Saturday, May 14, 2011

Homemade Pest Repellents with Pamela Danglemaier of Botanus

A member of the PRGC thought this short video on homemade pest repellents with Pamela Danglemaier of Botanus would be of interest to other members.  Enjoy! 

http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/937161709001.000000/homemade-garden-pest-repellent/

For information about Botanus, click here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Powell River Garden Club 2011 Plant Sale

Where you there?  Hopefully you didn't miss the 2011 PRGC Plant Sale!  What fun! 

First, a big thank you goes out to the community of Powell River...always so supportive!  So many eager gardeners (and non-gardeners) left the Curling Club with big smiles on their faces and plants in their arms.  Even CJMP 'jumped in' and kindly provided us with public service announcements (with only 1 week's notice too) detailing our plant sale. 

Second, to the wonderful members of our Club, who volunteered their precious time and energy producing plants, controlling traffic, making posters and signs, counting sticks, and so on and so on.  It is amazing all the work that goes into hosting a wildly successful plant sale each year.  Just to mention a few of the 'gazillions' that helped:  Diane Lackey, Joyce Bredo, Marcie Mehaffey, Marg Burnett, Carol Hearder, Christine Hoffert, Margaret Thistle, Liane Arnstein, and Roselyn Boarman (Past Plant Sale Director).  And a big hooray goes to this year's Director of the Plant Sale, Laura Johnson!!!  Great job everyone!

Third, to our vendors (please see list below)...thank you for being our utterly amazing vendors.  Your love of all things related to plants shows...healthy hostas, bamboos, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, etc. right on through to the lovely baskets, glass bird feeders, awesome picture frames, and even pink cows and purple snails. 

Our vendors...Lin Morrison, Claudia Cote, Wendy Devlin, Julia Hayes, Joan Kempf, Lexi Harris, Diana Wood, Denise Hayes, Ellen De Casmaker, Heather Farrell-Sketchley, and Joanie Winegarden....please take a bow for a job well done!


video


See you all next year!

Powell River Garden Club Calendar

News from THE BULLETIN, May/June 2011, BC Council of Garden Clubs

As members of the BC Council of Garden Club (BCCGC), the Powell River Garden Club receives The Bulletin bi-monthly throughout the year.  The Bulletin contains news and information from the Council as well as informative and interesting articles submitted by Club members. 

Below, please find many of the articles published in The Bulletin, May/June 2011.  A printed copy of The Bulletin is available at Club meetings. 

Article 1:   Mushroom Manure by Marilyn Holt
Article 2:   Monocots and Dicots
Article 3:   Potatoes
Article 4:   Grevillea
Article 5:   Coddling Moth
Article 6:   Crossandra infundibuliformis
Article 7:   Saving Seeds for the Long Term
Article 8:   Did you know...
Article 9:   Lime and It's Family
Article 10:  New Plant Discoveries Found
Article 11:  New Populations of Imperiled Plants
Article 12:  Coming Events

1.  Mushroom Manure by Marilyn Holt
For years mushroom manure has been touted as one of the gardener‘s best choices for adding to your garden, and heaven forbid, your vegetable garden.  What I don‘t understand is why - why would anyone use it?

First off, it isn‘t manure -  the only claim to manure would be the horse or chicken manure that is a very small portion of the mix. Mushrooms are grown in a compost that consists of straw, poultry and/or horse manure, hay and sometimes wood shavings, aka sawdust. The organic materials used are usually inexpensive and readily available.

The compost for growing mushrooms in generally made in large piles on cement slabs and when it has cooked it is taken into dark buildings where mushroom spawn is added. Usually three crops are taken off the compost and then it is removed from the building and becomes our mushroom manure.


So, after exhausting the compost of nutrients to produce three crops of mushrooms what are you left with? Spent mushroom compost and probably compost with chemical residues unless the mushroom grower is certified organic, certified being the key word.

Fungus gnats and flies are major insect problems in mushroom growing facilities and these damage the appearance of mushrooms so to control these insects, sprays of these chemicals are used: methoprenem cyromazine, difluben-zuron, Dimlin and Diazanon.

Another problem at mushroom growing facilities are fungal infections, which can total a mushroom crop so to prevent this from happening chemicals such as benomyl, thiabendazole and chlo-rothanlonil are used.  Remember, this is a controlled area where rain or natural leaching out does not occur so whatever is sprayed on stays on.

