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Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Flowering Plants in the Northern Deciduous Forest

 

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Habitat:

Illustrated on this page are some northern Ontario wildflowers that occur in the northern deciduous forest. The forest near the Sudbury area is a mix of trees typical of the boreal forest region and the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forest region.

Native trees in the Sudbury area include: black spruce, balsam fir, jack pine, red pine, white pine, tamarack, white birch, trembling aspen, maple, and oak along the transition to the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forest region.

Where deciduous trees predominate, soil on the forest floor is rich with leaf litter and organic material. Abundant sunlight in the spring supports many spring wildflowers. Once the trees leaf-out, the forest floor receives much less sunlight and most wildflowers wither away until the next spring. In some areas, there the soil is rich in clay.

Rain water is absorbed and held by the organic-rich forest litter. Low-lying areas may contain standing water, especially if the soil is clay-rich.

During the spring, sunlight reaching the forest floor quickly warms the soil. Summer temperatures are moderated by the leaf cover and the relatively high soil moisture.

Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers: Deciduous forests are hosts to spring wildflowers that are ephemeral in nature.  In early spring, the woodland floor bursts into a colourful array of many different wildflowers. These early spring wildflowers are called ephemerals, also known as "short-lived" wildflowers. The word ephemeral refers to the blossoms of spring wildflowers, not the plant itself.  The flowers of the spring ephemerals begin to fall almost as soon as they bloom. Ephemerals in this area, such as hepatica, trillium, trout lily, and spring beauty, bloom before the leaves on the large trees form a canopy that blocks the Sunlight from reaching the forest floor.  The spring ephemerals are the first wildflowers to bloom, get pollinated, and set their seed before the tree leaves block out the sunlight. Once the leaves on the trees block the sunlight, the leaves on the spring ephemeral wildflowers die back and little evidence remains of the welcoming spring burst of wildflower colour.

Deciduous forest floor in spring.

A typical forest floor in the early spring, before the leaves appear on the trees. This is a sugar maple deciduous forest floor covered with Trout Lily.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 29, 2001.

Click here for more habitat information:


Plants that grow in the northern deciduous forest:

 

Blue bead lily, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2002

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Blue bead lily or Clintonia; also known as Clintonia, Clinton's Lily, Corn Lily, Cow's Tongue, Yellow Beadlily, Yellow Bluebeadlily, Snakeberry, Dogberry, Straw Lily. Cow Tongue; perennial.

Flower: Greenish-yellow; bell-shaped; 3 petals and 3 sepals; loose clusters of 2-8 flowers on tip of single stalk; nodding; May-July.

Leaves: Basal, 2-4 leaves, but most commonly 3 leaves; simple, large basal leaves; oblong or tongue-shaped, pointed tip, clasping at base, shiny; parallel veins; up to 30 cm long, 4-9 cm wide, dark green, thick, leathery.

Stem: Leafless stalk with 2 to 8 flowers or berries at top; up to 30 cm tall.

Height: up to 40 cm.

Fruit: Bead-like, dark blue berries in cluster; 8-10 mm in diameter; July-August.

Habitat: Open shade in mixed or coniferous forest, rich woodlands, cool moist sites.

Interest: The sky-blue berries of the Blue bead lily are poisonous, so please ensure your children know the difference between these berries and wild blue berries. It is said that some hunters rub their traps with the roots of Clintonia because bears are attracted to the odor.

Clintonia leaves after an early spring snow storm.

Location: Killarney highway
Date: May 9, 2010

Clintonia leaves, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Clintonia flower, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2006, Andy Fyon.

Flowers of the blue bead or Clintonia.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 27, 2006

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Clintonia or blue bead fruit, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Blue bead lily fruit.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: August 15, 2004

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Bristly Sarsaparilla; also known as Dwarf elder, Wild elder, Aralia, Bristle-stem Sarsaparilla.

Native perennial.

Family: Ginseng (Araliaceae)

Flower: Greenish white, small, numerous, in 2-10 rounded terminal clusters on slender stalks (July-August).

Leaves: Alternate, short-stalked; three sections, each with 3-5 leaflets; oblong- to egg-shaped; 2-5 cm long; margins toothed.

Stem: Bristly and branched.

Fruit: Dark-purple, rounded berries.

Height: 20-90 cm.

Habitat: Dry open to semi-open areas in rocky or sandy or sterile soils, often in extremely disturbed situations, such as clearings, rocky woods, tops of cliffs, sand dunes, recently-burned areas, even freshly bulldozed areas.

Interest: The scented flowers are hermaphrodite, meaning the plants have both male and female organs and are pollinated by Insects.

Location: Killarney
Date: July 16, 2006

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Bristly sarsaparilla plant, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Bristly sasaparilla.

Bristly Sarsaparilla flower.

Location: Killarney Highway 637
Date: July 6, 2003.

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Bristly sarsaparilla fruit, Killarney, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Bristly Sarsaparilla black fruit.

Location: Killarney lighthouse
Date: August 29, 2004.

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Canada violet; also known as Western Canada Violet, Canada violet; Tall white violet; White violet; native perennial.

Family: Violet (Violaceae)

Flower: White; fragrant; have a yellowish eyespot and brown-purple veins near the base; on same stem as the leaves and grow from axils of upper leaves; 2 - 2.5 cm wide; 5 petals; May - June.

Leaves: 5 - 10 cm long, alternate; long-stalked; hairless, and long-tapering at the tip.

Stem: stems are 20 - 40 cm tall; rise with several long-stemmed basal leaves from a short woody rhizome.

Height: Up to 30 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist, rich soils of deciduous forests.

Interest: In lore, violets are said to represent modesty, chastity, and loyalty; hence, violets are commonly used in a bride;s bouquet.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 16, 2010

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canada violet, copyright 2011 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

 

Common speedwell, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon

Common Speedwell; also known as Common Gypsyweed; perennial.

Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)

Flower: Blue or lavender; up to 0.5 cm wide; darker blue stripes funnel in towards the centre of the flower; occur on erect racemes.

Leaves: Opposite; leaves up to 5 cm in length; elliptical, toothed with a very a short or no petiole.

Stem:Trailing along the ground; flower raceme stands erect.

Height: The hairy stem trails along the ground sometimes forming a dense mat.

Habitat: Grows in damp, open woodlands and grassy areas; found along a forest path.

Interest: The genus name Veronica comes from the term 'vera icon' meaning 'true image'. The name is thought to be derived from the early Christian Saint Veronica.  Veronica gave Jesus Christ the towel he used to wipe his face while on his way to his execution. The image of Christ was said to be been retained on the towel. The towel is subject of several religious paintings. The 'officinalis' designation means that the plant was an 'official' historical medical plant.

