Madcaphorse a revised Checklist of the Vascular Plants of the Niagara Frontier Region Flora of the Niagara Frontier Region, Third Supplement

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A Revised Checklist of the Vascular Plants of the Niagara Frontier Region
Flora of the Niagara Frontier Region, Third Supplement
by Patricia M. Eckel
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A Revised Checklist of the Vascular Plants of the Niagara Frontier Region
Flora of the Niagara Frontier Region, Third Supplement
by Patricia M. Eckel



Note: The mnemonic device MADCapHorse is a handy guide used by field botanists. It helps distinguish plants with alternate leaves from tree and shrub species with opposite leaves (Maple, Ash, Dogwood, CAPrifoliaceae and HORSEchestnut). One should remember that many of the herbaceous families and genera presented here, in addition, also have opposite leaves, most conspicuously all Mint species (family Lamiaceae) have opposite, simple (but not compound) leaves as well as do several important genera in the Rubiaceae.


This is a list of the species of vascular plants known to occur in the Niagara Frontier region: an area with the radius of 50 miles with its central point located in the City of Buffalo, New York, specifically "determined from the Telephone Building" (Zenkert 1934), but generally where the waters of Lake Erie gather themselves into the head of the Niagara River, a strait connecting Erie and Lake Ontario. The Niagara Frontier region comprises an area of around 7,850 square miles.


The fact that the Niagara River is actually a strait should suggest that its biology would be different in many ways from the numerous tributary creeks that are perpendicular to it, and likewise different from the various rivers nearby debouching into Lake Erie. The Niagara River probably has formed a critical link in the migration of floras and fauna between the lake biology of Erie and Ontario, and generally the Great Lakes system as a whole. Species have migrated through the system on or in the bellies of birds but also through the various canals that bypass the great obstruction of the cataracts at Niagara Falls as well as canals up and downstream from our area. One curious observation is that although the water flows from west to east from Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River, which is also a strait, the migration of species has tended to be from east to west, from eastern points of introduction such as the shipping in the Rideau Canal connecting Kingston, Ontario, with the Ottawa river to points upstream.


Other sources of new plants seem to derive from western centers as the growing season is extending with warming annual temperatures in the region. Areas with shallow soils over limestone in the lowlands associated with the lakes are particularly likely to support such new species and enable their populations to flourish. And, as always, new species, once arriving along railroad vectors, now seem to favor the salty corridors beside ever-expanding highway systems that are replacing railways as a major source of new taxa. Always, wherever crops are grown, rural weeds become established as are exotic species associated with nurseries and imported soil. Hybridization events or artifacts may contribute new taxa, for instance, in the spread of Lonicera morrowii ¥ tatarica.


Happily, not all newly discovered taxa are foreign; several recent discoveries of indigenous taxa have been made due to the vigorous exploration of field botanists who specialize in recording the localities of rare plants. A strong amateur interest has produced many new records of native and exotic species.


It was George W. Clinton, Superior Court Judge and first President of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences who prepared, in 1863, the first checklist of the "Plants of Buffalo and its Vicinity," but which included references to collections from Chautauqua County, Rochester in Monroe County, and Portage, in Livingston County. David F. Day, in 1882, determined the present areal definition of the flora. In spite of its seeming artificiality, it is superior at least to modern studies that restrict their study to political limitsóon one or the other side of a political boundary. Happily the floral region includes one of the most phytogeographically interesting areas in the Province of Ontario: the Niagara Peninsula (Regional Municipality of Niagara) as well as all or most of the eight easternmost counties of New York State.


It is not the purpose of the present introduction to detail the extensive history of collecting and reporting in the Niagara regionóone may consult Zenkert (1934) for such an essay up to the time of publication of his flora. It is well recognized that there has been a surge of botanical interest in the region beginning in the early 1980ís. The present list is an initial attempt to summarize new reports, to bring the nomenclature of Zander and Pierceís 1979 list to present standards, and to give local collectors a guide to what is already known and by extension what is yet to be discovered in the evolving flora of our region.


