Robert Jan 'Roy' van de Hoek
322 Culver Boulevard, Suite 317
Playa del Rey, California 90293
In 1932, at the age of 61 years old, approximately nine years after writing his floristic monograph, Ralph Hoffmann died of injuries from a fall on a cliff on San Miguel Island in southern California. He had been botanizing on a cliff of this beautiful isle dominated largely by sand dunes and sandy soils, just as he had botanized on cliffs in Berkshire County several decades earlier. Hoffmann's goal that day was to find new plant records for that island. His overall goal, at that time of his life as a resident in southern California, was an attempt to complete a flora of Santa Barbara County and the four northern Channel Islands. His untimely death brought an end to this goal. However, Clifton Smith emerged on the botanical scene after a few decades, and he later completed a floristic monograph of the Santa Barbara region. Clif Smith acknowledged and cited Ralph Hoffmann profusely in his floristic books of 1952, 1978 and 1998, not unlike Pamela Weatherbee's profuse citations to Ralph Hoffmann in her floristic works of 1990 and 1996. Clif Smith's botanical exploration went beyond the boundary of Santa Barbara County, just as Ralph Hoffmann explored beyond the boundary of Santa Barbara County. Some areas beyond the county's political boundary that Clif Smith included in his books were Point Mugu, Oxnard Plain, Frazier Mountain, Mt. Pinos, Carrizo Plain, and Caliente Mountain. Clif Smith wrote descriptive narrative about Ralph Hoffmann's life as a botanist in California, just as Pamela Weatherbee had done for Ralph Hoffmann in Massachusetts. However, Clif Smith's narrative was longer and with a fuller description of Ralph Hoffmann. In addition, Clif Smith dedicated his books to Ralph Hoffmann, whereas Pamela Weatherbee did not dedicate her book to anyone.
This article will show that Ralph Hoffmann has influenced botanists and scientific naturalists for more than 60 years after his death, simply through his research knowledge, good writing, and inspiration that he put into his written words. My brief contribution in this article is part of a larger project for a comparative biography and history of natural history and Ralph Hoffmann, in two states with a focus on both Los Angeles County and Berkshire County. However, a larger goals of this project is to compare California with Massachusetts, from the perspective of Ralph Hoffmann and his studies of both native birds and native plants.
"Ralph Hoffmann, compiler of the most recent Berkshire county Flora (1922), was born in 1870 in Stockbridge, where his father was headmaster of a private school. He was known first as an accomplished ornithologist, publishing a paper on Berkshire birds in 1900, and subsequently, field guides and books on birds of a wider area. His interest in botany surfaced in 1899, and in 1904, he documented the discovery of autumn willow (Salix serissima) and Frank's lovegrass (Eragrostis frankii) in the county. Thirty years of collecting laid the foundation for his flora, which is a thorough, accurate work, providing much information on habitat and distribution. His professional career was in teaching, although later in life he became Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Swanton, 1981). It was in 1932, while collecting plants on a coastal cliff in California, that he fell to his death."
In addtion to this narrative, Pamela Weatherbee also wrote abundantly about Ralph Hoffmann in another way, that being in her annotated floristic catalogue. Weatherbee utilized Hoffmann's plant collections in the herbarium of the New England Botanical Club (NEBC) at Harvard University. She referenced Hoffmann specimens from 1899 to 1920, reporting the year of collection, but not the month or day unfortunately, along with the location of collection and a brief statement of frequency and rarity of the plant in our current era. She listed the New England Botanical Club (NEBC) for each of Hoffmann's vouchers. Presented below in Table 1 is a list of plants, arranged by Hoffmann's year of collection, location, and current status, utilizing Weatherbee's 1996 Flora as a source of information. Please note that there are many more plants that Hoffmann collected in Berkshire County, but they cannot be listed here since they were not cited in Weatherbee's floristic catalogue. A future project will visit the Gray Herbarium at Harvard University to record the other collections, as well as day and month for each known voucher. The column on the far left with a single letter highlighted in bold text indicates the abundance or rarity of a particular species. It is useful for interpreting the status of a plant from Hoffmann's time (in 1922) to Weatherbee's time (in 1996). The code is explained as follows:
(h), Historical (not found since the time of Hoffmann in 1922).