Location: Manitoulin Island, forest path to Misery Bay
Date: June 29, 2002.

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Common speedwell plant.

Location: Manitoulin Island, forest path to Misery Bay
Date: June 29, 2002.

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Common speedwell plant, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cow-wheat; also known as Narrow Leaf Cow Wheat,  Narrowleaf Cowwheat; annual.

Family: Figwort Family

This is a small, native woodland annual. The generic name is derived from the Greek melas (black) and pyros (wheat), because the seeds turned bread to a black colour when mixed with other grains. The name of Cow-wheat is said to be derived from the belief during the Middle Ages, that the small seeds were capable of being transformed into wheat. This belief may have originated because of the sudden appearance of Cow-wheat among corn, on land that had been recently cleared of wood.

Flower: Yellow-white with tinges of pink-purple; near tip of branches; inconspicuous, tube-shaped; 2-lipped, tubular, 1.3 cm, upper lip is white and arched, 2-lobed; lower lip is 3-lobed and yellow; on short stalks in axils of upper leaves; June-August.

Leaves: Opposite; 2-6 cm long; linear to lanceolate.

Stem: Low, upward-branching. The arrangement and length of the branches may give plant the shape of a Christmas tree.

Height: 15 - 45 cm.

Habitat: Dry to deciduous moist woods, bogs, rocky areas, especially in openings near the base of trees or shrubs because the plant is a partial root parasite.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park
Date: July 3, 2004

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Cow-wheat, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Cow-wheat flower, Copyright 2004, Andy Fyon.

Detail of Cow-wheat flower.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park
Date: July 27, 2004

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cut-leaved toothwort, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cut-leaved toothwort; perennial.

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ay) (Mustard Family)

Flower: Pale pink or white; 4 petals; bears several flowers in a loose terminal cluster occur at the end of the stem; May to early June.

Leaves: Whorl of three leaves above the middle of the stem; each leaf is 5 - 13 cm wide and is deeply cleft into three sharply toothed segments.

Stem: Up to 30 cm tall; supports the leaves and flowers; upper stem is downy.

Height: 15 - 30 cm.

Habitat: Grows in damp, open, rich hardwood woodlands and calcareous shorelines.

Interest: The seed capsule of cut-leaved toothwort opens explosively as it matures, releasing seeds several meters or more.  This is an ephemeral species that completes its annual growing cycle soon after the forest canopy leaves out. The plant is no longer apparent after mid July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008

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cut-leaved toothwort leaves, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cut-leaved toothwort mass on the floor of a hardwood forest.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008

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Downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens); perennial.

Flower: Yellow with purple veins near base; 5 unequal petals; 2 lateral petals are bearded; grow on hairy stalks from leaf axils; May-June.

Stem: The flowers occur on stalks, rather than on basal leaves; soft hairs on the stem and rest of plant are distinctive.

Leaves: Basal leaves single or absent, rounded to heart-shaped; opposite; stem leaves near top of stem, egg-shaped, pointed tip, 4-10 cm long; toothed; hairy beneath.

Height: 10-45 cm.

Habitat: Rich, moist slopes in wooded areas and moist hardwood forests.

Interest: This is one of the early spring wildflowers. Violets are so successful in part because they have the ability to ballistically scatter their seeds over long distances. This happens when the three sides of each fruit dry, slowly squeeze shut, and shoot out the seeds over a period of an hour or more. The downy yellow violet scatters its seeds up to five meters away.

Language of Flowers: Yellow violet means "modest worth" or "rural happiness". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: May 28, 2004

Downy yellow violet. copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

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Downy yellow violet, Copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Downy Yellow Violet flower detail.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008

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Dwarf raspberry

Flower: White; 1 cm wide; 5 petals; terminal clusters or in leaf axils; May - June.

Stem: Slender, soft, hairy stem with erect branches and long trailing shoots.

Leaves: Alternate, compound; 3 leaflets; egg-shaped with taper to pointed tip; 2-10 cm long and 1-5 cm wide; toothed; centre of leaflet tapers at base and tip.

Height: up to 50 cm.

Fruit: Dark-red to purple raspberries; July-September.

Other: Deciduous shrub that is low and trailing with runners. The berries are edible. They are smaller than those of the Wild Red Raspberry.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2002

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Dwarf raspberry

Dwarf raspberry fruit, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Red fruit of the dwarf raspberry.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 13, 2002

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Early coralroot, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

Early Coralroot orchid; also known as Northern Coralroot; perennial.

Flower: Pale greenish-yellow, sometimes tinged with red-brown; three-lobed lip is distinctive once observed;sepal forms a hood; 3-20 flowers at top of stem; individual flowers are about 1 cm long; 6 floral parts with a white lobed lip; late May to end of June.

Leaves: No leaves.

Stem: Smooth, leafless, green or greenish-yellow with tubular sheaths at the base.

Height: 4-20 cm; mot very tall so you have to look carefully.

Habitat: Found in cold-bottom or cool, moist mixed forests, swamps, bogs, coniferous forests, along wooded streams and in wet meadows.

Interest: Tends to form large clumps and extensive colonies.  It is a species that occurs around the world in the Boreal and Mixed Forest Regions and adjacent regions of the Deciduous Forests and Tundra.

Location: Paddy Creek trail
Date: May 31, 2003

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Detail of Early Coralroot illustrating the stem with no leaves.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: May 31, 2003

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Early coralroot, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

False solomon's seal plant, Copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Trout Lake Road
Date: June 2, 2007

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False solomon's seal; also known as Solomon's plume, False Spikenard, Golden Seal, Job's Tears, Treacle Berry, Wild Spikenard, Zigzag; perennial herb.

Rabbits and deer love to eat this plant. False Solomon's Seal will survive a forest fire and grow quickly after the fire is out.

Flower: Many small white flowers ; 3 mm long; 3 petals, 3 sepals; pyramidal cluster at tip of stem; strongly perfumed; May-July.

Leaves: 7-15 cm long; alternate; elliptical; hairy beneath; parallel-veined.

Stem: Arching and erect, up to 0.75 m tall.

Fruit: Berry; green at first changing to ruby red. See following photos.

Height: 30-90 cm.

Habitat: This plant grows in rich woods, thickets, and moist clearings.

