Cardinal flower

Cardinal Flower

 

Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Flowering Plants that Grow on the Edges of Open Water or Moist Areas

 

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Habitat:

Flowering plants that grow on the edges of open water, near the edges of lakes or rivers, require moist living conditions.

The roots of water plants grow in the organic-rich mud that accumulated in the flood plane of a river or adjacent to a lake. Sometimes, these plants grow in moist beaver meadows - areas that were once under water held behind a beaver dam.

The roots of some of these plants are covered by water, especially during the high water spring run-off.

This is a favourite habitat for many animals, such as bear, moose, otters, muskrat, and elk because of the fresh vegetation and the water.

Flowering plants that grow on the edges of standing water

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Water aven, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Water Aven; also known as Nodding Avens, Drooping Avens, Indian Chocolate, Indian-Chocolate, Chocolate-Plant, Chocolate-Root, Cure All, Water Flower, Purple Avens, Bennet,  Cureall, Drooping Avens, Maiden hair, River Avens, Throatroot, and Throatwort.

Perennial

Flower: Deep pink sepals, pale pinkish petals, sometimes yellow-tinged but more pink than yellow; the flowers are drooping with petals that form together into a compact and bell-like form; although the flower is nodding, the fruit head is erect; Early June - July.

Stem: flowers usually on tall stalks with three small leaves and three nodding flowers on a stalk.

Height: Up to 1 m.

Leaves: Toothed compound leaves with the end segment three fingered and and broader than the others. 

Habitat: It grows in wet to moist soils, found in damp woods, forest or meadow creeks, marshes, and along the edges of beaver ponds or lakes.

Other: Folklore suggests Water Avens was a remedy for most ailments of the digestive tract. Both Indians and Settlers used a mixture of the powdered root and water or brandy to treat Malaria. The roots also were used to heal sore throats, which was probably due to the tannin in the plant.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 30, 2003

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Water Aven flowers and seed heads in moist meadow.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 30, 2003

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Water Aven seeds, Copyright 2003, Andy Fyon.

Marsh bell flower; perennial herb; also known as Bedstraw Bellflower.

Habit: Reclining on the floating plant masses on the lake.

Flower: White; bell-shaped; 1 cm long; 5 petals and 5 irregular sepals; single flower on long stalk; early- to mid-summer.

Stem: Weak, reclining, 3-sided.

Height: Reclining or up to 20 cm tall.

Leaves: Alternate, narrow, sparsely toothed or toothless.

Habitat: On the edge of lakes, rivers, or ponds and within cattail marshes.

Other: The marsh bell flower has tiny hooks that grasp other plants or clothing.

Location: Killarney
Date: August 6, 2006

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Marsh bell flower, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Mrash bell flower, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh bell flower detail.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Great water dock

Flowers: Green, 5-8 mm long, turn brown, in branched flower clusters up to 50 cm long; mid-summer.

Leaves: Simple, alternate, long-stalked, up to 60 cm long.

Fruit: Brown, triangular achenes in heart-shaped sepals.

Photographed in a mass of cattails.

Burwash, August 26, 2000.

 

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Great water dock.

Sedge tussock

Tussock sedge

Habit: Forms erect tussocks.

Stems: 3-sided.

Height: Up to 140 cm

Leaves: 3-6 mm wide; about the same height as the flower stems.

Flower: Clusters of 2-7 spikes with male terminal spikes and 2-5 erect, cylindrical stalkless female flowers below.

Other: May be Water Sedge.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2001

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Soft rush

Habit: Forms dense tussocks.

Height: Up to 1 m

Leaves: Inconspicuous

Flower: Clusters; appear to grow from the side of the stem.

Other: Grows in marshes, ditches, and banks of streams.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 16, 2000.

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Soft rush

Soft rush plant.

Soft rush plant.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 16, 2000

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Awl-fruited sedge

Habit: 

Stem: Flowering stem, triangular.

Height: 30-100 cm

Leaves: Rough, flat, 4-8 mm wide

Flower: Clusters; 2-10 cm long heads carrying many small flower spikes.

Other: Grows in ditches, marshes, swamps, and wetlands. The sedge fruit is food for small birds.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 16, 2001

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Awl-fruited sedge

Giant reed

Giant reed; A tall grass.

Flower: Tiny and lack petals; cluster of spikes up to 30 cm long; initially reddish, then silver plume-like terminal clusters; August-September.

Leaves: Smooth, flat, sharp, blue-green leaves; up to 50 cm long and 5 cm wide; rough margins.

