Baldhip Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) Baldhip Picture

General: Spindly shrub, 1.5 m tall with soft straight prickles.

Leaves: Deciduous, compound leaves with an odd number of toothed leaflets.

Flowers: Pale pink to rose with 5 petals usually found at the end of branches.

Fruit: Red, pear shaped hips, 6-10 mm across bearing no sepal lobes.

Ecology: Dry to moderately dry with nutrient medium soils usually characteristic of moisture deficient areas.

Seed: Hips should be collected in August to early September after they redden.  Clean the seed by macerating hips in a blender with water to float off the seed.  Seed can be dry stored in sealed containers at 1-3ºC.  Cold stratify cold seed at 4ºC for 90 days before planting.  For best germination, sow immediately after cleaning by covering seed shallowly with soil and mulch.
Vegetative: Use semi-hardwood cuttings.  Collect during late fall and plant on site immediately.  Cuttings typically need to be 1 cm in diameter and up to 1 m long.

Nootka or Wild Rose (Rosa nutkana) Nootka Rose Picture

General:  Spindly to 3 m tall, large prickles at base of each leaf.

Leaves: Toothed, elliptic leaflets 1-7 cm across, with rounded tips.

Flowers: Large pink flowers, 4-8 cm across.

Fruit: Purplish-red ‘hips’ 1-2 cm across.

Ecology: In a variety of generally open habitats (shorelines, meadows, thickets, streamside areas, roadsides, clearings) at low to middle elevations, fresh to very moist nutrient rich soils, most frequent on floodplains.

Seed: Matures at 2-5 years and gives a good seed crop every other year.  It flowers from May to June with fruit ripening in early fall and remaining through winter.  Collect hips August to September and dry and crush or macerate to remove seeds.  To sow in spring, warm stratify then cold stratify to germinate.  Seed can be freshly sown in fall.
Vegetative: Use semi-hardwood cuttings.  Collect cuttings during late fall and plant on site immediately.  Cuttings typically need to be 1 cm in diameter and up to 1 m long.

Black Gooseberry (Ribes lacustre)

General:  Upright or spreading deciduous shrub to 2 m tall.  Armed, bark on older stems smooth and reddish.

Leaves:  Alternate, 5 deeply indented lobes, resemble maple leaves.  Toothed margins, dark, glossy green up side.

Flowers:  Reddish drooping clusters of 5-15 flowers.

Fruit:  Dark purple, bristly with stalked glands, 6-8 mm long, edible.

Ecology:  Moist, wooded, and riparian areas shade tolerant.

Seed:  Collect when fruit is ripe in summer, macerate, dry and store.  Cold stratify for 120-200 days before planting in spring.  Best results with fall planting in soil less than 1 cm moist soil.
Vegetative:  Take hardwood cuttings 15-20 cm long during the fall, and plant immediately.  Plant in well drained soil with 1 or 2 buds exposed, also regenerates with layering.

Stink Currant (Ribes bracteusum)

General:  Deciduous shrub, erect, to 3 m tall, unarmed, with round yellow glands, smells.

Leaves:  Large, alternate, deeply-lobed maple leaf shape.

Flowers:  White or greenish in long erect clusters of 15-30.

Fruit:  Bluish-black, edible berries.

Ecology:  Moist to wet areas at low to subalpine elevations.

Propagation:  Not available.

Black Huckleberry  (Vaccinium membranaceum)

General: Erect or spreading deciduous shrub, young branches are yellowish-green and become gray with shredding bark when older.

Leaves: Alternate thin, lance-shaped or eliptic, pointed tip, finely toothed margins, pale underside.

Flowers:  Pink with yellowish tinge, 5-6 mm long single urn-shaped appearing with or after leaves in axils.

Fruit:  Large (6-8 mm) edible reddish-black or purple berries

Ecology: Understory in dry to moist coniferous forest, or open areas, from middle to high elevations.