Interest: The cluster of flowers at the end of the stalk distinguishes this plant from Solomon's Seal, which has flowers which hang along the underside of the stem.  False Solomon's Seal forms a cluster of red fruit in late summer. The plant is said to have been used by early American settlers as a treatment for headaches and sore throats. The fruit is occasionally referred to as "scurvy berries", perhaps because the fruit was eaten to ward off scurvy.

False solomon's seal fruit, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

False solomon's seal fruit.

Location: Fairbanks Provincial Park
Date: October 9, 2005

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False solomon's seal

False solomon's seal flower.

Foamflower; also known as Allegheny Foamflower and False Mitrewort; perennial evergreen plant; member of the Saxifrage Family.

Family: Saxifrage (Saxifragaceae)

Flower: White; 5 petals; 5 mm wide; lance-shaped; on terminal clusters on spike. (May - June)

Leaves: Basal are heart-shaped to maple leaf-shaped; 3-5 lobes; 5-10 cm long; rounded teeth on margins.

Stem: Flower spike is 10-20 cm tall.

Height: 15-30 cm.

Habitat: Commonly found in wet hollows and mossy places in deciduous and mixed woods.

Interest: Foamflower grows much like the wild strawberry plant by sending out underground stolons (instead of runners), which root and form new plants. The plant name comes from the Greek word tiara, meaning small crown, that refers to the fruit's shape. The plant has a high tannin content making it a natural astringent. Native Americans made leaf tea to cure mouth sores and eye ailments. Root tea was used to treat diarrhea, as well as made into a poultice for topical wounds. Please do not sample wildflowers unless you are absolutely certain what you are eating.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 4, 2005.

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Foamflower, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Foamflower flower, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Detail of Foamflower flower.

Location: Sudbury
Date: June 4, 2003

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Fringed Yellow Loosestrife; also known as Fringed Loosestrife, Lowland Yellow Loosestrife; perennial.

Family: Primrose (Primulaceae)

Flowers: Yellow with a maroon-coloured centre; nodding flowers that face downwards; 5 petals; petals are fringed or slightly toothed, round tips, may be slightly joined at base; flowers are 1.5 2.5 cm across; stalks occur in leaf axils; June - August.

Leaves: Opposite; Narrow and lance-like; up to 15 cm long; fringed leaf stalks.

Stem: Erect, may be branched or sprawling.

Height: Up to 1 m.

Habitat: Moist wooded slopes, sometimes in open meadows or swamps, sometimes on a lakeshore.

Location: Thunder Bay, High Falls area.
Date: July 29, 2002

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Fringed yellow loosestrife, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Fringed yellow loosestrife flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Detail of flower of Fringed Yellow Loosestrife.

Location: Thunder Bay, High Falls area.
Date: July 29, 2002

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Indian pipe, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Click here (George Barron's website on Fungi) to read an excellent and expert summary about the life of Ghost pipe.

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Ghost Pipe (formerly Indian pipe); perennial; also known as American Iceplant, Bird's nest, Broomrape, Convulsion root, Convulsion weed, Corpse plant, Death plant, Fairy smoke, Ghost flower, Iceplant, One-flowered waxplant, Ova ova, Pipe plant, and Waxplant.

Family: Wintergreen family (Pyrolaceae)

Flower: White, single, nodding and hang down; flower faces upward when it produces seed; 1-2.5 cm long; 4-5 petals; 10-12 stamens; 1 pistil; turns black as fruit ripens; June-September.

Stem: White, translucent, fleshy, covered with scaly bracts; bears one flower.

Leaves: Scales.

Height: 7-22 cm.

Habitat: Woodland rich in humus. May be deciduous, mixed, or coniferous forest. Look under dead leaves or coniferous needles.

Interest: This is a white, waxy, parasitic plant. Because It also has no chlorophyll, so it does not have the green colour that we associate with living plants. The Ghost pipe derives some water and nutrients from root fungi that area already in a mycorrhizal association with forest plants and trees.  The Ghost pipe establishes its own mycorrhizal association with the root fungi.  The Ghost pipe thus indirectly derives some sugars from the trees, delivered through the root fungi.  Until the seeds have formed, the flower droops on a stem resembling a peace pipe. Once the seeds have formed, the plant raises the flower head. The plant turns black as the fruit ripens or when picked.

Folklore: In some folklore, it is said that Ghost Pipe has the power to help healing after loss of a loved one.

Location: Burwash coniferous swamp
Date: August 10, 2002

Helleborine orchid.

Common Helleborine;  introduced from Europe, Asia, and north Africa; perennial.

Flower: Purple with greenish tinge; the lip is heart-shaped, forms a sac, pointed tip turned under; 1-1.5 cm long; 4-8 mm wide;terminal clusters 5-25 cm long; July-September.

Stem:  Flowering stems erect, leafy.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, stalkless, numerous, egg- to lance-shaped, pointed, clasp stem; leaves are smaller higher up the stem.

Height: Up to 80 cm.

Habitat: Mixed forest, dry to moist; tolerates rocky soil.

Other: Originated from Europe where it was used for medicine. It has escaped from domestic gardens into the wild. It is a member of the Orchid family.

Language of Flowers: Orchis means "beauty" or "a belle". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: July 31, 2001

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Helleborine flower, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Detail of Helleborine flower.

Location: Makynen Road
Date: August 5, 2002

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Helleborine plant, Makynen Road, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Helleborine plant in deciduous forest.

Location: Mississagi Lighthouse, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 25, 2006

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Jack-in-the-pulpit, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Jack-in-the-pulpit; perennial; also known as Wild turnip, arum, three-leaved arum, dragon-turnip, brown dragon, devil's-ear, marsh turnip, swamp turnip, meadow turnip, priest's-pintle, lords-and-ladies, Indian Turnip, Bog onion; perennial.

Family: Arum (Araceae)

Flower: You cannot easily see the tiny flower that occurs at the base of yellowish, cylindrical- to club-shaped structure called a spadix that occurs hidden inside a green- and purple-striped, tube-shaped bract that curls to form a funnel with a broad, pointed cap that covers the spadix. The "jack" is a fleshy green spike ("spadix"). The most noticeable part of the bloom is the "pulpit", which is a modified leaf ("spathe") that wraps around and hides the spadix. May - June

Leaves: One or two compound leaves each on its own single stalk; leaf is compound with 3 elliptical- to egg-shaped leaflets; each leaflet is 7-15 cm long; smooth-margined, and net-veined.

Fruit: In late summer, the plant carries a cluster of shiny red berries on the spadix.

Height: 25-80 cm.

Stem: Single flowering stem.

