2007 Triarch (Conant) "Botanical Images"
Student Travel Award

The Botanical Society of America, in conjunction with Paul Conant, welcomes you to the second annual Conant "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award. As the BSA's presence on the web has developed, we have watched more and more young people coming online to explore the fascinating range of plant images BSA members have shared with each other, and the public since the early 1990s. From the vibrant microscopy images through to those depicting entire ecosystems, pictures are always an enticing way to learn and teach about all things botanical.


Using this concept as an opportunity to support student development and to bring forward more images from the wonderful world of the plant sciences seemed a logical marriage. Accompanying each image you will find a scientific explanation provided by the image taker. We trust you will enjoy the results and in the process learn a bit more about plants!

2007 Submissions for the Conant "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award
#1 - Carlos A. Carlos A. Núñez-Colín, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo | #2 - Roxi Steele, University of Texas at Austin | #3 - Robin Yvonne Smith, University of Saskatchewan | #4 - Robin Yvonne Smith | #5 - Kate Hertweck, University of Missouri-Columbia | #6 - Carlos A. Carlos A. Núñez-Colín | #7 - Gilberto Ocampo, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden | #8 - Melanie Schori, Ohio University | #9 - Melanie Schori | #10 - Marcela Martínez Millán, Cornell University | #11 - T. Sultan Quedensley, University of Texas at Austin | #12 - C. Matt Guilliams, San Diego State University | #13 - Yannick Staedler, University of Zurich | #14 - Yannick Staedler | #15 - Sarah De Groot, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden | #16 - Sarah De Groot | #17 - Sarah De Groot | #18 - Sarah De Groot | #19 - Sarah De Groot | #20 - Sarah De Groot | #21 - Dylan Burge, Duke University | #22 - Devi Annamalai, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | #23 - Shao Qing, Chinese Academy of Science | #24 - Shao Qing | #25 - Shao Qing | #26 - Angelika Stammler, University Bremen | #27 - Dylan Burge | #28 - Dylan Burge | #29 - Jessica Budke, University of Connecticut | #30 - Natalia Pabon, Graduate Center - CUNY, New York Botanical Garden | #31 - Mauricio Diazgranados, Saint Louis University | #32 - Mirabai Mccarthy, Miami University | #33 - Julia Nowak, University of Guelph | #34 - Julia Nowak | #35 - Julia Nowak | #36 - Julia Nowak | #37 - Nicholas E. Buckley, Acadia University | #38 - Nicole M. Hughes, Wake Forest University | #39 - Eyup Erdogan, Balikesir University, Fen Bilimleri Enstitusu | #40 - Nicole M. Hughes | #41 - Michael Burgess, University of Maine | #42 - Emily H. Komiskey, University of Connecticut | #43 - Vinita Gowda, George Washington University | #44 - Vinita Gowda |

 

Submission #1
      

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Title: Mexican fruit fly attacking Mexican Crataegus
Author: Carlos A. Núñez-Colín
Institution: Universidad Autónoma Chapingo
Department: Fitotecnia
Topic/Discipline: Plant taxonomy and pest attack
Family: Rosaceae subfam. Maloideae
Taxon: Crataegus aff stipulosa (Kunth) Steudel
Common name: Tejocote
Caption: The female Mexican fruit fly putting its eggs inside Crataegus aff. stipulosa fruit
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Mexican Crataegus is a common specie used in Mexico as fruit and medicinal plant; however, it is attacked by the Mexican fruit fly causing devasting damages to the fruit. The female Mexican fruit fly puts its eggs inside the fruits; when the eggs eclossion, the larve feed from the pulp and the nuttles of the fruit avoiding in this way the propagation of this specie, besides it causes a big economic impact on tejocote producers.
Date taken: November 12th, 2006
Area: Chapingo's experimental field
State/Province: Mexico
Country: Mexico
Longitude: 19°29', Latitude: 98° 53'
Additional Information: The species of the genus Crataegus, from the cultural and comercial view point, are used in celebrations of all saints (november 1st) and Christmas over all in the elaboration of ponches (hot beberage prepare with guava, cinnamon and tejocote) and inside the piñatas. Tejocotes are a very important part in the traditional mexican culture.

 

 

Submission #2
      

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Title: Heliconius butterfly feeds on Psiguria flower
Author: Roxi Steele
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
Department: Plant Biology Graduate Program
Topic/Discipline: Systematics and Pollination Ecology
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Taxon: Psiguria bignoniacea
Common name: "Pepino de las montañas" or "Mountain cucumber"
Caption: Heliconius cydno collects pollen from Psiguria bignoniacea, both native to the tropics of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Psiguria is a genus of vines in the Cucurbitaceae (cucumber) family native to the New World tropics of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Most species of Heliconius butterfly could not reproduce without the nutrients they obtain from the pollen of Psiguria flowers. Unlike other lepidopterans (butterflies and moths) that obtain necessary egg-laying nitrogenous compounds from feeding on leaves during the larval (or caterpillar) life stage, Heliconius butterflies as adults assimilate amino acids and proteins they obtain from the pollen of Psiguria and a few species in the sister genus Gurania. Psiguria is monoecious (has separate male and female flowers on the same plant). Both male and female flowers are tubular, with five partially-fused petals; a similarity that, along with the stamen-like structure of the pistil, aids in "training" the pollinator butterflies to visit both sexes. The pollinator visits male flowers to collect pollen, then she mistakenly visits the female flowers searching for pollen, but as she probes the flower for her reward, she inadvertently deposits pollen onto the female stigmatic surface. The butterfly mixes the collected pollen with nectar that she has also collected from Psiguria. This mixture draws the nutrients from the pollen, and then she is able to drink the fortified nectar. Although most of the pollen produced by Psiguria is actually consumed by the butterflies, a sufficient portion is transferred to female flowers fulfilling the butterfly's role as the pollinator. The historical relationship between these two evolving groups of organisms has influenced both the reproductive strategy of the butterflies and, potentially, the separation of Psiguria as a genus distinctive from others in the subtribe Guraniinae.
Season/time of year: Summer 2006
Area: The University of Texas at Austin greenhouses
State/Province: Texas
Country: USA
Additional Information: Both of these individuals (the plant and the butterfly) were collected in Costa Rica and are now growing and living in Larry Gilbert's greenhouses at The University of Texas at Austin where ecological, evolutionary, and systematics questions are being studied year-round.

 

 

Submission #3
      

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Title: Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw. - Brittle prickly-pear cactus.
Author: Robin Yvonne Smith
Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Department: Geological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Ecology
Family: Cactaceae
Taxon: Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw.
Common Name: Brittle prickly-pear cactus
Caption: Canadian cactus in bloom.
Scientific Description/Explanation: At the beginning of the 20th century, author and naturalist of the American southwest Mary Austin described Opuntia - the prickly pear cactus - as the gypsy of the cactus family (Cactaceae), with a population range extending far beyond that of most desert succulents. Indeed, Opuntia fragilis has the most northern distribution of all cacti, being found as far north as the Peace River district of Alberta and British Columbia in Canada (Cota-Sanchez, 2002). This specimen was observed growing in the Bunchgrass Biogeoclimatic Zone of the southern interior of British Columbia, the hottest and driest ecological zone in the province. The fate of populations of plants found at the margins of their distribution range, such as the pockets of Opuntia found in British Columbia and Alberta, may provide a barometer of the impacts of changing climates and environments in the years to come. The Cactaceae is a New World plant family whose members have become widely distributed due to their ornamental interest. As xerophytic plants adapted to live with a limited water supply they have a number of specialized morphological features that have evolved to suit the extreme conditions of their habitat. Leaves are typically reduced to spines, with photosynthesis taking place in the green stem of the plant. The spines provide protection for the succulent water-bearing stem and help to limit water loss through transpiration. Spines and reproductive features are borne in areoles - small, well-defined regions of meristematic tissue (areas of active cell division and growth) on the stem surface. In addition, glochids - short, flexible, barbed hairs - are unique to the Opuntioideae and provide additional protection from predators. Reference: Cota-Sanchez, H. 2002. Taxonomy, distribution, rarity status and uses of Canadian Cacti. Haseltonia 9: 17-25.
Date taken: June 15, 2006 (summer)
Season/time of year:
Area: Southern Interior of British Columbia, near Cache Creek
State/Province: British Columbia
Country: Canada