For years I used composted steer (cow) manure from our own dairy farm because I knew the animals weren‘t given chemicals. I had wonderful gardens using this and manure tea.  I knew how fussy the cows were about their feed – they eat only green, never meat and they wouldn‘t eat anything that was slightly off and this includes anything spoiled.  I couldn‘t imagine using any other kind of manure until just recently – mostly because I don‘t have access to cow manure anymore. With all the diseases emerging in chickens, pigs, etc. I am sure even their manure will have traces of chemicals and/or antibiotics.

So, what to use instead?  Seedmeal – yes, a natural fertilizer mix using canola seed meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, etc. These are not too strong so won‘t burn your plants even if you use them on young seedlings.  It breaks down slowly in the soil so your plants have access to it over a longer period of time. It is more expensive than the manures but I feel it is a small price to pay for the assurance, especially as it is going on what I will grow and ingest.

The best mix I have come across is:

10 parts Canola Meal
1 part kelp meal
1 part bone meal
1 part lime – Note: omit the lime if you are planting potatoes in the area you are fertilizing.



 


2.  Monocots and Dicots
I have recently become infatuated with the Euphorbia family.  Look out geraniums, I have found another family of plants that are just as diverse as you are! Euphorbias are available in all colours, all sizes and all shapes. Some of which you would never know were a Euphorbia. I can pretty well guarantee that every one of us have had Euphorbia pulcherrima in our possession at one time. You probably know it as a Poinsettia.

There are over two thousand species in the Euphorbia family which makes it one of the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom. Euphorbias are primarily found in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa and the Americas as well as in most temperate zones in the world including the Hawaiian and Canary Islands which boast their own species.

Commonly referred to as spurge (the name comes from the English/Old French espurge, which means to purge as the plant‘s sap was used as a purgative (laxative). The botanical name Euphorbia derives from Euphorbus, the Greek physi-cian who was reported to have used the plant when King Juba II suffered from a swollen belly. Juba II was a noted patron of the arts and sciences and sponsored several expe-ditions and biological reach. Euphorbia regisjubae, common-ly called King Juba‘s Euphorbia‘ was named after him. As the milk/latex from these plants are mostly toxic, I often wonder how the plant was used as there are warnings about washing hands thoroughly if you get any of the milky sap on your hands when you are transplanting or trimming your Euphorbias.

Euphorbias are annual or perennial herbs, woody shrubs or trees with a caustic, poisonous milky sap. The roots are fine or thick and fleshy or tuberous. Many species are more or less succulent, thorny or unarmed. The main stem and mostly also the side arms of the succulent species are thick and fleshy. The deciduous leaves are opposite, alternate or in whorls. In succulent species the leaves are mostly small and short-lived. The stipules are mostly small, partly transformed into spines or glands, or missing.

Some varieties are xerophyte (needing very little water) and others are geophyte (having an underground storage organ as in a tuber).

All members of the Euphorbiaceae family have unisexual flowers. The majority of species bear male and female flowers on the same stem (monoecious). Some have male and female flowers occurring on different plants (dioecious).

Seeds/fruits have three compartment capsules, sometimes fleshy but almost always ripening to a woody container that splits open or explodes. The seeds are generally four-angled, oval or spherical.

Although poisonous to us, Euphorbia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some butterflies and moths.



3.  Potatoes...CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Banana Potato
Origin and Breeding: grown in British Columbia for over 90 years. Research indicates that the variety might have been introduced to early settlers and natives by Russian fur traders. The exact origin, parental lines or breeding techniques used in its develop-ment are not known. Year registered in Canada: 1990
Yellow fleshed fingerling type potato with a high tuber set of 15 to 20 small tubers per plant. Low yielding variety; medium dormancy period; good storability; medium specific gravity.
Utilization: semi-mealy texture; very good for boiling, baking and frying; excellent salad potato.
Chief Market: specialty tablestock; home gardens.


Nicola—Low Glycemic Index Potato A new introduction of potato named Nicola is reported to have an extremely low glycemic index. Most potatoes rate between 85 to 100 on the GI scale but Nicola comes in at 58.
Nicola is a general purpose, waxy variety which is known in the trade as a hard cooking potato (doesn‘t go mushy) that‘s suitable for potato salads as well as steaming, boiling or baking.

They are available in nurseries that sell seed potatoes as well as in major supermarkets and produce markets, farmers‘ markets and from organic growers around the world.


Organic Seed Potato Also available this year at various nurseries, are organic seed potatoes in several varieties.



4.  Grevillea
The species Grevillea was first formally described by Victorian Government Botanist Ferdinand von Mueller and his description was published in Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Victoria in 1855. Mueller discovered the species when he climbed to the plateau of Mount Buffalo in Australia. He described it as ―a truly majestic plant! The variety Grevillea victoria was named for Queen Victoria.

Grevillea victoria, also known as Royal Grevillea or Mountain Grevillea, is a shrub which is endemic to south-eastern New South Wales and mountainous parts of Victoria in Australia. This shrub grows to between .2 and 4 meters in height and has obovate to ovate leaves that range between 1.5 and 14 cm in length and .5 to 4.5 cm in width. Pendant clusters of red or orange flowers appear in spring and summer.

Grevillea victoriae occurs in rocky, mountainous areas of south-eastern Australia in forest woodland and heath. It is the favourite nectar food of the eastern spinebill and yellow-faced honeyeaters. It has been noted that many bird species leave the area when Grevillea victoriae finishes flowering in January.

Grevillea victoriae has a reputation for being hardy and reliable in cultivation, and has been successfully grown in all states of Australia, as well as New Zealand, the United States and Great Britain. Plants require a well-drained position with full exposure to sun or partial shade and will benefit from pruning to maintain a more compact shape. Originating from mountainous regions, the species has a high tolerance to frost and snow. It is useful as a screening plant and to attract birds to the garden. In certain parts of North America, hummingbirds feed on the flowers of cultivat-ed plants in the winter. Plants are easily propagated by seed or cuttings.
According to Ian of http://www.desertnorthwest.com/articles/grevilleas_revisited.html ― Grevilleas deserve much more attention from gardeners in the Pacific Northwest than they have been given. One reason they have been ignored is that most Northwest gardeners are not aware that many species and varieties are much cold-hardier than commonly believed.


5.  Coddling Moths...Ministry of Agriculture, BC

Coddling Moth, Cydia pomonella, hosts in apple, crabapple and pear trees and are seldom found in other fruit trees in B.C. The damage are surface stings in fruit plugged with dark masses of excreta, allowing fungi and bacteria to enter the fruit and cause fruit rot.

Larva is a pinkish-white caterpillar with black or mottled black head; adults are brownish-grey moth with a copper spot on the end of each forewing.

Coddling moth larvae overwinter in silken cocoons in protected sites on the tree, under bark, in cracks, crevices or in wooden materials under or beside infested trees (ladders, poles, building, wood piles, etc.). Larvae pupate in the spring and adults usually begin to emerge in early May and continue emerging until late June, depending on temperature. Mating and egg-laying occur when twilight temperatures are above 15oC. Females lay eggs on fruit or on leaves near fruit. Larvae usually wander over the fruit surface before cutting through the skin and boring deeply into the fruit. Second generation moths appear in late July and August and can cause considerable damage, often close to harvest.

Use coddling moth traps for control by trapping the males and stopping the breeding cycle from repeating itself.



6.  Crossandra infundibuliformis...by Marilyn Holt

At the March AGM, this plant was our featured centre-pieces at each table. As there are now 25 of you with this new houseplant, I thought I would tell you a little bit about it.

I have not seen these plants around for about ten years then at the end of February one of the spec trucks pulled into Buckerfields and when I went on to make my selections for the store I spotted two flats of this houseplant so grabbed them for the BC Council AGM tables.

This plant is considered a tropical shrub in its home countries of southern India, Sri Lanka and tropical parts of Africa where it isn‘t arid. In some native habi-tats they are referred to as firecracker plants. When planted in pots they often reach about two feet in height and almost that in width. They are quite floriferous and their shiny leaves are so eye-catching.This plant would enjoy the humidity in most homes to enhance their tropical look. They are extremely easy to keep looking great so those of you that do not have a green thumb for houseplants should try to find this plant for your collection.

When they are in full bloom between March and October they will need to be fertilized to main-tain their lush looks. I suggest half strength 20-20-20 weekly. They grow quite easily so you can easily trim them to keep the plant in the desired shape you want. Save the cuttings because they root quite easily and I am sure the members of your garden club would love to see them on the raffle table!

The plants are visited by hummingbirds, dragon flies, bees, butterflies and most other pollinators so they set seed quite easily. If you want to save the seeds, allow the seed pods to dry on the stem then harvest the seed. This may look unsightly as the seed pods are quite long so pick a time when you are willing to have brown seed pods on the plant.