Seed: Collect berries in the fall, macerate fruit and dry seeds.  Overwinter in flats outside.  Fertilize seedlings at 10 weeks old and at 12 weeks, transplant into a 1:1 peat-sand mix.
Vegetative: Take cuttings during spring summer and fall, and plant on site or in vermiculite at 21ºC.  Cuttings should be 10 cm long from rhizomes.

Red Huckleberry (Vaccinum parvifolium) Nootka Rose Picture

General: Shade tolerant deciduous shrub-up to 4m tall.

Leaves: Oval to 3 cm, not toothed.

Flowers: Greenish-yellow or pinkish, bell or urn shaped.

Fruits: Bright red; 1cm; edible.

Ecology:  Coniferous forest often at forest edges or under canopy openings, in soils of decaying wood, occurs in cool temperate climates on nitrogen-poor soils.

Seed: Fruit ripens July - August and can be hand picked.  Chill the fruit at 10ºC for several days then clean the seeds by macerating, breaking up the pulp and allowing bad seeds to float. If the seeds are dried at 15-21ºC for 2 days, they can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 12 years.  To germinate stored seeds, alternate warm and light conditions (28ºC for 14 hrs/day) with cool and dark conditions (13 for 10 hrs/day). Plant in sand and peat moss mix, transplant after 7 weeks, outplant after the first growing season.
Vegetative:  Cuttings can be taken during the dormant season as Red huckleberry sprouts after plants are damaged, and plant during spring.

Oval Leaved Blueberry  (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

General:  Erect, spreading shrub to 2 m tall.  Brownish-yellow to grey branches, angled and grooved.

Leaves:  Alternate, oval, to 4 cm long, darker green above than below, margins lack teeth and rounded at both ends.

Flowers:  Pinkish urn-shaped bells, 7 mm long, axilliary.

Fruits:  Large, blue-black berries.  Delicious.

Ecology:  Bogs, moist open forest and cleared areas at low elevations.

Propagation:  Not available.

Saskatoon Berry  (Amelanchier alnifolia) Saskatoon Picture

General: Shrub to small tree, 1-5 m tall, smooth stem, bark dark grey to reddish, spreads by rhizomes or rooting branch ends to form dense colonies.

Leaves:  Alternate, deciduous, thin, round to oval, regularly toothed on top half of leaf.

Flowers: White, large (1-2.5cm across) 5 petals, 25-20 stamens, leafy clusters of 3-20.

Fruit:  Dull red turning purple or black, mini apples with white bloom, edible.

Ecology: Rocky shorelines, bluffs, meadows, thickets, forest edge dry to moist open forest, well drained soils.  Low to middle elevations, more common inland.

Seed:  seed crop produced every 3-5 years, to be collected late summer. Macerate then wash and dry seeds-may mold in storage. Plant in winter in sandy soil to a depth of 0.5cm.  Keep mulched until germination in second spring.
Vegetative:  Root cuttings taken during dormant season (Dec.-Feb.). Take 1 year fleshy roots 0.5cm diameter close to crown.  Cut to 5cm in length with horizontal cut at proximal end and slanted cut at distal end.  Treat with fungicide before planting 5cm apart with proximal end at soil level and covered by 1.5cm of perlite. Division best done in early spring.  Remove suckers, cut back stem and remove root system.  Plant in pots, beds or open ground.  Irrigate to prevent roots drying.

Salal (Gaultheria shallon) Salal Picture

General: Creeping to erect, spreads by layering, suckering and sprouting.  Height is variable from 0.2-5 m, with hairy branched stems.

Leaves: Alternate, evergreen, leathery, thick, shiny, egg-shaped, 5-10cm long, sharp and finely toothed.

Flowers: White or pinkish, urn-shaped , 7-10 mm; 5-15 at branch ends, flower stalk buds so that all flowers are oriented in one direction.

