2014 Triarch "Botanical Images"
Student Travel Award

The Botanical Society of America welcomes you to the sixth 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!

» Submit images for 2014: January 1 - April 10, 2014 | View Past Award Recipients and Submissions

2014 Submissions for the Conant "Botanical Images" Student Travel Award
Jessica Allen, The New York Botanical Garden - #5  |  Sarah Allen, University of Florida - #4  |  Valentin Barca, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy - #46, #47, #48, #50, #53, #54, #55, #59, #65  |  haydee borrero, Florida International University - #36  |  Alice Butler, Bucknell University - #42  |  Heather Dame, Central Michigan University - #41  |  Audra DeMariano, Maryville University - #26  |  Lauren Frazee, Rutgers University - #7  |  Ben Gahagen, Ohio University - #27  |  Abby Glauser, University of Kansas - #60  |  Rachel Hackett, Central Michigan University - #52  |  Timothy Hammer, Old Dominion University - #2  |  Carla Harper, University of Kansas - #19  |  Rachel Herschlag, Tulane University - #32  |  Laura Lagomarsino, Harvard University - #30, #31, #37, #39, #43, #44  |  Jacob Landis, University of Florida - #6  |  Nathan LeClear, University of Texas - #1  |  Angie Macias, Cornell University - #20, #21, #22, #24  |  Rob Massatti, University of Michigan - #34  |  Kelly Matsunaga, Humboldt State University - #70  |  Daniel McNair, The University of Southern Mississippi - #8, #9, #63  |  Rebecca Povilus, Harvard University - #29  |  Beck Powers, University of Vermont - #25  |  Niels Proctor, University of Florida - #35, #38, #40  |  James Riser, Washington State University - #56, #57, #58, #61, #62, #64, #66, #67, #68, #69  |  Asya Robertshaw, Purdue University - #17, #18  |  Nelson Salinas, New York Botanical Garden - #23  |  Adam Schneider, University of California Berkeley - #71, #72, #74  |  Glenn Shelton, Humboldt State University - #73  |  Sally Stevens, Purdue University - #49, #51  |  Simon Uribe-Convers, University of Idaho - #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16  |  Ignacio Vera, California State University, Fullerton - #28  |  Anne Lucy Virnig, The New York Botanical Garden / The Graduate Center, CUNY - #45  |  Clayton Visger, University of Florida - #33

Submission #1
Title: Sexual ambiguity of Matacora on the rim of Crater Elegante
Author: Nathan LeClear
Institution: University of Texas
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Euphobiaceae
Taxon: Jatropha cuneata
Common Name: Matacora
Season/time of year: Dry/July
Area: El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve
State/Province: Sonora Country: Mexico
Longitude: -113.387424° Latitude: 31.852173°
Additional Information: Canon Powershot S3 IS, f/stop 6.3, ISO 100, high light

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Caption: Bisexual branch of Jatropha cuneata (Euphorbiaceae), a typically dioecious desert shrub
Scientific Description/Explanation: Variation and plasticity in the breeding systems of flowering plants has intrigued botanists and evolutionary botanists for over a century. Many species of plants keep functionally male and female flowers on different plants (dioecy), but occasionally bisexual individuals and hermaphroditic flowers may arise. Matacora (Jatropha cuneata) is succulent-stemmed shrub native to the Sonoran Desert where it is a dominant element on volcanic outcroppings. It is described as a dioecious species with sexually dimorphic flowers, however during a field expedition to El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve I observed many individuals with open male flowers and developing fruits, such as this plant on the rim of Crater Elegante.

 

Submission #2
Title: Pretty in pink
Author: Timothy Hammer
Institution: Old Dominion University
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Amaranthaceae
Taxon: Ptilotus nobilis
Common Name: Pink mulla mulla
Season/time of year: August
Area: Goldfields-Esperance region
State/Province: WA Country: Australia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Nikon D3100

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Caption: Ptilotus nobilis (Pink mulla mulla) getting some attention from a visiting honeybee in arid Western Australia
Scientific Description/Explanation: Ptilotus R.Br. (mulla mulla or lamb's tails) is a genus of over 100 species of herbs and shrubs widely distributed throughout arid Australia. These are arguably the most spectacular members of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae). Ptilotus nobilis (Lindl.) F.Muell. is seen here being visited by a honeybee in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. No published pollination studies have been done within the genus; variable inflorescence colors and number and arrangement of stamens and staminodes suggests that differing pollination mechanisms may be employed in the genus. A variety within P. nobilis has yellow flowers instead of the pink. Until recently these two varieties were considered separate species, P. exaltatus (pink) and P. nobilis (yellow), but the species were combined following the results of a molecular study. Due to the attractive color and long bloom life of the inflorescence, some species such as P. nobilis are cultivated as ornamentals.

 

Submission #4
Title: Glowing fossil pollen
Author: Sarah Allen
Institution: University of Florida
Department: Department of Biology
Family: unknown
Taxon: unknown
Common Name: unknown
Season/time of year:
Area: Bridger Formation
State/Province: Wyoming Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: This image was captured through a microscope using a technique called epifluorescence. Epifluorescence can reveal organic matter such as pollen or cuticle in situ before it is removed (possibly damaging the original specimen) for further analysis. This is a composite image (using the software Helicon Focus) from four photographs of the same pollen cluster. As the pollen cluster was not on a single plane, I focused the microscope at different levels to try to capture different parts clearly and then merged the photos.

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Caption: Eocene pollen viewed using epifluorescence
Scientific Description/Explanation: This image shows a clump of ~49 million year old (Eocene) pollen preserved in the anther of an unidentified fossil reproductive structure from the Bridger Formation in southwestern Wyoming. If present, in situ pollen is a good tool to help identify a fossil plant specimen.

 

Submission #5
Title: Land coral
Author: Jessica Allen
Institution: The New York Botanical Garden
Department:
Family:
Taxon: Clavaria zolingeri
Common Name: Violet coral
Season/time of year: September
Area: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
State/Province: NC Country: United States
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: A violet coral fungus making a showy appearance
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is truly a biodiversity hotspot in North America. Untold numbers of salamanders, trees, insects, and (of course!) fungi grace these beautiful mountains. Fungi take many forms throughout the park. For instance, the highest diversity of fungi involved in symbiotic relationships with algae (lichens) grow in this national park when compared to all other national parks in North America. Fungi that produce ephemeral fruiting bodies are also extremely diverse in the park. Pictured here is the violet coral (Clavaria zolingeri). This species grows worldwide, deriving its nutrition from dead organic matter. This species is just one example of the astounding fungal diversity dwelling in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Submission #6
Title: Cellular structure of petal lobes
Author: Jacob Landis
Institution: University of Florida
Department: Biology
Family: Solanaceae
Taxon: Petunia exserta
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area: Gainesville
State/Province: FL Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: Confocal microscopy image of the cells comprising the petal lobe of Petunia exserta.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This image shows the overall shape of cells in the petal lobes of Petunia exserta. Most species are thought to have conical cells on the petal lobes which often aid in pollination by bees by offering a place to land. The base of conical cells are often though to be round and irregular in shape. The cells of Petunia exserta, which is hummingbird pollinated appears to be different. These cells take on regular shapes of pentagons, hexagons and other polygons. All of the cells in this particular location of the petal lobe are not the same size and overall shape, which may possibly be due to pollination by vectors not landing on the flower petals, in this case hummingbirds. Genetically, it will be interesting to determine if the same genes controlling conical cell formation, MIXTA-Like genes, are playing a similar role here. If not, selective pressures due to pollinator types may be acting on the cellular development of the flowers. For reference, the scale bar is 20 uM

 

Submission #7
Title: An Unwelcome Aster
Author: Lauren Frazee
Institution: Rutgers University
Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: Galinsoga quadriradiata
Common Name: Common quickweed
Season/time of year: Late summer or early fall
Area: New Brunswick
State/Province: New Jersey Country: USA
Longitude: -74.446567Latitude: 40.499409
Additional Information: photo taken in urban area

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Caption: Also known as the hairy galinsoga, Galinsoga quadriradiata has noticeably hairy stems and leaves. In botany, the small, hair-like projections on the surface of plant tissues are called trichomes. Look closely to see them in this picture.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Weedy plants have adapted to all the disturbance-prone environments that humans create and inhabit, from agricultural fields and suburban lawns to vacant city lots. Here, a flowering plant called quickweed is growing vigorously in the crack of a sidewalk adjacent to a well-maintained lawn. Quickweed is native to Central America but widespread throughout the Eastern United States and Asia. This species thrives in disturbed, fertile soil where it can produce new seeds in less than a month from germination. Thus, quickweed is a frequent colonizer of agricultural fields and a well-known weedy plant in horticulture. Nevertheless, its leaves are edible and can be boiled and prepared as a cooked green; young plants are commonly eaten in the springtime in its Asian range.

 

Submission #8
Title: Invasive ants disperse invasive plants
Author: Daniel McNair
Institution: The University of Southern Mississippi
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Lamiaceae
Taxon: Lamium amplexicaule
Common Name: Henbit
Season/time of year: January
Area: Hattiesburg
State/Province: Mississippi Country: U.S.A.
Longitude: 89.280948Latitude: 31.313800
Additional Information: Nikon D3200, 100mm Tokina lens, handheld

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Caption: Red imported fire ant carrying a henbit seed
Scientific Description/Explanation: Numerous plant species have lipid-rich elaiosomes attached to their seeds that offer a reward for the dispersal services of foraging ants. The elaiosome-bearing seed in this photograph belongs to henbit (Lamium amplexicaule, Lamiaceae) and is being carried by the red imported fire ant (Solanopsis invicta, Formicidae). Both species are globally invasive. The photograph is part of a study suggesting that the invasive success of some elaiosome-producing plants may depend on their ability to form dispersal partnerships in their new ranges.

