THE prevalent tree

dr at dr at
Thu Oct 29 16:07:56 EST 1992

In article <1992Oct23.201804.26757 at>, toby at (Toby Bradshaw) writes:
> In article <1992Oct23.101905.8015 at> klier at writes:
>>toby at (Toby Bradshaw) writes:
>>> The phrase was "woody plant" and not "tree".  
>>For continental US, my nomination would be Rhus radicans s.l.
>>Or maybe it's just one clump of poison ivy that follows me 
>>Kay Klier  
> We have a winner!  At least, I think we do.  In my (poor, as usual)
> notes from the meeting, Jim Hamrick mentioned that some Rhus species
> is found in all lower 48 states.  If Kay says its radicans, who am
> I to argue?
> Toby Bradshaw
> Department of Biochemistry and College of Forest Resources
> University of Washington, Seattle
> toby at

Nor would I dare argue with a taxonomist/systematist (hi Kay!), but:
Since the origional question was, "[What is] THE most widely distributed
[woody plant in North American?]", and since North America extends far 
beyond the lower 48, the question that keeps running through my mind is: 

What *is* the range of Rhus radicans?

For North America (similar questions for other continents):
-- What is the northern boundery of its range?
   -- How deeply (and widely) does it extend into Canada?
   -- Does it extend into Alaska?  Into the interior? Fairbanks? further?
-- What is the southern boundery of its range?
   -- It seems likely that it extends into Mexico along the 
     Gulf shore; does it extend into the interior, or is
     that too dry?
-- What is the greatest altitude at which it has been observed?

It was named by Linnaeus; when was it discovered?  Is it a correct
inference that it originated in the New World?  Is it known how/when
it spread to other continents?  (Edward Frankel's book obviously has 
not made to our libray yet...)

David Roller  |    Bitnet = dr at auducvax            |  "Because we're all
Auburn Univ.  |  Internet = dr at   |   in this together."

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