2009 Triarch (Conant) "Botanical Images"
Student Travel Award

The Botanical Society of America welcomes you to the fourth annual Triarch "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award entries. From the vibrant microscopy images to those depicting entire ecosystems, pictures are always an enticing way to learn and teach. We trust you will enjoy the results and in the process learn a bit more about plants!

» View Past Award Recipients and Submissions

2009 Submissions for the Conant "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5,#6, #7, #8, #9 - James P. Riser II, Washington State University | #10, #11, #12, #13, #14 - Genevieve K. Walden, San Francisco State University | #15 - Naomi Fraga, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden | #16 - Madelaine Bartlett, University of California Berkeley | #17, #18 - Patrick Alexander, New Mexico State University | #19, #20, #21, #22, #29, #30- Wenchi Jin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | #23, #24 Tatiana Arias Garzon, University of Missouri | #25, #26, #27 - Emily Y. Butler, University of Wisconsin, Madison | #28 - Rachel Meyer, New York Botanical Garden | #31, #54 - Lorraine Adderley, University of Calgary | #32, #33, #34 - Michele B. Brower, Appalachian State University | #35, #36 - Jim Cohen, Cornell University | #37 - Nicholas Tippery, University of Connecticut | #38, #39, #40, #41, #42 - Kelsey L. Dunnell, North Dakota State University | #43 - Philip A. Gonsiska, University of Wisconsin-Madison | #44, #45 - Ben R. Grady, University of Wisconsin-Madison | #46, #47, #58, #59, #60 - Mauricio Diazgranados, Saint Louis University | #48 - Tanja M. Schuster, Wake Forest University | #49, #53 - Taina M. Price, Washington University in Saint Louis | #50 - Amanda M. Kenney, University of Texas at Austin | #51, #52 - Julia Nowak, University of British Columbia | #55 - Nicholas E. Buckley, University of Tennesse | #56, #57 - Mackenzie Taylor, University of Tennesse | #61, #62, #63, #64 - Donald McClelland, City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden

Submission #1
Title: Collecting the rare aquatic plant Websteria confervoides in Florida
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Cyperaceae
Taxon: Websteria confervoides (Poir.) Hooper.
Season/time of year: March 11, 2008
Area: Little Lake, Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, Avon Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Collecting the rare aquatic plant Websteria confervoides in Florida.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cody Hinchliff collecting the rare aquatic plant Websteria confervoides in Little Lake, Florida. Growing submerged in water, aquatic plants present some difficulties in collecting. These plants often lack support structures and have very delicate stems and leaves. Upon removal from the water, they generally turn into a limp, tangled mass that is nearly useless as a specimen. The trick to collecting aquatic plants is to submerge a piece of herbarium mounting paper under them while the plant is floating in the water and then arrange the plant on the paper. By slowly lifting one edge of the paper out of the water and making final adjustments to the specimen as it emerges, one can make very nice collections. In this picture, Cody is arranging the Websteria on the herbarium sheet before he draws it out of the water. A finished specimen can be seen in the foreground awaiting the plant press.

 

Submission #2
Title: Hand fern (Ophioglossum palmatum)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Ophioglossaceae
Taxon: Ophioglossum palmatum L.
Common Name: Hand fern
Season/time of year: March 13, 2008
Area: Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Fronds of the rare hand fern (Ophioglossum palmatum) growing among old leaf bases on a palm trunk, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Florida, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Once common in southern Florida, hand fern (Ophioglossum palmatum) is now quite rare due to habitat destruction and over collecting by fern enthusiasts. Hand fern is very sensitive to disturbance and individuals collected from the wild rarely live in cultivation. Hand fern is now mostly restricted to protected areas deep in the swamps of southern Florida. Closely related to the adder's tongue ferns, hand fern has often been regarded as deserving its own genus: Cheiroglossa.

 

Submission #3
Title: Tarflower (Befaria racemosa)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Befaria racemosa
Common Name: Tarflower
Season/time of year: March 11, 2008
Area: Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, Avon Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Tarflower (Befaria racemosa) at Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, Avon Park, Florida, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Tarflower (Befaria racemosa) gets its name from the sticky flowers that occasionally trap insects. Tarflower is a shrub growing up to 2 meters tall found in pine flatwoods and scrub communities in the southeastern United States.

 

Submission #4
Title: Welsh's milkweed (Asclepias welshii)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae
Taxon: Asclepias welshii N.H. Holmgren & P.K. Holmgren
Common Name: Welsh's milkweed
Season/time of year: March 11, 2008
Area: Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
State/Province: Utah    Country: USA

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Caption: Welsh's milkweed (Asclepias welshii) growing on active sand dunes at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Welsh's milkweed (Asclepias welshii) is a federally threatened milkweed that is restricted to active sand dunes in southern Utah and northern Arizona. Only about eleven populations are known, most with only a few individuals. The largest population is found growing on the Coral Pink Sand Dunes near Kanab, Utah. The dense white hair covering the young leaves, flowers, and fruits is thought to be an adaptation to protect the plants from wind-driven sand.

 

Submission #5
Title: Canyon live-forever (Dudleya cymosa ssp. cymosa)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Crassulaceae
Taxon: Dudleya cymosa ssp. cymosa
Common Name: Canyon live-forever
Season/time of year: 8 June 2007
Area: Yosemite National Park
State/Province: California    Country: USA

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Caption: Canyon live-forever (Dudleya cymosa ssp. cymosa) at Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Canyon live-forever (Dudleya cymosa) is a distinctive succulent frequently found throughout mountain ranges in California. It prefers well-drained, rocky soils and is typically found growing out from under boulders or between stones on rocky slopes. It is not unusual to find it clinging to sheer rock faces. Canyon live-forever has vibrant orange-red flowers arranged in cymes (hence the specific epithet cymosa). There are currently eight recognized subspecies of canyon live-forever, reflecting the diversity of characters seen across its wide range. Canyon live-forever, along with several other species of Dudleya, is endemic to California.

 

Submission #6
Title: Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Fabaceae
Taxon: Erythrina herbacea L.
Common Name: Coralbean
Season/time of year: 9 March 2008
Area: hammock near Peace River
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) and palm leaves, Peace River, Florida.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) is a common shrub found in wooded hammocks nearly throughout Florida. The genus Erythrina comprises approximately 130 species distributed around the world with most being large tropical trees and several restricted to oceanic islands. Nearly all species of Erythrina have red or orange-red flowers and are probably bird pollinated.

 

Submission #7
Title: Flower of the endangered pinelands passionflower (Passiflora pallens)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Passifloraceae
Taxon: Passiflora pallens Poepp. ex Masters
Common Name: Pinelands passionflower
Season/time of year: 14 March 2008
Area: Everglades National Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Flower of the endangered pinelands passionflower (Passiflora pallens), Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: There are over 500 species in the passionflower genus (Passiflora), with 10 occurring in Florida. Passionflowers have one of the most complicated and interesting flowers in the plant kingdom. The reproductive organs (3 stigmas, a single ovary, and 5 stamens) are located at the end of a long column termed the androgynophore. This column emerges from the five petaloid sepals, the five petals, and the corona – one or more rings of (generally) filaments. The endangered pinelands passionflower (Passiflora pallens) grows in tropical hammocks and is only found in the southern counties of Florida and on some Caribbean islands.

 

Submission #8
Title: Pine flatwoods with a slash pine (Pinus elliottii) overstory and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family:
Taxon: Pinus elliottii and Serenoa repens
Common Name: slash pine and saw palmetto
Season/time of year: 11 March 2008
Area: Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, Avon Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Pine flatwoods with a slash pine (Pinus elliottii) overstory and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)-dominated shrub layer.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Pine flatwoods are a distinctive habitat type of the southeastern coastal plain, including most of Florida. In fact, approximately 50% of Florida’s land cover was once pine flatwoods. This amount has been dramatically reduced by land conversion and fire suppression. Pine flatwoods depend on frequent wildfires to maintain the open structure and distinctive species composition. In the absence of fire, broad-leaved tree species, principally oaks (Quercus sp.), invade and eventually convert the flatwoods to a hardwood hammock habitat. Pine flatwoods are characterized by a pine-dominated overstory (Pinus palustris in the north and Pinus elliottii in the south), a shrubby layer often dominated by saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), and an herbaceous ground cover. In moister sites, the herbaceous layer can be quite species rich, often with carnivorous plants and orchids being common.

 

Submission #9
Title: Silene laciniata subsp. californica growing on serpentine slopes along the North Fork of Beegum Creek in the Trinity Mountains, California, USA
Author: James P. Riser II
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Taxon: Silene laciniata subsp. californica (Durand) J.K. Morton
Common Name: California pink
Season/time of year: 9 June 2007
Area: North Fork Beegum Creek, Trinity Mountains
State/Province: California    Country: USA

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Caption: Silene laciniata subsp. californica growing on serpentine slopes along the North Fork of Beegum Creek in the Trinity Mountains, California, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: There are approximately 70-80 species in the genus Silene in the US, with somewhere around 32 native species in California alone. Commonly known as “pinks” or “catchflys,” California pink (Silene laciniata subsp. Californica) is one of the most widespread western species. In California it can be found growing in chaparral, oak woodland, and coniferous forest communities. California pink is also tolerant of serpentine derived soils.

 

Submission #10
Title: Phacelia brachyloba (Boraginaceae)
Author: Genevieve K. Walden
Institution: San Francisco State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Boraginaceae
Taxon:Phacelia brachyloba
Season/time of year: 6/26/2008
Area: Cleveland National Forest, Santa Ana Mountains, road to Modjeska Peak, Orange County
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Credits: Lisa Young and Bob Allen

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Caption: Phacelia brachyloba (Boraginaceae)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Phacelia brachyloba (Boraginaceae) is an annual in section Euglypta. This species is a fire follower, and can be prolific in areas post burn. Occurring in chaparral and open areas in southern California and into Baja California.

 

Submission #11
Title: Fritillaria affinis var. affinis (Liliaceae)
Author: Genevieve K. Walden
Institution: San Francisco State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon:Fritillaria affinis var. affinis
Common Name: Checker lily
Season/time of year: March 18, 2009 spring
Area: Payne Ranch
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Credits: Dr. Ellen Dean

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Caption: Fritillaria affinis var. affinis (Liliaceae)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Fritillaria affinis var. affinis (Liliaceae) found here on serpentine soil, distributed throughout western North America in oak and pine scrub or grasslands.

 

Submission #12
Title: Fremontodendron californicum
Author: Genevieve K. Walden
Institution: San Francisco State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Sterculiaceae
Taxon:Fremontodendron californicum
Common Name: California Flannelbush
Season/time of year: 5/1/2008 spring
Area: Hwy 178 west of Walker Pass
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Credits: Alabama Hills Plant taxonomy SFSU trip, led by Dr. Patterson.

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Caption: Spring in Kern County.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Fremontodendron californicum (Sterculiaceae) in large wild population on hillsides in Kern County, California. A member of the Cacao family, this species has interesting stellate trichomes that can cause supremely irritating contact dermatitis. F. californicum is a perennial shrub.

 

Submission #13
Title: Calochortus weedii var. intermedius (Liliaceae)
Author: Genevieve K. Walden
Institution: San Francisco State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon: Calochortus weedii var. intermedius
Common Name: Checker lily
Season/time of year: 6/26/2008 late spring
Area: Cleveland National Forest, Santa Ana Mountains, Road to Santiago Peak, Orange County
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Credits: Lisa Young and Bob Allen

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Caption: Calochortus weedii var. intermedius (Liliaceae)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Calochortus weedii var. intermedius (Liliaceae) is a rare California endemic, occurring on rocky chaparral slopes, and restricted to Orange County. The corolla is long fringed and often visited by pollinators.

 

Submission #14
Title: Lupinus flavoculatus (Fabaceae)
Author: Genevieve K. Walden
Institution: San Francisco State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Fabaceae
Taxon: Lupinus flavoculatus
Common Name: Yelloweyes
Season/time of year: 5/2/2008 spring
Area: Cleveland National Forest, Santa Ana Mountains, Road to Santiago Peak, Orange County
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Credits: Alabama Hills Plant taxonomy SFSU trip, led by Dr. Patterson


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Caption: Yelloweyes in desert sagebrush.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Lupinus flavoculatus (Fabaceae) is a desert annual lupine with persistent cotyledons, occurring on gravelly sand in Nevada and California. It is quite hairy with an upper bright yellow spot on the keel.

 

Submission #15
Title: Baldwin Lake linanthus (Linanthus killipii) and floral visitor
Author: Naomi Fraga
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pollination Biology
Family: Polemonicaceae
Taxon: Linanthus killipii
Common Name: Baldwin Lake linanthus
Season/time of year: April 29, 2008 (Spring)
Area: San Bernardino Mountains
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Longitude: 34.28807
Latitude: -116.79762

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Caption: Linanthus killipii with flower beetle
Scientific Description/Explanation: Linanthus killipii is a diminutive member of the Phlox family (Polemonicaceae) that is commonly known as Baldwin Lake linanthus. The common name is fitting, because L. killipii is only known to occur on the mountain slopes surrounding Baldwin Lake, in the San Bernardino Mountains of California. Here L. killipii is photographed with a flower beetle (Melyridae) that is covered with yellow pollen. The red markings at the base of each petal are referred to as 'nectar guides', because such markings frequently aid insects in finding nectar rewards within the flower. The entire flower of L. killipii is the size of an erasure head or about cm in diameter.

 

Submission #16
Title: Calathea flowers
Author: Madelaine Bartlett
Institution: University of California Berkeley
Department: Plant and Microbial Biology
Topic/Discipline: Floral morphology
Family: Marantaceae
Taxon: Calathea burle-marxii
Area: Lyon Arboretum
State/Province: Oahu, Hawaii   Country: United States of America

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Caption: Mirror-image flowers of the Marantaceae (Calathea burle-marxii)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Asymmetrical flowers are rare in the plant world, possibly because animal pollinators such as bees are attracted to symmetrical flowers. Individual flowers of the plant family Marantaceae are asymmetrical, but they come out in mirror-image pairs and make a symmetrical flowering unit. As is shown in this picture, one flower of each pair will face to the left and the other will face to the right.

 

Submission #17
Title: Fendler's rock-cress infected by rust
Author: Patrick Alexander
Institution: New Mexico State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecology
Family: Brassicaceae
Taxon: Boechera fendleri
Common Name: Fendler's rock-cress
Season/time of year: Spring, 10 Apr 2005
Area: Magdalena Mountains
State/Province: Socorro County, New Mexico    Country: USA
Longitude: -107.15813
Latitude: 34.07241
Additional Information: Boechera fendleri is edible, but does not taste particularly good. I do not know if the taste is affected by Puccinia.

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Caption: Rusts in the genus Puccinia infect many mustards (Brassicaceae) and modify flower development, co-opting the inflorescence as a reproductive structure for the rust rather than the plant.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The rock-cresses (Boechera), represented here by Fendler's rock-cress (Boechera fendleri) are a diverse (ca. 109 species) group particularly abundant in the western United States. The genus, formerly included in the primarily Eurasian Arabis, has been the focus of a variety of studies in ecology and evolutionary biology. One particular focus of research has been on the infection of these mustards by rusts in the genus Puccinia, a genus which includes several economically important pathogens of wheat as well as pathogens of Boechera and other mustard genera. These rusts modify inflorescence development, creating yellow reproductive structures (spermagonia) on the bracts and flowers while preventing normal development of the anthers & pistils. Puccinia also creates pollinator-attracting scents distinct from those of the host, further aiding its reproduction.

 

Submission #18
Title: Burrograss self-planting in clay
Author: Patrick Alexander
Institution: New Mexico State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecology
Family: Poaceae
Taxon: Scleropogon brevifolius
Common Name: burrograss
Season/time of year: Winter, 25 Jan 2009
Area: Jornada Experimental Range, northeast of Las Cruces
State/Province: Doa Ana County, New Mexico    Country: USA
Longitude: -106.7010
Latitude: 32.5962
Additional Information: Burrograss is highly nutritious, but because they are very low-growing, cattle do not eat them. Native bison, on the other hand, are better able to east low-growing vegetation and will consume burrograss in great quantities. This may be a factor in the persistence of burrograss in areas where cattle have grazed out most of the grassland dominated by taller species.

