dwarf rose, ḴEMI [SENĆOŦEN], Rosa gymnocarpa flower, ĆUÁN

ḴEMI,EL̵Ć [SENĆOŦEN] with the flower just ‘ḴEMI’, Rosa gymnocarpa * 2021 June 3 * P1010005

flower power: ḴEMI,EL̵Ć [SENĆOŦEN] with the flower just ‘ḴEMI’, Rosa gymnocarpa on the ridge above and east of Fulford Creek, ĆUÁN, 2021 June 3, with the petals and hips traditionally eaten for spiritual and corporeal purification and greater strength. This is one of the three species of wild roses that grow around the Salish Sea with this species, the only one of the three with spines as well as sometimes thorns, extending south to the mountains of Baja California.

celebrating Earth Day through learning from black hawthorn, Crataegus suksdorfii, especially its importance to pollinators & ecological persistence across western North America

2021 April-21 black hawthorn, Crataegus suksdorfii, in a grove adjacent to KEXMIN field
station that has been re-establishing for several decades after a century of intensive goat
and sheep grazing P4210007

For the second year in a row, we are celebrating Earth Day at KEXMIN field station, on the Gulf Islands of south-western Canada, through learning from black hawthorn, MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN] / Metth’unulhp [Hul’q’umi’num’], Crataegus suksdorfii, one of a number of disappearing native fruit trees. This species currently grows from northern British Columbia and Haida Gwaii to northern California and then across the Rockies to Lake Superior. We have much to learn about how these trees persist, recolonize and can be protected and better restored including through field research combined with social strategies rooted in contemporary culture.

harvesting fruit with seed of Pacific crabapples, ḴÁ,EW̱ [SENĆOŦEN], Malus fusca, for ecological restoration and indigenous food sovereignty

Harvesting fruit for planting seed of Pacific crabapples, ḴÁ,EW̱ [SENĆOŦEN], Malus fusca, on the first day of autumn, 2020 September 22, Beaver Point, Salt Spring Island * P1010021

ḴÁ,EW̱ [SENĆOŦEN], Pacific crabapples, Malus fusca, is an important fruit tree throughout the North Pacific region and is recorded from Sequoia National Park in California, mainly along the Pacific coast, to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula (Routson, Volk, Richards, Smith, Nabhan and Wyllie de Echeverria 2012). The extent of the far western extent of this species in the Aleutian Islands remains poorly charted.

Given that Malus fusca sometimes hybridizes with other wild and landrace species in the primary gene pool of cultivated apple, there are a number of east Asian species near adjacent coasts spanning Alaska, Far Eastern Russia, Japan, Korea and China including M. floribunda, M. baccata, M. mandhurica, M. asiatica, M. komarovii, and M. sieboldii. And with aerial pollination some alleles and genotypes move around the North Pacific region — especially along and close to areas with mild maritime climates. And many of these gene flows are vulnerable to climate change and urbanization.

reference
Kanin J. Routson , Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Steven E. Smith, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria. 2012. Genetic Variation and Distribution of Pacific Crabapple. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 137(5): 325–332.

seaside juniper, PET̸EṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, is endemic to the drier islands of the Salish Sea and was used to ward off disease

seaside juniper, Tsawout lands, Saanich, Vancouver Island 2020 August 7 P1010017

Seaside juniper, PET̸EṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, is endemic to the Gulf and San Juan Islands and the adjacent Olympic Range. This is one of the rarest of the North American juniper species. The Salish relied on this conifer to to ward off disease.

seaside juniper, Tsawout lands, Saanich, Vancouver Island 2020 September 10 P1010002

This relatively young juniper, probably less than fifty years old, is on Tsawout, W̱SÁNEĆ, territory near the beach south of the southern line of the 1852 treaty. This mosaic of dunes, marsh and meadow is vulnerable to the rapid sea level rise taking place on the south-east coast of the Saanich Peninsula.

seaside juniper along Burgoyne Bay in the Hwmet’utsun protected landscape,
Salt Spring Island, 2020 September 13 P1010003 The juniper is in the centre of
the image with a young arbutus (madrone) on the left and a young Douglas fir
on the right. This juniper is probably twice or three times the age of this arbutus
and fir tree. This is the more typical form and habitat of seaside juniper though
are larger bush forms that grow near shorelines as well.

fruit of black hawthorn, MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, a week after the peak of sweetness

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010040

An important traditional food tree, black hawthorn, MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, (in Canada, Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii) is also ecologically important especially for the nectar and fruit. One of the few seaside areas where this species grows on the Northwest coast of North America is the Gulf and San Juan Islands where this fruit tree established in drier times with colder winters. Consequently, this species was more important to indigenous communities east of the Coast Range.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010009
This area appears to have been heavily bulldozed twenty to forty years ago with the tracks
collecting sufficient water, on this sunny, south-west facing site, to allow this mesic, wetland
edge species to get established in this early seral stage of succession.

MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, (in Canada, Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii), is one of two black hawthorn species on the Gulf and San Juan Islands. This, the smaller species, generally produces more accessible fruit and grows in mesic (damper) areas in drier regions.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010012

This beautiful small tree is highly adaptable to urban and other degraded landscapes but so far has been rarely used in Coast Salish food sovereignty, permaculture and ecological restoration initiatives.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010039

a large grove of chokecherry, tuluµulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], Prunus virginiana, with fruit a week before the peak of ripeness & blooming vines of the native clematis, Clematis ligusticifolia

2020 August 6 chokecherry a week before peak of ripeness, Hwmet’utsun, Salt Spring Island P1010099
2020 August 6 blooming native clematis on Hwmet’utsun, Salt Spring Island P1010072
trunk of old chokecherry tree with sapsucker holes, Hwmet’utsun,
Salt Spring Island 2020 August 6 P1010013

This grove of chokecherry, [cf tuluµulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ with this word sometimes also used for bitter cherry], Prunus virginiana, on Hwmet’utsun on Salt Spring Island, was visited on August 6, 2020 with fruit (drupes) a week before the peak of ripeness. This area has a long history of Cowichan stewardship and harvesting that has only be partially obstructed in the last half century.

2020 August 6 blooming native clematis Hwmet’utsun P1010030

This exceptional chokecherry woodland, similar to communities in the southern Puget Sound on more mesic and wetland edges of Garry oak woodland, has a subdominant vine, western white clematis, Clematis ligusticifolia. This native West Coast clematis is rare in the mid and north parts of the Salish Sea. At its northern margins , this species rarely occurs on the coast and is associated with areas of hotter, drier summers in the British Columbia Southern Interior.

2020 August 6 chokecherry on Hwmet’utsun P1010063
2020 August 6 a sunny afternoon in one of the North-West Pacific coast’s rarest woodland types dominated by relatively old, dominant chokecherry trees on Hwmet’utsun P1010020

Chokecherry is an important element of local efforts at food and medicinal sovereignty and has exceptional value in ecological restoration of more mesic, south-facing sites as well as well as sunny sites on the edge of wetlands.

2020 August 6 chokecherry a few days from peak ripeness on Hwmet’utsun P1010120

a week from the peak of ripeness, the fruit (drupes) of chokecherry, SC̸ET̸EṈILĆ [W̱SÁNEĆ], Prunus virginiana

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010001

Chokecherry, SC̸ET̸EṈILĆ [W̱SÁNEĆ and also used for bitter cherry], Prunus virginiana, is the only wild fruit tree in Canada that is native to every province and territory. On the Gulf and San Juan Islands, this small tree, that sometimes grows to over 10 metres, is a keystone species for numerous pollinators, birds, and humans.

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010016

A crucial food and medicine for hundreds of indigenous communities in the northern half of North America, this species is so under-valued in settler horticulture that plants are rarely available in commercial nurseries. Fortunately, the pits are often highly fertile and at an experimental farm plot operated by ḴEXMIN field station, trees planted from drupes just four years ago are already over 2 metres in height and flowered for the first time this spring.

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010016

Coastal sage, Artemisia suksdorfii, flowering and going to seed in the early summer

2020 July 6 coastal sage in an exclosure of repurposed sheep fencing in the
ḴEXMIN field station restoration area P1010012

There are several species of West coast mugworts or sages with the ecology of coastal sage, Artemisia suksdorfii, associated with dry maritime cliffs often with salt air and relatively uncommon, is somewhat unclear.

This pungent species had some uses for the Salish, particularly related to its aromatic oils, extending to digestive medicine.

A wild bee harvesting pollen from the bloom of a wild rose, Rosa cf nutkana, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

2020 May 26 bee pollinating Rosa cf nutkana, Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park * P1010129



Larger pollinators often depend on larger flowers. In this case, a relatively large wild bee is harvesting pollen, and perhaps nectar, from this wild rose — just after the peak total spring pollination of most prolific native pollinators on the Gulf and San Juan Islands.

buzz pollination of thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus, by wild bees

Environmental researcher, Dominic Demers on buzz pollination by wild bees of thimbleberry, Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island, 2020 May 15 * P1010150


Environmental researcher Dominic Demers on wild bee buzz pollination of thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus