coastal manroot, Marah oregana, Canada’s rarest and most threatened plant species

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Canada’s rarest and most threatened plant species, with only one viable populations on a steep ridge above Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, is,

coastal manroot, Marah oregana (Cucurbitaceae – Cucumber family).

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

This is the more northerly of the six manroot species and this particular population is the most northerly occurrence of this species. Manroot have large perennial roots that live for centuries, can take two decades to become reproductively mature, and require two roots to reproduce (like any good cucumber!), and is relatively rare. On Salt Spring Island, the 3 to 6 metre vines extend from the roots every April and dry out and disintegrate by the time that the cucumber fruit mature in September. Unless most other cucumbers, the seeds are relatively large and heavy. From the Gulf and San Juan Islands this species occurs sporadically near the coast as far south as the mountains of Los Angeles County.

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

At the northern end of this species’ range, the Salish cultivated this wild cucumber and used the fruit as one of their most powerful anti-viral medicines — crucial after the coming of syphilis.

This population remains unprotected. This population above Fulford Harbour was declared ‘endangered’, federally, in 2009 but the Harper Cabinet could not bother to give it legal protection. A few years ago, one of the landowners for this area bulldozed some of the old roots but the population is hanging on and shifting down the hill above Fulford Community Hall.

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

 

2018 June 5 coast manroot, Marah oregana, on Salt Spring Island late in the flowering period along with fruiting at various phases, photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

 

2018 June 5 coast manroot, Marah oregana, on Salt Spring Island late in the flowering period along with fruiting at various phases, photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

First day of blooms of Salish crabapple, Malus fusca, at the Cowichan village of Xwaaqw’um, Salt Spring Island

photograph by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

This was the first or second day of the bloom of the grove of Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, at Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island — on May 6, 2017 (in an unseasonably cool and late spring). Part of the Cowichan village of Xwaaqw’um that is increasingly used as a tribal educational site, this grove persists through millennia of Salish land stewardship, propagation, and ownership. Today, this crabapple grove more often goes un-noticed and is vulnerable to sea level rise.

This is the only North American crabapple species that is in the primary gene pool of Eurasian apple landraces and cultivars with a distribution that extends along the North Pacific from central California to just north of Japan.

At KEXMIN field station, we are studying traditional small-tree stewardship and harvesting as well as both Salish and modern propagation approaches.

This is another Pacific crabapple blossom, at the same grove as above, at the old Cowichan village of Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island on May 11, 2017. (photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station).

Chokecherry as a symbol for decolonizing Canada

2017 May 7, Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island * photo by Alex Grunenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

For other Canadians having very mixed feelings about next week’s 150th anniversary of the modern Canadian state (including its massive repressive apparatuses), perhaps we need an alternative symbol. This is the only native tree that is in every province and territory in the country: chokecherry, Prunus virginiana.  Chokecherry was known in nearly every indigenous language was the first fruit after the glaciers receded, has medicinal bark (for the original cherry cough lozenge), and produced the preferred poles for teepees. And in contrast the syrupy sweetness of maple syrup, the chokecherry fruit is more nutritious and with a slight bitterness. (2017 May 7, Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island * photo by Alex Grunenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram)

salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis, blossom

a relatively late blossom (in a late spring) of salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis, just above the high-tide line at Burgoyne Bay just north of the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

The Humet’utsun (Mount Maxwell) Protected Landscape, Salt Spring Island: Ongoing monitoring & assessment

Sansum Narrows and Vancouver Island from the southern parcel of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, Salt Spring Island, 2018 April 23

KEXMIN field station includes scientists and conservation planners who have been conducting research on the indigenous cultural landscapes, ecosystems, and species at risk on wild South and West Coasts of Salt Spring Island, including the ecological reserves, going back to 1979.

Sansum Narrows vista from Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, August 1993 photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

***

The current work in the area involves a number of interim reports for a range of clients.

Interim Report on the Status of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, as part of the Hwmet’utsun Protected Landscape, Salt Spring Island

contents

executive summary………………………………………………………………… 2

introduction & problem statement ………………………………………………….6

ecological reserve history & landscapes ……………………………………………7

some conservation roles of this ecological reserve…………………………………11

global trends & longer-term management imperatives …………………………….23

management & sites from 1973 to present …………………………………………31

destructive activities warranting timely interventions ………………………………34

some short-term solutions to minimize further damage ……………………………47

recommendations for conservation strategies, advocacy & policy………………59

Appendix One – Map of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve………………………63

Appendix Two – A shore area of the ecological reserve…………………………….64

 

Algae on an older Garry oak tree (with thick bark that protects from fire). This remaining oak savannah, one of the larger fragments of remaining grassland on Hwmet’utsun, is in the higher part of the southern parcel of Mt Maxwell Ecological Reserve that was purchased by NatureServe in 2001 and made part of the Ecological Reserve in 2002. These grasslands were maintained by Salish burning that continued into the 1930s. photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram on 2017 September 14 * Non-vascular plants such as these are increasingly valuable as indicators of local, regional, and global change.

