BEN # 129

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Mon Mar 11 11:03:36 EST 1996

BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             ISSN 1188-603X
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BBBBB    EEEEE    NN N N             BOTANICAL
BB   B   EE       NN  NN             ELECTRONIC
BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             NEWS

No. 129                              March 11, 1996

aceska at        Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


Friday March 15, 1996   9:30 - 4:30
Abbotsford Agriculture Centre
1767 Angus Campbell Road
Abbotsford, B.C.

The formation of this group is perceived to be developmental and
consensus driven, thus there is a reluctance to outline a struc-
tured  agenda. ... Please come with an open mind and a plenitude
of ideas and commitment. ...

Phone to Diane Gertzen (604-930-3309, fax 604-775-1288) for more
information [or registration?].

DAVID LYALL (1817-1895)
From: Dr. W.A. Weber <weberw at>

I don't know whether you know more about Lyall than this, but  I
had  a  request from a lady in Evergreen who has a friend by the
name of Lyall, and wonders whether David Lyall was an  ancestor.
I  was  able  to  dig  up  this wonderful obituary by Hooker and
wonder whether you would like to send it out in the  newsletter.
In  the American books on our botanical history he is simply not
mentioned  except  in  the  introduction  to  Piper's  Flora  of
Washington. I think field botanists in America need to know more
about this fellow.

The  following is the obituary of David Lyall published by J. D.
Hooker in J. Bot. 33: 209-211. 1895.

David Lyall was born in Kinkairdineshire, June  1st,  1817,  and
after  a  long period of active service as a medical officer and
naturalist in the Royal Navy, he retired in 1873,  and  died  at
Cheltenham,  March 2nd, 1895, with the rank of Deputy Inspector-
General of Hospitals and Fleets and a Good-Service Pension.  Dr.
Lyall  received  his  medical education at Aberdeen where he had
his M.D. degree, having previously been admitted a Licentiate of
the Royal College of Surgeons,  Edinburgh.  As  was  not  unfre-
quently the case with young Aberdonian medical men, he sought to
improve  his  medical  knowledge, and threw himself early on his
own resources, by undertaking a journey to Greenland as  surgeon
to  a whaling ship; and this no doubt led to his being selected,
immediately after entering the Royal Navy in 1839,  for  service
under  Sir  James  Ross in the expedition being fitted out for a
scientific voyage to the Antarctic  Regions.  He  was  appointed
Assistant-Surgeon  of  H.M.S.  'Terror'  (the  consort of H.M.S.
'Erebus') under Commander Crozier, to  which  duties  Sir  James
(the Captain) Ross added those of forming botanical collections.

During  the  voyage which did not return to England till late in
1842, his conduct was officially reported to  the  Admiralty  as
"meriting  the highest commendations." The writer of this notice
was a brother officer of Dr. Lyall's during that expedition  (an
intercourse  that  led  to a life-long friendship) and has added
his tribute to the value of his services in the  following  pas-
sages:  "To  him  were  due many of the botanical results of the
Expedition" (Fl. Antarctica vol. 1, p. xii). "He formed  a  most
important  herbarium amounting to no less than 1500 species." He
also, during the five winter months  of  1842,  when  the  ships
remained  in  Berkeley  Sound,  made  a "beautiful collection of
interesting Algae",  which  formed  "an  important  addition  to
Antarctic  Botany"  (op. cit., part 11, 215). On this expedition
was found, in Kerguelen Island, the remarkable  plant  named  by
the writer Lyallia [kerguelensis, Caryophyllaceae].

Shortly  after the return of the Antarctic Expedition, Dr. Lyall
was appointed to the Mediterranean, where he served  in  several
commissions   as  Assistant  Surgeon  till  1847,  when  he  was
promoted, and at the recommendation of Sir William  Hooker,  was
selected  as Surgeon and Naturalist to accompany Capt. Stokes in
H.M.S. 'Acheron' on the survey of  the  coast  of  New  Zealand.
Here,  devoting himself to the collection of the lower orders of
plants especially, he amassed the most beautiful  and  extensive
herbarium  in these branches of botany which had ever been found
in the  islands,  besides  making  considerable  discoveries  in
phaenogamous  plants,  and collecting some of that had been pre-
viously gathered by Banks and Solander. Among one  of  his  many
important discoveries in this survey were that of the monarch of
all  buttercups, the gigantic white-flowered Ranunculus Lyallii,
the only known species with peltate leaves, the "water-lily"  of
the New Zealand shepherds.

In  1852,  Dr. Lyall was appointed Surgeon and Naturalist to the
'Assistance', one of the squadron sent out to the Arctic Regions
under the commander of Sir E. Belcher, in  search  of  Sir  John
Franklin.  When  in  this service he received an acting order as
lieutenant in command of one of  the  sledges  employed  in  the
search,  and  further,  as senior medical officer of the expedi-
tion, he was appointed  Superintending  Surgeon  of  the  'North
Star',   when  the  crews  of  the  'Assistance'  and  'Pioneer'
retreated to that ship. During this Arctic Expedition Dr.  Lyall
made  good  collections  at  every  point visited, from Disko to
Polar Islands. A list of these is published in  the  Journal  of
the  Linnean  Society.  It  contains about ninety phaenogams and
vascular cryptogams and a large number of musci, etc.  Exclusive
of  Greenland,  this is by far the largest herbarium ever formed
in the American Polar Islands, and exceeds the sum of  those  of
all  previous  expeditions  in  the same regions; but, as was to
have been expected, no novelties rewarded his  labours.  On  his
return  he was appointed to the 'Pembroke', Capt. Seymour, under
whom he served throughout the Baltic Campaign of  1855  [Crimean
War],  and  was  present at the bombardment of Sveaborg [Suomen-
linna, then in Russian hands].

