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SPRING 1988 



- 2 - 

Bill Verduin 

I call to your attention a paragraph from Pleasant River by 
Dale Rex Coleman: 

"The landscape is neither a fortuity nor a permanent 
fixture created by fiat. It is a stupendous master- 
piece sculptured from rock by blasting heat and icy 
cold, cut by the wind, molded by rain, and adorned 
with life. It is an unfinished masterpiece. The 
elements, having labored at it for millions of years, 
anticipate uninterrupted toil for millions more to 
come. It is the greatest of all privileges to behold 
their creation and to watch them at their work. Go 
out and look!" 

Yes, go out and look. That is just what the Botany Club will be doing 
all spring, summer, and fall. 

Look at the trees but enjoy the beauty of the forest, too. 

Look at the flowers but raise your eyes often to drink in 

the splendor of the hillside. 

Look at the stream as it hurries along polishing its rocks 

but enjoy, too, the beautiful music of flowing water. 

Come out often and look with us it's one of the privileges granted 

those who have eyes to see. 

Attention! Schedule changes 

Because of a snowstorm, the January 8 program was cancelled. It has been 
rescheduled. Please ADD this program to your Jan. -June 1988 Outing Schedule 

Mar. 14 "IN SEARCH OF ORCHIDS" (Charles Moore 884-9614) 

Not only has our speaker searched for orchids in Transylvania 
County, but he also has traveled to Alaska, the Yukon, Canada, 
the Great Lakes region, the West, the Midwest, and northern 
United States, exploring bogs and other habitats for these 
fascinating plants. His talk will be illustrated with color slides 
Community Meeting Room, First Federal Savings and Loan, 2:00 p.m. 

Please DELETE from your Jan. - June 1988 Outing Schedule the outing to 
Lake Jocassee on April 8, 1988. REPLACE it with this: 

Apr. 8 PEARSON’S WOODS (Millie Pearson --749-3171) 


One of our most popular Spring wild flower pilgrimages is 
to Pearson's Woods with Millie Pearson, our gracious hostess. 
Spectacular best describes the masses of trilliums and many 
other wild flowers along a 2-mile trail which includes a steep 
climb in one area. Lunch will be eaten beside a rushing stream. 
Meet at Southgate Mall at 9:00 a.m. Join others at Millie 
Pearsons at 9:30 a.m. 

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The Botanical Club scheduled 40 hikes this year with more than 680 attending, 
an average of 17 per hike. The Hardy Souls Hike and the Lake Jocassee trip 
were cancelled because of bad weather. The damage from the 1987 ice storm 
closed some trails, and we did some substituting during the early part of the 
season. We again had to cancel our trip to Big Butt and went to Bear Pen Gap 
instead, a happy choice. 

There were 10 indoor meetings, including our annual meeting. Over 380 attended 
the indoor meetings, an average of almost 40 per meeting. We had adequate 
turnouts at our three workdays, Millie Pearson's, Holmes Educational State 
Forest and the University Botanical Gardens in Asheville. Our three workshops 
drew 8 people per workshop. 

If you had gone on every hike this year you would have added 4,000 miles to 
your odometer. You would have had an overnight at Snowbird Lodge, at Franklin, 
at Cullowhee and at Cosby. 

The weather was kinder to us and we had many fine days for our outings. The 
Club continued its love affair with the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went East 
(North) with Miles Peelle in July, but mostly we found ourselves going west 
again and again. We found our way to Heintooga, Balsam Gap and Soco Gap. We 
began to identify plants by mile posts on the Parkway, and it soon became 
evident that the Botanical Club overlooks few overlooks. We found saxifrage on 
rock faces. We took short hikes off the parkway to see old stands of trees 
and displays of orange-fringed orchids. We searched the ditches for sundews. 

We found ladies' tresses and gentians where they had survived the Parkway's 
mowers . 

We welcomed Bill Verduin back, and he and Ben Tullar did more than their share 
in leading us on some special trips. We appreciated the hospitality at Foothills 
Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) where Ivan Kuster took us in March and again 
in September. 

Asa Gray called botany "the amiable science". I think of that when I think of 
our group. Our leaders try, whenever possible, to scout hikes for us, and so 
to be able to point out to us the unusual and uncommon plants we see. We can 
bear in mind the broad definition of botany as the study of the parts and 
functions of plants, and their habitats as well as their classification. A 
birder member in the Club once described herself as not a "lister". As recorder 
I must be a lister and it is useful to the serious beginner. But remembering 
always Asa Gray's "amiable science" we are free to learn at whatever speed and 
depth we want and still can enjoy the variety of programs offered by the Club. 

It is easy to get discouraged when faced with the names of all the plants in 
this rich botanical area. Learning the identity of plants by name is a challenge, 
and is rewarding. But for those of you who get discouraged, I share with you a 
few heretical lines I wrote in my field book the first year I became a member of 
the Botanical Club. The lines are attributed to Shakespeare and go as follows: 

"Those who give a name to every fixed star ^ 

Have no more profit from their shining nights 
Than those that walk and know not what they are". 



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To discover that the familiar name of a plant has 
been changed is very frustrating , until one discovers 
that the culprit behind these changes is the plant 
taxonomist . 

The plant taxonomist is a specialist who studies plant 
identification (what the plant is called), classifica- 
tion (what its relationship is to other plants), and 
nomenclature (what a plant's correct name is, based 
on the name's history according to a specific code 
of nomenclature). 

In May 1987 some of us were introduced to a plant's 
name change. On a Botany Club outing to the Jore Mountain area in Macon County, 
Dr. Dan Pittillo, our leader, had taken us to an area where the rare yellowwood 
tree grows. Unfortunately this member of the Pea Family was not in bloom. 

It was a disappointment not to see its clusters of showy, fragrant .white butter- 
fly-like flowers. 

Most of us knew the scientific name of this tree as Cladastris lutea , the name 
by which it had been known for about 100 years. When Dr. Pittillo referred to 
it as Cladastris kentukea , some of us had quizzical expressions on our faces. 

He promptly explained that the name had been changed. An older name had surface 
and had priority. 

Yellowwood was first described in 1813 by Andre Michaux's son, Francois, who 
called it V irgilia lutea . He believed it to be similar to other members of the 
African genus Virgilia . 

In 1825, Rafinesque separated the North American plants from the genus Virgilia 
and described them as a new genus which he named Cladastris . He rejected 
Michaux's epithet of lutea and gave it another name. Ultimately the name 
Cladastris lutea was accepted and commonly used. 

In 1971, a botanist named Rudd was studying the legume family and found a publi- 
cation that preceded Michaux's 1813 publication by two years. Georges Louis 
Marie Dumont de Courset (1746-1824) named it Sophora kentukea . 

And thus the specific epithet kentukea is the earliest known for this tree. 

It is now known as C ladastris kentukea (Dum-Cour) Rudd, indicating that Dumont 
de Courset was the first person to describe it and Rudd later was responsible 
for the new name. 

Plant names, because they are assigned by man, are artificial, so one need not 
be too disturbed when they are changed. 

More important than being able to recite the name of a plant is knowing something 
about its living attributes, its characteristics and its preferred habitat. 


Flowering twig, x i/ A . 


- . 


In winter we often think of studying tree buds and twigs, 
of investigating seed types or identifying remnants of dried weeds 
and wild flowers. But ferns? Who thinks of ferns in winter? 

Yet winter and early spring are fine times to see ferns -- 
evergreen ferns. Their greens stand out beautifully against neutral 
backgrounds, though frond positions may differ from those of summer. 

After the grand mass of summer ferns dies in autumn, a surprising 
number of ferns stay green. The list below indicates some of the 
more common species we would encounter on western North Carolina 
trails . 

CHRISTMAS FERN (Polystichum acrostichoides ) is the most common 
and obvious evergreen fern. Its glossy, dark fronds lie nearly flat 
in winter. Its early use as a holiday evergreen gave it its name. 

EBONY SPLEENWORT (Asplenium platyneuron) has narrow (3/4"-lV) 
fronds which hide among dried weeds of open meadows and shrubby edges. 
Once one "gets an eye" for them, the reaction is, "There are so 
many ! " 

COMMON POLYPODY (Polypodium virginianum) caps large woodland 
rocks with a dense, low, dark green layer. Its fronds curl beauti- 
fully on a longitudinal line when conditions become icy. 

MARGINAL WOODFERN (Dryopteris marginalis) can be spotted easily 
in rich woodlands as a large fern dangling from rocky crevices. If growing on 

banks or level soil, its winter fronds lie flat to the ground. Remnants of the 

marginal "fruit dots? (sori) often cling to the backs of the leaflets, making 
identification easy. 

GRAPEFERN (Botrychium dissectum) is one of many grapeferns, most of which, like 
the common rattlesnake fern ( (B. virginianum) , are deciduous. But B. dissectum 
is evergreen, though often its single frond is brown-green or reddish brown in 
winter. It's always a delight to come across this lively-looking plant on the 

woodland floor, when all about it looks so dead. 

MOUNTAIN SPLEENWORT (Asplenium montanum) can be identified as much by its distinct- 
ive habitat as by its appearance. It thrives in tight crevices under rocky over- 
hangs, and one marvels at its survival in such adverse-looking circumstances. A 
delightful miniature, its fronds are only 2-5" long. 

WALKING FERN (Camptosaurus rhizophyllus ) is often thought of with CLIMBING FERN 
Lygodium palmatum) because of their leggy names and because each is so typically 
unfernlike. Walking fern, with narrow, undivided, almost arrow-like fronds mats 
woodland rocks, while climbing fern, with palm-shaped leaflets, climbs like a vine 
on surrounding vegetation, often in semishade. 

INTERMEDIATE WOODFERN (Dryopteris intermedia) thrives in the high elevation forests 
of yellow birch, spruce, and fir. Finely divided, its daintiness makes it look 
as if it should be fragile and deciduous, but it stays bright green all winter. 

Several seldom-seen ferns could be added to this evergreen fern list.,. and further 
north many more could join them. ^ 

Next time you're trail walking, how about some late winter-early spring ferning? 


, J J/ie Sietanu 9 d / u 6 is 45 years old ! 

At the January 22, 1988 Annual Meeting, the following officers were elected: 

PRESIDENT: Bill Verduin f • 

VICE PRESIDENT: Louise Foresman 

SECRETARY: Charlotte Carman 


RECORDER : Anne Ulinski 

The Honors Committee recognized two members: 

LOUISE FORESMAN was honored with a Life Membership in the Western Carolina 
Botanical Club for her years of service to the Club as plant recorder, as a mem- 
ber of the Holmes Educational State Forest plant study committee, as vice presi- 
dent, as chairman of various committees, and as a dependable worker. 

ELTON J. HANSENS was awarded a membership in the Second Wind Hall of Fame 
not only for his service to the Botany Club but also his service to the community. 

The Second Wind Hall of Fame recognizes and emphasizes activities after retirement 
using talents developed before and after retirement. 

Margaret Kuhn, Membership Chairman, reported that, as of December 31, 1987, the 
membership consisted of 141 families with 235 individual members. 

Margaret Kuhn, acting Treasurer reported that deposits during 1987 totaled $1,070.00, 
expenditures totaled $1,071.49. The balance as of Dec. 31, 1987 was $294.54. 

Elton Hansens, Community Services Chairman, reported that members contributed 
approximately 110 hours on community service projects. 

Dick Smith, Chairman of the Buck Springs Lodge Nature Trail on the Blue Ridge Park- 
way, reported that progress on the proposed trail continues to be stalled while the 
National Park Service struggles with the problem of when to build the new housing 
for Pisgah Inn employees. 

Millie Blaha. Chairman of the Holmes Educational State Forest Plant Study, reported 
that 394^ hours were spent on the study portion of the Forest Demonstration Trail 
observing plants in bloom. 

Bill Verduin, Community Relations Chairman, reported that gifts of $75 each were 
made to N.C. Nature Conservancy, N.C. Botanical Gardens at Asheville, and Southern 
Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (to preserve Roan Mountain). 

Grace Rice, Chairman of the Library Display Committee, reported on the display in 
the Hendersonville County Public Library during the month of April. 

A telephone tree has been devised whereby all members can be notified in case of 
emergency or cancellation or change in meeting dates or places. 

Dick Smith's "Look Again" page in Shortia is being assembled into a portfolio. 

The membership voted to keep dues at $8.00 per year per family 

After a delicious potluck luncheon of food provided by the Botany Club members, 
Barbara Hallowell, Gladys Mulvey, and Harry Logan who were members in 1973 when 
the Club was formed and who have continued their memberships for 15 years ^ reminisced 
about the Club's beginning. Other 1973 members who were unable to be present and 
who continue to be members are Peggy Camenzind, Nan Morrow, and Pat and Gordon Toox» y 
Four past presidents — Augie Kehr, Bruce Leech (who joined the Club late in 1973), 
Dick Smith, and Elton Hansens — shared their recollections of the Club. 

It was a Happy 15th Birthday for the Botany Club! 




Some of our most attractive plants not only are re- 
stricted to the southern mountains but within that narrow range 
have such limited distributions that the likelihood of seeing 
them may depend largely upon chance. 

This is exemplified by the 
endemic Lily of the Valley ( Convallaria 
montana ) , which occurs locally in the 
Appalachian and Blue Ridge provinces of 
only four states. It may possibly be a 
variety of the European ma jalis , 
which furnished the stock from which we 
have cultivated the familiar, fragrant 
Lilies of the Valley for many years, 
but whatever the nomenclature there are 
marked differences. The native plants 
are considerably larger, and the leaves 
overtop the flowers to a greater degree. 
Also, the individuals are spaced apart 
and do not crowd each other in dense, 
ground- covering colonies as do those of 
the typical _Ch ma jalis . 

The name "Wild Lily of the 

Valley" is often applied to Maianthemum convallaria Montana 

canadense , thereby causing confusion 

which could easily be avoided by using the literal translation 
of its scientific namei "Canada Mayflower". Aside from this, 

it cannot be confounded with Convallaria, 
It is of much smaller stature, and the 
leaves are alternate and the flowering 
stalk terminal, instead of all arising 
from the base. Most unusual for a 
member of the Lily Family is the fact 
that its floral parts are in multiples 
of two rather than three. 


- , 

.J, „ 

■ it* 

•V... .r 


S H O R T I A 


Vol. X, No. .1 Spring 1988 

A quarterly publication of the WESTERN CAROLINA BOTANICAL CLUB 

Editor: Millie Blaha Distribution: Frances Gadd 

Cedar Mountain, NC 28718 

President: Bill Verduin, Rt. 13, Box 186, Hendersonville, NC 28739 

Vice President: Louise Foresman, 67 Gosling Circle, Hendersonville, NC 28739 
Secretary: Charlotte Carman, 403 Deerhaven Lane, Hendersonville, NC 28739 

Treasurer: John Saby, 8 Tamarac Terrace, Hendersonville, NC 28739 



S H 0 R T I A 

% Frances Gadd 
218 Pheasant Run 
Hendersonville, NC 28739 





SUMMER 1988 




It is with deep regret that I must announce the resignation of Millie Blaha as 
Editor of SHORTIA. Her all too brief term as Editor gave abundant evidence of her 
talent as editor and writer. And her willingness to serve as both President and 
Editor concurrently bespeaks a deep devotion to the Botanical Club. For all you 
have done, Millie, many, many thanks from all your friends in the Club. 

And on the other hand, as the saying goes, it is with great pleasure that we welcome 
back Dorothy Rathmann as Editor of SHORTIA. Dorothy assisted Helen Turner for many 
years and then served as Editor for a year upon Helen's retirement, so she comes to 
the job "with experience and proven ability." We are grateful for her willingness 
to serve the Club in this capacity and look forward to many good issues of SHORTIA. 

Dorothy would be quick to add that SHORTIA will be only as good as the members make 
it. She welcomes suggestions and contributions. Do give her ideas for articles or 
features you would like to see in SHORTIA — and write something yourself that you 
think worth sharing with the Club. 

Reminder — as if any of us really needs one — at least not about the day at 
Holmes, June 24! Everybody come! Bring food and a healthy appetite — leave your 
diet at home. There will be hikes in the morning and lots of time for fellowship. 
Our Club seems just as adept at finding topics for conversation as for finding 
plants in bloom. Fun for all. 

Anyone planning to spend some time in New England this summer may want to consult 
the 1988 Schedule of Programs and Events put out by the New England Wild Flower 
Society. Looks like many interesting one and three day trips similar to our outings 
but in a variety of ecosystems unlike ours . 

HELP ! Elton Hansens 

The WCBC slides and script on Spring Flowers were loaned to someone and have not 
been returned. This is the duplicate set of the slides presented to Holmes 
Educational State Forest several years ago. I erred in making no record of the 
borrower. Will the person who has the slides please contact me? 


Eastern Filbert Blight, caused by the fungus Aniso gramma Anomala , threatens the 
hazelnut industry in Oregon's Willamette Valley where 99% of the U.S. crop is 
produced. The disease is similar in many respects to Chinese Chestnut blight and 
is just as devastating. 

Seeds from Corvlus americana (American hazelnut) and Corvlus comuta (beaked 
hazelnut) are needed — 25 seeds from each of 3 shrubs per location should be 
collected. Seedlings will be grown from these. 

When nuts are formed on the hazelnut shrubs late this summer, if you can collect 
them, please send them to: Shawn A. Mehlenbacher , Dept, of Horticulture, College 
of Agriculture Sciences, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2911. ^ 




Elton Hansens 

Verna Krouse has presented the following books to the Henderson 
County Public Library in memory of her husband: 

CANADA. (A beautiful and detailed treatment of the subject.) 
••Rost, Thomas L., M. G. Barbour, R. M. Thornton, T. E. Weier, and 
••Justice, William S., and C. Ritchie Bell. WILD FLOWERS OF NORTH 

••Newcomb, Lawrence. NEWCOMB'S WILDFLOWER GUIDE. (A very popular 
book with WCBC members.) 


••Elliot, John M. BOTANY. (Paper-back; 2 copies.) 

We appreciate Verna's generosity and would like to see others enlarge 
Botany holdings in the Library. 

A QUIET WALK Elton Hansens 

Can you imagine 25 members of WCBC walking a trail for twenty minutes 
without a word being spoken? Such was the wonder of the "quiet 
walkway" on the Cades Cove Road in the Smokies. When we started the 
trail our leader requested that we try a new experience and walk 
quietly without a word and look and listen -- listen to the voices of 
the birds and the stream and enjoy the flowers and the trees. This 
we did and as we walked the trail, even our footsteps became silent 
and we revelled in the peace and calm, and in the beauty of the 
"quiet walk." We must do this again in the right place and at the 
right time. 

The Smokies trip was at the peak of the Spring floral display both in 
kinds of flowers and in the sheer numbers of many species. Bill 
Verduin certainly selected the best dates and places for our trip; 
Cosby, Little River Trail, Little River Road, Chestnut Top Trail, and 
Chimney Tops Nature Trail revealed nearly 90 species in bloom. Cades 
Cove was an interesting historical place; on an evening trip we saw 
200 to 300 deer. Bill Verduin and Elton Hansens were co-leaders. 


Leadership/Organization: Flawless ! 

Area visited: Awesome! 

Weather: Perfect! 

Flowers: Spectacular! Super-abundant! 

Lodging: Spacious (each with refrigerator)! 

Participants: Enthusiastic! 

If you think I had a fantastic time, you're right! 

■ ' 

- 4 - 

THE INGENIOUS PLANT: Methods of Propagation 

Bessie Sinish 

The world in all seasons is clothed with flowers — the result of propagation. 
Plants perpetuate themselves and multiply in two ways: sexual (by seeds and some 
kinds of spores) and asexual (by vegetative parts). Sequencing of events is under 
genetic control with the DNA molecule in the cell nucleus acting as a sort of 
"Biological Clock" governing the events of sprouting, bloooming, and propagation. 

Plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials. Most annuals germinate from seeds, 
blossom, produce seeds and, then, completely die down in one growing season. A 
biennial, in the first year usually, produces a rosette of leaves and a fleshy root 
which acts as a reserve for over-wintering; in the second year it flowers and then 
dies out completely. Perennials under normal conditions live through many growing 
seasons and produce seeds each year; they can survive the winter on food stored in 
specialized underground stems. 

The greatest spendthrift of all times is Nature, producing thousands of seeds — yet 
only a few germinate having landed on spots compatible with their needs. Mature 
seeds are dormant and contain enough stored food for sprouting. Depending on the 
species and the immediate environment, seeds remain viable for a few months to many 
years. Dormancy ends (sprouting starts) under conditions of favorable moisture and 
temperature when other requirements such as light, the removal of chemical 
inhibitors and rupture of the seed coat have been met. 

Nature in her ingenious way ensures continuous growth of some plants by underground 
stems/roots. These anchor the plant in the soil, absorb water and minerals, conduct 
nutrients to the upper stem and leaves, and may serve as food storage receptacles 
for over-wintering. Such stems /roots mav be rhizomes, tubers, corns, bulbs, 
stolons, tillers, or suckers. 



The rhizome of plants such as iris, wild ginger, Solomon's seal and fern is an 
elongated underground stem; stems grow from the upper side and roots grow from 
below. Many trilliums have a short rhizome and grow from the tip. The tuber is an 
enlarged portion of a slender rhizome. It has small scale-like leaves (tiny buds) 
known as eyes or nodes that produce new plants; these eyes or nodes are nearly 
surrounded by starch. Potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, heliantheses , tuberous 
begonias and Boston fern are examples. 



- . 