 

 

Submission #4
      

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Title: Cypripedium montanum Douglas ex Lindley - Mountain Lady's slipper orchid.
Author: Robin Yvonne Smith
Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Department: Geological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Conservation
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Cypripedium montanum Douglas ex Lindley
Common Name: Mountain Lady's slipper
Caption: Living on borrowed time? A small population of Mountain Lady's slipper orchids survives at the edge of a logged area in southern British Columbia.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cypripedium montanum, the Mountain Lady's-slipper orchid, is found at low to moderate elevations in mixed coniferous and deciduous forests of the Pacific Northwest, extending into British Columbia and Alaska, with additional populations in Alberta, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. The Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council reported on the status of the Mountain Lady's-slipper in their Wild Species 2005 report. At this time, the population was believed to be secure in British Columbia, but in the "May be at Risk" category for Alberta. It is on List 4, a watch list for species of conservation concern, of the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center. The orchids of North America tend to be terrestrial and more diminutive than their large and showy tropical relatives, but nevertheless display many of the unique morphological characteristics that have made members of the Orchidaceae (orchid family) among the best-loved and often by consequence most endangered vascular plants. The pouch-like labellum, or lower lip, of the Mountain Lady's-slipper flower is a highly modified petal that facilitates insect pollination by trapping the insect in the lip and forcing it to brush past the pollen and stigmatic surface as it leaves the flower. The sepals and upper petals of the flower are bronze-colored, the petals forming twisted spirals. Like most orchids, they require a mycorrhizal fungal association in the soil for germination and nutrition.
Date taken: June 16, 2006 (summer)
Area: Southern Interior of British Columbia, near Falkland
State/Province: British Columbia
Country: Canada

 

 

Submission #5
      

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Title: Sphinx feeding on alien
Author: Kate Hertweck
Institution: University of Missouri-Columbia
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Cirsium scopulorum Cockerell ex Daniels
Common Name: mountain thistle, alien head thistle
Caption: An alien head thistle is visited by a whitelined sphinx moth.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cirsium scophulorum, commonly known as mountain thistle, is a large, prickly plant from the Rocky Mountains that grows on rocky, barren hillsides. A single plant will grow slowly over several years during the few short months a year snow is melted. The plant will flower once; many small flowers appear on the sides of a flower stem that stands nearly 0.6 meters tall. A huge flower head at the top of the stem becomes so heavy it droops over, causing the plant to resemble a small alien. Consequently, this plant is one of few known examples of maternal care in plants. The large flower head collapses on the ground after setting seed and protects the seeds encased in it. Several types of insects brave the prickly spines of the thistle to reach nectar and pollen. One of the most interesting is the whitelined sphinx, a type of hummingbird moth (Hyles lineata; Sphingidae). The copious number of large flowers provides ample opportunities for insect visitation, although the rapid beating of the large moth's wings make it difficult to see its beautiful and interesting appearance. WIED, A., AND C. GALEN. Plant Parental Care: Conspecific Nurse Effects in Frasera speciosa and Cirsium scopulorum - 79: - 1668.
Date taken: 21 July 2005, summer
Area: Pennsylvania Mountain, Park County
State/Province: Colorado
Country: USA
Longitude: 106 08.219, Latitude: 39 15.129
Additional Image Credits: Dr. Candace Galen, University of Missouri-Columbia

 

 

Submission #6
      

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Title: Diversity in fruits of different species of Mexican Crataegus
Author: Carlos A. Núñez-Colín
Institution: Universidad Autónoma Chapingo
Department: Fitotecnia
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy and genetic diversity
Family: Rosaceae subfam. Maloideae
Taxon: Crataegus L
Common Name: Tejocote
Caption: It is a photo of different fruits of Mexican Crataegus, in the harvest of the Germplasm Bank, different colors, sizes and shapes exist in this collection.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The species of the genus Crataegus, from the cultural and comercial view point, are used in celebrations of all saints (november 1st) and Christmas over all in the elaboration of ponches (hot beberage prepare with guava, cinnamon and tejocote) and inside the piñatas. Tejocotes are a very important part in the traditional mexican culture, and exist a big divertity in shapes, sizes and colors of fruits.
Date taken: November 28th, 2006
Area: Chapingo's experimental field
State/Province: Mexico
Country: Mexico
Longitude: 19°29', Latitude: 98° 53'
Additional Image Credits: Alejandro F. Barrientos-Priego

 

 

Submission #7
      

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Title: Seed coat morphology in Portulaca (Portulacaceae)
Author: Gilberto Ocampo
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Topic/Discipline: Morphology
Family: Portulacaceae, higher Caryophyllales
Taxon: Portulaca californica D. Legrand, P. echinosperma Hauman, P. eruca Hauman, P. guanajuatensis G. Ocampo, P. massaica S. M. Phillips, P. mexicana P. Wilson, P. oleracea L., P. perennis R. Fries, P. umbraticola Kunth subsp. coronata (Small) J. F. Matthews & Ketron
Common Name: Purslane (English); verdolaga (Spanish)
Caption: Different patterns of seed coat morphology. Center: Portulaca echinosperma (Argentina); clockwise, beginning from top left: P. umbraticola subsp. coronata (USA); P. guanajuatensis (Mexico); P. mexicana (Mexico); P. perennis (Argentina); P. californica (Mexico); P. oleracea (Argentina); P. eruca (Argentina); P. massaica (Kenya). Seeds shown at the same escale.
Scientific Description/Explanation: I show the diversity of seed coat morphology found in different species of genus Portulaca. Seeds with tubercles almost flat and fairly conspicuous (P. perennis) to large projections (P. echinosperma) can be found. Research on relationships among species of the genus is in progress, which might help to understand the evolution of this character.
Additional Image Credits: Anatomy Laboratory, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

 

 

Submission #8
      

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Title: Hoya obscura (Asclepiadaceae)
Author: Melanie Schori
Institution: Ohio University
Department: Department of Environmental & Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline:
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Taxon: Hoya obscura
Caption: Leaves and inflorescence of Hoya obscura, a Philippine endemic.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Hoya obscura Elmer ex C. M. Burton is a member of the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). It grows as an epiphytic vine in fairly sunny situations and is widespread in the Philippines, where it is endemic. The species is easily recognized by its distinctly veined leaves, flattened umbels, and small densely hairy flowers with strongly recurved petals. Hoya obscura may be found in a variety of color forms, including yellow- and dark pink-flowered individuals. This individual was photographed on the island of Catanduanes in the Philippines, where its habitat is threatened by illegal logging and typhoons. Like many Hoyas, the species has fragrant flowers and is readily cultivated.
Date taken: March 12, 2007 (summer)
Area: Solong Falls, San Miguel
State/Province: Catanduanes
Country: Philippines

 

 