 

Submission #9
Title: Last of the longleaf
Author: Daniel McNair
Institution: The University of Southern Mississippi
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Pinaceae
Taxon: Pinus palustris
Common Name: Longleaf pine
Season/time of year: 1/4/2014
Area: DeSoto National Forest
State/Province: Mississippi Country: U.S.A.
Longitude: 88.932223Latitude: 31.519864
Additional Information: Nikon D3200, 18mm focal length, 20 second exposure, f/3.5, ISO 800

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Caption: Longleaf pine in the DeSoto National Forest
Scientific Description/Explanation: This photograph was taken in the DeSoto National Forest in Mississippi, one of the few remaining tracks of intact longleaf pine savanna. Within a one mile radius of this particular location, the candling of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers can be seen on 100 year old pines, gopher tortoise burrows litter the tops of sandy hills, and pitcher plant bogs thrive in response to controlled fires (naturally occurring fires rarely reach the now fragmented savannas). Less than 3% of longleaf pine ecosystems remain intact.

 

Submission #10
Title: Bombus and Calceolaria
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Calceolariaceae
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Santander Country: Colombia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: This Bombus bee was pollinating this wonderful species of Calceolaria
Scientific Description/Explanation:

 

Submission #11
Title: Fieldwork
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Colombia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: The greatest reward after a long field season.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This might be an unconventional botanical image, but I just think that fieldwork is sometimes overlooked these days. In this picture you can see BSA members Diego Morales-Briones, Laura Frost, and Simon Uribe-Convers with all the collections that they made during five weeks of fieldwork in Colombia.

 

Submission #12
Title: At the market
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Bolivia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: Botanical knowledge
Scientific Description/Explanation: Humans have relied heavily on ancestral knowledge of the natural world for millennia and this knowledge can still be found in some parts of the world. This Bolivian woman had all kinds of plants at the local market, and she would recommend you to chew or make an infusion of a particular type of plant depending on what you needed. We tend to forget that modern medicine has precisely this origin.

 

Submission #13
Title: Another day at the office
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Colombia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: The páramo ecosystem
Scientific Description/Explanation: The páramo ecosystem is considered to be the most biodiverse montane ecosystem in the world with ~4000 species of vascular plants. Because this ecosystem is restricted to the Andes' mountaintops, the páramos are considered to be sky-island and they behave like such in terms of biogeographic patterns and endemism.

 

Submission #14
Title: Another day at the office
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Colombia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: Páramo ecosystem
Scientific Description/Explanation: The páramo ecosystem is considered to be the most biodiverse montane ecosystem in the world, with ~4000 species of vascular plants. Because this ecosystem is restricted to the Andes' mountaintops, each páramo is treated like a sky-island and it behaves like such in terms of biogeographic patterns and endemic species.

 

Submission #15
Title: Puya raimondii
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Bromeliaceae
Taxon: Puya raimondii
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Bolivia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: The Queen of the Andes
Scientific Description/Explanation: This species is something to be amazed of. The Puya raimondii, also know as the Queen of the Andes, is the larges species of Bromeliad in the world. It can reach 3 meters in vegetative form but it produces a large spike 9-10 meters tall, which contains between 3,000 to six million seeds! It may take this species up to 40 years to bloom after which, like many other Bromeliads, it dies. This species is restricted to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia and it's considered an endangered species. It was a real treat to see this wonderful Puya in the wild.

 

Submission #16
Title: Puya raimondii
Author: Simon Uribe-Convers
Institution: University of Idaho
Department: Biological Sciences
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: Peru
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: The Queen of the Andes
Scientific Description/Explanation: This species is something to be amazed of. The Puya raimondii, also know as the Queen of the Andes, is the larges species of Bromeliad in the world. It can reach 3 meters in vegetative form but it produces a large spike 9-10 meters tall, which contains between 3,000 to six million seeds! It may take this species up to 40 years to bloom after which, like many other Bromeliads, it dies. This species is restricted to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia and it's considered an endangered species. It was a real treat to see this wonderful Puya in the wild.

 

Submission #17
Title: Pollination in Action
Author: Asya Robertshaw
Institution: Purdue University
Department: Botany & Plant Pathology
Family: Ranunculaceae
Taxon: Anemone acutiloba
Common Name: Common liverleaf
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: West Lafayette
State/Province: Indiana Country: USA
Longitude: -87°4’0.86”Latitude: 40°24’31.09”
Additional Information: This photograph was taken using the macro feature of a Canon PowerShot SX150 IS camera with the F-stop value of f/3.4 and ISO speed of 100.

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Caption: A patch of Anemone acutiloba (Common Liverleaf) flowers being pollinated by a honeybee (Apis mellifera) on a warm spring afternoon at the Ross Biological Reserve (Purdue University)
Scientific Description/Explanation: This photograph depicts a pollination event between a honeybee and a spring-flowering common liverleaf. The interaction between plants and their pollinators is an important factor that defines and shapes the patterns within a flowering community. To secure pollen many plant species have evolved certain morphological traits - such as flower color and flower shape - to attract either a specific or a broad group of pollinators. Furthermore, plants and pollinators have to synchronize the timing of their active periods in order to ensure that the pollinators are foraging when the flowers are in bloom. Since the timing of these important events is thought to be driven by environmental factors, the plant-pollinator mutualism thus become susceptible to disturbances in the environment. Elevated temperatures due to recent climate change events is an important example of these environmental disturbances. If plants and pollinators respond differently to changes in temperature, their timing might become desynchronized, leaving insects without a food source and plants without the means to disperse pollen.

 

Submission #18
Title: Tucked away for the night
Author: Asya Robertshaw
Institution: Purdue University
Department: Botany & Plant Pathology
Family: Papaveraceae
Taxon: Sanguinaria canadensis
Common Name: Bloodroot
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: West Lafayette
State/Province: Indiana Country: USA
Longitude: -87°4’0.86”Latitude: 40°24’31.09”
Additional Information: This photograph was taken using the macro feature of a Canon PowerShot SX150 IS camera with the F-stop value of f/3.4 and ISO speed of 160.

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Caption: A bloodroot flower wrapped in its own leaf on a chilly spring morning at the Ross Biological Reserve (Purdue University)
Scientific Description/Explanation: This photograph depicts a bloodroot flower bud emerging through a leaf wrapped tightly around its stem. It is believed that the leaf keeps the plant warm during the cool spring nights and mornings. Bloodroot is a member of the spring ephemeral plant community. The life cycle of the entire community is restricted to a narrow window of time, usually 4-6 weeks, in the late winter and early spring, when the temperatures are rising but the tree canopy has not developed and substantial sunlight still reaches the forest floor. Flowering so early in the season has both great advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, spring wildflowers are not limited by the availability of sunlight and competition is reduced because most other plant species don't begin flowering until later in the season. On the other hand, the spring wildflowers must tolerate extremely variable environmental conditions and have a limited number of insect pollinators that are capable of foraging at such low temperatures. The ability of spring ephemerals to persist despite the obstacles set by the environment makes them a unique and fascinating group of plants!

 

Submission #19
Title: 260 million year old (Permian) mycorrhizal fungi from Antarctica
Author: Carla Harper
Institution: University of Kansas
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Phylum: Glomeromycota
Taxon: Glomites vertebrariae
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area: Skaar Ridge
State/Province: Beardmore Glacier area, Queen Alexandra Range, cen Country: Antarctica
Longitude: 84° 49' 11.8" SLatitude: 163° 20' 37.0" E
Additional Information: Specimens were prepared according to standard thin-section techniques with few modifications. Thin sections were analyzed using a Leica DM5000B transmitted-light compound microscope. Digital images were taken with a Leica DC500 digital camera attachment and minimally processed using Adobe Photoshop CS4 Version 11.0.2 (1990–2010, Adobe Systems). Multiple micrographs of the same specimen at different focal planes were compiled to produce composite images. The images were stacked in Adobe Photoshop CS4 and specific areas were erased in subsequent focal planes to reveal the full three-dimensional image seen in the thin sections.

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Caption: 260 million year old (Permian) vesicular arbuscular Paris-type mycorrhizal fungi in the seed fern Glossopteris, from Antarctica
Scientific Description/Explanation: Mycorrhizal (mycos=fungus, rhiza=root) associations are a type of mutualistic symbiotic relationship between a fungus and a plant. Each partner benefits from this exchange, i.e., the plant receives nutrients from the fungus, and the fungus receives carbon from the plant. This plant-fungal relationship occurs in ~80-90% of plant families living today. This ancient relationship has been found in ~400 million year old plants. It has also been hypothesized that mycorrhizae were essential to the establishment of early plants on land, and were as crucial in paleoecosystems as they are today. As the field and study of fossil fungi advances, we are becoming increasingly aware that fossil mycorrhizae are associated with many ancient plants. Permian (~260 million year old) Antarctic fossils provide exceptional examples of anatomically preserved plants. Included within these ancient groups are the Glossopterids. Glossopteris is a type of extinct plant called a seed-fern, a plant that had fern-like leaves, but produced seeds (ferns today only produce spores) that lived during the Permian. It was also an important fossil used as evidence for the theory of continental drift. This image represents the first mycorrhizal association with seed ferns, specifically Glossopteris. The picture is a longitudinal section of a young Glossopteris rootlet with coiling mycorrhizal fungal hyphae within and penetrating through root cells. The image is a composite of 50+ microscope images, digitally stitched together using Adobe Photoshop. Today, mycorrhizae are classified into two principle morphologies: Arum-type and Paris-type. Due to the coiling nature of the fungus, this mycorrhiza is a Paris-type and is the oldest in the fossil record. This important discovery provides insight into the evolution and microbial interactions of the Glossopterids and seed ferns during the Permian of Antarctica.

