BEN # 195
aceska at VICTORIA.TC.CA
Sat Jun 6 17:50:08 EST 1998
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No. 195 June 6, 1998
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
PLANTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST IN WESTERN EUROPE
From: Pierre Binggeli <P.Binggeli at ulst.ac.uk>
The flora of Great Britain is depauperate compared to that of
the nearby continent. The landbridge, which connected England to
the Continent after the last glaciation, was cut off before most
species had reached Northern France. Many British species failed
to reach Ireland as the connection between Ireland and Great
Britain disappeared even earlier. The European plant species
richness, and that of woody plants in particular, is in turn
lower than that found in North America. Although the climatic
zonation of Europe is broadly similar to that of North America,
the geographical position of mountain ranges and large water
bodies is markedly different. The Alps and the Mediterranean sea
run East to West and have, during the Quaternary period, hin-
dered plant migration during the various phases of glacial
expansions and contractions.
In Europe plant species have been translocated for thousands of
years. However, species introductions have only markedly in-
creased during the 17th century and peaked in the 19th century
when the botanical exploration of Asia and the America's was at
its peak. During this period, thousands of species were intro-
duced and today over 3600 alien taxa are thought to be natural-
ized in Europe (Clement & Foster 1994, Ryves et al. 1996). Of
course, only a small proportion of these taxa have had much of
an impact on the native vegetation and most species have only
been found regenerating very locally in highly disturbed urban
or semi-natural areas. However, there are a number of shrubby
species and coniferous trees spreading into semi-natural vegeta-
tion. These life-forms are not well represented in the in-
digenous flora of the British Isles. There is only one large
conifer (Pinus sylvestris, native to Scotland) and a few shrubby
species that usually form a sparse growth under woodland
Many of the introduced shrub and coniferous species in the
British Isles originated from North America, and the Pacific
Northwest in particular. They have been introduced for a variety
of reasons including for ornament, shelter for game and
forestry. These species are well suited to the climate of the
British Isles and they are particularly successful on the west-
ern side of Great Britain and Ireland where rainfall is high and
winters are mild.
Some North American woody plant species have become invasive in
most parts of Europe; these include Acer negundo (Sachse 1992),
Prunus serotina (Starfinger 1997), Quercus rubra (Barkman 1988,
Timbal 1994), and Robinia pseudoacacia (Kowarik 1990) which
occur now in natural and semi-natural vegetation of continental
Europe. Several Pacific Northwest species are spreading in more
oceanic regions and the main ones are described in more detail
AMELANCHIER SPP. - SASKATOON, SERVICEBERRY
The taxonomic nature of Amelanchier species in western Europe
has been much debated. Schroeder (1970, 1972) concluded that
three North America species, Amelanchier confusa, A.
lamarckii and A. spicata, are fully naturalized in western
Europe, the latter two species being commonly found from
England to Sweden. Amelanchier alnifolia, which was planted
in 19th century parks, is no longer cultivated, but is
naturalized in a couple of localities.
GAULTHERIA SHALLON - SALAL
This shrub is only known to be invasive in north-east England
(Swan 1993), although it is found in many parts of the
British Isles. Currently, it is a pest at only one site,
where it forms monotypic stands and spreads into heathland.
This species, recognized as weedy in North America (Fraser et
al. 1993), exhibits similar characteristics in NE England
where it readily regenerate in areas cleared of other woody
invaders such as Rhododendron ponticum (a native of SE Europe
and probably the worst invader in the British Isles). It is
as yet unclear how much of a threat Gaultheria shallon is in
the British Isles.
RUBUS SPECTABILIS - SALMONBERRY
Salmonberry was brought to the British Isles in 1827 and it
said that it was introduced to Scotland as pheasant food. It
has also been planted as an ornamental or as a hedge plant.
The shrub is widespread and weedy in the Orkneys (Bremner &
Bullard 1990) but its spread into other parts of the British
Isles has been slow and largely unrecognized. Our recent
investigations in Northern Ireland (Paterson & Binggeli 1995)
showed that R. spectabilis produces large impenetrable thick-
ets in a wide variety of vegetation types. It must be con-
sidered as a potential pest in forestry plantations in the
north-west of Ireland.
PICEA SITCHENSIS - SITKA SPRUCE
At the start of the 20th century little of the original
forest cover of the British Isles remained and an extensive
afforestation program was initiated. At first, several con-
ifer species were planted in monotypic stands, but in more
recent decades most of the planting has been Sitka spruce.
Early Sitka spruce plantations have already been felled and
extensive natural regeneration has been observed with see-
dling densities as high as 300,000 per ha (McNeill & Thompson
1982, Clarke 1992, Ow et al. 1996). This regeneration is
generally not welcomed by foresters as it is very uneven and
increases the cost of silvicultural operations (Nelson 1991).
