Commentary

Looking for Wood

Editor:

I am interested in obtaining roughly an half kilogram sample of a wood known as "Coatl" or "Tlapal ezpatli" which is a tall shrub like a pear tree with wood which is of a white color.

The wood was described by Nicolas Monardes (1493-1588) as "Palo para los males de los rinones y de urina" and is known in Latin as "Lignum nephriticum." In solution, this wood demonstrates fluorescence and an azure blue color or an yellow color depending upon orientation to light rays.

Perhaps you could suggest to me a source for a sample of this wood. Your assistance will be appreciated.

- Ralph C. Panian 1801 Colton Blvd. Billings MT 59102


Looking for Wood

Editor:

The chairman of the Department of Biology at Carleton University has decreed that no courses or research using in-house specimens of vascular plants in the department's herbarium, CCO (or of vertebrates in the Carleton University Museum of Zoology) will be offered in the foreseeable future, and that virtually all specimens must be discarded, unless new homes can be found for them. As this outrageous, short-sighted and professionally irresponsible plan to consign many valuable teaching, reference, historical, and research specimens, some irreplaceable, to a garbage dump is wasteful and abhorrent to me, I am trying to locate institutions where they will be maintained in perpetuity, used, and appreciated.

Accordingly, I am directing this notice to herbaria, museums, and university departments of botany or biology housing scientists interested in teaching and research on structural adaptations of whole organisms, biodiversity, systematics, biogeography, and related subjects based on well-prepared and documented herbarium/museum specimens.

Our herbarium was established in 1952 and curated by E.A.O. Tumau, W.I. Illman, and I.L. Bayly, all now retired. CCO contains over 32,000 catalogued and many uncatalogued vascular plants primarily from North America, but there are also many specimens from the West Indies, north and south Africa, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. For instance, there are many specimens of pitcher-plants (Nepenthes) from southeast Asia.

To obtain more information about the collection and/or to express tentative interest in accepting all or subsets of the plants, please contact Dr. Donald A. Smith, Department of Biology, Carleton University, I 1 25 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K I S 5B6. Telephone (613) 520-2600 ext. 3879; fax (613) 520-4497; or leave a message for me with Adam Baker at adbaker@ccs.carleton.ca.

-Donald A. Smith
Associate Professor (retired)
Carleton University


News from Donetsk Botanical Gardens

Editor:

I am Serghej A. Bychkov, have been a member of the Botanical Society of America since 1996. 1 am a graduate student of the Donetsk Botanical Gardens of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences. In 1995-96 my scientific supervisor Dr.lvan I. Korshikov published two books:

Korshikov I.I. et. al. Interaction of plants with the technogenically polluted environment. - Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 1995, 191 pp.

Korshikov I.I. Adaptation of plants to the conditions of technogenically polluted environment. - Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 1996, 238 pp.

Both books are in Russian with the English summary and Contents. Unfortunately, these books are still unknown to western scientists. Will you be so kind to give us a helping hand in allocation of an information on these books in the Plant Science Bulletin. I think this information will be very interesting for the botanists, and other scientists and enable them to acquaint with plant ecology and genetic investigations in Ukraine. The summary and contents of thise books are enclosed [see editor's note below]. If you are interested in the books mentioned I'll send them with pleasure to you. Thank you very much in advance. Looking forward to hear from you. Best wishes.

- Serghej A. Bychkov
The Donetsk Botanical Gardens
Ukr. Nat. Acad. Sciences
Illych's Avenue, 110 Donetsk, 340059, UKRAINE
E-mail:sad@botgar.donetsk.ua

[Editors note: I will be happy to forward via e-mail the summaries and contents of Dr. Korshikov's books to any readers sending a request with their e-mail addresses to leverich@slu.edu.]

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