A bibliography has been included of texts used in augmenting the list and synonymy - which is a composite of the work of Zander and Pierce (1979) who updated Zenkertís names in his original flora to the system of Gleason and Cronquist (1963). Mitchellís New York state checklist of 1986 is followed here, as well as the 1997 version with Gordon Tucker. Certain nomenclatural additions derive from Morton & Venn (1990). Extensive use has been made of the Contributions to a Flora of New York State, edited by Richard S. Mitchell, and to floristic publications by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Rare Plant Status lists edited by Steve Young periodically issued by the New York Natural Heritage Program in New York State have provided much precise data, as has the four-part publication of the Atlas of the rare vascular plants of Ontario, edited by Argus, Pryer, White and Keddy from 1982 to 1987 - the concentration of rare plants in the Niagara Peninsula being rather conspicuous there.


Taxa new to the flora (not recorded by Zander and Pierce 1979) are designated NEW. No doubt certain new records have been overlooked and it is expected that in future updates such plants will be recognized. Most notably, the entire run of Clintonia, newsletter of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society, has not yet been plumbed, mainly due to the complexity of the task of collecting the complete series, to locating voucher specimens in support of many of the reports published in this interesting publication, and that it is not fully indexed.


A few plant names are not included in this version due to nomenclatural complexities. As these are resolved, these names will be included in future postings. All names are derived from published literature or from selected specimens in the Clinton Herbarium (BUF). It is expected that future postings will include citations. Interested persons may wish to contact me or Dr. Richard Zander, Curator of the Clinton Herbarium, if there is a question about the presence or absence of a taxon from this list.


Please feel free to contact: or (R. H. Zander, Clinton Herbarium, Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, New York 14211).


Provision of this checklist represents one of the central services that the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences has rendered to the people of the Niagara Frontier Region on both sides of the Niagara River since the time of the Civil War to the present day. Most of the names presented here are based on representative specimens curated in the herbarium at the Buffalo Museum of Science, which is named after Judge Clinton: the Clinton Herbarium. These voucher specimens were mostly collected by Clinton and numerous citizens of the City of Buffalo and the immediately outlying townships. Numerous Canadian collectors have generously contributed interesting specimens from Peninsular Niagara in Ontario. The checklist has always guided and stimulated botanical activity in the Niagara Region, and it is hoped this update will be no exception.


This contribution is the basis of an expanded version under development for future posting. I offer special thanks to Mary Jane LaCroix for transcribing Zander and Pierceís 1979 checklist onto disc, a task that laid the foundation for the present list. The title page photograph was taken by A. Schotz. Joan Manias of the Publications Division of the Buffalo Museum of Science aided in producing this publication on line. My greatest debt of gratitude is to Richard Zander, who provided essential help with problems in taxonomy throughout the course of this effort, and devised the computer applications. He provided most of the photographs included here and digitized them for use on-line.


P. M. Eckel, Research Fellow, Division of Botany, Buffalo Museum of Science. Version 1.0, February 7, 2001.


A - C

ABIES Mill. (Pinaceae)                                                                                                                                  

Abies alba Michx. = Picea glauca (Moench) Voss

A. balsamea (L.) Mill., Balsam Fir, Canada Balsam, Blisters Image 2

Abies canadensis Michx.  = Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.

Abies nigra Poir. of Clinton's Journal (1864) = Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP

ABUTILON Mill. (Malvaceae)                                                                                           

Abutilon abutilon (L.) Rusby  = Abutilon theophrasti Medik.

* A. theophrasti Medik., Velvet-leaf, Butter-print, Pie-marker, Indian Mallow

            = A. avicennae Gaertn.

            = A. abutilon (L.) Rusby

            = Sida abutilon L.

Abutilon avicennae Gaertn.  = Abutilon theophrasti Medik.

ACALYPHA L. (Euphorbiaceae)

Acalypha rhomboidea Raf.  = A. virginica  var. rhomboidea (Raf.) Cooperrider

A. virginica L., Three-seeded Mercury

     var. rhomboidea (Raf.) Cooperrider

            = A. rhomboidea Raf.

     var. virginica

ACER L. (Aceraceae)

* A. campestre L., Hedge-maple NEW

Acer dasycarpum Ehrh. = Acer saccharinum L.

