50 Keystone Flora Species of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest

A Pocket Guide

By (author): Collin Varner
ISBN 9781772034776
Softcover | Publication Date: April 30, 2024
Book Dimensions: 5 in. x 7 in.
128 Pages

About the Book

A compact, user-friendly field guide to 50 of the most prominent and ecologically significant plant species of the west coast, from British Columbia to Northern California.

A keystone species is an organism that defines and supports an entire ecosystem, filling a vital ecological niche. Without these species, the ecosystem would be radically altered or even collapse. This pocket-sized field guide by bestselling naturalist Collin Varner highlights 50 keystone trees, flowering plants, fruit-bearing plants, marine plants, and fungi found across the Pacific Northwest bioregion—including Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, Large-leafed Lupine, Wild Mint, Salal, Salmonberry, Marine Eelgrass, Red-belted Polypore, and more.

Each entry features clear photography, etymology, descriptions, habitat information, risks and warnings. This convenient and easy reference is perfect for casual walkers, hikers, campers, and beachcombers, and draws awareness to the importance of conservation and protection of these crucial species.

About the Author(s)

Collin Varner is a horticulturalist/arboriculturalist. Over his forty-year career, he worked at the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden, assumed responsibility for conserving 25,000 trees across campus, and taught courses in native plant studies. Now retired, Varner is an avid photographer, world traveller, and bestselling author of The Flora and Fauna of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast, Invasive Flora of the West Coast, and the award-winning The Flora and Fauna of Stanley Park.


"This beautiful book is a valuable addition to the library of anyone passionate about the flora of the Pacific Northwest. Covering trees, plants, fungi and marine plants, Varner details the contributions of the included species to the ecosystem they inhabit, which is a refreshing way of exploring these incredible organisms."
—Amanda Swinimer, author of The Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest
50 Keystone Flora Species is a concise and indispensable guide for anyone curious about the essential plants of the unique ecosystem of the coastal Pacific Northwest—how to identify the plants and their interconnectedness with animals, insects, soil, and water.”
—Elizabeth Price, author of Native and Ornamental Conifers of the Pacific Northwest: Identification, Botany, and Natural History
"Like a keystone itself, this guide helps define an ecosystem: the forests and coasts of the Pacific Northwest. It is an indispensable companion for any ramble or expedition."
—Harley Rustad, award-winning and bestselling author of Big Lonely Doug and Lost in the Valley of Death
“A good starter book for readers new to plants of the Pacific Northwest. Descriptions are simple to read, while photos of distinctive characteristics assist with identification. Sections on the ecological role of each species lead the reader beyond mere identification.”
—Edward C. Jensen, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University and author of Trees to Know in Oregon and Washington