Systematics of Hydrophylloideae (Boraginaceae)

Posts tagged “herbarium

plants are so defensive

In such interesting and painful ways. I’ve developed a sensitivity to the plants I study, and I don’t mean an appreciation for them. I mean that I react to exposure. Contact dermatitis haptens, yo.

The eglandular hairs of Boraginaceae are irritating, in the field and in the herbarium. The only good thing is that the stinging hairs aren’t urticating hairs, and don’t inject pain.  So I can tell when I get a handful of Urtica dioica as opposed to Phacelia malvifolia or Phacelia nemoralis. The hairs are solid and break off and stay in my skin, and then I get itchy bumps.

phacelia_malvifolia_badtouch

phacelia_nemoralis_hispidhairs_dew

nemoralis_stinging_stung

 

The glandular hairs are a different irritating issue. I respond strongly to urushiol (Toxicodendron diversilobum) too, and  sometimes it is really difficult to tell if the delayed contact dermatitis came from exposure to poison oak or glandular Hydrophylloideae taxa (like Phacelia pedicellata, Phacelia parryi, Phacelia crenulata, Phacelia minor, Phacelia campanularia…). Here is a pro-tip, NEVER ROLL AROUND IN A FIELD OF PHACELIA CRENULATA. It looks really pretty, but Phacelia crenulata smells like Phacelia crenulata, and then you will smell like Phacelia crenulata, and you have geranylhydroquinone everywhere.

phacelia_pedicellata_glandularhairs

crenulata_var_crenulata

DSC_0220.JPG

so pretty. so shiny.

 

REYNOLDS, G. W., W. L. EPSTEIN, and E. RODRIGUEZ. 1986. Unusual contact allergens from plants in the family Hydrophyllaceae. Contact dermatitis 14(1):39-44.

REYNOLDS, G., and E. RODRIGUEZ. 1979. Geranylhydroquinone: A contact allergen from trichomes of Phacelia crenulata. Phytochemistry 18(9):1567-1568.


Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley

Via the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library. Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley, Botanical Register [Bot. Reg.] 14: tab. 1180. 1828. “A hardy annual, of great beauty, … resembling some small Echium in appearance”

Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley_just a taste


Romanzoffia californica

Rcalifornica_infl_immature

Rcalifornica_tuberous_bases

Rcalifornica_corollas


CAS field trip

ScienceScienceScience_and_Rainbows

Trigger in the CAS IZG department

microfossils

CLAUDEandFriends

jellies

the terrestrial to the marine

always, always looking to the sky


real situations, real safety hazards

Untitled Image

aaaaaaaaaa_take227


U.S. Department of Awesome

departmentofawesome


heaven knows

heaven_knows


OBI

Trigger helping me work at the Robert F. Hoover [OBI] Herbarium.

Trigger helping me work at the Robert F. Hoover Herbarium [OBI].

Practicing my handwriting with annotations of OBI Hydrophylloideae

Practicing my handwriting with annotations of OBI Hydrophylloideae

 


Knights Ferry

Inflorescences of Phacelia cicutaria. The calyx lobes form little baskets around the capsules when mature. The basket breaks off and rolls away like a mini-tumbleweed. Also, the spiky hairs stick efficiently under my skin.

Inflorescences of Phacelia cicutaria. The calyx lobes form little baskets around the capsules when mature. The basket breaks off and rolls away like a mini-tumbleweed. Also, the spiky hairs stick efficiently under my skin.

Phacelia cicutaria plant, in rock crevice at Tulloch Mill. Dry dry dry.

Phacelia cicutaria plant, in rock crevice at Tulloch Mill. Dry dry dry. Type collected April 9th, 1895 and without fruit or seed, so I thought a later date would be better to capture flowering and fruiting. I was wrong! And this is what being wrong looks like. I need to return earlier and repeatedly throughout the spring next year.

Phacelia cicutaria in middle of rock at south side of Tulloch Mill at Knights Ferry. Type locality for Phacelia cicutaria is probably along the Stanislaus River, but it was so dry even down at the river sides these were the best looking plants I could find. The others were all stripped down skeletons.

Phacelia cicutaria in middle of rock at south side of Tulloch Mill at Knights Ferry. Type locality for Phacelia cicutaria is probably near[er] and along the Stanislaus River ["at Knights Ferry, on the Stanislaus River"], but it was so dry even down at and along the river near Tulloch Mill and the covered bridge that these were the best looking plants I could find. The others were all stripped down skeletons of plants.

The covered bridge at Knights Ferry Rec Area over the Stanislaus River. The General Store in Knights Ferry was closed.

The covered bridge at Knights Ferry Rec Area over the Stanislaus River. The General Store in Knights Ferry was closed. Sads. After scouting around the covered bridge and south without finding green plants I didn’t hike further up or down the river. Next year though!

