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Bulletin of the

Native Plant Society of Oregon

Dedicated to the enjoyment, conservation, and study

of Oregon's native vegetation

Volume 31

Number 10

October 1998

ISSN 0884-599

In this issue

We Welcome New Members 119

NPSO Items for Sale 120

NPSO/ODA Intern Report: Is Bugbane Bugged by Bees? - Madi Novak 120-122

Keith Chamberlain - Krista Thie 123

Wild Ramp - A Cancer Fighter? - Adapted by Jim Long 123

Wildflower Seeds 124

All About Vernal Pools 124

Announcing the Asteraceae Checklist 124

State News

July 30 - Aug. 1, 1999

Annual Meeting: The 1999 Annual Meeting will take place in the high country of McKenzie Pass, and will be hosted by the Emerald Chapter. Mark your calendars!


Board Meeting: In Corvallis, in late January or early February. Details later.

Chapter News

Blue Mountain

Oct. 5, Mon.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Small Business Development Center, SE 1st & Dorian, Pendleton. Bring your slides from the summer; we'll have refreshments, swap stories, plan meetings, et cetera.


Oct. 22, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Water Reclamation Facility, 3500 NE Clearwater Drive, McMinnville. Donald C. Eastman, the author of "The Rare and Endangered Plants of Oregon," will speak on that subject.

Nov. 19, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Water Reclamation Facility, 3500 NE Clearwater Drive, McMinnville. Mark Griswold Wilson, a restoration ecologist, will talk about "Planting native grasses in the Willamette Valley."


Oct. 12, Mon.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Avery House, Avery Park, near the intersection of Avery Ave. and Allen St. (Note: This is a new meeting location) Gaylee Goodrich and/or Steve Northway will present "Delphinium pavonaceum (peacock larkspur), its ecology and relation to restoration biology." For more information, call Steve Northway,( policy).

Oct. 17, Sat.

Work Party: Learn the ins and outs of herbarium preparations at the OSU Herbarium. We'll spend the day mounting plants collected by Oregon's finest botanists. Meet: 9 A.M., OSU Herbarium (NW corner of Cordley Hall). For more information, call Justen Whittall,( policy).


Oct. 10, Sat.

Field Trip: Dr. Rhoda Love leads a "Fall Fruits and Foliage Walk" at Mt. Pisgah from 10 A.M. to noon. Come take a peek at autumn colors naturally on display at the Arboretum as the seasons change. Learn about the many botanical changes that occur this time of year, and pick up some identification techniques. Bring a hand lens if you have one. $5 ($3 MPA members). Co-sponsored by MPA and the Emerald Chapter. Call( policy), for details.

Oct. 26, Mon.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 110, Science Building, main campus, Lane Community College, Eugene. "Mushrooms and Other Fungi in Oregon." Ankie Camacho, Oregon State University and LCC mycologist, will talk about mycological diversity, with particular attention to a survey of fungi at McDonald-Dunne Research Forest.

Nov. 1, Sun.

Field Trip: Fifth Annual Forest Fungi Foray! Join us for a trip to the Cascades or the Coast (to be decided the day of the trip, depending on the weather), to collect and identify mushrooms and other fungi. Meet: S. Eugene H.S., 9 A.M., to car pool. Bring warm, dry clothes and footwear, a watch, a basket to collect in, and lunch. Leaders: Marcia Peeters, Peg Boulay, Bruce Newhouse ( policy).

Nov. 23, Mon.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 110, Science Building, main campus, Lane Community College, Eugene. Trevor Taylor, graduate student in Environmental Studies & Biology, U.O., and recipient of an Emerald Chapter research grant, will describe his Fisher Butte and Rose Prairie project, "Long-term effects of prescribed fire on west Eugene wetlands."

High Desert

Oct. 20, Tues.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Central Oregon Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas, Bend. Members' slide night. Bring 12 of your favorite, recent slides to share. Call Stu Garrett,( policy) eves., for questions.

Klamath Basin

Oct. 13, Tues.

