This last weekend we took a family nature walk to Nymph Falls just outside of Courtenay. This park is a local destination for runners, mountain bikers and swimmers but is interesting from a botanical perspective as well.
We had heard that both Indian Pipe and Gnome Plant were plentiful on the forest trails and we were on the lookout for them. While we did find a nice patch of Indian Pipe, the less common Gnome Plant was nowhere to be found.
Fortunately I found a small group of Scouler’s Harebell (Campanula scouleri) alongside the Long Loop Trail, so this made up for missing the Gnome Plant. Scouler’s Harebell is a plant with delicate looking white flowers that have five recurved lobes (petals) around a central basal tube. The style sticks out well beyond the flower giving it a bit of a shooting star look. The leaves are alternate and sharply toothed. Most of the records for this species are in southwestern British Columbia.
If we hadn’t been searching for the Gnome Plant we probably would have missed this beautiful flower. It certainly made the walk worthwhile!