Height: 1-5 m.

Other: Tall striking grass that spreads by underground rhizomes. It can form a dense stand that excludes all other wetland species.

 

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Cyprus-like sedge

Flower: Elongate clusters of 3-6 nodding, long-stalked spikes; has 1 short-stalked male terminal spike and 2-5 cylindrical female spikes below (3-7 mm long); bracts are longer than flowering stems; late summer.

Leaves: Rough, large, longer than stems; 5-15 mm wide.

Stem: Flowering stems are stout, sharply three-sided, sharp, and rough

Height: 30-100 cm.

Other: A perennial sedge. Forms in clumps.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: June 20, 2004

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Cyprus-like sedge, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Marsh St. Johnswort, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Fraser's Marsh St. Johnswort

Family: Clusiaceae

Flower: Purplish-pinkish petals with 3 yellow nectaries that alternate with the stamens that are arranged in 3 groups of 3, fused at the base; 1-2 cm wide, 5 petals and 5 pointed sepals; in clusters at stem tips or in leaf axils; flowers do not open during the day; mid-summer.

Leaves: Opposite, 3-6 cm long, oblong, often with black dots beneath, not toothed, turns purplish colour in late summer.

Height: 30-60 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist areas beside lakes, rivers, river bars.

Other: Because the flowers are pollinated by insects that are active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular insects), the flowers are closed in full sun and seem to be in bud throughout the summer if seen during the day. The purple flower bud is diagnostic if seen during the day.

Information Source: Susan J. Meades, Biologist, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004

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Marsh St. John's wort flower, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Marsh St. Johnswort flower.  In nearly 10 years of photographing wild flowering plants, this was the first time I had even seen the flower of this plant.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Cranberry Bog
Date: August 5, 2007

Marsh St. Johnswort, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh St. Johnswort plant community.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002

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Tufted clubrush, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Tufted clubrush

A perennial sedge; flowering slender stems; rounded.

Leaves: Leaf sheaths at base of stem have no blades.

Flower: At top of stems; single spikes, 4 mm long; brown scales; clusters at tip of the brown spike.

Height: 10-40 cm.

Habit: forms dense tussocks.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 12, 2007

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Winterberry Holly; deciduous, erect, holly shrub; are male and female shrubs; also known as Winterberry, Fever Bush,  Striped Alder, White Alder, Coralberry, Michigan Holly, False Alder, Inkberry, Black Alder Winterberry, Deciduous Winterberry, Virginian Winterberry, Brook Alder, Deciduous Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly.

Flower: Greenish to yellowish-white;  1 to 3 small, short stalked flowers; 4 or 5 greenish-white to white petals; in the leaf axils from the new season's growth; June to July.

Fruits: Round, bright red to yellow; 6 mm diameter; persist through winter; August to September

Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous; bladed to lance-shaped to oval; fine teeth along margins; shiny dark green; leaf veins alternate and tend to end in a network near the margin rather then extend to the edge.

Height: 3 - 4 m.

Habitat: Note the location of this shrub - close to water, in swamps, and along streams. In watershed areas, the roots are often submerged in bodies of water or in water-saturated acidic soil.

Interest: Winterberry holly loses its leaves in the winter, but the bright red fruits remain on the branches. The fruits are eaten by birds and wildlife.

Poison: Parts of Winterberry contain "Theobromine", an alkaloid that is similar to caffeine in coffee.  Seeds, bark, and leaves are all mildly toxic, but the greatest concentration of the alkaloid occurs in the berries. Be careful that children don't eat the berries. Click here for more information care of the Nova Scotia Museum - Poison Plant Patch.

Location: Burwash, Nellie Lake

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Winterberry holly, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Winterberry holly flower, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Winterberry holly flower.

Location: Secord Road
Date: May 2005

 

Winterberry holly fruit, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Close-up of Winterberry holly fruit.

Date: October 10, 2004.
Location: Spanish River.

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Jewelweed

Spotted jewelweed; Annual; Also known as Touch-me-not);

Family: Touch-me-not (Balsaminaceae)

Flower: Orange with reddish-brown splotches (see next image); 2.5 cm long; 3 sepals, one that is very large and sac-like or funnel-shaped that is coloured like the petals; pointed sac 6 mm long; July-October.

Leaves: Alternate, oval; coarsely-toothed, feather veined; 3-8 mm long.

Stem: Succulent; brittle, exude juice where broken.