 

Submission #20
Title: A Snapshot of Pollen-Associated Crystal Diversity in Anthurium sp.
Author: Angie Macias
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Science
Family: Araceae
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country:
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: This is a colorized scanning electron micrograph of pollen and associated crystals collected from several species of Anthurium. Pollen collected and imaged at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This image is a colorized compilation of scanning electron micrographs taken during July 2013. The pollen was collected from living aroid collections at the Missouri Botanical Gardens (MOBOT). Little research is conducted on the pollen of the Anthurium genus, despite that it is estimated to have over one thousand species dispersed throughout the Neotropics and contains many horticulturally important species. My mentor Dr. Mónica Carlsen (MOBOT) and I were interested in examining the pollen for useful taxonomic characters but were not expecting to find something as dramatic as these crystals. The images are not to scale, but the pollen grains are, on average, 15 microns in diameter. Some crystals were needles as long as the pollen grains themselves, while others were cubes less than a micron across. Some were free in the anther sac, while others were clearly embedded in the pollen grains before they matured. The needles are likely raphides (calcium oxalate), but the composition of the remaining crystals are unknown. Members of this plant family often have raphides for mechanical protection from herbivores, but we cannot say much about the purposes of the other crystals without further study.

 

Submission #21
Title: Mosses in the Morning
Author: Angie Macias
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Science
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year: Autumn
Area: Ithaca, Beebe Lake
State/Province: New York Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: This is a photograph of dew-covered mosses and lichens colonizing a damp wooden fence.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is a photograph of dew-covered mosses and lichens colonizing a damp wooden fence. It was taken on a rainy day in the autumn, near a small lake on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY. The tiny plants in the foreground are very young lichens, and the (relatively) large plants in the mid- and background are mosses. The mosses are no more than a few millimeters tall.

 

Submission #22
Title: The Fairy Garden
Author: Angie Macias
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Science
Family:
Taxon:
Common Name:
Season/time of year: Autumn
Area: Ithaca, Beebe Lake
State/Province: New York Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: This is a photograph of mosses and lichens growing in the grooves of a damp wooden fence.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is a photograph of mosses and lichens growing in the grooves of a wooden fence. It was taken on a rainy day in the autumn, near a small lake on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY. The tall cupped structures, no more than a millimeter or two tall, are the fruiting structures of the lichen. The bluish patch and the tiny dots in the foreground are also lichens. The dark green plants are mosses.

 

Submission #23
Title: Endangered Andean Blueberry
Author: Nelson Salinas
Institution: New York Botanical Garden
Department:
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Orthaea cordata
Common Name: Andean Blueberry
Season/time of year: January 2014
Area: Municipality of Cucutilla, vereda Carrizal Alto, quebrada Salina
State/Province: Norte de Santander Country: Colombia
Longitude: -72.836Latitude: 7.464
Additional Information: Camera: Canon Rebel Digital XT ISO: 100 Exposure time: 1/125 s Flash: Yes Aperture: F32

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Caption: Flowers of Orthaea cordata (Vaccinieae: Ericaceae).
Scientific Description/Explanation: Andean Blueberries (family Ericaceae, tribe Vaccinieae) are a diverse group of plants in montane forests of South America. They face several conservation challenges nowadays; expansion of agricultural areas and extensive mining are among the most critical. Although these conditions also affect many other components of the Andean biota, Neotropical Blueberries are specially problematic because of their narrow distribution ranges and lack of basic biological information upon which to base conservation initiatives. This is the case of Orthaea cordata, a species known only from three records and a single population which is severely threatened by deforestation.

 

Submission #24
Title: Pollen of Anthurium huixtlense (Araceae)
Author: Angie Macias
Institution: Cornell University
Department: Plant Science
Family: Araceae
Taxon: Anthurium huixtlense
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country:
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption: This is a colorized scanning electron micrograph of an Anthurium huixtlense pollen grain with its associated crystals.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This is a colorized scanning electron micrograph of an Anthurium huixtlense pollen grain. The flowers were collected from the living aroid collections at the Missouri Botanical Gardens (MOBOT). My mentor Dr. Mónica Carlsen (MOBOT) and I were interested in examining the pollen for useful taxonomic characters but were not expecting to find crystals like these. In some species of Anthurium, there are no crystals, and in others, the pollen grains are entirely coated in them. Some appeared free in the anther sac, while others sat on the surface, or were even embedded in the pollen grain, as seen here. The composition and possible function of these crystals is unknown.

 

Submission #25
Title: Intricacies of the chanterelle
Author: Beck Powers
Institution: University of Vermont
Department: Plant Biology
Family: Cantharellaceae
Taxon: Cantharellus cibarius
Common Name: Golden Chanterelle
Season/time of year: Late summer
Area: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
State/Province: ME Country: United States
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Nikon Coolpix P520

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Caption: False gills seen on the underside of the pileus
Scientific Description/Explanation: Cantharellus cibarius, more commonly known as the golden chanterelle, is a culinary delicacy enjoyed by many for its pleasant texture and fruity, apricot-like flavor. On many a late-summer’s walk in a forest, these mushrooms can be easily spotted by their vibrant yellow-orange color, growing on the ground often in clusters. The Cantharellus genus was named by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries for its funnel-shaped body (derived from Latin cantharus, or chalice). Cantharellus can sometimes be confused with its poisonous lookalike Omphalotus olearius or the jack-o’-lantern mushroom. However, unlike Omphalotus, Cantharellus do not possess true lamellae (gills) but instead have thick folds of spore-bearing hymenium tissue that extend down the stipe in a decurrent fashion. These ‘gills’ often bifurcate as they extend along the underside of the pileus (cap), creating an intricate maze of ridges. Like many other forest-dwelling fungi, Cantharellus form a mycorrhizal symbiotic relationship through their hyphae with roots of nearby trees, providing important plant nutrients such as phosphorous in exchange for energy-rich carbohydrates created via photosynthesis. Unlike endomycorrhizal fungi that extend their hyphae into the cells of plant roots, Cantharellus is ectomycorrhizal - its hyphae never penetrate the cell walls of the plant roots but instead form a sheath around the outside of the roots where nutrient exchange occurs. The endomycorrhizal association occurs in roughly 90% of plant species while the ectomycorrhizal association occurs in approximately 2% of plant species, making Cantharellus and other ectomycorrhizal fungi quite the fascinating find.

 

Submission #26
Title: Black-eyed Susan Before Pollen
Author: Audra DeMariano
Institution: Maryville University
Department: Biology
Family: Asteraceae
Taxon: hirta
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan
Season/time of year: June 2013
Area: Grey Summit
State/Province: Missouri Country: United States
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Field photo

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Caption: Missouri native flower, Rudbeckia hirta, encounters an early morning visit from a pollinator in the restored prairie region of Shaw Nature Reserve.
Scientific Description/Explanation:

 

Submission #27
Title: Sea of Lilies
Author: Ben Gahagen
Institution: Ohio University
Department: Environmental and Plant Biology
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Taxon:
Common Name: Water Lily
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Lake Hope State Park/Vinton County
State/Province: OH Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi, 100mm Macro lens, f/11, iso-100, taken off the side of a kayak

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Caption: While kayaking with some friends at Lake Hope State Park we came upon a large mat of water lilies (Nymphaea odorata).
Scientific Description/Explanation: Members of the Nymphaeaceae family are collectively known as water lilies. The leaves and flowers of water lilies float on the surface of the water to photosynthesize and attract pollinators, while the rest of the plant remains submerged. One of the tropical members of this family, the Amazon water lily, has large enough pads to support a person. In addition to producing mucilaginous secretions for protection, some water lilies also exhibit large prickles on the underside of their leaves to ward off aquatic herbivores. The water lilies shown are a pink color variant of Nymphaea odorata, the fragrant water lily, growing in Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County, OH. These plants are native to the area but can seem invasive as they form impenetrable, but beautiful, floating mats on the surface of Lake Hope.

 

Submission #28
Title: The fading woolly star
Author: Ignacio Vera
Institution: California State University, Fullerton
Department: Biological Science
Family: Polemoniaceae
Taxon: densifolium spp. sanctorum
Common Name: Santa Ana River woolly star or woolly star
Season/time of year: Late September
Area: Costa Mesa
State/Province: CA Country: United States
Longitude: 117°12'40.2"WLatitude: 34°05'43.9"N
Additional Information:

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Caption: I was out collecting seeds for my seed reserve project on the federally endangered Eriastrum densifolium spp. sanctorum in the fall and I was lucky enough to find some of the flowers had not wilted yet, so I took a few pictures of their pretty blueish-purple flowers.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Eriastrum densifolium spp. sanctorum, the Santa Ana River woolly star, or simply woolly star is a federally endangered plant located on the river banks of the Santa Ana River in the city of Redlands, CA. The woolly star is endangered because its habitat has shrunk due to human development in the area and the lack of floods due to flood control measures. Floods are important to the woolly star's life cycle as they bring in new sands, nutrients, and replenish the groundwater supply. It got the name woolly star because it has white "woolly" hair on its stem and leaves and has a five petaled flower in the shape of a "star" thus it attained the name "woolly star." It blossoms beautiful light purple flowers with dark blue-purple lines on top in the spring.

