Roadside Coffee

I’m enjoying cycling to work since my 45 minute commute takes me through rolling countryside and past farmland. I’ve got time to enjoy the scenery and dodge the slugs that seem to gather on the damp roads in the early morning. I’ve also noticed that the edges of the roads are awash in the blue of Chicory (Cichorium intybus), a …

In a Bind

Every so often, I realize that a plant that I think I’ve identified correctly is actually not what I originally thought it was. Learning to identify plants can be fairly challenging, especially given the fact that many look very similar to each other. Field guides can be limited in their scope and images on the internet are often mislabeled. Part …

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 …

A Prickly Subject

I admit that I was initially stumped by the aster I found growing in the Courtenay Airpark. I took some photographs of the plant and was particularly struck by the distinctive row of spines down the midrib of the leaf and figured that this would be an easy one to identify – with a leaf like that I assumed that …

White Cockle

White Cockle | Silene latifolia ssp. alba Walking the riverside walk along the Puntledge River in Courtenay is a great place to see all sorts of invasive, introduced plants. Lately I’ve taken to strolling our two young children around the Airpark Loop and always keep my eyes open for interesting plants and birds (the Airpark Lagoon is excellent for migrating …

A Tale of Two Tansies

Common Tansy | Tanacetum vulgare Up at Paradise Meadows today I had the (unfortunate?) opportunity to photograph some common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) growing along the roadside. Common tansy is an invasive perennial that grows in disturbed places, road edges and stream banks. WeedsBC reports that the common tansy is problematic especially in areas like interior BC so it was disconcerting …

Awesome Asters

Aster sp. This wonderful seed-head was one of many in a field full of tall weedy dandelion like asters in front of the old Hamilton Mac Laing house in Comox. Unfortunately my 2 year-old son only allowed me to take a couple of photographs before it was time to move on!

Introducing Invasives

An afternoon walk around the Courtenay Estuary revealed almost a dozen of BC’s “least wanted” invasive plant species – either garden escapees or plants that have been introduced to North America from Eurasia and have spread “naturally” throughout the continent. In bloom were Field Bindweed (Morning Glory)(Convolvulus arvensis), Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Common Tansy, Hound’s Tongue …

Thistle Teach You

Some fantastic thistles in bloom this morning while walking the Millard Creek trail in Courtenay, BC. All three are introduced species from Eurasia and grow in disturbed areas like roadside edges, paths and fields. The flowers are quite beautiful in their own right and I’m thinking that planting a “thistle patch” in our flower beds might be a interesting idea! …