These frequency statements in most instances show that no plant could be found by Weatherbee or other botanists in Berkshire County since the 1970s, which indicates that the plant has likely become eliminated from the Berkshire land scape sometime between Hoffmann's time of 1922 and 1970. Those that are native species are now considered rare and historical, some of them recognized by the government as endangered or threatened with extinction. While others were alien invasive plants, that behaved as waifs, and disappeared as quickly as they arrived in Berkshire County. The information in Table 1 allows us to state at this time that Hoffmann collected in most years between 1899 and 1920, essentially 14 of 22 years, or approximately 65% of this 22 year period. It is likely that he collected in additional years but these dates of plants were not listed in floristic catalogue by Pamela Weatherbee. Interestingly, Table 1 shows that his last year of collecting plants in Berkshire County was 1920 and that it is also his most productive year. For example, he visited 11 locations, which is more traveling than he did in any of other 20 years of exploring for plants in Berkshire County. In addition, this year of 1920 is also the most productive year for the number of species and taxa collected by Ralph Hoffmann. He collected 28 taxa minimally and this is quite conservative, as there are many more species that Weatherbee did not cite, but which exist in the Gray Herbarium, of the New England Botanical Club (NEBC), at Harvard University. At this time, we can state that at least 93 taxa were collected by Ralph Hoffmann between 1899 and 1922, as discerned from Pamela Weatherbee's catalogue. However, this is a conservativet tabulation of species collected by Hoffmann because Weatherbee only listed Hoffmann's name in the catalogue if the species had not been collected since Hoffmann's last field work in 1920. Essentially, Hoffmann stopped collecting in 1920, as he had moved to California, opening a new chapter in his life, so to speak, and he consequently decided to assemble all his Berkshire floristic data for publication of his floristic monograph in 1922.
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
1901 (1 location, 1 taxon)
(u) ... Sheffield (fields & roadsides) ... Vicia villosa
1902 (4 locations; 7 taxa)
(o) ... Pittsfield (roadsides, railroads) ... Secale cereale
(c) ... Pittsfield (fields) ... Sinapsis arvensis (Brassica kaber) (Charlock)
(u) ... West Stockbridge (dry woods) ... Potentilla arguta (Tall Cinquefoil)
(u) ... Stockbridge (open disturbed areas, now a rare garden escape) ... Linum usitatissimum
(u) ... Stockbridge (dry fields/waste ground, native farther west) ... Plantago aristata (Bracted Plantain).
(u) ... Stockbridge (waste areas, native further south) ... Physales subglabrata (Ground-cherry)
(r) ... Sheffield (on dry calcareous hill) ... Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry) RARE & HISTORICAL
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
1904 (5 locations; 6 taxa)
(u) ... Becket (waste areas, near farms) ... Setaria italica
(u) ... Otis (wet meadows) ... Rumex longifolius
(u) ... Sheffield (fields and roadsides) ... Vicia sativa ssp. sativa (u) ... Lee (fields) ... Gaura biennis ... (adventive from farther south)
(r) ... Stockbridge (rich moist open woods) ... Cynoglossum boreale (Northern Wild Comfrey) HISTORIC.
(u) ... Stockbridge (open rocky woods) ... Solidago hispida (Hispid Goldenrod). See footnote # 26 of Table 4 below.
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
1909 (1 location; 2 taxa)
(u) ... Florida (near old house sites) ... Rosa cinnamomomea
(u) ... Florida (roadside escape) ... Dianthus barbatus
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
1911 (1 location, 3 taxa)
(h) ... Great Barrington (dry open woods) ... Angelica venenosa. RARE, HISTORICAL.
(u) ... Great Barrington (dry open woods) ... Aureolaria pedicularia (Fern-leaved False-foxglove).
(u) ... Great Barrington (an escape on rocky hillside) ... Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle). Native farther east and south.
1912 (5 locations; 16 taxa)
(u) ... Marlboro (wet woods & swamps) ... Dryopteris Xbenedictii
(h) ... New Marlboro (on sphagnum margins of peat bogs) ... Carex pauciflora [RARE}
(u) ... New Marlboro (pond & marsh borders) ... Asclepias incarnata
(u) ... New Marlboro (garden escape from Europe) ... Ribes odoratum
(u) ... New Marlboro (pasture, from Europe) ... Lycium barbatum (Matrimony Vine)
(r) ... New Marlboro (open sandy soil) ... Calystegia spithamaea HISTORIC. Habitat scarce due to development & succession.
