My 2023 Nature Calendar is now available!

Bog Plants in Vancouver’s Camosun Bog

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

round-leaved sundew camosun bog

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

In June I’d seen a number of people on Twitter talking about Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Park as a good spot for various flowering bog species at the time, so I decided to head out there and see what was still in bloom. I was also thinking a lot about the possibility of seeing Sundews again, a species I haven’t seen in person since a University trip to Burns Bog back in 1999 or so. I visited Camosun Bog for the very first time last September. As this followed the Heat dome natural disaster earlier that year and a relatively dry/hot summer, things were pretty crispy in Camosun bog then. After a lot of rain this winter the bog looked replenished and relatively healthy this spring. I was a bit too late for a good flower display from the Bog Laurels, but there was more than enough species of interest to spend over an hour making photographs.

The first plants I looked for were the Sundews which were easy to spot and fairly plentiful. The photograph above shows a rather large group of them mixed in with some Sphagnum moss and decaying leaves from last year. This particular species is the Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). Like other Sundews, the Round-leaved Sundew is a carnivorous plant, and more specifically an insectivore. The photograph below is a zoomed in version of another Sundew plant I photographed, and shows the sticky red tentacle-like hairs that tempt insects both with their red colour and nectar in order to trap and then digest them.

round-leaved sundew closeup

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

The next species I photographed were these flowering Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) plants. I’ve seen Bunchberry before in person and in other photographs, but had not made images of them myself until now. I’d always thought they looked like miniature Pacific Dogwood Flowers (Cornus nuttallii) and there is good reason for that, they are in the same genus – Cornus. Bunchberry, unlike its larger cousin, grows as a relatively short ground cover in fairly moist forest floor/bog environments. The flowers mature into glossy red berries.

bunchberry flowers cornus canadensis

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) flowers at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

I also made several images of Northern Starflower (Trientalis arctica) plants, which were mostly blooming when I visited Camosun Bog. I am not entirely sure which is the preferred name for this species, but it is also often listed as Arctic Starflower (Trientalis europaea ssp. arctica).

northern arctic starflowers camosun bog

Northern Starflower (Trientalis arctica) (Purchase)

One of the most recognizable species in a bog, Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum). Labrdor Tea isn’t as flashy as a lot of the other species such as flowering Bog Laurels, but does have these very nice white flowers in the spring. As the name suggests, the leaves can be used to make a tea (steeped, not boiled) which is described as “floral” in flavouring. Labrador Tea resembles a rhododendron, and for good reason – an alternative name for it is Rhododendron groenlandicum.

labrador tea flowers ledum gorenlandicum

Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum) Flowers (Purchase)

The most commonly thought of plant in a bog is likely Sphagnum Moss (Genus Sphagnum). I am unsure as to which species this photograph below illustrates, as there are roughly 12 species of Sphagnum in Camosun Bog alone! I do try to ID every species/place/mountain/building I feature in a photograph, but sometimes I have to draw a line!

sphagnum moss

Sphagnum Moss (Genus Sphagnum) (Purchase)

For more photographs of Native and Wild plants of Southwestern British Columbia visit my Native and Wild Plants Gallery.

5 thoughts on “Bog Plants in Vancouver’s Camosun Bog”

  1. I believe we have sundew here in Michigan, but it has been a while since I have visited a bog. It is one plant I’ve always wanted to find. Looks like a cool place!

    Reply
  2. What a fascinating collection of plants, especially the Sundew! Now I want to visit a bog like this and see some of these beautiful plants in person. Really nice collection of work, Michael.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sarah! I’ve always liked bog plants, but the largest bog here isn’t really publicly accessible so I haven’t been in there since University. I read about this one and on my second visit saw a lot of these small species I haven’t seen anywhere else. The Sundew are a favourite for me too. 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: