Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1963 v9 No 1 Spring
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 9 JANUARY 1963 NUMBER 1
Botanical Investigations in Baja California, Mexico
IRA L. WIGGINS
Baja California is a peninsula about 725 miles long, ex-tending southeast from the International Boundary between it and the State of California. Its width varies from 20 to 125 miles and its topography from extensive flats only a few feet above sea level, through rolling foothills, to rugged mountains that rise to heights of between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level, to an extreme of 10,126 feet in the Sierra San Pedro Martir toward the northern end of the peninsula. Baja California is geologically old, but its history as a peninsula has been interrupted several times. The Cape Region at the southern tip of the peninsula, and most of the main mountain masses, were island refugia from time to time after the Cretaceous. These refugia have allowed persistence of plants and animals that were exterminated elsewhere in the vicinity when changes in sea level or subsidence of the land mass inundated the lower plains and slopes. Hence the biota of Baja California shows characteristics unlike those of any contiguous region.
The geology of the peninsula is complex. In general, the mountain ranges in the northern third of the peninsula are made up primarily of granites and diorites, with volcanic cones and lava flows occurring east and northwest of them. In the central part of the peninsula the volcanics are more extensive, with cones and great expanses of lava flows dominating the landscape. Hundreds of square miles of lava-covered plateaus occupy the central part, from north to south, of the peninsula. In the Cape Region, also the country rock is predominantly granitic and dioritic, with volcanic extrusives present east of the Sierra de la Laguna and Sierra Victoria. Faulting has been extensive. Mineralization is above average in some areas, and startlingly rugged escarpments are common along the eastern coast. The crest of the main axis of the series of mountain ranges is consider-ably nearer the Gulf of California than it is to the Pacific, and the slope from the Pacific coast to the peninsular divide is gradual, whereas it is very abrupt toward the east. Deep canyons cut into the plateaus and mountain ranges, and provide a variety of habitats for fauna and flora.
The annual rainfall throughout the peninsula is relatively low. According to records in Mexico City, the average annual precipitation at Ensenada—on the west coast 65 miles south of the California line—is 13.03 inches, 6.81 inches at La Paz, and only 2.99 inches at Mexicali. In the north, rainfall is confined almost entirely to the winter months, excepting the higher parts of the Sierra San Pedro Martir, while in the southern half of the peninsula most of the rain falls in the summer, but with a little coming in the winter. In the Viscaino Desert, and in the northeastern part of the peninsula around Mexicali and San Felipe, several years may elapse with no rainfall at all! Snow falls regularly in the Sierra San Pedro and Sierra Juarez, but is very rare in the Sierra de la Laguna in the Cape Region. A Mexican ranchero, who served as guide on one pack trip into the Sierra de la Giganta about 70 miles north of La Paz, had heard of, but never seen, snow during his 57 years as a resident.
Paved roads are confined to the northern quarter and the southern third of the peninsula, and are not numerous in either district. The areas between, from 65 miles south of Ensenada to the north end of the Magdalena Plains 230 kilometers north of La Paz, boast only one-lane dirt or rocky tracks that are always rough, almost totally unmarred by sign posts or direction markers, and after rare heavy rains may remain impassable to motor vehicles for days or weeks. These car-racking roads, and their worst laterals, lead to a surprising number of canyons, ranches, active or abandoned mines, salt flats, coastal fishing camps, and a few resorts. It is possible to get into much of the peninsula, and to observe or collect specimens of plants native to this arid strip of land that makes up the extreme northwesterly part of Mexico.
Botanical exploration in Baja California began in 1696 when the Jesuits established the first permanent mission near Loreto. Three different books written by Jesuits devoted some space to the plants of Baja California: Venegas, 1i57; Baegert, 1771; Clavigero, 1789. Their accounts were general, but one can identify a number of the plants they mentioned. Clavigero's description of Idria columnaris, to which he gave no name, was quite accurate. In 1191, Jose Longinos Martinez attempted to explore both Baja California and Alta California (Simpson, 1938), and traveled from San Jose del Cabo to Monterey in Alta California with only a small military escort. His main interest was in minerals, but he collected a few plants believed to have medicinal value. He sent seeds to Spain, together with specimens of birds, mammals, reptiles, gums, and resins. Unfortunately, no publication based on his plants appeared.
The English survey ship, H. M. S. Sulphur, touched Baja
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California in 1839, and the ship's surgeon, Richard Brinsley Hinds, collected plants at several localities along the peninsula's west coast. His collections were described by Bentham (1844). A second English ship, H. M. S. Herald, entered Mexican waters in 1845-185o, where the botanist, Berthold Seemann, collected plants along the west coast, but got fewer specimens than might have been expected, for he left the ship before she entered the Gulf of California.
The governments of the United States and Mexico cooperated in surveying the International Boundary as defined in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and carried out the work from 1849 to 1856. Dr. Charles C. Parry had charge of the botanical and geological investigations between Fort Yuma and San Diego. Dr. George Engelmann reported on the cacti collected during the survey (1859), some of the specimens having been obtained in Baja California.