 

Submission #29
Title: Young Female Cone of the Siberian Larch
Author: Rebecca Povilus
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family:
Taxon: Larix sibirica
Common Name: Siberian Larch
Season/time of year: April
Area: Arnold Arboretum, Boston
State/Province: Massachusetts Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Zeiss Discovery v12 Dissecting microscope

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Scientific Description/Explanation: The delicate blush of this Siberian larch (Larix siberica) female cone is a welcome sign of spring in the Arnold Arboretum’s conifer collection. It’s easy to forget that conifer cones, although tough and woody when they mature, start off with a fragile beauty. In this population of Siberian larches, the male and female cones open in early April to disperse and receive pollen. Each “petal” on this cone is actually a scale-like structure that bears ovules, which can develop into seeds if they are fertilized. The light pink edges of these young ovuliferous scales will deepen to a brilliant crimson, and then fade to brown and wither by mid-May. After that, the remaining scale tissue will toughen to protect the growing seeds that they conceal.

 

Submission #30
Title: A sign of earlier of spring
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Cypripedium
Common Name: acaule
Season/time of year: May
Area: Concord
State/Province: MA Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i

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Caption: The pink lady's slipper orchid has shifted its flowering time back four days as a result of climate change.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The pink lady’s slipper, Cypripedium acaule, is a common orchid throughout much of the northeastern United States. This one was photographed in Concord, Massachusetts in close proximity to Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau famously went to “live deliberately.” Natural history observations made by Thoreau in the 1840s have recently been compared to more recent observations in an effort to document the effect of climate change on first flowering time on native plants. The pink lady’s slipper is one of many species that now flower earlier in the year as a result of warmer temperatures earlier in the year.

 

Submission #31
Title: Into the Abyss
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Campanulaceae
Taxon: Centropogon pulcher
Common Name:
Season/time of year: December
Area: San Ramón
State/Province: Junín Country: Perú
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i.

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Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: Centropogon pulcher, a vining member of the bellflower family, is unique within its genus for its long, whip-like inflorescence. Its dramatically curved, vivid red and orange flowers pierce the otherwise green backdrop of its native Peruvian cloud forest. These bright colors evolved to attract sicklebill hummingbirds, the obligate pollinators of this species. Undoubtedly, generations ago, the Incas also used this flash of color as a measure of distance to their final destination at Machu Picchu: these flowers dot the last section of the famous Inca Trail.

 

Submission #32
Title: Podostemaceae in Bloom
Author: Rachel Herschlag
Institution: Tulane University
Department: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Podostemaceae
Taxon: Ledermanniella sp.
Common Name: Riverweed
Season/time of year: December
Area: Ntem River
State/Province: South Region Country: Cameroon
Longitude: 10° 22'ELatitude: 02° 24'N
Additional Information: This specimen is part of the type collection for a species that is currently being described. It was imaged with a Hitachi S-3400N Scanning Electron Microscope at 20 kV.

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Caption: Scanning electron micrograph of a flower from Ledermanniella sp., an undescribed species in the riverweed family (Podostemaceae)
Scientific Description/Explanation: The adaptive response of organisms as they evolve into novel habitats has led to remarkable morphological forms. Such is the case here with the mature flower of an undescribed species of Ledermanniella (Podostemaceae: Malpighiales) from Cameroon. Podostemaceae, commonly known as the riverweed family, is the most species-rich, all-aquatic plant-family. It has evolved from a terrestrial ancestor and diversified to include species that attach to rocks in rivers and waterfalls. The transition into an aquatic habitat has profoundly affected morphological traits of Podostemaceae. In Ledermanniella, flowers develop in a protective sac called a spathellum (not shown in image), from which they later emerge once the water level recedes. Here, we see an example of reduction in Podostemaceae to a strikingly simplistic form. Rather than several broad, showy sepals and petals, this species has two threadlike tepals located at the base of the ovary (one being obstructed from view). An andropodium bears two basally united stamens in a “Y” formation. The two styles are also basally united, located at the top of an elliptical ovary that will later develop into a capsule of nearly the same size. The flowers of this species, like many others of Podostemaceae, have far fewer and often smaller structures than their ancestors. Their atypical form exemplifies the impact a new habitat can have on a species, along with evolutionary responses that may develop.

 

Submission #33
Title: A plant's eye view
Author: Clayton Visger
Institution: University of Florida
Department: Biology
Family: Saxifragaceae
Taxon: Tolmiea
Common Name: pig-a-back plant
Season/time of year: June
Area:
State/Province: OR Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: Hemispherical images were taken from the plant eye view for individuals within 32 populations of diploid and tetraploid Tolmiea ranging from California to Washington. These images were turned binary and used to calculate the percent canopy coverage experience by individuals within these populations, in order to understand the role shade availably may have played in determining niche space.

 

Submission #34
Title: Ancient Great Basin bristlecone pine
Author: Rob Massatti
Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Family: Pinaceae
Taxon: Pinus longaeva
Common Name: Great Basin bristlecone pine
Season/time of year: July
Area: White Mountains
State/Province: California Country: United States
Longitude: -118.1873Latitude: 37.5233
Additional Information:

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Caption: Ancient tree at sunset
Scientific Description/Explanation: Great Basin bristlecone pines are among the oldest organisms in the world. The oldest trees have experienced more than one million sunrises and sunsets and survived multiple glaciations. Many trees accumulate scars from harsh living conditions as they age; this tree may have experienced lightening strikes, ground fires, and/or pest outbreaks. When the outer 'living' layers, or the sapwood, of a tree are injured, they often expose the inner 'dead' wood, or the heartwood. In this photo, the living portions of this tree (where the needles are generated) are largely hidden by the exposed, decaying skeleton of heartwood.

 

Submission #35
Title: A Fishtail Palm Flowers from the Head Down
Author: Niels Proctor
Institution: University of Florida
Department: School of Forest Resources & Conservation
Family: Arecaceae
Taxon: Caryota mitis
Common Name: Clustering Fishtail Palm
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden / Coral Gables, FL
State/Province: FL Country: USA
Longitude: -80.274385Latitude: 25.679489
Additional Information:

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Caption: Two stems of a clustering hapaxanthic palm displaying basipetal maturation.
Scientific Description/Explanation: When you look at this picture of two palm stems, do you notice something odd about the relative positions of the ripe and unripe fruits? It's just the opposite of what one might expect: The most mature and darkened fruits are at the top of the picture, the intermediate darkening fruits are in the middle, and the youngest fruits that are just starting to form are at the bottom. In most palms and other flowering plants, the flowering sequence is "acropetal," meaning that the production of flowers and fruits begins with the oldest tissues near the base of the plant and moves upwards and away from the ground. But clustering fishtail palm (Caryota mitis) displays basipetal maturation, meaning that the sequence of flowering begins at the top and moves downwards. And stems of this palm are also "hapaxanthic," which means that they only produce fruit once in a single reproductive phase at the end of their lives. So the life cycle for each stem is to grow steadily upwards, producing leaves node-by-node until it reaches a certain height, and then to reverse direction and produce flowers and fruit node-by-node in a sequence moving back down toward the ground. When fruit production finally reaches ground level, the stem dies. As you can see, the two stems shown in this picture still have a few nodes remaining to flower before they reach the end of their lives.

 

Submission #36
Title: Fuchsia
Author: haydee borrero
Institution: Florida International University
Department: Earth and Environment
Family: Orchidacea
Taxon: Bulbophyllum andersonii
Common Name: Anderson's Bulbophyllum
Season/time of year: Fall of 2013
Area: Yachang Orchid Reserve
State/Province: Guangxi Country: China
Longitude: 24° 48' N Latitude: 106° 22' E
Additional Information: Nikon D300, Sigma 150mm Macro, Handheld

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Caption: A beautifully flushed Bulbophyllum andersonii in bloom
Scientific Description/Explanation: Within the confines of the protected Yahcang Orchid Reserve in South-western China, a sub-tropical orchid hotspot, one can find over 140 species of orchids. The delicate inflorescence of the Bulbophyllum andersonii, which can be seen flowering in the fall, is only one example of how beautifully nature can be shaped. The dainty oblong petals organized in an almost perfectly enclosed compound disc that emerges directly from plant base is a spectacular sight. In this case growing as a lithophyte, this species may also occasionally be observed growing epiphitically on the trunks of trees. Found within a range across tropical Asia.

 

Submission #37
Title: Microcosmos
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Campanulaceae
Taxon: Lysipomia muscoides
Common Name:
Season/time of year: December
Area: Cerros Calla Calla outside of Leimebamba
State/Province: Amazonas Country: Perú
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i.

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Caption: Though Lysipomia muscoides is merely a centimeter in diameter, this image makes it look like a canopy tree overseeing a forest of moss.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Lysipomia muscoides is an appropriate scientific name for this species. Though it is in fact a flowering plant, its diminutive stature and linear leaves draw an obvious comparison to the moss in which it is growing. (“Muscoides” means “moss-like”.) Lysipomia is a genus of the bellflower family that is endemic to páramos and punas, the highest elevation ecosystems of the Andean mountains of South America. This particular species is a member of a group of Lysipomia species that are exceptionally reduced in its size; this specimen is less than 1cm in diameter. Surprisingly, Lysipomia's closest relatives are shrubby plants that can grow as tall as 9 ml!

