ISSN 1188-603X

No. 554 December 17, 2020 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6


From: David C. Shaw and Christopher A. Lee. Expansion of the invasive European mistletoe in California, USA. Botany. 98(9): 517-524.

ABSTRACT The horticulturist Luther Burbank introduced the European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) to Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California, USA, around 1900 to grow as a Christmas ornament crop and tincture for medicinal use. The mistletoe has since spread from the point of introduction on apple to other hardwood trees, especially non-native hardwoods in yards and farms of the region. Mistletoe surveys were previously conducted in 1971, 1986, and 1991. We re-surveyed the region in 2019, with emphasis on the 1991 perimeter, and documented the current farthest distribution of V. album. This represents a 120-year record of spread. We observed infected trees up to 24.6 km (15.3 miles) from the point of introduction, doubling the farthest distance reported in 1991. The estimated area encompassed by mistletoe-infected hosts increased from 184 km2 (71 miles2) in 1991 to 606 km2 (234 miles2) in 2019. We also updated the host species list including both native and non-native mistletoe hosts. Viscum album spread appears to be limited by available habitat and hosts, but within the survey area it is intensifying, concentrated in urban and semi-urban yards, streets, and farms. However, Viscum album was also commonly found in riparian areas, where it has a large number of native hosts.


From: Brunton, D.F., M.A. Krichbaum, R.S. Krichbaum, and P.C. Sokoloff. 2020. Distribution and status of Howell's Quillwort (Isoetes howellii, Isoetaceae) in Canada and its relation to Bolander's Quillwort (Isoetes bolanderi). Canadian FieldNaturalist 134(3): 252-264.

ABSTRACT The sparsely documented lycophyte, Howell's Quillwort (Isoetes howellii), occurs in Canada in four distinct areas of British Columbia in a variety of microhabitats. Before 2010, two areas of occurrence were known in Canada. Two additional clusters of occurrences have been discovered in the last decade. In Canada, Isoetes howellii is found in open, ephemeral wet swales, shallow ponds, and periodically flooded shorelines, channels, and back beach meadows. Habitat rarity may be the primary reason for the large gaps between areas of occurrence. The current viability of the Canadian population is dependent on maintaining the recently discovered large number of individuals in the North Thompson River Region. Isoetes howellii shares many similarities with fellow diploid, Bolander's Quillwort (Isoetes bolanderi). The possibility that it represents a low-elevation subspecies of I. bolanderi requires further investigation. Isoetes howellii is rare in British Columbia and warrants consideration as a species at risk in Canada.


From: [abbrev.]

Baral H.O., Weber E. & Marson G. 2020._Monograph of Orbiliomycetes (Ascomycota) based on vital taxonomy. Part I + II. National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg, 1752 p. Whether you are aware of it or not, while combing the forests for mushrooms, you inevitably brush past members of the class Orbiliomycetes. Species often produce small (<1 mm diameter), translucent, waxy, very thin, disc-like fruiting bodies (apothecia) that can be a wide variety of colours, often white, cream, yellow, orange, or pinkish. Apothecia are commonly found on decomposing wood on the ground and dead branches attached to the tree.

When it comes to the taxonomy and ecology of Orbiliomycetes, and ascomycetes in general, Hans-Otto Baral ("Zotto") is among the most knowledgeable and respected mycologists around. The breadth and depth of his knowledge are astonishing, and he collaborates with an untold number of mycologists worldwide. Zotto's 30+ years of extensive, meticulous, and passionate collecting and studying of Orbiliomycetes have recently culminated in the publication of this much-anticipated monograph. These two volumes hold a whopping 1752 pages, involving the treatment of more than 500 species that are richly illustrated in more than 1000 plates. These authoritative tomes dive deep into all things Orbiliomycetes: taxonomy, nomenclature, morphology, molecular biology, ecology, history and more. The incredible detail and scale of this monograph are quite simply amazing.

The Monograph of Orbiliomycetes is available through the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg for 150 Euros; that includes both volumes and postage. Instructions on ordering this significant contribution to mycology can be found at the following link: Believe it or not, the link above will also allow you to download both volumes in their entirety (100 or 200 DPI resolution)--for free!