(u) ... New Marlboro (dry calcareous soil, open woods) ...Eupatorium sessilifolium (Upland Boneset) (u) ... Sandisfield (acidic ponds) ... Nuphar rubrodisca
(u) ... Sheffield (sandy fields) ... Digitaria filiformis
(u) ... Sheffield (sandy or gravelly shores of ponds and rivers) ... Fimbristylis autumnalis
(u) ... Sheffield (waste areas, dumps, from Asia) ... Datura stramonium (Jimsonweed)
(u) ... Sheffield ... Aster cordifolius X A. lateriflorus
(u) ... Sheffield (dry rocky woods and thickets) ... Solidago odora (Sweet Goldenrod)
(u) ... Lenox (waste areas, garden escape) ... Raphanus sativus
(u) ... Lenox (dry fields, from Europe) ... Picris hieracioides (Ox-tongue)
(u) ... Stockbridge (meadows and roadsides) ... Aster pilosus var. pilosus (Heath Aster)
1913 (1 location; 1 taxon)
(h) ... Sheffield (shaded swale near Housatonic River) ... Carex typhina [RARE]
1914 (4 locations, 5 taxa)
(u) ... Sheffield (sandy soil) ...Eragrostis capillaris
(u) ... Stockbridge (waste places) ... Bromus commutatus
(u) ... Stockbridge (roadsides, old house sites) ... Prunus cerasus (Sour Cherry, from Europe)
(u) ... Mt. Washington (wet woods) ... Dichanthelium acuminatum
(?) ... Egremont ... Crataegus succulenta var. succulenta
1915 (2 locations, 2 taxa)
(o) ... Mt. Washington (garden escape) ... Aquilegia vulgaris
(u) ... Great Barrington (quartzite summit, Monument Mt) ... Oryzopsis pungens
1916 (4 locations; 9 taxa)
(u) ... Stockbridge (lawn) ... Geranium molle
(u) ... Stockbridge (farmyard) ... Geranium pusillum
(u) ... Stockbridge (?) (waste ground) ... Kochia scoparia
(u) ... Stockbridge (waste areas, from Europe) ... Lappula echinata (Stickseed)
(u) ... Stockbridge (fields, waste places) ... Heliopsis helianthoides (Ox-eye). Introduced from farther west.
(u) ... Pittsfield (escape from cultivation) ... Populus nigra
(r) ... Pittsfield (waste areas, lawns, from Europe) ... Lamium amplexicaule (Dead-nettle)
(f) ... Hancock (open habitat) ... Fragaria vesca ssp. vesca (European Strawberry)
(u) ... Great Barrington (waste areas, from Europe) ... Lithospermum arvense (Corn Gromwell)
1917 (2 locations; 2 taxa)
(u) ... Becket (muddy shores) ... Polygonum careyi
(u) ... Stockbridge (cultivated meadows) ... Cynosurus cristatus (Crested Dogtail)
no data in Weatherbee catalogue
1919 (6 locations; 12 taxa)
(o) ... Great Barrington (roadsides, railroad tracks) ... Hordeum vulgare
(u) ... Great Barrington (roadsides, escaped from plantings, from Asia) ... Forsythia suspensa (Forsythia).
