The Beauty of Arbutus

Groves of twisted Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) can be found at Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island, British Columbia. A painting called “The Sunbathers” (by Daphne Stevens) hanging on my kitchen wall depicts a group of smooth, orange-barked arbutus trees basking in the sun on a hot, rocky hillside from BC’s southern Gulf Islands. There is something mesmerizing about this tree, …

Bramble Ramble

Five-leaved Bramble (Rubus pedatus) On a guided photography hike today I found myself (the leader) at the back of the pack, probably because I was walking slowly and admiring the fall colours and keeping an eye out for the small and interesting. Five-leaved bramble (Rubus pedatus) is one such plant. A member of the Rubus, or raspberry clan, this small …

Crowberry

Crowberry | Empetrum nigrum At this time of year the berries in the sub-alpine are prolific. Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) is one that is often overlooked or assumed by many non-botanists to be a blueberry. It is a low-creeping plant with needle-like leaves that somewhat resembles heather and produces berries that are a dark blackish/blue in colour. A quick consultation of …