FFC: Wildflowers

One week back, Amanda gave me a heads up that her Friendly Friday Challenge was going to be one which I’d hate. I immediately knew it was going to be about flowers.

Let me be clear. I don’t hate flowers. I love seeing them. I just don’t love taking pictures of them. It’s why my catalog doesn’t have a ready supply of photos. The few times that I’ve shot flowers, it’s because I thought them weird.

Like this one which I snapped when I first visited Vancouver Island. It was so different from any other flower I’d ever seen before. I took a photo just so that it could be identified. It’s called a Red Hot Poker or a Torch lily.

Another weird and wild flower seen all over the island is Scotch Broom. I initially thought it a pretty flowering bush, similar to the Forsythia shrub in my garden. Scotch Broom however, is an invasive species universally despised in the Pacific North West. It originally came from Europe and was introduced to Vancouver Island as an ornamental plant in the mid-19th century. It is now the poster child of invasive species in British Columbia.

Scotch broom is a woody, noxious weed that grows quickly, crowding out native wildflower species and reducing open habitat favoured by birds and butterflies. The roots hold bacteria that change the soil and it has a very high oil content, making it extremely flammable and a wildfire hazard. Every spring, community ‘Broom Busting’ events are held for volunteers to root out the weed and prevent its spread.

As this video shows, the only effective way of killing broom is by manually cutting it out by the root while it is in full bloom. Mowing it down or digging it up disrupts the ground cover and spreads the seeds, resulting in even more rigorous growth. It’s laborious work but as this lady says, worth the effort.

Well, look at that. I’ve finished a post about flowers. It only goes to show that anyone can play with the Friendly Friday Challenge – even flower phobic photographers like me 🙂

Toronto, Canada. July 2021

Attribution: Scotch broom (yellow flowers) used in header image is by Danny S. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


  1. Hi, Sandy – I recognized both plants immediately! I 💘 the Red Hot Poker flower. As fir Scottish Broom — not so much. Richard and I volunteer with a local organization to Cut Broom in Bloom. It’s definitely an endless task!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way you’ve described yourself as a ‘flower phobic photographer’! I guess we all have things we just don’t bother photographing, although I tend to think I’ll give anything a go if it pleases my eye. The one thing I don’t do is studio portraiture – it just doesn’t appeal to me that much. But you’ve managed to prove that photo challenge themes are just what they say, challenges to our creativity as we look to interpret them in a way that reflects our own interests as photographers, writers etc. Great response!


  3. I am impressed with how you have interpreted the challenge, Sandy. It is absolutely testament that anyone desirous of participating can find a connection to any theme!
    The themes albeit this one, are designed to make the participant think – a good thing, right?
    Invasion from introduced pest species is a subject I know only too well. Australia has a big problem thanks to well meaning 19th Century acclimatisation societies whose mission was to make Australia just like the motherland of Britain. They completely failed to understand nature and how things operated back then. I can see Canada has a similar problem. The Broom has a nice yellow flower but I would curse it if it came to my country – it might already be here but I am unaware of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amanda. Australia is the definitive example of how to disrupt a fragile ecosystem. On the other hand, it is also demonstrates how easy it is to create a sub-culture… as our discussion on Aussie slang demonstrates.

      Liked by 1 person

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