Learning about native plants—plants that haven’t been moved to a location by humans from somewhere else—is a great way to learn about the place you call home. Studying native plants in British Columbia is also a chance to learn about Indigenous knowledge of the plants where you live.
Most of us can name a few of the plants that grow in our gardens or that we can buy at the store: roses, tulips, daffodils. We all know those ones. We also know the berries we can buy at the grocery store, like strawberries and blueberries. But how many of us know the plants that are native to the place where we live? There are plants that have been growing here for thousands of years.
If you live on British Columbia’s south coast, do you know which native berries are safe to eat and when they ripen? Do you know which native flowers blossom first in spring?
Indigenous ways of knowing and being include deep, rich knowledge about plants, animals and landscapes. Learning about local First Peoples’ uses of plants and animals, seasonal changes and ecosystems will add to your study of the native plants in your neighbourhood.
Explore the digital resources in this pathway then get outside! Find out who knows about native plants in your community. Invite an elder from a local First Nation to talk about plants. Beyond tulips and strawberries, there is a whole world of fascinating, beautiful and essential plants just outside your door.
What can you learn about native plants from the Royal BC Museum?