Habitat: Wet hardwood or cedar swamps, flood plains, organic-rich and moist deciduous woods.

Interest: Jack-in-the-pulpit can alternate their sexes from year to year depending on the nutrients available to the plant.  Danger: Jack-in-the-pulpit contains a poison called calcium oxalate.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 2, 2002

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Jack-in-the-pulpit, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Jack-in-the-pulpit leaves. The pointed cap occurs in the centre of the three leaves pointing toward the screen.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 20, 2006

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Jack-in-the-pulpit fruit, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Jack-in-the-pulpit fruit.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 6, 2003

Trillium flower, Burwash, Ontario Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

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Large-flowered (white) trillium; also known as White Trillium, Snow Trillium, Showy Trillium, Grand Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Great Flowered Trillium; perennial.

Flower: White; solitary, on an erect stalk, 5 to 10 cm across; 3 petals, oblong to lance-shaped, 3-5 cm long, wavy-edged; April to May.

Leaves: Three in a whorl at top of stem; 7 to 15 cm long; ovate to diamond-shaped, pointed; net-veined.

Stem: Flowering.

Height: 20 to 40 cm.

Habitat: Moist woods, usually deciduous forest. The plant tolerates acid, neutral and alkaline soils and it can grow in full shade, semi-shade, or in full sun. It requires moist soil.

Interest: This is the floral emblem of the province of Ontario. This species is commonly cultivated for domestic gardens. The Latin names, florum, means "flowered" and grandiflorum means "large flowered". The whole plant dies down and disappears after flowering. Before you pick a flower, remember that it may take up to 5 years for the seed to germinate and the plant to flower. Large-flowered trillium has a fascinating seed dispersal mechanism - its seeds are dispersed by ants through a process called myrmecochory (pronounced "mirme ko ko re"). Attached to the outside of the seeds is a fleshy structure called an elaiosome. The elaiosome is rich in oils and proteins. Ants carry the seed to their nest and feed the elaiosome to their larvae. The remaining seed is discarded in the ant's nutrient-rich waste pile. This symbiotic relationship benefits the ant, which gets a food source, and benefits the plant because the seed is dispersed, is protected from rodents, and is placed in a nutrient rich area in the ants nest where the seed has a greater likelihood of growing.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002

Trillium carpet, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Large-flowered (white) trillium cluster.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2004

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Trillium carpet, Ontario, Copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Deciduous forest floor covered by trillium flowers.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008

Red trillium

There are many colour variations in trillium petals reported caused by infections from micro-organisms. For example, Mycoplasma infect mainly populations of Trillium grandiflorum. These viruses or bacteria cause various green mutations in the petals.

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Trillium and fiddlehead fern.

Trillium with fiddle head or ostrich fern in the early spring.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 5, 2001

Wild Lily-of-the-Valley, also known as Canada Mayflower, Bead Ruby, Canada Beadruby, False Lily-of-the-Valley, Wild Lily-of-the-Valley, Squirrel Berry (Finland), Two Leaf Solomon's Seal, Tow-leaved Solomon's Seal, Muguet or May lily; perennial; member of the Lily Family.

Flower: White; 2 petals + 2 petal-like sepals; terminal clusters on stem; lacks scent; May-July.

Leaves: Generally 2 leaves; alternate; egg-shaped; 2-10 cm long; have deep cleft at base and sheath the stem.

Fruit: White with spots then turning pale red. See following photo.

Stem: May have zig-zag shape, erect from creeping root-stalk.

Height: 5-25 cm.

Habitat: Forest of many types, including deciduous and coniferous, dry to moist, less frequently on open, sunny areas.

Interest: The Latin name, Maianthemum, means "May blossom" - an appropriate name because the plant flowers in May.  This is a very common plant found in deciduous, mixed, and coniferous boreal forests. In folklore, the root may have been used as a good luck charm. Native Americans are reported to have used the plant for headache and sore throats.

Language of Flowers: The lily-of-the-valley means "Good luck" or "the return of happiness", typical of the spring appearance of this flower.  Some cultures offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley as a token of good luck.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: May 31, 2003

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lily-of-the-valley

Wild lily-of-the-valley, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Wild lily-of-the-valley plants following a late spring snow storm.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: May 9, 2010.

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Wild lily-of-the-valley or Canada Mayflower, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cluster of Wild lily-of-the-valley plants.

Location: Wanapitei River, Secord Road
Date: June 9, 2002

Lily-of-the-valley fruit

Wild lily-of-the-valley fruit at an early stage, before they turned red in colour.

Lily of the valley fruit, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Red fruit of the lily-of-the-valley. These berries are poisonous.

Location: Fielding Park
Date: September 27, 2009.

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Naked Mitrewort leaves, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Naked Mitrewort; also known as Small Bishop's-cap, or Bishop's-Cap; perennial herb.

Flower: Yellowish to greenish, saucer-shaped; 5 hair-like petals with long fringes on separate stalks; May-June.

Leaves: Basal; on long stalks; simple; 1-3 cm long; rounded to kidney-shaped with heart-shaped base; upper surface has bristly hairs; margins lobed.

Stem: Flowering stem; erect; leafless.

Height: 5-20 cm.

Fruit: Black, smooth and shiny.

Habitat: Moist, organic-rich hardwood or conifer swamps, flood plains, organic-rich and moist deciduous woods. Commonly in moss around tree stumps or in small moist depressions on the ground. The plant spreads by creeping rhizomes.

Interest: The species name, nuda, means 'naked' in reference to the bare stem.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2002

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Naked Mitrewort flower (right side).

Location: Burwash
Date: June 1, 2003

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False or naked mitrewort, Mitella nuda, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Burwash
Date: May 28, 2005

Naked mitrewort flower, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Nodding trillium; also known as Whippoorwill Flower, Nodding Wake-Robin; native perennial.

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

Flower: White, about 4 cm wide; single and nodding; 3 petals with tips bent slightly back; 3 sepals; pink anthers; May - June.

Leaves: 3 at top of stem; simple; diamond-shaped to rounded; pointed tip.

Stem: 1 or several unbranched stems.

Height: 15-60 cm.

Habitat: Moist, acid woods and swamps.

Interest: The flowers of nodding trillium are easy to miss because they are hidden beneath the leaves. It prefers rich soils deposited by streams or in old-growth deciduous forests.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2002

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Nodding trillium, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Nodding trillium flower

Close up of nodding trillium flower. Note pink anthers.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 13, 2002

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Northern blue violet

Family: Violet (Violaceae)

Flower: Purple to blue; 5 unequal petals - 3 lower petals are bearded at base; solitary flower on stem.

