What may seem like a small contribution — a tiny flowerpot or garden patch of native wildflowers — can provide valuable habitat for pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
Native wildflowers are adapted to local climate and soils and require less care and watering once established. They provide sugar-filled nectar and protein-rich pollen for beneficial insects such as local butterflies and wild bees. Always try to find local sources for native plants.
Pollinators in B.C.
Sign up for Living Green emails
Get tips and resources to live sustainably. Join the growing green living community.
It’s important to understand the impact pollinators have on nature and the economy. They maintain biodiversity, support plant reproduction and provide many other ecological services.
All pollinators have a vital, often overlooked role in our economy. By pollinating many crops humans consume and trade, they’re essential to maintaining our food security. Scientists estimate that approximately 75 per cent of the world’s flowering plants and 35 per cent of global food crops depend on animal pollinators to produce.
To thrive, pollinators need food and shelter. Help them support you — create a pollinator paradise!
How to get started
Find your ecoregion’s native plants and wildflowers
Planting native plants and wildflowers supports local pollinators that have evolved to depend on those species for food and habitat.
Source native seeds and plants
Seeds can be organic (grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides), non-GMO (cultivated through pollination, not in a lab), open-pollinated (pollinated by nature e.g., insects, birds, wind, humans), heirloom (with an open-pollinated heritage) and rare. Locate native plants in local nurseries!
Start a pollinator paradise
A manicured lawn is not pollinator friendly. But a yard, community garden, patio or window box filled with native plants can be a pollinator paradise.
Why choose native plants and wildflowers?
Native plants and wildflowers have evolved in this climate for generations. By creating a naturescape (native plant garden), you’ll help solve pollinator habitat loss. By avoiding expensive fertilizers and toxic pesticides, you’ll save time and money.
Native wildflowers and plants of B.C.
B.C. has the most ecoregions in Canada, each with distinct climate, geology and landforms. With such diversity, the province hosts many rare and unique species — some found nowhere else in the world!
For example, spotted saxifrage, a rare and beautiful wildflower, is endemic to B.C. alpine and subalpine zones.
Native wildflowers and plants found in B.C. include:
- Douglas aster
- Pacific dogwood
- Pearly everlasting
- Rocky Mountain juniper
… and more!
Want to take another step?
Determine which ecoregion you live in and plant native wildflowers and plants specific to that area. Each ecoregion has unique ecological characteristics and, though many plants and wildflowers are native to multiple ecoregions, you may discover one that only grows where you live!
What’s an ecozone or ecoregion?
Canada has 20 ecozones (15 terrestrial and five marine) based on differences in climate, geology, landforms, vegetation and wildlife. They help identify and manage unique ecological regions.
Within each ecozone are ecoregions defined by a characteristic range and pattern in climatic variables.
B.C.’s five terrestrial ecozones are the Pacific Maritime, Montane Cordillera, Boreal Cordillera, Boreal Plains and Taiga Plains.
Within these are 47 ecoregions (38 terrestrial, three marine and six with marine and terrestrial components).
We have planting guides for the B.C.’s most populated ecoregions. For more resources and plant lists visit Pollinator Partnership Canada.
POLLINATOR PLANTING GUIDES FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA
WESTERN VANCOUVER ISLAND
The Western Vancouver Island ecoregion encompasses the northwestern two-thirds of Vancouver Island including the offshore islands. The area is extensively forested, with steep sided valleys, inlets and sounds. This region includes Port Alice, Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Hardy.Download the planting guide
EASTERN VANCOUVER ISLAND
The Eastern Vancouver Island ecoregion is part of the larger Pacific Maritime ecozone. It includes southeastern Vancouver Island, which has most of the population and agriculture. This region includes Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Sooke and Victoria.Download the planting guide
WEST HAIDA GWAII
Haida Gwaii is an isolated archipelago of 150 islands. Its rich biodiversity has deemed it the “northern Galapagos.” This region includes Daajing Giids (Queen Charlotte), Sandspit, Sewell Inlet, Skidegate and Rose Harbour.Download the planting guide
EAST HAIDA GWAII
Haida Gwaii is an archipelago of 150 islands. Its rich biodiversity has deemed the area the “northern Galapagos.” This region includes Masset, Port Clements and Tlell.Download the planting guide
The Thompson-Okanagan Plateau ecoregion encompasses the southern section of the Interior Plateau on the B.C. mainland. It’s characterized by rolling plateaus, major valley systems and a great diversity of rocks. This region includes Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon.Download the planting guide
The Pacific Ranges ecoregion contains some of Canada’s most productive forest lands and one of the most extensive mountain-fiord complexes in the world. This region includes Bella Coola, Hope, Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler.Download the planting guide
The Okanagan Range ecoregion incorporates portions of the Cascade Mountains and Okanagan Range. These mountain ranges are some of the warmest and driest in B.C. This region includes Hedley and Keremeos.Download the planting guide
The Okanagan Highland ecoregion makes up most of the dry interior regions of southern B.C. It lies within the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains to the west and is one of Canada’s hottest and driest ecoregions. This region includes Cawston, Kaleden, Oliver and Osoyoos.Download the planting guide
Most of B.C.’s human population lives in the Lower Mainland. The ecoregion is characterized by its mild climate and fertile soils which support a diverse range of flora and fauna. This region includes Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Lake, Powell River, Similkameen Valley and Vancouver.Download the planting guide
The Georgian-Puget Basic ecoregion is part of the Pacific Maritime ecozone. The coastal region has a Mediterranean climate and small-scale diverse agriculture. This region includes Cortes Island, Denman Island, Gabriola Island, Salt Spring Island, Saturna Island, Pender Island and Quadra Island.Download the planting guide
The Fraser Plateau ecoregion encompasses the wet coastal forests, dry southern interior forests and cold northern boreal forests. This region includes 100 Mile House, Anahim Lake, Smithers, Vanderhoof and Williams Lake.Download the planting guide
COLUMBIA MOUNTAINS AND HIGHLANDS
The Columbia Mountains and Highlands ecoregion is made up of the eastern section of the Southern Interior Mountains on B.C.’s mainland. Its low-elevation climax forests support western hemlock and western red cedar. This region includes Blue River, Creston, Nelson, Revelstoke and Wells.Download the planting guide