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Text: Native Plant Crossroads. Photo: Bunchberry, Cornus canadensis. Text logo: / Canadian Museum of Nature.
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These leaflets offer practical advice and information to help you with a variety of activities ranging from the use of native plants in gardening to the conservation of biodiversity.

  • Surveying Your Garden
    Practical advice for identifying the conditions in your garden before you get started in native plant gardening, whether you're starting from scratch or converting an existing garden.
  • Getting Started in Native Plant Gardening
    Practical tips for the beginner native-plant gardener.
  • Natives at Our Nurseries
    Advice on what to ask at your garden centre or nursery when buying native plants, with a view to minimizing environmental harm and protecting your investment.
  • Creating a Safe Garden for Birds
    Easy-to-implement pointers about what birds need and how you can provide it in your garden through thoughtful plotting and appropriate plant selection.

Text: Top of page. Illustration of an arrowhead.

What you design in a garden will be shaped by weather, by the processes of life, death and decay -- things that you don't have control over. Gardens are expressions of nature and culture, and they also represent what we think nature is. We have conventional ways of thinking about gardens; we tend to assume that gardens are green and the sky is blue.

- Susan Herrington

Western skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus S84-5167.
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It's hard to overlook the western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) of British Columbia. It has a skunk-like odour that attracts insects, and it grows to more than a metre in height, with a bright yellow spathe, flower spike (spadix), and oval, green leaves that reach about 75 cm wide. Its appearance has also earned it the name of swamp lantern. This plant was photographed in early spring, before the leaves developed. The leaves and root are edible by humans; particular processing methods eliminate the slightly bitter, acrid taste. Bears and deer also eat it.


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Last Update: 2005-05-25
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