Fruit: Swollen capsule that explodes when mature when touched.

Height: 0.5 to 1.5 m.

Habitat: Wet areas, such as river banks, beaver ponds, creeks.

Interest 1: The orange flowers look like tiny jewels dangling from the plant - hence, the common name jewelweed. If you touch the end of a ripened seed pod, it pops open and the seeds explode out at you. Children love to play with the exploding fruit capsules - great fun! This feature explains why the plant was called "touch-me-not". The flower is entirely dependent upon hummingbirds for pollination, because the pollen falls before the stigma is ready to receive it. The juice of the plant is reported to offset the effects of poison-ivy. Jewelweed contains two methoxy-1, four napthoquinine.  This is an anti-inflammatory and fungicide that is one of the compounds used in the popular ointment named "Preparation H" (source).

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Spotted jewelweed (also known as Touch-me-not):

Flower: Spotted with darker orange dots.

Fruit: Long-ribbed pods, 2 cm long, 1 cm long by 3 mm wide; explode when touched to spread its seeds away.

Date: August 12, 2007
Location: Burwash

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Jewelweed or touch-me-not flower, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Swamp loosestrife, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

More Information from USGS

Swamp loosestrife; Native, shrubby aquatic perennial; Also known as Water-willow, Willow-Herb, Peatweed, Slink-weed, Wild oleander, Grass poly, and swamp-loosestrife.

Family: Loosestrife (Lythraceae)

Flower: Pink or lavender; numerous and occur in clusters in upper leaf axils; 4 or 5 petals; July - August.

Leaves: Opposite or whorled; lance-shaped, 3-13 cm long; paired or in three's or four's.

Stem (Canes): 4 to 6 sided, curved or reclining along ground; up to several metres in length; root at tips when they touch the soil

Height: 1-2.5 m.

Habitat: Edges of lakes, rivers, beaver dams, commonly rooted in shallow water.

Other: The plant has a distinctive reclining or arching habit. It prefers to grow along beaver dams and edges of lakes.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 15, 2010.

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Swamp loosestrife, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Swamp loosestrife mass growing around the edge of Nellie Lake.  These sprawling branches are several meters in length.

Location: Nellie Lake, Burwash
Date: August 15, 2015

Swamp loosestrife flower

Swamp loosestrife or Water-willow:

Flower: Lavender-coloured; 5 pink-purple petals; in tuffs where the leaves join the stem.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 30, 2002

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Edge of lake characterized by growth of arching swamp loosestrife canes.

Location: Nellie Lake, Burwash
Date: August 15, 2010

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Swamp loosestrife, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Bur marigold flower, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Bur-marigold; annual; also known as Small Bur-Marigold

Flower: Yellow; nodding after or during flowering; 1-3 cm across; 6-10 short yellow ray flowers that surround yellow or brownish-yellow disk; ray flowers may be absent; face down or "nod" as they age; August - September.

Leaves: Smooth, lance-shaped; opposite, 5-15 cm long; may be toothed or toothless.

Stem: Smooth, erect, branching.

Height: 0.1-1 m.

Habitat: Wet areas, such as edges of ponds, ditches, mashes.

Interest: Has seeds with prominent prongs that latch onto your clothes.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 31, 2002.

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Mint

Water or Wild Mint:

Flower: The flowers are pale lavender; whorls in axils of leaves. (July - September).

Leaves: Ovate, opposite, 2-8 cm long, toothed, often with a purple colour; pairs at right angles to each other.

Stem: Square, slightly to densely hairy.

Height: 0.2-0.8 m.

Other: Alien plant; perennial; prefers the edges of wet areas.

Language of Flowers: Means "virtue". Source

Location: Manitoulin Island, Mississagi Lighthouse.
Date: July 18, 2001

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Comparison of Northern Bugleweed (on the left with the white flowers) and wild Water Mint (on the right with lavender flowers).

Location: Wanapitei River.
Date: August 15, 2002.

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Wild mint and Bugleweed, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Bugleweed

Northern bugleweed; perennial.

Flower: Tiny white flowers in dense clusters in leaf axils where leaf joins stem; 2 mm long; June-September.

Leaves: Paired, coarsely toothed; 2-7 cm long; opposite; nearly stalkless; simple; lanceolate; tapered at both ends; 2-10 cm long, 0.5-3 cm wide.

Stem: Square stem.

Height: 10-40 cm.

Habitat: Low, wet ground, shores of lakes, beaver ponds, marshes, wet areas.