Submission #9
      

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Title: Lindenbergia philippinensis
Author: Melanie Schori
Institution: Ohio University
Department: Department of Environmental & Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline:
Family: Scrophulariaceae or Orobanchaceae?
Taxon: Lindenbergia philippinensis
Caption: Flowers of Lindenbergia philippinensis
Scientific Description/Explanation: At first glance, Lindenbergia philippinensis does not seem like a controversial plant. Its bright yellow two-lipped flowers clearly indicate that it is a member of the Lamiales. However, little else about it is straightforward. Its specific epithet is listed as "philippinensis" Benth. in DC. in the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), but many publications use the name "philippensis" (Cham. & Schltdl.) Benth. in DC. instead. Despite its name, it is not a Philippine endemic, occurring from India to China at high elevations. Traditionally, Lindenbergia philippinensis has been placed in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae), where it was regarded as one of that family's hemiparasitic species. However, since the restructuring of the concept of Scrophulariaceae, the placement of Lindenbergia has become less certain. Molecular data place it with the broomrape family (Orobanchaceae), separate from other members of the genus Lindenbergia. The species has been used as one of the defining members of the clade Orobanchaceae under the Phylocode nomenclatural system.
Date taken: December 16, 2007
Area: Mt. Santo Tomas, Baguio
State/Province: Benguet Province, Luzon Island
Country: Philippines
Additional Information: This individual of Lindenbergia philippinensis caught my eye because it was out of place. As recently as 10 years ago, the summit of Mt. Santo Tomas was covered with high elevation (1700+ m) mossy forest. Mossy forest is characterized by a short canopy, daily mists and rain, and a high diversity of ferns, mosses, and epiphytic orchids. However, as the nearby city of Baguio has succumbed to urban sprawl, Mt. Santo Tomas has been cleared for housing and vegetable gardens. Temperate crops such as cabbage, broccoli, and potatoes thrive in the cooler mountain regions of Benguet Province. Instead of a lush mossy forest, Mt. Santo Tomas is now covered with abandoned agricultural fields that offer no protection from the intense tropical sun. This Lindenbergia was growing out of a dry, barren rock face on the summit. I was amazed that any plant could survive there and at the same time deeply saddened by the loss of diversity that its presence represented.

 

 

Submission #10
      

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Title: A close look inside a Petunia flower
Author: Marcela Martínez Millán
Institution: Cornell University
Department: L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Dept. of Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline: plant morphology
Family: Solanaceae
Taxon: Petunia sp.
Common Name: petunia
Caption: A flower of cultivated Petunia (Solanaceae) releases pollen
Scientific Description/Explanation: Very common garden and flower bed plants, petunias come in many different colors, from whites to bright magentas, from soft lilac to deep blues, from solid to beautifully striped or edged. Petunias have been cultivated since the early 19th century, but it was not until the mid 20th century that breeders developed this plethora of colors. Petunias belong in the South American genus Petunia Juss 1803[1], a member of the family Solanaceae which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, eggplant and chili peppers among others. Many of the distinguishing and diagnostic characters of the Solanaceae are easily seen in petunias: a sticky, hairy plant whose flowers have a gamopetalous[2], frequently tubular or funnelform[3] corolla, five epipetalous[4] stamens and a bicarpellate[5] syncarpic[6] superior[7] ovary. This picture shows a close-up of the corolla throat[8] where the sticky stigma and four of the five stamens are easily seen, the fifth stamen is covered by the stamen closest to the camera. One of the most interesting features of this photograph is that it captures the early moments of pollen release: the opening of two of the anthers by means of longitudinal slits. The upper anther had just opened while the anther walls of the lower anther are already desiccating and contracting exposing the pollen within. FOOTNOTES: [1]the botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836) described this plant for the first time in 1803 and named it "Petunia" then. [2]fused petals, comes from the greek gamos=marriage, union. [3]funnel-shaped. [4]the bases of the stamens are fused to the petals, thus it looks as if the stamens were sitting on top of the petals, comes from the greek epi=upon. [5]composed of two carpels. [6]indicates that the carpels are fused to each other, comes from the greek syn, sym=with, together. [7]the ovary is located above the level at which the rest of the flower parts (petals, sepals and stamens) are inserted. [8]some fused corollas consist of a somewhat narrow tube that at a point bends and expands outwards into a limb, the throat is the region where that change in curvature occurs.
Date taken: September 23, 2006 - early fall
Area: flower bed in the gardens of the Castle of Versailles
State/Province: Département des Yvelines, Region Île-de-France
Country: France
Longitude: 2.1171, Latitude: 48.8062

 

 

Submission #11
      

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Title: Sigesbeckia jorullensis Kunth (Heliantheae: Asteraceae)
Author: T. Sultan Quedensley
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Plant Biology Graduate Program
Topic/Discipline: Cloud forest floristics
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Sigesbeckia jorullensis
Caption: Glandular trichomes and dew drops on ray flowers glisten on a sunflower in a cloud forest in western Guatemala.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Sigesbeckia jorullensis is an herbaceous member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) that is frequent in montane cloud forests of Mexico and Central America. The glandular trichomes, or hairs, seen in the photo are present on the outer involucral bracts that subtend sunflower inflorescences. The trichomes secrete a sticky substance that adheres to anything it comes into contact with. The Asteraceae is the most abundant and species rich plant family above 2000 meters in the mountains of Guatemala, and approximately 20% of the species are endemic to that country. The Asteraceae is a model taxon to use to promote conservation efforts in the region due to the high levels of species richness and endemism.
Date taken: 2 January 2006; winter
Area: Fuentes Georginas. A hot sulfur spring located 4km south of Zunil on the northwestern slopes of Pico Zunil.
State/Province: Department of Quetzaltenango
Country: Guatemala
Longitude: W91º 28'35.8", Latitude: N 14º45'04.0"
Additional Information: During the dry season (November through April) clouds and mists envelope the slopes of Pico Zunil. It is in this time period that over 90% of the species in the Asteraceae are in bloom, coloring the mountainsides in shades of white, yellow, and pink. An interesting fact about the naming of Sigesbeckia is that Linnaeus named this genus for an enemy of his. He described the genus as a vile nasty malodorous weed, named for J. G. Sigesbeck.

 

 

Submission #12
      

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Title: Inflorescence of sandfood (Pholisma sonorae)
Author: C. Matt Guilliams
Institution: San Diego State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Parasitic Plants
Family: Boraginaceae [Lennoaceae] - Lennooideae
Taxon: Pholisma sonorae
Common Name: Sandfood
Caption: Inflorescence of sandfood (Pholisma sonorae), a root parasite of the Algodones Dunes, Imperial County, California
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Algodones Dunes of southeastern California and northeastern Baja California can be quite an inhospitable place. Temperatures in the summer seldom drop below 105 degrees Fahrenheit, rain is a scant 2 inches per year on average, and active sand creates challenges for even the most versatile of organisms. Many highly specialized plant species have become adapted to life on the Algodones Dunes. Termed endemic species, these plants are found nowhere else in the world. Most peculiar of the Algodones Dunes endemic species is Pholisma sonorae, commonly known as sandfood. P. sonorae is a holorhizoparasite, meaning that it invades and persists within the root system of host plants such as Tiquilia plicata and Eriogonum deserticola, from which it steals essential sugars without providing any benefit to the host. During the flowering period of P. sonorae, it develops a fleshy-stemmed shoot that pushes upward through the sand, eventually terminating in a "mushroom-shaped" inflorescence at the surface. The inflorescence, shown in this picture, is quite impressive to behold. It is even more impressive when one considers that the host roots are often up to 6 feet below the surface of the dunes!
Date taken: 7-1-2005, Summer
Area: Algodones Dunes, Imperial County, California
State/Province: California
Country: USA
Longitude: 114 degrees 55.316 minutes West, Latitude: 32 degrees 42.901 minutes North

 

 

Submission #13
      

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Title: Senna flowers love to be shaked by carpenter (bees)
Author: Yannick Staedler
Institution: University of Zurich
Department: Institute for Systematic Botany
Topic/Discipline: Plant-animal interactions
Family: Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae
Taxon: Senna alata
Common Name: Fleur palmiste, fleur dartre, candlestick senna, wild senna, ringworm cassia, guajava, ketepeng badak, flor del Secreto, Tarantana, candle bush, akapulko, man-slabriki, akapulco, gelenggang
Caption: Senna alata visited by a female carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.), vibrating the flower with rapid wing muscle movements to extract and collect pollen (buzz pollination).
Scientific Description/Explanation: Buzz-pollinated flowers, such as Senna alata (legume family) typically have androecia (all stamens) characterized by different kinds and degrees of structural specialization associated with their unusual pollination mode, including typically a poricidal anther dehiscence (instead of longitudinal slits). When the bees vibrate the flowers (with rapid movements of their wings muscles), the pollen grains bounce in the anthers until they are forced through the apical pore of the anthers. Senna alata flowers are enantiostylous: the single carpel is deflected either to the left or to the right in flowers of the same plant. Enantiostyly is another feature related to buzz pollination. Description by B. Marazzi.
Date taken: 31 January 2007; Summer
Area: Tarija
State/Province: Gran Chaco
Country: Bolivia
Additional Image Credits: Brigitte Marazzi Ricardo Vanni Gabriela Lopez
Additional Information: Locality: El Palmar, Road 9 from Yacuiba to Villa Montes. Habitus: Treelet 2.20 m. Visited by ants.

