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The Orchids in the Ottawa District: Floristics, Phytogeography, Population Studies and Historical Review by Joyce M. Reddoch and Allan H. Reddoch. Special issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist, volume 111 (1), 1997.

This 186-page work describes the 44 orchid species that have been found within 50 km of Canada's National Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. It contains information on identification, past abundance, population changes, development cycles, and relative stability of colonies. It is presented as a baseline study from which to design further research and prepare effective planning measures to protect wild orchid populations.

The Introduction describes the history of collecting and recording since 1856, principal orchid habitats, local distribution patterns, rare species, colour forms, capsules and seeds, blooming dates, and other topics.

Each species account provides detailed information on the above topics, as well as a brief description of the plant. A drawing and a spot distribution map accompany each account. Correlations of some species with the Canadian Shield or the St. Lawrence Lowlands, or with calcareous rock, sandstone or sand deposits are shown. Long-lived colonies of many species are described, and population studies are included for Corallorhiza striata, Goodyera pubescens, G. tesselata, Platanthera hookeri, P. orbiculata, and Spiranthes cernua.

To obtain copies of this journal issue, send CAN $10.00 plus $2.50 (postage and handling) for each copy to The Canadian Field-Naturalist, P.O. Box 35069, Westgate P.O., Ottawa, Canada K1Z 1A2.

Phillip Cribb


Luer, Carlyle A. Icones Pleurothallidinarum XIV. Systematics of Draconanthes, Lepanthes subgenus Marsipanthes and subgenus Lepanthes of Ecuador. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri. 1996. Price unknown. ISBN 0-915279-42-8.

The fourteenth volume of Carlyle Luer's remarkable series of monographs contains four parts: taxonomic accounts of the genus Draconanthes, two subgenera of Lepanthes in Ecuador, and addenda to his previous treatments of Brachionidium, Lepanthes subgenera Brachycladium and Platystele, and Pleurothallis subgenera Aenigma and Ancipitia.

The genus Draconanthes comprises two Andean species formerly placed in Lepanthes. Subgenus Marsipanthes of Lepanthes is also Andean and contains seven species, four newly described here, with more or less campanulate rather than flat flowers. Subgenus Lepanthes is richly represented in Ecuador with 278 species, 69 being newly described here. In addition two new subgenera, Bilabiatae and Breves, and a new section Mucronatae are also established. It may surprise readers to find so many new taxa (approx. 25% are new), but these small orchids have not been well studied before. Many are endemic to small areas of the tropical Americas, and they are poorly represented in herabaria and living collections.

A detailed account of the history, morphology, and taxonomy opens each generic or subgeneric treatment. A dichotomous key is then followed by a detailed treatment of each species in alphabetic order. Each account includes nomenclature, typification, a description, distribution based upon specimens that have been examined, and taxonomic notes. An illustration of every species is included, but unlike previous volumes these are gathered four to a page at the end of each account. This certainly aids identification except that they are arranged alphabetically so that similar species are often well separated.

Five new species are described in the addenda: one each of Brachionidium, Lepanthes, and Platystele and two of Pleurothallis. These have a full-page illustration and the author's standard taxonomic treatment. Dr. Luer's work has brought the Pleurothallidinae to a wider audience, particularly of orchid growers. Pleurothallid Alliances of growers now exist in America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He has chosen a taxonomically difficult but fascinating group of the orchids and has added immensely to our knowledge of them through this fine series.

Phillip Cribb


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Last Updated September 3, 1998.
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