Leaves: Basal leaves are egg- to kidney-shaped, blunt at pointed tip; basal leaves are heart-shaped

Stem: Flower stem is taller than leaves.

Height: 5 to 25 cm.

Habitat: Cool, shady site with a humus, moist soil, and tolerates shade.

Interest: It is said that when violets appear in your dreams, fortune is not too long away. Also, folklore states that when violets bloom in the fall, they mean to warn us about imminent dangers. Napoleon was very fond of violets and he was sometimes known as Corporal Violet. When he was exiled on Elba, the violet became his symbol for his supporters. The supporters spread along the parade route when he returned to power in Paris, after escaping from Elba.

Language of Flowers: Purple violet means "modesty", "Decency", or "you occupy my thoughts". The erect flower stem droops slightly , as if bending its head toward the ground. Perhaps that is why the flower is associated with modesty and decency.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002

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Northern Blue Violet, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Northern Blue Violet, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Northern blue violet cluster.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2004.

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Northern Blue Violet, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Northern blue violet cluster.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 22, 2004

Northern white violet

Family: Violet (Violaceae)

Flower: White, <1 cm across; stands taller than leaves, fragrant; upper 2 petals are egg-shaped; lower 3 petals may have purple veins; May - June.

Leaves: Nearly round or bluntly heart-shaped, 1-5 cm wide and long.

Stem: Smooth with flower on top.

Height: 2 to 10 cm.

Habitat: In the Burwash area, this violet occurs in wet woods, clearings, and more open areas or disturbed areas.

Interest: This is a delicate, little wildflower. The leaves and flowers of the Northern White violet are edible, delicious, and healthy. The leaves and flowers contain much more Vitamin C as an equal portion of oranges, plus significant amounts of Vitamin A. Some use the flowers to make jelly, to use in salads and on top of cakes for a beautiful garnish. The colored veins in the bottom petal look like a set of landing lights that lead insects toward the nectar in a spur at the back of the bottom petal.

Language of Flowers: Means "modesty", "purity", and "innocence". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2004

northern white violet wildflower.

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Northern White Violet, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Northern white violet flowers. Note the red-purple veins.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002

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Northern willow-herb

Northern willow-herb.

Family: Evening-primrose (Onagraceae)

Flower: Pink or white; 4 petals; petals are 2-3 mm long; flowers sit on a long receptacle that looks like a flower stalk; the flower seeds occur at the end of of a tuft of hairs that are released when the receptacle pod breaks open;  0.5-1.5 cm wide; July-September.

Leaves: Alternate,stalkless to short-stalked; simple; lance-shaped; toothed margins; up to 6 cm long.

Stem: Flowering erect stems; lots of branches. See following photograph.

Height: 30-90 cm.

Habitat: Moist deciduous forests, open moist ground, disturbed but moist areas, so long as the area is damp.

Language of Flowers: Willow-herb means "pretension". Source

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Northern willow-herb plant.

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Northern willow-herb plant.

Pale Vetchling; also known as Cream Pea-vine, Creamy Peavine, Cream Pea, Yellow Vetchling, White Pea; native perennial.

Family: Bean or Pea (Fabaceae)

Flowers: Cream to yellow; 5-parted; 1-2 cm long; cluster of 5-10 stalked flowers; June-July

Leaves: Alternate; divided into 3-5 pairs of leaflets and with a tendril at the end; leaflets are opposite; rounded, leaf-like appendages at base of the stalk.

Stem: Vine; erect, smooth

Height: <1 m.

Habitat: Dry; woods, forests, especially open areas, and cliffs.

Note: Distinguished from the similar Milk-vetch by the absence of hairs on its stem or seed pod.

Location: Paddy Creek.
Date: May 28, 2006.

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Pale vetchling flower, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Pale Vetchling leaflet, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Pale Vetchling leaflet.

Location: Paddy Creek.
Date: May 28, 2006.

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Pipsissewa plant, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Pipsissewa, also known as Prince's Pine, Bitter Wintergreen, Gagigebug (Ojibwe, "everlasting leaf"), Ground Holly, Love-In-Winter, Pine Tulip, Rheumatism Weed, and Waxflower; perennial shrub.

Family: Heath Family or Shinleaf family (Pyrolaceae)

Flower: White or pinkish, waxy flower; 15 mm wide; 5 petals, 10 stamens; ring of reddish anthers; nodding at top of stem; July-August.

Leaves: Dark, evergreen, shiny, no white markings; toothed; 2-7 cm long; lanceolate; in 2 or 3 layers; radiate in whorls around stem; leaves are ever-green, even during the winter.  See following photo.

Stem: Erect from creeping root-stock.

Height: up to 20 cm.

Habitat: Mixed forests, almost always near coniferous trees.

Other: Similar to Spotted wintergreen or striped wintergreen, except that Pipsissewa lacks white and green mottled leaves of spotted wintergreen.  The name Chimaphila means "winter-loving", referring to the evergreen leaves. Pipsissewa was used for medicinal purposes. The name Pipsissewa comes from the Cree word, pipsisikweu, meaning "it breaks into small pieces", a reference to its use for the treatment of gall and kidney stones.  Extracts from the leaves were used to make the root beer drink.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 3, 2005.

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Pipsissewa flower, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Pipsissewa flower cluster.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 3, 2005.

Pipsissewa leaves, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Waxy or "wet-glossy" Pipsissewa leaves.

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Purple clematis vine, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Purple Clematis; woody vine; also known as Western Blue Virginsbower

Family: Crowfoot or Buttercup

Flower: Purple; 4 bluish to purple sepals, 3-5 cm long; usually solitary; located in leaf axils; May - early June.

Leaves: Opposite; trifoliolate; occasionally in whorls of 3; deciduous; ovate- to heart-shaped with a pointed tip; 4-7 cm long and about 3 cm wide; margins may be coarsely toothed.

Stem: Trailing, woody; smooth branches.

Height: Trailing to a length of 5 m or more, but may climb vertically to that height.

Habitat: In forest and forest margins. Climbs on trees and shrubs or trails along the ground in clearings, on talus slopes, and on hills, often in wooded to open areas.

Interest: The fruit occurs as a fluffy seed head in July - September. The purple colour of the flower is easily seen by spring insects.  Although photographed in the Thunder Bay area, Purple Clematis occurs on Manitoulin Island and as far north as New Liskeard. The name Clematis is the Greek word for "long, easily bent branches".