From: Adolf & Oluna Ceska

We have been in touch with Hans-Otto Baral (Zotto) and his wife Evi since summer 2013, when he helped us with the identification of Orbilia and similar ascomycetes that we collected on Observatory Hill and other locations in BC and Canada. Many of Oluna's Orbilia collections turned out to be new, yet undescribed species. In one of the newly described species, Oluna is the first author , and the species was named to honour our friend, Bob Brett, a forest ecologist in Whistler, BC, and the organizer of the Whistler annual BioBlitz's:

Orbilia brettii O. Ceska, Baral, G. Marson & E. Weber, sp.nov.

The type specimen of Orbilia brettii was collected in Pemberton, BC, during the Whistler BioBlitz 2017, one that was organized by Bob Brett: CANADA: British Columbia, 1 km NE of Pemberton, W of Mt. Currie, the eastern bank of Lillooet River, 210 m, branch of Populus trichocarpa, on wood, 3.VI.2017, O. & A. Ceska (ex HB 10130, M-0291755, holotype; sq.: MH221063).

According to Baral et al., "Orbilia brettii resembles under the microscope O. eucalypti at first glance in hymenial characters, but it differs by cupulate apothecia with an often crown-like margin made up of prominent glassy processes and paraphyses that partly tend to be spathulate and slightly larger, especially wider ascospores with minute ampulliform spore bodies. The species somewhat resembles members of series Microsomates, but our molecular analysis did not place it clearly in that series, but in the neighbourhood of O. cylindrospora, which differs from O. brettii in various morphological details."

"O. brettii is only known from the type collection on dry, dead decorticated branches of Populus trichocarpa in a cold-temperate humid alluvial forest with Corylus cornuta and mainly Populus trichocarpa in a valley of the Coast Mountains (Pacific Ranges) in the Pacific maritime zone of southwestern Canada."

The following Orbiliomycetes from British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies are listed in Baral et al. 2020, Monograph: [For our O. & A. Ceska collections, go to our Orbilia Mushroom Observer List: ]

Amphosoma resinicola Baral & G. Marson, sp. nov., Jasper, AB - on Picea resin Orbilia brettii O. Ceska, Baral, G. Marson & E. Weber, sp. nov. Pemberton, BC, Orbilia canadensis Baral & G. Marson, sp. nov., Rocky Mtns. AB, BC [?Orbilia eremaeae Baral, sp. nov. collection from Observatory Hill, BC, came close to this Australian species ] Orbilia flagellispora (Raitv. & R. Galán) Baral & G. Marson, comb. nov. - Jasper, AB Orbilia flavida Feltgen - UBC, BC Orbilia flexisoma Baral & G. Marson, sp. nov., Spillimacheen, BC Orbilia spathulate Baral & G. Marson, sp. nov, Spillimacheen, BC [?Orbilia subclavuliformis Baral, E. Weber & Priou, sp.nov. - Observatory Hill, BC, ] Orbilia trapeziformis Baral & G. Marson, sp. nov. Observatory Hill, BC, Orbilia vibrioides Baral, Priou & G. Marson, sp. nov - UBC; Observatory Hill, BC, Orbilia xanthostigma (Fr.) Fr. - Observatory Hill, BC,


From: Adolf Ceska

Quite a disturbing news came from the Burke Museum Newsletter:

"Adjunct Mycology Curator Dr. Joe Ammirati will be retiring in the next few years, meaning the Herbarium would be without a research mycologist for the first time in a century. To address this, the University of Washington launched a campaign in December 2018 in partnership with the Stuntz Memorial Fund to build the endowment principal to $500,000. Their ultimate goal is to build the endowment principal to support a half-time, Ph.D. research mycologist to conduct field and collections-based research, expand WTU mycological online resources, and build a community around the collections."

"We are delighted to report that we have reached and even slightly surpassed our initial fundraising goal through major gifts and pledged matches. We want to thank James and Diann Robbers, Lynn Phillips and Warren Bakken, Gary and Beth Laursen, Jim and Birte Falconer, the Peg and Rick Young Foundation, and the Stuntz Memorial Fund for this initial success. To read more about Dr. Stuntz, visit If you would like to know more about this campaign, please contact Dick Olmstead ( or David Giblin (mail to:"

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