Vancouver Groundcone at Little Qualicum Falls

Don’t let the “little” part of the name of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park fool you—these waterfalls are definitely a worthy of a stop on the way out to the West Coast of Vancouver Island or as an easy day trip from Courtenay or Nanaimo. In addition to the dramatic falls, the narrow canyons also make for good photography. And if …

Deltoid Balsamroot

If you live near Campbell River on Vancouver Island you don’t have to take a ferry over to the mainland and drive all the way to the Okanagan to see some gorgeous wild sunflowers. In fact, the deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) that grows on Tyee Spit is much rarer than its cousin the arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) that covers the …

Comox Lake Bluffs

Earlier in April, Jocie and I spent an enjoyable day without the kids revisiting Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve. The last time we hiked out to this ecological reserve was in May, 2008 with Comox Valley Nature (note the year on the web page is incorrect). Alden was just coming up to age 1 at that time and you can …

Wildflowers on the Canyon View Trail

This is the time of year on Vancouver Island to get down to local riverside trails and check out the spring wildflower bloom. One of my favourite places to walk is the the Canyon View Trail in Campbell River. We usually start this moderate 6 km loop trail at the John Hart Generation Station and then walk downstream along the …

White Fawn Lilies at Pipers Lagoon Park

The white fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum) at Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia are in full bloom this week. Jocie and I were doing a bit of botanizing last week and were astounded by the display. White Fawn Lilies (Erythronium oregonum) cover the ground at Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo. The dense carpets of white nodding heads and mottled …

Gorgeous Gold Star in Bloom

Spring is definitely here on Vancouver Island. Forget about the crocuses and snow drops and all of those other flower bed plants, the true signs that winter is moving on are the return of the Pacific Herring and the small yellow bloom of Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule). While it is hard not to notice the herring spawn, the diminutive Gold …

A Succulent Story

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks Whenever I come in my back door, I’m greeted by two pots of hardy native succulents that I planted last summer: Oregon stonecrop and broad-leaved stonecrop. Attractive rosettes of fleshy leaves have completely engulfed the pots, and I marvel at the vigour of these plants that thrive in wet winters and dry summers with no …

Plants of Pipers Lagoon Park

Last Friday I had a chance to take a walk around Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia. This small park includes a mixed Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) and Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) meadow with associated plants. It looks like it could be a fascinating place to spend some time botanizing a little later in the spring. The twisted branches of …

Here’s to Hemlocks!

Guest Post By Jocie Brooks Western Hemlock Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) is one of coastal BC’s most common conifers. It is also a very beautiful tree, with fine needles and attractive downward-sweeping boughs. Early settlers called the tree “hemlock” because they thought that the odour of the crushed needles resembled a European plant. “Tsuga” translates from Japanese as “tree mother,”and …

Born of Fire

Guest Post by Vijay Somalinga Last summer I was having a conversation with a friend about the native flora of British Columbia. I was quite disappointed when I learned that most of the the flower pictures I had taken that summer turned out to be invasive and non-native species. It was during this conversation that for the first time I …