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Landscaping Resources

Native Plants and Wildflowers

A Guide for Landscape Architects, Biologists, Gardeners, Developers, and Others who are Involved in Landscaping Richmond

Native plants can play an important role in gardens and landscaped areas. Because they are adapted to local conditions, native plants are often more drought-tolerant, easier to care for, and have greater disease resistance than many traditional garden plants. People who grow these plants have the satisfaction of knowing that they are preserving local heritage, being water-wise, and are improving the biodiversity of their communities.

Native wildflowers can be an attractive way to add native plants to a home garden. Many also provide food for birds, butterflies and several species of beneficial insects. Several eye-catching perennial wildflowers are shown here. All of the plants listed here are known to be native to Richmond, but are becoming increasingly scarce due to changes in the landscape and the presence of introduced plants and weeds.

Douglas Aster Douglas Aster (Aster subspicatus)

Likes moist growing conditions in open areas such as meadows, clearings and along streambanks. Attracts butterflies. Blooms August to September.

Beach Pea Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus)

Grows in open, sandy area. Attracts bees, wasps, and butterflies. Blooms late spring to summer.

Pearly Everlasting Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Grows well on rocky slopes and open areas, likes meadows, clearings and roadsides. Blooms summer to late autumn.

Jewelweed Jewelweed (Common Touch-me-not) (Impatiens capensis)

Annual. Grows in moist, shady spots. Attracts beneficial insects. Blooms in late summer.

Yarrow Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Grows in open sites under most conditions. Attracts butterflies, ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic mini wasps, and hummingbirds. Provides food for rabbits. Blooms June to August.

Black Lily Black Lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis)

Grows in moist open places. Attracts pollinating flies. Edible bulb. Also known as Northern Rice Root. Blooms in spring.

Photo: Ulrich Gaede

More Wildflowers
American Vetch  Vicia americana
Arum-leaved Arrowhead  Sagittaria latifolia
Broad-leaved Starflower  Trientalis latifolia
Canada Goldenrod  Solidago canadensis
Cooley's hedge nettle  Stachys cooleyae
Cow Parsnip  Heracleum lanatum
False Lily of the Valley Mainanthemum dilatum
Field Mint  Mentha arvensis
Fireweed  Epilobium angustifolium
Giant Vetch  Vicia gigantea
Large-leaved Avens  Geum macrophyllum
Large-leaved lupine  Lupinus polyphyllus
Marsh Cinquefoil  Potentilla palustris
Pacific Bleeding Heart  Dicentra formosa
Pacific Water Parsnip  Oenanthe sarmentosa
Silverweed  Potentilla anserina
Skunk Cabbage  Lysichiton americanum
Yellow Pond lily  Nuphar polysepalum
Yellow Willowherb  Epilobium luteum
Youth-On-Age  Tolmiea menziesii

Note: American Vetch, Cow Parsnip, Large-leaved Lupine, and Pacific Water Parsnip are either toxic or contain chemicals which could adversely affect humans or animals.

Planting Information
When planting native plants in your garden, it is important that you choose plants which will suit the type of soil you have, and which will like the moisture regime of your garden. More information on this for specific plants can be found in Plants of Coastal British Columbia (see references).

If you are trying to grow native plants from seed, subjecting the seeds to a period of cold before planting may help speed germination. The easiest way to do this is to place the seeds in a moist medium (peat moss, sand, paper towel, etc.) in a plastic bag and then keep them in the refrigerator for several weeks. Seeds with a hard outer coating may benefit from being rubbed lightly with sandpaper before being refrigerated.

Note: Most of the plants listed here are not particularly suited to bogs. For more information on bog plants, and on trees and shrubs, see sources listed in the reference section.

Sources of Seeds, Plants and Information
Linnaea Nurseries Ltd.
3666 - 224th Street
Langley, BC, V2Z 2G7 
Phone: 604-533-8281
Fax: 604-533-8246
Toll Free: 1-888-327-7705

BC's Wild Heritage Plant
Retail (by appointment) and Wholesale Nursery
47330 Extrom Road,
Sardis, BC, V2R 4V1
Phone/Fax: 604-858-5141

NATS Nursery Ltd. - NATS Naturals (TM) ... Naturally!
Native Plants, Groundcovers, Hardy Ferns
Langley, BC
Phone/Fax: 604-530-9300

Pacific Rim Native Plant Nursery
Retail (by appointment)
PO Box 413
Chilliwack, BC, V2P 6J7
Phone: 604-792-9279

UBC Botanical Garden
Phone: 604-822-9666

UBC Botanical Garden Discussion Forum

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
Phone: 604-878-9274

Information on seed collecting:
Washington Native Plant Society website

Native Plant Society of BC

Electronic Atlas of the Plants of BC

B.C.'s Wild Heritage Plants 
Phone: 604-858-5141

Pojar, J and MacKinnon, A. 1994.
Plants of Coastal British Columbia: Including Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver.

City of Richmond. 2001.
Criteria for the Protection of Environmentally Sensitive Areas.
Urban Development Division.    

Campbell, S and Pincott, S. 1995.
Naturescape British Columbia: The Provincial Guide.
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Victoria.