 

Submission #38
Title: One Hand, Five Fingers, No Petals
Author: Niels Proctor
Institution: University of Florida
Department: School of Forest Resources & Conservation
Family: Malvaceae
Taxon: x Chiranthofremontia lenzii
Common Name: Hybrid Monkey Hand Tree
Season/time of year: late summer
Area: San Francisco Botanical Garden / San Francisco
State/Province: CA Country: USA
Longitude: -122.466449Latitude: 37.766179
Additional Information:

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Caption: The orange flower of an intergenetic hybrid with the five "fingers" of the stamens forming a staminal column around the style.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The scientific name of a hybrid is usually written with a lower-case "x" in the middle to indicate that it was produced by a cross between two species in the same genus. One common example would be "Platanus x acerifolia" (also known as London Plane Tree). But the plant shown in this picture has a capital "X" at the start of its name to indicate that it was produced by a cross between plants in two different genera. Hybrid Monkey Hand Tree was produced by first collecting pollen from California flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum), a plant with bright yellow flowers. That pollen was then put onto the stigmas in flowers of Mexican Hand Tree (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon), a plant with bright red flowers. The resulting intergenetic hybrid has bright orange flowers. The five "fingers" reaching up in the middle of the flower to form the "monkey hand" are actually the stamens. From the way their bases unite to form a column around the style in the middle of this flower, one can recognize that this plant is in Malvaceae - the same family that has mallows and hollyhocks. The colorful, outer parts of the flower are sepals with large nectaries at their bases. This flower doesn't have any petals, so it's a nice example of how a flower can be very showy even when it's apetalous. The San Francisco Botanical Garden has recently reported that the name of this species contains an error. According to the taxonomic rules, the names of intergenetic hybrids are formed by taking either the first part or all of the name of one parent and adding the last part or all of the name of the other parent. In this case, "Chirantho-" is the first part of the name of one parent, but "-fremontia" is neither the last part nor all of the name of the other parent. So the name has not been validly published and it will likely now change to "X Chiranthomontodendron lenzii"! Imagine the poor students in California horticulture classes who will have to spell that on their quizzes!

 

Submission #39
Title: A Beacon in the Night
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Campanulaceae
Taxon: Burmeistera dendrophila
Common Name:
Season/time of year: April
Area: Cerro Pate Macho
State/Province: Chirriqui Country: Panama
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i.

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Caption: Burmeistera dendrophila is a bat pollinated species endemic to the montane region of western Panama.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Burmeistera is genus of Neotropical bellflowers with flowers specialized for pollination by long-tongue nectar feeding bats in the family Glossphaginae. Their green flowers have inflated openings that almost exactly mimic the shape of a visiting bat’s head. Additional adaptations to bat pollination include an unpleasant floral odor and flowers that open at night. Many species of Burmeistera frequently co-occur in a single site, such as on the slopes of Cerro Pate Macho in Panama, where this Burmeistera dendrophila and two additional species were collected. It is thought the specific placement of pollen, mediated by the length and level of exsertion of the stamens, minimizes gene flow in these closely related species, reducing hybridization and successfully allowing species to persist while sharing pollinators.

 

Submission #40
Title: Guttation Droplets on Corn Poppies
Author: Niels Proctor
Institution: University of Florida
Department: School of Forest Resources & Conservation
Family: Papaveraceae
Taxon: Papaver rhoeas
Common Name: Corn Poppy
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: Gainesville
State/Province: FL Country: USA
Longitude: -82.361159Latitude: 29.647153
Additional Information:

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Caption: Droplets appear on the leaf margin at the terminus of major veins due to the process of guttation.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Avid gardeners who check on their plants every morning may notice a line of droplets along the leaf margin, particularly if the soil moisture is high from a recent watering or rainstorm. While these droplets may look like morning dew, deposited from the water vapor in the atmosphere, they are actually coming from within the plant itself. They are droplets of sap (a mixture of water and various solutes) pushed out of the pores in the leaf through a process called "guttation." Guttation occurs when there is a high amount of fairly pure water in the soil surrounding plant roots. That water is drawn into the cells of the roots by the lower osmotic potential in the plant. But at nighttime, when photosynthesis is not occurring and the stomata in the leaves are closed, the water in the xylem cannot escape through transpiration. So pressure builds up in the xylem and forces some of the sap out through the guard cells, forming droplets on the leaf. Most of the droplets tend to form where major veins end at the leaf margin. Guttation is most likely to be observed at the break of dawn, before the water pushed out in the night has a chance to evaporate. The guttation droplets in this picture were photographed on corn poppies, which were the flowers described by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his haunting poem about World War I, "In Flanders Fields."

 

Submission #41
Title: Purple Bells of Ireland
Author: Heather Dame
Institution: Central Michigan University
Department: Biology
Family: Plantaginaceae
Taxon: Digitalis purpurea
Common Name: Common Foxglove
Season/time of year: June
Area: Dingle
State/Province: Co. Kerry Country: Ireland
Longitude: 52°15′12″ NLatitude: 10°27′20″ W
Additional Information: Canon SD1300 IS

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Caption: Common Foxglove keeping watch over rainy seaside town
Scientific Description/Explanation: Digitalis purpurea L. is a prominent component of the Irish landscape, adding its vibrant colors to the lush green countryside and ancient stone walls. The numerous purple bell-shaped flowers make up a tall, vertical inflorescence attributing to a total height of over one meter tall. The youngest flowers appear at the top of the inflorescence, with the older flowers near the bottom dying back one by one. The flowers are not produced during the first year of its life as it is a biennial, but rather it just produces a rosette of silver pubescent leaves. By looking closely near the lower flowers of the left inflorescence, this plant is an attractive nectar source for bees. Foxglove has evolved in a way to allow a comfortable landing platform for the bee to land on its lower lip, while at the same time providing the additional reward of a tube to shelter the bee from the rainy Irish weather. Though attractive to insects and also gardeners to plant in the garden, Digitalis purpurea is poisonous to eat in its raw form. However, it has made a contribution to society by forming the active ingredient in digitalis, aiding many lives in treating cardiac problems.

 

Submission #42
Title: Trichome: Harbinger of Death
Author: Alice Butler
Institution: Bucknell University
Department: Biology Department
Family: Solanum
Taxon: asymmetriphyllum
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area: Lewisburg
State/Province: PA Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: DIC optics on confocal microscope at 40x

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Caption: A trichome from Solanum asymmetriphyllum captured by DIC optics looks as though it would be a fine model for a medieval torture instrument.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Solanum asymmetriphyllum is an Australian member of the family Solanaceae, a close relative to the tomato and eggplant. Like many species of plants, they produce small outgrowths called trichomes that can take the shape of fine hairs. They often serve as a defense against herbivores. This image taken with DIC optics shows a stellate, or star-shaped, trichome from the bud of a S. asymmetriphyllum. Perhaps this trichome snuck its way onto my ovule slide to inspire beauty in nature, or perhaps to instill a touch of doom.

 

Submission #43
Title: A Flash of Red
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Heliconiaceae
Taxon: Heliconia sp.
Common Name:
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Santa Cruz Country: Bolivia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i.

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Caption: In addition to being popular ornamentals, heliconias are a conspicuous element of American tropical forests and play an important role in the ecosystems in which they are native.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This Heliconia was found growing next to the road in the Bolivian yungas, or cloud forest. Its bright red bracts and yellow flowers attract hummingbird pollinators. There are around 200 species of Heliconia, the vast majority of which are native to the American tropics. All these species are pollinated by another New World group, the hummingbirds. The great variety of floral and bract morphology within Heliconia is a product of its diffuse co-evolution with many hummingbird species with differing bill morphology and perching habits. Hummingbirds are not the only ecological associates of heliconias: flower mite populations thrive within heliconia nectar, and are shuttled from flower to flower in the nostrils of pollinating hummingbirds. Somehow, the mites know to deboard their avian “bus” at only flowers of the same species of heliconia!

 

Submission #44
Title: A Step Back in Time
Author: Laura Lagomarsino
Institution: Harvard University
Department: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Cyatheaceae
Taxon: Cythea sp.
Common Name:
Season/time of year: December
Area:
State/Province: Santa Cruz Country: Bolivia
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: Shot with a Canon Rebel t2i.

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Caption: A forest dominate by ferns in modern-day Bolivia is reminiscent of the forests that dominated the planet during the Carboniferous Period, 360 million years ago.
Scientific Description/Explanation: There is a special habitat type in the yungas of Bolivia: the bosque de los helechos gigantes (giant fern forest). These are large stands of forest dominated by tree ferns in the genus Cyathea. The canopy, captured here from below in black and white, allows more sunlight to enter than in a typical forest due to the dissected leaves of the ferns. Relatively little plant diversity is found in the understory of these patches, though epiphytes are abundant on the rich substrate of the leaf bases that surround the trunk of the ferns. It is surreal to step into these forests; it is like a portal to a forest of the Carboniferous period 360 million years ago. During this geologic period, forests were dominated by tree ferns (including Cyathea species with fronds identical to those living today) and their relatives, the horsetails and lycopods. These ancient relatives of these Cyathea make up much of the coal we use today.

 

Submission #45
Title: Starfish out of water
Author: Anne Lucy Virnig
Institution: The New York Botanical Garden / The Graduate Center, CUNY
Department: Graduate Studies Program
Family: Ericaceae
Taxon: Anthopterus wardii
Common Name: aengue mishito
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country:
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: This plant is one of many collected from the Neotropics by Jim Luteyn and maintained in the Nolen Greenhouses at The New York Botanical Garden. Mature berries were harvested and preserved in FAA, infiltrated, sectioned, and dyed using a saffranin and astra-blue staining series. Photographs were taken with a Zeiss Axioplan compound microscope equipped with a Nikon DXM1200C digital camera with ACT-1 software.

