2010 Triarch "Botanical Images"
Student Travel Award

The Botanical Society of America welcomes you to the fifth 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

2010 Submissions for the Conant "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award
Robert Baker, University of Colorado - #1, #2   |   Richard Stokes, University of Cincinnati - #3   |   Gulshan Chaudhary, Dayalbagh Educational Institute - #4   |   Rhiannon Peery, University of Illinois at Urbana - #5   |   Amanda Vernon, University of Hawai'i at Manoa - #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12  |   Timothy Johnson, University of Florida #13   |   Sarah De Groot, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden #14, #15   |   Maribeth Latvis, University of Florida #16   |  Megan Ward, SUNY Plattsburgh #17, #18, #19   |   Paul CaraDonna, Humboldt State University #20, #21, #23   |  Warren Cardinal-McTeague, University of Alberta #22   |   Jessica Pasquet-Kok, University of California, Los Angeles #24   |   Keith Bowman, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry #25, #26, #43   |  Marian Chau, University of Hawai'i at Manoa #27, #28, #29, #30, #31   | Debra Hansen, University of Texas at Austin #32, #73   |   Eric H. Jones, Florida State University #33   |  Wenchi Jin, University of Michigan #34, #35, #36, #37, #80, #81   |  Jacob Landis, University of Kansas #38   |   Saeideh Mashayekhi, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden #39   |   Rebecca Povilus, Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder #40, #41, #42   |  Emily Sessa, University of Wisconsin-Madison #44, #45, #46, #47   |   Simon Uribe-Convers, University of Idaho #48, #49, #50, #51, #52, #53, #54   |   Jennifer Bufford, University of Hawai'i Manoa #55, #56, #57, #58  |   Olivia Messinger, Southern Illinois Univeristy Carbondale #59  |  Natalia Pabon, #60  |   Chunmiao Feng, North Carolina State University #61   |  Mao-Lun Weng, University of Texas at Austin #62   |  Lachezar Nikolov, Harvard University #63, #64, #65, #66   |  Chi-Chih Wu, University of Colorado Boulder #67   |   Margaret Sporck, University of Hawaii at Manoa#68, #69   |   Mackenzie Taylor, University of Tennessee #70, #71, #72   |  James Riser, Washington State University #74, #75, #76, #77, #78, #79  |   Amalia Diaz, University of Texas #82  |  Dustin Ray, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona #83

Submission #1
Title: Gothic Columbine
Author: Robert Baker
Institution: University of Colorado
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Aquilegia elegantula
Common Name: Western Red Columbine
Season/time of year: June, 2009
Area: Gothic
State/Province: Colorado     Country: USA
Longitude: 106*58'52.58"W    Latitude: 38*57'36.19" N
Additional Information: (lat & long are approximated via google earth, not direct GPS readings)

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Caption: These western red columbines survived a sudden overnight lightning storm in the steep hills and cliff faces above the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory outside Gothic, Colorado.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The western red columbine (Aquilegia elegantula) is an odorless early blooming alpine annual. The bright red coloration is typical of hummingbird pollinated plants. Indeed, A. elegantula is primarily pollinated by the broad tailed hummingbird and often constitutes one of it's first sources of food in the spring. The bright red nectar spurs secrete a concentrated (44%) sucrose solution, nearly twice as concentrated as the more common Aquilegia caerulea (Miller, R. 1978. Amer. J. Bot. 65(4):406-414). A. elegantula is protogynous, which means the female stigma is receptive before the flower begins to shed it's own pollen. Separating male and female function in time within a single hermaphroditic flower may allow the flower to increase outcrossing while maintaining both male and female function.

 

Submission #2
Title: Water Nymph
Author: Robert Baker
Institution: University of Colorado
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea sp.
Common Name: Water Lily
Season/time of year: Summer 2009
Area: 30th St. Greenhouse, University of Colorado at Boulder
State/Province: Colorado     Country: USA
Longitude: 105*15'08.78" W    Latitude: 40*00'38.49" N
Additional Information: (lat & long are approximated via google earth, not direct GPS readings)
Additional Credits: Thomas J. Lemieux - plant cultivation

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Caption: Water lilies are pretty neat.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This water lily is a member of the Nymphaea genus, but is from an unknown cultivar. Plants of this genus are have been domesticated and repeatedly crossed to produce innumerable cultivars, which are valued for their aesthetically pleasing flowers. The genus Nymphaea is in the family Nymphaeaceae, a basal lineage of flowering plants. Plants from the Nymphaeaceae have remarkably diverse embryological development, which may give scientists clues about how flowering plants originally evolved.

 

Submission #3
Title: The Many Faces of Plant Epidermis
Author: Richard Stokes
Institution: University of Cincinnati
Department: Biological Sciences
Topic/Discipline: Plant Anatomy
Family: Annonaceae
Taxon: Asimina tetramera
Common Name: Four-petal Pawpaw
Season/time of year: April 10, 2003, Spring
State/Province: Ohio    Country: USA

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Caption: Modified epidermal cell in Asimina tetramera
Scientific Description/Explanation: Scanning electron micrograph of a young shoot tip of Asimina tetramera, isolated for cryopreservation. Color has been added to highlight the various types of modified epidermal cell. The guard cells and subsidiary cells of the stomata (blue) regulate gas exchange. Capitate-sessile glandular trichomes (yellow), capitate-stalked glandular trichomes (violet) and larger stipitate-capitate glandular trichomes (red) are secretory structures. Non-glandular hairs and scale-like trichomes (aqua) server as protection. Pavement cells (green), which make up the bulk of the epidermal cells in most plant, are relatively unspecialized morphologically.

 

Submission #4
Title: Imaginative Seed
Author: Gulshan Chaudhary
Institution: Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University)
Department: Botany
Topic/Discipline: Botany
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Taxon: Boerhaavia diffusa
Common Name: Punnarnava
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Agra
State/Province: Uttat Pradesh    Country: India
Additional Information: this photograph is taken by Nikon steriozoom Microscope with carel zess lens at the Plant Biotechnology Lab, Botant Department, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University), Dayalbagh, Agra.

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Caption: Boerhaavia diffusa - A miracle Plant
Scientific Description/Explanation: Boerhaavia diffusa - A medicinal Plant, commenly known to punnarnava. It is a wild plant commenly grown at semi arid areas. It's young fruit shape is like the leaf and interestingly, it's seed coat is so thin the embryo shape, position can be seen from the outside of seed coat and this can be easily seen in photograph.

 

Submission #5
Title: Shrub Steppe in Spring
Author: Rhiannon Peery
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Balsamorhiza sagittata
Common Name: arrowleaf balsamroot
Season/time of year: Spring/April 29, 2009
Area: Central Washington/George/Frenchman Coulee
State/Province: Washington    Country: USA
Additional Information: Image was taken on a lab outing with Linda A. Raubeson, Dean G. Kelch, Timothy W. Chumley, and Wenbin Mei.


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Caption: Spring in the shrub-steppe is short in duration but contains lively color and diversity.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Shrub-steppe in the early spring after the first rains of the season which lead to an explosion in flowering. Early reproducers include: arrowleaf balsamroot, lupin, desert deathcamas, and other small herbaceous plants and grasses. As an ecosystem the shrub-steppe is endangered. This image captures one of the largest threats to the shrub-steppe, cheatgrass, and reminds us of a threatened ecosystem in need of preservation.

 

Submission #6
Title: Marattia douglassii (Marattiaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Taxon: Marattia douglassii
Season/time of year: April
Area: Koke'e State Park, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: Synangia and venation of Marattia douglassii
Scientific Description/Explanation: Marattia douglassii is an endemic Hawaiian fern this is found on all major Hawaiian Islands. Although not frequently found, it is locally common in forests. This image shows the synangia that occur along the veins on the undersides of fronds. Synangia are fused clusters of spore-containing structures known as sporangia.

 

Submission #7
Title: Acacia koa (Fabaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Fabaceae
Taxon: Acacia koa
Season/time of year: October
Area: Limahuli Garden, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: Phyllodes of Acacia koa
Scientific Description/Explanation: Acacia koa is an endemic Hawaiian tree this is found on all major Hawaiian Islands. This tree is commonly found in native forests where it can reach a height of over 50 feet. Hawaiians traditionally used the wood for canoes and surfboards. Today the wood is highly valuable and is commonly used to make ukulele, furniture, and other fine crafts. The leaves of this tree are unique because when young the true leaves are divided (2-pinnate), but as the tree matures
sickle-shaped "leaves" dominate. These "leaves", as seen in the image, are actually modified leaf stems (phyllodes) that function as the photosynthetic organs.

 

Submission #8
Title: Diplopterygium pinnatum (Gleicheniaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Taxon: Diplopterygium pinnatum
Season/time of year: March
Area: Poamoho Ridge, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: Diplopterygium pinnatum fiddlehead
Scientific Description/Explanation: Diplopterygium pinnatum is a native Hawaiian fern occurs on all Hawaiian. It is commonly found in native forests on ridges and
streamsides. This fern has indeterminate growth, a process that can result in thick masses of tangled fronds. This image focuses on the fiddlehead (crosier) with the first flush of pinnae below.

