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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By the Lake

On a recent visit to one of my favourite places in this region of British Columbia I came across several interesting plants that were growing along the lake shore. The first one was the Cottonwood tree with all the lovely fruits hanging from it. It looked tropical, growing as it did, all but in the water. The next one was the Artemisia or Wormwood, common to this particular area. I have seen this plant before at the historic site here and wondered then if Europeans had brought it over and planted it in their gardens. I almost walked by the third plant barely glancing at it because of its similarity to the dandelion. But there was something different about it that caught my inexpert eye, and I came back to have a closer look.

Stuart Lake, Fort St. James
Green Grapes?
No, it's the fruit
of the Cottonwood tree.

Stuart Lake, Fort St. James
Wormwood, a non-native species
It has a camphor-like scent and has been used
to repel fleas and moths.

Stuart Lake, Fort St. James
Western Salsify
Tragopogon dubius
Aster Family

Other common names are
Western Goat's Beard and Wild Oysterplant.
It was introduced from Europe.

This roadside plant with its distinctive flower
(notice the bracts which are a feature of all Salsify species)
is found in every Canadian province
except Newfoundland and the territories.
Considered an invasive plant in some areas.