Location: Thunder Bay, High Falls area.
Date: June 12, 2003

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Red baneberry; also known as Cohosh, Red Cohosh, Necklaceweed, Snakeberry; perennial herb.

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Flower: White; 7-10 mm wide; 4-10 petals in dense terminal cylindrical clusters on long stalks; May to June.

Stem:  Bushy; flowering stems; erect.

Leaves: Alternate, stalked, compound; divided 2 to 3 times into groups of 3; leaflets are oblong and up to 6 cm long; toothed with irregular margins; pointed tip.

Height: 30 - 80 cm.

Fruit: Rounded, red berries; shiny; on stalks; clusters; berries have a distinct seam down their long axis, similar to that of a peach; July - August.

Habitat: Cool, moist and rich forest floors.

Interest: All parts of the plant are, including the berries, are poisonous.  The common name, Red Baneberry, comes from the  poisonous essential oil that occurs in all parts of the plant, including the berries and root. The Latin name, Actaea, comes from the Latin Pliny, meaning "a strong scented plant" and rubra, from the Latin, "red, ruddy".

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 23, 2010

Red baneberry plant, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

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Red baneberry leaves, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Detail of Red Baneberry leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2002

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Red baneberry flower, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Red baneberry flower.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 23, 2010

Red baneberry fruit, Fort Hope, Copyright 2002, Andy Fyon.

Detail of red baneberry fruit.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope)
Date: September 26, 2002.

Red baneberry

Red baneberry fruit.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2002

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Rose-twisted stalk; also known as Rose Mandarin, Rose Twistedstalk; perennial.

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

Flower: Rose coloured to whitish, bell-shaped, 1 cm long; 6 lodes (3 petals and 3 sepals); hang on the underside of the stem; May-June.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, lance-shaped; 5-10 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, pointed, prominent parallel veins; slightly clasping at stem.

Stem: Tall, erect from rootstalk, branching, zig-zag shape.

Height: up to 0.5 m tall.

Fruit: Red berries about 1 cm long; July.

Habitat: Moist deciduous to mixed forests.

Interest: Distinguished from Solomon's Seals and False Solomon's Seals by the alternate leaves on zig zag stem. Also the single flower distinguishes Rose-twisted Stalk from False Solomon's Seal. The name Streptopus comes from the Greek word streptos meaning "a twisted foot, easily bent or twisted"  and roseus, from the Latin, "rose coloured".

Location: Burwash
Date: June 1, 2003

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Rose-twisted stalk, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Rose-twisted stalk plant, Killarnet Provincial Park, Cranberry Bog trail, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Rose-twisted stalk clump in the dark forest.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Cranberry Bog trail
Date: August 16, 2002.

Rose twisted stalk fruit, Killarney Provincial Park, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Rose twisted stalk fruit.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Cranberry Bog trail
Date: August 16, 2002.

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Round-lobed hepatica,  Paddy Creek, Sudbury, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Round-lobed hepatica; also known as Round-lobed liverleaf; perennial.

Family: Buttercup.

Flower: White, pink, or lavender; 12-15 mm wide; 6 petal-like sepals and 3 bracts; April - May.

Leaves: Basal leaves are 3-lobed, rounded, cut to near middle of leaf; generally form after flowers die.

Stem: Several hairy stems; hairy; 5-15 cm tall; a single flower occurs at the top of the stem.

Height: 5-15 cm.

Habitat: Mixed forest.

Interest: This early spring wildflower has no petals! The hepatica plant occurs with Spring Beauty and Goldthread. The flowers appear before the leaves appear. The hairy stems help keep the plant warm when the spring temperatures drop to freezing. The common name "liverleaf" refers to the liver-like shape of the leaf and perhaps also to the liver-like colour of the brown leaves that remain from the previous year.

Location: Paddy Creek, Rantala Road, Sudbury
Date: May 9, 2005

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Round-lobed hepatica Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Round-lobed hepatica cluster in the shade.  Hepatica is one of the early spring wildflowers that appears after winter in the cool spring.

Location: Paddy Creek, Rantala Road, Sudbury
Date: May 8, 2005

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Round-lobed hepatica, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon

Round-lobed hepatica cluster in the shade.  In the Burwash area, Round-leaved hepatica appears to be more common in areas where conifer trees are more abundant. The blue-colour is not common.  Note the fine hairs on the stems. The hairs help keep a layer of warm air close to the plant.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 9, 2005

Shinleaf, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

This photograph illustrates the plant just before its flowers opened.

Shinleaf; also known as Waxflower Shinleaf or White Wintergreen; perennial evergreen.

Family: Wintergreen family (Pyrolaceae)

Flower: Greenish-white, waxy, fragrant; may have green veins; 15 mm wide; yellow antlers; 5 petals; 10 stamens; 1 pistil that protrudes and is curved;  occur on an elongated cluster on a stalk that rises above basal leaves; June-August.

Stem: Extends from the basal leaves; reddish colour.

Leaves: Up to 7 cm long; olive-green; elliptical or oblong shape with rounded end.

Height: 10 - 25 cm

Habitat: Shinleaf prefers cool, shady sites with a humus, moist acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland), semi-shade (light woodland), or in full sun. It does require moist soil.

Interest: Shinleaf is a common species of Pyrola. Like other members of the Wintergreen Family, Shinleaf leaves contain a drug similar to aspirin; leaves have been used as a plaster on bruised limbs to reduce pain - hence the name. Compare with the Lesser Pyrola. The name "Shinleaf" is derived from the early use of the leaves to make plasters for injured shins.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 24, 2001.

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Shinleaf plant

Shinleaf plant with flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 24, 2001

Shinleaf flower.

Shinleaf flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 1, 2001

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Smooth Solomon's Seal, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Burwash
Date: May 28, 2005

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Smooth Solomon's Seal; also known as True Solomon's Seal, Drop Berry, Seal of the Blessed Virgin, Sealwort, Big John the Conjure, King Solomon's Seal; perennial.

Family: Lily

Flower: Greenish white, bell-shaped; 2 flowers hanging from leaf axils; 1-1.6 cm long; 6-lobed, 6 stamens. (May - June).

Leaves: Lanceolate; 5-15 cm long; stalkless; untoothed; parallel-veined. The leaves are smooth on both sides, a characteristic which distinguishes P. biflorum from Hairy Solomon's Seal (P. pubescens), which has hairs underneath the leaf.

Stem: Arching

Fruit: Blue-black berry. (August - October).

Height: 20 - 90 cm.

Habitat: Dry to moist shaded deciduous woods.