 

 

Submission #14
      

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Title: "Candy store" Senna with regular customer
Author: Yannick Staedler
Institution: University of Zurich
Department: Institute for Systematic Botany
Topic/Discipline: Plant-animal interactions
Family: Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae
Taxon: Senna hirsuta
Common Name: woolly Senna
Caption: Ant feeding on extrafloral nectary at the base of a leaf of the woolly Senna (Senna hirsuta).
Scientific Description/Explanation: Extrafloral nectaries are secretory structures producing nectar, which occur in some ferns and in over 90 flowering plant families, notably the pea family (Leguminosae). They attract ants, which feed on the nectar, forming a protective opportunistic ant-plant interaction or mutualism. In legumes, extrafloral nectaries are present in at least 70% of all mimosoids, some papilionoids, and a number of caesalpinioids, including Senna. Description by B. Marazzi.
Date taken: 31 January 2007; Summer
Season/time of year:
Area: Tarija
State/Province: Gran Chaco
Country: Bolivia
Additional Image Credits: Brigitte Marazzi Ricardo Vanni Gabriela Lopez
Additional Information: Locality: El Palmar, Road 9 from Yacuiba to Villa Montes. Habitus: Treelet 2.20 m.

 

 

Submission #15


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Title: Langloisia setosissima subsp. setosissima
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: morphology/structure
Family: Polemoniaceae
Taxon: Langloisia setosissima (Torr. & A. Gray) Greene subsp. setosissima
Common Name: Bristly Langloisia
Caption: Close-up of the corolla
Scientific Description/Explanation: Langloisia setosissima is a common annual throughout the Sonoran Desert. Following ample rainfall, it is usually encountered growing in full sun on areas of desert pavement. Upon close observation, the outside of the corolla tube appears to be finely hairy and possibly glandular. This character apparently has not been noted or used in taxonomy. Hairs also appear to be present in Mojave Desert plants of Langloisia setosissima subsp. punctata (Lilac Sunbonnet), but not in plants of the same subspecies from southern Idaho.
Date taken: 11 March 2005 (Spring)
Area: Material collected near Ocotillo Wells, San Diego County
State/Province: California
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #16
      

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Title: Badger Flat Eriastrum
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: morphology/exploration/ecology
Family: Polemoniaceae
Taxon: Eriastrum wilcoxii (Nelson) H. Mason
Caption: Eriastrum wilcoxii at Badger Flat, Inyo Mountains
Scientific Description/Explanation: Sometimes weather or environmental conditions cause very young plants to flower. These plants of Eriastrum wilcoxii were the smallest individuals of this species that I have observed in flower. Flowering may have been triggered by any number of factors, for example, hot, dry weather, sunshine, elevation, or a combination of these elements. The weather in this area had been clear and sunny for some time, and the temperature was over 80 degrees F on the day that the picture was taken.
Date taken: 22 June 2005 (Spring)
Area: Badger Flat, Inyo Mountains, Inyo County, ca. 8680 feet elevation.
State/Province: California
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #17
      

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Title: Big Nickel
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: morphology/exploration/ecology
Family: Polemoniaceae
Taxon: Langloisia setosissima (Torr. & A. Gray) Greene subsp. punctata (Cov.) S. Timbrook
Common Name: Lilac Sunbonnet
Caption: Langloisia setosissima subsp. punctata at its type locality
Scientific Description/Explanation: Langloisia setosissima subsp. punctata was first described from Surprise Canyon (Coville 1892), where it was collected by Frederick Coville while on the Death Valley Expedition (Coville no. 716, U.S. National Herbarium). The mouth of the canyon is very dry, with sparse vegetation, but becomes increasingly moist as one travels upstream. This Langloisia was photographed near the mouth of the canyon, where the size of the plant corresponds to the dry, harsh environment. Coville, F. V. 1892. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 7: 72-73.
Date taken: 6 May 2005 (spring)
Area: Surprise Canyon, Panamint Mountains, Inyo County.
State/Province: California
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #18
      

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Title: Phantom
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: morphology/exploration/rare plants
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Cephalanthera austiniae (A. Gray) A. A. Heller
Common Name: Phantom Orchid
Caption: Flower of Cephalanthera austiniae
Scientific Description/Explanation: Apparently rarely encountered in large numbers, Cephalanthera is one of the only entirely saprophytic orchids in North America. All parts above ground are pure white, and the plant relies entirely on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrients. The flowering stalk may reach 55 cm in height, and presents a ghostly contrast to the dark habitats where it is found. Over one hundred individuals were found in deep shade under conifers, typical habitat of the species.
Date taken: 14 June 2006 (spring/summer)
Area: Whitlock Campground, Mendocino National Forest, Tehama County, ca. 4348 feet elevation.
State/Province: California
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #19
      

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Title: Cantua pollen
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pollen morphology may vary widely within some plant families, and consequently is sometimes used as a taxonomic character. Cantua pollen usually has a thick coating of pollenkitt (a waxy secreted substance) that obscures details of the pollen exine (outer layer). After pollenkitt is removed, plate- or island-like structures are exposed. The shape, size, and number of these structures vary among the species of Cantua. In C. quercifolia, shown here, these structures are raised "on stilts" above the rest of the exine.
Family: Polemoniaceae
Taxon: Cantua quercifolia Juss.
Caption: Exine texture of Cantua quercifolia
Scientific Description/Explanation: morphology/ultrastructure
Area: From material cultivated at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Original material from Department Amazonas.
Country: Peru
Additional Image Credits: Voucher: J. M. Porter 14357. Image magnification 5,400x.
 

 

 

Submission #20
      

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Title: Piperia tuber
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: morphology/structure
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Piperia unalascensis (Sprengel) Rydb.
Caption: Tuber of Piperia unalascensis
Scientific Description/Explanation: A number of orchid species are geophytes, that is, they grow from an underground tuber or rhizome. However, characters of the tubers are not always included in species descriptions. Piperia is one such example. The photograph is of a tuber of Piperia unalascensis, from a population in the southern Cascade Ranges. This tuber is much broader and rounder than those of closely related Platanthera species.
Date taken: 17 June 2006 (spring/summer)
Area: Along Deer Flat Road, near junction with Highway 44. Shasta County, ca. 4343 feet elevation.
State/Province: California
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #21