 

Submission #9
Title: Hymenophyllum obtusum (Hymenophyllaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Hymenophyllaceae
Taxon: Hymenophyllum obtusum
Season/time of year: March
Area: Manoa Valley, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: An endemic Hawaiian filmy fern
Scientific Description/Explanation: Hymenophyllum obtusum is an endemic Hawaiian filmy fern found on all major Hawaiian Islands with the exception of Kaua'i. The blades of this fern are very small ranging only from 0.7-2.5 cm long and are covered with fine brown hairs. It is often found growing as an epiphyte in native forests.

 

Submission #10
Title: Sadleria sp. (Blechnaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Blechnaceae
Taxon: Sadleria sp.
Area: Koke'e State Park, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: A frond of the Hawaiian endemic genus Sadleria
Scientific Description/Explanation: Sadleria is an endemic Hawaiian genus of ferns that consists of six species. Ferns of this genus occur in diverse habitats and can even be found colonizing recent lava flows. New fronds of Sadleria have high concentrations of anthocyanins that give a bright red to orange appearance as seen in this image.

 

Submission #11
Title: Dicranopteris linearis (Gleicheniaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Taxon: Dicranopteris linearis
Season/time of year: April
Area: Koke'e State Park, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: Dicranopteris linearis fiddlehead
Scientific Description/Explanation: Dicranopteris linearis is a native Hawaiian fern that is common on all major Hawaiian Islands. This fern is present in a wide range of
habitats occurring from sea level to elevations as high as 2,000 meters. Ferns in this genus exhibit indeterminate growth and therefore can continue to grow indefinitely. This usually results in the formation of large tangled mats of fronds. This image shows a Dicranopteris linearis fiddlehead (crosier) that is undergoing the formation of a new frond, a process known as circinate vernation.

 

Submission #12
Title: Munroidendron racemosum (Araliaceae)
Author: Amanda Vernon
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Araliaceae
Taxon: Munroidendron racemosum
Season/time of year: October
Area: Limahuli Garden, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i     Country: USA

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Caption: The endemic Munroidendron racemosum from Kaua'i
Scientific Description/Explanation: Munroidendron racemosum is an extremely rare and endangered tree that is endemic to a single Hawaiian Island: Kaua'i. This tree is found on cliffs and ridges and is known only to occur naturally in three locations on the island. The image shows the fruit that hang in 10-24 inch long clusters (racemes). This tree was planted on the grounds of the National Tropical Botanical Garden where at least 400 plants are currently in cultivation.

 

Submission #13
Title: Ghost in the light
Author: Timothy Johnson
Institution: University of Florida
Department: Environmental Horticulture
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Dendrophylax lindenii
Common Name: ghost orchid
Season/time of year: June
Area: Naples
State/Province: Florida     Country: USA
Additional Information: This image was captured with a Canon xT and 100 mm macro lens. The flower was light with a Nikon SB 26 flash, which was attached to an adjacent tree(camera right) with a ball bungie and triggered remotely with a radio trigger.

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Caption: A flower of the Florida endangered ghost orchid appears to be suspended in mid-air. The bloom is actually extending from the leafless ghost orchid plant, which is attached to a pond apple tree (background right).
Scientific Description/Explanation: The ghost orchid is a highly specialized, evolutionary marvel; the plant grows in the tree canopy of pond apple wetlands in Florida and does not produce leaves. The leaves are the typical site of energy production for other plants. However, the ghost orchid relies on its highly modified, chlorophyll-containing roots for photosynthesis. The species earned its common name because the inconspicuous plants seem to disappear once the unmistakable white flowers die back at the end of the flowering season. In recent years the ghost orchid has become a symbol of the struggle to conserve rare and unique flora and fauna of Florida. Ghost orchid habitat is disappearing, replaced with urban sprawl and the increasingly rare plants are sometimes targeted by poachers.

 

Submission #14
Title: Hummingbird moth with Delphinium
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Research
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Delphinium
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: Owen's Valley near Independence
State/Province: CA    Country: USA


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Scientific Description/Explanation: It was one of those chances that lasts only a second or two--seeing a hummingbird moth visiting the flowers of the Delphinium. I managed to get three shots and this was the best. You can see the tongue of the moth actually goes into the flower. Although it is not certain whether the hummingbird moth was effectively pollinating the Delphinium, it does appear that the moth was obtaining nectar from the Delphinum flower.

 

Submission #15
Title: Ancistrocactus
Author: Sarah De Groot
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Research
Family: Cactaceae
Taxon: Ancistrocactus uncinatus
Season/time of year: May
Area: Van Horn
State/Province: TX    Country: USA
Additional Information: Nikon D100 with 60 mm macro lens, F/18, 1/250 sec. shutter speed, natural sunlight.

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Scientific Description/Explanation: Ancistrocactus uncinatus is a small, infrequently encountered cactus from the Chihuahuan Desert of North America. This individual was seen just north of Van Horn, Texas. Flowers are dark red-brown, and spines are straw-colored and long.

 

Submission #16
Title: Trachypogon during sunset
Author: Maribeth Latvis
Institution: University of Florida
Department: Biology
Family: Poaceae
Taxon: Trachypogon aff. spicatus
Season/time of year: summer-fall (Brazil)
Area: near Curitiba
State/Province: Paraná     Country: Brazil
Longitude: S 25 27' 229" Latitude: W 49 37' 556"


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Caption: flowers of Trachypogon aff. spicatus
Scientific Description/Explanation: While grasses are not known for being particularly showy, this species of Trachypogon reveals its colorful floral parts aglow in the light of the setting sun of Paraná, Brazil. This species is found in tropical America and Africa, and is a common sight in the natural fields (campo naturais) of Brazil. These savannas are among the most threatened ecosystems in Brazil, with under 3% set aside for protection and rapid replacement with cattle farms.

 

Submission #17
Title: Newest Dicot on the Block
Author: Megan Ward
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Department: Biological Sciences
Season/time of year: Spring 2009
State/Province: New York     Country: USA
Longitude: -74° 8' 18.7908" Latitude: 41° 27' 30.6144"
Additional Information: This photograph was taken with a Canon Powershot SX100 IS, 1/30 exposure,and a focal length of 6mm. Latitude and longitude are approximate by Google Maps.


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Caption: A dicot seedling growing towards the spring sun.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Spring brings many forms of new life to our gardens. This photograph is of a unknown dicot sprouting up many fallen leaves. Dicots are angiosperms, a flowering plant, that typically have two embryonic leaves as a seedling.

 

Submission #18
Title: No Friend of Mine
Author: Megan Ward
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Anacardiaceae
Taxon: Toxicodendron radicans
Common Name: Poison Ivy
Season/time of year: Spring 2009
State/Province: New York     Country: USA
Longitude: -74° 8' 18.7908" Latitude: 41° 27' 30.6144"


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Caption: Adventitious roots from Toxicodendron radicans reaching for nutrients.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Poison ivy, or Toxicodendron radicans, is awakened once more as the weather warms. The red hairs that appear to grow almost vein-like from the woody vine are called adventitious roots. Adventitious roots are roots that grow anywhere away from the primary root that grows when a seedling sprouts. These adventitious roots help anchor itself to a substrate (like a tree, in this case), and help increase surface area to acquire nutrients to live.

 

Submission #19
Title: Smorgasbord of Relationships
Author: Megan Ward
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Angiospermophyta Ascomycota, Bryophyta, Chlorophyta
Season/time of year: Spring 2009
State/Province: New York     Country: USA
Longitude: 74.139917 Latitude: 41.459144
Additional Information: This photo was shot using a Canon Powershot SX100 IS. Latitude and longitude are approximate.


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Caption: The interrelationships between different plants.
Scientific Description/Explanation: It is typical to see many different types of plants interlaced with one another. Here, we see the relationships between the two kingdoms of Plantae and Fungi, along with the relationships between four phyla: Ascomycota (fungi), Chlorophyta (green algae), Bryophyta (moss) and Angiospermophyta (flowering plants or the oak tree that the others are growing on). Often the relationship between these different types of plants is vital to its survival.

 

Submission #20
Title: Pollination of Trillium ovatum
Author: Paul CaraDonna
Institution: Humboldt State University
Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Family: Melanthiaceae
Taxon: Trillium ovatum
Common Name: western trillium
Season/time of year: March 2010
Area: Redwood Community Forest, Arcata
State/Province: California     Country: USA
Longitude: 124° 4' 54" W Latitude: 40° 52' 0" N


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Caption: Sap beetle (Coleoptera; Nitidulidae) foraging for pollen in western trillium (Trillium ovatum).
Scientific Description/Explanation: Description: Western trillium (Trillium ovatum) is a long-lived perennial herb found throughout western North America. In the redwood forests of northern California and southwestern Oregon it is one of the earliest understory herbs to bloom and its white three-parted flowers can be seen as early as February. Although the flowers of western trillium do not produce nectar, they are still visited by several different insects searching for edible pollen, including one of its more common visitors, the sap beetle (seen above: Coleoptera; Nitidulidae). Because western trillium is self-incompatible (i.e. fertilization by self pollen fails to produce seeds), the pollen must be carried a considerable distance by foraging insects in order to be successfully transferred from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of the next.

