Ministry of Forests

Cariboo Region Research Section


Plants of Sothern British Columbia

About this Guide

For many, plants are simply appreciated for their appearance and often pleasing fragrance, but an increasing number of people wish to be able to name plants and know more about them. This guide is designed for anyone interested in learning about the plants of southern Interior British Columbia. It presents a simple yet thorough account of all the major land-plant groups, and a few of the aquatics, that occur in our region. It has been written for a wide range of potential users, including residents of the southern Interior who have an interest in their natural surroundings, travelers who want a simple and easy-to-use plant guide, high school and post-secondary students studying the flora of British Columbia, and natural resource specialists requiring an up-to-date reference to the plants of this region.

Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia is the third in a series of guides to the flora of British Columbia. It has been preceded by Plants of Northern British Columbia (MacKinnon et al. 1992) and Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Pojar and MacKinnon 1994). This guide covers the flora of part of the province not specifically covered in those two previous guides--a region that offers abundant opportunities, in settings of splendid natural beauty, for studying, photographing or simply admiring plants.

This guide describes the common native plants of our region, as well as some introduced species that have become naturalized. Most species descriptions include a colour photograph and line drawings to illustrate the general habit (what the whole plant looks like) or specific details. Less common or localized species are described in the 'Similar Species' sections.

Simple keys and other identification aids are given for larger and more difficult groups. The use of specialized terms is minimized, but some are unavoidable, and these are defined in the glossary or explained and illustrated in the introductions to the different plant groups.

The flora of our region is as large and diverse as the vast geographic area it occupies. We have tried to balance the representation of plants from all parts of the region and from both forested and non-forested habitats. Although the guide is quite comprehensive, technical manuals will have to be consulted for definitive identifications of some species. For large, complex groups, such as the sedges (Carex spp.), we have described the species that are most common and most widely distributed.

This guide also includes information on human uses of plants, plant systematics, ecological descriptions and other interesting information. We have compiled the information on aboriginal uses from both published and unpublished accounts.

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