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Title: Flower of mesemb (Aizoaceae)
Author: Dylan Burge
Institution: Duke University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecology and evolution
Family: Aizoaceae
Taxon: Unknown
Common Name: mesemb
Caption: Flowering mesemb with buprestid beetle (Buprestidae), Namaqualand, South Africa
Scientific Description/Explanation: The succulent plants known as mesembs (formerly the Mesembryanthemaceae, now part of Aizoaceae) have their center of diversity in southern Africa. Well-known examples of mesembs include ice plant (Carpobrotus), which is widely utilized in mild climates as a sand stabilizer and ground cover. These fleshy, drought-resistant plants form a dominant though sometimes inconspicuous component of the vegetation in arid portions of southern Africa, particularly Namaqualand and the so-called succulent Karoo region. The group is thought to have diversified there in response to increasing aridity and seasonality that came to southern Africa during the last several million years, driven in part by the development of the cold Benguela current, which transports Antarctic water up the west coast of southern Africa, much as the Humboldt current brings arctic water to the west coast of North America. The diversification of the mesembs is thought to represent one of the most rapid adaptive radiations among plants, with most diversity developing within the last few million years in southern Africa, although representatives of the family Aizoaceae are found world-wide. The plant pictured was photographed near Springbok, in Namaqualand, South Africa. The green finger-like organs in the background are the swollen, succulent leaves of the plant. Pits in the surface indicate the position of stomata, the holes through which gasses enter and exit the interior of the leaf, where photosynthesis takes place. The photograph also shows a flower, along with a potential pollinator, a buprestid beetle (Buprestidae). The apparent petals of the flower are actually sterile stamens, which have become petal-like. Most species of mesembs also produce elaborate and woody hygroscopic seed capsules, which often remain attached to the plant until rains soak the capsule, triggering it to open and release seeds. This mechanism provides protection for the seeds until rainfall is sufficient for them to germinate successfully. Adaptive radiation: a process of evolutionary diversification in which rapid speciation (origin of new species) is accompanied by divergence in form or ecological niche. The finches of the Galapagos Archipelago are a well-studied example of the process. These birds are descended from a non-specialized mainland species of finch, but have diversified into more than 13 species with different ecological niches, from large seed cracking species to smaller insect specialists. Adaptive radiations often occur in "new" habitats such as recently developed volcanic islands, or in areas experiencing new climatic conditions under which the previously dominant species become extinct, or are at a disadvantage. Stamens: the male organs of a flowering plant. These organs produce pollen, the plant equivalent of sperm. Transfer of pollen from the stamens of one flower to the stigmas (the receptive portion of the female flower parts) of another results in fertilization if the plants are compatible. Some plants are able to fertilize themselves, while others must cross with a different plant. Pollen is one of the most abundant indicators of flowering plant history in the fossil record. Sporopollenin, the material making up the coat of pollen, is one of the most resistant materials in nature, which means that pollen is often preserved in microscopic detail in the fossil record. Hygroscopic fruits: fruits that are triggered to open by moisture. In some cases, these are woody capsules that become dry and are triggered to dehisce by the expansion of fruit tissue as it absorbs water. Hygroscopic fruits are not common in nature, but are often found in plants that inhabit desert or other arid habitat types where water is a limiting factor for the development of young seedlings. In some cases, seed release is explosive, and seeds are dispersed in this fashion.
Date taken: September 15, 2002
Area: Namaqualand
State/Province: Northern Cape Province
Country: South Africa

 

 

Submission #22
      

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Title: Arabidopsis thaliana pollen tube growth
Author: Devi Annamalai
Institution: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Department: Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Biology
Family: Brassicaceae
Taxon: Arabidopsis thaliana
Common Name: Thale cress
Caption: Arabidopsis thaliana mature flower showing pollination and pollen tube germination.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Arabidopsis thaliana is a self pollinating plant. This image captures one of the initial steps in pollination in which numerous pollens land upon the tip (stigma) of the female reproductive part. When pollen touches the stigma, a long hollow “pollen” tube grows from the pollen down through the style until it reaches the ovary. Male sex nuclei are released into the ovary from the pollen tube where it unites with the eggs. This picture also shows some of the pollen tubes growing into the upper half of the style and making its way into the ovules. It is astonishing to note that among several pollen tubes only one successfully reaches the ovule and carry out fertilization.
Date taken: 12th February, 2007 (Winter)
Area: Lab (using Zeiss microscope)
State/Province: Illinois
Country: USA
Additional Image Credits: Dr Ray Zelinski

 

 

Submission #23
      

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Title: Moist forests in Limestone Area in Southwest China, Guizhou Province.
Author: Shao Qing
Institution: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science
Department: Research Center of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Scientific Description/Explanation: Moist forests in Limestone Area in Southwest China, Guizhou Province.The Area has a very rich species of subtropical plants with very mysterious traditional custom of local minority groups in Southwest China.
Area: Libo County
State/Province: Guizhou Province
Country: China

 

 

Submission #24
      

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Title: Moist forests in Limestone Area in Southwest China, Guizhou Province.
Author: Shao Qing
Institution: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science
Department: Research Center of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Scientific Description/Explanation: Moist forests in Limestone Area in Southwest China, Guizhou Province.The Area has a very rich species of subtropical plants with very mysterious traditional custom of local minority groups in Southwest China.
Area: Libo County
State/Province: Guizhou Province
Country: China

 

 

Submission #25
      

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Title: Paris polyphylla
Author: Shao Qing
Institution: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science
Department: Research Center of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Topic/Discipline: plant morphology
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon: Paris polyphylla
Common Name: Chonglou, or Qiye yizhihua
Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: A local species occurs in forests, bamboo forests, thickets, grassy or rocky slopes, streamsides; 100--3500 m. in Central China, Hunan Province.
Date taken: May, 2005, late Spring
Area: Yongshun County
State/Province: Hunan Province
Country: China
Additional Information: The species is very rarity for it's medicinal use in Chinese Traditonal Medicines. In the Western part of Hunan Province, it's not very common and occurs in understory of forests, bamboo forests or thickens,streamside with other shade-loving shrubs together.

 

 

Submission #26
      

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Title: A Plant Being
Author: Angelika Stammler
Institution: University Bremen
Department: Evolutionary Developmental Genetics Group
Topic/Discipline: Evolutionary Developmental Genetics
Family: Papaveraceae
Taxon: Chelidonium majus
Common Name: Celandine
Caption: This Photography emblematises the vitality and tenderness of Chelidonium majus, a so called weed.
Scientific Description/Explanation: We use C.m. in a project that aims to elucidate the genetic and evolutionary base of leaf dissection. This study employs a molecular approach to compare the regulation of leaf dissection of the related basal eudicots C. m. and Eschscholzia californica. Both species feature dissected leaves, however, the degree of dissection varies as well as their developmental regulation. This project focuses on the role of class I KNOX genes in leaf dissection of both species. Preliminary evidence shows KNOX genes to generate the differences in leaf shape between Chelidonium majus and Eschscholzia californica.

 

 

Submission #27
      

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Title: Crassula humbertii
Author: Dylan Burge
Institution: Duke University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Evolution
Family: Crassulaceae
Taxon: Crassula humbertii
Caption: Crassula humbertii (Crassulaceae), adult plant at Tanjona Vohimena, Madagascar
Scientific Description/Explanation: Crassula humbertii (Crassulaceae) is a succulent plant endemic to the wind-swept limestone terraces of Tanjona Vohimena (Cap Sainte Marie), near the southern tip of Madagascar. Although the range of the species is probably less than a few square miles, it is locally abundant near the lighthouse at Tanjona Vohimena, along with other endemic species such as Euphorbia capsaintmariensis Rauh (Euphorbiaceae), and Karimbolea verrucosa Descoings (Asclepiadaceae). Madagascar is well known among biologists for its high rate of endemism (more than 90% of Madagascar's native plants are found only there), which includes many species with narrowly defined habitats, such as Crassula humbertii. Near Tanjona Vohimena, as in many of the species-rich portions of Madagascar, endemic species probably formed as a result of unique edaphic conditions. At Tanjona Vohimena, these conditions include an alkaline soil, and extremely arid, constantly windy conditions. Together, these aspects of the physical environment have probably encouraged the development of new and endemic plant species by selecting for tolerance of these conditions. Such edaphic endemics are restricted in distribution because they have become unable to compete against other plants in the absence of the edaphic and climatic conditions that they are adapted to. Endemic (adj): found only in a particular place. The word endemic must always be used in combination with a noun that denotes the region of endemism. A species that is found only on the Marin Peninsula in California, for example, is not simply "endemic." It is endemic to the Marin Peninsula. Thus, all known species are endemic to Planet Earth. The noun endemism is used when describing overall patterns of species distributions. Some regions of the earth have more species unique to them, and thus a higher level of endemism. Edaphic endemics are, as described above, species that are found only on a particular soil type. Edaphic endemics are common on "harsh" or nutrient poor soil types such as those derived from serpentine or sand.
Date taken: December 10, 2002
Area: Tanjona Vohimena
State/Province: Toliara Province
Country: Madagascar