The flowers are unusually shaped with asymmetrical petals to form a 3-5 lobed disk. The buds open from the bottom to the top of four-six inch long four sided spikes. Flower colours include salmon, apricot, peach, orange, red and yellow. They are generous year-round bloomers and if you can keep the rain off the blooms, they last a very long time.
They enjoy typical indoor conditions of part shade to full sun and would be wonderful on your patio during the summer months as they are excellent container or tub plants. Just remember though to bring them in-doors before night temperatures drop in late summer.
Crossandra plants need equal parts of loam and peat moss with sand added to drainage. Compost should be kept moist but not overly wet – do not allow soil to dry out between watering or some of the leaves will drop as the plant will not be able to support them in dry conditions.


7.  Saving Seeds for the Long Term...
http://www.ars.usda.gov/

Will seeds in storage today sprout and grow when they're needed--years, even centuries, from now?

To find out, Agricultural Research Service plant physiologist, Christina T. Walters, is investigating little-known glass compounds in super-chilled seeds.

That's right, glass. It holds a key to keeping the seeds viable.

"All seeds contain glasses that are composed of water and other cellular constituents," says Walters. "These aqueous glasses have properties similar to the silica glass in windows--except that they form at temperatures hundreds of degrees lower. Our data suggest that they consist of a highly complex intercellular substance--perhaps a carbohydrate or protein mixture."

For 11 years, Walters has been researching optimum conditions for storing seeds at ARS' National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Some 300,000 germplasm accessions repre-senting about 8,000 species are stored at the facility. It is the largest gene bank in the world and is part of the ARS-maintained National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) that collects plants from all over the world. Curators and other scientists preserve, evaluate, and catalogue the vast collections and distribute germplasm to breeders who use it to develop new varieties.

If scientists could accurately predict seed viability, the continual monitoring of stored seeds would be unnecessary. "This monitoring for viability is the most labour-intensive part of seed storage in gene banks," says ARS plant physiologist Eric E. Roos, who heads the Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit at Fort Collins.

"Seeds stored at optimum conditions can last for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years, obviating the need to continually regrow samples--the most expensive part of germplasm preservation," he adds.

It's critical to determine how to keep stored germplasm alive and capable of germinating and producing fruiting parts for many years. But "when stored seeds deteriorate, they lose vigour," says Walters. "They become more sensitive to stresses upon germination. Eventually, they lose their ability to grow."

Whether stored in soil banks, warehouses, or liquid nitrogen, all seeds eventually succumb to aging. "Seed aging," says Walters, "has enormous implications for the seed industry. It defines the changes in quality that occur from the time the seed is harvested until its germinated plant emerges from the soil."

The rate at which a seed ages is determined by its initial quality, its moisture content, and its storage temperature.

"We have known for many years that manipulating these factors influences seed longevity," says Walters. "But their precise interaction is poorly understood, so we are unable to predict longevity for a particular seed lot."

A major goal is to identify seeds that are "good keepers" or to spot "bad keepers" before they begin to deteriorate and to develop predictive tools for the rate of deterioration.

Walters found that two big influences on deterioration are the nature of water binding within seeds and the effect of the bound water on seed cells. Investigating further, she applied thermodynamics and concepts from materials and food sciences to predict optimal moisture content for storing any seed at any temperature.

That's where seed glasses come in. "The glassy concept explains the role of water in food deterioration," says Walters. She uses this same concept to describe how seeds' intercellular tissue responds to changing water contents and temperature.

Scientists at the lab are using Walters' approach to predict optimum conditions for seed storage.

"Preconditioning seeds by holding them at 5 degrees C and 25 percent relative humidity for a few weeks achieves optimal water content for long-term storage at -18 degrees C", she says. 
To measure changes in glass in a seed cell, Walters uses a differential scanning calorimeter. "This equipment measures the energy required for a phase transition, such as when ice melts and changes from a solid to a liquid," she says.

Walters scanned at least 30 different seed species at temperatures from -180
oC to over 100oC to see what types of phase changes occur in seed cells when seeds contain different amounts of water.

"Glasses control the aging rates in seeds by controlling the rate of chemical reactions," she says. "Glasses make seed cells very viscous, so molecules move slowly. And glasses have small pores, preventing some molecules from moving at all. The slower the molecular motion, the slower the chemical reactions and the aging rate."