(u) ... Sheffield (waste areas, fields) ... Echinochloa crusgalli
(u) ... Sheffield (garden escape) ... Alcea rosea
(u) ... West Stockbridge (shaded ledges) ... Cerastium nutans
(u) ... Pittsfield (waste areas, sandy lawns, from Europe) ... Spergularia rubra
(u) ... Pittsfield (waste areas, native farther west) ... Verbena bracteata (Prostrate Vervain)
(o) ... Stockbridge (garden escape, fields, roadsides) ... Viola arvensis
(u) ... Stockbridge (waste ground) ... Polygonum orientale
(u) ... Stockbridge (shallow water, muddy margins of ponds, floodplains) ... Glyceria acutiflora
(u) ... Stockbridge (dry calcareous meadows) ... Aster pilosus var. pringlei (Pringle's Aster)
(u) ... New Marlboro (roadsides) ... Prunus americana (Wild Plum)
1920 (11 locations; 28 taxa)
(u) ... Monterey (swampy woods) ... Dryopteris goldiana X D.intermedia
(u) ... Monterey (wooded rocky hillsides) ... Thalictrum revolutum
(u) ... Stockbridge (garden weed) ... Erodium cicutarium
(u) ... Stockbridge (calcareous outcrop) ... Carex artitecta
(u) ... Stockbridge (borders of streams, shores) ... Salix eriocephala X S. sericea
(r) ... Stockbridge (open sandy field) ... Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed) Historical-RARE
(o) ... Mt. Washington (wet meadows, moist woods) ... Dichanthelium boreale
(o) ... Great Barrington (waste areas, roadsides) ... Panicum miliaceum
(f) ... Great Barrington (roadside waste places) ... Sisymbrium altissimum
(u) ... Great Barrington (roadsides, from Europe) ... Rosa gallica
(u) ... Great Barrington (old fields, native further south) ... Helenium flexuosum (Sneezeweed). Sorrie (1984) along Mass. turnpike.
(u) ... New Marlboro (shaded calcareous ledges) ... Chenopodium foggii
(r) ... New Marlboro (sandy or peaty pond shores) ... Panicum philadelphicum ... RARE
(r) ... New Marlboro (rich soil, near rivers) ... Agastache scrophulariifolia ... HISTORIC. "Why can't it be relocated?"
(u) ... Cheshire (waste ground) ... Chenopodium botrys
(u) ... Lee (waste ground) ... Chenopodium bushianum
(u) ... Lee (waste ground) ... Chenopodium standleyanum
(u) ... Lee (roadsides and fields) ... Malva alcea
(u) ... Lee (waste areas) ...Artemisia ludoviciana (Western Mugwort). Native farther west.
(u) ... Lee (waste ground, a garden escape, from Europe) ... Centaurea cyanus (Bachelor's Buttons)
(u) ... Egremont (meadow borders and roadsides) ... Fragaria ananassa (Cultivated Strawberry)
(u) ... Egremont (calcareous marsh) ... Carex Buxbaumii
(o) ... Sheffield (in cool woods) ... Arisaema dracontium
(u) ... Sheffield ... Salix Xclarkiei
(u) ... Sheffield (roadsides, from Europe) ... Malus prunifolia (Chinese Crab-apple)
(u) ... Florida ... Salix beffiana X S. sericea
(u) ... Florida (rocky shores of Deerfield River) ... Carex deflexa
(u) ... Becket (thickets, roadsides) ... Rubus vermontanus (Vermont Blackberry) RARE.
In Table 2, we see that in places in the Weatherbee catalogue she quotes Hoffmann as "Not listed by Hoffmann" or "Not noted by Hoffmann" or some variation on these two themes, which Pam Weatherbee suggests is circumstantial evidence that the species is an alien invasion to Berkshire County. Examples of the species listed indicate that the plants have invaded from the west, the south, or from another continent since 1922. At this time there are 27 species that fit one of these three alien invasion categories, as listed in Table 2 below.
In Table 3 we see that Berkshire County is home to 5 species' type localities. These are all sedges (Carex). Pamela Weatherbee thought it significant to report these species in her catalogue and I acknowledge this significance as well by presenting this interesting subset of species as presented below in Table 3.
In Table 4, Pamela Weatherbee quotes Ralph Hoffmann regarding miscellaneous features of various plants within her annotated catalogue many times. In essence, she is lending further credibility, significance, and confidence in Hoffmann's statements of approximately 74 years earlier than her monograph and book.
Interestingly, as can be seen in comparing Table 4, footnote #39, with the Bibliography (references cited) of this article, we see that Pamela Weatherbee cited Hoffmann in her own bibliography (references cited) only 2 of 6 botanical articles authored by Ralph Hoffmann, both from Rhodora, a journal of the New England Botanical Club. It appears that the reason Pamela Weatherbee did not cite 4 of the 6 articles written by Hoffmann, for Rhodora, had to do with these articles not documenting the status of plant species in Berkshire County. The other four articles, while still about plants of Berkshire County, were morphological articles.