 

 

 

This remaining oak savannah, one of the larger fragments of remaining grassland on Hwmet’utsun, is in the higher part of the southern parcel of Mt Maxwell Ecological Reserve that was purchased by NatureServe in 2001 and made part of the Ecological Reserve in 2002. These grasslands were maintained by Salish burning that continued into the 1930s. photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram on 2017 September 14

Nearly Lost: Research & posters in Vancouver bus-shelters on two Salish fruit trees: crabapple & chokecherry

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees

host
City of Vancouver Public Art Program

initial posters in the ongoing ‘Nearly Lost’ project

4 different posters installed in 20 bus shelters with the poster dimension 47.25 inches x 68.25 inches.

installation
October 10 to November 7, 2016 (with locations attached)

authorship
castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder, and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram with this project involving conceptualization by all three artists, research, photographing, and initial design conceptualization by Grünenfelder and Brochu-Ingram, text by Brochu-Ingram, and final designs and electronic conveyance by Grünenfelder)


text from project proposal

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees We propose large 2D imagery especially at bus stops, with video loop installations also possible for the video screens, of fruit and blossoms of several of the native fruit trees that have existed and continue to survive in the City of Vancouver — and that are of continued interest for First Native use, stewardship, and cultivation. Low resolution photographs would be enlarged, slightly saturated, and ‘montaged’ with educational text in English, Halkomelem (Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim (Squamish) along with other widely spoken languages, and botanical Latin. For the 2015-2016, we would be able focus on making a number of montage posters celebrating two of the most common native fruit trees and more extensive Salish orchards, Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, and chokecherry, Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa. Both of this crabapple species and this subspecies of chokecherry are limited to coastal ecosystems in BC, Alaska, and Washington State.

text on posters
four different posters with large type with,

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

Along with the following headings is the following text for respective poster:

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is lhexwlhéxw in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is qwa’upulhp in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver and Island dialects of Halkomelem language.

For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

All four posters have the following text: This species is being studied at KEXMIN field station, a centre for conversations spanning traditional indigenous knowledge, modern science, and contemporary art — a project of castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram). The following text was provided by the City of Vancouver: Commissioned as part of the series Coastal City for the 25th Anniversary of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program Vancouver.ca/platform2016

media
Inkjet printer on paper photographing
The photographs in the attached images of the posters were photographed jointly by Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. All of the photographs of the posters installed in the bus shelters were taken by by Alex Grünenfelder.

fabricators / suppliers
OUTFRONT MEDIA Decaux in cooperation with
the printer, LinxPrint, as service-providers to the City of Vancouver

 

 

 

Some landscape ecologies of the Hwmet’utsum, Mount Maxwell & Burgoyne Bay, Cowichan cultural and conservation area & Tsing 2015 A Feminist Approach to the Anthropocene

drone video of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, Salt Spring Island taken by Ben Taft on January 5, 2017 in cooperation with KEXMIN field station

 

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing – A Feminist Approach to the Anthropocene: Earth Stalked by Man, November 10, 2015 Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard College, New York

Anna L. Tsing is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz, and the acclaimed author of several books including Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen.

Pacific crabapple, qwa’upulhp (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), ḴÁ¸EW̱ (SENĆOŦEN), Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

 

0 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0075 copyPacific crabapple, qwa’upulhp (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), ḴÁ¸EW̱ (SENĆOŦEN), Malus fusca, north of the site of the village of Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 11 & 12, photographs by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

1 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_1195 2 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0587 3 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0785 4 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0876 5 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0920

 

crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0504 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0660 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0933 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0939 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_1155 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0068

 

crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0800 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0831 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0846 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0915 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0969

 

Studies of the West Coast subspecies of chokecherry, lhex̱wlhéx̱w / thuxwun (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Prunus virginiana, on the Gulf Islands

 

0 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0533

chokecherry, lhex̱wlhéx̱w / thuxwun (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Prunus virginiana, Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 9 through 12, photographs by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

1 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0565 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0046 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0049 copy chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0049 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0144