Dense, viscous glasses make seed last longer. But "if the glasses in seed are fluid, the seed will age faster," she adds.

Walters has studied glasses in dried and frozen beans, peas, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, peanuts, lettuce, wild rice, coffee, tea, papayas, macadamia nuts, and yew seeds. She has even studied glasses in pollen from cattails and corn.

Each plant species has a different optimal moisture content for storage. "That value changes with temperature," she says. "It can take more than a decade to directly measure it at storage temperatures used in germplasm banks--that is, at 5 oC, -18oC, or -196oC. We can't do this for each of the 8,000 NPGS spe-cies."

Still, Walters' findings have provided reliable clues as to optimal combinations of water content and temperature. She also investigates how chemical constituents in the seed affect the glasses. Some seeds form stable glasses--dense, with low porosity. "This contributes to different aging rates, even if the seed is stored at the optimal water content," she says.
Walters does not yet know what chemicals are most important for stable glass formation. But she knows they are produced in bean seeds during the final days of maturation.

Walters plans to learn more about how the glasses form and how they control molecular motion. "The knowledge will ena-ble us to accurately predict the rate of deterioration for a specific seed lot before deterioration begins," she says.


 8.  Did you know...

Tomatoes:  A handful of oyster shell placed in the hole when planting tomato, gives them the calcium they require to stop blossom end rot. Apparently calcium also helps the tomato to be meatier instead of watery. Oyster shell is available at most feed stores and sells for approximately $1.40 per kg.

Damping Off:  Chamomile Tea is an organic anti-fungal agent that prevents damping off. Just make the tea as if you were going to drink it, cool it off then put in a spray bottle. Spritz your soil after planting your seed.


Pole Beans:  Get two crops of pole beans from the same site. When planting the first crop, dig a trench deeper than what you require. Cover the seed to the proper depth, leaving the rest of the trench open.

When the beans first start to bloom, seed another layer of beans in the trench at the base of the first crop. Cover to the level of surrounding soil. When you have finished harvesting the lower part of the first planting, the second planting will just reach that level and will climb on the stems of the first planting.

Note: make sure you fertilize adequately as this is considered intensive gardening.


9.  Lime and its Family...Marilyn Holt


Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and/or aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate.

The primary source of the calcite in limestone is mostly marine organisms. These organisms‘ shells are mostly made up of aragonite or calcite and they leave them behind after the organisms die. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock known as reefs when they build up one generation on top of another.

Limestone makes up about 10% of the total volume of all sedimentary rocks and is partially soluble, especially in acid, and therefore forms many erosional landforms. These include limestone pavements, pot holes, cenote caves and gorges.
Limestone is used in many ways, in Europe and North America it is very common in architecture. Many landmarks across the world, including the Great Pyramid and its associated complex in Giza, Egypt are made of limestone.
The raw material in limestone is important to gardeners as it is used for the manufacture of quicklime (calcium oxide), slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), cement and mortar. In its pulverized form it is used as a soil conditioner to neutralize acidic soils.

Lime is used to correct the acidic level in soils. By testing soil, you can determine the pH (Power of Hydrogen)which is a measure of the molar concentration of hydrogen ions. The lower the pH level the more acidic the soil. Therefore the higher the level the more alkaline the soil. The best pH level for gardeners and their plants/veggies is between 6.5 and 7. Most vegetables thrive when the soil is slightly acidic (pH between 6.5 and 7). Potatoes tend to prefer a lower pH (more acidic) soil and Brassicas prefer a slightly alkaline soil (pH 7 or higher).

To raise the pH and lower acidity (or sweeten) you add lime. To lower pH and increase acidity you can add sul-phate of ammonia or urea which is an extremely high nitrogen fertilizers. Adding manure also lowers pH and makes the soil more acidic so adding lots of manure year after year will actually reduce soil fertility by making it too acid so the plants cannot access the nutrients. Keep the pH at the right level and you and your plants will benefit.

One other thing to remember is NOT to lime and fertilizer at the same time as they cancel each other out while creating a horrible reaction in your soil when doing so. Leave at least three months or more between applying lime and applying fertilizer, that‘s why it is best to lime in the fall and fertilize in the spring.