Fruit: Reddish-blue to dark purple berries, hairy, (fleshy sepals, 6-10 mm).

Ecology: Coniferous forests, rocky bluffs, low to medium elevations.

Seed: Collect the fruit from August -October when the berries are dark purple in colour.  Clean by maceration and repeated washings.  Screen seed through nylon hose.  At least 8 hours of light a day is necessary for optimal germination.  Sow in the fall by scattering on a peat and pearlite medium.  Transplant to larger pots when large enough to handle and outplant in the spring.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) Salal Picture

General: Largely unarmed, branching, to 4 m tall, in dense thickets.

Leaves: Deciduous leaves with 3 leaflets, sharply toothed.

Flowers:  Pink to reddish purple, 4 cm, 1, 2, or 4 on short branches.

Fruits:  Yellow to reddish, mushy raspberries.

Ecology:  Moist to wet places, abundant along stream edges and in wet, logged areas, low to subalpine altitudes.

Seed:  Collect ripe seeds from June-Aug.  Extract by macerating and floating off pulp.  Dry for storage and keep for up to 5 years at 5ºC.  Sow in fall for best germination, lightly cover and mulch over winter.  Spring planting requires both warm and cold stratification.
Vegetative:  Transplant small offshoots of parent plant or take hardwood cuttings of 1-2.5 cm diameter at least 45 cm long and three nodes. Collect and plant in fall, winter and spring. Cuttings can be stored over winter in damp sawdust or peatmoss.

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

General:  Erect, unarmed, 0.5-3 m tall, young growth glandular-hairy, bark shredding, forms dense thickets.

Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, large (25 cm across), soft, maple leaf-shaped, 3-7 lobes, toothed, and finely fuzzy on both sides.

Flowers:  White, large 4 cm across, crinkled petals, several (3-11) in long stemmed terminal cluster.

Fruits:  Shallow-domed raspberry of red, hairy druplets, edible.

Ecology:  Open sites and forest, from low elevations in Northern BC to low to subalpine in south.

Seed:  Collect seed before or as berries ripen.  Soak for a few days before macerating.  Plant in Feb. in standard potting soil mix.
Vegetative:  Can be propagated from cutting or rhizomes.  Collect during fall to spring and plant on site.

Dwarf Bramble  (Rubus lasiococcus)

General: Low, trailing, perennial shrub to 10 cm tall, without prickles, stems run up to
2 m long.

Leaves: Alternate, 3 lobed, 2-6 cm wide, toothed margins, in clusters at the nodes.

Flowers: 1-2, white, to 1.5 cm across

Fruit: Small (up to 1 cm), red, hairy raspberries.

Ecology: Shaded forests and open areas, thickets and logged sites, mid to high elevations.

Propagation: Not applicable (see Rose et al.).

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens)

General:  Deciduous shrub to small tree up to 6 m tall, soft twigs, stinky.

Leaves: 5-7 leaflets, lance-shaped 5-15 cm long, pointed tips, and sharply toothed.

Flowers:  Small, white in parasol structure.

Fruit: Bright red berries, with 3-5 seeds, not palatable without cooking.

Ecology:  Dry to moist, open forests, river terraces, ravines and along beaches in northern range, found at low to middle elevations.

Seed:  Flowers from Apr. to July with fruit ripening June through Sept.  Collection by stripping or cutting berry clusters, drying and macerating with water, or crushing and drying without further cleaning.  Sow in fall or spring.
Vegetation:  Softwood cuttings in June.  Make a basal cut just below a node and remove 30-40% of leaves.  Cuttings should be planted early enough for them to become established before winter.

Dull Oregon Grape   (Mahonia nervosa) Salal Picture

General: Evergreen, stiff-branched shrub to 60 cm tall leaves like holly; bark and wood yellowish.

Leaves: Clustered long alternate turning reddish or purplish in winter 9-19 leathery leaflets shiny on both surfaces oblong to egg-shaped with prominent spiny teeth.

