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No. 270 June 7, 2001
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
EPHEMERAL INTRODUCTIONS OF VASCULAR PLANTS AROUND VANCOUVER,
BRITISH COLUMBIA (PART 2)
From: Frank Lomer <flomer at aicompro.com>
[See BEN # 238, January 11, 2000 for Part 1]
During the last thirteen years, I have collected the following
species in the Vancouver area. None are native in this area and
although a few have persisted as single plants for many years,
they have not spread from their original locations. The voucher
specimens are deposited in the University of British Columbia
_Ambrosia trifida_ L. - ASTERACEAE
Loc.: Railroad switching yard east of North Rd., Coquitlam.
Nov. 7, 1988; F. Lomer #88-201.
A tall annual (ragweed) from eastern North America notorious
as a source of hay fever. It doesn't generally grow in B.C.,
but occasionally it will show up along railroad tracks or on
soil dumps. Also collected in a Vancouver garden by Terry
Taylor (T. Taylor #88-4) on Sep. 4, 1988 with a note, "intro-
duced with wild bird seed from bird feeder."
_Artemisia frigida_ Willd. - ASTERACEAE
Loc.: Lougheed Highway (Highway # 7) near Coleman Rd., Co-
quitlam. Not collected.
A common plant in and east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains
throughout B.C. A single clump persisted for more than 10
years on a dry grassy embankment on the south side of Highway
# 7. Occasionally it was mowed completely to the ground, but
it always came back.
_Aster_ - see _Symphyotrichum_ - ASTERACEAE
Dr. John Semple kindly checked the identification of
"_Aster_" specimens and send us the following comment:
"All of the species [of the specimens sent for iden-
tification] belong in the genus _Symphyotrichum_. DNA
work shows clearly that _Aster_ is a strictly Old World
genus. All NA Astereae fall into a single group and the
'asters' are in about a dozen genera that are basal
members of half a dozen distinct lines within the NA
clade. Obviously North Americans are not going to like
this, but it does mean that continued use of the genus
name Aster for native NA species is unjustified ...
unless inertia is an acceptable reason for not adopting
the new classification!"
[BEN and inertia? - I moved all Frank Lomer's "_Aster_" in
_Symphyotrichum_, like it or not. - AC]
_Cynodon dactylon_ (L.) Pers. - POACEAE
Loc.: Railroad tracks running along Timberland Rd., south of
Pattullo Bridge, Surrey. Oct. 12, 1990; F. Lomer # 90-183.
Stoloniferous perennial grass (Bermuda grass) now widespread
throughout the world. Common in warm climates but rare in
B.C. It seems it is one of a few weedy plants in B.C. which
were more common in the past than they are today, e.g.,
_Lolium temulentum_, _Euphorbia exigua_, _Oenothera perennis_
and _Agrostemma githago_. Seen at 2 sites, both non-
flowering, though vigorous stolons were produced. Both did
not survive due to disturbance. Fruiting plants were col-
lected by J.R. Anderson from the outer wharf in Victoria in
1898 and by V.C. Brink at UBC campus in 1946.
_Ericameria nauseosa_ (Pall. ex Pursh) Nesom & Baird var.
_speciosa_ (Nutt.) Nesom & Baird - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Chrysothamnus nauseosus_ (Pall.) Britt.
Loc.: Railroad track, Front St. near 6th St., New
Westminster. Oct. 3, 1993; F. Lomer #93-297.
A common shrub (rabbit-brush) in dry areas east of the Coast-
Cascade Mountains in southern B.C.. A single clump persisted
for more than 10 years along the tracks next to the dock-
yards. It was an attractive thriving plant until a few years
ago when trackside clearing and disturbance killed it.
_Erigeron flagellaris_ A. Gray - ASTERACEAE
Loc.: Sand landfill west of Timberland Rd., Surrey. July
19,1994; F. Lomer #94-052.