After a short period of home service in the 'Royal  William'  at
Devonport,  Dr. Lyall was commissioned as Surgeon and Naturalist
to  H.M.'s  surveying  ship  'Plumper'  and  afterwards  to  the
'Hecate',  under  Captain  (now  Admiral  Sir  George) Richards,
employed in the delimitation of the sea boundary  between  Great
Britain  and  the  United States in the Pacific Ocean. From this
his services (in 1858) were transferred  to  the  Land  Boundary
Commission,  under  Col. Sir John Hawkins, R.E., which he accom-
panied in its survey of the boundary line between British Colum-
bia and the United States possessions, from the Gulf of  Georgia
to  the summit of the Rocky Mountains. From this exploration Dr.
Lyall brought home a magnificent herbarium, one of  such  impor-
tance that, at the earnest representation of Sir William Hooker,
he  was  borne  on the books of H.M.S. 'Fisguard' at Woolwich as
Staff Surgeon, a  vicarious  appointment  that  allowed  of  his
residing  at Kew for the purpose of arranging, reporting on, and
distributing his collections. The results  are  published  in  a
valuable  contribution to the Linnean Society* which contains an
account of the regions traversed, from the  sea  to  8,000  feet
alt.  of the Rocky Mountains, where the various zones of vegeta-
tion in British Columbia are for the first  time  indicated  and
scientifically  portrayed.  Immediately  after the conclusion of
his labours at Kew, Dr. Lyall was appointed Surgeon to  Pembroke
Dockyard,  at  that  time a permanency, and when the regulations
affecting this branch of the service (the dockyard) were changed
in 1868, he accepted home appointment  to  H.M.S.  'Trincomalee'
and  'Daedalus'  consecutively  till 1873, when he retired. Lat-
terly he resided at Cheltenham, where shortly before  his  death
he  met  with an accident, the breaking of an arm, from which he
never wholly recovered.

Dr. Lyall's only other published contribution to science  was  a
paper  on  the  habits  of  a  remarkable  New Zealand bird, the
Kakapo, Strigops habroptilus**. He married in 1866 to Miss  F.A.
Rowe,  daughter  of  Dr.  Rowe  of Haverfordwest, by whom he had
three children who survived him. He was elected a Fellow of  the
Linnean Society in November, 1862.

 * Account  of  the  botanical  collections made by David Lyall,
R.N., M.D., F.L.S. Journal of the Linnean  Society  vii  (1863):

** Proc. Zoological Society xx (1852): 31-33.

From: Loren Russell, Corvallis, OR <loren at PEAK.ORG>
   originally posted on Alpine-L the Electronic Rock Garden

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to go over  a  thesis
proposal  for a graduate student in forest resources. Her inter-
est is in the way reproductive systems of various native  forest
herbs  determine  their  response/recolonization following fire,
logging, or other disturbance.

What was striking to me was her comment that faculty  have  been
advising students away from studies of herbaceous plants because
"you  can't  grow  them." It seems that some previous local work
with the likes of trilliums, erythronium, baneberry, asarum, and
such failed becasue they don't behave like douglas-fir.  And  so
this  was  seen as a death trap for theses! [I was consulted via
"buzz" from a workshop I presented for the  local  Native  Plant
Society last spring.]

I  pulled  out my usual resources -- Deno (1993), back issues of
the AGS and NARGS bulletins -- totally unknown to  local  fores-
ters  (and  botanists).  Betsy's thesis proposal seems now to be
going through. Grey literature or not, the thesis advisor  [him-
self a backyard nurseryman] was persuaded that "the little green
things" will germinate.

Another  example of the isolation of scientists from our culture
was work, also at Oregon State University, on  the  reproductive
biology  of  the Umpqua population of Kalmiopsis leachiana (soon
to be K. fragrans, I understand). One of the students complained
that they had transplanted, with great care, a  number  of  Kal-
miopsis,  and  that  all  of them promptly died. I told him: "Of
course, and why didn't you take cuttings?" Never heard of such a
thing. And hadn't seen even one of the many horticultural publi-
cations on this species (and this population).

Ref.: Deno, N.C. 1993. Seed germination theory and practice. 2nd
   Edition. 242 p. Published and distributed by the author  [Dr.
   Norman  C.  Deno,  139  Lenor Drive, State College, PA 16801,

From: Tom Volk <tjvolk at>
       originally posted on bionet.mycology

I have just updated my Mycology web page, whichh can be found at
the following URL:

Improvements include moving most of the inline images  to  other
pages,  so  the  first page will load faster. There is a link to
over 800 of my images of  fungi  (currently  under  major  reor-
ganization  and  revision)  at  a University of Wisconsin Gopher
site. There are descriptions and pictures of the fungi  we  work
on  at  the Forest Products Lab here in Madison, including a new
key to North  American  Armillaria  species,  including  in-line
images.  There  are  some  miscellaneous  in-line images of some
other fungi. There is also a bit of information about  the  Wis-
consin Mycological Society.

From: Roy Reehil <reehil at>
       originally on bionet.mycology

I  would  like  to  share  the  address  of  our electronic club
newsletter with any interested mycologists. Included are stories
of local and national interest, a laugh, and a  recipe  now  and
then.  Link  to  NAMA/NEMF  96 Foray home page (new). Created by
Dave Fischer, VP of NEMF and organizer of last years NEMF foray.
Includes registration info, costs, faculty and location descrip-

Roy Reehil
Editor, Central New York Mycological Society Newsletter

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