 

 

Submission #28


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Title: Nelumbo lutea
Author: Dylan Burge
Institution: Duke University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant anatomy
Family: Nelumbonaceae
Taxon: Nelumbo lutea Willd.
Common Name: American lotus
Caption: Nelumbo lutea Willd. (American lotus), surface of developing receptacle with carpels.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Nelumbo lutea Willd., also known as the American lotus, is one of only two species in the family Nelumbonaceae. Traditional classification systems included the lotuses as members of the water lily family, Nymphaceae. Although Nelumbo superficially resembles true water-lilies-both groups of plants are aquatic with round, floating leaves and many-petaled flowers-the lotuses are only distantly related to these plants. Recent genetic evidence suggests, instead, that Nelumbo is closely related to sycamores (genus Platanus, Platanaceae) and the macadamia-nut family (Proteaceae). The photograph depicts the surface of a maturing Nelumbo lutea receptacle, with carpels distributed in a regular pattern across the flat surface. As the fertilized carpels mature, the fleshy receptacle swells around them. Eventually, the receptacle becomes dry. Dried receptacles are often used in flower arrangements. During early anthesis, when the receptive carpels are exposed for pollination, flowers of Nelumbo are thermogenic, generating heat in the receptacle, and regulating the temperature of the receptacle surface, which is maintained at a temperature between 30 and 36 degrees centigrade for 2-4 days. This remarkable adaptation is thought to encourage pollinators, some of which might benefit from increased body temperature, to remain in the flower longer, and thus increases the chance of successful pollination. Receptacle (n.): the structure to which all flower parts are usually attached (ovary, stamens, petals, sepals). The receptacle is typically continuous with the stem of the flower, known as the pedicel, and is sometimes modified in unusual ways, as in Nelmbo. Another well-known example is the strawberry, where, just as in Nelumbo, the carpels are imbedded in receptacle tissue that swells dramatically following fertilization, becoming fleshy. The red, fleshy, sweet receptacle is the part of the strawberry that we eat. Carpels are individual female reproductive units. A flower can have many carpels, which, when fertilized by pollen from the male part of a flower (the stamens), will mature into seed-containing organs (fruits or parts of a fruit). The "seeds" of a strawberry fruit are actually individual carpels, as are the sections that an orange breaks into after you peel it.
Date taken: September 1, 2006
Area: Chapel Hill
State/Province: North Carolina
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #29


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Title: Timmia Peristome
Author: Jessica Budke
Institution: University of Connecticut
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Morphology / Ultrastructure
Family: Timmiaceae
Taxon: Timmia megapolitana
Common Name: Indian Feather Moss
Caption: Colored scanning electron micrograph of the moss peristome of Timmia megapolitana
Scientific Description/Explanation: The peristome is located around (peri-) the mouth (-stome) of the moss capsule, a structure which contains the spores. For the past 200 years, peristome characteristics have played an important role in defining major groups of mosses. The peristome shown here has a unique morphology and is an identifying feature for the Timmiaceae. This scanning electron micrograph of Timmia megapolitana has been colored to highlight the two layers of the peristome. The endostome (inner layer, colored in orange) consists of a membrane that is topped by 64 filaments, while the exostome (outer layer, colored in yellow) consists of 16 large teeth. These teeth have the ability to move in response to humidity, thus opening and closing the mouth of the moss capsule. This movement facilitates the release of spores (colored in green) under optimal dispersal conditions.
Date taken: 11-7-05
Area: Limestone Rise Nature Preserve, Knox County
State/Province: New York
Country: USA
Additional Image Credits: James Romanow, Academic Assistant, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Additional Information: Published in American Journal of Botany. Jessica M. Budke, Cynthia S. Jones, and Bernard Goffinet. 2007. Development of the Enigmatic Peristome of Timmia megapolitana (Timmiaceae; Bryophyta). American Journal of Botany. 94(3): 460-467. (Figure 2)

 

 

Submission #30


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Title: Are we going to enter?
Author: Natalia Pabon
Institution: Graduate Center- CUNY. The New York Botanical Garden.
Department: Plant Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Plant taxonomy. Flora of the Dominican Republic
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Taxon: Aristolochia chasmema Pfeifer
Caption: Close view of the flower of Aristolochia chasmema in full bloom being visited by flies.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Aristolochia chasmema Pfeifer. This species was collected for the first time in Haiti by Erik Leonard Ekman in 1926. Ekman was a Swedish botanist who did fieldwork in Cuba and Hipaniola for over 15 years, contributing in the "Symbolae Antillanae" botanical project, one of the exploratory expeditions of the Caribbean flora from Europe. The species was described by H. Wm. Pfeifer in 1966, long after Ekman had died from influenza and pneumonia in Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic). Since then, A. chasmema has been found only twice including this caption. The species is endemic from a small region in the south border between Haiti and Dominican Republic. It is one of the many endemics from Haiti, a country very rich in endemisms but paradoxically the poorest country of The Americas. Many plants like this are currently endangered by habitat destruction due to poverty in the country.. The plant is a small climber and sets flowers whose showy perianth is formed of three fused sepals. The pollination system is quite elaborated; the flies enter the flower and remain trapped until they can deposit pollen from another flower, and gather pollen from the visiting flower. One or two days later, the perianth decays, and the insects can escape and repeat the process in other flower.
Date taken: 26 June 2006
State/Province: Santo Domingo
Country: Dominican Republic
Additional Image Credits: Dr. Favio Gonzalez, National University of Colombia Dr. Luis Marion, Botanical Society of Santo Domingo

 

 

Submission #31


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Title: The secret blossom of Puya cf. barkleyana L.B. Sm.
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Bromeliaceae
Taxon: Puya barkleyana
Common Name: Puya
Caption: The secret blossom of Puya barkleyana L.B. Sm. in the paramo of the Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora Guanenta - Alto Rio Fonce, Santander, Colombia, at 4,200 m of elevation.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This particular species grows in the paramos of Santander (Colombia), in very harsh environments. To get to this place the botanists must walk for more than 8 hours across the paramo, with frozen temperatures and chilly winds, normally above 4,000 m of elevation (ca. 12,000 feet). All the species of Puya are monocarpic (they die after the florescence) and their flowers last for only a few days. For the species of paramo the blossom is normally during the rainy season. Therefore, the capture of this image was a real proof of resistance and passion for Botany, and a bit of luck.
Date taken: September 21 2005, rainy season
Area: Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora Guanenta - Alto Río Fonce
State/Province: Santander
Country: Colombia
Additional Information: The species was photographed and collected in a paramo at 4,200 m of elevation. The dry specimens are held at the Herbarium of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (HPUJ), in Bogotá, Colombia.