A fleabane with long whip-like stolons, frequent in south-
central B.C. around the Thompson-Fraser plateau. A single
plant with many stolons grew on compacted sand dredgings from
the Fraser river. _Erigeron flagellaris_ was recently found
on Texada Island (between Vancouver Island and the mainland
by Harvey Janszen, coll. no. 2740). More than 1000 plants
grew on an open rocky slope. It is not exactly weedy but can
colonize dry open areas.
_Lobelia kalmii_ L. - CAMPANULACEAE
Loc.: Sand landfill east of Timberland Rd., Surrey. July 19,
1994; F. Lomer #94-158.
Native in wet places east of the Coast-Cascade mountains in
B.C. A single plant grew on moist sand dredgings with
_Scirpus_, _Juncus_, _Epilobium_ and _Carex_ spp., most of
which were also native east of the mountains.
_Lupinus angustifolius_ L. - FABACEAE
Loc.: East edge of Burns Bog near railroad tracks and 72
Ave., Delta. Sept. 20,1975; F. Lomer #75-1.
Annual blue-flowered lupine sometimes grown as a forage crop.
It was growing in a cleared peaty area. Not seen since.
_Mentzelia laevicaulis_ (Dougl.) T.&G. - LOASACEAE
Loc.: Sand landfill west of Timberland Rd., Surrey. August
12, 1991; F. Lomer #91-198.
A large-flowered biennial native east of the Coast-Cascade
mountains in southern B.C. A single thriving plant was col-
lected on a large sand pile. Another plant was found at the
same site on September 9,1998, F. Lomer #98-364.
_Mentzelia disperma_ Wats. - LOASACEAE
Loc.: Railroad tracks on north side of Brunette river, west
of North Rd., Burnaby. July 6,1991; F. Lomer #91-135.
A small-flowered annual native east of the Coast-Cascade
mountains in southern B.C. Not normally a weedy species, five
plants were found growing between the railroad tracks with
common weeds. Not seen since.
_Monolepsis nuttalliana_ (Schultes) Greene - CHENOPODIACEAE
Loc.: New Westminster City Hall garden, 511 Royal Ave. June
24, 1994; F. Lomer # 94-079.
North American annual weed of disturbed places. A single
plant grew in a cultivated rose bed. Apparently the only
record for southwest B.C.
_Nicotiana attenuata_ Torrey - SOLANACEAE
Loc.: Sand landfill west of Timberland Rd., about 1 km. south
of Pattullo bridge, Surrey. July 19,1995; F. Lomer #95-039.
_Nicotiana attenuata_ (coyote tobacco) is extremely rare in
B.C. It had not been collected for more than 50 years until
it was discovered northeast of Osoyoos Lake in 1991 (see BEN
# 125). Previous collections were from Spence's Bridge on the
Thompson river and Lytton at the junction of the Thompson and
Fraser rivers. A single plant was collected on the graded top
of a large sand landfill next to the Fraser river. It was
thriving and produced numerous flowers and abundant seed. The
chances of seed from the Lytton or Spence's Bridge area
falling off the relatively few plants that possibly still
grow in the area and making it somehow into the Fraser river
and from there floating more than 250 km to end up in the
sand and mud of the Fraser delta and from there to happen to
be sucked up by dredging lines to be deposited in a suitable
habitat within a few cm of the surface of a 5 m deep sand
pile and then to be left undisturbed to germinate and not be
trampled, graded, chewed by rabbits or crowded by weeds and
then to be seen by someone who feels it is worth picking is
as incredible as this sentence is long. It is however, in my
opinion, the most plausible explanation. I expect to find it
some day in the Lytton area.
Note: The Osoyoos population seems to have disappeared (at
least for now). Sought but not seen in 1999. _Nicotiana
attenuata_ is sporadic from year to year by nature. Unfor-
tunately a huge vineyard has been planted next to where the
coyote tobacco once grew. Hundreds of acres of excellent
desert-like sandy flats have been permanently destroyed.
