There are approximately 150 species of rare plants in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Many of these plants occur on the hills, coastal bluffs, headlands, and islands where there are Garry Oak woodlands and associated ecosystems (e.g. maritime meadows), and where they cope with mild frosts and ample moisture in winter, summer drought, sea spray and wind.

Less than 5% of these ecosystems remain in near-natural conditions compared to 150 years ago.  They also have a very limited distribution in Canada (SW British Columbia), where they are threatened by urbanization, invasive exotic plants, trampling by humans and dogs, and overabundant black-tailed deer and Canada geese.

Many of these rare plants and ecosystems of national interest occur in or on the edge of Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary (e.g. Macauley Point, Dallas Bluffs, Harling Point and Trial Islands).



  • Garry Oak or Oregon White Oak Quercus garryana - leaves and acorns

    - The iconic tree of Greater Victoria and only native oak in western Canada.
    -DRASTICALLY REDUCED IN NUMBERS but still secure in Canada (2010).
    - The largest Garry oak in Gr. Victoria and second largest in Canada is 25m high with a circumference of 5.46m. It can be found on Falkland Road in Oak Bay.
    - Every 5-10 years, in a mast year (e.g. 2014), it produces a surfeit of acorns which overwhelm the ability of acorn eaters (e.g. Steller's Jay) to deplete the crop.
    - Named after Nicholas Garry, deputy-governor of the Hudson's Bay Co.,

Brought to you by Myrna Germaine-Brown, artist, and Jacques Sirois, naturalist, Friends of Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary - "A lot more than birds".