Signs of Spring on Lily Lane

I love this time of year for the amazing new growth and early flowers here on the West Coast of Canada. On the southern part of Vancouver Island things are already well on the way to spring and here in the “north” I’m seeing more and more species of flowers coming into leaf, bud and flower. Some of the earliest flowers like Salmonberry and Red-flowering Currant are still in bloom and the coastal loving Gold Star is out but probably not for long. Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary is also in bloom in the same open oceanside habitat as Gold Star.

White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum)
New leaves and bud of the White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum) poking up through last year's windfall of Bigleaf Maple leaves.

What is exciting is the new growth in the coastal Douglas-fir forests. I took the kids out for one of my favourite strolls at Miracle Beach this week, circling up through the still empty provincial park campground and then making my way to the beach along the trail that runs beside Black Creek. This creekside trail is spectacular for both White Fawn Lily (Erythornium oregonum) and Pink Fawn Lily (E. revolutum) and there were plenty of new leaves indicating that this might be a good year for lilies at Miracle Beach Provincial Park.

Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum)
A side view of Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) showing the brilliant white petals and yellow stamens.

Also beginning to show at along the creekside is the spectacular Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum). This member of the Lily Family (Liliaceae) is just coming out at Miracle Beach and I was able to find a few early blooms. The Western Trillium is easy to identify with its distinctive whorl of three leaves and brilliant white three petaled flower. The ones that I photographed weren’t quite out yet but within the week I’m sure that they will be beautiful.

Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum)
The early flower of Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum).

I’ll take another stroll down the trail next week and see how things are progressing. Hopefully the BC Parks Park Facility Operators (PFOs) won’t weed wack this wonderful lily lane this year. In previous years they seemed to be a little over-enthusiastic about trail maintenance.