Acer eriocarpum Michx. = Acer saccharinum L.

* A. ginnala Maxim., Amur Maple

            = A. tataricum L. var. ginnala Maxim.

Acer glaucum Marsh. = Acer saccarinum L.

* A. negundo L., Box Elder, Ash-leaf Maple, Manitoba Maple Image 2

            = A. negundo var. violaceum Mill.

            = Negundo negundo (L.) Karst.

A. nigrum Michx.f., Black Maple

            = A. saccharum var. nigrum (Michx.f.) Britt.

A. pensylvanicum L., Striped Maple, Moosewood, Green-striped Maple, Whistlewood Image 2 3

* A. platanoides L., Norway Maple Image 2

* A. pseudoplatanus L., Sycamore-maple NEW

 A. rubrum L., Red Maple, Swamp Maple, Scarlet Maple

     var. rubrum

     var. trilobum Torr. & Gray ex Koch, Three-lobed red maple.

            = A. rubrum var. tridens Wood

A. rubrum x saccharinum  = A. x freemanii Murr., Soft Maple, Hybrid Swamp Maple NEW

A. saccharinum L., Silver Maple, White Maple, River Maple

            = A. dasycarpum Ehrh.

           = A. eriocarpum Michx.

           = A. glaucum Marsh.

Acer saccharinum Wang. = Acer saccharum Marsh.

A. saccharum Marsh., Sugar Maple, Rock Maple, Hard Maple Image 2  3  4

            = A. saccharum var. schneckii Rehd.

            = A. saccharinum Wang.

A. spicatum Lam., Mountain Maple

Acer tataricum L. var. ginnala Maxim. = Acer ginnala Maxim.

Acerates viridiflora (Raf.) Eat.  = Asclepias viridiflora L.

ACHILLEA L. (Asteraceae)

A. millefolium L., Common Yarrow, Milfoil

     *var. millefolium

     *var. occidentalis DC., Woolly Milfoil

            = A. asplenifolia of authors, not Vent.

            = A. millefolium ssp. lanulosa (Nutt.) Piper

            = A. lanulosa Nutt.

            = A. occidentalis (DC.) Ref. ex Rydb.

            = A. tomentosa Pursh

* A. ptarmica L., White Tansy Sneezeweed

Achillea tomentosa Pursh = Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis DC.

ACINOS Mill. (Lamiaceae)

* A. arvensis (Lam.) Dandy, Mother of Thyme

            = Clinopodium acinos (L.) Kuntze

            = Satureja acinos (L.) Scheele

ACORUS L. (Araceae)

A. americanus (Raf.) Raf., Calamus, Sweet Flag, Flagroot

            = A. calamus of American authors, not L.

Acrostichum thelypteris L.  = Thelypteris palustris Schott

ACTAEA L. (Ranunculaceae)

A. pachypoda Ell., White Baneberry, Doll's Eyes, White Cohosh Image 2

            = A. alba of American authors, not (L.) Mill.

            = A. spicata var. alba L.

A. pachypoda x spicata ssp. rubra, Baneberry NEW

            = A. x ludovicii Boivin

            = A. alba x rubra

            = A. pachypoda x rubra

A. spicata L., Red Baneberry, Baneberry, Black Cohosh, Snakeberry Image 2

     ssp. rubra (Ait.) Hultén

            = A. rubra (Ait.) Willd.

            = A. spicata var. rubra Ait.

Actinomeris alternifolia (L.) DC.  = Verbesina alternifolia (L.) Britt.

ADIANTUM L. (Pteridaceae)

A. pedatum L., Maidenhair Fern Image 2

Adicia fontana Lunell  = Pilea fontana (Lunnell) Rydb.

Adicia pumila (L.) Raf.  = Pilea pumila (L.) A. Gray

ADLUMIA Raf. (Fumariaceae)

A. fungosa (Ait.) Greene ex BSP., Allegheny Vine, Mountain Fringe, Climbing Fumitory

            = A. asiatica Ohwi

            = A. cirrhosa Raf.

            = Fumaria fungosa Ait.

            = F. recta Raf.

