Broom or Bust - Capt. Walter Grant

Vancouver Island is covered with golden hillsides resulting from Scotch broom and many people think it’s a pretty wildflower that belongs here. It spreads aggressively and rapidly growing so dense that it is often impenetrable. It prevents reforestation, creates a high fire hazard, renders rangeland worthless and greatly increases the cost of maintenance of roads, ditches, power and telephone lines.

In 1850 Captain Walter Grant planted some broom from some seeds he had picked up in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) from the British consul and his original three plants germinated at Sooke and have since colonized Vancouver Island, Washington and Oregon States. Scotch broom grows so well in this area that it's driven out many native plants.

The picture at the right is a commemorative cairn in Sooke that was in honor of Captain Walter Grant. Looks like it is falling apart. Too bad!


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