- 5 - 

A short, solid vertical enlarged underground stem in which food is stored is 
called a corn; examples are gladiolus, crocuses, and Jack-in-the-pulpit . A bulb 
consists of a short conical stem bearing several concentric layers of fleshv 
modified leaves (as in an onion or daffodil) and is essentially a large bud 
containing considerable stored food. 

Some plants propagate by stems running along the 
surface of the ground such as stolons or tillers. 
Strawberries and Bermuda grass are in the first 
category. As the stolon creeps along the ground a 
node forms from which shoots and roots develop; in 
the Bermuda grass runner this takes place at every 
node while in the strawberry runner it occurs at 
every other node. In tillering, a stem grows 
laterally and roots at a joint ; here a lateral bud 
forms at the base of the node as, for example, in 
grasses and cereals. Another type of runner is a 
sucker which runs underground; it has stem-like 
roots with nodes that spread out around the main plant and produce many upright 
plants such as a clump of knot weed. 

There are three primary factors for successful propagation: water, energy, and 
light. All are essential for normal growth and development. The amount of water 
that a growing plant requires is astonishing. A young oak tree scarcely thirty 
feet tall can lose up to thirty gallons of water in a single hot summer day. This 
has to be made up from water in the soil, drawn into the tree by roots. Multiply 
this by the needs of all our vegetation! 

Energy within the cells is derived from respiration — the oxidation of food (for 
example, the sugar glucose) within the cells of living organisms, plant or animal. 
The starch stored around embryos in seeds or in underground stems is a polymer of 
glucose which is converted by enzymes back to glucose needed for growth and 
development . 

Similarly, light is necessary as one stimulus for the termination of dormancy and 
through the process of photosynthesis in green plant tissues, for the formation of 
glucose /starch. 

Also necessary for the development of a plant are hormones which act in regulating 
growth, cell division, stem elongation, and ripening processes. Environment is 
involved in maintaining genetic continuity as each species utilizes a specific 
part of its environment, its niche. The plant whose seeds are scattered does not 
always propagate "true” to the parent plant, while the plant which propagates by 
vegetative parts usually assures its genetic continuity. 

Admittedly, the word "ingenious" — meaning inventive, creative, inspired — was 
originated by man who applied it to himself. Man has a nervous system, marvelous 
muscle coordination and the ability to reason but has never been able to 
manufacture the raw materials upon which his life depends. The vegetable kingdom, 
which existed long before man, is the source of oxygen, sugar, cellulose and many 
other vital products and has the means to produce and reproduce these materials by 
mechanisms not yet fully understood. To me, plants deserve the designation 



Anne U1 inski , Recorder 

- 6 - 

For many at us spring means violets, the plants we admire but hesitate to identity. r V e 
noticed this spring that although some are trying to identity the plants, others are throwinq ud 
their hands and saying,” Even the experts don't try”. y w 

Suppose you could identity 14 species ot violets? Would you consider that a good step 
(maybe a tinal step!) in violet identitication? Here is a list ot 14 tound in our area with a 
system tor naming them. Concentrate on two observations: (1) Color and (2) Whether the 
leaves and tlowers are on the same stalk, or whether the leaves and tlowers are on separate 
stalks. Except tor the uncommon three-parted violet (Viola tripartita) we have identitied all ot 
these on our outings this spring. 


Leaves and tlowers on the same stalk: 

Smooth yellow V. enocarpa var. leiocarpa* (Leaves ovate) 

Halberd leat V. hastata (Leaves triangular, taper pointed) 

Three-parted V. tripartita (Leaves divided into 3 parts, not common) 

Leaves and tlowers on separate stalks (Only one in our area!): 

Early yellow V. rotunditolia (Leaves round) 


on the same stalk: 

V. canadensis (Flowers white, otten purple on back, yellow bearded) 
V. papilionacea var .price ana (Grey white tlowers) 

V. stricta (Flowers creamy, lower petal purple veined) 

V. ratinesquii (Small bluish white tlowers) 

Leaves and tlowers 
Field pansy 

Leaves and tlowers on separate stalks: 

Primrose-leaved V. primulitolia (Small tlowers, egg-shaped oblong leaves) 

Sweet white V. blanda (Small tlowers, rounded heart-shaped leaves) 

White torm/common blue V. papilionaceae (Large tlowers, heart-shaped leaves) 


Leaves and tlowers on the same stalk: 

Long-spurred V. rostrata (Spurred petal 1/2 inch long) 

Leaves and tlowers on separate stalks: 

Bird's-toot** V. pedata (Leat blades deeply clett, dry places) 

Swamp blue V. cucullata (Flowers overtop leaves, wet places) 

There are other purple /blue violets with leaves and tlowers on separate stalks tound in our 
area, but these tend to hybridize and are more ditticult to identity. Ricketts writes: "It has 
been said there are no true species in this group, but that all torm one vast and heterogeneous 

* Formerly called V. pensylvanica var. leiocarpa 
** Sometimes called the queen ot all violets 

Note: The species shown above all grow in our area according to "Manual ot the Vascular Flora 
ot the Carolinas", Radtord, Ahles and Bell, 1963. 

• . 





Numbering about 30° species, the Saxifrages encircle the 
northern hemisphere inhabiting for the most part cold and mountain- 
ous regions. Here in the Southern Appalachians we can lay exclus- 
ive claim to a couple of handsome members of the genus. 

• Mountain Saxifrage ( Saxifraga michauxii ) is probably the 
more familiar of the two. It grows from cracks in rocky ledges and 
on seepage slopes, but also spreads profusely on some grassy balds. 
Each plant emerges from a rosette of coarsely-toothed basal leaves 
which often assume a rich crimson hue. The myriad flowers, borne 
in a large diffuse panicle, form a cloud of misty white when seen 
from a little distance. They must, however, be examined closely 
with a hand lens to be fully appreciated — and to be distinguished 
from our other species. As shown by this 
diagram, they are zygomorphic (irregular) 
in form; the upper three petals are 
clawed and bear a yellowish gland near 
the base, whereas the lower two are spat- 
ulate and unmarked. The delicate beauty 
of these blossoms is enhanced by the ten 
stamens radiating from the center, each 
of which is tipped with a brick-red ball- 
shaped anther. 

The other species is S_. micranthidif olia , called Brook 
Saxifrage because it is so often found near running water. One of 
its favorite stances is on a moss-covered boulder' in the middle of 
a tumbling mountain stream, another is among spray-drenched rocks 
at the base of a waterfall. Brook Saxifrage -is a somewhat taller 
plant with more elongated leaves. The flowers are similar to those 
of _S_. michauxii but with the diagnostically importance of being 
actinomorphic , or regular, having all five petals clawed, yellow- 
spotted, and of the same shape. 

Much more rare in the western North Carolina mountains 
are S_. careyana (another southern endemic) and Early Saxifrage 
(S . virginiensis) , which is common throughout most of the piedmont 
prov ince . 