 

 

Submission #32


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Title: "Gametophyte Love"
Author: Mirabai Mccarthy
Institution: Miami University
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pteridology
Family: Polypodiaceae
Taxon: Phlebodium aureum
Common Name: Golden Serpent Fern
Caption: Entangled in a rhizoid embrace these gametophytes cling to each other like lovers dancing in the moonlight.
Scientific Description/Explanation: These heart-shaped little organisms are actually juvenile ferns of the species Phlebodium aureum. Spores were gathered insitu on the island of North Andros in the bahamas in May, 2006 . After 40 days on nutrient agar in a growth chamber, the spores developed into these chordate gametophytes. These juvenile ferns developed to sexual maturity, and eventually into sporophytes. Today, they are happily living in a green house on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. This photo was taken with a SZX-12 dissecting microscope with a Nikon attachment.
Date taken: 8/15/2006, summer
Area: Oxford
State/Province: Ohio
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #33


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Title: The giant water lily
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of Guelph
Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Morphology
Family: Nymphaeceae
Taxon: Victoria amazonica
Common Name: Giant water lily
Caption: A leaf of Victoria amazonica with its spiny underside and the prominent venation.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Victoria amazonica is the largest water lily in the world, hence its common name as "the giant water lily". The peltate leaves of V. amazonica can reach up to 2 m in diameter and are able to hold the weight of a child. The underside of the leaves is reinforced with prominent veins that give the leaves their strength. This architectural model inspired Joseph Plaxton to build The Crystal Palace in England. The petiole, that can be up to 8 m in length, and the underside of the leaf are covered with sharp spines to, presumably, deter herbivory.
Date taken: July 22, 2006 (Summer)
Area: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
State/Province: Florida
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #34


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Title: Heliconia
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of Guelph
Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Morphology
Family: Heliconiaceae
Taxon: Heliconia wagneriana
Common Name: Lobster-claw
Caption: The colorful bracts of Heliconia wagneriana.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The flowers of Heliconia wagneriana are produced inside the brightly colored bracts. As the flowers develop, they are seen peeking out from the bracts. The color attracts H. wagneriana's main pollinators: hummingbirds. Heliconia is also related to the gingers and bananas.
Date taken: January 22, 2006 (Winter)
Area: The Kampong Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
State/Province: Florida
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #35


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Title: The Mexican Sunflower
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of Guelph
Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Morphology
Family: Asteraceae/Compositae
Taxon: Tithonia rotundifolia
Common Name: exican sunflower
Caption: The colorful blossom of the Mexican sunflower attracts many insects.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Tithonia rotundifolia attracts many pollinators to its colorful blossom. These flowers are able to go through two generations in a single year with flowering that can occur in the early summer and then in mid fall shortly before cold of the winter.
Date taken: July 13, 2006 (Summer)
Area: Fruit and Spice Park, Homestead
State/Province: Florida
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #36


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Title: The Mexican Prickly Poppy
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of Guelph
Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Morphology
Family: Papaveraceae
Taxon: Argemone mexicana
Common Name: Mexican prickly poppy
Caption: The yellow flower of Argemone mexicana.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Argemone mexicana is in the same family as the Opium Poppy and also contains toxic alkaloids. The seeds of A. mexicana look very much like mustard seeds. The mustard oil produced from seeds can sometimes be contaminated with A. mexicana oil which is toxic and can cause glaucoma.
Date taken: July 5, 2006 (Summer)
Area: The Kampong Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
State/Province: Florida
Country: USA

 

 

Submission #37


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Title: Spiral Inflorescence
Author: Nicholas E. Buckley
Institution: Acadia University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant Development
Family: Boraginaceae
Taxon: Amsinckia spectabilis
Common Name: Woolly Breeches
Caption: The full development of a flower is represented in this spiral inflorescence of the Californian native Amsinckia spectabilis (Woolly Breeches) grown in a greenhouse at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, Canada.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Amsinckia is well known for its large chromosomal variation and large fiddleneck flowers. The individual shown here is a member of the species Amsinckia spectabilis (Woolly Breeches), a Californian native herb that has two flower types, pins and thrums. The pin floral type has an elongated pistil and shortened filaments, whereas the thrum floral type has elongated filaments and a shortened pistil. This dichotomy in floral type suggests differing reproductive strategies including different degrees of self-fertilization and out-crossing. The inflorescence shown here is a great example of the developmental stages of a flower. Towards the center of the whorl is an immature bud primordia. If you follow the spiral to completion, you can follow the developmental stages of pollen and even determine the different stages of meiosis.
Date taken: October, 2004
Additional Image Credits: Dr. Mark Johnston of Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS

 

 

Submission #38


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Title: Tip-down anthocyanin in developing leaves of Ailanthus altissima
Author: Nicole M. Hughes
Institution: Wake Forest University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecophysiology
Family: Simaroubaceae
Taxon: Ailanthus altissima
Common Name: Tree of heaven
Caption: Anthocyanins (red pigments seen here) protect developing leaves in high-light environments from excess irradiance.
Scientific Description/Explanation: One of the most conspicuous developmental changes observed in juvenile leaves as they mature is color change, with young leaves on new growth tips of many species first appearing red, purple, pink, or less commonly blue or white, and becoming greener with leaf age. The red-to-blue coloration of young leaves is most commonly due to the pigment anthocyanin, appearing within vacuoles of epidermal and/or mesophyll cells within hours to days of seedling germination, and then decreasing concomitantly with leaf expansion and maturation. The functional significance of this pigment in juvenile leaves still remains largely unresolved, as mixed support has been shown for it acting as a camouflage against herbivory, a fungicide, a signal indicating the presence of unpalatable phenolics, and also an antioxidant. Perhaps the most compelling current explanation is that the pigment act as a light-attenuating molecule (the plant-equivalent of sunscreen), protecting underlying cells from high irradiance through absorption of high energy blue-green (and possibly UV) wavelengths of the solar spectrum. Because immature leaves tend to be especially vulnerable to high-light stress due to immature chloroplast structure, reduced capacity of photosynthetic enzymes, and limited stomatal and cellular conductance of CO2, young leaves growing under high irradiances tend to photosynthetically saturate, as well as photoinhibit, under substantially lower sunlight levels than mature leaves. It is therefore generally beneficial for light capture to be down-regulated early in leaf development, until light-processing and carbon-fixation processes have matured to adequately balance energy capture with utilization. Ailanthus altissima represents one of many early successional species that exhibit anthocyanin in developing leaves.
Date taken: Summer 2007
Area: Winston-Salem, Forsyth
State/Province: North Carolina
Country: USA
Longitude: 80.26 W, Latitude: 36.10 N
Additional Information:

 

 

Submission #39


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Title: Verbascum yurtkuranianum Kaynak, Daskin & Yilmaz
Author: Eyup Erdogan
Institution: Balikesir University, Fen Bilimleri Enstitusu
Department: Department of Biology
Topic/Discipline: Vascular plant systematic
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Taxon: Verbascum yurtkuranianum
Common Name: Sigir kuyrugu
Caption: The new species is endemic to northwest Anatolia and known only from the type locality. The population is not in a good condition and approximately 25 stands are present in the distribution area. It is threatened by agricultural activity.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Verbascum yurtkuranianum is closely smilar to V. bugulifolium. The species have simple hairs, solitary flowers in each bract and four fertile stamens. Biennial 90-70 cm, glabrous below,densely covered with long glandular hairs above. Stem solitary, erect, simple or branched, robust. angular. Corolla violet rotate, 15-20 mm diam.,tube 2 mm, sparsely glandular hairy outside, lobes unequal, lower lobe white with purplish lines, orbicular, emarginate at apex.
Date taken: June 4, 2003 Summer
Area: Turkey, Bursa province, Gursu, Katirli Mountain, 689 m.
State/Province: Bursa
Country: Turkey
Longitude: 40° 19' 01" N., Latitude: 29° 15' 35" E.
Additional Information: In 2003, we collected some unusual specimens of Verbascum, during a study of the flora and the vegetation of Katirli Mountains to the north of Bursa province. After a careful examination of this material in the herbarium ANK and GAZI, we noticed that the material different from all known Turkish Verbascum species in having a violet corolla. Thorough studies and comparison with the material of similar taxa showed that our specimens represented a species new to science.