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Caption: Burrograss spikelets embed themselves in cracks in dry clay in playas in the deserts of the American southwest.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolius) is a common species growing in playas, where runoff water from nearby mountains forms ephemeral lakes in wet years. The clay surface of these playas cracks in dry weather, and burrograss exploits this for seed dispersal. The mature spikelets have long awns that keep the body of the spikelet, containing the seeds, pointed downward as the spikelets are blown across playas. Eventually the pointed tips of these spikelets become wedged into clay cracks, thus planting the seeds in appropriate habitat. In the winter and spring after a good year with heavy burrograss flowering, the cracks in nearby open clay are filled with these spikelets, giving burrograss a chance to colonize new habitats with the next summer rains.

 

Submission #19

Title: Lamium amplexicaule
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy/Systematics
Family: Lamiaceae
Taxon: Lamium amplexicaule Linn.
Common Name: Bao-Gai-Cao
Season/time of year: Mar 23, 2008 Spring
Area: Nanjing
State/Province: Jiangsu    Country: China

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Caption:Shot against a clear blue sky, these Lamium amplexicaule, known as Bao-Gai-Cao in Chinese, show off unusual beauty
Scientific Description/Explanation: Perhaps the most common species in Lamiaceae (mint family) in east China we can see in early spring, Lamium amplexicaule, pronounced as "Bao-Gai-Cao" in Chinese, occupies most disturbed area such as roadside here in Jiangsu province. It is widely distributed in Eurasia and can be found at places as high as 4000m. The whole plant can be used as traditional Chinese medicine to treat several diseases. It is a conspicuous plant with purple flowers at the terminal of stems, and the leaves are always in pairs like most members of mint family.

 

Submission #20
Title: Pleione bulbocodioides
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy/Systematics
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon:Pleione bulbocodioide (Franch.) Rolfe
Common Name: Du-Suan-Lan
Season/time of year: May 6, 2008 Spring
Area: Mt. Huangshan
State/Province: Anhui    Country: China

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Caption: This purple orchid is found in Mt. Huangshan, a world heritage in east China's Anhui province.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Confined in subtropical mountains in East Asia, Pleione bulbocodioide, known as "single clove orchid" in China because its pseudobulb looks like garlic. It usually grows on moss-covered rock instead of in the soil. Its flowers are so big and showy compared to its leaves and pseudobulb, so it's sometimes planted as an ornamental plant. However, it is not popular in cultivation, one reason for this may lie in its preference to montane cool summer.

 

Submission #21
Title: Spring in Desert
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy/Systematics
Family: Papaveraceae
Taxon: Eschscholzia glyptosperma Greene
Common Name: Desert Poppy
Season/time of year: Feb 26, 2009 Spring
Area: South Mountain, Phoenix
State/Province: Arizona    Country: USA
Additional Information: Although beautiful, this flower is somewhat toxic.

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Caption: A flower of Eschscholzia glyptosperma shot in Arizona against the sky as well as saguaro cactus.
Scientific Description/Explanation: In the spring of Sonora Desert, desert poppy begins to flower in mild spring, and its flower will close in rain or cloudy weather. It is quite similar in appearance to its relative, the California poppy, but it has a purer yellow flower. The genus Eschscholzia was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, there are 12 species within this genus. Desert poppy is an annual species, in order to avoid the harsh summer heat in desert, it chooses to flower in spring, and its offspring can endure the desert summer in seed!

 

Submission #22
Title: Viola chaerophylloides
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy/Systematics
Family: Violaceae
Taxon: Viola chaerophylloides (Regel) W. Beck.
Common Name: Nanshan Jincai
Season/time of year: April 17, 2008 Spring
Area: Mt. Huangshan
State/Province: Anhui    Country: China

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Caption: Flowering plant of Viola chaerophylloides in Mt. Huangshan in Anhui, China.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Among many species of violet in spring here in Mt. Huangshan, a World Heritage Site, Viola chaerophylloides could probably be the most showy one and it is not commonly seen. This species has deeply lobed leaves, and its leaf shape is highly variable. Although it is very similar to V. dissecta, we can tell them apart by the presence of remnant sepal appendages.

 

Submission #23
Title: "Good Day, Sunshine"
Author: Tatiana Arias Garzon
Institution: University of Missouri
Department: Division of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline:Plant morphology
Family: Araceae
Taxon: Alocasia macrorrhizos
Common Name: Leaves of the Upright Giant Taro
Season/time of year: June 2006, wet season
Area: Montezuma
State/Province: Puntarenas Province   Country: Costa Rica
Longitude: 9.65 N   Latitude: 83 59' 50''W
Additional Credits: Alvaro Idarraga and Francisco Javier Roldan from La Universidad de Antioquia Herbarium (HUA), Medellin, Colombia for plant identification.

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Caption: Leaves of the Upright Giant Taro, Alocasia macrorrhizos (Araceae) basking in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Alocasia macrorrhizos (Upright Giant Taro) is a water loving plant, with evergreen fleshy horizontal stems, growing as long as 5 meters. Leaves are gigantic with fleshy thick leaf stalks that are topped with large upright arrow-shaped, wavy-edged bright green laminas. Individual plants are clonal, making the populations genetically uniform. Sexual reproduction is rare due to self-incompatibility and the absence of efficient pollinators. The Giant Taro is commonly cultivated as ornamental and animal fodder. More rarely, it is used for human consumption after roasting. Stems contain raphid crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx. They require prolonged boiling before serving or processing as food. Giant Taro has been described as "tasty when warm but an irritant and unpleasant when cold".

 

Submission #24
Title: Below the skin
Author: Tatiana Arias Garzon
Institution: University of Missouri
Department: Division of Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Plant-animal interactions
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Psammisia sp
Season/time of year: May 2005, wet season
Area: cloud mountain forest
State/Province: Cartago   Country: Costa Rica
Longitude: 9 46' 50''N   Latitude: 83 59' 50''W
Additional Credits: Alvaro Idarraga and Francisco Javier Roldan from La Universidad de Antioquia Herbarium (HUA), Medellin, Colombia for plant identification.

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Caption: Inflorescence of Psammisia sp. (Ericaceae) growing in a remnant of cloud mountain forest in Cartago, Costa Rica.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Species of the flowering plant family Ericaceae, growing in the Neotropical cloud forest of Central and South America. Among them, members of the genus Psammisia, which are usually shrubs growing upon or attached to another living plant. This genus exhibits a series of interactions with other organisms. The brightly colored flowers, together with nectar rewards, attract animal visitors. Several species in Psammisia are pollinated by hummingbirds and they display a fascinating three partite interaction with mites. Mites live inside the flowers of Psammisia and are dispersed from flower to flower within the nasal passages of hummingbirds. These mites apparently have evolved within the flowers of neotropical Ericaceae in montane habitats.

 

Submission #25
Title: Maidenhair Fiddlehead
Author: Emily Y. Butler
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pteridology
Family: Pteridaceae
Taxon: Adiantum pedatum
Common Name: Maidenhair fern
Season/time of year: April 8, 2008 (spring)
Area: Porter's Flat, Great Smoky Mountains
State/Province: Tennessee   Country: USA

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Caption: A fiddlehead of Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) unfurls in early spring in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Scientific Description/Explanation: When young fern fronds emerge in early spring, they exhibit a phenomenon called circinate vernation (circinate from the circular, curling nature of the expanding frond, and vernation from vernal, meaning spring). At this stage, the emergent ferns are commonly called croziers, or fiddleheads. This young Adiantum pedatum, or Maidenhair fern, is demonstrating the process on a sunny, early spring morning in the Great Smoky Mountains.