Types of lime:

Hydrated Lime contains 75% calcium oxide. It is used mainly to reduce odors in human and animal wastes and helps in de-composition. Biological organic wastes have been treated with hydrated lime for generations. Hydrated lime is also added to cement and sand to make mortar, as a matter of fact, lime is the key ingredient to stop mortar from cracking.
Dolomite Lime contains 45% calcium oxide and 30% magnesium ox-ide. Many experts think this is the best type of lime to use because they believe that calcium cannot be assimilated by plants without mag-nesium. There is that same believe with humans taking calcium pills that do not have magnesium incorpo-rated into the tablet.

Dolopril is a new type of lime available and, according to Brian Minter, is one of the best limes available today. Its granular for easy application, weighs less by about half, has twice the coverage, works quickly and lasts a long time.

Whichever type of lime you choose to use, it is recommended to apply it a little at a time, testing the soil before reapplying. A little at a time means no more than 50lb. per 1,000 sq.ft.




10.  New Plant Discoveries Found
New plant species found in China‘s land that time forgot.

WUHAN, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-three unique new plant species have been found over the past five years in the mysterious Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China's Hubei Province, a researcher said.

"We are pretty much sure that the new species, which have not been discovered elsewhere in the world, are new members of the plant kingdom," said Yang Jingyuan, head of the reserve's research institute.

The English or Latin names of the new plant species were not available yet, Yang said.

Before the latest discoveries, the 705-square-kilometer reserve was already home to more than 100 plant species not found anywhere else on earth, according to the center.

With abundant rain and water resources and a mid-latitude location, Shennongjia is home to more than 3,700 species of plants and at least 1,060 kinds of animals. At least 39 plant species and 70 animal species,including golden monkeys, are under state protection.

The new discoveries showed the "gene pool" of plants and animals was still expanding, said Yang.

Researchers had identified 143 previously undocumented plant species in Shennongjia since 2006, excluding the 23 new varieties that are unique to the area, he added.  Scientists had also discovered 16 kinds of snakes and 270 kinds of insects that were new to Hubei Province.

Lying between the transitional zone of south-west mountains and low hills of central China, the reserve is in the transitional zone between the sub-tropical and temperate climates.  About 96 percent of the reserve is covered by primeval for-est, including hundreds of square kilometers that is not explored by humans.  The region is criss-crossed with mountains and rivers and has 31 peaks with altitudes more than 2,500 meters above the sea level.

Sea swallows have been found living in the Shennongjia mountains which, according to scientists, were covered by oceans before they rose above the sea during the Devonian period about 405 million to 345 million years ago. The number of albino animals, including bears, snakes and magpies, found in the reserve have also baffled scientists.

The unique and complicated geographic environment provided shelter for animals and plants from glacier activities during the Quaternary Period 2.5 million years ago. It has preserved an array of plants that existed in the Tertiary Period (65 million years ago to 1.8 million years ago) and is widely called a home of living plant fossils.

The area is also believed to be home to the legendary Bigfoot-like ape man.

The Hubei Wild Man Research Association said earlier this month that it was considering launching a high-profile search for the elusive creature, almost 30 years after the last organized expedition to seek the legendary beast in the early 1980s.  It said it would recruit the expedition members from around the world.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) put Shennongjia on its World Network of Biosphere Reserves list in 1990.



11.  New Populations of Imperiled Plants...Jessica Sachs Snyder

Wild Animals may always be conservation's poster children, but without plants we would lose the very foundation of our terrestrial ecosystems. We need to remember that plant diversity provides the long-term resilience for our habitats, says botanist Bruce Stein, NWF associate director for wildlife conservation and global warming.

Sadly, that diversity is shrinking precipitously. In the United States alone, between 20 and 30 percent of native plant species are now considered at risk of extinction. The bright spot in this grim picture is the fact that new populations of imperiled plants are being located every year. Some represent a payoff for years of conservation work. Others are the result of fortuitous discoveries. And still others are being found with help of computer modeling.  "The thing about rare plant species," explains Stein, "is that they are often hidden in plain sight."  Following are some important recent discoveries:


Texas beauty: Habitat-sleuthing software proved key to the discovery of two new populations of the Guadalupe Mountains violet (Viola guadalupensis, above), a tiny perennial that grows in the weathered crevices of limestone cliffs. Known to exist only in Texas‘s Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the violet was first spotted on a mountain ridge by a park naturalist in 1990, and DNA analysis confirmed it was a newly discovered species.

Subsequent searches turned up no other specimens, and park natural resource manager Fred Armstrong knew that the single colony—around 80 tiny plants growing across a 10- by 15-foot rock face—could quickly vanish.

