This book has turned on generations of gardeners to the joy and conservation value of using our native flora in home gardens. When the book was first published, it won the "Governor's Award" for outstanding books published by Washington authors. The Kruckeberg Botanic Garden is now a public garden owned by the City of Shoreline and managed by the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation.

Art served on my Ph.D. committee and I have a debt of gratitude for Art's support over the years. During the last few weeks, I have been sorting through the detritus of a career left behind in Art's last office in the Plant Lab. With news of his passing, the many memories into the man who influenced me so, take on additional meaning. A legion of friends, colleagues, and many who never met him, but were influenced by his work, will mourn his passing.

Gifts in honor of Art can be directed to the Kruckeberg Foundation or to the endowment he created in the Department of Biology for Plant Biology. Please make checks out to the University of Washington, with "Kruckeberg endowment" on the memo line. Questions? Contact Lisa at or 206.685.2185.

Plates accompanying this BEN obituary are posted at

Plate 2/4: Top:
ARK 1992 Photo by Josef Scaylea; Polystichum kruckebergii Photo by Ryan Batten Bottom: Two giants of the PNW botany: A.R. Kruckeberg and C.L Hitchcock
Plate 3/4: Top: ARK & Mareen 2001 Photo by Norm Plate; ARK playing bassoon Middle: ARK & Mareen in Sierra 1954; ARK & Enid, Mt. Rainier 1977 Bottom: ARK June 1927; ARK Oct. 1943 Boulder
Plate 4/4 Top: ARK Crossword puzzle on 370 bus; ARK July 1983 UW herb garden Bottom: ARK Siskiyou collecting trip; ARK hiking trip

Editorial Note by Adolf Ceska

In March 2000, BEN brought a series of postings dedicated to Art Kruckeberg on the occasion of his 80-th birthday:

In BEN # 246, I mentioned how Art and I visited a music store selling sheet music. Art was a member of a wind quintet group in Seattle and he was browsing through the wind quintet musical scores. It was a strange experience for me who cannot read the music scores. In spite of my ignorance, I recommended Art to buy the score of the Czech composer Leos Janacek's wind quintet Mladi (Youth). It was a discovery for Art. Here it is:


From: Barbara Ertter Walter H. Lewis. 2016. Madroño 63(3):268-280.

ABSTRACT The relationships of Rosa gymnocarpa Nutt. in connection with historical sect. Gymnocarpae Crep. and recent publications on Rosa phylogeny are discussed, noting the relative isolation of the species within the genus. All synonyms and segregate taxa are addressed; a lectotype is designated for the species and other names as needed. Two subspecies are recognized: subsp. gymnocarpa, primarily west of the Cascade-Sierra axis, and subsp. helleri (Greene) Ertter & W. H. Lewis, occurring from southeastern British Columbia and northwestern Montana to the northern Sierra Nevada in California. Subspecies gymnocarpa is further divided into var. gymnocarpa and var. serpentina Ertter & W. H. Lewis. A key, range descriptions, and representative specimens are provided for infraspecific taxa. Extensive zones of intergradation occur where the ranges intersect, especially in the Klamath and Siskiyou ranges of northeastern California and adjacent Oregon; intermediates are also common in northern Idaho and adjacent states and provinces. Presumed hybrids with sympatric species are discussed, including some across ploidy levels. Nothospecies R.x henryana W. H. Lewis is described for the hybrid of R. gymnocarpa and R. nutkana C. Presl; R.x collaris Rydb. (pro sp.) is transferred to nothospecies status as the hybrid of R. gymnocarpa and R. woodsii Lindl.


1a. Lateral flowering shoots usually several on straight unbranched axis of simple stem architecture, 0.3–7(17) cm (sometimes a short spur with fascicled leaves, especially near coast); branch angle (35–)40–70(80)8; prickles 1–8(10) mm, most often numerous, sometimes sparse, rarely absent, infrastipular pairs often prominent (especially near coast); lateral leaflets 2–4 pairs, terminal leaflet (0.5–)1–3(4) cm long; petals 7–12 mm long; mostly west of Cascade- Sierra axis, also scattered along Columbia River . . . . . . . . . .subsp. gymnocarpa

2a. Lateral leaflets commonly (2–)3–4 pairs, terminal leaflet elliptic to obovate or ovate, apically 6 obtuse or sometimes nearly acute or rounded, (0.5–)1–3(6) cm long; pedicels (1–)1.5–2.5(3.5) cm long; plants to 1.5(2.5) m tall; generally in partial shade in and at the edges of forests on non-ultramafic substrates; range of subspecies, 3–1300(1800) m, flowering (February) April–July . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . var. gymnocarpa

