Last summer, I was working on an article about Colour. I started seeing colour everywhere, and wondering, what purpose does it serve? One day, after pedalling my bike up Reid Road and noticing all the Western Trumpet Honeysuckle blossoms, popping orange-bursts amongst the screen of green, I thought: Why do flowers have their amazing bright colours? What purpose does colour serve in nature? I bet Dawn would know.
From the road, self-taught naturalist and director with Stewardship Pemberton, Dawn Johnson emailed back, “In very short form, colour in nature is a way to attract attention (eg beautiful male birds that want to stand out and act as a decoy for predators) or a way to detract attention (dull females sitting on nests…) Or – in flowers to attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds…”
Thus, the Western Trumpet Honeysuckle, or Tuqwcal in Ucwalmicwts, nectar for the hummingbirds!
This post is part of a 30 day special feature of Native Plant Love, showcasing the work of Stewardship Pemberton, to develop a native plant garden and interpretive signs, that give us all an opportunity to have a deeper relationship with the place we live. Join us, throughout April, as we share daily feature plants. Subscribe to the blog via RSS feed, and receive a happy little plant bomb in your email every day. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook.
This work was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Líl̓wat Nation members who shared their traditional knowledge, and funders, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the Community Foundation of Whistler.
The signs will be installed later this spring.