Wildflowers in Wickaninnish Beach Dunes

The Wickaninnish beach dunes are a fascinating place to view wildflowers that are unique to dune ecosystems. Parks Canada staff and volunteers at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve have worked in the dunes to remove introduced grass species. As a result, sand movement has improved and native plants are thriving in this dynamic and harsh environment. At this time of …

Seashore Lupine at Radar Hill Beach

Seashore lupine (Lupinus littoralis) Seashore lupine (Lupinus littoralis) grows in sandy beaches and dunes along the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. One place where it is found is Radar Hill Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. More than ten years ago, I noticed this lovely lupine when I first hiked down to the beaches. It was good to …

Late Spring Flowers at Harewood Plains

Harewood Plains is a fabulous and sensitive wildflower ecosystem in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The late spring flower bloom occurs in early May and rolls into June. Water seeps down a gentle, mostly east facing slope that is covered by a shallow layer of soil over non-permeable rock. As a result, conditions are ideal for wildflowers and the open meadows are …

Vancouver Groundcone

Vancouver groundcone (Boschniakia hookeri) is an unusual saprophyte that grows in coastal British Columbia. It is found in association with salal (Gaultheria shallon) and kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) which it is parasitic on. Like the common name suggests, this parasitic herb looks like a weird cone growing out of the ground. Vancouver groundcone comes in a range of colours from pale …

Pink Sand-verbena at Wickaninnish Dunes

Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are home to a number of beautiful and hardy plants. Some of these wildflowers are spectacular and showy, covering the dunes with a colourful display. However, others are less dramatic and require more …

Re-visting Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve

It has been a while since I’ve visited the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve but this spring I had a chance to return to catch and photograph the early April bloom. It was truly spectacular and well worth the short hike. Wildflowers on the steep mossy slopes above Comox Lake. Approaching the steep slopes of the bluffs of the ecological …

Satinflower Search

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. …

Spring Wildflowers at Schooner Cove

Spring is an ideal time of year to search for wildflowers in British Columbia. The relatively remote Schooner Cove is an interesting place to visit in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and a good botanical destination. It’s not really a long walk, but it’s long enough that most people don’t make the effort to make their way around the point at the end of …

Signs of Spring … Gold

A constellation of Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule) in the dunes at Point Holmes, Comox, BC. One of the most beautiful early blooming spring flowers on the east coast of Vancouver Island is gold star or common spring-gold (Crocidium multicaule). In the Comox Valley the best show is along the narrow stretch of sandy “dunes” between the road and beach at …

Ecosystems In Peril: The Coastal Douglas-fir forests of British Columbia

Guest post by Vijay Somalinga Forests in British Columbia appear to stretch forever. To someone who is seeing these forests for the first time, it seems like they have remained untouched since the beginning of time. But, even the remotest stands of pristine old growth forests have been logged, and only  scattered patches of protected old-growth forests remain today. Even these remnant …