Lost Lagoon Evening

IMG_7334b

The yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) is not native to North America. It is considered an invasive species. Though very pretty, it can take over a wetland and obliterate every thing else. Stanley Park is making attempts to control the spread of this plant, but I assume it plays a role in treating storm water runoff from the causeway that passes through the park on the eastern side of the Lost Lagoon. The irises can absorb heavy metals through their roots.

View All

13 Comments

  1. :-). I thought they were just pretty flowers. But there is so much more to them than that…

    Like

    Reply

  2. I’ve not noticed those irises before, but will keep an eye out for them elsewhere (since I’m not usually in Vancouver in the spring). Gorgeous photo of the downtown area!

    Like

    Reply

    1. Thank you :-). I thought it might be fun to take a picture of the Lost Lagoon in context. Especially since the evening light created such a nice reflection.

      There were many yellow flag irises at Trout Lake as well. And I saw some in a few front-yard gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  3. When I spent a few days in Vancouver in 2000 I was disappointed to find out that many of the tall, pretty flower spikes I saw in many places weren’t native to the area (or even the continent). On the same topic, just this morning I learned that a pretty little wildflower that’s native in Texas, Neptunia pubescens, has become naturalized in Taiwan. In Texas we also now have the non-native yellow irises.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. A lot of plants and animals move to different parts of the word. I suppose it is only a problem if they reproduce too abundantly in their new environment and wreak havoc on the existing ecosystem. I was surprised to find out last year that tomatoes weren’t native to Italy, but were brought over from Mexico. I’m curious about why you were disappointed about the non-native irises. In my case, I wonder what would be there instead if the yellow irises weren’t there.

      Like

      Reply

      1. I’ve come to appreciate native species, which, as you noted, can be crowded out by aliens. Texas, for example has native irises, so we don’t need yellow ones from elsewhere.

        Regarding tomatoes, you’re not alone in your reaction. Many people would be surprised to hear that Julius Caesar could never have eaten a standard pizza or had spaghetti with tomato sauce. Similarly, until the Renaissance there was no Belgian or Swiss chocolate because chocolate, like tomatoes, is native to Mexico. So is vanilla.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

        1. Hmm… I guess if an alien iris is not a bully, I’m cool with it. Mmm… chocolate. I’m guessing Switzerland still doesn’t grow cacao trees though. But it seems the African and Indonesian cacao trees originated from Central or South America. Food of the gods!

          Like

          Reply

      2. I suspect there are irises that are native to your area; here we have blue flag. It is quite beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

        1. I’ve seen some blue flag irises on the edge of some ponds here. They are beautiful :-). It is also the provincial flower of Quebec, where my parents and their parents live.

          Like

          Reply

  4. Very nice photo. Yes, we have it in our wetlands here as well. It’s tricky to keep things in balance, isn’t it? It is good to have a plant that can take up heavy metals. I always wonder how it is we are putting those things into the water and soil in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Thank you :-).

      The wetland for stormwater filtration in Stanley Park is fairly recent. I skimmed through the stormwater treatment wetland plan and yellow flag irises were not part of the plan, though they already existed on the edge of the lagoon. A very busy causeway runs through Stanley Park (it leads to one of the two bridges that connect Vancouver to the cities north of Vancouver). The metals are in the causeway runoff, some dissolved and some associated with particulates. The filtration wetland removes particulates through settling; dissolved contaminants get adsorbed onto soil particles or are removed through biological processes. The biological processes involve plants but I don’t know which ones or what they do. I would need to do more research…

      Like

      Reply

      1. I have been so happy to learn about the use of wetlands to purify water. Plants always have been our friends… we just don’t always remember that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s