BEN # 100
aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Sat Apr 29 09:46:48 EST 1995
BBBBB EEEEEE NN N ISSN 1188-603X
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BBBBB EEEEE NN N N BOTANICAL
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BBBBB EEEEEE NN N NEWS
No. 100 April 29, 1995
aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
BOTANY BC - JUNE 20 - 22, 1995 - SOUTH CHILCOTIN
From: Allen Banner <ABANNER at MFOR01.FOR.GOV.BC.CA>
Planned location: South Chilcotin, Timberwest Gaspard Creek
Logging Camp (approx. 90 km southwest of Williams Lake; 40 km
south of Riske Creek)
Accommodation: Limited indoor sleeping accommodation (?30
people) but plenty of camping opportunities
Dates: June 21 through 23rd, 1995
June 21st: Registration and icebreaker (evening)
June 22nd (am): indoor talks
June 22rd (pm): field trip to grasslands and wetlands
June 23rd (all day): extensive field trip to grasslands and
wetlands (2 groups)
Field trips are planned to: Jamieson Meadows (large diversity of
wetlands), Gang Ranch/Dog Creek grasslands, Junction grasslands
(Junction of Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers), Farwell Canyon, Other
Chilcotin grasslands and wetlands in the area.
Confirmed Speakers: Trevor Goward (grassland lichens), Shirley
Saulkeld (botanical illustrations), Maryanne Ignace / Nancy
Turner (ethnobotany), Allen Banner / Will Mackenzie (BC
wetland/riparian classification), Anna Roberts (local wetlands -
Contact: Allen Banner (ABANNER at mfor01.gov.bc.ca ; tel 604-387-
6688) soon if you are interested in attending. A mailer will be
going out within 2 weeks to our ever-increasing list of Botany
BC "ites" with more details.
MOSQUITO FERN - AZOLLA CAROLINIANA - NEW FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Frank Lomer, Honourary Research Associate, UBC Herbarium,
Vancouver, B.C. c/o <ubc at unixg.ubc.ca>
In December 1994, I was exploring a peat bog in South Burnaby
and came across a small plant I had never seen before. It was
floating at the edge of a large pond in an old peat extraction
site with Lemna minor and Spirodella polyrhiza. It was a
Mosquito Fern (Azolla sp.), a small free floating annual fern-
Two species of the genus Azolla are known to occur in British
Azolla filiculoides Lam. is an introduced plant from Europe. We
have collections at UBC only from within the city of
Vancouver. I have not seen it myself except in a nursery
pond (sold?) with aquatics. It can be distinguished by its
larger size (1-10 cm diameter) and the rather thickly
papillose upper leaf lobes.
Azolla mexicana K.B. Presl is known in Canada only from several
places around Shuswap Lake (Brunton 1986, Goward 1994).
There is some dispute as to whether it is native or intro-
duced there. It can be identified under a microscope by
the crosswalls within the barbed hairs (glochidia)
projecting from the massulae (an aggregation of
The plants I collected were tiny (all under 1 cm, mostly only 5
mm in diameter) and the upper leaf surfaces were smooth. The
plants contained no spores.
A month later, I found the same plant growing in a deep ditch
transecting a huge cultivated cranberry field in Richmond near
the Fraser River. It was growing so thickly that it formed a
mass of living and dead plants a few meters square and more than
10 cm thick in places. It was clogging the culvert debris screen
and lots of dead plants had accumulated along the ditch bank. I
saw more plants at another culvert further along the ditch.
Again, I could see no spores.
On March 5, 1995, I saw another large accumulation of this
Azolla species floating at the end of a deep ditch at another
section of the same cranberry field about 2.5 km further west.
All were dead plants. This time I could see a yellowish-white
powder scattered over the surface of the debris. These turned
out to be microspores which I collected and examined under the
microscope. The glochidia were all without crosswalls. The
species I found fits the description of Azolla caroliniana
Willd., and eastern North American species known in Canada only
from 1962 collection from Hamilton Beach, Ontario which is now
assumed extirpated (Cody & Britton, 1989).
The three areas where I found this plant contained many other
species native to eastern North America, probably introduced
with cranberry stock from long ago.
The voucher specimens are deposited in the UBC herbarium:
"Richmond, near River Rd. E of No 8 Rd. In slough along CN
tracks running along edges of cranberry bog. January 2, 1995.
Coll. Frank Lomer."
Brunton, D.F. 1986. Status of mosquito fern, Azolla mexicana
Salviniaceae in Canada. Canad. Field-Naturalist 100: 404-
Cody, W.J. & D.M. Britton. 1989. Ferns and fern allies of
Canada. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada. 430 p.
Goward, T. 1994. Mosquito fern: Two new records in British
Columbia. Cordillera 1(2): 23-25.
