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Results tagged “june-20”

Jun 20, 2012: Chondrostereum purpureum

Chondrostereum purpureum

An entry written by former 2011-2012 work-study student Katherine that I had squirreled away today. She writes:

Today, we have a lovely purple fungus known as Chondrostereum purpureum or silverleaf fungus. Many thanks to Marianne (aka marcella2/tovje@Flickr) for this wonderful image of Chondrostereum purpureum covered in exuding water droplets (via the UBC Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Please see a previous Botany Photo of the Day entry on Fomitopsis pinicola for more on guttating fungi.

Some of you may be familiar with Chondrostereum purpureum, or at least the disease it causes in trees (silverleaf), as this fungus can be parasitic on a number of ornamental and/or orchard woody species, particularly those in Prunus (cherries & plums and more), Malus (apples) and Pyrus pears. A clear explanation of silverleaf disease is provided by New Zealand's Horticulture and Food Research Institute.

Another common name for Chondrostereum purpureum is violet crust, as individuals starts their growth as a crust on exposed sapwood, then develop to be about 3cm in width with a "tough rubbery texture", according to the Wikipedia entry. Subsequently, the crust "dries out, becomes brittle, and turns a drab brown or beige" with the "infected wood [...] stained a darker tint".

In addition to rosaceous woody plants, Chondrostereum purpureum can also infect many other broad-leaved species (and even a few conifers), giving the species an extensive global distribution (mirroring to a large extent its host plants).

Chondrostereum purpureum is not considered edible. However, it does have an effective economic use in inhibiting resprout and regrowth of cut tree stumps. This application of the fungus can particularly be used by the electrical industry for stumps near power lines. The species is also undergoing testing as a possible control for competing vegetation in conifer plantations by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range (though given how easily fungi spread, one wonders if this could have deleterious effects on the British Columbia orchard industries, even with assurances that this "mycoherbicide is restricted to the target vegetation").

For those interested, MycoBank.org provides microscopic and spore descriptions for their available cultures of Chondrostereum purpureum.

Jun 20, 2011: Aquilegia brevistyla

Aquilegia brevistyla

I'm away this week, so only brief entries with the photographs.

To start a small series on Ranunculaceae, or the buttercup family, I've chosen this native of northern North America, Aquilegia brevistyla or blue columbine. It has a continuous distribution throughout much of Canada and Alaska from Ontario west, but also has disjunct populations occurring in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. This photograph was taken in mid-June in open woods along the roadside near Chetwynd, British Columbia.

Jun 20, 2009: Elaeocarpus hainanensis (tentative)

Elaeocarpus hainanensis

Today's photo and entry once again come from the camera and pen of Douglas Justice.

As a person fascinated with plants of all kinds—though admittedly, I'm more familiar with temperate plants—I couldn't help but be impressed with the range of tropical and subtropical plants at the South China Botanical Garden, where I attended the Second International Magnolia Symposium this past May. I should confess, too, that woody plants, especially trees, are my great passion. Leaving magnolias aside, one of the most beautiful groups I saw in the garden was the Elaeocarpus collection. The tree pictured is about 5 m tall and about as wide. Each and every branch was festooned with sweetly scented cream and white flowers. The overall effect of the fringed blooms against the glossy, deep green leaves was exceptionally beautiful. In all, I saw some five distinct species, though there were probably many more in the collection.

The name hainanensis indicates that this species is found on Hainan Island, off the south coast of China (it also occurs on the adjacent mainland and in Indochina). Although unlabeled, the species resembled other trees of E. hainanensis, so this is the name I've provisionally given to it; as there are about 350 species in the genus, however, I'm just as likely to be wrong about the identification. I strongly suspect that many species are grown as ornamentals because of their clean, evergreen foliage and their great beauty when in flower.

Jun 20, 2007: Ulva intestinalis

Today's photographs and write-up are courtesy of Douglas Justice, UBC Botanical Garden's Curator of Collections. This is the second in a series of at least four BPotD entries on algae.

Ulva intestinalis is pictured here attached to smooth basaltic rock in brackish water on MacKenzie Beach, just north of Pacific Rim National Park. This species is a common feature of tidepools around the world, where it is known variously as sea hair or (more appropriately) gut weed. An annual species, local beaches are littered with their bleached, dried-up stems as temperatures fall in the autumn.

Daniel adds: Note that many references will have this algae under the name Enteromorpha intestinalis (L.) Nees, e.g., DeCew's Guide. For a long time, Enteromorpha was considered a distinct genus from Ulva, based mainly on its tubular growth form. The two genera have now been merged; see Hayden et al. 2003. Linnaeus was right all along: Ulva and Enteromorpha are not distinct genera. (PDF) European Journal of Phycology. 38: 277-294.

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