In 1956, British Columbia designated the Pacific Dogwood as the official province flower. The cornus nuttallii as it is known in Latin is a protected species of plant in Canada. The plant makes blossoms of cream-colored clusters in the spring. During the fall, the plant produces red berries. While this is the official flower, the Yellow Flag Iris is often confused with it as having its status.
The Yellow Flag Iris is not the official flower of British Columbia, but it is easy to understand why it may be confused as being so. It grows vastly throughout the province’s southern area. It spreads quickly, especially in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. The seeds disperse quickly and are helped by the horizontal root system of the plant that can grow into thickets especially under bodies of water.
Often bits of the plant break off at the roots and float downstream, thereby increasing their ability to proliferate in other areas so fast. Besides growing naturally, many gardening enthusiasts enjoy planting and caring for the iris at home. The plant is sold in nurseries and is best planted in mulch.
The easiest way to identify the iris is by its three yellow sepals. These curve backwards in contrast to the three petals that point upwards. Plants can grow to be about one and a half meters high. It should be noted that they are best kept away from livestock as when some animals eat them they can become sick. Also, they are best grown away from cattails.
In addition to the dogwood and the iris other gardening favorites in the province are the Japanese iris, the Western Blue Iris and the Oregon Iris. Many people are fans of the iris and join the local iris society to help preserve the beauty of this flower.