Groundcovers Edible Berries Ferns Native Flowers and Pollinators Native Trees
Alpine Strawberry - Fragaria vesca Edible Berries
A quick-growing ground cover that produces small thimble-sized berries that are sweet and bountiful. Flowers and fruit form throughout the spring and into the late fall. Heaviest yield is during the mid summer months. Grows best when grown in sunny location with dappled shade and well draining soil. Will tolerate shade and moist soil conditions but won't produce as much fruit. Plants generally stand erect which helps protect the fruit from ground dwelling insects. Also grows well in hanging baskets.
Height: 15cm (6in) Spread: Indefinite
WILD STRAWBERRY (Fragaria virginiana) Edible Berries
Winter hardy, these these plants are easily grown in fertile, moist to dry, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers organically rich, sandy loam. This is a cool-season perennial that grows best in spring and fall. After setting fruit, plants may slow down or go dormant in hot summer months. Plants spread indefinitely by runners that root as they sprawl along the ground. Plants generally dislike high summer heat, humidity and strong drying winds. Propagate from runners.
Bunch Berry / Creeping Dogwood -Cornus canadensis Fallback Food
Attractive low growing ground-cover filled with beautiful white flowers in mid summer. Does best in moist organically rich acidic soil. Prefers partial shade. Forms clusters of colourful red berries which, while edible are very bland and have large seeds. The berries are actually considered a stone fruit. Berries are a popular food source for birds and are high in pectin. The foliage has a beautiful sage purple colour in the fall before going dormant.
Common Camas - Camassia quamash Edible Bulb
Highly ornamental - beautiful spring flowering bulb. Grows well in a variety of conditions but does best in organically rich and acidic soils that are moist in the winter and spring but dry during the summer months. The bulbs were harvested and pit-roasted or boiled by various First Nations people.
Always ensure proper identification before eating. Similar looking toxic species exist.
Kinnikinnick / Berryberry - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Fallback Food
A hardy, small evergreen trailing shrub. Produces small pink flowers that form into red berries late in the season. Attractive brown stems. The berries can last on the plant all winter. Grows in best in full sun, in well-draining, gravelly or sandy soil. The berries are bland by today's standard but were eaten by various First Nations Peoples with salmon eggs, cooked with salmon or dried into cakes. The leaves had various medicinal uses and were often used in teas.
Height: 15-30 cm Spreads: 30-45cm
Lingonberry - Vaccinium vitis-idaea Edible Berries
Low growing evergreen native ground cover that does best in full sun to partial shade in well draining moist soil with plenty of organic material. Produces small light pink to white bell shaped flowers followed by red berries that are quite tart with a slight sweetness. Berries are great in jams and juiced but home gardens generally only produce enough to wet one's palate.
Height: 15cm (6") Spread: 30cm+ (1ft+)
Western Bleeding Heart - Dicentra formosa Native Ornamental
This beautiful non-edible native plant produces soft pinkish-purple heart-shaped flowers on soft ferny foliage in late spring/early summer and then tends to go dormant before emerging in the fall with a second lighter flush of flowers. Does well in both full and partial shade as long as the soil is lightly acidic, well drained and moist.
Height: 15-30cm (6-20in) Spread: 15-30cm (6-20in)
Self Heal - Prunella vulgaris Attracts Beneficial
This is an excellent low growing perennial that works well as a ground cover. It has vibrant purple flowers from mid May until early July that help attract beneficial insects to the garden. It grows well in various conditions from full shade to partial sun and handles both moist and dry conditions once established. In nature it commonly grows on along clearings and forest edges. As the name self heal implies, the plant has medicinal qualities that help heal various ailments. First Nations peoples on the coast used it in weak teas and ointments.
Height: 10-50cm (4-20"), Spread: 10-50cm (4-20")
Wild Ginger - Asarum caudatum Edible Roots
Wild Ginger is a great semi-evergreen perennial that does well with filtered sun and partial shade. It likes a moist, acidic soil that drains well and produces beautiful light purple flowers in May through June . Unfortunately the flowers are generally hidden under the lily pad green leaves. The plant has a nice spicy ginger-like scent when crushed. The roots can be eaten fresh or dried as a ginger substitute. First Nations peoples used it in medicinal teas to sooth stomach pains.
Height: 10-15cm (4-6in) Spread: 15-25cm (6-10in)