lathyrus japonicus, beach pea, native to BC (and just about anywhere else along the oceans). the seeds can stay viable even in sea water for 5 years, which explains that wide range. in an emergency edible, but the seeds contain an amino acid that can cause "lathyrism" in large quantities, a disease of the nervous system. i don't know of any medicinal uses.
anaphalis margaritacea, native to BC, very common, grow in many kinds of soil, even very poor one on disturbed sites. they are great in dried flower arrangements and truly last for a very long time. the pearly white, papery bracts look like petals. it gives yellow/gold to brown and green dyes, depending on which parts of the plants are used. we didn't use it for anything medicinal, but there were stories from before my time of people stuffing pillows with the flowers; they smell good (not sweet and floral, more hay-like and earthy).
foxglove, introduced from europe -- naturalised from garden flowers. very toxic; contains cardiac and steroidal glycosides. which lead it to be a valuable source of arrhythmia-controlling medicines, but determining the precise amount of the active drug present in gathered plants isn't possible for an herbalist, and small errors in dosage can be deadly -- making it unwise for people like me to self-medicate with it.
ever since we've lived here, there was a grapevine rootstock around the corner of the house, in the bed infested with bindweed. since the paramour's window has no shade in the summer, i used to train a couple of vines around the corner and let them go wild, so they'd cover the window. the first few years i'd cut back all the vines in the winter, and then train new ones the coming spring. the last 3-4 years i was too depressed to care what those vines did, and cut them back haphazardly in the spring (this did not improve the grape harvest).
last year the landlord killed the entire bed because he wanted to build a car port between our shack and the missile silo. less than half a square foot of soil remained at the very front of the new concrete, with some lemon balm. i was gonna take a cutting from the vine before he murdered the root stock, but that never happened. in protest (or something), i left the last grown vines up, and this spring, well, cutting back also didn't happen. desolately barren vines scraped against the window. i bought some bamboo to provide shade (but it's not fast-growing, so this year it's not providing much of anything. i also haven't repotted it yet. *sigh*.
anyway, imagine my surprise when the barren vines set buds. and leafed out. and bloomed. and now we have more grapes than we had the years before. the two vines i had trained around the corner rooted themselves in that postage stamp of soil that's still left, hidden by the lemon balm.
canada thistle, invasive. bad naming, since it doesn't originate in canada, but in eurasia. it's a ruderal species, which means it is among the first plants to colonise disturbed land after fires, avalanches, or human actions such as construction, clear cutting, etc. typical for a ruderal species are fast-growing roots, massive seed production, and modest nutritional needs for seedlings. butterflies and gold finches go nuts for it (the former for the blooms, the latter for the seeds).
allegedly the roots and stalks are edible, but i've never tried.
bracts of calystegia sepium, great bindweed, post-flowering. invasive. the flowers look like morning glory, only pure white. if it's grabbed a foothold in your garden it's extremely hard to remove because even the tiniest bit of runner produces new growth, and it runs every-damn-where. once the paramour had one come into his room from the outside, through the wall.
salal, evergreen shrub, native to BC. the "berries" are sweet and have a unique flavour. they go really well with the berries of oregon grape because their sweetness balances the tartness of the latter. the young leaves can be used to flavour soups. the mature leaves are a big staple for the flower industry.
ocean spray; tall shrub with gracefully arching branches from which profuse clusters of tiny flowers cascade. native to BC. common around here. it only looks pretty during the short period it's blooming; the flower clusters turn an ugly brown afterwards, and it looks like the shrub is sick.
wikipedia has this to say about its uses: The Lummi used the flowers as an antidiarrheal and the leaves as a poultice. Many other tribes used the wood and bark for making tools and furniture. Noted for the strength of its wood, it was often used for making spears, arrows, bows, harpoons and nails. The wood, like with many other plants, was often hardened with fire and was then polished using horsetail. Several Indian tribes, such as the Stl'atl'imx, would steep the berries in boiling water to use as a treatment for diarrhea, smallpox, chickenpox and as a blood tonic.
twinflower, native to BC (*wave*), and very common here on the island; it lives pretty much wherever there is forest. it is actually a tiny evergreen shrub; probably the tiniest shrub i've ever seen. like, miniature. you could use it for your model railroad. it's called "twinflower" because each stem divides in two near the top, and has two little bells on the extensions.
common mare's tail, emergent freshwater plant, native to BC. this image just wanted to be in black and white for more drama.
compare original here:
native to BC, and pretty much everywhere else in the northern hemisphere, i think. ;)
common yarrow is purported to be a diaphoretic, astringent, stimulant and mild aromatic. the genus name achillea is derived from the mythical greek character Achilles, who supposedly carried it with his army to treat battle wounds.