2b. Lateral leaflets commonly 2 pairs, terminal leaflet broadly elliptic to nearly round, apically broadly obtuse to rounded, sometimes nearly truncate, 0.4–2 cm long; pedicels 1–1.5 cm long; plants to 0.6 (1.3) m tall; full sun in ultramafic chaparral and dwarf forests; Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California, 150–1500(2300) m, flowering April–June . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . var. serpentina

1b. Lateral flowering shoots usually on separate axes of openly branched stem architecture, (1–)2–9 cm; branch angle 20–55(65)8; prickles 1–5(8) mm, most often sparse to absent, sometimes abundant, infrastipular pairs rarely prominent (except in Sierra Nevada); lateral leaflets 2–3(4) pairs, terminal leaflet (1–)1.5–4.5 cm long; petals 10–14 mm long; mostly east of Cascade-Sierra axis, generally in partial shade in and at the edges of forests on non-ultramafic substrates, (120–)900–1800 m, flowering May–August. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . subsp. helleri


Kruckeberg A..R. 1951.
Intraspecific variability in response of certain native plant species to serpentine soil. American Journ. Botany 38: 408-4l9
Kruckeberg A..R. 1957.
Variation in fertility of hybrids between isolated populations of the serpentine species; Streptanthus glandulosus Hook. Evolution 11: 185-211
Kruckeberg A..R. 1958.
The taxonomy of the species complex, Streptanthus glandulosus Hook. Madrono 14:217-227
Kruckeberg A..R. 1967.
Ecotypic response to ultramafic soils by some plant species of northwestern United States. Brittonia 19: 133-151.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1969a.
Soil diversity and the distribution of plants, with examples from western North America. Madrono 20: 129-154.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1969b.
Plant life on serpentinite and other ferromagnesian rocks in northwestern North America. Syesis 2: 15—114.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1982, 1996, 2013.
Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest: Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged . Univ. of Washington Press, Seattle and London .
Kruckeberg A..R. & J.L. Morrison. 1983.
New Streptanthus taxa (Cruciferae) from Califonia. Madrono 30: 230-244.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1985.
California serpentines: flora, vegetation, geology, soils, and management problems. Univ. Calif. Publications in Botany Vol. 78.
Kruckeberg A..R. & D. Rabinowitz. 1985.
Biological aspects of rarity in higher plants. Annual Reviews of Eco1ogy and Systematics 16: 447—479.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1986.
An essay: The stimulus of unusual geologies for plant speciation. Systematic Botany 11: 455—463.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1991.
An essay: Geoedaphics and island biogeography for vascular plants. Aliso 13:225-238.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1993.
Serpentine biota of western North America. Pp. 19-23 in Baker A.J.M., Proctor J. & Reeves R. D. The Vegetation: of ultramafic (Serpentine) Soils.- Eds. Andover, UK: Intercept. 19-23
Kruckeberg A..R. & R.D. Reeves. 1995.
Nickel accuulation by serpentine species of Streptanthus (Brassicaceae). Field and greenhouse studies. Madrono 42: 458-469.
Kruckeberg A..R. 1995.
Ecotypic variation in response to serpentine soils. In Pac. Div. AAAS Symposium vol. Ecogeographic Races - Turesson to the Present.
Coleman, R. G. & A.R. Kruckeberg. 1999.
Geology and plant life of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountain Region. Natural Areas Journal 19: 320-340
Kruckeberg A..R. 1999.
Serpentine barrens of western North America. Pp. 300-321 in Anderson R.C, Fralish J.S. & Baskin J.M. [eds.] Savannas, Barrens and Rock Outcrop Plant Communities of North America. Chapter 19. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Kruckeberg A..R. 2002.
Geology and Plant Life: The Effects of Landforms and Rock Types on Plants. Univ of Washington Press, Seattle.
Kruckeberg A..R., Spring I., Sykes K. & Romano C. 2004.
Best Wildflower Hikes Washington (Best Hikes). The Mountaineers Books. Cordee Press, Leicester, England.
Kruckeberg A..R. 2006.
Introduction to California Soils and Plants: Serpentine, Vernal Pools, and Other Geobotanical Wonders. Univ. of Calif. Publications. Vol. 286 University of California Press, Berkeley.

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