Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

E.C. Manning Provincial Park

Sumallo Grove

Sumallo Grove is the site of the largest trees in British Columbia's E.C. Manning Provincial Park. Seen in this photograph taken yesterday are Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and Douglas fir (or as some would say, douglas) aka Pseudotsuga menziesii. Another large tree species found in the grove but absent in this photograph is grand fir, Abies grandis. Vine maples, or Acer circinatum, provide the colour in this image. In exposed sites elsewhere in the park, the vine maples displayed brilliant orange-red colours; in the shady forest, though, the vine maples only showcased a bright yellow.

Botany resource link: This is pretty nifty – an at-a-glance guide to Autumn Colours in forests managed by the UK Forestry Commission. The site also includes a photo gallery of autumn colours.


Fall is my favorite time of year for a walk in the woods- thanks for your photo. It makes me want to get out there as soon as possible. I am intrigued by the continuity of the forests that our cool, humid climate imparts. The photo you posted reminds me of the lowland forests here in SW Washington.

There was an item in the Ottawa Citizen to-day about the health benefits of walking among the trees. Our trees, here in Eastern Ontario are now colouring red, gold and orange. Tis beautiful

Why would being in the woods affect the color of the maple leaves? Are the spindly trees in the foreground also vine maple or just the ground cover? I have been told that vine maple grows in California coastal forest but I do not recall ever seeing it. How far south does it go? Thanks for another great picture of BC!

Anthony, the distribution of vine maple extends as far south as northern California. The spindly trees in the foreground are also vine maple, yes - almost all of the yellow in this photograph is vine maple, except for the two monocot plants in the very bottom centre of the image.

As for the colouration of maples leaves, would it be alright if I went into detail on that in a future BPotD? I was planning an entry on Acer circinatum later this week, and I have a great photograph for it. For now, though, the quick answer has to do with the rate of chlorophyll breakdown.

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