All across coastal British Columbia right now lots of important little pink flowers are popping out to enjoy the spring sun. In many parts of the coast the flowers quite often herald the arrival of the rufous hummingbird as well as spring itself. These flowers, measuring approximately 3 or 4cm across, grow in bushes that can be quite thick and a little prickly and belong to the shrub known as the Salmonberry(Rubus spectabilis).

I say it’s important because it produces one of the first berries of the summer to ripen and is a vital food source for a whole host of wildlife. The berries are also eaten by many people, especially coastal first nations, who named the plant because the cluster of berries reminded them of salmon eggs. The flower produces nectar which is heartily enjoyed by the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees too. Once the berries start to form they help feed several other bird species including thrushes and robins, along with small and large mammals such as foxes and bears.

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