Spring botany notes

Notes and photos by Alison M. distributed to the Botany/Mycology Group on April 13. Click a photo to enlarge it.

Spring is a little slow again this year! A few of our early flowers are reluctantly appearing…

On Tuesday at that tiny little park at Ships Point, which is nicely sheltered from the arctic winds and south-facing, we did find a couple of Erythronium oregonum (photo 1) in bloom, as well as some Berberis aquifolium (photo 2) with part of the flower head open.

(1) Erythronium oregonum
(2) Berberis aquifolium

The Fritillaria affinis – chocolate lily – was still in bud form, but should be out soon. And in the conservation area along the dike, a few Rubus spectabilis (photo 3) were highly visible in the bright sunlight.

(3) Rubus spectabilis

On our stretch of the Tsolum floodplain the Erythronia are still in bud, but the Petasites frigidus – sweet coltsfoot (photo 4) – has just pushed its way through the silt and opened. Some years I have found it in January!

(4) Petrasites frigidus

And on the Sunday walk in Cumberland we passed by the area behind the Japanese townsite where there is a substantial spread of Petasites japonicus – Japanese butter-burr (photo 5), which goes back to the time when the Japanese planted it as one of their early spring greens (fuki). In both species the flower heads appear first, and the leaves develop later, so at this point the leaves are still very small.

(5) Petasites japonicus
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