The next botanist to collect specimens in Baja California was John Xantus de Vesey, who was employed by the U. S. Coast Survey and the Smithsonian Institution to make tidal observations and to collect natural history material in the Cape Region. He was at Cabo San Lucas from April, 1859, until the middle of 1861, and made large collections of birds, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants. His collection of 121 numbers of plants was worked up by Asa Gray (186i). He collected no cacti.
Among others who collected plants in Baja California, were John A. Veatch in 1859, for whom Albert Kellogg (1859-1863) named one of the elephant trees [Rhus veatchiana Kellogg, now called Pachycormus discolor var. veatchiana (Kell.) Gentry]; William Gabb, who made an overland trip from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego in 1867, and collected a few plants, most of them cacti—Engelmann based Main miliaria gabbii and Ferocactus (as Cereus) peninsulae on Gabb's specimens; Louis Agassiz, who collected a few cacti at Magdalena Bay in 1872; Miss Fannie
Fish, who lived in Ensenada in 1882 and collected plants nearby, some of which she gave to C. C. Parry; and C. G. Pringle, who accompanied Parry and Jones on a trip to Ensenada in 1882.
Dr. Edward Palmer first visited Baja California in 1870 when he spent two days on Carmen Island. In 1875 he was on Guadalupe Island three months and revisited it in 1889. In 1887 he collected at Mulege and at Los Angeles Bay. During the 1889 season, on the same trip during which he revisited Guadalupe Island, Palmer collected at San Quintin, Lagoon Head, and San Benito and Cedros Islands. Late in 1889, Palmer and T. S. Brandegee sailed from San Francisco, California, for Baja California. Brandegee stopped at Magdalena Bay, but Palmer continued to La Paz, where he collected loo numbers. Later, Palmer traveled to Guaymas, Sonora, and back to Santa Rosalia and to several islands in the Gulf of California. His collections from the various Baja California trips were reported on by Sereno Watson (1875, 1889, 1890), and by Vasey and Rose (189oa, 189ob). His last collecting trip to Baja California was in November, 189o, when he revisited Carmen Island. His collection of 68 numbers from Carmen Island was reported by Rose (1892).
In April, 1882, Marcus E. Jones and C. C. Parry hired C. R. Orcutt and his older brother, Ben, to take them from San Diego to the vicinity of Ensenada by team and wagon. C. G. Pringle accompanied them, but with his own rig and assistant. Rosa minutifolia, Echinocereus maritimus, and Aesculus parryi were collected on that trip. Jones made subsequent trips to northern Baja California in 1923, 1924, and 1927, and in 1926 and 1928 he collected large numbers of specimens on long trips from Santa Rosalia to the Cape Region. In 1930, he revisited some of the areas he had explored earlier and added two of the Gulf islands and a few peninsular areas not touched previously. He reported on much of his material in his "Contributions" 15, 16 and 18 (1929 to 1934).
Orcutt began collecting plants as an independent field worker almost immediately after his trip to Ensenada with Jones and Parry. He discovered Gilia orcuttii near Guadalupe Valley, a few miles southest of Tijuana, in June, 1882, and made another trip into northern Baja California in the fall of the same year, and two more in 1883. In 1886, Orcutt traveled to Mision San Fernando, nearly 250 miles from Tijuana, and found Pachyoerus (Cereus) orcuttii. That strange cactus was not found again in the wild until 1950. It has just been described as an intergeneric hybrid between Pachycereus pringlei and Bergerocactus emoryi (Moran, 1962) and bears the name X Pachgerocereus orcuttii l
Dr. Edward L. Greene, a member of the Botany Department at the University of California for many years, devoted about a month to collecting in Baja California in 1885. Although this was the only field trip he made to Baja California, he described a number of new species native to Baja California from specimens collected by others.
Short collecting trips into northern Baja California were made by J. G. Lemmon in 1888, and by C. G. Pringle in
1899. The latter had this trip cut short by shipwreck at Lagoon Head, whence he made his way inland to Calmalli and Mision Santa Gertrudis before returning to San Diego. Walter E. Bryant, whose main interest was ornithology, made a few small collections of plants in the southern half of the peninsula between 1885 and 1888.
T. S. Brandegee spent more time in Baja California between 1889 and 1902 that any other botanist had given to the peninsula prior to 1900. He landed on Magdalena Island in January, 1889, collected there and on the adjacent peninsula for about a month, then worked northward by pack train, arriving at San Quintin May 22, 1889. An account of the trip was published promptly (Brandegee, 1889). In 1890 he made a trip to the Cape Region, riding from Magdalena Bay to Todos Santos with a Mexican boy as guide, went to Sinaloa by steamer in early February, returned to the Cape in September, and collected at a number of localities between La Paz and San Jose del Cabo before November 189o. He reported on this trip in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (Brandegee, 1891). Again in 1892, accompanied by Walter E. Bryant and Gustav Eisen who were collecting for the California Academy of Sciences, Brandegee collected in the Cape Regon.
In 1893, Brandegee and five others packed into the Sierra San Pedro Martir, crossed the range to the desert side, then retraced their steps to San Diego. This was the first botanical expedition into that part of Baja California. In September and October of 1893, Brandegee made two more trips to the Cape Region, accompanied by Mrs. Brandegee on the first, and by Gustav Eisen on the second trip.
Brandegee made his next trip into Baja California in 1897, when he collected on a numebr of the islands between San Diego and Guadalupe Island, and at several localities along the west coast of the peninsula south of Punta Eugenia. He visited southern Baja California again in the fall of 1899, when a very dry year made collecting disappointing, and made his final trip into the area in November, 1902. No botanist, before or since Brandegee, has done as much botanical exploring in the Cape Region as he did. He published nearly two score papers, two of them nearly of book length, and described many new species. Ecological and utilization notes accompanied many of his formal descriptions of new plants or mention of older ones.
A French chemical engineer named Leon Diguet was stationed at Santa Rosalia with the Boleo Company from 1889 to 1892, and collected specimens for the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. These collections were so interesting that the director of the Museum arranged for him to return to Baja California and devote full time to collecting natural history material. He spent 17 months on a field expedition from Santa Rosalia to the Cape Region, with many side trips to interesting spots, and visited several islands and Los Angeles Bay. He revisited Baja California in 1900, 1904, and 1913. A number of plants and animals were named in his honor, and he wrote a book, "Les Cactacees Utiles du Mexique," published posthumously in 1928. His photographs of plants were superb.
The Fur Seal Investigations extended to Guadalupe Island in 1897, and W. R. Dudley (1899) reported on the small collection of plants obtained there.
D. T. MacDougal collected a few plants in the vicinity of San Felipe, near the head of the Gulf of California in 1904, and another small suite along the delta of the Colorado River and in the Cocopah Mountains south of Mexicali in 1905. His specimens were deposited in the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden, but were not the basis for any special taxonomic report.
The United States Biological Survey sponsored an expedition into Baja California that was very productive. E. W. Nelson was in charge, with A. E. Goldman as his assistant. They outfitted at Ensenada, left that village on May 31, 1905, and journeyed to the mining town of Alamo, thence south the length of the peninsula. They crossed the peninsula eight times during the trip, and visited a number of islands off both coasts. They left La Paz by steamer and reached San Diego March 1906. Their main emphasis was on birds and mammals, but 21 new species of plants were described from their collections. Nelson published an excellent paper on the itinerary and general resources of the peninsula (Nelson, 1921), and Goldman treated the plants (1916).
Dr. J. N. Rose was the botanist on the 1911 cruise of the Albatross along the west coast of Baja California and into the Gulf as far north as Los Angeles Bay. With some help from members of the crew he collected 'Soo numbers of herbarium specimens and obtained over l000 plants of living cacti. The cactus plants were invaluable to him and N. L. Britton during the preparation of The Cactaceae, a four-volume monograph (Britton and Rose, 1919-1923). His collections included undescribed species belonging in a number of other families also.
The next important botanical collecting was done by Ivan M. Johnston, botanist on the California Academy of Science's 1921 expedition to the Gulf of California. The cruise, aboard a 65-foot motorship, began at Guaymas, Sonora, on April 16 and ended at the same port July to, 1921. They touched at a number of points along the coast of Baja California, and landed on most of the islands in the Gulf. Johnston gave a full account of the botanical exploration during the cruise (1924). The specimens are deposited at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
During the 1920's, biologists interested in the flora of Baja California increased in number, and scarcely a year passed without one or more working on the peninsula or on some of its islands. Some made collections, others studied the ecological and phytogeographical aspects of the vegetation. Among them were Forrest Shreve in 1924; Herbert L. Mason in 1925; Lawrence M. Huey in 1926 and 1927; Howard L. Gates, a plant dealer interested in cacti, in 1928, 1930 and during several different years prior to World War II. Over a score of names would have to be added to the
list to complete a roster of those who made collections or observed the ecology and phytogeography of the peninsula just prior to and after World War II. Many contributed importantly to our knowledge of the vegetation of the peninsula.
I was fascinated by E. W. Nelson's Lower California and its Natural Resources (1921), and teamed with John W. Gillespie, who was also a graduate student in botany at Stanford University, to make a collecting trip into northern Baja California in September, 1929. We defrayed the expenses of the trip by selling several sets from the 300 numbers collected. Later, we planned to continue the botanical exploration of Baja California and prepare a flora of the peninsula. But, John Gillespie was prostrated by pneumonia following a very strenuous summer of study at Kew Gardens, and died at his parent's home in Georgia immediately after his return to the United States.
I retained my interest in Baja California, and supported by a grant from Ernest and Harry Dudley, made three extended field trips into the peninsula during 1930 and 1931. The first was to Rancho Jaraguay, El Marmol, and Playa Santa Catarina; the second was into the Sierra San Pedro Martir with Delzie Demaree as companion and aide; and the third covered the full length of the peninsula, with Professor James I. McMurphy of Stanford University as the second member on the expedition. Each trip was productive of species not previously described, the one to the San Pedro Martir in August and September of 1930 revealing 14 new species and a new genus.