 

 

Submission #40


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Title: Anthocyanins in cell vacuole of an Azalea leaf
Author: Nicole M. Hughes
Institution: Wake Forest University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecophysiology
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Rhododendron spp.
Common Name: Azalea var.
Caption: Anthocyanin pigments differ from photosynthetic pigments in that they are located in the vacuole of leaf cells, where they are thought to function in photoprotection.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Leaves vulnerable to high light stress commonly appear red due to anthocyanin pigments, which are thought to play a photoprotective role in environments or ontogenetic stages where light capture exceeds its utilization. Evergreen species growing in high-light environments frequenty exhibit the pigment in leaves during winter months, since cold temperatures retard the biochemical reactions of the Calvin cycle, but do not significantly affect light capture or electron transport. By being located within the vacuole (which comprises the bulk volume of most leaf cells), rather than the chloroplast, anthocyanin pigments are optimally poised to shade underlying chloroplasts and cells from adaxially-incident irradiance.
Date taken: Winter 2006
Area: Jonas Ridge, Burke
State/Province: North Carolina
Country: USA
Longitude: -81.895 W, Latitude: 35.977222 N
Additional Information: Picture taken using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy at 63x.

 

 

Submission #41


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Title: Wild Red Columbine
Author: Michael Burgess
Institution: University of Maine
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline:
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Aquilegia canadensis
Common Name: Wild Red Columbine
Caption: Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis L.) Shot with a Kodak digital camera in Westmorland , VT
Scientific Description/Explanation: A perennial herb found in open to shaded dry woods, often growing amongst rocky ledges. Plants 1/2-3', with basal leaves 2-3 times compound. Flowers red with yellow, solitary, nodding, 1-2". Fruit a follicle. The flowers have long nectary spurs which attract hummingbirds. They are also edible and make a sweet and attractive addition to any salad.
Area: Westmorland
State/Province: Vermont
Country: USA
Additional Information: Growing on wet, mossy rock outcrops under a canopy of shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

 

 

Submission #42


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Title: Trillium undulatum in the Adirondak Mountains, New York
Author: Emily Komiskey
Institution: University of Connecticut
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecology
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon: Trillium undulatum
Common Name: painted trillium
Caption: While hiking near Colden Pond in the Adirondak Mountain of New York in early June, we were greeted with a trailside display of pink and white.
Scientific Description/Explanation: By looking closely at the petals of this beauty, you will understand where its specific epithet comes from. "Undulatum" means wavy (Mosquin 2003). In the United States, this plant can be found along the east coast from Georgia to Maine and west to Tennessee and Michigan, but it is listed as threatened or endangered in several states (United States Dept. of Agriculture 2007). It prefers deep shade and acidic soils that are moist and nutrient-rich, such as those under coniferous or mixed deciduous-coniferous woods (Mosquin 2003, Flora of North America 2007). Leaves are in whorls of three and flower parts also appear in multiples of three. Mosquin, Daniel. 2006. UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research. Botany photo of the day. June 03, 2006: Trillium undulatum. . United States Department of Agriculture. 2007. Natural Resources and Conservation Service. PLANTS Profile. Flora of North America. 2007. FNA 26:92, 99, 105.
Date taken: early June
Area: Adirondak Park
State/Province: New York
Country: USA
Additional Information: This plant is ant pollinated.

 

 

Submission #43


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Title: To bee in the flower: A bee collects nectar and pollen from Nautilocalyx mellitifolius [mellitifolius = bee plant] flower in St.Vincent and possibly offers pollination services.
Author: Vinita Gowda
Institution: George Washington University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Pollination biology
Family: Gesneriaceae
Taxon: Nautilocalyx mellitifolius
Caption: Nautilocalyx mellitifolius (Gesneriaceae) is a common gesneriad in the Soufriere forest reserve, St.Vincent. It is often visited by small bees (evident from its latin specific name 'mellitifolius' ie. bee loving) and rarely visited by hummingbirds. Its pink flowers have a darker center around the mouth of the corolla tube that could be acting as a 'pollinator guide' for the visiting bees. Most gesneriads are however hummingbird pollinated and substantial data on pollination biology of N. mellitifolius is absent.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Nautilocalyx mellitifolius (Gesneriaceae) is a common mid-elevation gesneriad in Dominica and St.Vincent. The plant flowers throughout the year on these two islands and hence may be aseasonal in its phenology. The flowers last more than a day and are visited by small bees throughout the day. The bees visit the flower primarily to harvest pollen and nectar and in turn offer pollination services to the plant as it transfers pollen between plants. Nectar production is highest on the first day of flowering and nectar was found to be absent in three days old flowers. Though Antillean Crested hummingbirds (Orthorhyncus cristatus) have been observed to visit the flowers this observation is very rare and infrequent.
Date taken: 17th December 2006
Area: Soufrière forest reserve, St.Vincent, West Indies
State/Province: Soufriere Volcano
Country: St.Vincent
Longitude: 61.18 W, Latitude: 13.33 N
Additional Information: Nautilocalyx mellitifolius is known to grow from 200-700 mts elevation in wet tropical forests of the West Indies. Preliminary observations show that pollinator visitation is variable within a day and within the flowering season of the plant. However, the same individual bee visits the flower multiple times in a day and re-visits the flower on subsequent days.

 

Submission #44


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Title: Ghosts in the shadow: Heliconia caribaea (Heliconiaceae) inflorescence reveals the internal arrangement of flowers in each bract with morning incident light.
Author: Vinita Gowda
Institution: George Washington University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Tropical biology, Pollination Biology
Family: Heliconiaceae
Taxon: Heliconia caribaea
Common Name: Lobster-claw plant, Balisier (West Indies)
Caption: H.caribaea inflorescence with multiple open flowers, St.Kitts, West Indies. The dominant pollinator of H.caribaea in St.Kitts is Purple-throated Carib hummingbird. The incident sun makes the opaque bracts almost translucent allowing a view of the structures within each bract.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Heliconia (Heliconiaceae ~200 species) is a predominantly neo-tropical species and is known for its brilliantly colored bracts and its strong adaptive interaction with hummingbird pollinators. It is a popular horticultural plant because of its long-lasting bracts and a fast clonal propagation. The boat shaped bracts that are visible in the image collects bract fluid which is secreted by the plant as opposed to being just a collection of rain water, as is generally believed. This bract fluid may aid in protecting the developing flowers and ovaries from predation. The bract fluid is basic in pH and provides a suitable breeding ground for many diverse invertebrates. Each bract produces only one flower/day that lasts for almost 20 hours. However, multiple flowers within an inflorescence (as shown in the image) makes H.caribaea a very rich nectar source for hummingbirds. Bracts within an inflorescence and flowers within a bract open sequentially resulting in a long lasting inflorescence (approximately 4 -5 weeks). In the Lesser Antilles only two native species of heliconias are known: H.bihai and H.caribaea. These two species show a strong adaptive interaction with the hummingbird pollinator the dimorphic Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis). Male Purple-throated Carib hummingbirds display strong territorial behavior by defending large patches (~20 m2) of H.caribaea while only conspecific trap-lining females visit H.bihai. Nectar rewards are significantly higher in H.caribaea when compared with H.bihai because of larger inflorescence size, which is correlated with larger number of flowers per inflorescence per day (as shown in the image). In the peak flowering season of H.bihai and H.caribaea (i.e. April to June) the average number of flowers/day for H.bihai is 3 and for H.caribaea is 5.
Date taken: April 22, 2006: Summer/dry season
Area: Phillips level, near Molineaux
State/Province: St.Kitts
Country: St.Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
Longitude: 62 46.3' 35" W, Latitude: 17 21.6' 96" N

 

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