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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 11

November 1998

ISSN 0884-599

In this issue

President's Message -- Michael Fahey 131

Eastside Conservation Chair Needed -- Michael Fahey 131

NPSO Items for Sale 131

NPSO/ODA Intern Report: Is Bugbane Bugged by Bees? Part II -- Lisa Karst 132-134

NPSO Fellows Program -- Veva Stansell 134

What Is Old Growth? -- Russ Jolley 135

Announcing the Asteraceae Checklist 135

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!

Jan. 23, 1999, Sat.

Board Meeting: 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. Avery House, Avery Park, Corvallis. (Near intersection of Avery Ave. and Allen St. Detailed map in next Bulletin.) For more information, contact Corvallis Chapter President, Steve Northway, ( policy).

Chapter News

Blue Mountain

Nov. 2, Mon.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Small Business Development Center, SE 1st & Dorian, Pendleton. Program to be announced.


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."


Nov. 9, Mon.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Avery House, Avery Park. (Near the intersection of Avery Ave. and Allen St.) Justen Whittall will present "Relationships and hybrid detection among our Pacific Northwestern checkermallows (Sidalcea spp.)"

Nov. 21, Sat.

Field Trip: Dylan Keon, OSU Botany and Plant Pathology graduate student of lichens, will lead this trip to the Coast Range to better understand an important species of lichen, Usnea longissima. Meet: 9 A.M., across the street from Monroe Beanery, with raincoats and appropriate footwear, for short walks through the Coast Range forests. For more information, contact Justen Whittall, ( policy).


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." Directions: From 30th Ave., turn south on Eldon-Schafer Dr. Go past Oak Hill School and park in LCC's south parking lot, east end. Walk downstairs to Science Building.

Dec. 14, Mon.

Holiday Gathering: 7:30 P.M. Room 110, Science Building, LCC main campus. Come for our annual holiday party. Bring 10-12 of your favorite slides, if you wish, and a finger-food snack, if convenient. Your chapter will provide punch, tea and holiday decorations. See you there! (See Nov. mtng. for directions.) NOTE: CHANGE FROM 4TH TO 2ND MONDAY (this month only).

Jan. 25, Mon.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 109, Science Building, LCC main campus. Marcia Cutler, LCC botany alumna, will tell us her experiences as the Central Oregon Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy's beautiful Juniper Hills Preserve. This 10,000 acre preserve, nestled in the high desert between the Ochoco and Maury Mountains, is known for its diversity of native bunchgrass communities. (See Nov. mtng., for directions.)

High Desert


Meeting: No meeting in November.

Klamath Basin

Nov. 10, Tues.

Meeting: 7-9 P.M. Room 202, Owens Hall, OIT campus, Klamath Falls. Dr. Karl Wenner, who has been involved with a number of restoration projects at Upper Klamath Lake, will give a presentation on the ecology of the lake. For further information or questions, please contact David Lebo at( policy).


Nov. 4, Wed.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. Carol Horvath, District Botanist for 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.

Dec. 2, Wed.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. As the short, gray days of winter approach, what better time to consider balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), a hallmark of springtime in the Mid-Columbia area. Barbara Robinson, our very own chapter president, has studied fenceline contrasts and seedling survival of this species for many years. At our meeting she will share her observations and insights on this spectacular native plant.

Jan. 6, Wed.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. With maps and video, Jerry Igo will tell about his recent botanical adventures in the southwestern United States, in a program titled, "Early Springtime in the Southwest Desert." It will be the next best thing to being there.

North Coast


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


Nov. 10, Tue.

Meeting: 7 P.M. First United Methodist Church, 1838 Jefferson St., Portland. Program to be announced. Check the Homes & Gardens section in The Oregonian on the Thursday before the meeting.


Nov. 19, Thurs.

Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 171, Science Building, Southern Oregon University, Ashland. Maria Ulloa will give a presentation on the native plants of southern Chile.

South Coast


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

Umpqua Valley

Nov. 12, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Room 310, Douglas County Courthouse, Roseburg. Chuck Williams presents a program on fungi.

Nov. 14, Sat.