 

 

 


Phacelia tanacetifolia, Fresno County

Phacelia tanacetifolia, Fresno County


twas brillig – my spring Jepson Workshop sessions are complete

Additional workshops using these [high] magnificence are still open and spots can be reserved with our Jepson Coordinators! And don't forget the August 17th Jepson Workshop on Mastering the Jepson Manual. I know a tarweed or two that might be around.

Additional workshops with all this magnificence are still open and spots can be reserved with our Jepson Coordinator! And don’t forget the August 17th Jepson Workshop on Mastering the Jepson Manual. I know a tarweed or two that might be around.

Also, check out the Jepson Herbarium Workshop tumblr for the curated photographs from each weekend workshop, and just a few tabs over are the uploaded handouts from each workshop available as a pdf download.


Phacelia [?] var. heliophila

This is why I love nomenclature, I love taxonomy, I love collections, I love digitized archives and libraries offsite, and I love going to the field and finding plants that match protologues. Because even in California, even in 2013, even in Phacelia, there are mysteries and there is disagreement. What is this? I have an idea, but I have to rigorously test it. Stay tuned [and on botany time, so 3+ yrs for data collection, analysis, and publication].

This is why I love nomenclature, I love taxonomy, I love collections, I love digitized archives and libraries offsite, and I love going to the field and finding plants that match protologues. Because even in California, even in 2013, even in Phacelia, there are mysteries and there is disagreement. What is this? I have an idea, but I have to rigorously test it. Stay tuned [and on botany time, so 3+ yrs for data collection, analysis, and publication].


Uniform botany

I read a lot of  biographies of women botanists in California and just reread the transcripts of the oral histories from the Bancroft, again. I keep referring back to the archival images of these epic scientists and wondering how. There are these specific details in my head that keep bouncing around – Alice Eastwood’s flower hats, Ella Dales Cantelow’s boots, Annetta Carter’s sweater. I keep circling back to this question of how fashion can structure opportunity in the field and lab. Botany uniforms. I am trying to imagine what being a woman botanist would have been like at different time periods in California. If I can’t understand how, personally, practically, logistically, plants were collected and studied in California in 1913 how can I expect my collections for 2013 to be comparable? I feel like I am leaping over a giant gap on the basic scientific method on how to collect plants, which hasn’t been uniform across time [see any field note book, ever]. Are species concepts the same across time for a given landscape with dramatic historical shifts and changes in protocol?

So to think about this I have been playing around with paper dolls. I am fascinated by Alice Eastwood’s bustle dress. How did Alice Eastwood carry her plant press tied up inside of her bustle? And ride a horse with this ensemble? I am guessing that the plant press was small field size – but specifically what size, before or after the Brandegee standardized herbarium sheet,  and made out of what? What is the actual weight of an empty versus a full plant press? How did this work attached inside of a functional hiking and riding dress? And she also hiked ahead of the menfolk to cook dinner, and then stayed behind to clean up?  Were her boots made of magical leather – and did she wash her socks every evening? What was her budget for clothes? How did access on foot, and by train, and then car change botany and the experience of women botanists in California? How did new technologies, innovations, and socio-economic expectations impact women botanists, and what are the effects on specimen collections?

AliceEastwood_ActionPaperDoll_gkw01012013

The images are taken from the CAS Alice Eastwood archives, CalPhotos or Petersen’s magazine, all badly adobe’d. I want to have a full suite of outfits, with accessories [including plants described by botanists]. I know it is a weird idea but it is how I am starting to think about this. Also WILSON, C. G. 1955. Alice Eastwood’s wonderland; the adventures of a botanist. San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences.


Fuck yeah nomenclature

WordleRamosissimae_12262012


Nomenclature of subdivisions in Phacelia

The new issue is online [Madroño 59(4)] and our paper is published! I am looking forward to getting back home to read it and the other articles in the new issue. Thanks to everyone for their patience and support for all the research and writing, I will be sending reprints your way.

 

WALDEN, G. K., and R. PATTERSON. 2012. Nomenclature of subdivisions in Phacelia (Boraginaceae). Madroño 59(4):211-222.

 

Abstract link http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3120/0024-9637-59.4.211

Full text [with subscription] http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3120/0024-9637-59.4.211


Jepson Workshops Blog

The Jepson Herbarium Workshops has a great tumblr going.

http://jepsonworkshops.tumblr.com

Part inspiration from past workshops, and part anticipation for the upcoming year. Share your favorite photos from workshops you have attended with our Jepson Workshop coordinator via email. I think my favorite so far is  from the ‘planning’ post. Although I am partial to that Phacelia Friday.

 

This is a typical scene of botanists starting to scatter across the landscape at a stop from the 2012 White Mountains workshop.