SYMPHORICARPOS ALBUS - SNOWBERRY
Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus is widely naturalized in
western Europe. In the British Isles, the species was intro-
duced in 1817 first as an horticultural plant, but was later
grown as a component of game coverts. It has been recorded
from a wide variety of soil and vegetation types, but it does
not spread rapidly since local birds do not eat the fruits
(Bremner & Bullard 1990, Gilbert 1995). The recent publica-
tion of an ecological account in the Journal of Ecology
reflects the importance of Symphoricarpos albus in the
British and Irish landscapes.
TSUGA HETEROPHYLLA - WESTERN HEMLOCK
This tree has been planted in many parts of the British
Isles, but it is not an important timber tree. However, it
has regenerated in many places and can spread into semi-
natural vegetation (Baker 1990).
A combination of the factors outlined above (i.e. depauperate
flora, absence of some life-forms, and great similarity in
climatic conditions) largely explain the successful estab-
lishment of Pacific Northwest plants in western Europe and the
British Isles in particular.
Baker, R.M. 1990. Observations on the natural regeneration of
western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) in south east Wales.
Quart. J. For. 84: 94-98.
Barkman, J.J. 1988. Some reflections on plant architecture and
its ecological implications - A personal view demonstrated on
two species of Quercus. Pp. 1-7 in Werger, M.J.A., P.J.M. van
der Art, H.J. During, & J.F.A. Verboeven (Eds.) Plant form
and vegetation structure. SPD Acad. Publ., The Hague.
Bremner, A.H. & E.R. Bullard. 1990. Trees and shrubs in Orkney.
Privately published, St Ola, Orkney.
Clarke, G.C. 1992. The natural regeneration of spruce. Scott.
For. 46: 107-129.
Clement, E.J. & M.C. Foster. 1994. Alien plants of the British
Isles: a provisional catalogue of vascular plants (excluding
grasses). Botanical Society of the British Isles, London.
Fraser, L., R. Turkington, & C.P. Chanway. 1993. The biology of
Canadian weeds. 102. Gaultheria shallon Pursh. Can. J. Pl.
Sci. 73: 1233-1247.
Gilbert, O.L. 1995. Biological Flora of the British Isles.
Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake (S. rivularis Suksd., S.
racemosus Michaux). J. Ecol. 83: 159-166.
Kowarik, I. 1990. Zur Einfurung und Ausbreitung der Robinie
(Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in Brandenburg und zur Geholzsuk-
zession ruderalen Robiniebestande in Berlin. Verh. Berlin
Bot. Ver. 8: 33-67.
Nelson, D.G. 1991. Management of Sitka spruce natural regenera-
tion. For. Commn Res. Inf. Note 204: 1-5.
Ow, F. von, P. Joyce, & M. Keane. 1996. Factors affecting the
establishment of natural regeneration of Sitka spruce (Picea
sitchensis [Bong.] Carr.) in Ireland. Ir. For. 53: 2-18.
Paterson, J.P.H. & P. Binggeli. 1995. Status and distribution of
Rubus spectabilis Pursh. In British Ecological Society Winter
Meeting - Programme and Abstracts, p. 71.
Ryves, T.B., E.J. Clement, & M.C. Foster. 1996. Alien grasses
of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles,
Sachse, U. 1992. Invasion patterns of boxelder on sites with
different levels of disturbance. Verh. Ges. Okol. 21: 103-
Schroeder, F.-G. 1970. Exotic Amelanchier species naturalised in
Europe and their occurrence in Great Britain. Watsonia 8:
Schroeder, F.-G. 1972. Amelanchier-Arten als Neophyten in
Europa. Abh. Naturwiss. Verein Bremen 37: 287-419.
Starfinger, U. 1997. Introduction and naturalization of black
cherry (Prunus serotina) in Central Europe. Pp. 161-171 in
Brock, J.H., M. Wade, P. Pysek, & D. Green, D. (Eds.) Plant
invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Backhuys
Swan, G.A. 1993. Flora of Northumberland. Natural History
Society of Northumbria, Newcastle.
Timbal, J., A. Kremer, N. Le Goff, & G. Nepveu. (Eds.) 1994. Le
chene rouge d'Amerique. INRA, Paris.
RE: EXPLOSIVE POLLINATION - CORNUS OR CHAMEAPERICLYMENUM ?
From: Dr Weber <weberw at spot.colorado.edu>
Three cheers and one cheer more (as they do it in Sweden) to my
old friend Ted Mosquin for his brilliant elucidation of the
pollination of Chamaepericlymenum canadense! It is, as he says,
more evidence to support the generic recognition of this little
genus. I have been using this name in my various Colorado floras
ever since Askell Love and Josef Holub convinced me as to the
justified separation of Cornus, Chamaepericlymenum, and Swida. I
am gratified that some of the usually very conservative authors
from the United States are beginning to catch on: Pentaphyl-
loides (Rosaceae) is finally given the blessings of the authors
of Intermountain Flora; Noccaea (Brassicaceae) is nearing
universal support over its former inclusion in Thlaspi; Boechera
out of Arabis. Who knows, perhaps they will eventually come to
their senses and recognize Pulsatilla as distinct from Anemone!