Work was slowed down by the stringencies of the depression from 1932 to 1934, but I made trips of varying lengths into Baja California between 1935 and 1949. Part of this work was in connection with a long-term study of the Sonoran Desert sponsored by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Such trips were usually in association with Forrest Shreve and T. D. Mallery of the Desert Laboratory at Tucson, Arizona. Other field expeditions were sup-ported by Dr. Albert M. Vollmer, who accompanied me in the field and shared my enthusiasm for the plants of Baja California. I had to neglect the peninsula for sevaral years, but was able to do extensive field work there again between the autumn of 1958 and the present, through the generosity of Mr. K. K. Bechtel, President of the Belvedere Scientific Fund. This support has made possible over a dozen trips into Baja California since 1958, and others are planned for the near future.
Most of the botanical exploration chronicled above dealt with collection of herbarium specimens. But some work on the ecology, cytology, and anatomy of Baja California plants has been done by Forrest Shreve in connection with the study of the Sonoran Desert (Shreve, 1951); Donald A. Johansen, who published several papers on morphology and anatomy; Harlan Lewis and his students, in cytotaxonomy; Howard Scott Gentry, who had a keen interest in isolated communities in desert ranges; Flora Murray Scott, who investigated the anatomy of Fouquieria splendens; and a number of workers using cytotaxonomic techniques.
Present interest in the area is high. Active research projects are in progress at several institutions. Miss Annetta M. Carter, Principal Herbarium Botanist at the University of California, Berkeley, is continuing field work in the Sierra de la Giganta begun in 1947. She has penetrated several parts of that range not entered by other botanists. E. Yale Dawson, until recently Chief Biologist at the Beaudette Foundation, now at the Alan Hancock Foundation, concentrates on the marine algae of western Mexico, but has an interest in cacti and studies them when practicable. Dr. George E. Lindsay, Director of the Natural History Museum of San Diego, California, has studied the cacti of Baja California since the middle 1930's and continues his field research whenever possible. He has described a number of new species based on his own and others' collections, and has a large number of growing plants under daily observation at the Museum.
A close associate of Dr. Lindsay, Dr. Reid V. Moran, has been involved in a study of the phytogeography of Baja California for several years, with special emphasis on the Crassulaceae and on the plants of the islands. He has much unpublished information on Guadalupe Island, which he has visited on numerous trips, and from which he continues to obtain new records. As his work with insular floras expanded, he turned his attention to the islands in the Gulf of California, and has a great deal of valuable information about their vegetation. He is working also on the vegetation on the Sierra San Borja, the Sierra Calamajue and the region immediately adjacent to Los Angeles Bay.
Dr. Cornelius Muller, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been occupied with the systematics of the oaks of western North America for many years. He has visited several areas in Baja California, including the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Sierra de la Laguna, and Cedros Island, and has described several oaks from the peninsula and clarified the status of others.
Duncan M. Porter, who earned the M. A. degree from Stanford University with work on the Zygophyllaceae of Baja California, spent part of December, 1958, and from January to the middle of March, 196o, in Baja California. He is continuing advanced work on the genus Kallstroemia as a candidate for the Ph. D. degree at Harvard, and will be obliged to do more field work in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico.
Several botanists dealing with monographic problems that impinge on Baja California have some interest in the peninsula, although few of them confine their attention to that geographical unit. Material is supplied them, as opportunity permits, by those active in exploratory work in Baja California.
I began a systematic study of the plants of the Sonoran Desert in 1932, in association with Forrest Shreve, supported by the Carnegie Institution of Washington while in the field. The manuscript for that book has been completed and should be published within a year. It covers a large percentage of the flora of Baja California because much of the peninsula lies within the confines of the Sonoran Desert
as defined by Shreve (1951). But it does not treat the plants in the chaparral, the oak-coniferous forests of the Sierra Juarez, and the coniferous stands in the higher parts of the Sierra San Pedro Martir and in the Sierra de la Laguna in the Cape Region. Nor does it cover the semitropical vegetation at lower elevations in the Cape Region.
Therefore, it seemed desirable that complete coverage be given the vascular plants of the peninsula of Baja California, and I and my close associate, Dr. John Hunter Thomas, began planning toward preparation of such a book in 1958, and collected specimens and other data to that end on several field trips from 1959 forward. Our field work has been done, on trips from a few days to over two months in duration, each month except July. Financial support for this field work has been provided by the Belvedere Scientific Fund and is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr. Thomas and I now hold a contract with the Stanford University Press to prepare a manuscript for a book entitled A guide to the plants of Baja California, Mexico, with publication planned for the winter of 1964. In order to make it truly a guide that can be used by both professional botanists and by those who are attracted chiefly by the beauty of conspicuous native plants, numerous line drawings and a reasonable number of colored plates will be included.
Following the completion of the "Guide" Dr. Thomas plans a technical Flora of the Cape Region, and expects that about five years will elapse before that manuscript can be completed.