This research through all the volumes of Rhodora also discovered that 4 of the 6 articles by Hoffmann were written from his Massachusetts home in Belmont. The remaining two articles were written from his later residence in Missouri, at Kansas City and St. Louis. However, the topic of these two botanical articles were still about plants in Berkshire County in Massachusetts.
Lastly, it was discovered in this eclectic research of a cursory nature through the literature of past journals of Rhodora, that the editor of Rhodora in Hoffmann's lifetime, M.L. Fernald (1922), reviewed Hoffmann's floristic monograph thoroughly, only a few months (September) after it was published. Fernald's critical analysis is quite lengthy at 5 pages. Fernald compliments Hoffmann's efforts in several places but he also criticizes Hoffmann's floristic monograph harshly with many examples.
2. "Approximately 27% of the flora is alien or not indigenous to the area. Seventeen percent of the flora in Hoffmann's time (1922) was alien. Most alien species originated in Europe and Asia, but a few are North American, having taken advantage of massive land clearing and soil disturbance to expand their range." ... "A group of aggressive alien shrubs, which were not listed by Hoffmann, or listed as uncommon, have become threats to the natural plant communities of the county. These were purposely introduced to enhance wildlife food and cover, provide a fast-growing screening or erosion control, to be a "living fence" or provide decorative berries. Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), [see footnote #21 of this Table 5], spreads into old fields and has invaded open woods and calcareous ledges." ... "New species are still arriving and spreading rapidly, at least at first. Those that Hoffmann never saw include the showy purple balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) spreading in marshes along the Housatonic River," ... "Two aliens that threaten the integrity of our marshes are phragmites or common reed (Phragmites australis) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Phragmites is now thought to be native to brackish marshes in North America, but has spread rapidly into inland marshes transported by road and utility corridor construction mainly. Purple loosestrife invades and takes over marshes and wet meadows. Control is almost impossible and is feasible only in very valuable rare habitats." ... "The greatest danger to our native plant communities is not direct destruction by human activities, but by aggressive alien species." Weatherbee 1996, page 15.
3. "Pitch Pine/Scrub Oak Barren and Associated Sandplain Grassland Communities. These communities once occurred, closely associated together in the same habitat, on the sandy outwash plains along the Housatonic and Kinkapot Rivers in the southernmost towns of Sheffield and New Marlborough. At present, agriculture, residential housing and sand pits fragment these natural habitats. Those left in a more or less natural state are moving toward a forest dominated by white pine and tree oaks ... with little generation of pitch pine. At the time of Hoffmann's investigation of the flora, 40% of Sheffield was forested, and possibly the burning that formerly was carried on by Native Americans still occurred, by accident or purposely. Now fire is suppressed and due to development may never be a factor again. Species typical of these communities exist in small clearings and roadsides. Formerly dominant, pitch pine is being superseded by white pine, whiate oak, red oak, scarlet oak, red maple, and black cherry. ... Species that were listed by Hoffmann as occasional or common on the sandplain, but have not been reported since, include Bicknell's frostweed (Helianthemum bicknellii) ..." Weatherbee 1996, page 22.
4. "Enthusiasm ran so high, Hoffmann (1922) related, that the talk in the taverns at night was of the new plants seen ... The exact location was unknown until rediscovered by Hoffmann in 1920 ... Hoffmann lists nine sedge species that Dewey or other botanists had named from material collected in Berkshire County" (Weatherbee 1996, page 32).
5. "Hoffmann and specimens in NEBC indicate it was formerly more frequent." Botrychium matricariifolium (Matrimony Vine). Weatherbee 1996, page 36.
6. "Has not been rediscovered at other stations reported by Hoffmann: Pittsfield, Florida, North Adams, Becket." Polystichum braunii (Braun's Holly Fern). RARE - ENDANGERED. Weatherbee 1996, page 38.
7. "The specimen, which Hoffmann (1922) stated was in the Williams College Herbarium, is now in the Muskingum College Herbarium, Muskingum College, Muskingum, Ohio." Huperzia selago (Firmoss). RARE and HISTORICAL. Weatherbee 1996, page 39-40.
8. "Although Hoffmann stated that there were no native stands in the county, several stations in fens in Sheffield are judged to be indigenous (Sorrie, 1989). It is also widely planted and self-seeds to open calcareous outcrops and marble quarries." Thuja occidentalis. RARE. Weatherbee 1996, page 41.
