Saturday, March 21, 2015

E-Flora BC: List of non-established species in the province now updated

E-Flora BC presents an atlas of the recognized flora of the province, species that have been confirmed as growing wild in BC in sustaining populations. These are the established species.  However, there are other species found in the province and new species appear on a regular basis.  These include incoming species and garden escapes that are periodically found growing wild but are not yet established and populations often do not persist. 

On E-Flora BC, we present a list of non-established species of vascular plants compiled by BC botanist Frank Lomer.  Frank has been keeping track of reports of new species and has found many himself during his field work.  Each year, new species are added to the list, while others are assessed to determine if they have become established and should become part of the flora of BC or if they should be kept on the non-established list, which is effectively a 'watch list' for the province.

We have just updated this list of non-established species for 2014, with some new additions, and some species now added to the BC flora.

One example of a species just added to the non-established list in 2014 is the watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). In his note on this species, Frank says: "The watermelon will sprout from seeds, but rarely grows large enough to produce ripe fruit. Plants with immature fruits will show up in landfills and soil dumps (Lomer 8574 @ UBC). Ephemeral. Year first noted: 2013."

Another example is the Asian dwarf bamboo (Arundinaria humilis).  Frank says:  "Perennial Asian dwarf bamboo is occasionally cultivated and will persist from dumpings and spread from plantings. Collected along a grassy ditch dyke by a blueberry field in Richmond, Metro Vancouver (Lomer 8216 @ UBC). Occasional. Year first noted: 2013." 

The 'watch list', or non-established species list, is important. It provides an early warning system of sorts for incoming and escaping species that can have the potential to become significant invasive species in the BC landscape.

You can view Frank's list of non-established and incoming species for 2014 here.

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