Spring Blossoms and Blooms!
Springtime in West Kelowna is just around the corner and that means our hillsides and orchards will be putting on a spectacular display of colour. In March our first wildflowers begin to show, but April is the show-stopping month with the emergence of blossoms on our fruit trees and the Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers on our hillsides.
There is an impressive display of yellow flowers when the Arrowleaf balsamroot Flowers arrive in April. These wildflowers provide vibrant pops of colour throughout the community and one of the best places to see these flowers is at Kalamoir Regional Park. The exposed hillsides in this park are transformed into a brilliant sea of golden yellow.
Peak bloom season for the Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers usually happens from April 15-20th, but this can change each year depending on the weather. Right when the balsamroot flowers are in full bloom, our orchards start to burst with blooms.
Where are the best places to see the Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers?
“There are so many great places to see Arrowleaf balsamroot in West Kelowna. April and May are prime viewing months for this early-blooming wildflower. Some notable viewing areas in regional parks are Kalamoir Regional Park and Goats Peak RP, but you can also spot them in the sunnier parts of Glen Canyon RP and Rose Valley RP,” states Isabella Hodson, Supervisor, Community Relations & Visitor Services with the Central Okanagan Regional District.
“It grows best in dry, sunny, loose soil conditions and enjoys full sun exposure and grasslands. Its yellow splashes of colour are absolutely glorious to see on sun-facing slopes in the spring. Interestingly, all parts of this plant are edible. The Syilx / Okanagan people made flour from pounded seeds.”
DID YOU KNOW that some people think that the Arrowleaf balsamroot flower has a tasty, delicious smell that many compare to chocolate, butterscotch, or cookies. Give it a try… What do you think it smells like?
When is the best time to see the orchard blossoms?
Blossoms usually start appearing in our orchards around the second week of April and continue for a month, usually finishing in early May. Further south the blossom season starts earlier, usually in late March. The apricot blossoms are the first to appear followed by cherries, and peaches. The pear, plum and apple blossoms are the last to appear.
Blossoms can be seen, in the orchards along Elliott Rd, Paynter Rd and Glencoe Rd. There is also a 60-acre cherry orchard on Gellatly Rd and visible from Hwy 97, near the Glenrosa Rd overpass.
Sometimes our orchardists will extend an invitation to people to take photos in specific sections of their orchard. Follow their Instagram accounts to see if and when they are doing this.
Remember, orchards are private properties and it is best to not go into the orchard to take photos unless you have been invited to do so.
How to tell which blossom is which? Below are some general guidelines that are typical for each species.
Peach trees | pink blossoms that grow alone or in pairs
Cherry trees | white blossoms
Apple trees | primarily white with a tinge of pink near the base of the flower
Plum trees | white blossoms that grow in clusters
Apricot trees | five white petals that can be tinged with pink
We know people love to take photos of the blossoms, here are a few tips and house rules to keep in mind.
- You are on private property. Please send the farm a message and they can tell you if they are open and which areas you are allowed in.
- If you are posting photos online please give the farm a tag.
- The farms are working farms, so it may not be possible to go into the orchard for photos. If you are allowed in and see them working, give them a wave or say hi.
- Do not touch or pick the blossoms. Each flower is potentially a fruit!
- Please only park in designated parking areas and walk to the trees. Please do not drive a vehicle into the orchard.
When will the fruit be ready?
Apricots | Jul 15 – Aug 10
Cherries | Jul 1 – Aug 15
Peaches | Jul 25 – Sep 1
Pears | Aug 15 – Sep 30
Plums | Aug 15 – Sep 10
Apples | Aug 15 – Oct 30
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO WEST KELOWNA
- Use our mobile-friendly, interactive map to plan your outing
- Check out our Accommodation section for information on our waterfront resorts, hotels, B&Bs and short-term accommodation options. Many of them are right next door or within a 5-minute walk to a trailhead!
- Learn more about the dining options we have in West Kelowna
- Be sure to follow us on Instagram or Facebook for more ideas on what to do and see when visiting our friendly city.