Margaret Lidkea reports: “Christina Ross and I busted bur weed yesterday for 2 hours and finger plucked 2 sandwich baggies crammed full of burweed. We found 2 spots south of the corral, then there were several spots north of it and also one spot east but still on the grass path. We only found 2 plants in the rocky areas with vernal pools. Good thing we went down because the seeds have just started and were quite rare, although both of us were pricked. Attached is a photo of our baggies and another photo of burweed, the inconspicuous flowers (green) and the dagger seed compared to a dime. Hopefully we’ve contributed to the invasive removal effectively.”
Vernal pools are pools that exist in the spring, not in the summer, and created by rain in the fall and winter. They are depressions in the bedrock and do not drain. This provides a very special habitat niche for a unique set of plants in the brief spring window.
Uplands Park has been designated as a key site for Garry Oak Ecosystem Vernal Pools. A number of endangered and threatened plants are found in the Uplands Park Vernal Pools, including Macoun’s Meadowfoam (red-listed, E-FLORA BC page), Water-plantain Buttercup, (red-listed, E-FLORA BC page) , Tall Woolly-heads (red-listed, E-FLORA BC page), Kellogg’s Rush (red-listed, E-FLORA BC page), winged water starwort (blue-listed, E-FLORA BC page), popcorn flower (red-listed, E-FLORA page), mountain sneezeweed (blue listed E-FLORA BC page)
Here are some photos of the vernal pools in Uplands Park. Those in bloom were taken on May 25th, 2012. Other photos were taken Jan – March 2012. Sadly, trails go through the middle of some of the vernal pools and bike tire tracks and foot prints (dog and human) compromise these rare ecosystems.
Vernal Pools in Jan – May