Armstrong and his staff began collecting seed, while another colleague created a computer model of the original location to help identify new sites where the plant might succeed. In 2006, the park staff discovered that one of those sites already hosted the violet. They found yet another population last summer: more than 100 plants in an area that matched the computer model in most aspects. The team is collecting temperature, humidity and light intensity data at the three sites to help refine its model to find new plant populations.


Conservationists were elated by the discovery last summer of a new population of eastern prairie-fringed orchid, a threatened species that emits a perfume to attract nocturnal sphinx moths for pollination. Biologist Thomas Nagel of the Missouri Department of Conservation found the plants in an old ceme-tery in the northern part of the state. Early European settlers sometimes left swaths of prairie next to cemeteries to provide flowers for their graves, he notes, and today some of those sites contain remnant gems of unplowed land.

It was in such a meadow that Nagel spotted the lance-shaped leaves of another rare species, the western prairie orchid. "When I started back to my truck to get my camera, I nearly stepped on another," he recalls. Over the next five hours, he found 26 more orchids.

The imperiled eastern prairie-fringed orchid had not been seen in Missouri in nearly 60 years. No large populations survive in the United States, and the complexities of the plant‘s development continue to defy propagation. Before emerging, the young orchids grow underground for five years, fused with symbiotic soil fungi called mycorrhizae. This summer, Nagel will take other botanists to the cemetery to see the orchids and discuss the next steps to conserve the plants.

The Aloha State‘s ‘Oha wai (Clermontia peleana) is a lobelia as exotically beautiful as it is endangered. Its nectar-laden flowers evolved to match the arched beak of its pollinators, Hawaii‘s native honeycreepers. But over the last century introduced diseases decimated the birds, while feral animals rooted out the plants‘ seedlings. A few ‘Oha wai survived out in a secluded rain forest until the last known wild specimen disappeared in 2000. In 2007, botanists began hunting for survivors in remote forests of the Big Island of Hawaii‘s Mauna Kea volcano. There, they spotted the species‘ distinctive purple-veined leaves. They later returned to find two mature plants, one of which held fruit spilling with seed. In 2008, the botanists found yet another plant in full blossom. Today, thou-sands of seedlings are being planted on the high slopes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and adjacent lands where some honeycreepers still survive.

Meanwhile, on the island of Moloka‘i, botanists recently rediscovered two dozen wild specimens of a rare native mint, Phyllostegia hispida. The plants will aid propagation of the species, which in 2009 became the second species officially listed as endangered by the Obama administration.



12.  Coming Events
May 10, 7pm, Victoria Flower Arrangers Guild, Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Road, Saanich. 'Land Art', Presenter Janet van Klaveren. Visitor Admission $5.
May 14, 9am-1pm Evergreen Garden Club Plant Sale, 5498 Grove Ave., Ladner. Specialty Plants & Perennials. Info: Michelle at 604 940-0937
May 14th, 10am-3pm 2nd Annual Garden and Nature Fest, Castlegar Twin Rivers Park/Millennium Walkway. Open air fest rich in treasures-plants, gardening and nature! Free admission. Info: castlegargardenfest@shaw.ca 250.399.4439




