Nootka Rose

One of the indigenous shrubs that grows in my yard is the Nootka Rose (Rosa Nutkana).  It is a local species of wild rose that takes its name from the Vancouver Island First Nations people.  Nootka is actually an Anglicized mispronunciation of Nuu-chah-nulth, a fate shared by many native peoples in this region.  The shrub is just now starting to bloom and this will continue through the summer.  The flowers are quite beautiful in various shades of pink against a rich, green foliage background.  I do have some mixed feelings about these shrubs:

  • It is a beautiful shrub for the native landscape that requires virtually no care
  • It forms thickets that provide nesting sites for birds and protection for mammals
  • It likes to grow along shorelines, and is a great bluff stabilizer
  • Deer like to browse on the leaves, stems and hips (along with my Rugosas)
  • It is a host for several insect species that in turn, provide food for birds
  • It eagerly grows in any soil, wet or dry, including that blue clay we have around here
  • It has vicious thorns, big ones, that easily puncture gloves, wheelbarrow tires and skin
  • It is fast growing and spreads by underground stems; keeping it in its place is a chore
  • Removing it can also be difficult; if you don't dig up the roots and stems, it comes right back
The pros do outnumber the cons and in the right location, it is a nice addition to the native garden.  Just be aware of its aggressiveness and the challenges you will encounter.  If you need an impenetrable barrier or have a bluff to stabilize, the Nootka Rose is a great choice and a beautiful one as well.  Your wildlife will also appreciate it.

While taking the photos, I encountered something else:

I believe this little guy is a tiny Sweat Bee, busily gathering pollen.  He single-mindedly went about his business paying no attention to my lens about an inch away.

Weather Statistics for May, 2011

TemperatureHigh 65.8° FLow 40.3° FMean 50.4° F
Rainfall3.36 inches
WindHigh 21 mphAverage 1.3 mphDom Dir SW

Observed at South Fidalgo Island (See Climate page for complete climatological data)