The San Francisco Bay Region in California has become an important center for taxonomic studies of the plants of Baja California, for the most extensive collections, in the aggregate, from Baja California now are on deposit in the herbaria of the California Academy of Sciences, at the University of California in Berkeley, and at Stanford University. Important older collections, containing many type specimens, are at Kew, the Gray Herbarium at Havard, in the United States National Herbarium in Washington, D. C., at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri, and at the New York Botanical Garden. The collections in the San Diego Natural History Museum are growing steadily, and are particularly valuable for anyone interested in the plants of the islands along both coasts of the peninsula.
Mr. K. K. Bechtel, President of the Belevedere Scientific Fund, has a keen personal interest in the native plants of Baja California, especially in certain bizarre desert plants and in the annuals that develop so rapidly after rains moisten the ground. Consequently, a plan has been formulated to study a restricted area intensively, paying attention to the total biota insofar as that is practical. Tentative selection of a few square miles along the Gulf of California coast near Mulege has been made and some preliminary explorations done. This project will require several years, with field parties studying the area at different seasons.
The above outline of current activities in Baja California, planned and executed by citizens of the United States, neglects the role of Mexican scientists. There has been cooperation among botanists of both countries, and representatives from the Instituto de Biologia at the University of Mexico, have participated in some of the field trips mentioned above. Further joint efforts are envisioned, and duplicate sets of all materials collected are forwarded to the Instituto and to the Department of Agriculture and Public Works in compliance with requirements of the Mexican Government. Dr. Enrique Beltran, Director of the Institute for the Conservation of Renewable Natural Resources, and Professors Miranda, Martinez, and Matuda, all botanists at the Instituto de Biologia of the University of Mexico, and Dr. Roberto Llamas, Director of the Instituto de Biologia, have been most helpful in arranging for permits and in facilitating our work in Mexico.
A word of caution to anyone planning to collect in Mexico—allow sufficient time to secure adequate collecting permits (usually three to six months), observe the regulations governing the use of such permits scrupulously, and remember that "Norte Americanos" operating in Mexico are the foreigners, and that their presence in the country is a privilege rather than a "right" to be demanded.
The extensive activity dealing with the botany of Baja California outlined above might make one think the area is being overworked. Such is hardly the case, for changes in the character of the vegetation from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, from Mexicali to Ensenada, and from the islands off Loreto to the westerly ones of Guadalupe and Cedros, are little less than amazing. Plants commonly confined to deserts, and mostly at elevations below 3,500 feet, occur on south facing ridges of the Sierra San Pedro Martir as high as 6,000 feet above sea level. In contrast, deep, vertical-walled canyons in the Sierra de la Giganta have lush banks of maidenhair ferns growing on deeply shaded banks less than 300 feet above, and no more than three miles from, the Gulf of California.
Contrasts in the annual rainfall from one year to another are just as extraordinary. The average annual rainfall at La Paz is about seven inches, and that at Loreto, 125 miles to the northwest, about the same. Some years no rain falls at all and the country is scorched. In another year, a tropical hurricane may swing far enough north to strike the peninsula and rainfall amounting to a full five years' total may fall within a few hours! Such a "chubasco" raked the southern half of the peninsula on September 9, 1959, and destroyed over too dwellings in Loreto, washed out miles of road, did heavy damage to crops and date groves at San Ignacio and La Purisima, and took half a dozen lives when the floods roared down canyons and across desert bajadas.
These floods filled dry lake beds that had held no water for decades, and brought forth a display of wild flowers that surpassed description. One laguna, as these dry lake beds are called locally, was six miles long and a third as wide in November, 1959, and around its margins were actually hundreds of acres bearing dense stands of Marsilea. Similar
concentrations of this water fern were found near El Arco, where the writer had examined the dry flats three times in past years and twice since 1959 without finding a solitary plant of Marsilea. Some of the annual flowering plants are almost as sensitive to moisture conditions as the water fern, and one has to visit and revisit an area in order to find all of the species that occur there under varying ecological conditions.
There are areas very difficult of access, where even pack animals cannot be used and one must proceed under his own leg power. Water is always a problem toward the end of the dry season—and in some areas virtually the year around. Local food supplies are scanty or nil. Heat prostration is a common threat. Yet the country holds an appeal that is hard to resist, and botanical rewards are great. It will be a long time before the botanical investigations in Baja California are completed.
BAEGERT, J. J. 1771. Nachrichten von der amcrikanischen I-lalbinsel California. Mannheim(?) [Translated into English by M. M. Brandenburg and Carl L. Bauman as "Observations in Lower California." Univ. California Press. Berkeley. 1952.]
BENTHAM, G. 1844. The botany of the voyage of H. M. S. Sulphur.
The botanical descriptions. Smith, Elder and Company. London. BRANDEosx, T. S. 1889. Plants from Baja California. Proc. Calif. Acad.
II, 2: 117-216.