_Origanum heracleoticum_ L. - LAMIACEAE
Loc.: Railroad tracks under Pattullo Bridge, New Westminster.
Oct. 7, 1996; F. Lomer #96-175.
European plant (oregano) native to SE Europe. Much like _O.
vulgare_ but with small whitish flowers more loosely ar-
ranged. A single clump grew next to the track rails where it
persisted for a few years. Probably of garden origin. It is
reputedly a superior tasting herb than the common oregano.
_Salvia reflexa_ Hornem. - LAMIACEAE
Loc.: Edge of duck pond Jericho Park, Vancouver. Oct. 2,
1994; F. Lomer #94-237.
Annual herb, native to S. Central U.S. and Mexico. It oc-
casionally shows up around duck ponds where it is introduced
as an impurity in commercial wild bird seed. Also collected
by G.B. Straley (#5856 ) on Sept. 10, 1989 at Lost Lagoon,
Stanley Park, Vancouver, and on June 20, 1995 on a soil pile
in Burnaby (F. Lomer #95-053).
_Schoenocrambe linifolia_ (Nutt.) Greene - BRASSICACEAE
Loc.: Sand dredgings west of Timberland Rd., south of Pat-
tullo Bridge, Surrey. June 22, 1998; F. Lomer #98-141.
Native short-lived yellow-flowered perennial from SC B.C. A
single plant in dredged sand. The only record for SW B.C.
_Silene conoidea_ L. - CARYOPHYLLACEAE
Loc.: Along railroad tracks, west of North Rd., Burnaby. May
30, 1990; F. Lomer #90-039.
A pink-flowered annual weed with a sticky inflorescence,
native to Europe. A single plant grew in ballast between the
track rails. The only other collection from B.C. was 7 km
south of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley where a few plants
grew along a dirt road; F. Lomer #96-034.
_Sporobolus cryptandrus_ (Torr.) Gray - POACEAE
Loc.: Dredged sand landfill prior to construction of Sky-
Train at Scott Road Station, Surrey. Aug 28, 1988; F. Lomer
Common native perennial grass in dry, often sandy places east
of the coastal mountains. It will show up from time to time
in sand dredgings. Also collected along Hwy 7 in Coquitlam
where it arose from road sweepings; F. Lomer #93-314.
_Sporobolus neglectus_ Nash - POACEAE
Loc.: CN railyards, north of 116 Ave., Surrey. Sept. 12,
1995; F. Lomer #95-190.
Weedy eastern North American annual grass. A few plants grew
in a bare gravely area with other annual grasses: _Sporobolus
vaginiflorus_, _Panicum capillare_, _P. dichotomiflorum_,
_Eragrostis multicaulis_, and _E. cilianensis_. This is the
first collection from British Columbia.
_Symphyotrichum ciliatum_ (Ledebour) Nesom - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster brachyactis_ Blake
Loc.: Sand landfill west of Timberland Rd., south of Pattullo
Bridge, Surrey. Aug. 14, 1993; F. Lomer #93-224.
_Symphyotrichum ciliatum_ is an annual rayless "aster" native
east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains. It is an interesting
fact that seeds from plants typically found in the dry inte-
rior of B.C. get washed many 100's of km down the Thompson
and Fraser rivers eventually to emerge and sprout up in sand
dredgings that are used as "preload" in boggy ground before
building can commence. A single plant was found once.
_Symphyotrichum cordifolium_ (L.) Nesom - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster cordifolius_ L.
Loc.: CN railyards east of Main St., Vancouver. Oct. 12,
1993; F. Lomer #93-319.
An eastern North American species similar to the native
_Symphyotrichum ciliolatum_. A single clump grew in an aban-
doned railcar loading dock in the vacant CN railyards next to
the train station. It lasted a few seasons but eventually
_Symphyotrichum frondosum_ (Nutt.) Nesom - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster frondosus_ (Nutt.) T.& G.