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Caption: Cross-section of a mature Neotropical blueberry (Anthopterus wardii).
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Chocó bioregion, stretching along the Pacific coast of Latin America from Southeastern Panama through Colombia to Northern Peru, is a biodiversity hotspot for the Neotropical blueberries (Vaccinieae, Ericaceae). These diverse Neotropical species are closely related to the well-known North American and European species such as blueberries, cranberries, and lingonberries, but have undergone explosive radiation and speciation in the microhabitats created by the uplift of the Andean cordilleras. Anthopterus wardii is one of the species found in this reason, is used locally as a curative, and is known for its beautiful flowers and berries. Interestingly, the berries of this species actually change colors four times over the course of ripening, transitioning from orange to pale green to white to purple. The "starfish" of the picture is thus actually the septa, or walls, that divide the ovary into chambers known as locules. These locules hold seeds that have been stained purple here and are surrounded by mucous tissue. Anthopterus wardii is 5-merous, meaning that it has five locules, and therefore an overall pentagonal shape that makes it appear reminiscent of a starfish. Similar to many Neotropical species, the internal anatomy of Anthopterus wardii is stunning, and presents a beautiful photograph with contrasts induced by the tissue-staining dyes.

 

Submission #46
Title: Leontopodium nivale, less-known medicinal plant endemic tu Bulgarian Pirin mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: Asteraceae; gen.:Leontopodium
Taxon: nivale (Ten.) Hand.-Mazz
Common Name: Rom.: "Floare de colt"; Germ.: "Edelweiß"
Season/time of year: August/Summer
Area: Pirin Planina Mts, close to Vihren peak
State/Province: Country: Bulgaria
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: SONY DSC-H3 F/3.5 1/125; ISO-125.; f=6mm; metering mode pattern, NO FLASH, aperture priority.

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Caption: Leontopodium nivale, less-known medicinal plant endemic tu Bulgarian Pirin mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ, below Vihren peak.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Leontopodium nivale (Ten.) Huet ex Hand.-Mazz. Syn Leontopodium nivale subsp. nivale Greuter is a (sub)species within Leontopodium genus, endemic to Bulgarian high mountains; e.g. Pirin Planina Mts. It is close relative to the well-known true Edelweiss L. alpinum Cass. Besides its symbolic and ornamental values, it is also a valuable medicinal plant traditionally used throughout its range (including ethnic Vlachs in Bulgaria) for various purposes. This image presents the general habitus and diagnostic features of L. nivale (Ten.) Huet ex Hand.-Mazz in situ in its native environment in Pirin Planina mts, just below Vihren peak.

 

Submission #47
Title: Helleborus sp medicinal plant, -probably Helleborus purpurascens, general habitus in bloom, in a Fagus forest in Romania.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: Ranunculaceae, gen.: Helleborus
Taxon: purpurascens
Common Name: Romanian = "spanz"
Season/time of year: Early Spring
Area: Cozia Mts
State/Province: Valcea county Country: Romania
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: SONY DSC-H3 F/3.5 1/125; ISO-125.; f=6mm; metering mode pattern, with FLASH compulsory, strobe return, aperture priority.

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Caption: Helleborus sp medicinal plant, probably Helleborus purpurascens Waldstein & Kitaibel general habitus in bloom, in situ in a Fagus forest in Cozia Mts. in Romania.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Helleborus, like many other genera in Ranunculaceae family is a genus with important medicinal uses. Its representatives are important medicinal plants having strong toxic activity. This in situ picture documents the habitus of Helleborus sp probably purpurascens Waldstein & Kitaibel -one of the first ranunculacean species blooming in spring-, within its typical habitat (Fagus forests) in Cozia mts. Romania. The natural habitat, in more or less dense populations in decidous, broad-leaved forests, in Romania typically dominated by Fagus

 

Submission #48
Title: Anemone nemorosa L. medicinal plant general habitus in bloom, in a Fagus forest in Romania.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: Ranunculaceae, gen.: Anemone
Taxon: nemorosa
Common Name: Romania: "floarea Pastelui"
Season/time of year: Early Spring
Area: Cozia Mts
State/Province: Valcea county Country: Romania
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Anemone nemorosa L. medicinal plant general habitus in bloom, in situ in a Fagus forest in Cozia Mts. in Romania.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Anemone, like many other genera in Ranunculaceae family is a genus with important medicinal uses. Its representatives are important medicinal plants having strong toxic activity. This in situ picture documents the habitus of Anemone nemorosa L. -one of the first ranunculacean species blooming in spring-, within its typical habitat (Fagus forests) in Cozia mts. Romania. The natural habitat, in more or less dense populations in decidous, broad-leaved forests, in Romania typically dominated by Fagus and Quercus, Carpinus

 

Submission #49
Title: Endemism
Author: Sally Stevens
Institution: Purdue University
Department: Botany and Plant Pathology
Family: Aceraceae
Taxon: Lecocarpus pinnatifidus
Common Name: Floreana daisy
Season/time of year:
Area: Floreana Island
State/Province: Galapagos Country: Ecuador
Longitude: Latitude:
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Scientific Description/Explanation: Endemic species are known for their unique and limited geographic distributions. A number of endemic species are found throughout the islands that compose the Galapagos. This picture displays the brilliant flowering pattern of the Floreana daisy (Lecocarpus pinnatifidus), a species that is endemic to a single, small island of the Galapagos, Floreana Island. Furthermore, all species within this genus are endemic to the Galapagos island chain. The isolation and limited habitat of many endemic species make them highly sensitive to changes in the environment. Global climate change and other anthropogenically driven environmental changes may push these amazing species into extinction.

 

Submission #50
Title: Anemone nemorosa L. medicinal plant general habitus in bloom, in a Fagus forest in Romania.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: family: Ranunculaceae, genus: Anemone
Taxon: nemorosa
Common Name: Romania: "floarea Pastelui"
Season/time of year: Early Spring
Area: Cozia Mts
State/Province: Valcea county Country: Romania
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Anemone nemorosa L. medicinal plant general habitus in bloom, in situ in a Fagus forest in Cozia Mts. in Romania.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Anemone, like many other genera in Ranunculaceae family is a genus with important medicinal uses. Its representatives are important medicinal plants having strong toxic activity. This in situ picture documents the habitus of Anemone nemorosa L. -one of the first ranunculacean species blooming in spring-, within its typical habitat (Fagus forests) in Cozia mts. Romania. The natural habitat, in more or less dense populations in decidous, broad-leaved forests, in Romania typically dominated by Fagus and Quercus, Carpinus

 

Submission #51
Title: Endemism
Author: Sally Stevens
Institution: Purdue University
Department: Botany and Plant Pathology
Family: Aceraceae
Taxon: Lecocarpus pinnatifidus
Common Name: Floreana daisy
Season/time of year:
Area: Floreana Island
State/Province: Galapagos Country: Ecuador
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: Endemic species are known for their unique and limited geographic distributions. A number of endemic species are found throughout the islands that compose the Galapagos. This picture displays the brilliant flowering pattern of the Floreana daisy (Lecocarpus pinnatifidus), a species that is endemic to a single, small island of the Galapagos, Floreana Island. Furthermore, all species within this genus are endemic to the Galapagos island chain. The isolation and limited habitat of many endemic species make them highly sensitive to changes in the environment. Global climate change and other anthropogenically driven environmental changes may push these amazing species into extinction.

 

Submission #52
Title: Beautiful but deadly
Author: Rachel Hackett
Institution: Central Michigan University
Department: Biology Department
Family: Melanthiaceae
Taxon: elegans
Common Name: white camas
Season/time of year: July
Area: Little Fawn River Prairie Fen/Montgomery
State/Province: Michigan Country: USA
Longitude: -84.93936Latitude: 41.761094
Additional Information: Sony CyperShot TX20

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Caption: Anticlea elegans (Pursh) Rydb. blooming in a prairie fen.
Scientific Description/Explanation: White camas (Anticlea elegans (Pursh) Rydb.) has also earned the common name "death camas" like many other species in this family. Every since portion of this plant from bulb to flower contains several poisonous steroid alkaloids of the veratrum group. White camas and other death camas don't only kill vertebrates that mistake it for edible onions (Allium spp.) or non-poisonous camas/hyacinth (Camassia spp.). The poison in the nectar and pollen of these plants can also kill insects and other potential pollinators. Only a few bee species have been found with tolerance to the poison, and this flower has been visited. Two of the six stamen on the flower photographed have lost their yellow balls of pollen to bees! This specialized relationship between the tolerant bees and poisonous camas is mutually beneficial. The bees benefit from the food source without competition from other pollinators, while the poisonous camas benefits by increasing the likelihood that the bee will take its pollen to another poisonous camas plant. With this toxic nectar and pollen, the poisonous camas reduces the number of generalist pollinators that will visit one plant, but not another of the same species where its pollen would be deposited without fertilization. The loss of pollen without fertilization is wasted energy for the plant. These species-specific mutualistic adaptations mark a great partnership, but can also be a burden. With a dozen species going extinct every day, the loss of one of these species is likely to cause the loss of the other.

 

Submission #53
Title: Delicate bells of a Campanula species, boldly defying high altitude harsh environments by populating rock crevices in Bulgarian Pirin mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ, below Vihren peak
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: Family Campanulaceae, genus: Campanula
Taxon:
Common Name: Englush =bellflowers, Romanian = clopotzei
Season/time of year: August/Summer
Area: Pirin Planina Mts, close to Vihren peak
State/Province: Country: Bulgaria
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Delicate bells of a Campanula species, boldly defying high altitude harsh environments by populating rock crevices in Bulgarian Pirin mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ, below Vihren peak
Scientific Description/Explanation: The scientific name for this genus, Campanula, (English =bellflowers, Romanian =clopotei) is the Latin translation of the word "bell", suggesting the characteristic shape of the flowers. Usually coming in various shades of blues through white, they bloom from late spring into late summer. They are a very important plant group in both ornamental and medicinal gardens although their alleged healing, symbolic and ritual properties are relatively less documented. This image presents the general habitus, diagnostic features and the extreme adaptation to life in rock crevices in situ in its native environment in the Bulgarian mountains of Pirin Planina, at an elevation of about 2500m, just below Vihren peak.

