Thursday, March 27, 2014

First Pages of the new Vascular Flora of British Columbia Now Available on E-Flora BC: Primulaceae and Myrsinaceae

 Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium), photo by Hans Roemer

A new vascular flora of British Columbia is now in preparation and the first new family treatments for Primulaceae and Myrsinaceae and associated genera and species, in draft form, have been posted on the E-Flora BC atlas pages. This text replaces the previous text for these two families on E-Flora BC which was taken from the Illustrated Flora of British Columbia (1998-2004) and which is now outdated.  The new family treatments are authored by UBC taxonomist Jamie Fenneman, lead author and editor of the project. 

The new vascular flora project is a joint iniative between the Royal British Columbia Museum and the University of British Columbia Herbarium and is anticipated to take several years to reach completion. The newly posted text is the first 'pilot' step in making the new flora available digitally.  More new treatments will be posted on E-Flora BC as they become available.

In tthe new treatments, Primulaceae has been split into two families:  1) Primulaceae, which now includes the following genera: Androsace, Dodecatheon, Douglasia, Primula 2) Myrsinaceae, which includes the following genera: Anagallis, Cyclamen, Glaux, Lysimachia, Steironema, Trientalis.  
The vascular flora of BC treatments encompass nomenclatural changes (including splits), as well as species additions and deletions to the BC flora.  One interesting addition is Cyclamen hederifolium, an introduced species which has naturalized in the Victoria area.  Jamie provides the following insight into this escaped garden species: "This species blooms in the fall, with the flowers appearing before the leaves, and the leaves persist through the winter and into the following spring. Although reasonably common in the Victoria area, this popular garden species is apparently not naturalized anywhere else in North America." 

In April, Jamie will provide more insight into the new vascular flora of BC project.

Jamie Fenneman is a PhD student in botany at the University of British Columbia, and is co-coordinator of E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC. He has contributed numerous photos to both sites as well as introductory text on taxnonomy on E-Flora and a series of bird checklists on E-Fauna BC. Read his Introduction to Taxonomy here.

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