Amongst the Lily Seeds

A side view of the pod showing the seeds inside. Managed to get out to the garden with the kids today and did a little bit of fall clean-up. Today I focused on trimming the lily seed heads and collecting the seeds. From what I’ve read on-line, growing lilies from seed is a bit of a hit and miss project …

Radish Riddle

On one of my many trips out to Florencia Bay to look for the Pink Sand-verbena that had been reported a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon another unusual looking plant that initially had me stumped. It was a single plant, somewhat scraggly looking with white flowers and pinnately lobed leaves that were quite bristly. This lone straggly looking …

Cottonwood Snow in June

The thick leaves of the Black Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) are heart-shaped and somewhat waxy in texture. Along the rivers on the east coast of Vancouver Island Black Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) is now producing seed. In fact, there is so much Cottonwood fluff in the air at times that it seems like it is snowing beside the …

Eelgrass Tide Pools

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a marine vascular plant that produces flowers and seeds. There have been some really good low tides in the late afternoon this week and I’ve been able to get out on the sand flats and poke around in the eelgrass tide pools at Miracle Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I love exploring tide …

Cattails

One of the things that impressed me at Buttertubs Marsh last week was the endless stretches of Cattail (Typha latifolia). At this time of year, the leaves of this plant are a pale brown – new green leaves will emerge in the spring. The flowers, which we generally see as a brown “hot-dog” shape on the end of a stalk …

Winter is Golden

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) While we’ve removed the old sunflower stalks and blackened seed heads from our back alley flower bed we’re still enjoying the seeds of the goldenrod as we roll into the dark gray days of December. We’ve noticed that many of the sparrows, finches and other songbirds that frequent our feeders are visiting the seeds of the Solidago …

A Cone that is Not a Cone

During a mushroom hunting walk at Merville Woods yesterday we came upon several Vancouver Groundcone (Boschniakia hookeri). Like the name suggests, this root parasite looks like a fir cone. It is actually a parasite that is connected to the roots of nearby plants, in particular Salal (Gaultheria shallon), which is common and commercially harvested in Merville Woods. According to Plants …

Fabulous Finches

American Goldfinch | Carduelis tristis The sunflowers are done in our back lane but the seeds are now attracting birds – primarily American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) but also house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus). That’s one of the many benefits of growing sunflowers. Not only do you (and insects) get to enjoy the …

Seeds on the Wind

It was a very windy day on the east coast of Vancouver Island today and tree seeds were on the move. We took a family walk in Miracle Beach Provincial Park this morning and at one point it seemed like it was snowing seeds! At first we thought that the seeds were all bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) due to their …

Fern-leaved Goldthread

Fern-leaved Goldthread | Coptis aspleniifolia One of the easily missed plants in the sub-alpine is the fern-leaved goldthread (Coptis aspleniifolia). At this time of year the flowers are long gone but the basal, fern-like leaves remain since they are evergreen. More noticeable are the striking seed heads. The picture above shows an old seed head after the seeds have been …