 

Submission #54
Title: Dianthus microlepis degenii endemic taxon and Sedum atratum, both blooming in Bulgarian Pirin Planina mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: CARYOPHYLLACEAE; gen.:Dianthus
Taxon: microlepis Boiss. ssp. degenii (Stoj. et Acht.) Peev et J. Zlatkova
Common Name: Romanian: "Garofita de munte";
Season/time of year: August/Summer
Area: Pirin Planina Mts, close to Vihren peak
State/Province: Country: Bulgaria
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: SONY DSC-H3 F/3.5 1/125; ISO-125.; f=6mm; metering mode pattern, ambient light, NO FLASH, aperture priority.

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Caption: Dianthus microlepis degenii, beautyfull rock garden plant endemic to Bulgarian high altitude mountains like Pirin mts, general habitus, here blooming in the company of Sedum atratum, in situ, below Vihren peak
Scientific Description/Explanation: Dianthus microlepis degenii is a subspecies within the genus Dianthus, endemic to Bulgarian high mountains; i.e. Pirin Planina Mts. It is a limestone/marble -loving plant with high symbolic and ornamental values, highly esteemed by rock gardeners for its beautiful blooming cushions characteristic for alpine plants. This image presents the general habitus and diagnostic features of Dianthus microlepis degenii in situ in its native environment in Pirin Planina mts, here blooming in the company of Sedum atratum, just below Vihren peak.

 

Submission #55
Title: Dianthus microlepis degenii endemic taxon in Bulgarian Pirin Planina mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: CARYOPHYLLACEAE; gen.:Dianthus
Taxon: microlepis Boiss. ssp. degenii (Stoj. et Acht.) Peev et J. Zlatkova.
Common Name: Romanian: "Garofita de munte";
Season/time of year: August/Summer
Area: Pirin Planina Mts, close to Vihren peak
State/Province: Country: Bulgaria
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: SONY DSC-H3 F/3.5 1/125; ISO-125.; f=6mm; metering mode pattern, NO FLASH, aperture priority.

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Caption: Dianthus microlepis degenii, beautyfull rock garden plant endemic to Bulgarian high altitude mountains like Pirin mts, general habitus, in situ, below Vihren peak.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Dianthus microlepis degenii is a subspecies within the genus Dianthus, endemic to Bulgarian high mountains; i.e. Pirin Planina Mts. It is a limestone/marble -loving plant with high symbolic and ornamental values, highly esteemed by rock gardeners for its beautyful blooming cushions characteristic for alpine plants. This image presents the general habitus and diagnostic features of Dianthus microlepis degenii in situ in its native environment in Pirin Planina mts, just below Vihren peak.

 

Submission #56
Title: Stomatal Complex
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Commelinaceae
Taxon: Zebrina pendula
Common Name: Wandering Jew
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country:
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: An air bubble trapped under a stomatal complex in wandering Jew, Zebrina pendula (Commelinaceae).
Scientific Description/Explanation: A trapped air bubble helps highlight the stomatal complex in the epidermis of a wandering Jew (Zebrina pendula or Tradescantia zebrina) leaf. Chloroplast molecules can be seen inside the two lipped-shaped guard cells surrounding the stoma. Nuclei are clearly visible in the four subsidiary cells surrounding the guard cells.

 

Submission #57
Title: Phantom orchid and crab spider
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Cephalanthera austiniae
Common Name: Phantom orchid
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Elk River Falls
State/Province: Idaho Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: A crab spider makes a meal out of one of the phantom orchid's (Cephalanthera austiniae) potential pollinators.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Phantom orchids (Cephalanthera austiniae) are a striking sight in the forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. The pure white plants are accented with a bright yellow spot on the lip petal of each flower. Crab spiders are an ever-present danger to pollinators on many flowers.

 

Submission #58
Title: Behold! The morel!
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Morchellaceae
Taxon: Morchella esculenta
Common Name: Morel
Season/time of year: Spring
Area:
State/Province: Idaho Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Morels (Morchella esculenta) are one of the most sought after edible spring mushrooms.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The edible morel mushroom (Morchella esculenta), is a favorite of fungi fanatics everywhere. Here a gorgeous example grows out of a bed of moss.

 

Submission #59
Title: Myosotis alpestris (olympica?), in Bulgarian Pirin Planina mts, general habitus in bloom, in situ.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: Boraginaceae ; gen.:Myosotis
Taxon: alpestris (olympica?),
Common Name: Romanian: "Nu-ma-uita de munte";
Season/time of year: August/Summer
Area: Pirin Planina Mts, close to Vihren peak
State/Province: Country: Bulgaria
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information: SONY DSC-H3 F/3.5 1/125; ISO-125.; f=6mm; metering mode pattern, NO FLASH, aperture priority.

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Caption: Myosotis alpestris, beautyfull plant from the Bulgarian high altitude mountains like Pirin mts, general habitus, in situ, below Vihren peak.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Myosotis alpestris is an alpine plant of the "forget me not" group, frequent in the Bulgarian high mountains; i.e. Pirin Planina Mts. It is a limestone/marble -loving plant with high symbolic and ornamental values, highly esteemed by rock gardeners for its beautyful blooming. This image presents the general habitus and diagnostic features of Myosotis alpestris in situ in its native environment in Pirin Planina mts, just below Vihren peak.

 

Submission #60
Title: Resilience
Author: Abby Glauser
Institution: University of Kansas
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Family: Cupressaceae
Taxon: Juniperus osteosperma
Common Name: Utah Juniper
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
State/Province: Colorado Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: The Utah Juniper twisting upward from the desert soil
Scientific Description/Explanation: Native to the southwestern United States, Juniperus osteosperma, the Utah Juniper, has evolved several strategies to endure the harsh conditions of desert ecosystems. This particular Utah Juniper was found nestled near the canyon rim in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where it must periodically withstand extreme heat, drought, and intense winds. First in its line of defense against arid conditions is the growth of a taproot. Extending up to 25 feet in depth, this large root grows vertically downward into the earth in search of moisture. The taproot also provides stability for the tree. In fact, even when toppled by wind or storms the Utah Juniper may continue to grow. Additional roots may extend laterally up to 100 feet away from their source to scavenge for limited resources, which allow these trees to be very competitive and often more successful than neighboring vegetation. The beautifully twisting trunk and branches of the Utah Juniper are the result of a drought resistance strategy, as well. The tree is capable of self-pruning, sacrificing entire limbs to conserve resources and instead allocate them to survival. Blocking the flow of nutrients to specific areas stops growth and kills the tissue, resulting in the aesthetically captivating morphology for which this desert species is commonly recognized.

 

Submission #61
Title: Brown's peony (Paeonia brownii).
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Paeoniaceae
Taxon: Paeonia brownii
Common Name: Brown's peony
Season/time of year:
Area: Sturgill Peak
State/Province: Idaho Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: The bright red and yellow blooms of Brown's peony (Paeonia brownii) are an early summer wildflower treat.
Scientific Description/Explanation: To appreciate the pendent blooms of Brown's peony (Paeonia brownii), one must get quite low to the ground. But it is well worth the trouble! Upon pollination the large carpels begin to grow and emerge out of the center of the flower.

 

Submission #62
Title: Fairly slipper orchids (Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Orchidaceae
Taxon: Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis
Common Name: Fairy slippers
Season/time of year: Spring
Area:
State/Province: Idaho Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Fairy slippers (Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes) are a common springtime orchid in many parts of the United States.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The delicate pink to purplish flowers of the fairy slipper orchid (Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes) arising from their single leaf are always a treat to find. There are four varieties of this circumboreal orchid with this being the western one: var. occidentalis.

 

Submission #63
Title: Graceful aging
Author: Daniel McNair
Institution: The University of Southern Mississippi
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Poaceae
Taxon: Ctenium aromaticum
Common Name: Toothache grass
Season/time of year: April
Area: DeSoto National Forest
State/Province: Mississippi Country: U.S.A.
Longitude: 88.929691Latitude: 31.522937
Additional Information: Nikon D3200, 100mm Tokina lens

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Caption: The remains of a toothache grass inflorescence
Scientific Description/Explanation: Toothache grass, named for the numbing effect of the isobutylamides it contains, is endemic to the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States where it grows in wet pine savannas. Like many other plants within the longleaf pine ecosystem, toothache grass usually flowers in response to fire. Young inflorescences appear relatively straight but begin to curl as they age and drop their seeds.

 

Submission #64
Title: California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica Torr.)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Sarraceniaceae
Taxon: Darlingtonia californica Torr.
Common Name: California pitcher plant
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Darlingtonia Wayside State Park
State/Province: Oregon Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Close-up of the complex flower of the California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica Torr.).
Scientific Description/Explanation: The California pitcher plant or cobra lily (Darlingtonia californica Torr.) is the only member of the Sarraceniaceae in the western United States. The large and complex flower is probably designed to be pollinated by bumblebees. When mature, the flower becomes erect and dries out to release its seeds. An easy place to see the California pitcher plant is at the Darlingtonia Wayside State Park along the southern coast of Oregon near Florence.

