PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
9 JANUARY 1963 NUMBER 1
Investigations in Baja California, Mexico
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
English survey ship, H. M. S. Sulphur, touched Baja
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
WILLIAM L. STERN, Editor
25, D. C.
P. BANKS Cornell University
NORMAN H. BOKE University of Oklahoma
S. GREENFIELD Rutgers University
QUARTERMAN Vanderbilt University
ERICH STEINER University of Michigan
JANUARY 1963 VOLUME 9
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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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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).
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).
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
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.
collecting trips into northern Baja California were made by J. G. Lemmon in
1888, and by C. G. Pringle in
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Fur Seal Investigations extended to Guadalupe Island in 1897, and W. R. Dudley
(1899) reported on the small collection of plants obtained there.
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.
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.]
G. 1844. The botany of the voyage of H. M. S. Sulphur.
botanical descriptions. Smith, Elder and Company. London. BRANDEosx, T. S.
1889. Plants from Baja California. Proc. Calif. Acad.
Flora of the Cape Region of Baja California. Proc. Calif. Acad. II, 3: to8—182.
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.
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
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.
G. 1859. Cactaceae of the Boundary. In: Emory, W. H. Report of the United
States and Mexican Boundary Survey. Nichol-son. Washington, D. C.
E. A. 1916. Plant records of an expedition to Lower California. Contr. U.
S. Nat. Herb. 16: 309—371.
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.
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.
M. E. 1929—1934. Contributions to Western botany. Numbers 15(1929),
16(1930), and 18(1933 and 1934). Published by the author. Claremont, California.
A. 1859—1863. Plants collected by Dr. John A. Veatch on Cedros Island.
Proc. Calif. Acad. 2: 15-20, 21-27, 33—35, 37.
R. V. 1962. Pachycereus orcuttii—A puzzle solved. Cactus & Succ.
Jour. 34: 88—94•
E. W. 1921. Lower California and its natural resources. Mena. Nat. Acad. Sci.
J. N. 1892. List of plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer in 1890
Carmen Island. Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. It 129—134.
F. 195t. Vegetation of the Sonoran Desert. Carnegie Inst. Wash.
No. 591. Xi + 192 pp.
L. B. 1938. California in 1792, the expedition of Jose Longinos
Martinez. t1t pp., map. John Henry Nash. San Francisco.
\CASEY, G., AND J. N. Ross. t89oa. A list of plants collected by Dr.
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.
Palmer in Lower California. Contr. U. S. Nat. I-Ierb. 1: 9-28.
List of plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer in Lower California and western
Mexico in 1890. Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. I: 63-92.
M. 1757. Noticia de la California. 3 vols. Viuda dc Manuel Fernandez. Madrid.
S. 1875. On the flora of Guadalupe Island, Lower California. Proc. Amer. Acad.
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.
marvels in miniature. C. Postma. 173 pp. illus. 1961. The John Day Company,
New York. $12.50.
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.
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-
of the text limits the book's role in botany courses to that of a demonstration
volume of miscellaneous, though excellent, illustrations.
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.
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.
Growth. Theodore T. Kozlowski (ed.) 442 pp. 1962. The Ronald Press Company,
New York. $12.00.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
physiology of flowering. William S. Hillman. 164 pp. 1962. Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, New York. $4.50.
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 ... "
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."
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.
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
College in Cambridge, England. At the time of his death, Dr. Thomas had been
Emeritus Reader in Plant Morphology.
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.
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.
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.
WILLIAM F. GRANT, Department of Genetics, Macdonald College of McGill University,
has recently been elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society.
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.
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.
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.