 

 


Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

HIIMR is brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. If only the spring speaker series could be podcast?

The Times Standard news article includes more information, and is slightly more reassuring about the lack of any listed botanists, population geneticists, agronomists, or plant pathologists in the affiliated faculty and research interests on the institute’s homepage. Humboldt State has a world class herbarium [HSC], and a great botany department, this is a perfect synthesis of facilities for future research opportunities. Difficulties for current access, documentation, permits, regulations – I feel that this is a tremendously positive step toward best practices for scientific research on marijuana. Collecting specimens and growing plants of Cannabis for experimental and systematic studies are going to be incredibly important [voucher specimens are the fundamentals of plant biology], and efforts are needed to a] support field research to document rare populations before they are extirpated, b]  study evolutionary relationships using comparative genomics with Humulus, c] understand modern domestication of a plant crop with applied breeding programs, and d] understand gene expression and regulation in chemical synthesis pathways in marijuana. HIIMR should also consider supporting a long term seed bank [okay, achene bank] and clonal germplasm repository for landraces of Cannabis, and possibly partner with Philip Morris to apply results to bring to market a marijuana cigarette.

 

Also, I am interested in a job when I finish my PhD. I will be in touch.

 

 


Summer in the park

Been diving into some different projects recently, and today was back with happy Phacelia specimens and nomenclature at CalAcademy. The set up for visiting is pretty nice [pretty nice, come on - it is inside the California Academy of Sciences, of course it is amazing!], with a gorgeous set of windows and big desk and lights and scope and lots of plug ins for gadgets. The inside of the compactors is set to bone chill, so this is a delightful space that doesn’t require full snow gear.

I am going to point out that my dissection kit [pictured below] was originally purchased for botany lab class at UC Davis. Such a useful class purchase. That, a hand lens+lanyard, and the 1993 Jepson Manual. All practical, all used well beyond the original class.

CalAcademy Botany Visitor Number One!

The weirdest thing is that I haven’t yet gone to CalAcademy yet this year as a member. How has that even happened? I wave at Claude in his tank when I check in.

There are always brillig things to see in Golden Gate Park like the sunshine, and the Conservatory of Flowers, and the bison! Trigger stopped next to the ever-blooming Phacelia californica in the California section across from CalAcademy.

Trigger is a total California dog

 


Another Friday 13th

Another great Jepson Manual 101 Clinic on Friday before the Potentilla Jepson Workshop this weekend. And again, I learned more than I was anticipating – and really appreciate the enthusiasm of everyone who participated. Staci Markos gave a great introduction to the second edition, the new and improved features of the Jepson Manual, and additional online resources. Mentha pulegium was the example on page 840 to show how the different font and structure for the organization of the book works – and to show that the taxon isn’t in the index. Also, by keying it out in preparation for the clinic I found out that although it smells great, it is TOXIC.

The Clinic was in the Botany Seminar room with these really amazing new microscopes that have been donated to the Jepson Workshops. The dissection kits help with looking at the 4 fertile stamens and 1 staminode in Scrophularia californica, and the scopes were great to look at the shaggy hairs on the leaf axis of Rosa californica. Barbara Ertter stopped by to check in with participants for the workshop, and kindly confirmed the identification of the rose!

We also keyed out Delphinium californicum too. I absolutely did not plan having all the specific epithets be ‘californica’ or ‘californicum’, it really just happened. The Delphinium was in open flower, with some flowers still in bud at the distal end of the inflorescence. From the road looking into the chaparral hillside I thought it was in total bud, and climbed up just to see if it was worth coming back in a month or so. I collected the inflorescence on July 12th [the day before the clinic] and the key in the manual has one character as blooming generally June or earlier, and the other as July or later. Maybe the inflorescence was blooming since June? Other inflorescences in the area were still in bud, but maybe it is a late year on the coast. The key has other characters that work great, and I was really thrilled to learn a new Delphinium species.

We also keyed out Eriogonum latifolium and I learned new terminology about flower stipes! I also brought in a lot of other things and of course there were some phacelias!

I have enjoyed these clinics, which have been held on various Fridays throughout the spring and summer. Check in with the UC & JEPS herbarium [on facebook too] and the  Jepson Workshops [jepsonworkshops@berkeley.edu, (510) 643-7008] for more information.


notebooks from CalDay

There was a gorgeous display of wildflowers for the UC & Jepson herbaria at UC Berkeley’s CalDay, and after it was all over I grabbed two of the phacelias to sketch. I think these both came from the Del Puerto Canyon vicinity, collected by Margriet Wetherwax. I had such a good time at CalDay, my first. Thanks!

The first is Phacelia imbricata Greene var. imbricata, which is a common perennial plant of the foothills from 50-2500 m throughout California.

Phacelia imbricata var. imbricata field notebook

The next is Phacelia distans Bentham, although this plant has the dingy white corolla and heteromorphic calyx lobes that would possibly align with one of Greene’s names [now in synonymy]. My summer research project, yo. There is wide variation documented in this taxon, with white corollas in northern California and blue corollas in southern California, Baja California and Arizona.

Phacelia distans Del Puerto Canyon white corollas


Potato cupcakes

The Jepson Manual celebrated the publication of the second edition with a party at the UC and Jepson Herbarium on Saturday – which was fantastic. I had a ton of people sign my copy where they wrote the treatments, or their favorite genus or sponsorship page. There was also a silent auction to support the Botany Library, and I managed to win some super fantastic books! Also – our librarian, Amy Kasameyer, found the perfect description for my new favorite food [besides birthday cake oreos]. Shown below what she coined as ‘potato cupcakes’ from the botany party. I ate nearly an entire platter. No joke.

PotatoCupcakes


Field Notebooks

Michael Eisen wrote a blog post last year noting a super amazing inclusion of the digitized lab notebooks as part of the supplemental materials [Lang and Botstein 2011]. My lab work has somewhat been on pause with classes [IS290 and IB200A] and studying for orals this semester, but come the end of April – I am going to do this with my lab notebooks as I progress through experiments in the Baldwin genomics lab and the MPL.

Along that vein, I will also put up my field notebooks from this year, probably the whole notebook at the end of the season, and additional notes from individual collection events posted as updates inside posts – this one includes the corolla dissections and sketches of ovules. And yes, after upload I realized that penciled drawings don’t scan as well as inked illustrations – so will keep that in mind for the future.

 

Phacelia californica GKW365 collection notes

Posting my field notebooks serves as part organization, part transparency, part scholarship, part archival, part communication, part trying to be a better practitioner of science. I also believe that creating a clear link between the collection event and the accessioned specimen may motivate me to decrease the time between collection and accession, which can contribute to the lag time in species descriptions – not that I am collecting anything new [Bebber et al. 2010].

I benefit so much from reading the online digitized field notebooks of Willis Linn Jepson, Reid Moran and others [the Smithsonian has an entire Field Book Project - AMAZING, go look at it], and visiting archives to read field notebooks of the Cantelows and John Thomas Howell at California Academy of Sciences. Other archives I really would like to visit are those of Marcus E. Jones, because Parry stole my rose [Dorst 2010; Jones 1930].

The field season is slower this year due to drought and next year will be my big field year, but there are still opportunities to describe some of the field diversity in a group like the [mostly Californian] Ramosissimae, which includes Phacelia distans and Phacelia malvifolia. I have been really inspired by the amazing scientific illustrations that John Myers has been doing for the FNANM treatment, and Dr. Strother also encouraged me [in the words of Terry Allen] to practice drawing. I limned the basics from the Phacelia californica that I collected for the Jepson Manual 101 clinic, and pressed the voucher in my Herbarium Supply plant press. I am always interested in best practices for collecting specimens and making vouchers [see one of M.E.Jones writings on collecting here], and not just because it is part of the IS290 class project for the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden!

Plant Press with Parachute Straps of Fire and Poppy

Literature cited

BEBBER, D. P., M. A. CARINE, J. R. I. WOOD, A. H. WORTLEY, D. J. HARRIS, G. T. PRANCE, G. DAVIDSE, J. PAIGE, T. D. PENNINGTON, N. K. B. ROBSON, and R. W. SCOTLAND. 2010. Herbaria are a major frontier for species discovery. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107(51):22169-22171.

DORST, D. 2010. The surf guru: stories. New York, Riverhead Books.

JONES, M. E. 1930. Botanical reminiscences. Contributions to Western Botany 17:1-31.

LANG, G. I., and D. BOTSTEIN. 2011. A Test of the Coordinated Expression Hypothesis for the Origin and Maintenance of the GAL Cluster in Yeast. PLoS ONE 6(9):e25290.


FNANM

The gang's all here!

 

Deb Trock wrote up a really nice piece in the current Flora of North America (FNANM) newsletter featuring student authors and their treatments – and Rebecca Stubbs and I are in the latest issue on the website [July-December 2011]. Rebecca works on Polemonium, and has a great website describing her research at SFSU with Dr. Patterson.

We tried to take some photos for Dr. Trock to use, but we were laughing pretty hard. Brennan Wenck-Riley [grad student of Dennis Desjardin] snapped a semi-serious pose with Laura Garrison’s Phacelia specimens in the Harry D. Thiers herbarium, photo is courtesy of his patient efforts. Left to right in the photo are Trigger the service dog, me, Dr. Robert Patterson, and Rebecca Stubbs.


Q. What is a herbarium specimen?

A.

Deflowered by BotanyCredit to Jim, BJ, Courtney and James.