Tiny flower unique to Sooke

Tiny flower unique to Sooke

Rick Stiebel | Sooke News Mirror

Sooke has a flower to call its own, but if you blink you might miss it.

Mimulus sookensis is found throughout the southern portion of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, parts of Oregon and Mendocino County in California, according to a paper published by the California Botanical Society in April.

The tiny yellow flower is a tetraploid species derived from the predominately outcrossing Mimulus guttatus and the predominately self-pollinating Mimulus nasutus Greene.

The new species of the monkey flower adorns the decal acknowledging the District of Sooke’s participation in this year’s Communities in Bloom initiative.

Coun. Brenda Parkinson said she believes you would need to venture out to the Sooke Foothills to find the “very tiny” flower, which is far too small for a bouquet or floral display.

The Communities in Bloom judges were in Sooke on July 16.

Each municipal department made a presentation in council chambers on a particular element of the competition and gave decals and certificates to participating businesses and residents. The judges took part in a driving tour and visited nine locations featuring six categories, including the community grave site for heritage assessment.

Communities in Bloom, is a non-profit organization that grades municipalities on greening initiatives that focus on environmental, horticultural and natural heritage conservation through initiatives that involve residents, businesses and institutions.

The program aims to increase environmental stewardship through the enhancement of green spaces. Results of the judging will be released in September.

“I think we did awesome this year,” Parkinson said. “We were really well planned out this year, and I’m looking forward to the results. I hope we can maintain or surpass our five-bloom rating.”

The District of Sooke has participated in Communities in Bloom since 2004, and has been one of the communities that are judged since 2008.