1 Go / 

- w,... 

v ?*«, 
• 0 

Vol . X, No. 2 

S H 0 R T I A 

Summer 1988 

A quarterly publication of the Western Carolina Botanical Club 

Editor: Dorothy Rathmann Distribution: Frances Gadd 

Please submit contributions for next issue by August 1 to: 

Dorothy Rathmann, Editor 
Carolina Village Box 23 
Hendersonville, NC 28739 

tSM *<*** 
C AfcP ** 1 


c/o Frances Gadd 
218 Pheasant Run 
Hendersonville , 

NC 28739 




AUTUMN 1988 




President: Bill Verduin Treasurer: John Saby 

Vice President: Louise Foresman Recorder: Anne Ulinski 

Secretary: ' Charlotte Carman 


I enjoy reading and I'm sure most of you do, too. Sometimes it's the 
story that holds the interest; sometimes, in nonfiction, we are amazed 
at truths that are, indeed, stranger than fiction. These discoveries 
come with surprising frequency when reading in the natural sciences. 

But I'm ever on the alert for still another source of pleasure in the 
written word. Every now and then I come across a choice selection of 
words and phrases which so beautifully express my own deep feelings -- 
feelings which I just haven't been quite able to put into words. Such 
a tidbit I found recently in writings by Gwen Frostic -- words so 
simple, a thought so profound. Read it slowly, several times. 

Let's wander here and there - - - 
like leaves floating in the autumn air 
and look at common little things - - - 
stones on the beach - - - 
flowers turning into berries - - - 
- - - from the winds we'll catch a bit 
of that wondrous feeling that comes - - - 
- - - not from seeing - - - 
but from being part of nature.... 


Bill and Evelyn Verduin were surprised people when they were honored 
at Kanuga Conferences on June 29 with the naming of Verduin Hall at 
the Boys and Girls Camp. Bill envisioned and built this camp when he 
was on the staff of Kanuga Conferences from 1950 to 1963. At the 
close of the 1988 Annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, Bill and 
Evelyn were presented with a hand-lettered citation honoring them as 
special people, dedicated contributors to the Conferences. The 
meeting adjourned for unveiling of the appropriate sign at the 
entrance to Verduin Hall. We congratulate Bill and Evelyn. 


Hendersonville 28739 unless otherwise noted 


*Devitt, Clayton F. & Barbara M., 

18 Hillendale Road, Asheville, NC 28805 251-1486 

Galda, Odessa, 601 Carolina Drive, Tryon, NC 28782 859-6093 

Rieber, Jesse P. & Agnes, 575 Rutledge Drive 692-958’6 

410 SW Natura Ave . , Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 305-428-9685 


Canfield, Earl & Margaret, Carolina Village Box 197 692-5118 

Keith, Tom & Marion, Carolina Village Box 125 692-4833 



For the Covered Dish Lunch at Holmes State Forest on June 24, Ruth Mack brought a 
salad and her favorite serving set. Somehow, the fork "ran away" without the spoon 
and could not be found after the luncheon. If you know the fork's whereabouts 
please call Ruth (685-8720). She misses it and will welcome it home! 


Elton Hansens will teach a new course titled INSECTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT at Blue 
Ridge Community College from Sept. 27 thru Nov. 15 (8 weeks). The class will meet 
Tuesdays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Color slides, lectures, discussion and field trips 
will be used in this imaginative course on how insects cope with their environment 
through specialized habits, structure and adaptations. A wide range of topics will 
be introduced and questions answered such as: "How do ants find the kitchen 
cupboard? Can moths see in the dark? Why do mosquitoes always bite me?" Join us. 


Interested in learning more about the relationship of nature and literature? Plan 
to attend the Friends of the Library luncheon to hear Fred Taylor talk on this 
interesting subject. The program will be held Thursday, September 15 at 12 Noon, at 
Bonclarken. Reservations must be made by September 12. Pick up a reservation form 
at the library or call Larry Kenyon (697-1835). 

Many of us know Fred Taylor as a fellow hiker and teacher. He is a graduate of 
Carleton College and Union Theological Seminary and is currently working on a PhD 
from Union Graduate school. His outdoor experiences range from the Pacific 
Northwest, where he was bom, to the Southern Appalachians, which he now calls home. 
"I can't think of a better place to focus on my goal of studying nature and all that 
has been written about it," he said. "These mountains, so full of diversity of 
plant and animal life, have so much to teach, and I'm eagerly learning all I can. 
Botanical Club hikes have been a major source of my knowledge about the natural 
history of this area." Let's give Fred our support. 

FROM THE EDITOR Dorothy Rattmann 

In this issue, you'll find articles by Bill Verduin and Elton Hansens which might be 
classed as MJSINGS — reflections on a nature theme. Other WCBC members have asked 
if I'd like them to submit items from their reading — or writing. The answer is 
yes. Of course, there's not space for everything and I know how to "use a blue 
pencil." But with that caveat, I do hope you will give me or talk with me about 
items you think could be used in SHORT IA. 


Several WCBC members have spoken to me about traveling and botanizing in Switzerland. 
I have been there many times and can put you in touch with a program that provides an 
apartment in a small town plus support services at a reasonable price. 'Not a tour, 
but a Swiss Untour . Let me know if I can help. You should start planning now for 







Elton Hansens 

All of us in the WCBC look at flowers as wondrous things but 
the wonder we see varies from person to person. Some see flowers 
as things of beauty. They enjoy the harmony of colors and texture 
and form; the interplay of light and shadow; the majesty of trees; 
and the ability of mosses and lichens to live on fallen trees or 
bare rocks. And then there are those who want to know the name of 
everything and not only the common name but also the scientific 
name including subspecies and variety if they exist. 

Some of us hike looking for new things or the old in new places. 

We see interrelationships and even know what plants we may enjoy 
in the deep woods, in a bog, a salt marsh or along a river bank. 

We know which old friends live together and which are the extro- 
verts that show up in all sorts of places. 

Then there are the odd balls, and I am one of them, who see 
the flowers and their relationships but who also look for the 

insects, good and bad, and evidence of their presence leaves 

tied together with silk, or folded, or chewed in certain ways. 

We look for the crab spiders and ambush bugs stalking their 
prey in the blossoms of goldenrod and other flowers. 

Other "plant freaks" want to know how the flower is put together 
and why. They tell you that some flowers are not flowers at all 
but only call attention to the true flowers and that other flowers 
are really a whole bouquet of perhaps several hundred flowers. 

Today let's take a walk and look closer than usual at a few 
friends. On this misty morning on the Parkway letfe walk along 
the roadside and then venture into more secluded woodland and 
perhaps even explore a mountain stream or waterfall. Let's go! 

Look! Here is a plant that always gives me trouble. I never 
can remember its common name or its scientific name but I do 
know that the plant has milky juice — perhaps it's a milkweed 
or a euphorbia. Both have milky 
juice. That gives me a clew and 
I remember that we are looking at 
flowering spurge. Newcomb p. 202 
tells me it is Euphorbia corollata 
and gives a very neat description: 

"White flowers 1/4 " wide with 5 
roundish petal-like parts (actually 
bracts surrounding the tiny 
flowers) in an open cluster." Use 
your hand lens. You will see the 
5 showy bracts with a nectar gland 
at the base of each. The tiny 
flowers in the center consist of a 
single large pistillate (female) 
flower surrounded by 2 to 15 small 
staminate (male) flowers. Thus that 

simple white flower on close examination is a cluster of tiny 
incomplete flowers surrounded by insect attracting bracts and 
nectar glands. (See illustration above). 



That plant with the white flower about an inch across and with 
a yellow center has some interesting features. I’ll pick one 
so we can look at it closely. Ouch! The ouch was for a good 
reason. Look at the spines on the stem, on the top and bottom 
of the leaves and even on the buds. Our specimen is the Horse 

Settle ( Solanum car olinense ) , 
and is fairly common on roadsides 
and in weedy fields. 

