Last spring, up on the cliff near my garden plot, I noticed an unusual plant pushing out of the ground at the base of a fir tree.
Using my guidebook, I identified it as a Vancouver Groundcone. It's a parasitic herb that grows with salal and obtains nutrients from its roots. While this specimen was pushing its way through the duff at the base of a tree, it was right next to a big patch of salal.
Vancouver Groundcone grows to about 12 cm (4.7 in) in height from a thick underground tuber that was sometimes eaten raw by First Nations people. They come in red, yellow and purple. Mine were a rich golden (almost pinkish) yellow. These are the first I've noticed, but the book says each one produces 300,000 plus seeds. I may be seeing more soon.
Are you interested in plant identification? I use Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon. I like it because it includes trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatics, grasses, ferns, mosses, lichens and, of course, some oddball (and very interesting) plants. In addition to the color pictures, line drawings, and identification information, the narratives include how the plants were used by First Nations people and early settlers. I highly recommend it for the casual observer as well as experienced botanists. -- Margy