A Tombstone For Rare Plants

By Janis Ringuette

A Beacon Hill Park plaque was installed on top of rare native plants.

“It is ironic that we have to destroy a locality of native rare plants in order to commemorate a donation of an introduced species [Japanese Sakura trees],” Dr. Adolf Ceska commented.

He thinks of the plaque as “a tombstone of the Nuttall’s Quillwort which was buried underneath.” It is located near Circle Drive between the Children’s Petting Farm and the totem pole.

Japanese memorial  Concrete pad for plaque

“One of the major causes of disappearing plant species is the accidental destruction of a site or a whole locality,” Ceska stated. Rare plants are often destroyed by park workers, especially in winter when the plants are not visible. It is essential for staff to know the exact locations of rare plants in order to stop this destruction.

Dr. Nancy Turner would like botanists to be consulted before anything is built in parks. Workers damage native plants during regular maintenance, as they dump gravel, place picnic tables and garbage cans, dig ditches, build trails and drive across meadows in park vehicles.

(Adolf Ceska’s statements are from his article “Rare Plants Under Pressure, The Victoria Naturalist, Vol 47.2, 1990. Turner’s comments were published in the Times Colonist, June 7, 1997, p. A 5.)