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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - December 15, 2011

From: Bellevue, WA
Region: Canada
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Canadian Marine West Coast Plants
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What type of plants are found in the Canadian marine west coast climate?

ANSWER:

Cold & Wet ones!  More seriously: That is pretty much an entire ecosystem you know, so there are many plants. 

 In general, they are pretty much the plants that are native to where you are!   I was originally going to recommend that you go to the Recommended Species page, and select British Columbia, but then I found that the Plants Database has a single species listed – Abronia latifolia (Coastal sand verbena).

 My next level of research is to find species that are native to Washington, and then check the USDA database as to whether they are coastal and extend into British Columbia.  A quick link to the USDA record is embedded into the Plants Database record in the line:   USDA Symbol: ABGR

With that as my method – I’ll leave it to you to check out all the 218 Native Plants in Washington – but here is a nice selection:

Trees:   Abies grandis (Giant fir), Betula occidentalis (Mountain birch), Cupressus nootkatensis (Alaska cedar) 

Herbs:   Asarum caudatum (British columbia wild ginger)   Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry dogwood)

Shrub:   Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)  [Love the name!], Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry)

 

From the Image Gallery


Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Coastal sand verbena
Abronia latifolia

British columbia wild ginger
Asarum caudatum

Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Saskatoon serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia

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