Let’s look at the flower which may 
be either white or purple. From 
the back we see the 5 pointed 
sepals extending from a cup-like 
base. The petals are joined into 
a 5-pointed star and surround the 
most interesting feature of the 
flower, the 5 bright yellow stamens. 
These are elongate, paired pollen 
sacs. Your hand lens will reveal 
a pore at the tip of each sac. 

These "salt-shakers" distribute 
the pollen when insects visit the 
flower. These sacs (anthers), then, 
are specialized release mechanisms 
to assure that pollen is deposited on an insect for transfer to 
another flower. On the other hand the stigma is a green knob 
that extends beyond the center of the stamens and is in the 
perfect position to receive pollen. 

Over there, those tubular flowers about an inch long and pale to 
deep purple colored are the Gray Beard-tongue, Pentstemon 
canescens, Note the gray downy stems. The prominent corolla 
is narrow and attached at the 5-pointed calyx. The corolla 
flares out near the middle into a large throat with 2 lobes 
above and 3 larger lobes beneath. The corolla is readily pulled 
off and the style is left behind attached to the ovary and 
persists even on the mature fruit. We will find the tongue by 
pulling the corolla apart. 

First we see 2 pairs of 
fertile stamens attached 
on the corolla near its 
base. Then we note 
another long filament 
with long hairs on its 
upper side and extending 
to the lip of the flower. 

This sterile stamen or 
staminode is the beard- 
tongue of the common 

name. The remarkable structure apparently functions to ensure 
that bees encounter the fertile stamens and stigma and it may 
be somewhat attractive to the insects. I think more beauty 
exists inside the flower than outside. 

There's another interesting plant called spiderwort ( Trades - 
cantia virginiana ) . When you pick a flower you will feel a 
mucilaginous or slimy sap. The flower is fairly large and 
very beautiful but you must look closely with a lens to 
appreciate it. That's all I have to say I 




SjRocfc SPai / * -ANNE U LI NS K I, recorder 


It was a very special day for the Botanical Club - May 13, 1988 - 
when we went to Chimney Rock Park as the guests of Elisabeth Feil, 

Park naturalist. Elisabeth recently completed her Masters Degree at 
UNCC and her thesis was based on the floristics and vegetative patterns 
of Chimney Rock Park. She shared her extensive knowledge of the Park 
with us and I was fortunate to be able to record much of it. For all 
those who could not be there, and for those who gave up their places 
near Elisabeth to me so I could make the recording, here are some of 
the highlights of the outing. 

The massive rock faces at Chimney Rock Park are composed of Henderson 
Gneiss with an overlay of broken mica schist. The Gneiss takes up 
little water so what water there is has to come from the rain water 
running over the top. The mica schist acts as a reservoir and releases 
water slowly with the result there is constant seepage over the lower 
rocks. This constant seepage together with the northern exposure and the steepness of 
the rocks which keeps the sunshine out, creates a cold micro-climate. 

On these northern rock faces we saw two unusual plants: the Deerhair Bulrush, ( Scirpus 
cespitosus var. callosus ) listed as rare by Radford* and the Biltmore Sedge ( Carex 
biltmoreana ) . The Deerhair Rush, according to Elisabeth, is a truly arctic tundra plant 
found in Alaska and Siberia. The Biltmore Sedge, also listed as rare by Radford, is 
entirely dependent on the cold micro-climate found on the rock face. Another unusual 
plant is the Fir Club Moss ( Lycopodium selago ) which is found at Chimney Rock at about 
1800 feet, and has never been recorded at that low an altitude in the southern Appala- 
chians. This lycopodium forms a hybrid with Shining Club Moss, and this hybrid is found 
in the forest at Chimney Rock and is as yet unnamed. 

At many places along the trails we saw the Wafer Ash ( Ptelea trifoliata ). We seldom 
see this three-leaved shrub and we were fortunate on this day to see it in both flower 
and seed. 

Other unusual plants we saw in bloom were Carey's Saxifrage ( Saxifraga careyana ), and 
the Northern Downy Violet ( Viola fimbriatula ) . We saw Spike Moss ( Selaginella apoda ), 
Blunt-lobed Woodsia ( Woodsia obtusa ), Purple Cliff-brake ( Pellaea atropurpurea ) which 
grows only in limestone, and the rare Lobed Spleenwort ( Asplenium pinnatif idum ) , a 
hybrid between Walking Fern ( Asplenium rhizophyllum ) and Mountain Spleenwort ( Asplenium 
montanum ) . We saw a tiny specimen of the Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain ( Goodyera repens 
var. ophioides ) and growing under some steps on the trail, a grass ( Uniola latifolia ) 
which is related to the sea otas. For a more familiar plant, who can forget walking 
through a bower of Carolina Rhododendrons with blooms ranging from white through pale 
pink. And there was lunch at the bottom of the waterfall with a fine view of the 

Chimney Rock Park is open from March through November, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
daily. Fees are $7.00 per day for adults, $4 for children 6-15 years of age and $12 
for a season pass. Snacks are available at the Sky Lounge. A new attraction this year 
is the Nature Center developed by Elisabeth Feil. A nature trail guide is available 
with sequenced numbered stops beginning in the parking lot, proceeding to the Sky Line 
Trail and returning on the Cliff Trail. The park is well maintained and can be ’recommnded 
for the casual visitor and the naturalist. 

♦Manual of the Vasular Flora of the Carolinas, by Radford, Ahles and Bell, University 
of North Carolina Press 1968. 




Occasionally when keying out two plants that look almost 
identical we are surprised to discover that they are not close rel- 
atives within a single genus but actually belong to different 
families. This is the case with Aruncus dioicus . a member of the 
Rose Family and one of several plants known as Goat ' s-beard , and 
Astilbe biternata of the Saxifrage Family, which because of the 
resemblance is called False Goat ' s-beard . 

Both species have serrate, bi 
ternately compound leaves and large 
panicles of tiny white flowers. 

Even at some distance, however, one 
clear difference can usually be 
discerned* the terminal leaflet on 
Astilbe is three-lobed whereas on 
Aruncus they are uniformly s 
Closer at hand, Astilbe can 
and felt, to have glandular 
on the upper stem and in the 
escence, as contrasted with the 
glabrous Aruncus . 

These are short-cuts, of 
course, the classification of flow- 
ering plants being .based for the most part not on such characters 

as leaf shape and pubescence but on 
similarities in floral structure which 
seem to imply ancestral kinship. 