1891. Flora of the Cape Region of Baja California. Proc. Calif. Acad. II, 3: to8—182.
BRITTON, N. L., AND J. N. RosE. 1919-1923. The Cactaceae. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. No. 248, vol. I, viii + 236 pp.; vol. 2, vii + 239 pp.; vol. 3, vii + 255 pp.; vol. 4, vii + 318 pp. Washington, D. C.
CLAVIGERO, F. X. 1789. Storia delta California. M. Fenzo. Venice. [Translated into English by Sara A. Lake and A. A. Gray as "Clavigero's History of (Lower) California." Stanford Univ. Press. ,937.1
DUDLEY, W. R. 1899. A record of plants collected on Guadalupe Island in June 1897. In: Fur seals and fur seal islands of the North Pacific Ocean, Part 3. U. S. Government Printing Office. Washington, D. C. pp. 28o-283.
ENGELMANN, G. 1859. Cactaceae of the Boundary. In: Emory, W. H. Report of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. Nichol-son. Washington, D. C.
GOLDMAN, E. A. 1916. Plant records of an expedition to Lower California. Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16: 309—371.
GRAY, A. ,861. Enumeration of a collection of dried plants made by L. J. Xantus at Cape San Lucas in Lower California between August, 1859 and February, 186o. Proc. Amer. Acad. 5: 153—173.
JOHNSTON, I. M. 1924. Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Gulf of California. The Botany (The Vascular Plants). Proc. Calif. Acad. IV, 12: 951-1218.
JoNEs, M. E. 1929—1934. Contributions to Western botany. Numbers 15(1929), 16(1930), and 18(1933 and 1934). Published by the author. Claremont, California.
KELLOGG, A. 1859—1863. Plants collected by Dr. John A. Veatch on Cedros Island. Proc. Calif. Acad. 2: 15-20, 21-27, 33—35, 37.
MORAN, R. V. 1962. Pachycereus orcuttii—A puzzle solved. Cactus & Succ. Jour. 34: 88—94•
NELSON, E. W. 1921. Lower California and its natural resources. Mena. Nat. Acad. Sci. 16: 1—194.
Ross, J. N. 1892. List of plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer in 1890
on Carmen Island. Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. It 129—134.
Stutava, F. 195t. Vegetation of the Sonoran Desert. Carnegie Inst. Wash.
Pub]. No. 591. Xi + 192 pp.
SIMrsoN, L. B. 1938. California in 1792, the expedition of Jose Longinos
'Much of the historical material and bibliographical data were taken from a Special Problems report prepared in 1955 by George E. Lindsay. Appreciation of his efforts and thanks for his generosity in presenting me with a copy of the paper are hereby acknowledged.
Edward Palmer in Lower California. Contr. U. S. Nat. I-Ierb. 1: 9-28.
189ob. List of plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer in Lower California and western Mexico in 1890. Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. I: 63-92.
VENEGAS, M. 1757. Noticia de la California. 3 vols. Viuda dc Manuel Fernandez. Madrid.
\VATsoN, S. 1875. On the flora of Guadalupe Island, Lower California. Proc. Amer. Acad. II: 105—148.
--. 1889. List of plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer at Muleje and Los Angeles Bay in 1887. Proc. Amer. Acad. 24: 36—82.
— 1890. Further characterization of Washingtonia sonorae from specimens collected by Dr. Edward Palmer at La Paz. Proc. Amer. Acad. 25: 136—137.
Plant marvels in miniature. C. Postma. 173 pp. illus. 1961. The John Day Company, New York. $12.50.
This handsomely produced book comprises 77 folio size photographs of a variety of botanical specimens, each plate being accompanied by a short, semitechnical descriptive paragraph. Its orientation is frankly toward beauty, the beauty of form, variety, and pattern, to be found in the microscopic anatomy of plants. The objects of the author's photographic studies are the ordinary things we study in general botany courses and illustrate in our textbooks—Tradercantia trichomes, Taraxacum fruits, the Aristolochia stem. But, so skillful is the photographer, so original and artistic is his approach, that these familiar structures take on a fresh appearance and evoke again the wonder we felt as we first saw them in our student microscopes. The author has succeeded in his desire to assemble a striking group of illustrations of what is, especially for the layman, a new and unexpectedly artistic world in miniature.
Although the book is directed mainly at a non-scientific audience, its author has tried to make it "scientifically accurate in all respects," so the student of botany will "find it arouses his sense of wonder and sends him back refreshed to his textbooks." It is anything but a systematic treatise on plant structure, however; its ten sections are only a loose and arbitrary framework within which to group the selected illustrations. Its use by botany students is further limited by the lack of labels or a clear identification of structural features. The explanatory text is uneven in quality and contains peculiarities of terminology, as well as errors, which would confuse rather than help the student. As examples, I would select the following: the stamen is said to be "the male organ of the flower," and the stigma is the "female organ"; glumes of a grass spikelet are called "calyxglumes," and lemma and palea are referred to as "two glumes"; growth hormones are mistakenly called enzymes; the seedling is said to obtain its "first food supply from the soil through the hairs of the root"; rays in secondary xylem are referred to as "primary" and "secondary medullary rays," and they are said to carry a "stream of sap" in a radial direction. These usages, like others in the book, go against the terminology and concepts found in most text-books today. Further errors are found in the description of the ovulate cone of Larix (which, in addition, is called "the equivalent of a female flower"), and in the discussion of pericarp and seed coat of a wheat caryopsis. The inade-
quacy of the text limits the book's role in botany courses to that of a demonstration volume of miscellaneous, though excellent, illustrations.