CALL FOR SLIDES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA & ALASKA PLANTS
From: Deb Sholly, US Forest Service, Ketchikan, AK (Phone: 907-
We are looking for slides of the following plants:
Draba borealis var. maxima Platanthera gacilis
Draba kamtschatica Puccinellia glabra
Draba kananaskis Puccinellia kamtschatica
Hymenophyllum wrightii Senecio moresbiensis
Isoetes truncata Stellaria ruscifolia
Ligusticum calderi spp. aleutica
I would like to know what photos are coming, so would appreciate
a phone call. You can send them to:
Deb Sholly, Ecology, US Forest Service, Federal Building,
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901. - Thanks!
COLEANTHUS SUBTILIS ALERT
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca>
I visited Shuswap Lake last weekend and to my surprise found
large stands of moss grass (Coleanthus subtilis) in full bloom.
It looks like the most ideal time to look for this grass along
the mud flats of those lakes and rivers that are fed by water
from glaciers and mountain snow.
In the fall of 1989 we (my wife Oluna, Bryce Bancroft and I)
found Coleanthus subtilis along Shuswap Lake; this was a new for
British Columbia and Canada. Previous collections from North
America were from Oregon and Washington: Sauvie Island near
Portland, muddy shore of Hayden Island at base to I5 bridge, and
Bingen. In 1989 we tried to find Coleanthus on Sauvie Island,
but we found only a few plants on Oak Island, at the N end of a
slough where the road to a boat ramp crosses the dyke.
Coleanthus subtilis is an annual grass and it flowers late in
fall, and evidently also early in spring. Due to its small size
and short time span when it can be found, Coleanthus has been
rarely collected. Now it is time to look for it! I would be
interested in learning more about the distribution of this plant
in the Pacific Northwest. If you find it (and I am sure that you
will if you try), make a collection and write me the location.
A CENTURY OF BEN
From: R.T. Ogilvie <bogilvie at RBML01.RBCM.GOV.BC.CA>
The hundredth issue of Botanical Electronic News should not pass
without some comment. In Botany there are various plant cen-
turies, some pertinent to our purpose, others that are not.
The genus Centaurea (Asteraceae) has nothing to do with one
hundred. The name comes from the Greek kentron - a spur, not
centum - a hundred. Centaurea includes notorious species such as
the noxious knapweeds, star-thistle, etc. The name of these
plants comes from Chiron the Centaur, half-man and half-horse
who, according to myth, taught the medicinal herbs to the an-
cient Greek medical-botanists such as Asclepias. Various species
of Centaurea have been used as herbal tonic, stimulant,
diuretic, diaphoretic, purgative, vermifuge, and goodness knows
Another genus Centaurium (Gentianaceae) has several species,
called Centaury, which have been used as herbal and medicinal
tonics. This genus is also named for Chiron the Centaur.
The Century Plant - Agave americana, got its name from the
belief that it flowered only once in a hundred years. In fact it
flowers more frequently than that, but at least the name has
something to do with a hundred.
Lastly, a Century of Plants, is a set of 100 dried, pressed, and
labelled plants specimens, distributed to herbaria. As a UBC
student I recall Dr. Krajina assembling bundles of "Centuria"
for exchange with other herbaria. Also, Bernard Boivin, another
classical botanist, issued sets of "Centurie de plantes" for
exchange in the early 1950's.
So finally we're back to a Century of BEN, and Adolf Ceska
should be congratulated on achieving this. We hope BEN continues
for at least another hundred issues.
RE: BEN CENTURY - REPLY TO R.T. OGILVIE
Thank you, Bob, for your note and thanks to all of you who
contributed to BEN and made its century possible.
At this moment BEN has about 470 direct subscribers and is also
posted on USENET in bionet.plants. I rarely hear from the
readers, mostly only when I do something wrong. For instance:
BEN # 98: " Any superficial disparities can only be detected
when the spores of the truffle -- which can range in size from a
pea to an orange -- are examined under a microscope."
> WE were amazed at truffle spores the size of an orange.
> This is surely a record. The truffle that produces them
> must be immense.
> Wilf [Schofield] & Olivia [Lee] [UBC Herbarium]
Please, don't write me notes saying that you read BEN and enjoy
or hate it. Instead, I would greatly appreciate any notes,
articles or news that you would like to post on BEN. It is you,
BEN readers and BEN contributors, who can keep BEN running.
WILDFLOWERS HOME PAGE
From: garylipe at onramp.net
I have started a WILDFLOWERS home page which might be of inter-
est to your subscribers of BEN. Their input to WILDFLOWERS would
certainly make the page more useful and meaningful to the
Thanks for your consideration.
Gary Lipe, garylipe at onramp.net
PO BOX 11830, Ft Worth, TX 76110-1830
Visit the WILDFLOWERS page at:
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