This will be evident if we trace these 
two by means of a key, for it will 
tell us that, among other criteria, 
Astilbe flowers have ten stamens while 
the staminate flowers of Aruncus ( it 
is dioecious) have at least fifteen 
and frequently more. 

imple . 
be seen, 


Vol . X, No. 3 

Autumn 1988 



S H 0 R T I A 

A quarterly publication of the Western Carolina Botanical Club 

Editor: Dorothy Rathmann Distribution: Frances Gadd 

Please submit contributions for next issue by November 15 to: 

Dorothy Rathmann, Editor 
Carolina Village Box 23 
Hendersonville, NC 28739 

I »M*fr** 


c/o Frances Gadd 
218 Pheasant Run 
Hendersonville , 

NC 28739 





WINTER 1988-89 




President: Bill Verduin Treasurer: John Saby 

Vice President: Louise Foresman Recorder: Anne Ulinski 

Secretary: Charlotte Carman 


Bill Verduin 

Friendship is what it's 
Botanical Club. Oh, I 
joined -- but now I'm on 
on a Latin-name basis.) 
a much larger number 
mountains . 

all about. Yes, I am talking about the 
knew quite a few common wildflowers when I 
friendly terms with ever so many more. (Even 
I had several favorite trails, but now I know 
of "user-friendly” areas in our beautiful 

But best of all, 
members. You are 
great privilege to 
to the many trail 
you do to make our 

of course, are the many new friends among you, the 
a group of mighty fine people and it has been a 
count many of you friends. To my fellow officers, 
leaders, and to all of you a hearty thanks for all 
hikes and meetings such friendly occasions. 

And so to one and all, a Merry Christmas, and may the New Year bring 
many happy days for all of us "on the trail." 


Last year, some WCBC members ordered a reprint collection of Dick 
Smith's LOOK AGAIN! pages. Millie Blaha tells us that she has nine 
extra copies of the collection at $3.25 each, including postage. If 
you want one, drop a note and check made out to: Millie Blaha, Drawer 
F, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718. 


Hendersonville 28739 unless otherwise noted 

*Mathis, Mr. & Mrs. Harris, Rte. 4, Box 164A, 

Mill Cove, Brevard, NC 28712 885-2764 

+ Rte. 2, Box 44, Jennings, FL 32053 

*Pearce, Sr., James & Jean, PO Box 822, Flat Rock, NC 287 31 - - 692-3885 

*Phillips, George W., PO Box 147, Flat Rock, NC 28731 693-4681 

-t-Sawyer, Martin & Ruth, 2301 Fremont Drive, Sarasota, FL 34238... 

*Tangert, Eugene & Elfriede, 619 Hidaway Cove 692-9909 


Krouse, Verna M. , 580 Shuford Circle Drive, Newton, NC 28658 . .465-2209 
Orchard, Neville & Beryl, 17 Skynka Trail, Columbus, NC 28722... 
Wagner, Louis, 2601 Highway 64 E, Box 118 692-8713 

- . 


- 3 - 

The Friends of the (Henderson Co.) Library recently acknowledged, with 
thanks, gifts in memory of the late Louise Wagner. According to 
Nancy G. Snowden, Adult Services Librarian, these gifts have been used 
to purchase the following books: 

ON NATURE ed . bv Daniel Halpern 


WORDS FROM THE LAND ed. by Stephen Trimble 

A BOOK OF BEES bv Sue Hubbell 


THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES; a story by Jean Giono 



The two principal objectives of the University Botanical Gardens are 
to collect and preserve the native plants of the Southern Appalachian 
area and to display them for enjoyment and education. 

To accomplish the first objective of collection and preservation 
requires continuous care of the collection in the Gardens and, 
simultaneously, the replacement of lost species and the seeking out 
and addition of new species to make the collection more nearly 
comprehens ive . These activities are very demanding in terms of both 
time and knowledge. 

The second objective, to display the plants, is intimately related to 
and dependent upon the first but, in addition, requires display of the 
plants in esthetically attractive ways so that the Gardens will be 
appealing to visitors. Unfortunately many plants are small and 
obscure so that obvious esthetic displays are not feasible. Thus, 
detailed knowledge of the location of these plants in the Gardens is 
necessary if they are to be identified, appreciated and studied. 

The effort and dedication of the volunteers over the years in 
accomplishing these objectives has been indeed remarkable. 

In 1975 Dr. Martin Wadewitz (1895-1985 ) and his committee on plant 
identification published a catalogue of the plants in the Gardens and 
a map of the Gardens divided into sections. With this catalogue and 
the map, a volunteer or a visitor could direct his search for a 
specific species to a section of the Gardens. However, these sections 
varied in size from about 100'x30' to 200'x200'. 

Ten years later computers had been developed to where it was'possible 
to put all of the information in the plant catalogue, as well* as 
additional information, into the memory of the computer and, also, to 
produce a map for display on the computer monitor. 


. . 

- 4 - 

At that time, I proposed the development of a computerized map of the 
Gardens to the Computer Science Department at UNCA as a senior project 
for a computer science major. The suggestion was accepted bv the 
Department and Mr. Jack Culbertson selected the project for his senior 
project. In the spring of 1986 Jack had developed a program and 
demonstrated its feasibility by preparing one section of the map and 
demonstrating it on the computer monitor. 

Some time later when I had almost completed putting the data for the 
map in the computer, Dr. Michael Ruiz, Professor and Chairman of the 
Physics Department, happened by and expressed an interest in the 
mapping process. In our subsequent discussions he became interested 
in the whole display concept and offered to write a program to 
implement it. In the next few months Dr. Ruiz prepared a highlv 
imaginative and sophisticated program. Not only was the map displayed 
but beside the map was a "window" in which the common names of plants 
was . displayed in alphabetical order; in another "window" was shown the 
blooming dates and the botanical name of any plant selected; and 
finally the location of the plant on the map could be lighted. It was 
a highly successful effort to "display" the plants in the Gardens and 
to show their precise locations. 

During the next several months I put the data into the computer basing 
its organization on the VASCULAR PLANTS OF THE CAROLINAS by Radford? 
Ahles and Bell. The data included the botanical names and common 
names of the plants, their blooming dates, their locations based on a 
grid covering the map so that each location had an x and v coordinate, 
and the sources of the plants if they were known. 

This input of data was tedious and at times frustrating, yet it was 
also rewarding. The tediousness arose from the fact that each piece 
of data had to be entered precisely as it had been programmed and the 
slightest variation in sequence or punctuation would completely abort 
the program when I next tried to - run it. The searching for such 
errors was a slow and frustrating part of the experience. The 
frustration was heightened by the fact that during the time I was 
inputting data the brand of the computer was changed four times with 
accompanying changes in commands. But through it all the gradual 
accumulation of data, its storage and ease of retrieval and the 
ability to display the precise location of a plant on the map made it 
all very rewarding. 

The presence in the Gardens of 728 species, 427 genera and 129 
families is the result of the work over the years of many dedicated 
volunteers. Ahead there is the challenge of adding to the collection 
to make it more nearly a complete representation of the plants of the 
Southern Appalachians and the Southeastern United States and to make 
their display readily available through the use of the computer. 

■ ■ 



Elton Hansens 

For centuries, some plants or parts of plants -- roots, leaves, stems 
flowers, or seeds -- have been used against insect pests. Only in the 
present century have the actual toxic chemicals in plants been 
isolated and their chemical structures determined. In a few cases 
these toxic chemicals have been used either as ground up plant parts 
or as extracts of the toxic chemicals from the plants. These 

botanical insecticides became commercially available and were used for 
controlling insects in agriculture or specialty products such as 
household fly sprays. Commercial products came from six plant 
families and are nicotine in Solanaceae , pyrethrum in Asteraceae, 
derris and cube in Fabaceae , hellebore in Liliaceae , and ryania in the 
tropical Flacour tiaceae . Only pyrethrum is used in appreciable 
amounts today. 

