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More Information About Vancouveria

The plant genus Vancouveria was named for the British explorer, George Vancouver, the same person for which Vancouver, Canada is named. George Vancouver explored and mapped the Pacific Northwest in the 1790s, which is also the only place in the world that Vancouveria can be found.

The three species of Vancouveria are small herbaceous perennials with lobed leaves, a rhizomatous root system and small but attractive flower clusters. Vancouveria flowers are called inside-out flowers because the sepals are reflexed backward and curved away from the floral center like an umbrella that has been inverted by high winds. If you are familiar with the plant genus dodecatheon, then you get the picture. Each flower is tiny and dangles at the end of a long wiry pedicel, like a small earring, but they are clustered together in large numbers. The overall floral effect of Vancouveria is quite charming and is similar to epimedium, mitella or heuchera.

Vancouveria is related to other popular landscape plants including barberry, mahonia, jeffersonia, nandina, and podophyllum. The cousin that Vancouveria most resembles though is epimedium.