 

Submission #21
Title: An Unusual Member of the Rose Family
Author: Paul CaraDonna
Institution: Humboldt State University
Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Family: Rosaceae
Taxon: Kelseya uniflora
Common Name: Kelseya
Season/time of year: August 2009
Area: Gates of the Mountains WIlderness, Helena National Forest
State/Province: Montana     Country: USA
Longitude: 111-48'47'' W Latitude: 46-52'12'' N


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Caption: The dense mat-forming habit of Kelseya uniflora.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Kelseya (Kelseya uniflora) is an atypical member of the rose family (Rosaceae). Most of the members of the rose family are regular looking trees, shrubs, or small herbs, where as kelseya is a dense small mat-forming plant that grows almost exclusively on limestone outcroppings in the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming. Although not pictured here, the small, pinkish to purple flowers of kelseya do resemble the floral characteristics of the rose family.

 

Submission #22
Title: Cotton candy, yum!
Author: Warren Cardinal-McTeague
Institution: University of Alberta
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Rhododendron sp.
Common Name: Azalea
Season/time of year: May 2009
Area: Vancouver Island
State/Province: British Columbia    Country: Canada
Longitude: 49 NLatitude: 124 W

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Caption: The inflorescence of this Rhododendron bears a striking resemblance to cotton candy!
Scientific Description/Explanation: Rhododendron's are found throughout Vancouver Island and are easily identified by their showy zygomorphic flowers, exserted stamens and style, and coriaceous evergreen leaves. The flowers come in a variety of colours because they are commonly cultivated. Be sure to check them all out!

 

Submission #23
Title: Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera)
Author: Paul CaraDonna
Institution: Humboldt State University
Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Family: Agavaceae
Taxon: Yucca schidigera
Common Name: Mojave Yucca
Season/time of year: March 2009
Area: Joshua Tree National Park
State/Province: California     Country: USA
Longitude: 115°55'00.012"W Latitude: 33°55'00.012"N


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Caption: Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) in Joshua Tree National Park.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Mojave yucca (Yucca shidigera) is a long-lived, slow growing shrub native to both the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southwestern North America. It takes plants about 35 years to reach maturity and produce flowers; some of the oldest plants have been estimated to be 200 years old.

 

Submission #24
Title: Looking into the eyes of a phyllode of Acacia koa
Author: Jessica Pasquet-Kok
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Fabaceae
Taxon: Acacia koa
Common Name: Koa
Season/time of year: April 2009
Area: Los Angeles
State/Province: CA    Country: USA

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Caption: Cross-section (0.5 µm) of Acacia koa phyllode, stained with Toluidine Blue O, imaged using polarized light with light microscope (× 20).
Scientific Description/Explanation: The cross-section of the Acacia koa phyllode (its “leaf” developed from rachis and petiole) shows its distinctive anatomy. The double vascular bundle is lit up in the center and two minor veins at the edges; inside the bundle sheath, the phloem (sugar-conducting tissues) is in dark purple and the xylem vessels (water-conducting tissues) are the large cells with bright thick walls. Surrounding the vasculature are two symmetrical palisade layers with some chloroplasts visible, surrounding a thick, large-celled water storage tissue that contributes drought tolerance.

 

Submission #25
Title: Ever Higher
Author: Keith Bowman
Institution: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental Forest Biology
Family: Myxomycota and Dicranaceae
Taxon: Dicranum flagellare
Area: Humboldt Field Research Institute, Steuben
State/Province: Maine     Country: USA
Additional Information: Nikon D90, Nikkon 105 mm macro
Additional Credits: Keith Bowman

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Caption: This vibrant yellow slime mold is over-topping the moss, Dicranum flagellare, growing on a decaying log in the moist understory of a northern conifer forest in Maine.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Spending most of the time out of sight, this slime mold gathers itself when conditions are right to reproduce. Moving to a higher perch on the spore bearing stalks of this moss will allow it to disperse its own spores over a greater distance.

 

Submission #26
Title: Rhizomnium punctatum
Author: Keith Bowman
Institution: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental Forest Biology
Family: Mniaceae
Taxon: Rhizomnium punctatum
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Heiberg Memorial Forest - Town of Tully
State/Province: NY    Country: USA
Additional Information: Nikon D90, Nikkor 105 mm macro with extension tube

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Caption: Growing along a stream in a northern deciduous forest in upstate New York, this male shoot of the moss Rhizomnium punctatum prepares to reproduce.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This daisy-like arrangement of leaves in this moss (Rhizomnium punctatum), is found only on the male plants. It functions to expose the male reproductive structures (antheridia) located in the dark center of the arranged leaves. The flower-like arrangement of the leaves acts to capture falling raindrops that supply the water that the sperm need to swim and ride, as the water splashes. The water droplets greatly increase the distance that a sperm can travel from the parent plant, ultimately increasing the chance of reaching a female plant and fertilizing an egg. It is also these dark "spots" that gave this species its name puntatum or spotted.

 

Submission #27
Title: Pollination of Achyranthes splendens
Author: Marian Chau
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Amaranthaceae
Taxon: Achyranthes splendens
Season/time of year: March 2010
Area: Koko Crater Botanical Garden, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: A bee visits a flowering spike of the Hawaiian endemic Achyranthes splendens
Scientific Description/Explanation: Achyranthes splendens is a endemic plant species, found only in Hawai'i. A. splendens produces a flower spike, which is an infloresence, or cluster, of sessile flowers that mature from the bottom upwards. The plant appears to have a silver color because the stems and leaves are strigose, bearing dense white hairs that reflect light.

 

Submission #28
Title: Cyathium of Jamaican Poinsettia
Author: Marian Chau
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Taxon: Euphorbia puncinea
Common Name: Jamaican poinsettia
Season/time of year: March 2010
Area: Koko Crater Botanical Garden, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: A close-up of Jamaican poinsettia shows a cyathium - the unusual inflorescence typical of Euphorbia species
Scientific Description/Explanation: Jamaican poinsettia, like many Euphorbia species, produces a "false flower." What appear to be pink petals are actually bracts, which are modified leaves, and in this case are brightly colored to attract pollinators (i.e. performing the function of typical petals). Above the bracts is a specialized infloresence, or flower cluster, called a cyathium, which is unique to the genus. The cyathium is a cup-like structure containing a single female flower (without petals) with an enlarged pistil, or female reproductive organ, along with several male flowers (without petals) each with a single stamen, or male reproductive organ. In this case the cyathium also bears yellow glands, which offer pollinators a nectar reward.

 

Submission #29
Title: Dubautia menziesii at Haleakala Crater
Author: Marian Chau
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Dubautia menziesii
Common Name: na'ena'e
Season/time of year: August 2007
Area: Haleakala National Park, Maui
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: Dubautia menziesii, endemic to the island of Maui, growing on the volcanic slopes of Haleakala
Scientific Description/Explanation: Dubautia menziesii is a member of the Hawaiian Silversword alliance, which is a group of about 30 endemic species that all radiated from one colonizing species of tarweed. Dubautia is one of three endemic genera in the alliance, containing 21 species. It is part of an iconic example of adaptive radiation, which is the process through which one or few species, when isolated in an area with diverse habitats, evolve into many species each specialized for a unique habitat. D. menziesii is found only on East Maui, seen here in the cinder cone habitat inside the crater of Haleakala volcano.

 

Submission #30
Title: 'Ihi'ihilauakea, the Hawaiian Water Fern
Author: Marian Chau
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Marsileaceae (Pteridophyta)
Taxon: Marsilea villosa
Common Name: 'ihi'ihilauakea or 'ihi'ihi
Season/time of year: rainy season (December 2008)
Area: Lualualei Valley, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: 'Ihi'ihi, an endangered Hawaiian fern, floats its leaves in an ephemeral pool
Scientific Description/Explanation: 'Ihi'ihilauakea (Marsilea villosa) is an endemic Hawaiian fern, found in just a few populations on the islands of O'ahu and Moloka'i. Unlike most other ferns, 'ihi'ihi is semi-aquatic, growing only in dry habitats where ephemeral pools form during the Hawaiian rainy season (winter months). It is unusual in that it requires both flooding and drought to complete its sexual life cycle. Rather than producing spores on its leaves, along its rhizomes (creeping stems) it produces sporocarps, which are highly modified, hardened leaves that encase spores and can resist drought for many years. Sporocarps are produced only during dry conditions and release spores only in standing water. 'Ihi'ihi is an endangered species and is currently the focus of conservation and restoration efforts.

