IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

BEN # 253

Adolf Ceska aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Thu Jul 20 04:46:47 EST 2000

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

No. 253                              July 20, 2000

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


Imagine  having  the  benefit of virtually 70 years of field ex-
perience upon which to draw for evaluating the ins and  outs  of
particular  plants  and  their relationships in the wild. That's
what Clarence Frankton ("Clarrie" to his many  friends  and  as-
sociates)  of  Ottawa,  Ontario  could do, recalling back to his
student days about 1930 when conducting forage and weed  studies
in  the  Eastern  Townships  of Quebec. Clarrie was blessed with
almost total recall of his  innumerable  botanical  observations
and  adventures. Not one to dwell in the past, however, right up
until a few weeks before  his  death,  Clarrie  was  using  such
information  as  background  with which to better appreciate new
sites and illuminate previously unexplored botanical corners.

Following graduation (Ph.D., 1940, McGill)  and  a  short  stint
with  the  Quebec  Department  of  Agriculture, Clarrie moved to
Ottawa where he headed the Canadian Weed  Survey  and  conducted
taxonomic  research at Agriculture Canada's Central Experimental
Farm in Ottawa. Perhaps best known for  his  authorship  of  the
popular  and  frequently  reprinted  "Weeds  of Canada", Clarrie
conducted a wide variety of research into various economic  weed
questions,  working  with  the likes of Herb Groh, John Bassett,
Jim Calder and Bernard Boivin in a career spanning 1946  through
1970.  In  conducting  his  work  he  developed a huge and loyal
network of contacts and  correspondents  including  agricultural
representatives,  taxonomists  and  weed  specialists throughout
Canada and beyond. He was particularly interested in groups such
as thistles - especially _Cirsium_ and _Carduus_ -  as  well  as
the genus _Atriplex_ and other 'economic' genera such as _Rumex_
and _Polygonum._

In  recognition  of his scientific contributions he received the
George Lawson Medal (lifetime achievement award) of the Canadian
Botanical Association in 1973 and was made an Honorary Member of
the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club  1980.  Not  to  belittle  his
important  scientific  contribution, however, Clarrie's greatest
contribution may have been his ability to  inspire  others.  One
hears  such tribute of academics now and again but their profes-
sion, after all, is at  least  in  part  designed  to  enlighten
aspiring  students. Clarrie did so by his sheer joy for learning
and discovery, his clear, precise analysis  of  botanical  data,
and  his  infectious,  almost  child-like  fascination  with the
workings of the natural world. One couldn't  help  but  be  cap-
tivated. Many Canadian botanists, including this writer and such
taxonomic  luminaries  as crucifer authority Gerry Mulligan, are
quick to credit Clarrie Frankton as an  inspirational  force  in
their   careers.   The   designation   of   the  taxa  _Atriplex
franktonii,_ _Polygonum franktonii_ and _Cirsium undulatum_ var.
_franktonis_  reflect  such  expressions  of  appreciation   and
respect by various researchers.

Clarrie  liked  to joke that he'd gotten full value from retire-
ment, by 1995 having being  retired  longer  than  he  had  been
employed  ! Such jesting aside, he maintained a regular research
and herbarium work program  long  after  retirement.  More  than
that,  with the important participation of Enid (Patterson), his
field-mate and wife of over  50  years,  he  honed  his  already
considerable  skills  to a new level, becoming the premier field
botanist of eastern Ontario  -  western  Quebec.  He  was  still
healthy,  sharp  as  a tack and astonishingly active in his 94th
year, still  contributing  to  the  long  list  of  new  species
(dozens)  he'd  discovered  in this region. Importantly too, his
careful, detailed inventory work has proven to be  the  critical
factor  in  a number of successful major conservation efforts in
and around the National Capital Region.

Canadian field botany has lost a major positive force,  one  who
contributed  substantially in his own right and who continues to
contribute through the many others he inspired.  It  seems  par-
ticularly  appropriate,  therefore,  that Enid and daughter Gwen
would suggest that those offering charitable  donations  in  his
memory  should  make  it  a  living  tribute through a financial
contribution to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Daniel F. Brunton, Ottawa, Ontario [ bruntmc at comnet.ca ]

For Dr. Clarence Frankton's partial bibliography see

From: Taxon 49 (August 2000), courtesy of Dr. Rudi Schmid

Davidson,  B.  LeRoy.  _Lewisias._  Apr.  2000.  Timber   Press,
   Portland. 236 p. ISBN 0-88192-447-4 [hard cover], US$34.95.

   Available from:
   Timber  Press,  Inc.  The Haseltine Building,
   133 S.W. Second Ave., Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204, USA
   Tel.: 1-800-327-5680 or 1-503-227-2878, Fax: 1-503-227-3070
   Web: http:///www.timberpress.com
   E-mail: orders at timberpress.com

_"Lewisia rediviva_ attracted more interest than any other plant
brought  back  by  the Lewis and Clark expedition [1804-06, dis-
cussed in the following review by  Larry  Dorr]  for  its  dried
specimen's sideshow ability to return to life" (p. 110). Captain
Meriwether  Lewis  (1774-1809) found the plant on 1 July 1806 in
Montana at "Traveller's Rest" at or near the junction of Bitter-
root River and Lolo Creek, although in August 1805 he had  eaten
its  dried  roots  left  by  some Indians. His culinary verdict:
"bitter and naucious to the pallatte, although the  natives  eat
them  heartily"  (p.  13).  This  widely  occurring species sub-
sequently received considerable attention because of its beauty,
bizarreness, and food and horticultural potential. In his _Flora
Americae septentrionalis_ (1814; see also the following  review)
Frederick   T.   Pursh  (1774-1820)  described  _Lewisia_  (Por-
tulacaceae) in honor of Meriwether  Lewis,  with  _L.  rediviva_
("bitterroot"  or  "bitter  root") the first species reported to

Davidson's superb, multifaceted book on _Lewisia_ is  a  perfect
blend:  a history, an ecological account, a taxonomic monograph,
and a gardening manual. He treats 2 subgenera, 5  sections,  and
19 species in a system modified from that of Brian Mathew in his
more  technical  work, _The genus Lewisia_ (1989, Ibid., ISBN 0-
88192-158-0, HB, $29.95; see _Taxon_ 39: 480), which  accepts  2
subgenera,  7  sections, and 19 species. Both authors treat many
hybrids, all but two artificial. Davidson  lavishly  illustrates
his  work  with  13  B&W drawings and 20 color plates by Michael
Moshier, a color plate reproducing Walter Hood  Fitch's  artwork
of  _L.  rediviva_  from _Curtis's botanical magazine_ (1863), a
color frontispiece depicting Lewis, 68 spectacular color  photos
by  various  persons, 4 B&W maps, and an endpaper reproducing an
1814 "map of Lewis and Clark's track, across the western portion
of North America from the Mississippi  to  the  Pacific  Ocean."
Many of Davidson's observations derive from firsthand collecting
experience.   The  19-page  chapter  on  ecology  is  excellent.
Numerous stunning scenic habitat pictures accompany the descrip-
tions. Davidson also provides some  "nontechnical  keys"  (i.e.,
lengthy,  not  strictly dichotomous) to the sections and to sec-
tion _Cotyledon._

I have only  two  quibbles:  The  bibliography  omits  Moulton's
series (see the following review) on the Lewis and Clark expedi-
tion.  The contents page might have listed the 19 species, espe-
cially since the book arranges these taxonomically  within  sec-
tions instead of alphabetically.

This  is  an  exceptional and beautifully executed and presented
work. I hope that it wins some awards. -- Rudolf Schmid, UC

[A tidbit on the Lewis & Clark Expedition: On  26  January  2000
the  United  States  Mint  issued  the long awaited gold-colored
dollar coin with Sacajawea (or "Sacagawea,"  and  her  papoose),
the  young  Shoshone  guide  of  the expedition. In late May the
first "mule error" in  the  Mint's  history  was  discovered,  a
hybrid  quarter-dollar  coin  with  the  obverse (head of George
Washington) of a quarter and the reverse (tail)  of  the  dollar
(see http://www.coinworld.com). - RS ]

Moulton,  Gary  E.  (ed.).  _The  journals  of the Lewis & Clark
   Expedition._  Vol.  12.  _Herbarium  of  the  Lewis  &  Clark
   Expedition._  1999.  University of Nebraska Press, 233 N. 8th
   St.,        Lincoln,        NE        68588-0255,         USA
   http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu  (series:  _The  journals of
   the Lewis & Clark Expedition,_ vol. 12). [xii], 357 p.,  ill.
   (B&W), 310x235 mm, ISBN 0-8032-2931-3 [hard cover], US$75.00.
   [Vols. 1-11, 1983-97].

The  route  Lewis  and  Clark took from St. Louis to the Pacific
Ocean and back in 1804-06 is well known,  and  their  expedition
has assumed near mythical proportions in the American psyche. In
the  popular  imagination,  it was a key event in satisfying our
Manifest  Destiny.  The  fact  that  the  expedition  was   also
government-sponsored   science   may   not   sit  so  well  with
politicians today, but it is an excellent  example  of  how  the
federal  government  has  contributed  to  our  knowledge of the
topography and natural history of our  own  country  (and  later
others).  As  if  to  emphasize  this  point, Moulton frames his
monumental 12-volume edition of the journals of Lewis and  Clark
with  volumes  devoted  to  two of the important scientific con-
tributions of the expedition:  Captain  William  Clark's  (1770-
1838)  topography, volume 1, _Atlas of the Lewis & Clark Expedi-
tion_ (Ibid., 1983, 23 p., [[151]] p. pls., folio, ISBN  0-8032-
2861-9  [hard cover], US$200.00), and Captain Meriwether Lewis's
(1774-1809) botany, the present  volume.  Volumes  2-11  in  the
series  are  the  actual journals of the expedition. An index to
vols. 1-12 will complete the series.