9. "Hoffmann noted two forms: f. flaviflora (Tenney) Britt., a yellow-flowered form, and f. phippenii (J.Robins.) R.Hoffm., a salmon-pink form." Aquilegia canadensis. Weatherbee 1996, page 43.
10. "Hoffmann noted it was "frequent in the western part of Sheffield" and had not been noted by Dewey (In Field, 1829). Two stations known at present, plants are mostly vegetative, possibly being shaded out by forest succession. Rare. In open, rich woods. Sheffield." Cimicifuga racemosa. ENDANGERED. Weatherbee 1996, page 43.
11. "Formerly frequent according to Hoffmann." Rare. Moist alluvial soil, in open areas or open swampy woods. Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Bristly Buttercup). THREATENED. Weatherbee 1996, page 44.
12. "Hoffmann (1922) noted that both these species "were becoming established. Introduced from Europe. A weed in old pastures, hedgerows, roadsides." Berberis vulgaris and Berberis thunbergii. Weatherbee 1996, page 44
13. "Planted and escaped. Native further south and west, although Hoffmann believed it was native here in southern part of county. Moist rich woods. Florida." Podophyllum peltatum. Weatherbee 1996, page 44.
14. "The only oak on the Berkshire Plateau (Hoffmann, 1922) and not common there. Common. Abundant in acidic or rich woods. Not at elevations over 760 m. Quercus rubra. Weatherbee 1996, page 47.
15. "Not common on the Berkshire Plateau (Hoffmann, 1922). Open dry or moist woods, edges of woods." Hamamelis virginiana (Witch-hazel). Weatherbee, 1996, page 45.
16. Considered by Hoffmann to be a "fugitive species" but apparently it persists. Native to coastal areas. Uncommon. Alluvial soil in floodplain in pasture. Atriplex patula var. hastata (L.) Hall & Clements (Halberd-leaved Orach). Weatherbee 1996, page 48.
17. "Hoffmann (1922) thought only trees at Hoosac Tunnel, Florida were indigenous, and that other populations had spread from planted trees...The species may have spread more widely into newly cleared areas and from planting since Hoffmann's time." Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar). Weatherbee 1996, page 55.
18. "Never common, it was almost extirpated by gardners digging plants for large estates (Hoffmann, 1922)." Rhododendron maximum (Great Laurel). THREATENED. Photograph-plate 3D. Weatherbee, 1996, page 59.
19. "Since it would be hard for earlier botanists to miss this tall agrimony, it probably migrated north from Connecticut after Hoffmann's time." Agrimonia gryposepala (Agrimony). RARE. First discovered in Massachusetts by Weatherbee in 1989. Weatherbee 1996, page 61.
20. "Once recommended for hedges and wildlife, it is now one of the worst alien pests, choking out much native vegetation and creating impenetrable thorny tangles. Not noted by Hoffmann. Pastures, roadsides, hedgerows, woods, and calcareous ledges." Rosa multiflora. Weatherbee, 1996, page 64.
21. "An aggressive weed, it has spread widely since 1922 [Hoffmann's time]. Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn) (see above for more information at footnote #2 of this Table 5. Weatherbee, 1996, page 70.
22. "Hoffmann considered it indigenous along the Housatonic River, but spread from plantings elsewhere." Acer negundo (Box-elder, Ash-leaf Maple). Weatherbee, 1996, page 71.
23. "Frequent in the southern part of valley," according to Hoffmann (1922). Plantago aristata (Bracted Plantain). Uncommon. Dry fields and waste ground. Stockbridge: Hoffmann 1902 (NEBC). Native farther west. Weatherbee 1996, page 80.
24. Hoffmann lists it as "frequent in the southern part of the valley". Triodanis perfoliata. Weatherbee 1996, page 84.
25. "Hoffmann (1922) noted it was common; it does not appear to be so at present." Hieracium canadense fasciculatum (Canada Hawkweed). Pond shore, rocky shores of Deerfield River, open old fields. Weatherbee 1996, page 90.
26. "Uncommon. Open rocky woods. Stockbridge: Hoffmann 1904 (NEBC). Hoffmann said it was frequent in the southern part of the valley, but it seems to be absent at present." Solidago hispida (Hispid Goldenrod). See Table 1 above under the year, 1904, and the location of Stockbridge. Weatherbee 1996, page 92.
27. "Historical. In dry open woods, limestone ledges. Sheffield: Churchill 1920 (NEBC). Hoffmann. noted one sizeable station, which unfortunately has not been rediscovered." Solidago ridida (Stiff Goldenrod). Weatherbee 1996, page 92
28. As Hoffmann noted, the specimen label reads: "e rivulo prope viam ferream." Potamogeton alpinus. HISTORICAL. Weatherbee 1996, page 94.
29. Hoffmann listed this species as frequent, but is seldom found. Carex annectens. Weatherbee, 1996, page 98.
30. Hoffmann (1922) noted only two stations, while at present it is in every town, abundant and spreading, threatening valuable and rare habitats. Usually where soil has been disturbed or road salt use is heavy, as along roads, gas lines, cable lines. It reproduces mainly vegetatively (Davis & Briggs, 1986), and fragments of rhizomes are spread by construction machinery. Native to brackish marshes. Phragmites australis. Weatherbee 1996, page 110.
31. In the period 1902-1920, flowering plants were collected, and Hoffmann (1922) noted that it was "occasional in the southern part of the valley." At present, few inflorescences are seen, and vegetative plants are few and scattered. Possibly this is due to succession to more mature forest or invasion of brushy growth and aliens after logging. The species is dioecious, and recovery is difficult. Chamaelirium luteum. RARE. ENDANGERED. Weatherbee 1996, page 112.
32. Hoffmann (1922) termed the species frequent but it has not been seen recently. Open woods and fields, ledges. Hypoxis hirsuta. Weatherbee 1996, page 112.
33. Hoffmann (1922) noted the species was "occasional". It is apparently very scarce now, possibly because some peat bogs have been destroyed and open mats have become shrubby. Arethusa bulbosa. HISTORICAL. Weatherbee 1996, page 114.
34. Hoffmann (1922) noted that this species was "frequent." Platanthera (Habenaria) flava var. herbiola (Pale Green Orchis, Tubercled Orchis. RARE. THREATENED. Weatherbee 1996, page 115.
35. Hoffmann noted this species was "frequent." Platanthera (Habenaria) hookeri. Uncommon. Weatherbee 1996, page 115.
36. Noted as "common" by Hoffmann (1922), it is rarely seen now. Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis. Uncommon. Weatherbee 1996, page 115.
37. Hoffmann (1922) included most of these in his main catalogue, but also listed them in a "fugitive species" category, recognizing their ephemeral status. Many were found only on wool dumps, now non-existent, or garden dumps. However, 34 species of the 91 that he [Hoffmann] considered "fugitive" have become well established in the county... (Weatherbee 1996, page 116).
38. Summary and comparison of 1995 flora with Hoffmann's 1922 flora... Hoffmann listed 209 varieties, while 64 are noted in 1995 (Weatherbee, Page 117).
39. "Hoffmann, Ralph. 1899. Three plants of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Rhodora 1:229-230.
Hoffmann, Ralph. 1904. Notes on the flora of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Rhodora 6:202-206.
Hoffmann, Ralph. 1922. Flora of Berkshire County. Proceedings of Boston Society of Natural History 36:171-382.
Botanists recognize the importance of Ralph Hoffmann and his contributions readily. Pamela Weatherbee cites or refers to Hoffmann approximately 100 times in her floristic monographic book. In fact, there are so many places that she quotes Hoffmann that it seems an impossible task to tabulate all of the quotes, but this project attempts to do just that feat.
Wouldn't it be nice to reprint and republish Hoffmann's classic 1922 monograph on the flora of Berkshire County? If only for the reason of a more complete history and in doing deep ecology in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. This brief biography and history article forms part of a larger study as a biography and history project into the 'life and times' of Ralph Hoffmann. And it is also a greater project that is being completed in conjunction with a comparative history of birding and floristic field work by Ralph Hoffmann in Berkshire County and Santa Barbara County. There are overtones for understanding environmental history and the history of natural history in Massachusetts and California. In a very real sense, it is an ambitious project of historical geography, the history of ecology, and biogeography of two microcosms in the United States.