BEN # 80
aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Mon Oct 24 12:20:52 EST 1994
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No. 80 October 24, 1994
aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
POLLINATION OF EPIPACTIS HELLEBORINE (ORCHIDACEAE)
From: Marilyn Light <009211 at acadvm1.uottawa.ca>
[compiled from <polpal-l at herman.cs.uoguelph.ca>]
Epipactis helleborine is a European orchid that, since it was
first reported at Syracuse, New York in 1879, has spread to
appropriate habitat from coast to coast. This orchid was first
reported in Illinois by Julian Steyermark in 1954. More details
may be found in "An Introduction to the Ecology of the Illinois
Orchidaceae" by Charles Sheviak (Illinois State Museum. Scien-
tific Papers XIV, 1974). Wasps (Vespidae) were reported as
pollinators of Epipactis helleborine in Europe by Darwin 1877 in
"The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilized by
insects." William Judd reported four species of wasp feeding at
flowers of E. helleborine in "Wasps (Vespidae) pollinating
Helleborine, Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz at Owen Sound,
Ontario" (Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario
(1971) 102:115-119). The species were Vespula arenaria, V.
consobrina and V. vidua. He also observed a Polistes fuscatus
worker feeding in the flowers.
I study native orchids including their population dynamics,
inter- and intra-clonal reproductive compatibility and mycor-
rhizal associations. I work primarily with Epipactis helleborine
and Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens. I also have some
interest in the reproductive strategies of Platanthera psycodes.
Recent studies have included tracking the movement of pol-
linators (Vespula sp.) by colouring the pollen with a dye and
looking for dyed pollen on the stigmas of other nearby flowers.
I have found that there is a higher incidence of visits between
flowers on the same inflorescence than between plants. Another
investigation has employed ultra-violet reflectance photography
as a technique to determine whether or not a flower has been
pollinated. Pollinated stigmas of E. helleborine become par-
tially UV reflective within 15 minutes post-pollination, totally
UV absorptive within 30 minutes. Investigations of pollen ger-
minability with this species suggest a good case for pollen
While I have never seen Polistes feeding in the flowers, I have
observed Vespula visits. The orchid flower has two pollinia
attached to a sticky projection (viscidium). These pollinia are
fragile sacs which fragment fairly readily after they are taken
from the flower. The wasp alights, bends forward to lap nectar
from the flower lip, and while doing so brushes the viscidium
with the head. When the wasp backs out of the flower, it carries
the pollinia on its head. Wasps can collect quite a few pollinia
over time. Each time a pollen-carrying wasp visits a flower,
pollen is left on the stigma. Occasionally an entire pollinium
is deposited intact.
Wasps visit flowers repeatedly, whether or not the flowers have
been previously visited/pollinated. Visits normally last 2-5
seconds although they can be considerably longer if the wasps
get 'drunk' on the nectar. On August 9 I observed a wasp carry-
ing one pair of pollinia enter a virgin flower, leave then re-
enter the same flower a few seconds later. It then visited two
other previously pollinated flowers on the same stem. The same
wasp then moved to another plant 25 cm distant and visited
Flowers 8,6,5,8,1,3,2, all of which had been previously pol-
linated. It then left the site. (Flowers are numbered from the
base of an upright inflorescence.) This inflorescence had 42
buds/flowers, 11 of which were open. I had just self-pollinated
Flower 11 approximately five minutes prior to the pollinator
visit and had removed Flower 10 for photographic record.
I have observed some anomalies which may be of interest. Most
orchids such as E. helleborine produce pollen in tetrads. I have
observed some plants producing monads interspersed amongst the
tetrads. These monads are essentially giant undivided grains.
They do not germinate in vitro. Another plant produced tetrads
with two of the four elements shriveled. In this instance, all
the tetrads were similarly affected. Normal elements germinate
in vitro. Any suggestions as to what might be causing such
anomalies would be appreciated.
University of Ottawa Chairman, Conservation Committee, Canadian
GIVE-AWAY JOURNALS - MADRONO
From: "Jo Bohanan" <jo_bohanan at library.lib.ncsu.edu>
(Natural Resources Library, North Carolina State University)
We have the following issues of the journal Madrono (A West
American Journal of Botany published by the California Botanical
Society) available to anyone who would like to have them:
Jan. 1957-Jan. 1973.
If interested, please send e-mail to
jo_bohanan at ncsu.edu
PLANT SYSTEMATIST POSITION - UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
From: Mary Piper <piper at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
The Department of Botany invites applications and nominations
for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in
systematics of higher plants.
The successful candidate must be qualified to teach under-
graduate and graduate courses in plant systematics, develop a
rigorous research program in molecular plant
systematics/phylogeny/evolution, and curate a major Herbarium.
There is extensive opportunity to develop collaborations within
the Department of Botany and with other units on campus as well
as the potential to attract graduate students in systematics
through departmental fellowships.
A Ph.D. in Botany or a related area is required. Postdoctoral
experience is desirable. Candidates should exhibit potential for
independent and innovative research and teaching, and a willing-
ness to cooperate with a broad spectrum of biologists on campus.
Salary: Commensurate with education and experience.
Position available: September 16, 1995 but may be extended if
suitable candidates are not found.
To apply: Send a letter of application with a statement of your
teaching and research experience and interests, curriculum vitae
and a list of publications (up to three reprints may also be
sent), and arrange to have three letters of recommendation
forwarded to: Dr. E. Van Volkenburgh, Chair Search Committee,
Department of Botany, KB-15, University of Washington, KB-15,
Seattle, WA 98195.
Phone: 206-543-1942, FAX 206-685-1728, e-mail Mary Piper,
piper at u.washington.edu.
Priority will be given to applications received by 30 November
The University of Washington is building a culturally diverse
faculty and strongly encourages applications from women and
Goward, Trevor, Bruce McCune, & Del Meidinger. 1994. THE LICHENS
OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, ILLUSTRATED KEYS. PART 1, FOLIOSE AND
SQUAMULOSE SPECIES. Special Report Series No. 8, B.C. Ministry
of Forests, Victoria, B.C. 181 p. ISBN 0-7726-2194-2 [soft
Available from Crown Publications Inc., 521 Fort Street, Vic-
toria, B.C. V8W 1E7, Phone: (604) 386-4636, Fax: (604) 386-0221,
Price: CDN$ 32.00
Hurd, Emerenciana G., Goodrich, Sherel, & Nancy L. Shaw. 1994.
FIELD GUIDE TO INTERMOUNTAIN RUSHES. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-306.
Ogden UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Inter-
mountain Research Station. 56 p.
Abstract. This guide provides technical descriptions of 23
Intermountain rushes (Juncus spp.), including the common and
several less abundant species. Line drawings and color or black
and white photos illustrate diagnostic characteristics of each
species. An illustrated morphology and a glossary acquaint the
layperson with the terminology used to classify rushes. The
guide is intended as a tool to aid in classification; it is not
Greuter, W., J. McNeill, et al. 1994. INTERNATIONAL CODE OF
BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE (TOKYO CODE) 1994. Adopted by the Fif-
teenth International Botanical Congress, Yokohama, August-
September 1993. Regnum Vegetabile Vol. 131. Koeltz Scientific
Books, Koenigstein. 389 p.
Available from: Koeltz Scientific Books, P.O. Box 13 60, D-61453
Koenigstein, Germany. Phone: (+49) 0617493720, Fax: (+49)
06174937240, Price DM 60.00
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