 

Submission #65
Title: Ctenicera pectinicornis (Linnaeus, 1758), a common click-beetle (Elateridae) with green metallic shine, perching on the top of a young fern, just unfolding close to a Fagus forest in Rarau mts. in NE-Romania.
Author: Valentin Barca
Institution: Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department: Pharmacognosy
Family: fam.: Elateridae (Coleoptera) , gen.: Ctenicera
Taxon: pectinicornis
Common Name: Green click-beetle
Season/time of year: Spring/early summer
Area: Rarau Mts
State/Province: Country: Romania
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Ctenicera pectinicornis (Linnaeus, 1758), a common click-beetle (Elateridae) with green metallic shine, perching on the top of a young fern, just unfolding close to a Fagus forest in Rarau mts. in NE-Romania.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Ctenicera pectinicornis (Linnaeus, 1758), a common click-beetle (Elateridae) with green metallic sheen, is an interesting example of color obtained by light interference on elitral surface. Organic pigments for green colors are hard for beetles to produce in nature, so these beetles developed on the surface of their body complex structures that reflect light selecting from the light spectrum only the wavelenghts seen as green. This way they are effectively green-colored with a specific metallic luster, similar to the (wet) foliage on which they perch. It is believed that this selective reflectance of metallic green light is used for camouflage against the shining leafy background. Some beetles reflect polarized light, believed to have a role in cryptic communication between sexes, just under the nose (or beaks) of the predators who can't perceive light polarization.

 

Submission #66
Title: California groundcone (Boschniakia strobilacea A. Gray)
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Orobanchaceae
Taxon: Boschniakia strobilacea A. Gray
Common Name: California groundcone
Season/time of year:
Area: Darlingtonia Wayside State Park
State/Province: Oregon Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: The parasitic California groundcone (Boschniakia strobilacea A. Gray)
Scientific Description/Explanation: The California groundcone (Boschniakia strobilacea A. Gray) is a parasitic plant in the broomrape family (Orobanchaceae). As a holoparasite, it derives all of its nutrients from the host plant. Groundcones can be found in forest and chaparral areas where it parasitizes manzanitas (Arctostaphylos sp.) and madrones (Arbutus menziesii).

 

Submission #67
Title: Huernia flower close-up.
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Apocynaceae
Taxon: Huearnia sp.
Common Name: Huernia
Season/time of year:
Area:
State/Province: Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: A close-up of a Huernia flower shows the tubercles on the petal surfaces and the elaborate central gynostegium.
Scientific Description/Explanation: The stapeliads, a group of stem succulent members of the Apocynaceae, are known for their complex reproductive structures that are a combination of the stigma and the stamens - the gynostegium. The gynostegium in stapeliads, such as this Huernia species, is often highly ornamented with outgrowths of the anthers. Many stapeliads also have a strong floral odor of decaying flesh to attract the carrion flies that pollinate them.

 

Submission #68
Title: Calochortus tolmiei Hook. & Arn.
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Liliaceae
Taxon: Calochortus tolmiei Hook. & Arn.
Common Name: Tolmie star-tulip
Season/time of year: Spring
Area: Eight Dollar Mountain
State/Province: Oregon Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Tolmie star-tulip (Calochortus tolmiei Hook. & Arn.) at Eight Dollar Mountain, Oregon.
Scientific Description/Explanation: Tolmie star-tulip (Calochortus tolmiei Hook. & Arn.) is one of several fuzzy petaled Chalochortus species that can be found in the western United States. It is common at Eight Dollar Mountain in southwestern Oregon, along with many other unique and endemic plants.

 

Submission #69
Title: Sweet briar rose (Rosa rubiginosa L.) and bee.
Author: James Riser
Institution: Washington State University
Department: School of Biological Sciences
Family: Rosaceae
Taxon: Rosa rubiginosa L.
Common Name: Sweet briar rose
Season/time of year: Summer
Area: Pullman
State/Province: Washington Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: Pollination in action!
Scientific Description/Explanation: A bee forages for pollen on a sweet briar rose (Rosa rubiginosa L.).

 

Submission #70
Title: Leopard lily and Port-Orford cedar sapling in serpentine seep
Author: Kelly Matsunaga
Institution: Humboldt State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Liliaceae; Cupressaceae
Taxon: Lilium pardalinum; Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Common Name: Leopard lily; Port-Orford cedar
Season/time of year:
Area: Arcata
State/Province: California Country: United States
Longitude: Latitude:
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Caption: These California natives were photographed at Horse Mountain Botanical Area in the Six Rivers National Forest of northern California.
Scientific Description/Explanation: This leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum) and it's neighbor, a Port-Orford cedar sapling (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), were found thriving in a wet seep on a serpentine hillside in northern California. Soils derived from serpentine rocks host unique plant communities due to high levels of iron and magnesium and low availability of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Thus, many plants found growing on serpentine substrates often have special adaptions essential for thriving in these environments. The leopard lily is frequently found in wet serpentine meadows, along with sedges and rushes (visible in the background!) and other native angiosperms (flowering plants). Port-Orford cedars are found in a variety of serpentine plant communities throughout its narrow range, which stretches from southwest Oregon to northwest California, and is an important component of the overstory in upland and riparian serpentine habitats.

 

Submission #71
Title: Groundbreaking botany
Author: Adam Schneider
Institution: University of California Berkeley
Department: Integrative Biology
Family: Orobanchaceae
Taxon: Orobanche cooperi
Common Name: Desert Broomrape
Season/time of year: February
Area: Mojave Desert, Riverside County
State/Province: California Country: USA
Longitude: 33.90327 NLatitude: 115.24853 W
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Caption: Flowers aren't always delicate: These inflorescences of the parasitic plant Orobanche cooperi are strong enough to heave the hard packed desert soil.
Scientific Description/Explanation: These sturdy racemes are the only part of this plant that is ever above ground. Orobanche remain underground for most of their life cycle, only emerging to reproduce, as captured in this photograph. Unlike most plants, Orobanche are able to maintain their lifestyle because they are non-photosynthetic and do not directly rely on the sun to capture energy. To acquire water, sugars, and nutrients they form direct vascular connections with other plants using a specialized organ called a haustorium (in this case, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola, see upper right). These dramatic changes in life history are also coupled with dramatic morphological changes such as the loss of chlorophyll, the reduction of leaves to scalelike bracts, and a lack of roots, as well as increased rates of molecular evolution compared to photosynthetic relatives.

 

Submission #72
Title: Groundbreaking botany
Author: Adam Schneider
Institution: University of California Berkeley
Department: Integrative Biology
Family: Orobanchaceae
Taxon: Orobanche cooperi
Common Name: Desert Broomrape
Season/time of year: February
Area: Mojave Desert, Riverside County
State/Province: California Country: USA
Longitude: 33.90327 NLatitude: 115.24853 W
Additional Information:

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Caption: Flowers aren't always delicate: These inflorescences of the parasitic plant Orobanche cooperi are strong enough to heave the hard packed desert soil.
Scientific Description/Explanation: These sturdy racemes are the only part of this plant that is ever above ground. Orobanche remain underground for most of their life cycle, only emerging to reproduce, as captured in this photograph. Unlike most plants, Orobanche are able to maintain their lifestyle because they are non-photosynthetic and do not directly rely on the sun to capture energy. To acquire water, sugars, and nutrients they form direct vascular connections with other plants using a specialized organ called a haustorium (in this case, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola, see upper right). These dramatic changes in life history are also coupled with dramatic morphological changes such as the loss of chlorophyll, the reduction of leaves to scalelike bracts, and a lack of roots, as well as increased rates of molecular evolution compared to photosynthetic relatives.

 

Submission #73
Title: Milkvetch (Astragalus sp.) on a moonscaped desert wash
Author: Glenn Shelton
Institution: Humboldt State University
Department: Biological Sciences
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Taxon: Astragalus sp.
Common Name: milkvetch
Season/time of year: New Year's Day, 2014
Area: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
State/Province: California Country: USA
Longitude: Latitude:
Additional Information:

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Caption:
Scientific Description/Explanation: Milkvetches or locoweeds (Astragalus species) form the largest genus of flowering plants in the world. With over 2500 species occurring in temperate zones worldwide, this comes as no surprise. Although milkvetches, which are in the well-known pea family (Fabaceae or Leguminosae), are fairly easy to recognize as a group, identification at the level of species is notoriously difficult among botanists, often requiring a large set of traits pertaining to detailed flower and fruit morphology. Several individuals of this milkvetch (likely Borrego milkvetch, Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus) were caught in full bloom on a sunny New Year’s Day (2014) in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (mouth of Fish Creek Wash), California. The plants were scattered across a dry, expansive moonscaped creek wash, yet were thriving likely due to their deep taproots penetrating groundwater reserves.

 

Submission #74
Title: Evening Primrose Ghost town
Author: Adam Schneider
Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Integrative Biology
Family: Onagraceae
Taxon:
Common Name: Evening Primrose
Season/time of year: February
Area: Mojave Desert
State/Province: California Country: USA
Longitude: 34.0 NLatitude: 122.3 W
Additional Information:

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Caption: Long after the seeds are dispersed, the capsules and infructescence axes of Onagraceae persist in the arid Mojave Desert
Scientific Description/Explanation: The Onagraceae are a large widely distributed family of plants, but especially diverse in the New World temperate zones. In the desert, where the arid climate inhibits decomposition, the 4-valved locucidal capsules typical of the family may persist on the infructescence axis for months or years. Some species can easily be identified this way. For example, Oenathera deltoides is also called the birdcage primrose or basket primrose because when the outer branches dry, they arc up forming a dome around the central spike. No matter the species, it can be quite an eery scene to come across fields of these skeletons in the desert.

 

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