The author, who is a Dutch physician and a photographer only by avocation, achieves his remarkable effects through a variety of photographic techniques made necessary by the variety of his subject matter. His pictures range in scale from magnifications of X2.5, on a slab of spruce wood, to X33oo, on sclerenchyma in a lily stem. In several cases he shows a series of photographs, at ever increasing magnification, that begin with a surface view of a plant and then penetrate to the core of its miscroscopic structure. Another successful technique of which he makes frequent use is disapositive reversal, which gives an image of bright white cell and tissue outlines against an inky background. All of his methods, together with the photographic data for each plate and an index to scientific names, are given in an appendix.
The book was evidently a labor of love for Dr. Postma, and anyone who examines it may hit on a particular favorite among the photographs. Mine is Plate 51, in which stellate trichomes of Deutzia float like illuminated starfish on a tracery of tracheids and palisade parenchyma.—KENTON L. CHAMBERS, Oregon State University.
Tree Growth. Theodore T. Kozlowski (ed.) 442 pp. 1962. The Ronald Press Company, New York. $12.00.
In recent years many plant scientists, other than foresters, have turned their attention to forest trees. Geneticists, ecologists, and especially physiologists have become interested in using trees as experimental material. Great credit must be given to Professor Paul Kramer and his students for their impressive contribution.
In an active field, symposia are most helpful in bringing together for evaluation recent research data. For those who are not able to attend, the publication of a symposium proceeding is most helpful.
The Symposium on Tree Growth was held in Tucson, Arizona, in April 196o. There were 27 speakers and each paper presented constitutes a chapter in the volume. The papers cover a wide range of topics, but they can be grouped as follows: There are four excellent chapters on cambial activity: The Vascular Cambium and Tree-Ring Development, by Bannon; Cambial Growth Characteristics, by Wilcox; Physiology of Cambial Activity, by Wort; and Auxin Gradients and the Regulation of Cambial Activity, by Larson. Four chapters deal with what could be called growth mechanisms: Photocontrol of Growth and Dormancy in Woody Plants, by Downs; Photosynthesis, Climate, and Tree Growth, by Kozlowski; Some Photosynthetic Problems of Tree Growth, by Decker; and Progress and Problems in Mineral Nutrition of Forest Trees, by Gessel. Eight other papers are concerned with environmental effects on tree growth: The Role of Water in Tree Growth, by Kramer; Tree Growth in Relation to Soil Moisture, by Fraser; The Role of Carbon Dioxide in Soil, by Voigt; Temperature and Tree Growth Near the North-ern Timber Line, by Mikola; Temperature Effect on
Optimum Tree Growth, by Hellmers; Environmental Factors in Development Stages of Trees, by Erikshab; Wind, Transpiration and Tree Growth, by Satoo; and Geographic Variability in Growth of Forest Trees, by Callaham. Two chapters are concerned with roots: Root Grafting and Non-competitive Relationships Between Trees, by Bormann; and Physiological Aspects of Mycorrhizae of Forest Trees, by Melin. There are two papers discussing the present status of the tree ring problem: Rainfall and Tree Growth, by Clock; and Development of Tree-Ring Dating as an Archeological Aid, by Giddings. Three chapters are concerned with Forest Tree improvement: Selection of Superior Forest Trees, by Mergen; Evidence of Hybrid Vigor in Forest Trees, by Righter; and Ecological Variability and Taxonomy of Forest Trees, by Langlet.
At the end of the volume are four chapters on measuring forest trees and their growth: Methods of Measuring the Growth of Trees as Individuals and in Stands, by Bickford; Measuring and Predicting Growth of All-aged Stands, by Shiue; Measuring and Predicting Growth of Even-aged Stands, by Lynch; and Estimated Growth of Forest Stands from Samples, by Palley.
As might be expected, the chapters are uneven as to length and content. Some contain a great deal of the author's work and carry a conviction that discussion papers cannot.
The volume shows the results of careful editing. There are excellent bibliographies at the end of each chapter, and an author and subject index. The illustrations are clear and well done. This will prove to be a very useful volume and should be at hand for anyone interested in tree growth. The sponsors of the symposium, and Professor Kozlowski, are to be congratulated for their important contribution. -JAMES W. MARVIN, University of Vermont.
Great smoky mountains wildflowers. C. C. Camp-bell, W. F. Hutson, H. L. Macon, and A. J. Sharp. 40 pp. 1962. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. $I.00.
