With only one small town, Brier Island consists mostly of unspoiled landscape. Heck, a large part of the island is even a nature preserve administered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Without a doubt the flowers & plants have their run of the island.
The Brier Roses
Was this the beautiful Brier Island flower that gave the island its name? Ask Laura Titus, Brier Island historian, and she’ll say the answer is “No” (the island was likely named for a ship’s captain), but wouldn’t that be a wonderful story?
Fortunately, that doesn’t make the roses any less beautiful, or their large buds any less impressive. The pink blooms are striking against the grey coastal scenery, and the red unopened buds are so large they can easily be mistaken for cherry tomatoes!
Brier Island’s landscape changes as you make your way inland, from rocky coast, to grassy meadows, to bog and marsh. The mix of land (and the delivery of seeds from migratory birds), makes Brier Island the ideal home for a multitude of colourful wildflowers.
Orchid varieties found on Brier Island include the bright purple dragon’s mouth orchid, white-fringed orchid (threatened species), and both large and small purple fringed orchids.
Bog-specific varieties of flowers thrive on Brier Island. Bog-loving plants include the insect-munching sundew and pitcher plant, the boreal bog orchid, and the bog blueberry (edible!). And don’t forget the most special Brier Island flower…
The Eastern Mountain Aven – Endangered
Brier Island is one of only two places in the world where the rare eastern mountain aven grows (the other is in New Hampshire). Often mistaken for a common buttercup, the eastern mountain aven’s bright yellow bloom can be seen briefly in summer – by September the blooming season is over.
The NCC preserve was established (for the most part) to protect this tiny plant. Brier Island’s largest marsh was drained at one time for agricultural use, and the NCC is currently working to reverse the effects and “re-marshify” the area to encourage mountain avens to grow there again.