Field Trip: Fungi with Cheryl Beyer. Meet: BLM parking lot, 777 Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg, for 8 A.M. departure.

Willamette Valley

Nov. 16, Mon.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Room 225, United Methodist Church, 600 State St. NE, Salem. Rex Swartzendruber will present a program on "Forest Community Nutrient Cycling." (It's about mushrooms. And see the next item.))

Nov. 21, Sat.

Field Trip: Rex Swartzendruber will lead a mushroom foray. Details will be announced at the meeting (above), or contact Walt Yungen, ( policy)).


William Cusick

Nov. 19, Thurs.

Meeting: 7 P.M. Forest and Range Laboratory, C Ave. & Gekeler Lane, La Grande. Program to be announced. For more information, watch the La Grande Observer a few days before the meeting, or call Dick Kenton,( policy).

President's Message

I am resigning as president of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, effective November 1, 1998. Please contact Michael McKeag, with any business you may have relating to NPSO.

Michael Fahey


Eastside Conservation Chair Needed

Doctor Stuart Garrett has expressed a wish to be replaced as the Eastside Conservation chair. He has done this job for several years and feels it is time to turn it over to someone else. I am asking for volunteers, or if you have a person in mind that might be interested, please ask them to volunteer. This is an important job and one that has been carried on in an excellent fashion by Dr. Garrett.

We will miss Dr. Garrett in this position. He has maintained an awareness of the issues that NPSO should respond to and has provided timely and effective responses. I feel that his letters dealing with Eastside conservation issues are models for the way these letters should be written. He is specific in his criticisms and does not become emotional in his arguments. He cites facts and published information to support his positions. Perhaps more important, where possible, he has included suggestions for alternative actions that would provide solutions to the problems that are of concern to NPSO. We owe Dr. Garrett a large vote of thanks for the years of service he has provided as the Chair for Eastside Conservation.

Dr. Garrett has promised to help any new Eastside Conservation Chair get off to a good start.

Michael Fahey

President, NPSO

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 second in a series of articles in which NPSO/ODA 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 Lisa Karst's article on the breeding system of Cimicifuga elata, Part II. Part I, by fellow intern Madi Novak, appeared in last month's Bulletin. Thanks again to NPSO for contributing to botanical education and work experience.

Tom Kaye

Plant Conservation Biology Program

Oregon Department of Agriculture


Is Bugbane Bugged by Bees? Part II

In the October issue of the Bulletin, Madi Novak related the background and methodology used in this study of the breeding system of the rare tall bugbane (Cimicifuga elata). Our overall goal in this joint project was to compare the pollination biology of this species in the northern and southern parts of its range in Oregon. We observed pollination activity at four sites: two in the area of Corvallis and two in the area of Ashland. Both Corvallis sites were small, low-density sites of less than 30 plants, situated in older stands of mixed evergreen and deciduous trees (which is typical for the species north of Douglas County). Both the Ashland habitats were more open, one being a 15 year old clearcut, the other a park-like stand of trees that was thinned several decades ago. During our visits to tall bugbane this summer, I was stung once by a yellow-jacket, and Madi was stung four times, Tom received a huge welt from a stump that tripped him, Jeff fell through rotten logs up to his waist; in previous years at these sites several people have been stung by vicious vespids. This mild-mannered perennial keeps some tough company.

At all our sites, bumblebees were the most frequent and thorough pollinators, followed by hover flies and solitary bees. Beetles were also observed using the racemes as mating platforms. Honey bees and butterflies seemed to ignore tall bugbane, though we didn't see many honey bees at our study sites.

The typical bumblebee pattern was to land on the lowest fully open flowers of a raceme and work upwards in a spiral or zigzag fashion. This behavior promoted outcrossing, because the anthers dehisce one day before the stigma is receptive (Pellmyr, 1986). Flowers on the lower part of the raceme mature first and have receptive stigmas when higher flowers have open anthers but non-receptive stigmas. As bees foraged along the raceme, they deposited pollen from their last visit on the lower, female-phase flowers, then moved up the raceme to pick up pollen from flowers in male-phase before departing. When a bee moves to the next raceme, preferably on another plant, it has a load of pollen to use for cross-pollination on the female-phase flowers, and so on. Most racemes on a plant were erect, but it was observed in the northern populations that the primary raceme on many plants was bent, usually at a strong angle, making it horizontal or downward-pointing. In the Southern populations, we observed that the primary racemes were infrequently bent, and then generally not to the point that they were horizontal or lower. We noticed that when a bumblebee encountered a bent raceme, it landed near the tip of the inflorescences and worked its way upward to the base, i.e. backward compared to typical erect racemes. This behavior may result in pollen from male-phase flowers being deposited on female-phase flowers within the same raceme, effectively self-pollinating the plant through geitonogamy. So why do some tall bugbane plants have bent racemes? We hypothesize that bent racemes help assure some pollination when insects are few and the chances of cross-pollination are slim█a kind of bet-hedging approach. In addition, if many pollinators are unfaithful, frequenting the flowers of other species of plants between bugbane visits (as Pellmyr observed), bugbane pollen might be wasted on the wrong flower. Again, a bent raceme could ensure at least some effective pollination.

Hover flies and solitary bees both used a plan of attack that contrasted with the bumblebees' pattern, rarely working more than one flower in a raceme and rarely hitting more than one raceme on a plant in a row. This results in a greater chance of cross-pollination because they are more likely to carry pollen from flower to flower on separate plants than if they hit nearly every flower in a raceme and hop to the nearest open raceme as the bumblebees do. Unfortunately, their size and tactics made it difficult to track them, but in the instances we were able to follow them to their next stop, they were just as faithful as the bumblebees.

Our dye studies were conducted in both the Corvallis and Ashland areas, as Madi noted last month. After the flowers or racemes were collected, they were examined in the lab with a black light and a dissecting scope. In both cases, movement of dyes from one plant to another was observed, but not in the numbers we had hoped for. There is a possibility that pollinators are turned-off by the dyes, as reported in some other studies that used this technique. It is also possible that the dyes interfere with the faint fragrance of tall bugbane, or the color of the flowers in the UV spectrum that some bees are tuned to. The camera filter needed to take UV/IR only pictures was prohibitively expensive, so that will have to wait for another opportunity. It is also possible that the racemes we chose to mark were too old and not as attractive the day after the marking. We noticed that the flowers and racemes that we collected tended to be at the stage of dropping their stamens as we collected them. In the Ashland population, we may also have chosen plants that did not receive adequate sunlight, as we saw was a big advantage for insect visitation in all four sites. Finally, the pollen-analog dyes used in this study may not have mimicked pollen as well as we hoped they would. In any case, we observed two cases of dye movement in the Corvallis population, and only one in the Ashland population.

Our pollination observations were made between noon and four. Temperatures ranged 70╔ to 85╔ F. At each of the sites, we watched for four hours total. We recorded each insect visit to a plant, and the number of racemes visited per plant. In addition, we tracked the number of sequential "hits" to bugbane racemes by each insect, before the insect left our field of view. During our observation periods, the two northern sites never received more than 10 visits from pollinators, while the southern sites received so many visits that some could not be counted because we were in the middle of watching another insect. Additionally, in the south, pollinator visits had two to five times as many hits. Southern populations were denser and clearly received more attention from pollinators, and as a result, we were more able to track the bees. Some sequences of pollination in the South exceeded 50 hits, while in the north, the longest chain of hits was less than 10 hits. There was no perceptible difference in the number of self- vs. cross-raceme visits in the north vs. south, but the sheer bulk of pollinator activity in the south would lead to many effective pollination events, whereas the northern populations might well have trouble getting any pollination. Thus, we suspect that the higher frequency of bent racemes in the north my be due to selective pressure for self-pollination in a system with few available pollinators. Even though our observations support a higher level of pollinator activity and faithfulness in the south than previously documented in the north, we still have to concur that geitonogamy is a common form of pollination for southern and northern tall bugbane alike. It would be worthwhile to do some fertility testing on self-pollinated versus cross-pollinated seeds from southern populations to compare to the northern populations that have been studied previously.