 

Submission #31
Title: 'Iliau in Bloom
Author: Marian Chau
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Wilkesia gymnoxiphium
Common Name: 'Iliau, or Kaua'i greensword
Season/time of year: May 2007
Area: 'Iliau Loop, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: 'Iliau, a member of the Hawaiian Silversword alliance found only on the island of Kaua'i, blooming in spring
Scientific Description/Explanation: 'Iliau (Wilkesia gymnoxiphium) is a member of the Hawaiian Silversword alliance, which is a group of about 30 endemic species that all radiated from one colonizing species of tarweed. The Kaua'i greensword is part of an iconic example of adaptive radiation, which is the process through which one or few species, when isolated in an area with diverse habitats, evolve into many species each specialized for a unique habitat. This photograph shows a rosette of leaves and many flowering heads, which are each an inflorescence, or cluster, of up to 225 tiny flowers.

 

Submission #32
Title: Pectis angustifolia var. fastigata
Author: Debra Hansen
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Section of Integrative Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Pectis angustifolia var. fastigata
Common Name: Lemonscent, Limoncillo
Season/time of year: 25 October
Area: Hays Co.
State/Province: TX    Country: USA
Longitude: 097º 53’ 47.4”Latitude: 30º 08’ 17.6”

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Caption: Pectis angustifolia var. fastigata is an edaphic endemic on the Edwards Plateau
Scientific Description/Explanation: Pectis is a genus of ±85 annuals and perennials in the sunflower family. Most species have a strong scent, and have been used medicinally, in teas, and as food spices. Pectis angustifolia var. fastigata is geographically and geologically separated from the other varieties (vars. tenella and angustifolia). It is a narrow edaphic endemic, restricted to limestone outcrops of the Edwards Plateau. Such areas tend to be relatively flat and often elevated, making them attractive to development, especially in the popular Hill Country west of Austin. Endemics such as P. angustifolia var. fastigata, uncommon by nature, are increasingly threatened as their habitats are turned into housing.

 

Submission #33
Title: Life Under the Leaves
Author: Eric H. Jones
Institution: Florida State University
Department: Biological Science
Family: Rubiaceae
Taxon: Houstonia procumbens
Common Name: Roundleaf Bluet
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: Falling Waters State Park
State/Province: Florida    Country: USA

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Caption: Houstonia procumbens is seen here poking through the fallen leaves of a fire managed pine forest
Scientific Description/Explanation: This prostrate herbaceous plant puts forth its flowers in early spring while there is still plenty of unoccupied space. It survives fire by growing along the ground below the fallen leaves and thus escapes much of the heat. The burned pine cone lying by this plant is evidence of this diminutive herb's ability to survive fire. This species is also distylous, a condition in which the male and female flower parts are positioned reciprocally among two types in a population. This individual has the anthers hanging out of the floral tube in one of the flowers shown here. This species also produced cleistogamous flowers, those that do not open and obligately self pollinate. There is a lot going on under the pine straw that one may not notice unless one takes the time to look closely.

 

Submission #34
Title: Alpine beauty
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Trollius altaicus
Season/time of year: Summer/ July 1, 2009
Area: North Chuya range, Altai Mountain
State/Province: Altai Republic     Country: Russia

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Caption: A panorama of alpine vegetations of Altai Mountain in Russia
Scientific Description/Explanation: In the foreground, the orange Trollius altaicus are in full blossom in the alpine meadow of Altai Mountain, this Eurasia species is widely used as ornamentals. Tree line here is as low as 1800m above sea level, the sparse woods are lower than the alpine meadow, and are made of Pinus sibirica (Siberian pine) and Larix sibirica (Siberian larch). This photo illustrates a very characteristic scenery and northern temperate flora in Siberian alpine areas.

 

Submission #35
Title: Snowflake
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Saxifragaceae
Taxon: Mitella diphylla
Common Name: Bishop’s-cap
Season/time of year: Spring/ May 15, 2009
Area: Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor
State/Province: Michigan    Country: USA

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Caption: A closeup of flower of Mitella diphylla
Scientific Description/Explanation: This genus is disjunctly distributed in temperate Asia and North America. For bishop’s-cap, as its species epithet ‘diphylla’ indicates, it has one pair of opposite, horizontally oriented leaves, which makes it easily recognized. These elegant, pinnately cleft petals make it somewhat look like a snowflake with five arms.

 

Submission #36
Title: Weird flower
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Taxon: Ceropegia teniana
Season/time of year: Summer/ July 28, 2009
Area: Tiger leaping gorge, Zhongdian County
State/Province: Yunnan    Country: China

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Caption: A closeup of flower of Ceropegia teniana
Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Ceropegia can be found from Africa to Southeast Asia, Ceropegia teniana is endemic to southwest China’s Hengduan Mountains. Its corolla structure is curious: the petals unite into a tube, but become separate in the upper part to let in the pollinators, however, these ‘petals’ come together again at the top.

 

Submission #37
Title: “Lotus”
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Musaceae
Taxon: Musella lasiocarpa
Season/time of year: Summer/ June 20, 2009
Area: Sanquan, Nanchuan District
State/Province: Chongqing    Country: China

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Caption: Inflorescences of Musella lasiocarpa
Scientific Description/Explanation: This golden “lotus” actually belongs to banana family (Musaceae), and is endemic to southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Unlike the nodding inflorescences of most Musaceae species, Musella holds an upright one. Each yellow “petal” we see here is a bract subtending the real flowers locating at the base of the bract. This species is thought to adapt to the dry river valley environment in central and west Yunnan, and the flower is used as traditional medicine. Its Chinese name, “Di Yong Jin Lian”, literately means “golden lotus rising from the ground”, has been recorded in ancient medical work almost 600 years ago.

 

Submission #38
Title: Conical cells on the petal epidermis of the snapdragon relative Kickxia elatine
Author: Jacob Landis
Institution: University of Kansas
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Plantaginaceae
Taxon: Kickxia elatine
Common Name: sharpleaf cancerwort
Season/time of year: December 2009
Area: Lawrence, KU microscopy lab
State/Province: Kansas    Country: USA

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Caption: SEM of conical cells from the adaxial epidermal surface of Kickxia elatine (Plantaginaceae). Scale bar on the image represents 10 μm.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Kickxia elatine is a close relative of the snapdragons, in the tribe Antirrhineae. Most members of this tribe are bee pollinated, including this species. In relation to pollinators, the petal whorl of the flower is of significant importance. The main function of petals is to attract pollinators, and studies have shown that the cells of the petal epidermis have many roles to carry out this function. One such role of cells of the adaxial (inside) petal lobe is to allow bumblebees a foothold on to the flower while they work their way into the petal tube to pollinate the flower in search of nectar. The cells shown by scanning electron microsocopy (SEM) are highly conical, and appear to be on the scale of those conical cells seen in snapdragon petals. This is remarkable considering that mature snapdragon flowers obtain a size of roughly 40 mm, while adult flowers of K. elatine are around 10 mm including the nectar spur. This shows that flowers of differing sizes have similar structures that aid in pollination by bees or other insects.

 

Submission #39
Title: Allium plummerae and floral visitor
Author: Saeideh Mashayekhi
Institution: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Department: Botany
Family: Alliaceae
Taxon: Allium plummerae
Common Name: Plummer Onion/Tanner’s Canyon Onion
Season/time of year: 9/4/2007
Area: Huachuca/Cochise Co.
State/Province: Arizona    Country: USA
Longitude: N 31°29΄28.8˝ Latitude: W 110°22΄55.0˝
Additional Credits: Dr. J. Travis Columbus

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Caption: Allium plummerae with flower beetles (photographed by J. Travis Columbus)
Scientific Description/Explanation: Allium plummerae is a member of onion family (Alliaceae) that is commonly known as Plummer Onion or Tanner’s Canyon Onion. This species occurs in Southeastern Arizona and adjacent Northern Mexico in mountains. Here the inflorescence of A. plummerae is photographed with flower beetles.

 

Submission #40
Title: Clematis Flower Bud (cross section)
Author: Rebecca Povilus
Institution: Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Clematis spp.
Common Name: Clematis
Area: Boulder
State/Province: Colorado    Country: USA
Additional Information: Camera = Cannon Powershot A95

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Caption: Maroon anthers peak out from under the folded, immature petaloid structures of this Clematis flower bud.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The cross section of a Clematis bud reveals the compact folding of petaloid structures, here still quite green. Immature anthers are visible in between the folds. The floral buds of Clematis develop into the large, showy flowers have made this woody vine popular amongst gardeners.

 

Submission #41
Title: Cluster of Leptosporangia
Author: Rebecca Povilus
Institution: Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Polypodiaceae
Taxon: Colysis wrightii
Common Name: Colysis
Area: Boulder
State/Province: Colorado    Country: USA
Additional Information: Magnification = 40x, Microscope = Zeiss Axiostar Plus, Camera = Cannon PowerShot A95

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Caption: Normally aiding in spore dispersal, the mohawk-like annuli of these leptosporangia light up with the application of a polarizing filter.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Leptosporangia, one of the two flavors of spore-producing structures in land plants, are a defining feature of Filicales, which are accordingly also known as the leptosporangiate ferns. Leptosporangia are characterized by a developmental sequence in which one initial cell gives rise to a spores, a stalk, and a very distinctive sporangium wall. A row of cells in the sporangium wall with differentially thickened cell walls, called the annulus, gives each tiny sporangium the appearance of having a mohawk. The structure of the annulus cells is such that, when the sporangium dries out, the annulus will straighten and at first slowly open a tear in the sporangium wall. Eventually the annulus will cause the entire sporangium to suddenly snap open, flinging spores far from the parent plant. In this picture, the application of a polarizing filter causes the crystalline structure of the annulus cell walls to glow. The color difference between individual leptosporangia is a matter of maturity, with the reddish pigments belonging to the more older sporangia.

