Thursday, January 23, 2014

TRCA Sedge Workshop 2014

Toronto and Region Conservation is considering hosting a sedge identification workshop in the summer of 2014. 

This course which has run successfully in the past will run again pending the appropriate interest level.  The 2-day workshop, consisting of in-class and in-field training is designed to introduce participants to a wide cross-section of sedge species found throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the keys to their identification. 

Workshop details, including dates and registration information will be provided at a later date. 

If you or anyone you know would be interested in attending such a workshop please respond back before February 17th to:

Natasha Gonsalves, B.Sc. 
Sedge Workshop Coordinator, Watershed Monitoring and Reporting Section
Toronto and Region Conservation AuthorityE-mail: 

(I have attended this workshop and it is a great one for woodland and wetland sedges!)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Early Trip alert for 2014!

The FBO is offering a Winter Woody Plant ID workshop at the University of Guelph Arboretum Taylor Centre in Guelph on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014.  Brian Lacey, who helped to develop a manual of woody plants for the Department of Botany at the University of Guelph, will provide guidance on the characters used to recognize woody plant species without their leaves, including bark, winter buds, leaf scars and growth form.  We will start using a hand lens and field guides with some samples indoors, and follow up with a walk around the Arboretum to apply our knowledge. The trip will end at approximately 4:00.  If you are interested please contact Sarah Mainguy  for details.  Registration will be restricted to approximately 24 people due to space restrictions.  Please note that there will be an additional charge to cover the room rental of $9.00 per person.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Once and Future Great Lakes Country

John Riley’s new book The Once and Future Great Lakes Country is available for pre-order, with a 20% discount.  For those of you that don’t know about it, John has exhaustively researched the earliest accounts and descriptions of Great Lakes landscapes, many from the 1600’s. These very early accounts paint a picture of very open landscapes, rich with nut trees, vines, plums, abundant game etc. These descriptions differ from later accounts from the mid-1700’s and 1800’s. With the aboriginal population crash brought on by disease, the land reverted to much more of a forested condition.  Then “Preorder”,  then “Checkout”, and then “Promo Code” and enter “RILEYJ13.  Some relief from new book pricing.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

29th Annual General Meeting

Field Botanists of Ontario’s
29th Annual General Meeting
Saturday - Sunday
September 14 and 15, 2013

The AGM is a two day event with two field trip options on Saturday and two on Sunday.  When you sign up for a trip, you will receive detailed instructions on where to meet one to two weeks prior to the date.  The evening meal and talk, and this year’s Annual General Meeting (open to executive and members) will be held in Cambridge at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Four trips (two on Saturday and two on Sunday) have been organized for your enjoyment and our leaders will take you to various botanical hotspots of the Cambridge area.

Please note that field trips are open to non-FBO members but there is a surcharge of $5 per person per trip, and after priority has been given to the members. Your cheque will be cashed following the AGM. Refunds will be issued provided cancellations are made at least 7 days prior to the AGM. No-shows will not be refunded.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Looking for BioBlitz Leader

Ontario Nature is having their 82nd AGM on June 8, 2013 and part of the activities for the day are a mini BioBlitz on our Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve (just northwest of Newmarket).
As a Provincial Partner of Ontario Nature’s Nature Network, I was wondering if someone from the Field Botanists of Ontario would be available and willing to co-lead the plants group at our BioBlitz (this will be both a BioBlitz and an educational hike). It will run from 10am – 12pm and then 1pm – 3pm with a BBQ lunch in between. The group will be about 20-30 people which could split up into two separate groups and/or be co-lead by another plant expert.
More information about the event can be found here:
Ontario Nature would be happy to cover your lunch and mileage to and from the event.  Please let me know if anyone would be interested, or if you have any questions. We would love to have you join us.   
Lauren Wright

Thursday, January 24, 2013

RBG’s Plant Identification Workshops

See the link here!
Wetland Graminoid Identification – June 20-21, 2013
Grass Identification – July 11-12, 2013
Fern and Allies Identification – July 25-25, 2013
Aster and Goldenrod Identification – September 12-13, 2013

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 Goldie Award

Each year, the Field Botanists of Ontario try to recognize an individual (or organization) whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the advancement of field botany in Ontario. This is done annually by awarding the recipient with the John Goldie Award named in honor of John Goldie, one of the earliest field botanists in the province. The selected recipient for 2012 (sixth edition) of that Award was Peter Ball.

Peter Ball arrived to start work at the University of Toronto’s Erindale Campus in 1969. Prior to this, he was a student at the University of Leicester and later, during his post-doctoral years, was at the University of Liverpool. At Liverpool, he commenced working with the editorial board for the Flora Europaea. Flora Europaea is a 5-volume encyclopedia of plants published between 1964 and 1993 by the Cambridge University Press. The purpose of that project was to describe all the national floras of Europe in a single, authoritative publication covering all wild or commonly cultivated plants in that area. Peter was one of the editors of two of the early volumes that included Volume 2 published in 1969 covering the Rosaceae to Umbelliferae and Volume 3 published in 1973 covering Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae. Peter worked extensively on several of the big families, especially Chenopodiaceae and Brassicaceae. During his work on Flora Europaea, he did a lot of work on tracking down and verifying records for Albania. Naturally, this prepared him for helping all of us accurately determine our invasive plants, as well as sedges.

After he arrived at Erindale, Peter was instrumental in advancing the importance of the herbarium there, building on Coventry's collections through his various students as well as his own collecting. The herbarium has served as a repository for vouchers from many of the ESA studies and life science inventories going on during the 1980s (Halton, Peel, Norfolk, SW Ont., etc.). As well, he served as the mentor to some especially notable botany students including Tony Reznicek, Bill Crins, Jocelyn Webber, and Bruce Ford.

Before and after his retirement to the status of Professor Emeritus, Peter generously helped out a great many people with determinations of large numbers of specimens, often in the very difficult plant groups. He has also been very generous with his time in reviewing lists, articles, etc. Very relevant to FBO, along with Bill Crins, Peter helped conduct a lab workshop on the identification of sedges at Erindale as well with as the follow-up field trip to the Turner-Mahon Tract near Campbellville.

 More recently, along with Tony Reznicek, he has been active in Flora North America (FNA) project as one of the Editors of Vol. 23 (the Cyperaceae) including treatments in Carex and Kobresia. He also authored treatments of Salicornia, Arthrocnemum, and Sarcocornia in the Chenopodiaceae. As well, he has additional treatments of various mints in preparation for that volume. In addition to the FNA, he authored the treatments of Eriophorum, Parnassia, and Salicornia in the Jepson Manual for California.

The Field Botanists of Ontario are therefore very pleased to award the 2012 edition of the Goldie Award to Peter Ball in recognition of his extensive contributions to the legacy of botany in Ontario and further away to all of North America and to Europe. We are truly fortunate to have someone of Peter’s abilities as a resource to resolve difficult plant identification problems in our own area.