Flowers: Bright yellow, many-flowers erect clusters to 20cm long.

Fruit: Blue berries 1cm across with few large seeds, in elongated clusters, edible.

Ecology: Dry to fairly moist open to closed forests at low to middle elevations.

Seed: Collect fruit in August-September. Clean the seed by macerating with water and allowing the pulp to float off. Sow immediately in 1.25 cm of soil plus 0.6 cm of sand and stratify over winter or dry store just above freezing.

Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) Tall Oregon Grape Picture

General: Evergreen, stiff-branched shrub, leaves like holly, bark and wood yellowish.  Similar to Dull Oregon Grape (M. nervosa).

Leaves: Clustered, long, alternate, turning reddish or purplish in winter 5-9 leathery leaflets with one central vein, shiny on both surfaces oblong  to egg-shaped with prominent spiny teeth.

Flowers: Bright yellow, many-flowers erect clusters to 20 cm long.

Fruit: Blue berries 1 cm across with few large seeds, in elongated clusters edible.

Ecology: Found on more rocky and open sites than  M. nervosa.

Seed: Collect fruit in August-September. Clean the seed by macerating with water and allowing the pulp to float off. Sow immediately in 1.25 cm of soil plus 0.6 cm of sand and stratify over winter or dry store just above freezing.

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) Red Osier Dogwood Picture

General:  Deciduous shrub 1-6 m tall, branching opposite, branches on ground will root.  Young stems are smooth, often bright red.

Leaves:  Oval, opposite, 5-10 cm long, with 5-7 prominent, parallel, curving veins that converge at top.  Turn red in fall.

Flowers:   White to greenish, in dense flat-topped terminal clusters, 2-4 mm long, with 4 petals and stamens.

Fruits:  White, 7-9 mm, berry-like, but bitter and inedible.

Ecology:  Moist soils such as those found in low meadows, riparian zones, and swamps.  Presence decreases with elevation, often found with willow and alder.

Seed:  Collection of fruit during Aug.-Sept. from trees at least 3 years old.  Plant drupes immediately or clean and process for later by macerating  and flocking off seed.  Dried seeds can be stored for 4 years at 3-5ºC.  60-90 days before planting, stored seeds should be cold stratified and sown in fall.  Cover with 0.5-1.5 cm of soil and mulch with 2 cm of sawdust.
Vegetative:  Take cuttings in late summer 5-8 cm from branch tips. Whips of 0.5-1 m in length can be taken from dormant 1 year old trees during Nov.- Mar. period.  Cuttings planted in perlite:vermiculite mix and set on mist bench at 21ºC until roots develop, transplant to potting soil and keep in greenhouse.

Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)

General:  Deciduous shrub to 10 m tall with thin, smooth, silver-grey bark.

Leaves:  Alternate, oblong to egg shaped, 6-12 cm long, pinnately veined in channels with a “washboard” surface.

Flowers:  Small (3-4 mm long), greenish-yellow, with 5 sepals, petals and stamens, and a single pistil.  8-50 flowers in a umbrella shaped axilliary cluster.

Fruit: Blue to pinkish-black berries. Each contains 2-3 seeds.

Ecology:  Shade tolerant in dry to wet sites, found at low to middle elevations.

Seed:  Collect fruit July-Sept. before it is fully ripe.  Macerate and float pulp.  Store at 5ºC in a sealed container until planting outdoors in fall.
Vegetative:  Cut hardwood in Sept.-Oct., or layer in early spring.

Snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus)

General:  Evergreen shrub to 3 m tall, spicy scent, green bark.

Leaves:  Alternate, oval, 3-10 cm broad, sticky topside, velvety underside, 3 veins branching from base, finely toothed margins.

Flowers:  Compound pyramidal clusters of small, fragrant, white flowers along the length of the side branches.

Fruit:  Round-triangular, 3 lobed, 3 chambered explosive capsules, 4-5 mm long.