 

Submission #42
Title: A Tough Little Plant
Author: Rebecca Povilus
Institution: Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Taxon: Euphorbia antisyphilitica
Common Name: Candelaria
Season/time of year: May
Area: Terlingua
State/Province: Texas    Country: USA
Additional Information: Camera = Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi

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Caption: This Euphorbia antisyphilitica, also known candelaria, as has made a home in the small crack between a concrete banister and gas station wall.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Euphorbia antisyphilitica is just one member of an extraordinarily diverse genus of hardy plants. It can be found in the Chihuahuan desert of southwestern Texas and was once so prevalent that the small Texan town of Candelaria bears its common name. E. antisyphilitica often grows in large clumps, and is characterized by fleshy, photosynthetic stems that bear reduced leaves. The tiny and highly specialized inflorescences are often mistaken for individual flowers. In this type of inflorescence, called cyathia, a highly reduced female flower that retains only the gynoecium is surrounded by several male flowers, which are similarly reduced to only reproductive structures. Subtending these, and completing the illusion of being a single flower, are a series of small but showy bracts.

 

Submission #43
Title: Moss Flower
Author: Keith Bowman
Institution: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental Forest Biology
Family: Polytrichaceae
Taxon: Polytrichum juniperinum
Common Name: Juniper haircap moss
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park
State/Province: Maine    Country: USA
Additional Information: Nikon D90, Nikkor 105 mm macro

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Caption: This juniper haircap moss (Polytrichum juniperinum) stands just above a shallow temporary pool in the rocks on the shore of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park in Maine.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Mosses don't produce flowers, but the males of some species, like this juniper haircap moss (Polytrichum juniperinum), produce a flower-like arrangement of their terminal leaves, with the sperm producing structures (antheridia) nestled in the leaf axils. These "flowers" face straight up to the sky, but they are not attraction, rather they catch falling raindrops and use energy of the splashing raindrop to move their sperm greater distances, increasing the chance of reaching a female plant and fertilizing an egg.

 

Submission #44
Title: Cibotium in the Forest
Author: Emily Sessa
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Family: Cibotiaceae
Taxon: Cibotium glaucum
Common Name: Hawaiian Tree Fern
Area: Ola'a Forest, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Cibotium fiddlehead unfurls in the Ola'a preserve.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cibotium glaucum is a common tree fern in the Hawaii, and is called hapu`u pulu in Hawaiian. This photo was taken in the Ola'a Forest Preserve, a protected and relatively undisturbed forest area that is part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Cibotium forms a dense understory canopy here, allowing little light to pass through to the forest floor.

 

Submission #45
Title: Nephrolepis Pioneers on Lava
Author: Emily Sessa
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Family: Lomariopsidaceae
Taxon: Nephrolepis sp.
Area: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Nephrolepis ferns have colonized a tree mold in a lava field
Scientific Description/Explanation: Ferns have extremely lightweight, dust-like spores, which are capable of dispersing great distances. Ferns are thus often the first colonizers of newly exposed substrates, like volcanic islands. Ferns pioneers arrive and colonize these sites before other plants species manage to make their way to them. Tree molds are frequent features of volcanic landscapes. These are cavities where lava flowed around an existing tree, and then hardened immediately as the tree burned away. Here, Nephrolepis individuals have colonized a tree mold in the middle of a large lava field.

 

Submission #46
Title: Dicranopteris croziers
Author: Emily Sessa
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Taxon: Dicranopteris linearis
Area: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Pinnae of Dicranopteris linnearis slowly unfurl
Scientific Description/Explanation: The leaf divisions of ferns, called pinnae, develop in a curled-up position and then unroll as they mature. These unrolling leaf divisions are commonly called fiddleheads. Members of the fern family Gleicheniaceae are often viney or scrambling ferns, continuously branching out in order to better climb over their competition - other plants. Here several small new pinnae are unfurling against a background of more mature leaves.

 

Submission #47
Title: Abaxial surface of Dicranopteris
Author: Emily Sessa
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Botany
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Taxon: Dicranopteris linearis
Area: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: The underside of a Dicranopteris linnearis frond, showing sori
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is the bottom, or abaxial, side of a fern frond. The fern is Dicranopteris linnearis, a very common species in Hawaii. It forms large patches, scrambling over other nearby plants to maintain access to light. The reproductive structures of ferns are called sori, and are held on the abaxial surface of the frond in Dicranopteris, as in many fern species. Each cluster of sori contains several spherical sporangia, within which are the spores.

 

Submission #48
Title: Morning Light
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Pinaceae
Taxon: Pinus sp.
Common Name: Pine
Season/time of year: November
Area: Jiri
Country: Nepal
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Canon 17-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 100, Hand held

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Caption: The morning light goes through the fog in a Pinus forest in Nepal
Scientific Description/Explanation: The family Pinaceae consists of more than 100 species distributed worldwide. The vast majority are restricted to the northern hemisphere, with very few exception like P. merkusii located just south of the equator in Sumatra. They are very important economically since the majority of paper and wood comes from pines. Pines even provide us with food, like the delicious pinyons that are harvested from Pinus edulis. This picture was taken in Nepal in the early morning when the fog still covers the forest.

 

Submission #49
Title: Nymphaea Reflection
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea sp.
Common Name: Water lily
Season/time of year: August
Area: New York Botanical Garden
State/Province: New York    Country: USA
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Canon 17-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, f/13, 1/100, ISO 200, Hand held

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Caption: Nymphaea sp. reflected in water
Scientific Description/Explanation: Water lilies, the genus Nymphaea, have beautiful flowers with numerous tepal (sepals and petals that look alike), and numerous stamens and carpels arranged spirally. The genus is in the family Nymphaeaceae which is one of the basal families of the angiosperms (flowering plants).

 

Submission #50
Title: Nymphaea
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea sp.
Common Name: Water lily
Season/time of year: August
Area: New York Botanical Garden
State/Province: New York    Country: USA
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Canon 17-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, f/16, 1/640, ISO 400, Hand held

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Caption: Nymphaea flower
Scientific Description/Explanation: Water lilies, the genus Nymphaea, have beautiful flowers with numerous tepal (sepals and petals that look alike), and numerous stamens and carpels arranged spirally. The genus is in the family Nymphaeaceae which is one of the basal families of the angiosperms (flowering plants).

 

Submission #51
Title: Paepalanthus columbiensis
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Eriocaulaceae
Taxon: Paepalanthus columbiensis
Season/time of year: October
Area: Paramo Cruz Verde
State/Province: Cundinamarca    Country: Colombia

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Caption: Three Inflorescence of Paepalanthus columbiensis
Scientific Description/Explanation: Paepalanthus grows forming a rosette in almost every paramo in Colombia. It is a very pubescent (hairy) plant with minute flowers forming an inflorescence. The genus is in the order Poales and it is related to the grasses and bromeliads.

 

Submission #52
Title: Bartsia santolinifolia
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Orobanchaceae
Taxon: Bartsia santolinifolia
Common Name: Bartsia
Season/time of year: September
Area: National Park Chingaza
State/Province: Cundinamarca    Country: Columbia
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Macro, f/ 14, 1/200, ISO 800, Canon 430X flash, Hand held

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Caption: Stigma of Bartsia santolinifolia
Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Bartsia is part of the European clade of Orobanchaceae, the largest parasitic family of plants. The genus contains ca. 50 species of which 45 are endemic to the Andes. The flowers are close to one inch in length and the plants are herbs. This picture was taken after the rain had stopped in a paramo close to Bogota at 12000 feet in elevation.

 

Submission #53
Title: Pollination of a Frailejon (Espeletia grandiflora)
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Espeletia grandiflora
Common Name: Frailejon
Season/time of year: April
Area: Paramo El Tablazo
State/Province: Cundinamarca    Country: Columbia
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Canon 17-85mm f/ 3.5-5.6 IS, f/ 10, 1/400, ISO 400, Hand held

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Caption: Bee pollination of Espeletia grandiflora
Scientific Description/Explanation: This neotropical group of plants grow in the high elevation parts of the Andes in an ecosystem named Paramo between 9200 and 13200 feet. The Paramo is characterized for having high radiation, dramatic changes of temperature between day and night, strong wind and high humidity conditions. The frailejones are very pubescent (hairy), and with these hairs they capture water from the clouds. It is here in paramos where the majority of rivers are born in Colombia.

