Botany Group Report – April 1st Outing to the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve

15 of us had a glorious day in the shade of the forested areas, and out in the sun on the old road that skirts around behind the open bluffs (which we avoided because of the extreme aridity).  The hot dry weather of the latter half of March after the prolonged arctic temperatures has not been kind to vegetation in general.  There was very little to see of spring blooms – some manzanita shrubs and chickweed monkey flower.  So the choice of a “Moss walk was fortuitous – mosses and liverworts can be “revived”  by a misting of water, an essential part of leader Randal’s equipment.  Attached is the list of the mosses that Randal highlighted for us arranged according to habitat.

Photos attached : one of the group near Mandy’s sign beside the path out to the open Bluffs and one of the tiny Hypnum circinale moss with its bright chestnut sporophytes (apologies that the focus is poor).


With the recent rain, lots of plants have perked up and even in deepest coldest Merville the fawn lilies, toothwort and woodland violet are finally in bloom.  Today on CVN weekend walk along the south side of the Puntledge down from the dam we saw  the open Bog area both the male and female flowers of the Myrica Gale (sweet gale), in addition to the swamp lantern, but the Kalmia and Labrador Tea were showing only a few new leaves.  Attached is a photo of the female flower of the sweet gale ( held still by blue-gloved hand!). These tiny (1.5 cm long)exquisite flowers are one of the many treats to be seen in the “Puntledge Bog” – well worth a visit.

Reminder – next gathering tomorrow at Kin Beach,   10: 30 am.   

For the  removal of a patch  invasive yellow archangel ( Lamium galeobdolon)  please bring gloves, a small hand fork and/or secateurs if you have (plus kneeling pad if needed).  The uprooted plants will be put onto the Park burn-pile.   For more information call Helen.

The plan is to do the hard work first, then have a walk around the Park to see what is in bloom, followed by snack lunch at the picnic benches (weather permitting).


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