 

Submission #26
Title: Dryopteris intermedia Sori
Author: Emily Y. Butler
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pteridology
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Taxon: Dryopteris intermedia
Common Name: Intermediate Wood Fern
Season/time of year: June 3, 2008 (spring)
Area: Glassy Mountain, Pickens
State/Province: South Carolina    Country: USA

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Caption: Dryopteris intermedia displays its sori and their spore-containing sporangia
Scientific Description/Explanation: The large green plants we think of as ferns actually represent only one phase of the fern life-cycle; they are the sporophytes, or spore-producers. This Dryopteris intermedia reveals its spore-containing structures, the sori. Each sorus (singular) consists of a large, nearly translucent, kidney-bean shaped covering, called an indusium, and the numerous shiny black sporangia it houses. Each of the sporangia, in turn, contains 64 spores. When these mature, the sporangia will tear open, releasing the spores to be scattered by the wind.

 

Submission #27
Title: Immature Dryopteris marginalis sori
Author: Emily Y. Butler
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Pteridology
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Taxon:Dryopteris marginalis
Common Name: Intermediate Wood Fern
Season/time of year: September 19, 2008 (autumn)
Area: The Dells of the Wisconsin River
State/Province: Wisconsin    Country: USA

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Caption: Dryopteris marginalis displays immature sori along the margins of its pinnae
Scientific Description/Explanation: Dryopteris marginalis earns its common name, Marginal Wood Fern, from the placement of its spore-bearing structures along the margins of its leaf divisions. Each small leaf section is called a pinnule, and the spore-holding structures are called sori. Each sorus (singular) holds numerous sporangia, which themselves hold 64 spores apiece. In some of this individual's sori, you can see the tiny sporangia peeking out from underneath the kidney-shaped indusium which covers them. The structures of each sorus, the indusium and the many sporangia, appear white because they are immature. The young spores are still developing and are not yet ready to be dispersed.

 

Submission #28
Title: The last of their kind: unique heirloom eggplants in a trash heap
Author: Rachel Meyer
Institution: New York Botanical Garden
Department: Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline: cultivar biodiversity
Family: Solanaceae
Taxon: Solanum melongena
Common Name: eggplant, hepoi (Dai)
Season/time of year: January 3, 2009 Winter
Area: Xishuangbanna
State/Province: Yunnan    Country: China
Longitude: 101o25' E   Latitude: 21o41' N
Additional Credits: Zhao YuFan, my partner in the field.

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Caption: Crop diversity is dissapearing at an alarming rate worldwide. Here, an old home has been torn down, and with it, the heirloom crops that had been upkept for generations before. Several of the eggplant cultivars found in this trash heap were different in morphology and flavor from any other found in Yunnan Province, a center of eggplant diversity.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Eggplants were possibly domesticated in the northern Mekong regions that includes Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. Local ethnic groups such as the Dai, the Miao, and the Hani grow modern cultivars for commercial sale on large stretches of farmland, while keeping the heirloom varietals in their home gardens. These varietals are considered more medicinally potent and tastier. In Xishuangbanna, eggplants like those shown here would be eaten raw as a ceviche, and are said to have strong antihypertensive activity as well as ability to regulate blood sugar levels. The rarity of these small-scale cultivars is widely unrealized, and thus many are lost as construction or land use reform occurs. The time is now for initiating conservation efforts, including germplasm banks for heirloom crops. Varietals such as these shown need no input or pesticides to grow well and produce high yields of fruit. In the future, the genetic diversity in Yunnan could be harnessed for crop improvement, so long as such diverse forms of eggplant still exist.

 

Submission #29
Title: Twins
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Morphology/Systematics
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Phalaenopsis hybrid
Common Name: Moth orchid
Season/time of year: Mar 29, 2009 Spring
Area: Conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
State/Province: Michigan    Country: USA

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Caption: Extreme close-up of tipped-away anther and pollinia of a moth orchid.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Nearly all orchids have different degrees of union of style (female part) and anther (male part) to form a structure called column, this is probably the most distinct feature of orchids. Because of the fusion, it is usually hard to see pollinia (aggregation of pollen grains) of orchids. However, if we tip away the anther from a moth orchid's style, which is light purple, at the top of this photo, not only can we see the structure of the white anther, we can also see two yellow pollinia nested side by side in the anther. The attachment and position of anther are traditionally important morphological features for orchid taxonomy, though there is much variation especially in advanced groups.

 

Submission #30
Title: Green nest
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Ecology/Tropical biology
Family: Aspleniaceae
Taxon: Neottopteris nidus (L.) J. Sm.
Common Name: Bird's nest fern
Season/time of year: Jan 9, 2008 Dry season
Area: Jianfengling, Leidong
State/Province: Hainan    Country: China
Additional Information: These is a phrase for epiphytes, at least in China: garden in the air.

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Caption: An epiphytic bird's nest fern grows on the root of fig tree in montane rain forest in Hainan Island, China.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This bird-nest-like fern is common in montane rain forest in Hainan, it may look like a parasitic plant, but it is indeed an epiphyte that grows on other plants but does not take nutrition from the latter. Epiphytes thrive in tropical rain forest because it is relatively warm and wet all year round, they can take in moisture in the air as well as collect frequent rain. These trunks are actually a fig's aerial roots, after they reach the ground, they quickly grow big to be supporting pillars of the spreading tree and sometimes it is hard to tell them apart from the main stem. Both epiphytes and fig's aerial roots are typical sceneries of rain forest here in south China's Hainan Island.

 

Submission #31
Title: Fragrant white water lily
Author: Lorraine Adderley
Institution: University of Calgary
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Anatomy and Ecology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea odorata
Common Name: Fragrant water lily
Season/time of year: August 2007 (summer)
Area: Algonquin Provincial Park - Lake of Two Rivers
State/Province: Ontario    Country: Canada
Longitude: 78 30' 00" W   Latitude: 45 34' 47" N

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Caption: Fragrant white water lily in full bloom, floating in the stream of a typical Canadian Shield wetland.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Molecular data suggests that this family - Nymphaeaceae, the water lilies, are one of the oldest flowering plant families - paleoherbs. They share anatomical features with monocots and eudicots suggesting their existence before these two groups diverged. Like monocots the stem has the vascular tissues arranged in bundles that are dispersed throughout the stem, unlike the ordered cylindrical arrangement of bundles commonly found in eudicots. However, like the dicots and eudicots the seeds of paleoherbs produce embryos with two cotyledons. Nymphaeceae is one of two families of paleoherbs existing in Ontario, Canada. The fragrant water-lily, Nymphaea odorata, is one of its most commonly seen members. This perrenial aquatic plant is found in the slow moving and still waters found throughout most of the province. It is an important food staple for the North American Moose, Alces alces. Currently, the habitat of Nymphaea odorata is under threat from invasive species taking over the waterways. Invasive aquatics such as Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) and European frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) have been highly successful at outcompeting native plants in the waterways of southern Ontario and continue to expand their ranges north, placing Ontario's Nymphaea odorata in danger.

 

Submission #32
Title: Amphianthus pusillus - Hidden treasure on 40 Acre Rock
Author: Michele B. Brower
Institution: Appalachian State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Figworts, Herbaceous flowering plants (Systematics)
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Taxon: Gratiola amphiantha (GRIN taxon)
Common Name: little Amphianthus, Pool Sprite and Snorkelwort
Season/time of year: March 22, 2009 (Early Spring)
Area: Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, Lancaster County
State/Province: South Carolina    Country: USA

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Caption: This photograph was taken on top of Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, Lancaster County, South Carolina on March 22, 2009 during a plant anatomy and morphology course field trip. This preserve is supported by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Amphianthus pusillus Torr. are also known as Gratiola amphiantha (GRIN taxon), little Amphianthus, Pool Sprite and Snorkelwort. They are herbaceous, annual plants. The leaves are opposite, less than 0.8cm in length and less than 0.5 cm wide. The end of each thin, flexible stem has two entire, floating leaves. There are also submerged leaves clustered on short stems. The flowers have five regular parts and are up to 0.5 cm wide. They are white to pale lavender. Blooms first appear in late winter and continue into early spring. The flowers are found both between the floating leaves and on the submerged portion of the plant. The fruit is a small dark capsule. Their habitat is typically shallow water on granite outcrops. (Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, 2003) They are in the Scrophulariaceae family. They are native in the United States and currently only found in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. (Natural Resources Conservation Services, USDA, 2009) This photograph was taken on top of Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, Lancaster County, South Carolina on March 22, 2009 during a plant anatomy and morphology course field trip. This preserve is supported by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy. Other species found and identified by our group in this same location were Isoetes melanipoda (Isoetaceae), Arenaria greenlandica (Caryophyllaceae), Diamorpha smallii (Crassulaceae), Senecio tomentosus (Asteraceae), Houstonia pusilla (Rubiaceae) and Yucca filamentosa var. smalliana (Agavaceae). All identifications were confirmed by Dr. Zack Murrell, Professor of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.