May 14, 10:00 – 12:00 Water Garden Club of B.C. Plant Sale at Kennedy Sr. Centre, 11760-88 Ave, Delta. In the back parking lot. Large variety of plants for sale. Info: Cindy 604-585-6786. http://www.watergardenclubofbc.com/
May 14, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.mPOCO GARDEN CLUB plant sale at Trinity United Church, Prairie and Shaughnessy, Port Coquitlam. Perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, vegetables and herb plants, baked goods, raffle and a sidewalk sale. Gardening advice available. Info. Susan 604 461 7244
May 14, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Valley Fuchsia & Geranium Club Plant & Bake Sale @ St. Andrew's Church Hall , 20955 Old Yale Road Langley. Information Fran 604-591-3262 or Tina @ 604-855-4343
May 15, 10am-4pm New Westminster Horticultural Society, Annual Plant Sale in the Arnoury at Queen‘s Ave. & 6th St., New Westminster. Park next door in the City Hall lot.
www.newwesthortsociety.org
May 18, 2011 – 7:30pm Eaglecrest Garden Club mtg. in Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Guest Speakers Lorna Herchenson and Edith Sherk focus on "Growing Fuchias". Contact # 250-752-5315
June 1, 7:30 – 9:30 PM Water Garden Club of B.C. Meeting at Kennedy Sr. Centre, 11760-88 Ave, Delta. New Members and guests welcome. Mbrshp. $25/Single & $35/Couple. Speaker, Gwen Odermatt. www.watergardenclubofbc.com
June 4th , 9:30 to 1:30 The Nanaimo Horticultural Society is having a late Spring Plant Saleat the Country Club Mall 3200 N. Island Highway ,Nanaimo. Vegetables,herbs, annuals, perennials, some small shrubs and houseplants will be for sale. Denise Callingham, 250 716-1617
June 4 - 10 am - 4pm Burnaby Cactus and Succulent Society Plant Sale. Royal Square Mall, 8th Ave. and McBride Blvd., New Westminster. Info: Pat: 604-921-7042
June 14, 7pm Victoria Flower Arrangers Guild, Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Road, Saanich. 'Inside the Box. Beyond Oasis' by Susan Currie and Julie Noble. Visitor admission $5
June 15, 2011- 7:30pm Eaglecrest Garden Club in Q.B. Civic Centre. Diana of Diana's Garden Centre, Nanaimo will describe "Step by Step: Dish and Succulent Gardens". Contact 250-752-5315
June 22, 7:30 - 9:30 pm South Surrey Garden Club Annual Flower and Garden Show. St. Marks Anglican Church Hall, 12953-20 Ave, Surrey. Guests welcome $3.00 Info. Cindy 604-585-6786
June 26, 9am-4pm Maple Ridge Garden Club invites you to their Country Garden Tour 2011. This is being organized to raise funds for the Sunshine Foundation 'Dreams for Kids‘ charity. Tickets $15 available at Triple Tree Nurseryland, Amsterdam Garden Centre and Trice Farms. Includes map and entry to eight beautiful gardens, beverage and goodies. Bring a lunch, Info: Gayle 604 467-2956 or Margaret 604 467-1885.



WARNING !!
Apple Maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) has recently been found in several locations in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island areas of British Columbia. These are the only areas in British Columbia where the pest has been found. Every effort must be made to keep this serious pest from spreading to the interior of B.C.
If you notice any in your area, call your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Apple Maggot
(Rhagoletis pomonella)


damage done by
Apple Maggot


         
May 7, 9am – 12noonCastlegar Garden Club Annual Plant Sale, Castlegar Station Museum. The annual harbinger of spring: come out for a wonderful selection of diverse plants!
Information:castlegargardenclub@shaw.ca 250.399.0077
May 7, 9:00a.m.-NoonSurrey Garden Club Plant Sale, St. Mark‘s Church, 12953 20th Ave., Surrey.
May 7, 9:00 a,m, to 2:00 p.m. Dogwood Garden Club Annu-al Plant Sale. NEW LOCATION: Centennial Room and Dog-wood Pavilion, 624 Poirier St., Coquitlam. Great selection of perennials from members‘ gardens, annuals, herbs, vegeta-bles and hanging baskets. Free admission. Info: Shelley 604-936-0874
May 7, During Mall Hours Container Garden Club will holds it sale at the Hillside Mall in Victoria. Hanging Baskets, con-tainers, fuchsias, geraniums, basket stuffers, herbs and per-ennials. Info:http://container-garden-vic.tripod.com/
May 7, 10am - 1pm Lynn Valley Garden Club Plant Sale at St. Clement‘s Anglican Church, 3400 Institute Road, North Vancouver. Cash only, no admission charge. Proceeds go towards donations to many worthy causes throughout year.
May 7, 9am-1pm Evergreen Garden Club Plant Sale, 5258 Saratoga Dr., Tsawwassen. Specialty Plants & Perennials. Info: Michelle at 604 940-0937
May 7, 1:00-4:00 p.m., Alpine Garden Club of B.C., Annual Spring Sale. St. David's United Church Hall, 1525 Taylor Way (at Highway 1) West Vancouver The Sale is a classic with great buys and rare finds from our own grow4ers and choice plants from B.C. specialty nurseries. Info: agc-bc.ca
May 7, 10am—4pm UBC Botanical Gardens presents 'GROWING AFFAIR‘ Plants Workshops Demonstrations. Vegetable, Perennial & Native plants for sale, hands on demonstrations, workshops-how to choose & grow great plants & vegetables, composting, bees, bugs, childrens‘ area & more!! UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine Drive. www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org 604-822-4529