AEGILOPS L. (Poaceae)

* A. cylindrica Host, Jointed Goatgrass NEW

 AEGOPODIUM L. (Apiaceae)

* A. podagraria L., Goutweed, Goat's-foot

AESCULUS L. (Hippocastanaceae)

* A. hippocastanum L., Horse-chestnut Image 2 3 4 5

* A. glabra Willd., Ohio Buckeye NEW

AETHUSA L. (Apiaceae)

* A. cynapium L., Fool's Parsley NEW Image 2

AGALINIS Raf. (Scrophulariaceae)

A. paupercula (Gray) Britt., Small-flowered Purple Gerardia, False-foxglove, Gerardia

     var. borealis Pennell

            = Gerardia paupercula var. borealis (Pennell) Deam

            = G. purpurea L. var. parviflora Benth.

A. tenuifolia (Vahl) Raf., Slender Gerardia

     var. parviflora (Nutt.) Pennell

            = Gerardia tenuifolia var. parviflora Nutt.

     var. tenuifolia

            = Gerardia tenuifolia Vahl

AGASTACHE Clayt. ex Gronov. (Lamiaceae)

A. nepetoides (L.) Kuntze, Yellow Giant Hyssop

            = Lophanthus nepetoides (L.) Benth.

A. scrophulariifolia (Willd.) Kuntze, Purple Giant Hyssop

            = A. scrophulariifolia var. mollis (Fern.) Heller

            = A. urticifolia sensu House (1924), not (Benth.) Kuntze

            = Lophanthus scrophulariaefolius (Willd.) Benth.

Ageratina altissima (L.) R. King & H. Robinson  = Eupatorium rugosum Houtt.

AGRIMONIA L. (Rosaceae)

Agrimonia bicknellii of NY reports, not (Kearney) Rydb. ex Bickn.  = Agrimonia pubescens Wallr.

* A. eupatoria L., Common Agrimony, Cocklebur

Agrimonia eupatoria of Ontario reports, not L.  = Agrimonia striata Michx. (q.v.)

A. gyrosepala Wallr., Tall Hairy Agrimony, Agrimony, Cocklebur, Harvest Lice, Stickseed

A. parviflora Solander ex Ait., Small-flowered Agrimony, Agrimony, Cocklebur

A. pubescens Wallr., Soft Agrimony

            = A.bicknellii of NY reports, not (Kearney) Rydb. ex Bickn.

            = A. mollis (Torr. & A. Gray) Britt.

A. rostellata Wallr., Agrimony NEW

A. striata Michx., Grooved Agrimony, Britton's Agrimony, Harvest Lice, Cocklebur

            = A. eupatoria of Ontario reports, not L.

AGROPYRON Gaertn. (Poaceae)

Agropyron caninum (L.) Beauv.  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. subsecundus (Link) Barkworth & D. Dewey

Agropyron caninum var. tenerum (Vasey) Pease & Moore  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

* A. cristatum L., Crested Wheatgrass

           = A. desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schultes

Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schultes  = Agropyron cristatum L.

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.  = Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. var. littoreum Anderss.  = Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. var. nemorale Anderss.  = Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. var. pilosum Scribn.  = Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski

Agropyron smithii Rydb.  = Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Löve

Agropyron tenerum Vasey  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

Agropyron trachycaulum (Link) Malte ex Lewis  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

Agropyron trachycaulum var. glaucum (Pease & Moore) Malte  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. subsecundus (Link) Barkworth & D. Dewey

Agropyron trachycaulum var. majus (Vasey) Fern.  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. subsecundus (Link) Barkworth & D. Dewey

Agropyron trachycaulum var. novae-angliae (Scribn. ex Brainerd) Fern.  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

Agropyron trachycaulum var. unilaterale (Vasey) Malte  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

Agrypyron violaceum (Hornem.) Lange  = Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus

AGROSTEMMA L. (Caryophyllaceae)

Agrostemma coronaria L.  = Lychnis coronaria (L.) Desr.

* A. githago L., Corn-Cockle, Corn-rose, Purple Cockle

            = Lychnis githago (L.) Scop.

AGROSTIS L. (Poaceae)

Agrostis alba of authors, not L.  = Agrostis gigantea Roth

Agrostis alba var. maritima (Lam.) G.F.W. Mey.  = Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.

