There is a long history of “BioBlitzing” in Canada, which you are cordially invited to participate in this May!

By joining our BioBlitz you’ll contribute to the legacy of natural history research on Mayne Island that goes back to the turn of the 20th century, with the collection efforts of Albert J. Hill.

The 1895 annual meeting of The Botanical Club of Canada is recorded in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada. At the meeting Albert J. Hill of Westminster was in attendance as the representative of British Columbia.

Among the proceedings for 1896 it was recommended that each of the provinces establish their own herbarium wherein should be documented “the complete flora of each locality.” It was also encouraged that “local herbaria be established in all academies or high schools of good standing, and that the exact dates of the (first) flowering of plants in spring… and the migration of birds… be recorded systematically, not only by individual members, but by every school in the country possible.”

Albert J. Hill would later contribute 2,500 specimens collected during the years 1884–1912 to the herbarium founded at the University of British Columbia. Among his specimens are 22 plants he came across on Mayne Island, carefully collected, pressed, and annotated to be preserved at this research institute.

Slimleaf Onion, taken by Sarah Tweedale.

One particularly notable specimen in his collection is Allium amplectens, the slimleaf onion. In BC this native onion is considered vulnerable (blue-listed), but here on Mayne it is very rare indeed. There is only one known population last seen at Maude Bay in 1996.

If you come across this rare plant, you can make a welcome contribution to our knowledge of Mayne Island’s flora, and know that you’re following in the footsteps of Albert J. Hill.

References

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2014. Occurrence Report Summary, Shape ID: 14637, slimleaf onion. B.C. Ministry of Environment. Available: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/cdc, (accessed Apr 16, 2019).

Royal Society of Canada. (1896). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada. Ottawa.

UBC Herbarium – Beaty Biodiversity Museum – University of British Columbia. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~biodiv/museum/herbarium/vascular/index.html


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