Meeting: 7-9 P.M. Room 202, Owens Hall, OIT, Klamath Falls. Dr. William Hopkins, Area IV Ecologist for the Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont and Winema National Forests, will give a presentation on either old-growth forests, or sensitive plants of the central Cascade pumice zone. For questions, or more information, call David Lebo, ( policy).


Oct. 7, Wed.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. Susan Nugent, District Botanist, Hood River Ranger District, will tell us about conservation projects involving Suksdorfia violacea and a popular rock-climbing destination.

Nov. 4, Wed.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. Carol Horvath, District Botanist, Clackamas River Ranger District, will give a talk on cold water corydalis (Corydalis aqua-gelidae): experiences, insights and questions she has concerning this rare, riverine species.

North Coast


For information on the North Coast Chapter, call Christine Stanley, ( policy).


Oct. 13, Tues.

Meeting: 7 P.M. First United Methodist Church, 1838 Jefferson St., Portland. Larry Everson will present "The Butterflies of Oregon."


Oct. 15, Thurs.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 171, Science Building, SOU, Ashland. Penny Latham, with CFER (Cooperative Forest Ecosystem Research), will talk about the status of current research on the clustered lady's slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum) in southwestern Oregon.

South Coast


For information on the South Coast Chapter, call Bruce Rittenhouse, ( policy).

Umpqua Valley

Oct. 8, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Room 310, Douglas County Courthouse, Roseburg. Share your summer botanical experiences and a few slides.

Willamette Valley

Oct. 19, Mon.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Room 225, United Methodist Church, 600 State St. NE, Salem. Margie Willis, who has led natural history tours in Costa Rica, will speak about and show slides of "Tropical Fruits and Flowers."

William Cusick

Oct. 15, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M., Forest and Range Sciences Laboratory, C Ave. & Gekeler Lane, La Grande. Program to be announced. For information, call Barbara Russell, at( policy).

We Welcome New Members Joining from 5/17/98 to 8/15/98


Michael, Claire & Alexis Beckley

William Beckman

Eileen & Richard Bourassa

Chuck & Patti Buffett

Rose Marie Caughran

Agnes B. Chegwyn

Anne DeLano

Barbara Drake

Patricia Farrell

Jo Goodman

Jacqueline Groth

Dave Hanson

Marg & Andrew Johansen

Jim Kreutzbender

Laura McMasters

Erin Rainey

A.P. Salkield

Kathryn & Brian Spyksma

Michael Terramin

Rob Tracey

Miriam & Richard Wagoner


J. Chris Pires


Steve Adamson

Deirdre Jackson

Eric N. & Brinda N. Wold

High Desert

Beverly Betzer

Charlette Chastain

Sandra Tye

Klamath Basin

Walt Lucas

Robert Obedzinski

Gregory B. Reddell

Faith Wilkins




Joseph Mosca

John W. Phillip

Mary Preston


Robert Baker

Judith A. Castle

Anita Cate

Lindsey Caudle

Jude Crockett

Sally Deleuw

Eric & Kimberly Geisler

Sally Hacker

Lyn Jackson

Mark Johnson

Lewis Lewin

Jolinda Osborne

Jeff Owens

Karen Peterson

Robert Springer

Ken Stowell

Chris & Dick Thoms

Laurie Walden

Lynn Wilson


Pat Dieli

Lois A. Griffith

Thomas R. Phillips

Carol & Robby Robinson

Willamette Valley

Karen Farmer



NPSO Items for Sale

Oregon's Rare Wildflower Poster depicts Punchbowl Falls and three of the Columbia River Gorge's endemic wildflowers. Text on the back describes the natural history of the Gorge and the mission of the NPSO. Available from Stu Garrett, 21663 Paloma Dr., Bend, OR 97701 ( policy). Individual may order posters at $12 each, plus $3 per order for shipping. Posters are mailed in tubes. Chapter treasures may contact Stu for wholesale prices to chapters.

NPSO Window Stickers are decals with NPSO's trillium logo in green over an opaque white background, for use inside car windows. Available from Stu Garrett, $1, minimum order five.