At the Corvallis site and in the newer clear cut, a black growth was occasionally noticed on immature racemes and even some immature leaves. We avoided touching those plants so as not to spread the infection. The affected areas seemed to be stunted and even dying, but when we returned to one of the sites later in the summer for more observation, those racemes had managed to bloom with their unaffected flowers, and some had even set seed. The problem seemed to taper off later in the season.

I would like to thank the Native Plant Society of Oregon, Bob Meinke and Tom Kaye for making this internship available. I would like to thank Tom "That's a very good question" Kaye in particular for his patience, support and interest in all my oddball ideas. I also enjoyed working with my fellow interns, Madi Novak and Jeff Stephens, two of the hardest working people I've ever had the privilege to call colleagues. It was a great summer, thank you all for making it possible and sharing it with me.

Lisa Karst


A committee composed of Rhoda Love, Veva Stansell and Shane Latimer has been named to delineate procedures for bestowing the highest honor of our Society: "Fellow of the Native Plant Society of Oregon." Nominations may be made by Chapters, individual members or the State Board under the following guidelines:

Nominees will be members who have given outstanding service to the Native Plant Society of Oregon. They may have been instrumental in establishing the State Organization or a Chapter, or produced distinguished editorial contributions, or served as an inspirational teacher of botany. They may have in other ways contributed valuable work relating to native plants or to the Native Plant Society of Oregon.

The nominating group or person should prepare a formal letter of nomination for consideration by the NPSO Fellows Committee. The letter should include detailed biographical and background information about the nominee.

After review of the nominating letter, the Committee will make a recommendation to the State Board, if the nomination is approved. Acceptance as Fellows will be by vote of the Board of Directors at a State Board Meeting. Fellows will receive a framed plaque and be featured in a Kalmiopsis article.

The NPSO Fellows Committee asks that letters of nomination for 1999 be sent AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to Veva Stansell, PO Box 6077, Pistol River, OR ( policy).

What Is Old Growth?

A U.S. Forest Service document (1992) says, "Old-growth forests have usually been defined as having a dominant overstory of trees greater than 200 years old, with a multilayered, multiple tree species canopy, relatively high canopy closure, snags, and down logs."

The precise Forest Service definition, however, depends upon the type and location of the forest under study. For example, in old-growth forests on the west side of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington (principally Douglas-fir, western

hemlock and western redcedar), each acre contains at least eight trees over 200 years old and greater than 21 inches in diameter; the canopy is multilayered; and each acre contains at least four snags (standing dead trees) greater than 20 inches in diameter and 29 down logs greater than eight inches in diameter.

The above definition applies to the so-called western hemlock forest type. Slightly different definitions of old-growth have been developed for the Pacific silver fir forest type, found at upper levels in the Cascades, the grand fir forest type, found on the east slope of the Cascades, and so on. All these definitions are subject to change as knowledge of old-growth forests increases.

Russ Jolley, Portland Chapter

(Sidalcea oregana image to be supplied) Reprinted from: Western Wetland Flora.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, n.d.


We are pleased to announce the Oregon Vascular Plant Checklist: Asteraceae. Composed by Kenton Chambers and Scott Sundberg, it is a compilation of all native and naturalized Oregon plants in the sunflower family. Have you just keyed a difficult yellow composite and you wonder if it is know from Oregon? Now you can look it up in the Checklist and find out if your plant is confirmed from the state. Perhaps you've just discovered a new state record, or maybe you just took the wrong key lead! And to help you find the new names of familiar plants, we also have provided a cross-reference list with the Flora of the Pacific Northwest. This checklist is a major step towards developing a comprehensive Flora of Oregon. Please send a request for your copy to the address in the box. Your donations help cover the cost of printing and mailing, and are greatly appreciated by this volunteer project. Those who have previously contributed to the Flora project may include an additional donation, but it is not required.

Please send checks to:
Dr. Scott Sundberg
Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology 2082 Cordley Hall
Oregon State University
Corvalis, OR 97331-2902

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

Last Modified December 13, 1998