In their preoccupation with their own specialized fields of endeavor, botanists, in general, often fail to take advantage of the opportunities in the field of public relations. These would lead not only to a better "public image" for the profession, but would also help to develop an interest in—and hopefully support of—all facets of botany, starting, perhaps, with such programs as conservation and botanical gardens. Thus, this inexpensive little book of fifty-five excellent color photographs should be of interest not only to those laymen who purchase and enjoy it, but, because of the beauty of the book, it might well be exploited by botanists as a small gift to non-botanist friends. Despite the title, most of the fifty-five plants shown occur in much of the mountainous or northern regions of the eastern. United States, and thus the book would not be out of place in many areas outside the Smoky Mountains. Inasmuch as most people first develop an interest in plants as entire, living organisms, rather than as a form of substrate for a karyotype or a collection of subcellular enzyme systems, the pictures and factual information will afford all recipients the same
information and pleasure—and have the same public relations value—regardless of the field of botanical specialization of the donor. Though many botanists may want a copy, it is strictly speaking not a book for their use. Yet, it is a book that they can all use to advantage in the field of public relations. C. RITCHIE BELL, University of North Carolina.
The physiology of flowering. William S. Hillman. 164 pp. 1962. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York. $4.50.
This little book, larger than the usual review, but short enought to read in one sitting, is a handy dandy summary of the facts of flowering. And a compilation of facts it must be, since our understanding of the internal mechanisms which control flowering is still so rudimentary that the subject remains one lacking any unified field theories and concepts. This is the case, for example, with the question of whether there is any relation between the endogenous circadian rhythms, which we know plants exhibit, and the timing mechanisms which determine photoperiodic responses. After a discussion of the facts on this matter, Hillman concludes, "If the reader is now confused, he is in good company; no aspect of flowering physiology has given rise to more complex experiments, various interpretations and heated controversy . . . In this situation, even more obviously than in most, appeals to expert opinion are use-less, since there are accomplished and respected investigators on both sides. The writer is frankly of two minds on the subject ... "
Fortunately for the reader, however, there is more general agreement concerning the other facts of flowering. The book includes a summary of the lore of photoperiodism and a survey of our knowledge of the red-far-red pigment system in relation to photoperiodism. Next follows the chapter on circadian rhythms and a brief summary of the present status of vernalization. The chapter, "Flowering hormones and the induced state," covers transmission of the flowering stimulus, as well as the localization, transmission, and permanence of the induced condition. Control of flowering by application of gibberellin to vernalizable and long day plants, and an explicit discussion of ripeness to flower phenomena are followed by a chapter on such miscellaneous topics as "Flowering and death."
This is a good, meaty, and thoughtful book, and although it is intended for non-specialists it can be read with profit by all botanists.—JAI..IEs BONNER, California Institute of Technology.
Hugh Hamshaw Thomas, Corresponding Member of the Botanical Society of America, passed away on June 30, 1962. Dr. Thomas was born on May 29, 1885. He was an Honorary Fellow and formerly Fellow and Steward of
Downing College in Cambridge, England. At the time of his death, Dr. Thomas had been Emeritus Reader in Plant Morphology.
On October I1, 1962, Corresponding Member, Professor Erich Tschermak Edler von Seysenegg, passed away in Vienna, Austria. Dr. von Seysenegg had been on the faculty of the Hochschule fūr Bodenkultur in Vienna at the time of his death. His research specialty was in plant breeding.
Dr. John J. Thornber died in Tucson, Arizona on November 22, 1962 at the age of ninety. His early publication on the grazing ranges of Arizona is widely known and still very useful. Professor Thornber joined the University of Arizona faculty in 1901. He retired in 1942 and was in poor health since that time, and consequently, not very active.
News and Notes
With support of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Botany at the University of Texas announces that it will sponsor a program of RESEARCH PARTICIPATION FOR COLLEGE TEACHERS OF BOTANY AND BIOLOGY during the 9-week summer session, June 4-August 1o, 1963. Ten staff members will be in residence to supervise research projects. Stipends for 8 pre-doctoral and 2 post-doctoral teachers are available. For further information and application forms, write to Dr. H. C. Bold, Department of Botany, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
DR. WILLIAM F. GRANT, Department of Genetics, Macdonald College of McGill University, has recently been elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society.
DR. H. B. TuxEY, Michigan State University, was elected President of the International Society for Horticultural Science for a four-year term at the tooth anniversary meeting at Brussels in September.
The Smithsonian Institution has recently announced the appointment of DR. RICHARD S. COWAN as Assistant Director of the Museum of Natural History. Dr. Cowan had previously been Associate Curator in the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian. Before coming to Washington, Dr. Cowan was on the staff of the New York Botanical Garden. He is a specialist in the taxonomy of tropical American Leguminosae, and in the flora of northern South America.
DR. JULIAN STEYERMARK, expert on the Venezuelan flora, will spend the months of December, 1962 through March, 1963 at the New York Botanical Garden studying collections from this part of South America. His researches are being supported by the Garden and the Venezuelan government. Presently, Dr. Steyermark is on the staff of the Instituto Botānico in Caracas, Venezuela.