NPSO's Original Wildflower Poster depicts 13 Oregon wildflowers in a striking artist's rendition. Soon to be a collector's item. Available from Stephanie Schulz, 84603 Bristow Rd., Pleasant Hill, OR 97455, $5 each, plus $3 per order for shipping. Posters are mailed in tubes.

Conservation and Management of Native Plants and Fungi: Proceedings of an Oregon Conference on the Conservation and Mangement of Native Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, and Fungi. Edited by Thomas N. Kaye, Aaron Liston, Rhoda M. Love, Daniel L. Louma, Robert J. Meinke, and Mark V. Wilson, with a foreword by Reed F. Noss. Available from NPSO Conference Proceedings, 1803 Cedar St., La Grande, OR 97850. ( policy). $20 plus $5 for shipping for the first copy, $2.50 for shipping, each additional copy.



NPSO/ODA Intern Report

The following is the first in a series of three articles in which NPSO/OD interns discuss their activities during the 1998 field season. Interns were selected from a pool of applicants and worked with scientists from the Oregon Department of Agriculture/OSU Plant Conservation Biology Program to carry out research related to threatened and endangered species in Oregon. Project locations ranged from coastal beaches to serpentines of southwestern Oregon to the eastside's high desert. Interns were jointly funded by NPSO, state, and federal dollars and plan to use their experience to further their careers in botany and biology. What follows here is Madi Novak's article on the breeding system of Cimicifuga elata, Part I. Part II, by fellow intern Lisa Karst, will be presented in next month's Bulletin. Thanks again to NPSO for contributing to botanical education an work experience.

Tom Kaye

Plant Conservation Biology Program

Oregon Department of Agriculture



Is Bugbane Bugged by Bees?


We began this summer's field season in southern Oregon's Illinois Valley chasing potential pollinators of a bulrush sedge (Scirpus criniger) among serpentine fen plants such as the aromatic rhododendron (Rhododendron occidentale) and the carnivorous pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica). The sedge family (Cyperaceae) is generally wind pollinated. Standing among this sedge population, however, we noticed the plants were visited by a variety of insects (an observation made earlier by Tom Kaye, Barbara Wilson, and Peter Zika). Kaye, fellow intern Lisa Karst and I decided to follow up on this observation and conduct a bit of research. We colored the bulrush heads with a dry powdered dye that simulates pollen, and can be distributed to receptive stigmas by insects the same way a pollen grain is. The dye glows under ultra violet light, so we returned after dark with a blacklight and were excited to see confirmation of what we had suspected during the day. Pollinators had picked up the grains dye and transferred them to other S. criniger heads. This bulrush did indeed seem to make use of insects to cross-pollinate.

Lisa Karst and I were so enticed by this research that we immediately decided to conduct a study of our own. At first we developed a bizarre scheme that involved more than twenty hours of travel time, and would demand our attention that very same weekend. Thankfully, Tom Kaye nudged us gently towards a more realistic project.

We first visited our subject, tall bugbane (Cimicifuga elata), in a beautiful mature forest near Corvallis, Oregon. Even though it is a fairly large herbaceous perennial, sometimes reaching two meters, it can at first be difficult to spot. Its leaves can easily be confused with baneberry (Actea rubra) or thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), both of which can be found right alongside the bugbane. The inflourescences are delicate, a white raceme with flowers including only the bare necessities: pistils and stamens. When the plant is in the shade, a person could almost look right through it, but when it captures a ray of sun, it reflects and glows, catching the eye. We walked through the bugbane's preferred ecosystem█a wet, north-facing slope--and were able to spot perhaps fifteen blooming plants. The surrounding vegetation consisted of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ssp. menziesii), big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), oregon-grape (Berberis nervosa), sword fern (Polystichum munitum), inside-out flower (Vancouveria hexandra) and wild ginger (Asarum caudatum). It was dark and cool in the understory and we saw very few insects at all. When we did find a potential pollinator landing on a tall bugbane raceme, it was usually during that brief period of time when a ray of sun was able to penetrate the canopy.