Ecology:  Sunny, dry to moist open areas at low to mid elevations.

Seed:  Tie bags over intact fruit before ripening, collect as capsules explode.  Soak in hot water before cold stratifying and plant in flats until leaves develop.
Vegetative:  Softwood or seminodal cuttings should be taken during summer.  Root in sandy soil and plant immediately.

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) Oceanspray Picture

General:  Up to 4 m tall.  It is an erect shrub that has several main stems, which arch.

Leaves:  Deciduous, dull green, but get a reddish tinge in the autumn, hairy, broadly egg-shaped to triangular, and coarsely toothed.

Flowers:  Small white or cream flowers, in clusters, and found on the terminus of the stems, clusters turn brown, and remain on the plant in the winter.

Fruit:  Tiny, light brown, hairy seeds.

Ecology:  Found at middle to low elevations, in moist to dry, open sites.

Seeds:  Collected from September to November.  Sow in the fall or cold stratify (4-5ºC) for 15 to 18 weeks in moist conditions.  After stratification, germination will occur if seeds are kept at 20-24ºC.
Vegetative:  Collect hardwood cuttings in late January and early February.  Softwood cuttings do not work well.

Twinberry, Red (Lonicera utahensis)
Twinberry, Black (L. involucrata)

General:  Erect to straggly, 0.5-3 m tall, greenish w/ young twigs 4-angled in cross-section.

Leaves:  Opposite, short-stalked, both with hairy underside.
Black:  somewhat elliptical to lance shaped.
Red:  more rounded leaves.

Flowers:  Yellow, tubular, with 5 lobes 1-2 cm long in pairs in leaf axials, cupped by large green to purplish bracts.  Red twinberry has creamy yellow flowers without bracts.

Fruits:  Shiny, black or red, cupped by 2 pair of deep purplish-maroon bracts, not palatable.

Ecology:  Moist forest, clearings, streamside habitat, and swamps from low to subalpine elevations.

Seed:  Fruit ripens in July-Aug., clean by macerating and separating in water.  Sow seeds in fall under thin layer of soil and 5-7 cm of straw mulch.
Vegetative:  Propagates easily from hardwood cuttings.  Cut during dormant season and keep moist over summer.  Dip in rooting hormone and place in 1:1 peat-perlite or potting soil, water frequently during first summer.

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)

General:  A trailing evergreen, less than 10 cm tall.  An erect, semi-woody plant, with leafy stems from long runners, more or less hairy.

Leaves:  Opposite, broadly elliptic, about 1 cm long.  Leaves are dark green above, and pale below, with a few shallow teeth along the upper half.

Flowers:  Pink, in pairs, and 2-5 mm long.  The flowers are present at the nodes and borne on a thin Y-shaped stalk.

Fruit:  Dry, nutlets, with sticky glandular hairs, which stick to birds and mammals.

Ecology:  Various elevations, up to the timber line.  It is found in forests, shrub thickets, and rocky shorelines.

Seeds:  Flowers from June to Sept., and seeds mature in 36 days.  Air dry the seeds, and plant in fall.  If planting in the spring, cold stratify for 60 days.

Indian Plum or Oso Berry (Oemleria cerasifromis) Indian Plum Picture

General: Shrub 1.5-5 m tall, bark bitter, purplish-brown, flowers early in year.

Leaves:  Deciduous, pale green, 5-12 cm long, broadly lance-shaped.

Flowers:  Greenish white, 1 cm across, with 5 petals in clusters of 5-10.

Fruits:  Peach coloured, becoming dark blue about 1 cm long.

Ecology:  Dry to moist on stream banks and open areas.  Very moist, nitrogen rich soils, water receiving sites.

Propagation:  Not available.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii)

General: Deciduous shrub, erect and loosely branched to 3 m tall, brown bark flakes off.

Leaves: Opposite, oval/elliptical, light green, 2.5-7 cm long with 3 major veins, margins essentially smooth with serrations on young leaves.

Flowers: White, four petals, clusters of flowers 2-3 cm at end of lateral branches.  Fragrant.

Fruit: Light brown oval capsules 1 cm long.

Ecology: Variety of habitats, but generally riparian areas.

Seed: Extract from fruit in late summer.  Stratify at 5ºC for 8 weeks then at 22-26ºC.
Vegetative: Softwood cuttings in June-July.  Plant in a 1:1 perlite-vermiculite mix.  Hardwood cuttings of 20 cm in fall or spring, plant in sandy soil, add mulch for fall plantings.

Spiraea or Hard Hack  (Spiraea douglasii) Indian Plum Picture

General:  Erect, leggy, branched, 2 m tall, young growth reddish-brown, wooly, forming thickets.

Leaves:  Alternate, deciduous, oblong to oval, 4-10 cm long, toothed top half, pale and wooly underside.

Flowers:  Pink to deep rose, tiny, numerous in long narrow terminal cluster.

Fruits:  small, smooth, pod-like follicles.

Ecology:  Wet climates and soils, low to middle elevations, shade intolerant, characteristic of wetlands.

Seed: Collect cuttings in fall, at least one but on cutting, slice cut distal end place in bucket of water for a few weeks then wrap in plastic until April.  Dip in hormone and plant in 1:1 peat-perlite.
Vegetative: Take cuttings, 15-20 cm (Dec.-Jan.) treat with root hormone and place in potting soil.  Keep in greenhouse with bottom heat and misting system until hardening off.

Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) Snowberry Picture

General: Tiny, erect, trailing shrub, 0.5-2m tall, branches oppositely into very fine, hairless twigs. One of the most widespread shrubs in North America, also known as Waxberry.

Leaves: Opposite, deciduous, ellipitic to oval, 2-5cm long, wavy-smooth toothed edges, underside dotted with small black hairs.

Flowers: Pink to white, bell shaped, 5-7mm in short dense clusters of a few flowers mostly at edges of twigs.

Fruit: Obvious clusters of spongy white, berry-like fruits that last through winter, 6-15mm across.

Ecology: Dry to moist open forests, thickets, rocky slopes, beaches, swamps, basically anywhere moist.


Seed: Collect from mid-October through winter. Clean by macerating. Dry and store at 5ºC for up to 2 years. Warm stratify at room temperature for 60 days. Cold stratify at 5ºC for 180 days. Plant and mulch in spring.
Vegetative: Cut below ground runners between October and February and transplant into perlite. Cut and plant hardwood cuttings June to August or store over winter and plant late February to early MR.h.

Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta var. californica) Tule Picture

General: 1-4 m tall and branched. Can be densely clumped or spreading by suckers. Twigs, leaves and bud scales covered in long white hairs when young, hairless after first season.

Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, elliptical to oval. Often have heart-shaped base and pointed tip, edges are doubly saw-toothed. Pale on underside.

Flowers: Male catkins are produced before leaves appear. Female catkins are much smaller, with protruding red stigmas.

Fruits: Spherical nuts enclosed in light-green husks and covered with stiff prickly hairs. Ends of husks project beyond the nut into a beak. Usually in clusters of 2 or 3 at branch ends.

Ecology: Found in moist but well-drained sites at low to middle elevations in open forest, shady openings, thickets, clearings, rocky slopes and streamside.

Propagation: Not available.

Birdseye, C., and Birdseye, E.G.  1972.  Growing Woodland Plants.  New York: Dover Publications Inc.

Lyons, C.P.  1976.  Trees, Shrubs and Flowers to know in British Columbia.  Toronto: JM Dent and Sons Ltd.

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

Rose, R., Chaculski, C.E.O., and Hasse, D.L.  1998.  Propagation of Pacific Northwestern Native Plants.  Corvallis: Oregon State University Press.

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