Interest: In the fall, the leaf stalk dies back and separates from the rhizome. A scar remains which is said to resemble the Seal of King Solomon, who reined as King of Israel from 961 - 931 BC. The seal is a hexagram consists of two overlapping triangles that create a six pointed star, commonly called the Star of David after King David, father of Solomon. It is reported that Solomon used the symbol to cast away demons and summon angels. The old stem scars on the root also resemble the seals once used to seal letters with wax.

Solomon's Seal fruit.

Location: Killarney lighthouse area
Date: August 29, 2004.

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Solomon's seal fruit, Killarney, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Spring beauty, Secord Road, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon

Spring beauty; also known as Broad-leaved Spring Beauty, Carolina Cup Lichen, and Carolina Springbeauty; perennial.

Family: Purslane (Portulacaceae)

Flower: White or pink with deeper pink veins; 5 petals; April - May.

Leaves: Opposite, 1 pair or two leaves below the flowers on stalk; 3-6 cm long, lance-shaped.

Stem: Weak; supports the flower and single pair of leaves.

Height: 3 to 10 cm.

Habitat: Rich open woods, alluvial thickets, upland slopes, and forest edge. Prefers a damp soil and full sun. Requires a lime-free soil.

Other: The variety C. Virginica has narrow leaves compared to the variety C. Caroliniana, which has much broader leaf-blades on distinct stalks.

Interest: Spring Beauty an early spring wildflower. After it flowers, the entire plant disappears by early summer until the following spring. It grows from tiny tubers. The flowers close at night or during storms or during cloudy weather.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Spring beauty patch, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

A patch of spring beauty wildflowers.

Location: Secord Road, Sudbury
Date: May 5, 2002.

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Spring Beauty, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Spring beauty cluster in full sun.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Starflower, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Starflower; perennial.

Flower: White, star-shaped; 10-12 mm across; 5-7 petals; 7 stamens; 1-3 flowers on stalk rising from centre of leaf whorl; May-July.

Leaves: 5-10 in single terminal whorl; simple, lance-shaped, tapering to point; 4-10 cm long.

Height: 10 - 20 cm.

Habitat: Woodland, usually deciduous or mixed forest in open shade. Starflower grows in dry or moist sites in sandy, acid soil.

Interest: Starflower is one of the few flowers that has seven petals. Two delicate, star-shaped white flowers open above a whorl of green leaves on each plant. So long as the weather does not get too warm, Starflowers will bloom for a couple of weeks.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 27, 2006

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Cluster of starflower plants growing on a coniferous forest floor.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: May 28, 2006.

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Starflower cluster, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Sweet cicely, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Sweet Cicely.

Flower: White; less than 1.5 mm wide; 5 petals; flat-topped clusters; May - June.

Leaves: Alternate, fern-like, pinnately divided, toothed leaves; blunt-toothed or lobed leaflets; 1-10 cm long.

Stem: Hairy.

Height: 45-90 cm.

Habitat: Moist woods.

Interest: The roots and stems have a licorice-like smell and taste when crushed.

Location: Sudbury
Date: June 15, 2003

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Sweet Cicely leaves.

Location: Sudbury
Date: June 15, 2003

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Sweet cicely leaves, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Tall white lettuce; also known as White Rattlesnakeroot, Lion's-foot, Rattlesnake-root, White-lettuce; native perennial herb.

Flower: White, cream-coloured, or pinkish; clusters along the stem of small, dangling cylindrical flowers; only tips of ray flowers protrude beyond the cylinder of bracts; flower heads about 1 cm long, consists of 8-12 ray flowers; no disk flowers; prominent stamens; July - September.

Leaves: Variable; up to 20 cm long; smooth; lower leaves are grossly triangular, lobed or unlobed; uppermost leaves may be  lanceolate.

Stem: Hosts clusters of flowers; smooth; milky sap

Height: 60-120 cm.

Habitat: Moist, organic-rich deciduous forests

Interest: Some Prenanthes roots were once used as a remedy for snakebite, hence the alternate name "Rattlesnake root". There are several species of Rattlesnake-roots, all of which have drooping flower heads, distinctly lobed leaves, and milky juice.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park
Date: August 16, 2002

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Tall white lettuce, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Tall white lettuce, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Detail of flower on Tall white lettuce.

Location: High Falls, Thunder Bay
Date: July 28, 2002

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Lower leaves of Tall white lettuce.  Note the lobbed form of the lower leaves,

Location: Killarney Provincial Park
Date: August 16, 2002

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Tall white lettuce, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Trout lily; also known as yellow snowdrop, yellow fawn-lily, Yellow adder's tongue lily and dog-tooth lily or violet; perennial.

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

Flower: Yellow, nodding, 6 petals that are really 3 petals and 3 petal-like sepals, lance-shaped, spreading open; May.

Leaves: Two broad brownish or purplish-blotched and  mottled basal leaves; parallel veins; sterile plants have 1 leaf while fertile plants have 2 leaves.

Stem: Flowering stem grows from a bulb.

Height: 5 to 25 cm.

Habitat: Grows in damp, open woodlands.

Interest: Forms a colony of 1-leaved sterile shoots with no flowers and a few 2-leaved fertile plants with flowers. The mottled leaves resemble the skin pattern of a brook trout. The Trout Lily is pollinated by ants, and after a seed is planted, it takes up to seven years for a mature plant to grow and flower.  Trout Lily has a fascinating seed dispersal mechanism - its seeds are dispersed by ants through a process called myrmecochory (pronounced "mirme ko ko re"). Attached to the outside of the seeds is a fleshy structure called an elaiosome. The elaiosome is rich in oils and proteins. Ants carry the seed to their nest and feed the elaiosome to their larvae. The remaining seed is discarded in the ant's nutrient-rich waste pile. This symbiotic relationship benefits the ant, which gets a food source, and benefits the plant because the seed is dispersed, is protected from rodents, and is placed in a nutrient rich area in the ants nest where the seed has a greater likelihood of growing.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 9, 2005

Trout lily, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

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Trout lily, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Trout lily flowers, open in mid-day sun.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 9, 2005

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Trout lily flower, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Trout lily flower.

Location: Trout Lake Road
Date: May 8, 2005

Trout Lily carpet, Trout Lake Road, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

A carpet of Trout Lily consists most of one-leaved sterile plants and a few fertile, two-leaved flowering plants.

Location: Trout Lake Road
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Spring beauty and trout lily wildflowers.

The appearance of trout lily and spring beauty wildflowers marks the beginning of the spring wildflower season.

Location: Burwash
Date: April 29, 2001.