Loc.: Sand landfill west of Timberland Rd., Surrey. Sept. 30,
1994; F. Lomer #94-228.
A native B.C. annual much like _Symphyotrichum ciliatum_, but
with small white (drying pink) ray flowers and a generally
spreading habit unlike the very upright habit of _S.
ciliatum_. _Symphyotrichum frondosum_ is of restricted dis-
tribution in B.C.; known only from the south Okanagan valley
where it is rarely found along receding lakeshores (Skaha,
Vaseaux and Osoyoos lakes). A small patch was found in Fraser
river sand dredgings where it grew in compacted depressions
that showed traces of salty deposits washed out from the
surrounding sand (see "_Aster frondosus_" in BEN # 123).
_Symphyotrichum frondosum_ is not known from the Fraser-
Thompson drainage, but this collection is a good indication
that it probably grows there. (The Okanagan drains into the
_Symphyotrichum lanceolatum_ (Willd.) Nesom subsp. _hesperium_
(A. Gray) Nesom - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster hesperius_ A.Gray, _A. lanceolatus_ Willd. ssp.
_hesperius_ (A.Gray) Semple & Chmielewski
Loc.: CN railyards, Port Mann, Surrey. July 13, 1991; F.
A single small patch grew alongside the railroad access road
at the edge of the grade beside a dry ditch. This is a wide
ranging taxon in west - central North America that barely, if
at all, crosses the Rocky mountains into B.C. in the Columbia
valley. Earlier reports of this species in B.C. need confir-
mation. This collection may be the first for the province and
it was clearly an introduction that did not persist due to
road grading or herbicide spraying.
_Symphyotrichum lateriflorum_ (L.) Loeve & Loeve - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster lateriflorus_ (L.) Britt.
Loc.: Railroad tracks alongside Ewen Ave., Queensborough, New
Westminster. Sept. 7, 1990; F. Lomer #90-151.
Native to eastern North America and growing between the track
rails. It was killed by herbicide spraying the next year. The
only collection from B.C. and not seen since.
_Symphyotrichum novae-angliae_ (L.) Nesom - ASTERACEAE
Syn.: _Aster novae-angliae_ L.
Loc.: CN railyards, north of Industrial Ave., Vancouver. Oct
. 24, 1993; F. Lomer #93-326.
An attractive plant with a glandular inflorescence native to
eastern North America. Cultivated forms are sometimes grown
in gardens, but this plant probably arose from material
originating from ballast from railcars. A garden form with
"double" ray flowers was collected Sep. 24, 1994 beside a
dirt boat launching track in Ladner in the Fraser delta where
it grew at the edge of a marsh; F. Lomer #94-214. It probably
originated from garden dumpings.
Clapham, A.R., T.G. Tutin & D.M. Moore. 1989. Flora of the
British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
Douglas, G.W. 1995. The Sunflower family (ASTERACEAE) of British
Columbia. Vol 2. Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria, B.C.
Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, D. Meidinger and J. Pojar. 1998-
2000. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volumes 1-5.
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, B.C. Ministry of
Forests, Victoria, B.C.
Gleason, H.A. & A. Cronquist. 1963. Manual of vascular plants of
northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. D. Van
Nostrand Co., New York, N.Y.
Hitchcock, C.L. & A. Cronquist. 1974. Flora of the Pacific
Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle ,
Tutin, T.G., V.H. Heywood, N.A. Burges, D.M. Moore. D.H. Valen-
tine, S.M. Walters, & D.A. Webb (eds.). 1964-1980. Flora
Europaea. Volumes 1-5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
DO YOU KNOW MOSS _BUCKIELLA UNDULATA_?
Ireland, R.R. 2001. _Buckiella_, a new genus in the Hypnaceae
(Musci). Novon 11: 55-62.
"Abstract. A new genus, _Buckiella_, is segregated from
_Plagiothecium_. The type species, _Buckiella undulata_ (Hedwig)
Ireland, known [as _Plagiothecium undulatum_ (Hedwig) Schimper]
from western North America, Europe, China, and New Guinea, has
plants with strongly undulate leaves, short, inconspicuous
triangular leaf decurrencies, minute, granular, cuticular
papilae covering the leaf cells, and wrinkled capsules. A second
species, _B. draytonii (Sullivant) Ireland, endemic to the
Hawaiian Islands, with undulate, nondecurrent leaves, cuticular
papillae on the leaf cells, and wrinkled capsules is also in-
cluded in the genus." This new genus is named in honour of
William R. Buck, New York Botanical Garden.
MORE ON _A RUM AFFAIR_ BY KARL SABBAGH
From: Dr. Doug Evans [evans at mnhn.fr]
I was interested to read your review of this book. I suspect
that a British, & particularly a Scottish, botanist would have
written a different review. All the points about feuding
botanists are quite valid but in this case there is more.
I was first aware of the story when I visited the herbarium at
the RBG Edinburgh to look at _Carex microglochin_ as part of a
final year project towards my BSc in 1981 or 82. This plant is
only known (within the UK) from a small area near Ben Lawers, on
very calcareous schists at 800 m or above. But in the herbarium
was a sheet which was definitely _C. microglochin_ labelled
'Isle of Harris'. Nowhere on Harris is there suitable habitat
for this arctic-alpine species. When I mentioned this find to
several older Scottish botanists I was told the story related by
Sabbagh in his book. The specimen had been collected by Heslop
Harrison's brother in law. The story was well known but had
never been put into print until recently.
COMMENTS ON "_A RUM AFFAIR_" BY KARL SABBAGH
From: Dr. M. Joe Harvey, 5061 Sooke Road, Victoria, B.C.
Canada V9B 5B4
1. I was fascinated by the subject matter since I was a student
at what was then called King's College, Newcastle on Tyne and
then nearby Durham City, 1954-1961. By the fact that I was in
the respective departments of Botany I knew practically every
person mentioned in the book - at least the northern ones. My
tutor at Newcastle was 'Wooly' Clark.
2. The Subplot (or is it the plot)
The book's central theme, I was surprised to see, is the British
class war. In this it seems a throwback to an outdated period of
snobbery that the Beveridge Commission attempted to address at
the end of WW2. The book is full of 'U' and 'non-U' references
that codify this snobbery. The terms U and non-U stand for Upper
class and Non-Upper Class. I forget who invented the terms but I
suspect it was Nancy Mitford. [See a note below. - AC]
As an example of a Non-U term I lost count how many times J.W.
Heslop-Harrison was referred to as "the son of an iron worker".
The significance of this curious and apparently irrelevant
repetition, would be lost on anyone not brought up in the atmos-
phere of the British class system that was pervasive in the
middle of the twentieth century. The whole social structure was
(and still is) based on ancestry, accent and attending certain U
schools and universities. The aristocracy belong to this group
and the governing class is almost exclusively drawn from it.
The contrasting Non-U is referred to using certain coded words
such as 'Northern', Northern accent', 'Redbrick university',
'Workers', 'Industry'. Apparently J.W. Heslop-Harrison's sin was
to be a self-made upstart of no breeding, from the North, who
presumed to do work which was the assumed bailiwick of others
from the south who were better equipped by a long tradition of
3. Asperger's Syndrome
J.W. Heslop-Harrison was an example of Asperger's Syndrome. This
is a fairly common brain-wiring syndrome where objects become of
intense interest while _people_ are accorded little recognition.
Albert Einstein and Bill Gates are the commonly cited examples.
Such people are frequently attracted to science and mathematics
but not, say, law or politics.
I went on rambles with the Northumberland and Durham Natural
History Society led by J.W. several times and his ability to
find and name plants, insects and birds was phenomenal. I was
particularly left gasping by his facility with the forms of the
_Rosa canina-villosa_ complex which were such a conspicuous part
of the Durham hedgerows. He was a polymath.
The other side of the Asperger personality is the contrasting
inability to remember the names of people by looking past or
through them. This leads to shyness, withdrawal and the feeling
on the part of observers that such people are 'cold' or even
unfriendly. This seems to be behind many of the observations
noted in the book.
4. As for the 'facts' which are so missing from the book I can
add little. Yes, I read the paper in Nature when I was a stu-
dent. As a group we thought it amusing but by then he had
retired from King's College. His colleague Katie Blackburn gave
her last lecture to my class of students while suffering from
Parkinson's Syndrome. She had worked with J.W. on the reproduc-
tive cytology of _Rosa canina_ and investigated pollen remains
on the peat of the _Trapa natans_ fruit which he found floating
in a bog pool in the Hebrides.
5. All I can say in summary is that his ability to observe and
find obscure things was quite amazing. This is typical of
Asperger subjects who are frequently misanthropes and, in this
case, got enormous enjoyment ranging long distances across
remote hillsides looking for obscure plants and insects. His
powers of observation were probably greater than the vast
majority of naturalists of the time. Knowing him - no that is
the wrong expression - _observing_ him as I did over a number of
years, my personal bets would be on him finding the disputed
plants where he said he did.
'U' AND 'NON-U' - ASK A LINGUIST
From: Prof. Geoffrey Sampson [geoffs at cogs.susx.ac.uk] --
originally posted at ask-ling at linguistlist.org;
posted here with Prof. Sampson's kind permission
The terms originated in exchanges between the novelist Nancy
Mitford (_Love in a Cold Climate_, etc.) and the linguist Alan
Ross -- I am not sure which of the two actually invented them.
They were intended in a fairly lighthearted way to pick out
vocabulary which differentiated people at different points on
the English class ladder at the time (the 1950s, I think). Then,
more than now, there were words whose use stamped the speaker as
lower-middle-class or below, as opposed to the words which
someone from the upper-middle-class or above would use for the
same things -- for instance, I think "serviette" (a word I
haven't heard for a long time) was non-U, v. "[table] napkin" as
the corresponding U term. Nancy M and Alan R produced long lists
of these pairs.
Subsequently, the picture has been overlaid by the greatly
increased influence of American English on British English; the
words that are usual in the USA sometimes happen to coincide
with the term that was U in England, and sometimes with the term
that was non-U, in a random pattern I imagine, but the power of
America "lifts" the status of its words in England even if they
were previously non-U.
I get into mild trouble at home on this, because I lived in the
USA for several years in my twenties and sometimes use terms
which are deprecated by other members of the family, for in-
stance I am chided for talking of the "living room" rather than
the "sitting room" -- this may be because of my non-U upbring-
ing, but I think in fact in this case it is because Americans
call it "living room" and after a while in the USA I got con-
fused about what to call it, and I suspect that this particular
pair of terms is no longer any sort of social marker in England
since others see American films, etc.
AND ALSO _YEW AND NON-YEW_
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]
Bartholomew, James. 1996. Yew & non-Yew: Gardening for horticul-
tural climbers. Century Books Ltd., London. 159 p. ISBN 0-07-
1267705-4 [hard cover] GBP 9.99
Available from: Century Books, Ltd., 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London, SW1V 2SA
Now I finally understand the pun. If you are interested in
gardening, this is the "authoritative guide to the great social
division in British gardening."
"James Bartolomew treats garden snobbery with robust good humour
in this witty, funnily illustrated book. With vital information
on a host of subjects including the top ten Yew and NON-YEW
gardens in Britain, a questionnaire to to determine just how Yew
is your garden, a calendar for garden snobs," etc., etc.
[From the book's dust jacket, or should I say, a wrapper? - AC]
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