And, horror of horrors, perhaps someone else will support me and
Eurasian authors on Sabina vs Juniperus, and break down the
wastebasket genus Prunus into its other generic components,
Padus, Cerasus, Amygdalus, and Laurocerasus; Rubus into Rubacer,
Cylactis, and Oreobatus; Potentilla into not only Pentaphyl-
loides, but Argentina, Comarum, Drymocallis; Geum into Acomas-
tylis and Erythrocoma; and Ranunculus into Ceratocephala, Haler-
pestes, Hecatonia, and Cyrtorhyncha.
NEW BOOK: PLANTS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska at victoria.tc.ca>
Kershaw, Linda, Andy MacKinnon, & Jim Pojar. 1998. Plants of the
Rocky Mountains. Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton. 384 p. ISBN
1-55105-088-9 [soft cover] Price: US$19.95 CND$26.95
Lone Pine Publishing website:
This book is the newest addition to the plant field guides
published by the Lone Pine Publishing. See BEN #31, #75, #114,
#132, #137, & Taxon 45:159-161 for reviews of other volumes pub-
lished in this popular series. The book covers over 1200 species
and is fully illustrated with colour photographs and line draw-
Dr. W.A. Weber sent me the following comments:
I have the book, and it is really a remarkable one. I wish
I had had the luxury of having a number of people involved
in designing, editing, etc. on my books. There is an
absolutely extraordinary amount of interesting reading in
it. Of course, when you do as massive color production
like this is, there will be a number of pictures that are
too dark to be of any use, and the pictures sometimes
are too small to get any detail. The book also is mostly
for the Canadian Rocky Mts., and not of very great use
down here. I understand very well the pressure to make the
title more inclusive than the contents, as I learned when
my little book of 1952, Plants of the Colorado Front
Range, had to be changed to Rocky Mountain Flora although
there was little expansion of the text.
I think the authors go overboard telling people never to
pick a flower even to examine it; people don't drive out
and bring home carloads of wild flowers these days; that
might have been true 50 years ago. Here around Boulder the
problem is that we have so many deer and elk around that
they do much more damage, even to people's gardens, than
any number of human pickers.
I also am getting more and more frustrated by these people
who have to invent "common names" for every species of
everything. They certainly are no more "meaningful" than
the scientific names, but for some reason they are com-
forting to those who need to put some kind of a name on a
plant, just as nobody is happy with a mountain that has no
I have to say that the authors treated scientific names of
plants much worse than the common names. There are numerous
mistakes in the gender of Latin names: Comarum palustris, Nuphar
lutea (feminine) & Nuphar polysepalum (neuter), Triglochin
maritima (feminine) & Triglochin palustre (neuter). Ranunculus
aquatilus? I have been soliciting a short course of botanical
Latin and I hope that BEN will be able to devote one or two
issues to that topic in the near future.
This book is an excellent edition to the botanical literature
that deals with the Rocky Mountains.
NEW BOOK: CALIFORNIA'S WILD GARDENS: A LIVING LEGACY
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska at victoria.tc.ca>
Faber, P.M. [Ed.] 1997. California's wild gardens: A living
legacy. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 236 p.
ISBN 0-943460-34-4 [soft cover] & 0-943460-35-2 [hard cover]
Cost: US$29.95 [soft cover]
Ordering information: California Native Plant Society,
1722 J Street, Suite 17, Sacramento, CA 95814
This book is a result of co-operation of three agencies, the
California Native Plant Society, the California Department of
Fish and Game and the California Academy of Sciences:
"Within this book you will be introduced to the beauty and
variety of California's native plants in their natural
settings. California's Wild Gardens allows us to view
California as a series of ecological regions ... Within
these regions are smaller localized areas, where local
conditions have bestowed a special ensemble of rare or
endemic plants. These highlights of California's botanical
world are the focus of this book -- a compendium of some
of the best and most floristically important sites in our
About 100 botanists and plant ecologists worked on this book.
The book gives descriptions of about a hundred important
localities grouped in ten ecological regions. Each locality is
illustrated with a general habitat picture and with a selection
of colour photographs of the most important rare plants growing
on that particular locality. All pictures are of the highest
quality. The first time I saw a photograph of the recently
discovered Shasta snow-wreath, Neviusia cliftonii. I was sorry
to see a picture of Utricularia macrorhiza identified as U.
gibba and I hope that the authors did not use my Madrono 1973
key to the genus Utricularia.
This is a beautiful book, highly recommended!
ROYAL BRITISH COLUMBIA MUSEUM - CURATORIAL PROGRAMMING POSITION
Term position reports to the Manager of Natural History. Duties
include research and collection projects; field collections in
the Columbia Basin focussing on the non-grassland habitats;
extensive travel within southern B.C. may be required.
Qualifications - Minimum of B.Sc.; postgraduate training in
Botany preferred; demonstrated knowledge and considerable ex-
perience in angiosperm identification; demonstrated experience
in field collecting.
Closing date June 17, 1998. For complete information please
contact Ms. Terry L. Johnson, Phone: 250-387-2263, Fax: 250-953-
4336. Competition no.: RB98:1218
Submissions, subscriptions, etc.: aceska at victoria.tc.ca
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/
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