 

Submission #33
Title: Sea of Diamorpha smallii
Author: Michele B. Brower
Institution: Appalachian State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Granitic Pool Community (Systematics)
Family: Crassulaceae
Taxon: Sedum smallii
Common Name: elf orpine
Season/time of year: March 22, 2009 (Early Spring)
Area: Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, Lancaster County
State/Province: South Carolina    Country: USA

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Caption: This photograph was taken on top of Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve, Lancaster County, South Carolina on March 22, 2009 during a plant anatomy and morphology course field trip. This preserve is supported by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Other species found and identified by our group in this same location were Isoetes melanipoda (Isoetaceae), Arenaria greenlandica (Caryophyllaceae), Amphianthus pusillus (Scrophulariaceae), Senecio tomentosus (Asteraceae), Houstonia pusilla (Rubiaceae) and Yucca filamentosa var. smalliana (Agavaceae). All identifications were confirmed by Dr. Zack Murrell, Professor of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.

 

Submission #34
Title: Grandma's Rose
Author: Michele B. Brower
Institution: Appalachian State University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Beautiful Rose
Family: Rosidae
Season/time of year: 2007
Area: Lincoln County
State/Province: North Carolina    Country: USA
Additional Information: My grandmother is 91 and still loves for her 23 grandchildren to pick her roses for Sunday dinner gatherings.

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Caption: This photograph was taken in 2007 just after a storm at my grandmother's house after Sunday dinner.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This photograph was taken in 2007 just after a storm at my grandmother's house after Sunday dinner.

 

Submission #35
Title: Stigma of Lithospermum oblongifolium
Author: Jim Cohen
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline: Anatomy
Family: Boraginaceae
Taxon:Lithospermum oblongifolium
Common Name: Douglas' Mesamint
Area: Image was taken at NYBG with material collected near Mexico City, Mexico.
State/Province: New York    Country: USA

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Caption: This is an SEM image of the stigma Lithospermum oblongifolium (200X).
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is a close up image of the stigma of Lithospermum oblongifolium, a species native to central and northeastern Mexico. There are two interesting aspects of this image. One is the shape of the stigma papillae. They are shaped very much like umbrellas. This is most likely a type of lock and key pollination, where only a certain size and shape of pollen can fit in and stay between the papillae. The other interesting aspect is that, if you look closely, the stigma is not at the tip of the style, but rather slightly below it. This subterminal stigma is difficult to observe with the naked eye, and the SEM does a very nice job of capturing this feature. Some species of Lithospermum have terminal stigmas, while others, like Lithospermum oblongifolium, have subterminal stigmas to varying degrees.

 

Submission #36
Title: Apocynaceae flower close up
Author: Jim Cohen
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Biology
Topic/Discipline: Morphology
Family: Apocynaceae

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Caption: This is a close up image of the inside of an Apocynaceae flower.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is a very close up image of the inside of an Apocynaceae flower. Notice the maroon and cream markings on the petals which may mimic meat. These types of flowers are often pollinated by insects that like to visit rotting flesh and meat, and it's easy to see the similarities. In addition, the pentagonal shape of the stigma is very striking with a silver halo surrounding its red center.

 

Submission #37
Title: Heterostylous flowers of Nymphoides indica
Author: Nicholas Tippery
Institution: University of Connecticut
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Menyanthaceae
Taxon: Nymphoides indica
Common Name: Water snowflake
Season/time of year: 06 June 2008 (dry season)
Area: Kakadu National Park
State/Province: Northern Territory    Country: Australia
Longitude: 132d 18m 32s E   Latitude: 13d 03m 18s S
Additional Information: This was a rare opportunity to photograph flowers of the two style lengths in such close proximity. Because each plant produces only one type of flower, the photograph actually depicts two plants, close enough to each other that their flowers could be framed in the same image.
Additional Credits: I am greatly indebted to Dr. Surrey Jacobs (National Herbarium of New South Wales) for helping coordinate and execute our collecting trip.

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Caption: Two different flower types of the heterostylous aquatic plant Nymphoides indica
Scientific Description/Explanation: Nymphoides indica (Menyanthaceae) is a floating-leaved aquatic plant found abundantly in tropical latitudes worldwide. Its small flowers (2-3 cm in diameter) develop underwater and emerge to be pollinated by flying insects. Nymphoides indica is particularly interesting because its flowers are heterostylous (literally 'different styles'), meaning that they have either long styles and short anthers or short styles and long anthers. Heterostyly promotes pollination between flowers of different individuals (which make only one flower type each) and thus helps to prevent inbreeding. Shown here are flowers of N. indica plants from Australia with the two morph types, short-style (left) and long-style (right).

 

Submission #38
Title: Painted cup (Castilleja coccinea)
Author: Kelsey L. Dunnell
Institution: North Dakota State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Taxon:Castilleja coccinea (L.) Spreng.
Common Name: Painted cup, Indian paintbrush
Season/time of year: June 10, 2008 Spring
Area: Bluestem Prairie Preserve
State/Province: Minnesota    Country: USA
Longitude: 9627.910 W   Latitude: 46 51.623 N

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Caption: The inflorescence of the yellow variant form of Painted cup (Castilleja coccinea) growing on Bluestem Prairie Preserve in Minnesota.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is the yellow variant form of Painted cup (Castilleja coccinea) in the family Scrophulariaceae. This species owes its color to their bright yellow (more commonly red) bracts in the flower cluster rather than to the corolla itself. Painted cup is partially parasitic of other plants. Their roots penetrate the roots of nearby plants and obtain a portion of their nutrients. Its native habitat is moist to dry prairies and meadows.

 

Submission #39
Title: Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)
Author: Kelsey L. Dunnell
Institution: North Dakota State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Pinaceae
Taxon:Pinus longaeva
Common Name: Great Basin Bristlecone Pine
Season/time of year: June 27, 2007 Summer
Area: Bryce Canyon National Park
State/Province: Utah    Country: USA

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Caption: An ancient group of Bristlecone Pine on a dry sandy slope in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) is one of the oldest living species on earth. The average age of this pine is about 1000 years with some over 4000 years. They have five needles per fascicle and are very unique in that they have the longest persistence of any plant, staying attached to the tree for over 40 years. This species occurs on exposed dry rocky slopes and ridges in high elevations (8,000-11,000 ft). Growing in such a harsh environment, they have adapted to grow very slowly and can even go through periods with no growth at all.

 

Submission #40
Title: Rain-soaked Plumeria flowers
Author: Kelsey L. Dunnell
Institution: North Dakota State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Apocynaceae
Taxon: Plumeria sp
Common Name: Frangipani St. Lucia
Season/time of year: March 12, 2005
Country: St. Lucia

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Caption: Plumeria flowers after a brief morning rain on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Plumeria is a small genus of 7-8 species that are native to tropical and subtropical areas in the Americas. They have now been naturalized into many tropical habitats around the world. They possess a poisonous milky sap that is similar to that of Euphorbia. Their flowers have no nectar but trick their pollinators, the sphinx moths, into visiting them with their fragrance, which is stronger at night when the moths are active.

 

Submission #41
Title: Eye in the Sun
Author: Kelsey L. Dunnell
Institution: North Dakota State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Rudbeckia hirta
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan
Season/time of year: July 20, 2007 Summer
Area: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
State/Province: Minnesota    Country: USA

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Caption: Pollen dusted receptacle of the common flower, Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a very common annual or short-lived perennial that is native to much of the United States. They grow in prairies, dry fields, open woods, and in disturbed areas. The brown central receptacle is composed of many disk florets, which are fertile, and is surrounded by bright yellow ray florets, which are sterile.