While plants and vegetation are described throughout  the  jour-
nals,  the  Corps  of  Discovery  did not have the resources (or
inclination) to collect specimens of all  of  the  species  they
encountered.  They  vouchered  only  those they thought to be of
utilitarian or horticultural value (Lewis collected all but  one
of  the  expedition's  extant  herbarium  specimens). Nearly 200
years later many of  their  specimens  still  exist.  Volume  12
pertains  chiefly  to  the  post-expedition  fate of these plant
specimens, which had their  own  amazing  journeys.  During  the
expedition,  some  natural history materials were sent from Fort
Manden to President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who had  spon-
sored  the  expedition, and who received them in August 1805. In
November Jefferson conveyed these specimens, including about  60
of  plants, to the American Philosophical Society, and they were
then consigned to Benjamin Smith Barton  (1766-1815)  for  study
(earlier  Barton  had  given  Lewis a "crash course" in botany).
After the expedition, with additional materials available, Lewis
solicited Barton's botanical help, which was not forthcoming. In
1807, Lewis turned to Frederick  Pursh  (1774-1820)  to  prepare
drawings  of  his plants and to assist him in arranging the col-
lection. When Lewis left Philadelphia for Washington  and  later
St.  Louis,  he  entrusted  the  collection to Pursh. When Pursh
subsequently quit Philadelphia, he gave the  collection  to  the
Philadelphia  nurseryman  Bernard McMahon (ca. 1775-1816). After
Lewis's death in  1809,  Clark  reacquired  the  specimens  from
McMahon  and  sent them to Barton. Shortly thereafter Pursh went
to London, where he worked for Aylmer Bourke Lambert (1761-1842)
and where he  published  his  _Flora  Americae  septentrionalis_
(dated 1814, though published in December 1813). The publication
of  the  _Flora_  revealed  that Pursh had carried a significant
portion of the Lewis and Clark herbarium with him to London; 130
of the plants and 13 of the plates in the  _Flora_  can  be  as-
sociated  with  the  expedition. The plants Pursh took to London
eventually were left with Lambert, whose estate was auctioned in
1842. Of the two lots containing expedition materials,  one  was
purchased  by Edward Tuckerman (1817-86), who returned it to the
United States and eventually left it to the Academy  of  Natural
Sciences of Philadelphia.

Moulton  presents a detailed analysis of the 239 Lewis and Clark
specimens that survived these peregrinations. The specimens  are
now to be found at the Academy of Natural Sciences (227, includ-
ing  179  American  Philosophical Society specimens on permanent
loan), the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (11 ex Lambert?), and  the
Charleston  Museum,  Charleston,  South  Carolina  (1).  Moulton
arranges his "Calendar of Botanical Specimens" alphabetically by
the currently accepted  Latin  name  for  a  specimen,  provides
details  concerning the repository of a sheet, gives a reference
to Pursh's _Flora,_ if applicable, and, finally, notes the place
and date of collection. He also transcribes all of  the  annota-
tions  on a sheet. Following the calendar are B&W photos of each
of the extant Lewis and Clark herbarium specimens.

In an appendix on additional nomenclature, Moulton hints at  one
of  the  shortcomings  of  this  volume.  The  appendix provides
synonymies for many of the names Moulton  used  and  an  oblique
reference  to  an  article  he  coauthored (Reveal, J. L., G. E.
Moulton & A. E. Schuyler, "The Lewis and  Clark  collections  of
vascular  plants: Names, types, and comments." _Proc. Acad. Nat.
Sci. Philadelphia_ 149: 1-64, 1999). The article provides  _(a)_
full  bibliographical  citations  for the Latin names associated
with the specimens, _(b)_ information  on  the  typification  of
plant  names  based  on  Lewis  and Clark specimens, and _(c)_ a
discussion of previous efforts to catalog the  Lewis  and  Clark
herbarium.  In  addition,  Reveal et al. question whether or not
six of the sheets treated by Moulton were in fact  collected  by
Lewis  and  Clark (four of them appear to have been collected by
Thomas Nuttall, 1786- 1859, and two are thought to be of  garden
origin).  Fortunately,  all  of  the  Reveal  et al. entries are
cross-referenced with Moulton's numbering scheme.

While there is no doubt that Moulton's volume  is  an  essential
reference  for  herbaria  with North American collections, it is
surprising that it was published in the form that  it  was.  The
B&W  images  of the Lewis and Clark specimens pale in comparison
to the color images of type specimens that are now being  posted
on  the  Internet.  When  the  Lewis  and  Clark  specimens  are
digitized, as I am sure they will be, it will be most useful  if
the  entire  collection  is  digitized and if the scholarship of
Moulton is combined with that of Reveal et al. The  epic  voyage
of Lewis and Clark deserves to be told again and again, and each
time  I  hope that listeners will hear that very important piece
about how the expedition's science was funded.  --  Laurence  J.
Dorr [ dorrl at nmnh.si.edu ], US

Subscriptions: Send "subscribe BEN-L" or "unsubscribe BEN-L"
   (no apostrophes) to  majordomo at victoria.tc.ca
Send submissions to BEN-L at victoria.tc.ca
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/


More information about the Plantbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net