There was no monthly gathering in the second week in May because of the BC Nature AGM being held here May 12-15th.
The weather could not have been better for the Field Trips and here are some comments on things botanical from four of the sites : Mitlenatch, Tree Island, Kin Beach & the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve.
On Mitlenatch the Camassia (camas) had already set seed, the widespread Lomatium nudicaule (Indian Consumption Plant) was in both bloom and seed, the Allium acuminatum (Hookers onion) and Lilium columbianum (tiger lily) were just coming out.
The wardens for the week (Peggy and Dave) pointed out how the Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon) seems to becoming the dominant shrub and the Sedum divergens (spreading stonecrop) has been taking over the rocky crevices where the Opuntia fragilis (prickly pear cactus) grows.
From Tree Island, Jocie has sent photos of two items of special note: the red listed Abronia latifolia (yellow sand-verbena), blooming splendidly (as is also on the DND site on the Spit), and the unusually shaped Amsinckia spectabilis (seaside fiddle-neck) .
On the Kin Beach outing, Helen reported : “the highlight for me was having Terry Taylor (formerly of Vancouver, but now living in Qualicum Beach) along as a guest. (He always writes an interesting article in each BC Nature magazine, and has done so for years). He identified about 7 grasses; and close to the Suksdorf’s mugwort by the beach parking area, spotted a little brown area in the hard-packed gravel, got down with his hand lens, and identified Crassula tillaea, mossy stonecrop, an introduced species, and he said it was in bloom! I went down yesterday, and got a sample to look at under the microscope. The plant is so dried out, and so tiny, but I could make out the features. In that location it would be quite impossible to photograph. He said that he will come up next year and help us identify other grasses in the Comox Valley.”
At the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve, where everything is already parched, Helen noted as outstanding all the non- chlorophyll plants visible : gnome-plant, pinesap, candystick, western coralroot, spotted coralroot, Indian-pipe (just emerging), Vancouver groundcone, and California broomrape. Below is a photo of Corallorhiza maculata ssp maculata (spotted coralroot) from the forest area of the Eco-Reserve.
There was certainly an impressive show for our visitors.