Agrostis alba var. palustris (Huds.) Pers.  = Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.

* A. capillaris L., Rhode Island Bent, Colonial Bent

            = A. tenuis Sibth.                                                     

            = A. vulgaris With.

A. geminata Trin., Bentgrass, Hairgrass NEW

            = A. scabra var. geminata (Trin.) Swallen

* A. gigantea Roth, Redtop, Black Bent

            = A. gigantea var. dispar (Michx.) Philipson

            = A. stolonifera var. major (Gaud.) Farw.

            = A. alba of authors, not L.

A. hyemalis (Walt.) BSP., Hair-grass, Southern Hairgrass, Ticklegrass

Agrostis maritima Lam.  = Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.

Agrostis palustris Huds.  = Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.

A. perennans (Walt.) Tuckerm., Upland Bent, Autumn Bent NEW

            = A. schweinitzii Trin.

A. scabra Willd., Hairgrass, Fly-away Grass, Ticklegrass NEW

            = A. hyemalis var. tenuis (Tuckerman) Gleason

            = A. peckii House

Agrostis schweinitzii Trin.  = Agrostis perennans (Walt.) Tuckerm.

* A. stolonifera L., Creeping Bent, Carpet Bent

     var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.

            = A. alba var. maritima (Lam.) G.F.W. Mey.

            = A. alba var. palustris (Huds.) Pers.

            = A. maritima Lam.

            = A. palustris Huds.

            = A. palustris var. stricta

            = A. stolonifera var. compacta Hartm.

     var. stolonifera

Agrostis tenuis Sibth.  = Agrostis capillaris L.

AILANTHUS Desf. (Simaroubaceae):

* A. altissima (Mill.) Swingle, Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus, Copal Tree

            = A. glandulosa Desf.

Aira cespitosa L. = Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) Beauv.

Aira flexuosa L. = Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin.

ALCEA L. (Malvaceae)

* A. rosea L., Garden Hollyhock

            = Althaea rosea (L.) Cav.

ALCHEMILLA L. (Rosaceae)

* A. monticola Opiz, Lady's Mantle

            = A. vulgaris of NY reports, not L.

ALISMA L. (Alismataceae)

A. gramineum Lej., Water Plantain, Grassy-leaved Water-plantain NEW

            = A. geyeri Torr.

A. subcordatum Raf., Water-plantain Image 2

            = A. plantago-aquatica of American authors in part, not L.; sensu Zenkert, 1934 p. 88.

            = A. plantago-aquatica var. parviflorum (Pursh) Torrey (of Eaton & Schrot 1987 p.124).

            = A. plantago-aquatica ssp. subcordatum (Raf.) Hultén

ALLIARIA Heist. ex Fabr. (Brassicaceae)

* A. petiolata (Bieb.) Cav. & Grande, Garlic Mustard, Hedge-garlic Image 2 3

            = A. alliaria (L.) Britt.

            = A. officinalis Andrz. ex Bieb.

            = Erysimum alliaria L.

Allionia nyctaginea Michx.  = Mirabilis nyctaginea (Michx.) MacM.

ALLIUM L. (Liliaceae)

A. burdickii (Hanes) A. Jones, Wild Leek NEW

            = A. tricoccum var. burdickii Hanes

A. canadense L., Wild Garlic, Wild Onion

* A. cepa L., Garden Onion NEW

A. cernuum Roth, Wild Onion

A. tricoccum Ait., Wild Leek, Ramp

Allium tricoccum var. burdickii  = Allium burdickii (Hanes) A. Jones

* A. vineale L., Field Garlic, Scallion

Allosorus atropurpureus (L.) Kunze ex Presl. = Pellaea atropurpurea (L.) Link

ALNUS Mill. (Betulaceae)

* A. glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., Black Alder, European Alder

            = A. alnus (L.) Britt.

            = A. vulgaris Hill

A. incana (L.) Moench, Speckled Alder, Hoary Alder

     ssp. rugosa (DuRoi) Clausen, Hazel Alder

            = A. rugosa (DuRoi) Spreng.

            = A. serrulata (of Day, 1882)

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