 

Submission #42
Title: Roses in the Sun
Author: Kelsey L. Dunnell
Institution: North Dakota State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Rosaceae
Taxon: Rosa sp
Common Name: Rose
Season/time of year: July 20, 2007 Summer
Area: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
State/Province: Minnesota    Country: USA

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Caption: A close-up of hot pink roses shine in the afternoon sun.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Rosa contains over a hundred species of wild roses and are perennial shrubs or vines with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. The plant's fleshy edible fruit is called a rose hip which has a very high vitamin C content. They can be made into jam and jelly, or be brewed for tea. Many new cultivars of garden roses have arisen from hybridizing species from different parts of the world.

 

Submission #43
Title: Epiphytes can grow (almost) anywhere.
Author: Philip A. Gonsiska
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: canopy ecology
Family: Bromeliaceae
Taxon: Catopsis berteroniana
Common Name: Bird of Paradise
Season/time of year: June 2007, summer
Area: Sherwood Content
State/Province: Trelawny    Country: Jamaica

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Caption: While vascular epiphytes usually grow on trees, their seeds will germinate wherever their requirements are met.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Vascular epiphytes are non-parasitic plants that spend their entire life cycle growing wholly on other plants, usually trees. They have been received little ecological and systematic study relative particularly to terrestrial temperate species. Due to difficulty of access, surprisingly little is known about the evolution or physiology of epiphytic groups, even though they constitute an estimated 40% of plant species diversity in some tropical forests. Epiphytes have no access to the ground and acquire nutrients predominantly from atmospheric deposition, litterfall, and canopy fauna. This epiphytic bromeliad, Catopsis berteroniana, belongs to a genus of 15 species native to Central and South America, the Caribbean, and southern Florida. It is capable of growing in high light environments. It has been suggested that this species obtains much of its nitrogen via carnivory. Most of the species in this genus form "tanks" in which rainwater accumulates among their tightly overlapping leaf bases. Catopsis seeds are wind-dispersed and possess a tuft of sticky hairs which allow them to adhere to the surfaces of tree branches, or, in this case, power lines.

 

Submission #44
Title: Rarity in a harsh land
Author: Ben R. Grady
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Polygonaceae
Taxon: Eriogonum gypsophilum
Common Name: gypsum wild buckwheat
Season/time of year: 1 June 2007
Area: Seven Rivers Hills
State/Province: New Mexico    Country: USA

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Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: The gypsum wild buckwheat, Eriogonum gypsophilum, is only known from gypsum outcrops in southern New Mexico. These soils are associated with high levels of calcium sulfate, chemically and physically challenging to many other plants. It is this type of habitat specificity that makes Eriogonum gypsophilum one of the rarest species of Eriogonum.

 

Submission #45
Title: Crosby's wild buckwheat
Author: Ben R. Grady
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Polygonaceae
Taxon: Eriogonum crosbyae
Common Name: Crosby's wild buckwheat
Season/time of year: 26 June 2008
Area: Wilson Canyon
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: Eriogonum crosbyae on fine clay in western Nevada.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Eriogonum crosbyae can be found in some of the harshest, most remote areas of Nevada. This is a plant that does not enjoy neighbors. It is most common in soils that support few, if any other plants, namely various clays. Its yellow inflorescences provide splashes of color to even the driest desert landscape.

 

Submission #46
Title: Uncommon perspective of Carrion flower
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy/Horticulture
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Taxon: Stapelia gigantea
Common Name: Carrion flower, Giant Toad Plant, Zulu Giant, Startfish flower
Season/time of year: 10/06/2007, Fall (but Spring in its native locality)
Area: Missouri Botanical Garden
State/Province: Missouri    Country: USA

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Caption: The entangled petal tips of this Carrion flower (Stapelia gigantea N.E. Br.) reveal the struggle between flowers to exhibit their foetid odor to attract flies, their pollinators.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This interesting plant that resembles a cactus, is native to the deserts of South Africa. The extremely large (>20cm across), fleshy, starfish-shaped flowers smell like carrion to attract flies. The flowers bend backward when mature, and the reddish tips of the petals get entangled. The wind-dispersed seeds allow this species to invade dry areas, and it's listed as one of the Hawaii's most invasive horticultural plants. This photograph was taken in the greenhouses of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

Submission #47
Title: Vigilant Purple Trillium of the Ozarks
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy / Ecology / Ethnobotany
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon: Trillium recurvatum
Common Name: Purple Trillium, Bloody Butcher
Season/time of year: 04/20/2008 - Spring
Area: haw Arboretum (Missouri Botanical Garden)
State/Province: Missouri     Country: USA
Longitude: -90.821139   Latitude: 38.461828
Additional Information: Sometimes this species is miscalled Prairie Trillium. Although other species of Trillium grow in the prairies, this species is restricted to woodlands.

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Caption: The Purple Trillium of the Ozarks, a live pharmacy right in our backyard.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This species is common in the eastern and southern part of the Ozarks, in moist woods along lower slopes, in valleys and ravines, typically in limestone-derived soils. Three upright maroon petals protect the six statements, and at the same time attract beetles and flies. This plant was widely used by numerous North American tribes for different purposes: to treat open wounds and sores, menstrual disorders, menopause, internal bleeding, snakebites, stings, and skin irritations; it was also used to induce childbirth and as an aphrodisiac. It is a live pharmacy right in our backyard!

 

Submission #48
Title: Botany & Mycology
Author: Tanja M. Schuster
Institution: Wake Forest University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Plant/fungal interactions
Family: Sparassidaceae
Taxon: Sparassis crispa (Wulfen) Fr.
Common Name: cauliflower mushroom
Season/time of year: Fall 2008
Area: Horizons Park Winston-Salem
State/Province: North Carolina    Country: USA

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Caption: Sparassis crispa (Wulfen) Fr. is a large mushroom, which grows on the wood of Eastern hardwood forest trees. It is edible and may have medicinal properties (Sastra, 2008). Compounds isolated from this mushroom, such as β-glucans, show potential as anti-tumor agents and function in stimulating the immune system. The densely branched fruiting body produces cream or tan lobes and vaguely resembles a head of cauliflower. Sparassis crispa is associated with conifers (mostly pine and spruce) or oaks. Although some fungi have symbiotic relationships with their tree partners, this particular species is a pathogen which is responsible for brown rot. Once it has felled its victim, it acts as a saprobe by feeding off the decaying wood. It digests the whitish cellulose rather than the brown colored lignin.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Sparassis crispa (Wulfen) Fr. is a polypore mushroom in the Basisiomycota, the club fungi. Basisiomycota have characteristic reproductive structures, the basidia, in which the spores are formed. The basidia grow on a tissue layer termed hymenium, which is usually only formed on one side of the cap or lobe. The annually occurring basidiocarp (fruiting body) of Sparassis crispa is composed of curled (Latin: crispa) lobes, from which the associated basidia release white spores (Lsse and Linkoff, 2002). Sparassis is a small group; a study of molecular and morphological data by Blanco-Dios et al. (2006) shows this clade to be comprised of nine species.