 

Submission #54
Title: Espeletia framed
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Forest Resources
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Espeletia grandiflora
Common Name: Frailejon
Season/time of year: November
Area: Quebrada La Vieja
State/Province: Bogota    Country: Colombia
Additional Information: Canon 350D, Canon 17-85mm f/ 3.5-5.6 IS, f/ 16, 1/40, ISO 400, Canon 430X flash, Hand held

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Caption: Espeletia grandiflora framed in gold
Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Espeletia is wide spread in the paramos of Colombia between 9200 and 13200 feet of elevation. These plants are part of a monophyletic group only found in the neotropics. With its numerous hairs it captures abundant water from the clouds making the paramos a very humid ecosystem. The majority of rivers in Colombia are born in the paramos.

 

Submission #55
Title: Shade of the Silversword
Author: Jennifer Bufford
Institution: University of Hawai'i Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp sandwicense
Common Name: hinahina, silversword
Season/time of year: winter
Area: Mauna Kea
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: This silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp sandwicense) is protected from feral ungulates on the upper slopes of Mauna Kea near the observatory's visitor center. Unfortunately, these beautiful Hawaiian endemics are seriously endangered.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Argyroxiphium sanwicense subsp sandwicense grows in an extreme environment, far from the lush rainforests and sunny beaches of Hawai'i. They are found in loose cinder on the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii's largest volcano which reaches over 3000 m above sea level. At this elevation, intense light in the day and very cold nights pose a special challenge for plants. The silverswords are so named for the silver sheen created by many dense hairs along the leaves.
These hairs may help trap warm air and reflect sunlight, but the adaptive value of pubescence (hairiness) is still poorly understood for many species. The beauty of science is that there is always more to learn!

 

Submission #56
Title: Hawaiian Holly
Author: Jennifer Bufford
Institution: University of Hawai'i Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Taxon: Ilex anomola
Common Name: 'aiea, Hawaiian holly
Season/time of year: Fall
Area: Ko'olau mountains, O'ahu
State/Province: Hawai'i    Country: USA

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Caption: ‘Aiea or Hawaiian holly is in the same genus as the more commonly recognized American holly, known for its bright red fruits (called drupes). The Hawaiian holly also produces drupes, but these are very firm and a deep blue-black color.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Ilex anomola, Hawaiian holly, like other hollies, is dioecious. This means male and female flowers are produced on different plants, unlike many plants which have male and female parts in the same flower. Being dioecious has some advantages – it forces plants to outcross (breed with genetically different plants) by eliminating selfing (when sperm fertilize eggs from the same plant). This can increase genetic diversity and create a healthier population.
Dioecy is risky, though – if the holly can’t attract pollinators to both male and female plants, it can’t reproduce at all. Obviously the strategy worked for this individual!

 

Submission #57
Title: Beautifully Different
Author: Jennifer Bufford
Institution: University of Hawai'i Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Theophrastaceae
Taxon: Jacquinia nervosa
Common Name: needlebush
Season/time of year: dry season (February)
Area: Palo Verde National Park
State/Province: Guanacaste    Country: Costa Rica

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Caption: Needlebush is one of many woody species in the dry forest in Palo Verde National Park in northwestern Costa Rica. The bright red flowers have a heavy sweet scent that hangs around bushes in full bloom. But don’t get too close – those leaves are each tipped with a long sharp spine!
Scientific Description/Explanation: In a seasonally dry forest, most species lose their leaves in the dry season to conserve water, leaving the forest open and bare.
Not Jacquinia nervosa! It is leafless in the wet season and flushes new leaves at the start of the dry season. Deep roots provide enough water to maintain the leaves and the bare canopy lets plenty of light through for photosynthesis.

 

Submission #58
Title: A Moment in the Sun
Author: Jennifer Bufford
Institution: University of Hawai'i Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea pulchella
Common Name: water lily
Season/time of year: dry season (February)
Area: Palo Verde National Park
State/Province: Guanacaste    Country: Costa Rica

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Caption: Water lilies grace the surface of the Palo Verde Marsh in Palo Verde National Park in northwestern Costa Rica. Though the scene is tranquil, the water lilies are in a race against the weather to bloom and set seed before the water disappears and they die back for another dry season.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Water is absolutely crucial for plant survival, but living in a marsh can be too much of a good thing. Standing water filters sunlight, reducing the light available for photosynthesis and can hinder pollination. Water lilies (and many other species) have adapted to this environment by spanning the water column.
Roots anchored in the substrate provide nutrients and stability while large floating leaves and emergent flowers maximize photosynthesis and reproduction.

 

Submission #59
Title: Friend or foe? The complicated relationship of a bee and her flowers.
Author: Olivia Messinger
Institution: Southern Illinois Univeristy Carbondale
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Malvaceae
Taxon: Sphaeralcea parviflora
Common Name: Globe Mallow
Season/time of year: 23 May
Area: St. George
State/Province: Utah    Country: USA
Additional Information: Canon Rebel, F9.0, ISO 400, 1/1000

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Caption: A female solitary bee (Diadasia vallicola) gathering pollen from a Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea parviflora) flower.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Bees and plants need each other.
Plants are fertilized by the transfer of pollen, which contains plant sperm, to receptive stigmas, the flower structure that receives and transfers pollen to the plant’s eggs. This process, known as pollination, is performed by a wide array of pollinators, but the majority of the world’s flowering plants rely on bees for this service.
To entice bees to participate in their pollination, many plants offer nectar (a sugary drink) to passing bees. Bees require both this nectar and also nutritious pollen for all of their dietary needs. They carry much pollen back to their nests in order to feed their offspring, and in the process of visiting flowers for both of these substances, bees inadvertently transfer pollen between flowers.
This seemingly win-win relationship is not as simple as it seems, however. Consider that the most successful plant will be the one that transfers the most pollen from one flower to another. Therefore, any pollen that a bee successfully harvests and takes back to her nest, is a loss for the flower! The relationship is a 'love-hate' one from the plant’s point of view; flowers need their pollinators, but not too much.
This picture is showing a female solitary bee (Diadasia vallicola) in the process of visiting a Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea parviflora) for pollen and nectar. She has pollen grains stuck to the many hairs on her body. She will at some point groom herself, moving all the pollen on her face and body to special hairs on her back legs that allow her to transfer the pollen long distances.
A successful harvest for her is not so successful for the plant. What is especially interesting about this bee is that she is a ‘specialist’ and will only collect pollen from Globe Mallows and no other plants!

 

Submission #60
Author: Natalia Pabon
Institution: New York Botanical Garden
Department: Genomics
Family: Acanthaceae
Additional Information: SEM 2KV

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Caption: Trichomes of Acanthaceae from an Andean cloud forest
Scientific Description/Explanation: Plant hairs are extremely diverse in size, shape, function and development. They are often used as species specific characters. The ones shown here cover the floral surfaces of an Acanthaceae. Despite their abundance, their function is unkown. They resemble anthropomorphic scenes, that make work under the SEM not only botanically informative but romantic.

 

Submission #61
Title: SEM image of a Cornus canadensis flower
Author: Chunmiao Feng
Institution: North Carolina State University
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Cornaceae
Taxon: Cornus canadensis
Common Name: bunchberry dogwood, dwarf dogwood

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Caption: Awn---little structure, important step
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cornus canadensis has very tiny flowers, however, their high-speed pollination mechanism makes them unique among plants--the flower can open in less than 0.5ms, that is the fastest movement recorded in plants (Edwards et al. 2005). During this explosive opening of the flower, pollen granules can be launched to a height of 2.5 cm, which is huge and impressive comparing to the height of its flower (around 0.25 cm). from this height and high speed, the pollen can be carried away easily by the wind and by insects (Edwards et al. 2005). This pollination mechanism is totally physical, as the flower suddenly releases the elastic energy stored in bending filaments when triggered on the awn. Awn serves as a sensitive antenna to initiate explosive opening of flowers when pressured.
This image shows you the development of awns on a petal. A protrusion appear on each petal in early stage, however, only one or two awns will develop finally.

 

Submission #62
Title: Magenta Erodium
Author: Mao-Lun Weng
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Geraniaceae
Taxon: Erodium carvifolium
Common Name: heronsbill
Season/time of year: Spring
Additional Information: Pentax K10, Tamron 90mm Macro, f=5.6, ISO=400

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Scientific Description/Explanation: Erodium carvifolium has five magenta petals; the upper two has purplish flame-like pattern. The backlighting vividly depicts the handsome flower.

 

Submission #63
Title: Jabberwacky
Author: Lachezar Nikolov
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Fabaceae
Taxon: Abrus precatorius
Common Name: rosary pea
Season/time of year: January
Area: Ranobe
State/Province: Tulear Country: Madagascar
Longitude: E 43.39   Latitude: S 22.57
Additional Credits: Missouri Botanical Garden, Office in Madagascar

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Caption: Abrus fruits dehiscing
Scientific Description/Explanation: Despite the deceptive bright red and black color, the seeds of the rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) are deadly poisonous, containing a potent toxin, called abrin. Two polypeptide chains form the active form of the toxin – one that facilitates the transport of the molecule through the cell membrane and the other, which inhibits the protein-synthetic factories of the cell, the ribosomes. This structure resembles another ribosome-blocking agent, the castor bean derivative ricin but the toxicity of abrin is much stronger. Abrus precatorius has invasive potential and is widely spread in the wet tropics, colonizing disturbed terrains and supplying the local communities with raw material for making native jewelry.

