British Columbia Flowers
West of the Rocky Mountains the ecosystems change drastically and there is a whole new spectrum of Flowers and plant materials that can be collected from the wild or grown in the home garden. The same general rules apply for harvesting with care, handling, quality control, shipping and so on. The following are again, only guidelines for the types of Flowers that can be dried. It is worthwhile to experiment.
Almost all of the Flowers that grow in Alberta, will also grow in BC, so look carefully at the pages Flowers for Drying, Medical Herbs and Preserving Flowers and Herbs.
The following are plants that can only be found in BC:
Broom.Very plentiful in some parts of BC. Pick in winter when there are no leaves on the stems. Choose bright green stems, with good form, no more than 3' long. 15 - 20 stems/bundle.
Celosia.Very frost sensitive, so may be better grown in BC. 7 - 8 plumosa stems/bundle. 3 - 4 cristata heads/Bundle.
Gomphrena.May grow taller and for a longer season in BC. Worth experimenting with.
Herbs.Many herbs grow better in BC. Collect Flowering stems and bundle to hang dry. Clean leaves, without chemicals can be dried for cooking. Try Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Catnip, Rue, Lavender.
Horsetails. Equisetum.Giant horsetails sometimes found. 25 stems/bundle.
Hydrangea.Very good product. Collect whole Flower clusters on 6 - 8" stems, or longer, in September, after the Flowers are fully mature, and starting to dry on the plant, but before fall rains begin. Water on the petals will cause browning, and result in poor quality. Lay out to dry.
Lavender.Grows much better in BC. Collect tall Flower spikes when in full bloom, with color all the way to the end. Leaves, stems and old Flowers are still fragrant and can be used in potpourri. Seed is valuable. 35 stems per bundle.
Pearly Everlasting.Pick in early Flower bud stage, before Flower opens. 25 stems/bundle.
Rose.Many roses in BC. All stages are useful, buds, open flowers, petals, heads only, flowers on stems, even rose hips. Hang roses to dry in small bundles. Lay out petals and buds to dry.
Rosemary.Won't grow at all in Alberta. Collect stems into bundles. Loose leaves can be used as a cooking herb, bought by dry weight.
Salal.Grows like a weed in some parts of BC. Very nice dried and fresh. 15 - 20 stems. Large volume crop.
StrawFlowers.These will produce larger flowers in South BC because of the longer day length and the longer summer. Same handling as Alberta strawflowers.
Tropicals.Some parts of BC, especially Vancouver and the east side of the island have a very unique climate and will allow cultivation of some exotic plants. Some of these will be interesting and useful as dried Flowers.
See also Flowers for Drying information page.