 

Submission #49
Title: Pygmy fameflower, a Colorado Plateau endemic
Author: Taina M. Price
Institution: Washington University in Saint Louis
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Montiaceae (Portulacaceae)
Taxon: Phemeranthus brevifolius
Common Name: Pygmy fameflower
Season/time of year: 29 June 2008, summer
Area: Navajo County
State/Province: Arizona    Country: USA
Longitude: W 110 04' 09"   Latitude: N 34 50' 55"

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Caption: When its large, bright pink flowers open at mid-morning, the tiny pygmy fameflower [Phemeranthus brevifolius (Torr.) Hershkovitz] shows up dramatically against its rocky, gravelly sandstone habitat. Found only in the Four Corners region, this species displays many adaptations to a dry, hot-summer climate.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Species in the genus Phemeranthus are found in dry, usually rocky habitats throughout much of the United States and northern Mexico. Some of the species are widespread, but others have narrowly restricted ranges. Such species are called "endemics". The pygmy fameflower, Phemeranthus brevifolius, is endemic to the southern Colorado Plateau, where it grows in thin, gravelly sandstone soil. The plant in this photograph demonstrates many adaptations to a dry, hot climate. It grows at the edge of a rock with its roots wedged deeply beneath, securing the plant against erosion and enabling it to collect water that runs off the rock. Its thick, fleshy, succulent leaves are spaced tightly along the short stem, minimizing the surface area that is exposed to the dry air and thus reducing water loss. The surface of the leaves is reflective. Without flowers, these small plants are hardly noticeable; but when the flowers open, their bright pink shapes are very dramatic against the sparsely vegetated ground. Each flower opens at mid-morning and remains open for only one day. The feathery, three-lobed stigma (female part of the flower) sticks out well beyond the cluster of bright yellow stamens (male parts of the flower). The flower is about two centimeters across, and the entire plant is less than five centimeters tall.

 

Submission #50
Title: Blue Beauty
Author: Amanda M. Kenney
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Section of Integrative Biology
Topic/Discipline: Pollination Biology/Flower Morphology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Aquilegia coerulea
Common Name: Colorado Blue Columbine
Season/time of year: June 2008, summer
Area: University of Colorado Mountain Research Station (elevation = 2896 m)
State/Province: Colorado    Country: USA
Longitude: W 10532.260'   Latitude: N 4001.887'
Additional Information: Photo was taken using a Canon Digital Rebel SLR with a standard lens without a tripod.

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Caption: Closeup of an Aquilegia coerulea (Blue Colorado Columbine) Flower
Scientific Description/Explanation: The striking shape of Aquilegia flowers functions to aide in pollination by insect visitors. The highly modified petals have long tubes called nectar spurs. In order to access nutritious nectar an insect pollinator will insert its proboscis (analogous to a tongue) down in to one of the long nectar spurs. The Colorado Blue Columbine grows in meadows and woodlands in the Rocky Mountains and is the state flower of Colorado.

 

Submission #51
Title: Canola vascular bundles
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of British Columbia
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Plant Anatomy
Family: Brassicaceae
Taxon: Brassica napus
Common Name: canola, rapeseed
Season/time of year: May 2008
Area: grown in greenhouse
State/Province: BC    Country: Canada

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Caption: Stem cross-section of Brassica napus stem stained with Toluidine Blue O.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cross-section of a 50-day old canola stem. The collateral vascular bundles show a typical orientation where the phloem (nutrient-conducting tissues) is toward the outside of the stem while the xylem (water-conducting tissues) are toward the center consisting of large vessels.

 

Submission #52
Title: Canola stem
Author: Julia Nowak
Institution: University of British Columbia
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Plant Anatomy
Family: Brassicaceae
Taxon: Brassica napus
Common Name: canola, rapeseed
Season/time of year: May 2008
Area: grown in greenhouse
State/Province: BC    Country: Canada

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Caption: Stem cross-section of Brassica napus stem stained with phloroglucinol.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cross-section through the hypocotyl (part of the stem below the cotyledons) showing the highly lignified tissues comprising the stem, stained in pink with phloroglucinol.

 

Submission #53
Title: Pygmy fameflower, a Colorado Plateau endemic
Author: Taina M. Price
Institution: Washington University in Saint Louis
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Montiaceae (Portulacaceae)
Taxon: Phemeranthus brevifolius
Common Name: Pygmy fameflower
Season/time of year: 29 June 2008, summer
Area: Navajo County
State/Province: Arizona    Country: USA
Longitude: W 110 04' 09"   Latitude: N 34 50' 55"

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Caption: When its large, bright pink flowers open at mid-morning, the tiny pygmy fameflower [Phemeranthus brevifolius (Torr.) Hershkovitz] shows up dramatically against its rocky, gravelly sandstone habitat. Found only in the Four Corners region, this species displays many adaptations to a dry, hot-summer climate.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Species in the genus Phemeranthus are found in dry, usually rocky habitats throughout much of the United States and northern Mexico. Some of the species are widespread, but others have narrowly restricted ranges. Such species are called "endemics". The pygmy fameflower, Phemeranthus brevifolius, is endemic to the southern Colorado Plateau, where it grows in thin, gravelly sandstone soil. The plant in this photograph demonstrates many adaptations to a dry, hot climate. It grows at the edge of a rock with its roots wedged deeply beneath, securing the plant against erosion and enabling it to collect water that runs off the rock. Its thick, fleshy, succulent leaves are spaced tightly along the short stem, minimizing the surface area that is exposed to the dry air and thus reducing water loss. The surface of the leaves is reflective. Without flowers, these small plants are hardly noticeable; but when the flowers open, their bright pink shapes are very dramatic against the sparsely vegetated ground. Each flower opens at mid-morning and remains open for only one day. The feathery, three-lobed stigma (female part of the flower) sticks out well beyond the cluster of bright yellow stamens (male parts of the flower). The flower is about two centimeters across, and the entire plant is less than five centimeters tall.

 

Submission #54
Title: Blooms of golden eagle's wings
Author: Lorraine Adderley
Institution: University of Calgary
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Ecology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Aquilegia flavescens
Common Name: Yellow columbine
Season/time of year: August 18, 2008 - Summer
Area: Subalpine Pocaterra ridge - Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
State/Province: Alberta    Country: Canada
Longitude: 115.0306W   Latitude: 50.60000N
Additional Information: There are many types of Columbine, of many different colours, found throughout North America. All have the genus name Aquilegia from the latin Aquila, meaning eagle. They are named this for their "wings."

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Caption: Blooming yellow columbine in the subalpine of the Canadian Rockies at midday.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This species of Columbine (Aquilegia) grows in the rocky mountains of Canada and south into the United States. A hardy plant, it can be found from moist mountain meadows to harsh talus slopes far above the tree line. It's flowers attract hummingbirds for pollination, bees cannot fit in the tubes bearing the nectar and so will cut open the petals near the nectaries. Aquilegia flavescens will sometimes hybridize with the reddish-pink Aquilegia formosa at lower altitudes. These hybrids have intermediate coloration and the ability to reproduce. It is these types of occurrences of hybridization in plants which challenge the biological species concept as a strict definition for species.

 

Submission #55
Title: Under Pressure
Author: Nicholas E. Buckley
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Physiology
Family: Fumariaceae
Taxon: Dicentra sp.
Common Name: Bleeding Heart
Season/time of year: March 17, 2009, Spring
Area: Dean's Woods, Knoxville
State/Province: Tennessee    Country: USA
Longitude: 83°57'1"W   Latitude: 35°55'10"N

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Caption: After four days of rain, water pressure on the roots of this Dicentra sp. forced water up and through the stem with its only escape being the hydathodes at the leaf tips.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Droplets of water at the edge of a leaf can often be mistaken as dew. However, while dew is a product of condensation, these water droplets resulted from root pressure forcing water and dissolved ions up the xylem and into the leaves. The pressure is so great that it forces water to be excreted through specialized pores, called hydathodes, located at the tips and margins of leaves. The overall process is termed guttation from the latin term gutta, meaning "drop." Guttation often occurs in the early morning when the soil is moist, but can also occur on cool, humid days following a rain fall. Due to its finely divided leaves, Dicentra provides a beautiful display of this physiological process.

 

Submission #56
Title: Supplication
Author: Mackenzie Taylor
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Pollination Biology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea odorata
Common Name: American white water lily
Season/time of year: June 2008; Summer
Area: Monterey Lake - Putnam County
State/Province: Tennessee    Country: USA
Longitude: 8514' W   Latitude: 3606' N

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Caption: A honeybee gathers pollen from a male-phase American white water lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Scientific Description/Explanation: In mid-summer, lakes and ponds throughout the United States become covered with the flowers of the American white water lily (Nymphaea odorata). Flowers of N. odorata have bright white petals surrounding numerous yellow stamens and a central stigmatic disk. On the second-day of flowering, anthers open and release pollen, which is voraciously collected by honeybees (Apis). In this male-phase flower, one such bee is foraging from anthers that bend over the stigma, which is no longer receptive. As this bee moves around in the flower, it becomes covered with pollen, some of which it will leave on the next flower it visits. If this Nymphaea is fortunate, this bee will carry its pollen to a female-phase flower with a receptive stigma, resulting in fertilization of an egg.