Pyrethrum, extracted from the dried flowers of Chrysanthemum 
cinerariaefolium , is a highly effective contact insecticide used in 
sprays or aerosols against aphids, houseflies end other pests. 
Pyrethrum breaks down quickly in sunlight and has ve . low toxicity in 
mammals. The crop is labor intensive for flowers must be harvested by 
hand when they have maximum pyrethrum content. 

For nearly 30 years chemists sought to identify the insecticidal 
constituents of the flowers and, finally, isolated four related 
compounds which are insecticidal, namely, pyrethrin I, pyrethrin II, 
cinerin I and cinerin II. Of these cinerin I has the simplest 
structure. Following this break-through, chemists succeeded in 

synthesizing a safe and stable related compound which they named 
Allethrin. By 1951 Allethrin had reached the market and 10,000 lbs. 
of it was used in aerosol bombs. 

This success stimulated research for other related compounds and a 
number were synthesized. Among them was Resmethrin which has longer 
residual life and equal safety to Allethrin. 

Hundreds of plants have been identified which have toxicity or 
repellency to insects. Most poisons are at concentrations too low for 
commercial development. However, plants find them useful as part of 
their arsenals against insects. 

Some of the plants we in WCBC see regularly contain low levels of 
insecticidal compounds. These include ox-eye ( Heliopsis helianthoides 
var. scabra ) , fly poison ( Amianthium muscae toxicum ) , bunch flower 
( Mel ianthium virginicum ) , hellebore ( Veratrum album and viridis ) , 
Peruvian ground cherry ( Nicandra phvsalodes ) , Virginia creeper 
( Par thenocissus quinquef olia ) , poison hemlock ( Conium maculatum ) , and 
goat's rue ( Tephrosia virginiana ) . Others recorded for North Carolina 
include crop plants such as pumpkin ( Cucurbi ta pepo ) and tobacco 
( Nico t iana sp.), ornamentals such as canna ( Canna sp.) and castor bean 
( Ricinus communis ) and trees and shrubs including China berry ( Me 1 ia 
azedarach ) , American chestnut (Castanea dentata ) and Hercules club 
( Zanthoxylum clava-herculis ) . 





As June began, the pink-shell azaleas on Pilot Mountain, the lady's 
slippers at Kanuga, the trilliums, the violets, the anemones, the 
bellworts together with the cool days of spring faded into our memories 
and the hot, dry summer began. There were few respites, but we con- 
tinued to search for plants, preferably in high places. 

So we went to Richland Balsam, and to Craggy Gardens. We went to Big 
Butt where we found Indian paintbrush, wild geranium and the yellow 
Clintonia ( Clintonia borealis ) . As we drove up the gravel road and 
through the gates to the tracking station on Sugarloaf Mountain we saw 
goat ' s-beard , wild yam, fawn's breath, spiderwort. We drove to Roan 
Mountain to search for and find Gray's lily (Lilium grayi ) , the white 
cinquefoil ( Potentilla tridentata ) , the rare Robbin's ragwort ( Senecio 
robbinsii ) and Mitchell's St. John'swort ( Hypericum mitchellianum ) . 

Ben Tullar and Bud Pearson took 23 of us to Daniel Creek where some old favorites 
were spotted: Yellow star-grass, enchanter ' s-nightshade , sabatias or marsh pink, 
and Deptford pink. The woods were delightfully cool the day we went to Bear Pen 
Gap. The area near the trail had been burned out by a forest fire a few weeks 
earlier, but a back-fire had protected the trail itself including the numerous 
plants of umbrella leaf with their leaves grown to an enormous size. At the top 
of the trail, as we came out into the high meadow, we walked through a field of 
phlox in full bloom to a rock outcrop where we had our lunch. 

In August, Bill Verduin and Ivan Kuster took us on a day trip to the Black Camp 
Gap area which included Heintooga and the meadow near the Masonic Monument. We 
saw the rare Rugel's ragwort ( Senecio rugelia ) at Heintooga, and open fields full 
of wildf lowers at the meadow beyond the Masonic Monument. Again we found the 
orange-fringed orchids although not as numerous as the previous year. 

Those who were fortunate enough to tour the'N.C. Mountain Horticultural Crops 
Research Center, heard Dr. Stewart Warren speak about herbicides, ground covers 
to control erosion, and research projects in progress at the Center.' There was 
a tour of some of the experimental plots, and lunch in an air-conditioned con- 
ference room. 

Then came the time for gentians, grass of parnassus, sundews and ladies ' -tresses , 
and we drove to the Parkway to search for them. With Millie Pearson, we went 
to the rock cliffs across from Log Hollow Overlook, then to an area on Rt. 215 
and finally to the rock faces past the Herrin Knob Overlook. Although the 
rocks were drier than usual, we found the plants we hoped to see, and many 
others . 

The summer would not have been complete without the composites. We looked at 
hairy stems, glands on bracts, basal leaves (when we could find them) disc and 
ray flowers (fertile and otherwise), and struggled with the keys. If_ the words 
Helianthus . Heterotheca , Hieracium and Heliopsis made your head swim, you could 
close your book, step back to enjoy the profusion of gold and purple flowerd, 
breathe in the cool air and be content to be in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a 
fine summer day. 





To most of us a hemlock is a hemlock, and if we don’t push 
it too far we are correct. At least we learned long ago that the 
tea that did Socrates in was not made from the familiar evergreen 
tree but from a very different plant belonging to the Parsley 
Family--Poison Hemlock, or Conium fnaculatum. 

It is, in fact, possible to 
brew a perfectly harmless tea from 
the needles of a hemlock tree, and 
although it is claimed to have a high 
Vitamin C content it can hardly be 
recommended for pure enjoyment unless 
one happens to like the taste of 
Christmas trees. 


Actually, there are more than a 
dozen species of Tsuga , or true 

Hemlock (unlike most generic names, which are derived from Greek 
or Latin, this one is Japanese). Of the two in our area, Eastern 
Hemlock (T_. canadensis ) is by far the more widespread, extending 
all the way into southern Canada. 

It is the one best known to us, a 
graceful, bluish-green tree with 
feathery, softly drooping branches. 

The Individual needles are flat, and 
although they are attached spirally 
to the twigs they are twisted at the 
base so that they extend outward in 
two opposite ranks, except for a few 
that lie upside-down along the top. 

The cones of Eastern Hemlock have 
thin woody scales and are quite small, 
seldom exceeding three-quarters of an 
inch in length. 


Confined to the mountains of North Carolina and adjacent 
states, and nowhere abundant, is the Carolina Hemlock (IN carol- 
iniana) . It is a brighter green in color, and the needles, which 
are longer than those of Eastern Hemlock, project from the twig 
in all directions instead of lying in flat sprays. The cones are 
an inch or more long, with scales that spread widely at maturity. 


•• . 

S >Ur 

Vol . X , No . 4 

S H 0 R T I A 

Winter 1988 - 89 

A quarterly publication of the Western Carolina Botanical Club 

Editor: Dorothy Rathmann Distribution: Frances Gadd 

Please submit contributions for next issue by February 15, 1989 to: 

Dorothy Rathmann, Editor 
Carolina Village Box 23 
Hendersonville, NC 28739 

Dues: $8.00 per year (includes all members of immediate family). 
Make check payable to Western Carolina Botanical Club and send to 
John Saby, Treasurer, 8 Tamarac Terrace, Hendersonville, NC 28739. 




c/o Frances Gadd 
218 Pheasant Run 
Hendersonville, NC 28739