 

Submission #64
Title: Marbles
Author: Lachezar Nikolov
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Clusiaceae
Taxon: Garcinia
Season/time of year: October
Area: Analalava
State/Province: Toamasina    Country: Madagascar
Longitude: E 49.40 Latitude: S 17.71
Additional Credits: Missouri Botanical Garden, Office in Madagascar

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Caption: Garcinia flowers and buds
Scientific Description/Explanation: Garcinia, a dioecious member of the Clusiaceae, exhibits a remarkable variation in floral organization with respect to the presence or absence of rudimentary female reproductive organs (pistillodes) in functionally male flowers, the connation of stamens into fascicles, the anther morphology, and the presence and the morphology of nectariferous floral structures – disks, appendages or rings. The plant in the picture is male; the flowers possess numerous free stamens with pinhead thecae, surrounding a central, lemon yellow disk nectary – a combination of characters typical for the Rheedia group.

 

Submission #65
Title: Prayers
Author: Lachezar Nikolov
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Melastomataceae
Taxon: Dichaetanthera
Season/time of year: November
Area: Pointe-a-Larree
State/Province: Toamasina    Country: Madagascar
Longitude: E 49.41 Latitude: S 16.46
Additional Credits: Missouri Botanical Garden, Office in Madagascar

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Caption: Dichaetanthera flowers
Scientific Description/Explanation: The stamens of most Melastomataceae develop prolonged, dorsally enlarged connectives between the anthers and the anther filaments with often elaborate, attractive appendages. During early development, stamens are displaced after filaments twist, bringing them to one side of the flower thus creating the ideal landing platform and an optimal contact with the receptive stigma for the melastome pollinators . Interestingly, the appendages change from yellow to red as flowers senesce, adding to the color palette of the inflorescence and the position of the anthers is altered again when their connectives curl. The colorful inflorescences of Dichaetanthera are home of the Madagascan endemic giraffe-necked weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa), where it finds food, breeding grounds and shelter.

 

Submission #66
Title: Wings
Author: Lachezar Nikolov
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Malpighiaceae
Taxon: Acridocarpus
Season/time of year: November
Area: Pointe-a-Larree
State/Province: Toamasina    Country: Madagascar
Longitude: E 49.41 Latitude: S 16.46
Additional Credits: Missouri Botanical Garden, Office in Madagascar

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Caption: Acridocarpus flower upside-down
Scientific Description/Explanation: Floral monosymmetry has evolved numerous times in angiosperms, curiously involving the same molecular players – members of the TCP gene family, and more specifically, CYCLOIDEA. Malpighiaceae, a pantropical family with center of diversification in the New World produces monosymmetric flowers as the result of strong selection pressures associated with their pollinators – oil-collecting bees of the tribes Centridini and Tapinotaspidini. The family has colonized the Old World on a couple of occasions, and in these cases the floral morphology of the resulting lineages has been altered due to the absence of their intrinsic pollinators. The change in morphology is linked to structural or expression alternations in the underlying floral symmetry genes. Acridocarpus is one such example where dramatic shift in the dorsoventral plane of floral symmetry occurs. The genetic basis of this shift is yet to be determined. Reference: Zhang et al., 2010. PNAS 107:14, 6388-6393.

 

Submission #67
Title: Merciful offering of the Nature: the variety of tomato fruits
Author: Chi-Chih Wu
Institution: University of Colorado Boulder
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Solanaceae
Taxon: Solanum mammosum
Common Name: Nipple fruit
Season/time of year: Summer 2009
Area: Boulder
State/Province: Colorado    Country: USA
Additional Information: Nikon D200, 60mm, f 4.5, 1/80s, ISO 100

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Caption: Young fruit of Nipple fruit, Solanum mammosum
Scientific Description/Explanation: The strange shape of Nipple fruit, Solanum mammosum. Unlike common pear-shaped tomato fruits, there are four or five nipple-shaped appended "fruits" at the base of a fruit. It seems that this plant has a compound fruit on a pedicle. However, these appended "fruits" are actually mamilla structures protruding on the base of a fruit.

 

Submission #68
Title: Disjunct Veins of Euphorbia rockii
Author: Margaret Sporck
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Taxon: Euphorbia rockii
Area: Honolulu
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Disjunct veins of a chemically cleared Euphorbia rockii leaf under light microscopy
Scientific Description/Explanation: Leaf veins are critically important anatomical features because they supply water to the site of photosynthesis. This light micrograph of a chemically cleared and stained Euphorbia rockii leaf shows “disjunct” minor veins, a unique anatomical feature in which small vein pieces are not connected to the major vein network. The possible functions of this highly unusual venation characteristic are currently under investigation.
This species uses C4 photosynthesis, an adaptation often found in plants living in high light and high heat habitats. Note enlarged bundle sheath (clear cells forming a halo around veins) present in this leaf. This anatomical feature, often referred to as “Kranz Anatomy,” is characteristic of C4 photosynthesis. E. rockii is a federally listed endangered species belonging to the Hawaiian Euphorbia lineage and occurs only on the island of O’ahu in the Ko’olau Mountains.

 

Submission #69
Title: Leaf veins of Euphorbia skottsbergii var. audens
Author: Margaret Sporck
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department: Botany
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Taxon: Euphorbia skottsbergii var. audens
Area: Honolulu
State/Province: Hawaii    Country: USA

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Caption: Venation architecture of a chemically cleared Euphorbia skottsbergii var. audens leaf
Scientific Description/Explanation: Across the planet, leaves show a remarkable diversity in their venation patterns. Gaining a more thorough understanding of the functional purpose for such a wide variation in leaf venation is a topic that is of current global interest. Leaves are vital organs in which photosynthesis takes place, and leaf veins deliver the water that enables these important cellular processes. This scanned image of chemically cleared and stained Euphorbia skottsbergii var. audens leaf allows us to see the venation structure that is usually hidden. E. skottsbergii var. audens belongs to the Hawaiian Euphorbia linage and occurs only in coastal habitats on the island of Moloka'i.

 

Submission #70
Title: Astrosclereids
Author: Mackenzie Taylor
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nymphaea odorata
Common Name: American white water lily
Additional Information: Flowers were collected at Monterey Lake, Putnam CO, Tennessee. Carpel tissue was fixed in 3 parts 95% ethanol and 1 part acetic acid for 24 hours, then stained in aniline blue for 4-8 h and viewed with an Olympus BX60 compound under UV light. The image was taken with a Zeiss Axiocam camera and Axiophot 4.0 micrograph analysis software. The image was manipulated (brightness and contrast) with Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0 software.

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Caption: Astrosclereids in the carpel tissue of the water lily, Nymphaea odorata.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Many plants, including the water lily Nymphaea odorata, produce sclereids, which are specialized cells with thick, highly-lignified walls. In water lilies, these cells are classified as ‘astrosclereids’ because of their distinctive star-shape. With their large size and multiple arms, astrosclereids may provide additional structural support for water lily organs, which contain large amounts of air-filled ‘aerenchyma’ tissue. These particular sclereids were found in a carpel that had been stained with aniline blue, a stain that causes callose to fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Due to this stain, sclereids to appear yellow-green in this image. These astrosclereids also appear to be slightly bumpy because their surface is covered with prismatic crystals.

 

Submission #71
Title: Bloodwood
Author: Mackenzie Taylor
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Myrtaceae
Taxon: Corymbia calophylla
Common Name: Marri, Red Gum, bloodwood
Season/time of year: November (Spring)
Area: Near Lake Unicup, Manjimup Shire
State/Province: Western Australia    Country: Australia
Longitude: 116* 43’ 17” E Latitude: 34* 21’ 30” S
Additional Information: This photo was taken with a Canon PowerShot G7.

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Caption: The trunk of a Marri tree (Corymbia calophylla) 'bleeds' a striking red substance at sites of wounding.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Marri (Corymbia calophylla) is an important component of the forests of southwestern Western Australia. Marri trees grow up to 60 meters tall and provide habitat and/or food for an assortment of animals, including brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums, cockatoos, parrots, and owls. The Marri belongs to a group of eucalypts that are commonly called 'bloodwoods', and it is easy to see how they come by this name.
These trees produce a dark red exudate, known as 'kino', that seeps from the trunk, especially at sites of mechanical damage. This exudate is often considered a gum, hence the common name ‘red gum’. Chemically, however, kino is very different from gum, consisting of phenolic compounds instead of carbohydrates. The kino produced by Marri trees is traditionaly used by aboriginal populations for medicinal purposes (Wheeler 2007. Common Trees of the South-west Forests. DEC; Lambert et al. 2007. Aust. J. Chem 60:862-870).