 

Submission #57
Title: Red and Green
Author: Mackenzie Taylor
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic/Discipline: Morphology
Family: Haemodoraceae
Taxon:Anigozanthos manglesii
Common Name: Red and Green Kangaroo Paw
Season/time of year: November 2008; Spring
Area: Kulunilup Nature Reserve
State/Province: Western Australia    Country: Australia
Longitude: 116 46' 45'' E   Latitude: 34 19' 20'' S
Additional Information: Anigozanthos manglesii is the floral emblem of Western Australia.

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Caption: A stand of Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) near Manjimup, Western Australia
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii), with its vibrant green flowers set upon bright red, meter tall stems, is one of the most striking members of the southwest Australian flora. This extensive stand was growing in Kulunilup Nature Reserve near Manjimup, Western Australia. The elaborate, paw-like flowers of Anigozanthos are adapted for pollination by birds, such as the Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera), which cling to the sturdy stem in order to feed on nectar. As it feeds, the wattlebird brushes its body against the short stamens that protrude from the green corolla tube, inadvertently collecting pollen. When the wattlebird flies to a nearby flower, it unwittingly deposits the pollen on the stigma, completing pollination in the Kangaroo Paw.

 

Submission #58
Title: Silence wind brushing the golden flowers of the pramo
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy / Ecology / Ethnobotany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Senecio niveoaureus
Common Name: White arnica, rnica blanca
Season/time of year: 12/29/2007
Area: Pramo de Ocet, Elevation: 12,140 ft
State/Province: Boyac   Country: Colombia
Longitude: -72.805560   Latitude: 5.709250

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Caption: Population of white arnica (Senecio niveoaureus Cuatrec.) dispersing seeds by the soft cold wind of the pramo.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The white arnica (Senecio niveoaureus) is endemic to the pramos of the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia. Similar to the Espeletia species, it can be recognized for its hairy, white leaves, and the bright-yellow inflorescences. It grows above the 12,000 ft. and up to the snowline (ca. 16,000 ft.). The pappus of the seeds allow them to be dispersed by wind, traveling long distances. The white arnica grows faster than the dominant Espeletia species. Therefore, it forms dense colonies in previously disturbed high-pramo areas, as the one photographed here. The white arnica is widely used by the local inhabitants in ointment preparations for strains, sprains, and bruises. However, it's not closely related to the species of the genus Arnica.

 

Submission #59
Title: Nature Games
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy / Ecology
Family: Juncaceae
Taxon:Distichia muscoides
Common Name: Cushion plant, Planta en cojn
Season/time of year: 01/07/2008
Area: Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
State/Province: Arauca    Country: Colombia
Longitude: -72.291455   Latitude: 6.502438

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Caption: A crystal pond surrounded by cushion plants (Distichia muscoides Nees & Meyen) provides the playground for Nature to play with shapes and colors beyond the imagination.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This pond was found at 14,500 ft of elevation, in a deep valley surrounded by snowy peaks of more than 16,500 ft. The acid sulfate-chloride thermal water gives rise to the accumulation of white and yellow mineral crystals on the bottom of the pond and covering the roots of a colony of Distichia muscoides. The extremely imbricated leaves of these plants are adapted to the constant freezing temperatures. The ice of the dawn is still covering the tips of the leaves.

 

Submission #60
Title: Colorful gradient
Author: Mauricio Diazgranados
Institution: Saint Louis University
Department: Biology
Topic/Discipline: Taxonomy / Ecology / Ethnobotany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Senecio niveoaureus
Common Name: White arnica, árnica blanca
Season/time of year: 12/29/2007
Area: Páramo de Ocetá, Elevation: 12,300 ft
State/Province: Boyacá    Country: Colombia
Longitude: -72.803568°   Latitude: 5.705183°

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Caption: Population of white arnica (Senecio niveoaureus), exhibiting the hairy, pure white leaves, and the bright-yellow inflorescences.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The white arnica (Senecio niveoaureus) is endemic to the páramos of the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia. It grows above the 12,000 ft. and up to the snowline (ca. 16,000 ft.). In comparison with the dominant Espeletia species, the white arnica grows relatively fast. Therefore, it forms dense colonies in previously disturbed high-páramo areas, as the one photographed here. The white arnica is widely used by the local inhabitants in ointment preparations for strains, sprains, and bruises. However, it's not closely related to the species of the genus Arnica.

 

Submission #61
Title: Argyroxiphium sandwicense
Author: Donald McClelland
Institution: City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden
Department: Plant Science
Family: Asteraceaen
Taxon: Argyroxiphium sandwicense
Common Name: Silversword
Season/time of year: May 2008
Area: Haleakala National Park, Maui
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense) in the creator of Haleakala, HI.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense) is the iconic examples of the diversity of Hawaiian plants. These members of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) are found nowhere else on in the world. They grow in the extreme conditions found in the creator of Mt. Haleakala, and extinct volcano. There the light from the sun is scorching and water is scarce. In this image they can be seen growing in nothing more than volcanic cinders.

 

Submission #62
Title: Passiflora mollissima, a beautiful problem in HI.
Author: Donald McClelland
Institution: City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden
Department: Plant Science
Topic/Discipline: Systematics
Family: Passifloraceae
Taxon: Passiflora mollissima
Common Name: banana poka (in Hawaii)
Season/time of year: April 2008
Area: Waimea Canyon
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Passiflora mollissima is a beautiful species, but in HI is it an invasive problem.
Scientific Description/Explanation: With its pink pendant flowers, Passiflora mollissima is a beautiful species. The average hiker in HI may not know that seeing such a striking flower in the forest is cause for alarm, but it is. Unfortunately, in the Hawaiian Islands, Passiflora mollissima is a non-native and noxious weed that takes over native forest at higher elevations. With thick masses of vines and leaves, it can easily overwhelm native vegetation breaking the branches of trees and shading out the plants beneath. The ecosystem in HI is delicately balanced and introduced species such as this threaten to upset this balance for ever. Any sighting of Passiflora mollissima in HI should be reported to the proper authority.

 

Submission #63
Title: Solanum nelsonii
Author: Donald McClelland
Institution: City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden
Department: Plant Science
Family: Solanaceae
Taxon: Solanum nelsonii
Season/time of year: April 22, 2008
Area: Mo'omomi Dunes, Moloka'i
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: A pair of flowers of the rare Hawaiian endemic Solanum nelsonii.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This images shows flowers and leaves of Solanum nelsonii. This species is native to the islands of Hawaii and is found nowhere else on earth. Like many native species from HI, Solanum nelsonii has a hard time competing with introduced species. As a result, populations of the species have been declining and disappearing. Solanum nelsonii is currently listed as threatened by the US government. The species grows on seaside sand dunes, a very unusual habitat for species in this genus. This photo was taken at Mo'omomi Dunes, an area protected by the Nature Conservancy. The population at Mo'omomi Dunes is the largest known population of this unusual species.

 

Submission #64
Title: Platanthera ciliaris
Author: Donald McClelland
Institution: City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden
Department: Plant Science
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Platanthera ciliaris
Common Name: Orange fringed orchid
Season/time of year: August 2008
Area: Monongahela National Forest
State/Province: West Virginia    Country: USA

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Caption: Platanthera ciliaris a dramatic temperate orchid.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Many people associate orchids with the steamy tropics. Though most orchids do come from the tropics, this romantic idea causes many non-botanists living in temperate regions to miss out on what is in their own back yards. Here for example are the flowers of Platanthera ciliaris which are an almost shocking shade of orange. This orchid is native the eastern North America, and there are other equally dramatic orchids in the genus and others that can be found in the same area. Orchids seem to have a magical appeal for many people, and it doesn't take a trip the the tropics to enjoy them in the wild.

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