Twinflower; also known as American Twinflower; Longtube Twinflower; low evergreen shrub.

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)

Twinflower is unmistakable when in bloom because of its twin flowers, the small round leaves, and ground hugging growth habit. Twinflower is easily killed by a forest fire.

Flower: Pinkish-white, bell-shaped with a delicate scent of vanilla; 5 lobes, nodding, usually in pairs on 3-10 cm long Y-shaped stalk; June - July.

Leaves: Opposite, simple, oval or rounded, blunt-toothed at tip; 1-2 cm long; margins slightly rolled under; bristle hairs on surface (see following image).

Stem: Creeping or trailing, 2 m or more long; older stems are woody; young branchlets are green to reddish-brown.

Height: Less 10 cm tall.

Habitat: Twinflower prefers open shade, dry or moist sites in pine woods and sandy, acid soil. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).

Interest: The epithet borealis means “of the north”, reflecting the distribution of the plant in boreal forests of the northern hemisphere. The genus name, Linnaea refers to the scientist Carolus Linnaeus, who some consider to be the “Father of Modern Taxonomy”.  It is an evergreen perennial creeper. The flowers are hermaphrodite, meaning they have both male and female organs and are pollinated by Insects.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 18, 2003

Twinflower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

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Twinflower leaves, Burwash Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Twinflower leaves. Note that the leaves occur along a creeping stem that forms mats on the forest floor.  Hairs occur on the surface of the leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004

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Wake-Robin; native spring ephemeral perennial; also known as Purple Trillium, Birthroot

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

 

 bearing a single, unpleasantly scented, large flower; sepals lanceolate, acuminate, spreading, one-half to 1 ½ inches long; petals lanceolate to ovate, acute, spreading, equaling the sepals or a little longer, dark purplish-red, varying to pink; greenish, white, or reddish yellow in certain aberrant forms; anthers longer than the filaments and exceeding the stigmas; ovary purple with short-spreading or recurved styles; fruit an ovoid, somewhat six-lobed, reddish berry, 1 inch thick or less.

Flower: dark reddish-purple, occasionally pink, white, or greenish; bisexual;  single terminal flower stalk up to 10 cm long; 3 sepals, green to tinged with reddish colour, lanceolate, sharply pointed, 1–5 cm long; 3 petals usually deep red but may be creamy white or various shades of light red, 1–5 cm long; May - early June.

Leaves: Dark green whorl; broadly rhombic, 5 to 15 cm long and may be as wide or wider; sessile or nearly so.

Stem: Stout; up to 40 cm tall; from a thick, short rootstock.

Height: Up to 40 cm.

Habitat: Rich deciduous forest.

Interest: Trillium erectum is the only red-petalled trillium in Ontario.

Wake-robin trillium, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

For More Information: Northern Ontario Plant Database

Location: Sandy Falls, Sturgeon Falls area
Date: May 15, 2010

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Wake-robin trillium, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Clump of Wake-Robin trillium flowers.

Location: Sandy Falls, Sturgeon Falls area
Date: May 15, 2010

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Whorled wood aster, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Whorled wood Aster

Flower: White, July-October.

Stem: Zig-zag shape, downy; may be reddish at the base.

Leaves: Large, narrow-base, sharp-toothed leaves appear whorled along the stem.

Height: 20 - 50 cm

Other: Not common in the Sudbury area. This photograph was taken in the Laurentian Mountains, north of Montreal.

Location: Ste. Adolph de Howard, Quebec
Date: Summer 2000.

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Whorled Wood Aster flower head.

Location: Ste. Adolph de Howard, Quebec
Date: Summer 2000.

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Whorled wood aster flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Indian cucumber root, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

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Wild cucumber root; perennial; also known as Cucumber Root, Indian Cucumber, Indian Cucumber-root, Indian Cucumberroot.

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

Flower: Yellow-green; several nodding flowers from centre of a whorl of 3 leaves at top of unbranched stem; 1.3 cm long; 3 curved petals and 3 sepals; 6 reddish stamens; June - July.

Leaves: In 2 whorls; those atop stem are 2.5-7.5 cm long; second whorl midway down stem of 6-10 leaves 6-12 cm long; all lance-shaped.

Stalk: Single, up to 30 cm tall, unbranched.

Fruit: Dark bluish-purple berry.

Height: 30-75 cm.

Habitat: Open, mixed forest.

Interest: This is a double-decker plant. Flowering plants have two tiers of leaves, with the flowers arising from the second tier. Plants that aren't blooming in a given year have only the lower tier of leaves. Indian Cucumber Root is a member of the lily family. First Nation people use/used the roots for food. The root is reported to taste and smell like a cucumber; however, the root does not resemble a cucumber. It is reported that First Nation people placed chewed root on their hooks to get fish to bite. The Latin name, Medeola, is named for Medea, the enchantress, whom Jason sole away from Colchis in his famous ship - the Argo.

Indian cucumber root flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 30, 2003

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Indian cucumber root flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Wild sarsaparilla; also known as American Sarsaparilla, Bamboo Brier, Shot Bush, Spikenard, Spreading Spikenard, Wild Liquorice; perennial.

Family: Ginseng (Araliaceae)

Flower: White in rounded clusters of greenish-white on top of leafless stem; rounded clusters are 3-5 cm wide; flowers have tiny petals; June. See next photo.

Leaves: Single, long-stalked; 20-40 cm tall; rising above the flowers; 3 branching parts each with 3-5 ovate leaflets; red-brown to red-green colour.

Fruit: purplish-black berries in clusters. See following photographs.

Height: 20 - 40 cm.

Habitat: Moist deciduous or mixed forest. The plant prefers light sandy, medium loamy, and heavy clay soils. It can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral, and basic soils. It can grow in full shade and semi-shade and it requires moist soil.

Interest: This is the root-beer plant. The root is used as a flavouring and as a substitute for sarsaparilla. The root was used to make 'root beer' and can be made into a tea. It is reported that the roots were also used by the First Nation peoples when they were hunting since it is very sustaining.

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Wild sarsaparilla leaves, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Wild sarsaparilla leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 2, 2002

Wild sarsaparilla flowers.

Wild sarsaparilla flowers.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2002.

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Wild sarsaparilla fruit.

Wild sarsaparilla fruit.

wild sarsparilla plant, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon

Wild sarsaparilla plant. Note three rounded clusters of flower clusters.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 28, 2004

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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
Page last updated on: January 5, 2011
Website created by Andy Fyon
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/deciduous.htm
© 1999-2011 Andy Fyon

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