Hardhack is a member of the rose family, and is most often found near streams. It has dark green, oval-shaped leaves with pale, wooly undersides. The flowers are pink, and grow in cone-shaped clusters at the ends of stems.
Hardhack branches are strong, and can be hardened using fire. These branches were used by local First Nations groups to hang salmon for smoking or drying, and also to make brooms and other tools. They were also used to make a tool for collecting dentalium shells, which were used as a currency for trade, as well as in jewelry.
Hardhack is a pioneer species in British Columbia, which means that it is one of the first plants to grow in an area after a forest fire or other disturbance. It is very hardy and can reproduce quickly through suckers. Although it is a native species, it can be problematic if it outcompetes native species which are less hardy. However, hardhack is an important plant for native pollinator species, and its seeds also provide a food source for birds and small mammals.
For more information, visit Native Plants PNW or E-Flora BC.