 

Submission #72
Title: Reflections of a water lily
Author: Mackenzie Taylor
Institution: University of Tennessee
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon: Nuphar lutea ssp advena
Common Name: Yellow Pond Lily
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Spain Lake, White county
State/Province: Tennessee    Country: USA
Longitude: 85* 20’ 27” W Latitude: 35* 55’ 19” N
Additional Information: This photo was taken with a Canon PowerShot G7

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Caption: A Nuphar flower and its reflection are surrounded by floating leaves in a placid Tennessee lake
Scientific Description/Explanation: The water lily Nuphar, with its distinctive yellow, cup-shaped flowers and large, floating leaves, is a common sight during the summer in ponds and lakes throughout the United States and Canada. Nuphar flowers emerge from under the water in the morning as buds, which open shortly after they emerge. Flowers then close in mid-afternoon and submerge again for the night.
Water lilies, such as Nuphar, are of particular interest for evolutionary studies, as they comprise one of the earliest-diverging lineages of flowering plants and are present in the oldest angiosperm macrofossil record. Thus, water lilies reflect approximately 125 million years of travel along an independent evolutionary trajectory and understanding their biology reveals important aspects about the evolutionary history of flowering plants.

 

Submission #73
Title: Porophyllum macrocephallum
Author: Debra Hansen
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Section of Integrative Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Porophyllum macrocephallum
Common Name: Poreleaf, Yerba porosa
Season/time of year: 06 October
Area: Parácuaro
State/Province: Michoacán    Country: México
Longitude: 102º 15’ 08.7” Latitude: 19º 00’ 57.0”
Additional Information: Nikon CoolPix 5700

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Caption: Head over heels for comps!
Scientific Description/Explanation: A feathery tuft of pappi (and ripe seeds) are all that remain of this Porophyllum macrocephallum, but its last moments provide a comfortable dining platform for a colorful upside-down beetle. The beetle is most likely feeding on the receptacle of the inflorescence. Porophyllum, like all flowers in the sunflower family, bears its flowers upon a platform called a receptacle. Beetles are not the only connoisseurs of this plant tissue - the receptacle is the "heart" of the artichoke.

 

Submission #74
Title: Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt.
Common Name: Arrowleaf balsamroot
Season/time of year: 8 June 2009
Area: Austin Summit pass, Lander Co.
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) growing on hillsides above Austin Summit pass, Nevada, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is a common spring wildflower over much of the western United States. Its large, silvery, sagittate leaves are easily recognizable.

 

Submission #75
Title: Flat-topped broomrape (Orobanche corymbosa (Rydb.) Ferris)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Orobanchaceae
Taxon: Orobanche corymbosa (Rydb.) Ferris
Common Name: Flat-topped broomrape
Season/time of year: 9 June 2009
Area: Toiyabe Range, Nye Co.
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: Flat-topped broomrape (Orobanche corymbosa) growing on an abandoned mine road in the Toiyabe Range, Nye Co., Nevada, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Flat-topped broomrape (Orobanche corymbosa) is a parasitic plant of the western United States. There are about eighteen species of broomrape in the genus Orobanche, all of which are obligate parasites. Several species , including this one, are often found parasitizing sagebrush (Artemisia sp.)

 

Submission #76
Title: Palmer’s beard-tongue (Penstemon palmeri A. Gray)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Plantaginaceae
Taxon: Penstemon palmeri A. Gray
Common Name: Palmer’s beard-tongue
Season/time of year: 5 July 2007
Area: Bennett Pass, Lincoln Co.
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: Palmer’s beard-tongue (Penstemon palmeri) growing in dry desert washes in central Nevada, Nevada, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Palmer’s beard-tongue (Penstemon palmeri) is a common penstemon of the western deserts. The large plants (inflorescences up to a meter tall) can often be found along dry desert watercourses and rocky hillsides.

 

Submission #77
Title: Engelmann's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Cactaceae
Taxon: Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.
Common Name: Engelmann's hedgehog cactus
Season/time of year: 9 June 2009
Area: Toiyabe Range, Nye Co.
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: Engelmann's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) growing in the foothills of the Toiyabe Range, Nye Co., Nevada, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Engelmann's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) is a common cactus of the southwestern United States. Its large pink flowers stand out vibrantly against the rocky hillsides it grows on.

 

Submission #78
Title: Desert milkweed (Asclepias erosa) with Halictine bee
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae
Taxon: Asclepias erosa Torr.
Common Name: desert milkweed
Season/time of year: 14 June 2009
Area: Railroad Valley, Nye Co.
State/Province: Nevada    Country: USA

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Caption: A Halictine bee visiting desert milkweed (Asclepias erosa) growing in desert washes and gullies in Railroad Valley, Nye Co., Nevada, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Desert milkweed (Asclepias erosa) is a large (occasionally over a meter tall) milkweed of the southwestern deserts. The large flower clusters are favorites of numerous desert insects, including the shiny Halictine bee seen here. The species name comes from the minute serrations on the edge of the leaves – making this one of the very few milkweeds without smooth leaf edges.

 

Submission #79
Title: Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa Torr.)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae
Taxon: Asclepias speciosa Torr.
Common Name: showy milkweed
Season/time of year: 14 June 2009
Area: near Torrey, Wayne Co.
State/Province: Utah    Country: USA

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Caption: Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) growing in irrigation ditch near Torrey, Utah, USA.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is one of the most common milkweeds in the western United States. It grows in every state west of the central Great Plains. Often considered a weed, the native showy milkweed can become a nuisance in pastures and filed. However, milkweeds are the sole food source for monarch butterfly larvae, and are an important source of nectar for adult butterflies and many other insects.

 

Submission #80
Title: Dwarf
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Syncalathium pilosum
Season/time of year: Summer/ July 23, 2009
Area: Mila mountain pass
State/Province: Tibet    Country: China

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Caption: The plant of Syncalathium pilosum on the scree slope in Tibet.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Syncalathium is a small genus in Asteraceae endemic to Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains.
They usually grow in high altitude, this photo was taken at an altitude of 5000m. Adapted to alpine environment, Syncalathium pilosum is a small rosette plant no more than 5 centimeters high. The dense hair on the surface of leaves also help prevent damage of frost. Recent cytological study shows that this genus is diploid rather than polyploid. This, along with other studies, does not support the hypothesis that polyploidy is a major cause for diversifications in Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains.

 

Submission #81
Title: Heater in the snow
Author: Wenchi Jin
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Araceae
Taxon: Symplocarpus foetidus
Common Name: Eastern skunk cabbage
Season/time of year: Winter/ February 16, 2009
Area: Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor
State/Province: Michigan    Country: USA

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Caption: The heat generating inflorescence of skunk cabbage in the snow.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Skunk cabbage is well known for its ability to generate heat by a cyanide resistant cellular respiration in its inflorescence: the energy could not pass through the respiration chain, so it is released in the form of heat. It is thought that the heat it generates could help it grow in the freezing soil and help spread the odor of its flower in order to attract pollinators. The dark-red structure in this photo is its spathe, a hood-like bract surrounding its heat-generating inflorescence. The heat even melts the snow around it. The ‘skunk’ in its common name comes from its foul odor of flowers and leaves.
This species could be found not only in eastern North America, but also in northeastern Asia, which makes it a good example of east-Asian-North American intercontinental disjunction in plants.

 

Submission #82
Title: Plants that grow up in the clouds.
Author: Amalia Diaz
Institution: University of Texas
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Espeletia sp.
Common Name: Frailejon
Season/time of year: April
Area: Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
State/Province: Boyaca    Country: Colombia

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Scientific Description/Explanation: The genus Espeletia is endemic to the paramo ecosystem in the high Andes of South America. This ecosystem is found around the 3500 masl and is subject to extreme consitions like high radiations during the day and freezing temperatures at night. Plants that live there must be prepared to survive and Espeletia is a very good example of that. These plants have a rosette habit and keep their old leaves attached to the stem, which help them not to desiccate and and to avoid direct radiation. This picture was taken in a paramo ecosystem in Colombia at 3500 masl and the frailejones are the almost the only plants fund at this height in the rocky soil. It is evident the success of these plants to survive to these hostile conditions.

 

Submission #83
Title: Secondary phloem of southern California Black Walnut (Juglans californica)
Author: Dustin Ray
Institution: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Juglandaceae
Taxon: Juglans californica
Common Name: Southern California Black Walnut
Season/time of year: April
Area: Pomona
State/Province: California    Country: USA
Additional Information: 14 micron sliding microtome section stained with Safranin and counterstained with Fast Green.

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Caption: The secondary phloem of Juglans californica, showing parenchyma, gelatinous fibers, and sclerified parenchyma with pits in secondary cell wall.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The souther California Black Walnut (Juglans californica) is an an endemic Southern California tree with a habitat that has been greatly reduced due to urbanization. This section through the secondary phloem (bark) shows parenchyma cells, which function in storage, as well as parenchyma that have developed a thick secondary cell wall to provide support, and gelatinous fibers, which are known to store water and are believed to function mechanically by inducing tension or compression in portions of the stem.

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