Tall bugbane has been determined to be largely geitonogamous (Pellmyr, 1986). Geitonogamy is self-pollination through a pollinator vector. An insect, in this case usually a bumblee bee, lands on a flower, is dusted with pollen, and transfers it to a pistil on the same plant thereby self-pollinating. Due to the small number and low density of bugbane plants in the northern Oregon population, and to the relatively few number of pollinators present, geitonogamy seems to be an appropriate solution to the lack of pollination vectors. However, there are much larger populations of tall bugbane in southern Oregon with a greater density where pollinators have been observed faithfully visiting these plants. Our mission was to test the hypothesis that pollinator behavior, and possibly C. elata breeding systems, differ among northern and southern populations. To this end, observed pollinator activity directly and by using pollen analog dyes.

We began our research in the north. First, we observed and documented pollinator activity. Then we attempted to trace pollinator activity with dye analogs. We took notes on time, temperature and weather conditions in an effort to observe the northern and southern populations under similar circumstances. We then followed the activity of the pollinators in the area. When spotting a possible pollinator on a tall bugbane raceme, we watched and documented its path as long as it was in sight. After completing our observations we embarked on the dye analog study. We chose three different colors, in the event one of the colors attracted or repelled certain pollinators. In deciding how to apply the indicator dye to the stamens we came up with a few good ideas and a few absurd ones, the champion of which entailed affixing a dead bee to a toothpick, covering it with the dye and rubbing it on the flowers. We later discovered that this procedure had actually been done in pollination studies of other plants. After trying a few different processes and dying quite a bit of the countryside, we settled on a procedure of bending the raceme into a small ziplock bag, brushing the dye onto the flowers with a paintbrush and then carefully allowing the stem to right itself. This worked well, with relatively little dye escaping into the surrounding area, and the ziplock bag provided a handy place to quarantine the toxic covered brushes. We waited a minimum of twenty-four hours, returning to the location after dark with a black light to check surrounding bugbane racemes for signs of glowing dye. We measured the distances between the racemes we dyed and those we were checking for transferred dye. Because there were only about fifteen bugbane plants at the northern site and because we wanted to avoid robbing the location of most of this years' reproductive possibilities, we collected only individual flowers instead of entire racemes. With tweezers wiped clean with alcohol we plucked flowers in a straight line up one side of the raceme. This proved arduous and frustrating because the flowers consistently stuck to the tweezers and deteriorated as we were attempting to release them in our carefully labeled ziplock bags. Upon returning to the lab, we examined these flowers and racemes under a microscope for miniscule particles of dye.

When we arrived in southern Oregon near Ashland the size and density of the tall bugbane population astounded us. The number of plants present numbered about 8,000 individuals. The environment and morphology of the plant exhibited notable differences to northern populations. The forest had been thinned at least fifty years ago, making much more sun available to the understory. The bugbane was taller with many more reproductive stems and racemes. Even at first glance we could tell that there were more pollinators buzzing about, visiting the bugbane and the neighboring snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). In general, we repeated the procedure we followed near Corvallis, but not in regard to flower collecting. Due to our less than pleasing flower collecting experience in the north, and also because there were a large number of Bugbane plants at the Southern location, we harvested whole racemes from those plants we wished to examine more closely. After both observation and dye analog research were completed, we captured insects that were pollinating the tall bugbane and found four species of bee, two hover flies (Syrphus spp.) and a muscid fly.

Lisa Karst will submit the results of our combined study in the next Bulletin. I would like to thank the Native Plant Society of Oregon, Bob Meinke and Tom Kaye for making this internship available and allowing me to benefit from it. Tom Kaye especially deserves my gratitude for his guidance in this study and for his help and patience throughout the summer.

I'm glad to have worked with Lisa Karst on this study and enjoyed sharing my summer with co-intern Jeff Stephens.

Madi Novak



Keith Chamberlain

On July 25, 1998, there was a memorial service for Keith at the Mosier Grange. The same hall where we held the annual NPSO meeting in May, and we awarded Keith with thanks for extensive lifetime service to NPSO. Jerry Igo officiated. Jerry did a wonderful job of sharing with us many aspects of Keith's life and encouraging those of us at the service to share stories about Keith and how much he meant to us and how much we will miss him.

