Native Plant Garden

One of the first

The visionary designers of the museum and its grounds surrounded the buildings with one of the first native plant gardens on the west coast of North America in 1968. To the left and right of the museum’s main entrance, landscaped beds are home to more than 400 plant species native to British Columbia. A large bed of the bulb-forming camas plant faces the Legislative precinct. Its bulbs were much enjoyed by the Salish people of the region who cooked it in large pits in the ground.

Our west coast native species are adapted to the coastal climate, with mild, moist winters and dry summers, so the best time to see them is in April, May and June.

Come and see the plants organized largely in beds from different vegetation zones including: Coast Forest, Dry Interior, and Alpine. Two beds are dedicated to specialized sand dune and wetland habitats with species almost never seen in gardens. Many of these tree, shrubs and herbaceous species were widely used by First Nations of the region.

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