Satinflower (Olsynium douglasii) blooms for a very short time in early spring on Vancouver Island. I finally experienced the delicate beauty of these wildflowers this March and the bloom was awe inspiring!
The southern part of Vancouver Island is one of the few locations in British Columbia where there are reliable views of this beautiful member of the iris family. However, usually my timing to see it is poor: my days off don’t coincide with the bloom, my allergies to red alder pollen have incapacitated me, or I can’t make the drive south to Victoria, BC.
One of the best places to see satinflower is Mount Wells Regional Park just outside of Victoria, BC. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the best viewing areas but not too strenuous. From the parking area, the route to the summit is straightforward.
Satinflower on the summit of Mount Wells started to flower during the last week in March. There were excellent opportunities to photograph the wildflowers from the trail. Make sure to stay on the trail and respect the fragility of the habitat.
Satinflower is found in several places near Victoria. In addition to Mount Wells I also tried Lone Tree Hill Regional Park. The bloom was a little bit behind at this location, but there were a few to be found.
Need to Know:
- Timing is everything. Check in mid to late March.
- Respect sensitive habitat, there are excellent views from the trail at Mount Wells and Lone Tree Hill.
Make sure to check out this guest post from way back in 2010 by Mary Sanseverino – she’s got some beautiful photographs of satinflower from the same location!