Okanagan Flowers and Wildflowers

I adore flowers and I'm particularly fond of wildflowers that grow locally around the Okanagan. I hope you'll join me in my fascination as I document and learn about flowers growing around the Okanagan. 

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Kelowna's official flower! These bright beauties grow all across the Okanagan Valley hillsides, with tall stalks 10-20 inches tall topped with a yellow sunflower-like flower.

Native to the Southern Interior of British Columbia, almost every part of the plant is edible.

 

 

White Campion

No time for losers, cause we are the (White) Campions!

The flowers on a White Campion are a stunning milk-white that is offset by the fuzzy leaves and stems.

The White Campion is also known as the White Cockle. At night, the White Campion gives off a seductive scent, and the flowers are pollinated by night butterflies and moths.

The leaves are edible and can be used in salads. The roots contain saponin which, although mildly toxic, has long been used to wash clothes and hair. 

 

 

Tufted Vetch

Stop trying to make Vetch happen. It's not going to happen. 🙄
(please tell me you got the Mean Girls reference?!)

This Okanagan wildflower is a member of the pea and clover family, but despite its relation to a much-loved vegetable, the Tufted Vetch is not edible.

The beautifully deep blue flowers of the Tufted Vetch are bell-shaped and they bloom in eye-catching clusters from June to August.

The Tufted Vetch has curled tendrils that it uses to grasp, climb, and spread itself into new areas. It happily grows in a range of environments, which is why it is fairly widespread throughout the Okanagan from June to August.

 

 

Violas

Violas, the smaller and cuter cousin to pansies!

These tiny Violas made my day, look at the blade of grass behind it for size comparison! The plant itself can be up to 8 inches, with a few small flowers on each.

 

 

Ox-Eye Daises

Summer days are for summer daisies!
Originally from Eurasia, this quintessential Ox-eye Daisy came to North America in the 1700s. The Daisy is very common in the Okanagan although they are an invasive species.

Enjoy these white-petalled, yellow-centered flowers in the wild, but it’s advised in British Columbia to avoid wildflower seed mixes that may contain Ox-eye, as this daisy can reduce local plant diversity.

 

  

Hoary Alyssum

Hip Hip Hoary! Three cheers for the Hoary Alyssum

These delicate white flowers bloom at the tips of tall branching plants. Despite their clean elegance, Hoary Alyssum is in fact a weed and an invasive species to British Columbia.

The Hoary Alyssum thrives in a dry environment and is a part of the mustard family. It may be important to note that it is particularly dangerous and toxic to horses.

 

 

Pineapple Weed

Next time you see some Pineapple weed, grab a few of the yellow flowers and roll them between your fingers, it smells sweet like a pineapple!!

Pineapple Weed somewhat resembles Chamomile with its domed yellow flowers but it gets its name from the pineapple scent of its flowers and leaves. In fact, Pineapple Weed has a delicious fruity flavor, and it can be used in salads as well as in sweet treats like cookies, and even brewed into a tasty wildflower tea.

A relative of Chamomile, Pineapple Weed is believed to have some of the same medicinal benefits of its cousin, like relieving anxiety and insomnia.

It grows in low to mid elevations, and is widespread across almost all of North America.

 

 

Upland Larkspur

What's up with me? What's Upland Larkspur!

These delicate and vibrant flowers are native to the Okanagan and are known to attract hummingbirds.

Upland Larkspur blooms in late spring and grows rapidly on hillsides, like along highways and roads.

 

 

Yarrow

Here today, gone tom-yarrow! This hardy flower blooms all over Canada from coast to coast and is also known as milfoil. They grow up to three feet tall and have no branches except for near the top, where there is a fan of flowers in white, pink, orange, or yellow.

We have spotted this flower so frequently while hiking and exploring throughout our time in the Okanagan that it became a favorite and we even made it a part of our name!

 

 

Trillium

She's one in a Trillium! This beauty stopped me in my tracks! Western Trillium can be found in moist forests and blooms during the spring months in southwestern BC. It grows along the California Coast and across North America, it's also the provincial flower for Ontario!

Look but don't touch these beautiful blooms, as it may be illegal to pick trilliums depending on where you are. 

 

 

Glory of the Snow

These little starbursts of blue are commonly called Glory of the Snow.

Originally from Turkey, but they do well in the Okanagan and can be found blooming in sunny patches during the early spring.