Keith started the NPSO chapter in Mosier and taught many people including many boy scouts how to identify native plants. He started the flower show in Mosier which has been held over 20 years and introduced many, many people to the beauty and immense variety of NW plants. He traveled many miles photographing plants and taking many of us on adventurous wild flower hikes visiting sites of rare and unusual plants. While recently our chapter has focused the flower show on the Columbia River Gorge, Keith had traveled hundreds of miles to put together a show that included flowers from the coast and eastern Oregon; his slide collection is maintained by Barbara Robinson, president, and the Mid-Columbia Chapter.

Besides working extensively with the boy scouts, he was also very interested in art and was an accomplished painter and supported the Art Association in The Dalles, Oregon. His parents moved to the Mosier from Montana (and other places) where his sister, Montana, was born. She attended the memorial service. His foster son, who had nursed Keith over the last year or two, was unable to attend as he was working the short fishing season in Alaska.

Keith's and Mary's wedding picture, shows a dashing young man with a black goatee and a lovely young bride dressed in clothes from the 1800's. In their later years, he nursed her faithfully through her difficult illness with

lupus. Keith is deeply missed by those of us lucky enough to have known him, and every spring when the wild flowers bloom again he will be remembered.

Krista Thie, Mid-Columbia Chapter



Wild Ramp -- A Cancer Fighter?

OSU agricultural chemist, Philip Whanger, believes that a stinky wild leek - ramp - might be adapted to fight cancer.

To ward off breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers, human beings use about 300 micrograms of selenium a day. Bulbs of ramp (Allium tricoccum) absorb and hold more selenium from the soil in less time than their cancer-fighting cousins - onions, garlic, or broccoli.

Wild ramp grows only in Appalachia, at high elevations, from northern Georgia into Canada. This spring Professor Whanger is transplanting wild ramp into test plots in Corvallis.

His research on tumors in rats is supported by the Linus Pauling Institute and the Selenium-Tellurium Foundation. Other research on ramp is being conducted at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at SUNY-Albany, N.Y., and at VPI-Blacksburg.

Professor Whanger, born and reared in Appalachia, returned home to take a new taste at "ramp suppers" where "they serve ╬em up with ham and brown beans." Everyone eats the smelly plant - mostly out of self-defense, he said. But, if the wild plant's early promise is realized, ramp will be grown and eaten for health-defense.

[Adapted from The Oregon Stater, Vol. 82, No. 1, February, 1998, by Jim Long, Umpqua Valley Chapter]


Wildflower Seeds

The 1999 Seed and Book Catalogue of the New England Wild Flower Society is now available. There are in it more than 200 varieties of seeds and spores, including plants for woodland, wetland and meadow. And they range from the easy-to-grow, such as Jack-in-the-pulpit, black-eyed Susan and cardinal flower to the more difficult, such as trilliums, ferns, gentians and pitcher plants.

There are four different mixes - a New England mix, for general growing conditions, mixes for dry and moist conditions, and a tall grass mix.

Requests for the catalogue must be received by March 1, and seed sales end on March 15. Some seed supplies are limited. To order, send $2.50 to: Seeds, New England Wild Flower Society, Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA 01701.


All About Vernal Pools

A Conference on the ecology, conservation and management of vernal pool ecosystems was held in Sacramento, California in June, 1996. It was jointly sponsored by the California Native Plant Society, the Western Section of the Wildlife Society and the California Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration.

Now the proceedings of that conference - Vernal Pool Ecosystems - have been published. The thirty papers (285 pages, 8.5 x 11.5 inches) in this volume cover the soils, plants, animals, restoration and creation of vernal pools. It costs $20 per copy, plus $4.50 shipping for the first volume and $1.00 for each additional volume.

It may be ordered from CNPS, 1722 J Street, Suite 17, Sacramento, CA 95814. For credit card orders, call ( policy), or fax ( policy).

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© Copyright 1998 Native Plant Society of Oregon, All Rights Reserved

Last Modified December 13, 1998