Interest: Member of the mint family, but is non-aromatic. May be confused with Water Horehound, but horehound has deeply lobed leaves.

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Northern Bugleweed in it native habit - wet edge of a beaver pond.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Northern Bugleweed, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cardinal flower, Elbow Lake, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cardinal flower; perennial; also known as Red Lobelia.

Flower: Brilliant scarlet; tubular; 3-4 cm long; 5 petals, 2 upper and 3 lower petals; flowers on an elongated cluster on erect stem; See following photo; July-September.

Leaves: Spear-shaped, toothed, alternate; up to 15 cm long.

Stem: Slender spike; carries flowers.

Height: Up to 1.2 m.

Habitat: Prefers wet areas, wooded banks of streams, swamps, wet meadows.

Interest: Cardinal flower is pollinated chiefly by hummingbirds, because the long, tubular flowers are hard for insects to access. It is said that the common name refers to the brilliant red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals. Vivid red is not a common hue among wildflowers.  Cardinal flower is reported to have caused poisoning when misused as a home medicine.

Language of Flowers: Means "distinction". Source

This is one of my favourite wildflowers.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 9, 2002.

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cardinal flower

 

Cardinal flower detailed images.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 9, 2002.

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Cardinal flower, Elbow Lake, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Hooded Ladies' Tresses plant, Elbow Lake, Sudbury area, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Hooded Ladies' Tresses; perennial; orchid family.

Flower: Creamy white; 6-12 mm long, 2 petals and 3 petal-like sepals form a hood over a downturned lip; spirally arranged in a terminal spike; mid July-August.

Leaves: Simple, linear to lance-shaped with pointed tips; up to 20 cm long, 5-10 mm wide; leaves reduced upward on the stem.

Stem: Stem carries flowers at top; leaves at bottom.

Height: Up to 50 cm tall.

Habitat: Prefers moist, open areas such as edges of lakes, meadows, bogs, and ditches.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 5, 2002.

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Detail of Hooded Ladies' Tresses flower. Note the spiral arrangement of the flowers.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 5, 2002.

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Hooded Ladies' Tresses flower, Elbow Lake, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Virgin's-bower vine, Paddy Creek, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Virgin's-Bower; a climbing vine; member of the Buttercup Family; also known as Virgin's Bower, Woodbine, Old Man's Beard, Wild Clematis; a long vine.

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Flower: White; in many clusters from leaf axils; each flower about 2.5 cm wide; generally 4 sepals that look like petals; no petals; numerous stamens and pistils; male and female flowers on separate plants; July-September.

Leaves: Compound with 3 toothed ovate leaflets; each about 5 cm long; toothed; opposite on stem.

Fruit: Gray silky plumes, attached to seeds, appear after flowering.

Stem: Vine with stem up to 3 m long; the vine lacks tendrils and supports itself by twisting its stem about other plants.

Height: Up to 3 m.

Habitat: Stream and river banks, thickets, wood edges, other moist places. Climbs over old fences, bushes in woodlands and along rivers or creeks.

Location: Paddy Creek, off Secord Road
Date: August 8, 2002.

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Virgin's-bower vine, Paddy Creek, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Virgin's-bower vine climbing over a tree along banks of streams.

Location: Paddy Creek, off Secord Road
Date: August 8, 2002.

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Virgin's-bower flower, Paddy Creek, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Virgin's-bower flower detail.

Location: Paddy Creek, off Secord Road
Date: August 8, 2002.

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Virgin's Bower seed, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Virgin's-bower seed pod covered with snow. The plumose styles are up to 2 cm long and persist well into the winter.

Location: Fairbanks Provincial Park Road
Date: October 9, 2005

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Water Hemlock; perennial; also known as Spotted Cowbane.

Flower: White; florets form umbrella-like clusters; each floret is rounded and consists of many small white flowers; each floret is about 0.5 - 1 cm wide; each umbel is about 5-10 cm wide; the tiny flowers are about 1 mm across and have 5 petals; Late June - August.

Leaves: Alternate; two to three times compound, lance-shaped, leaflets; sharp-pointed; toothed; veins end at notches between teeth; leaf petioles partially sheath the stems.

Stem: Erect; smooth, branching; swollen at base; purple colour,  streaked, or mottled with purple; grows from tuberous roots.

Height: Up to 1.8 m.

Habitat: Wet areas, wet meadows and pastures, ditches, swamps, marshes, along banks of streams

WARNING: THESE PLANTS CONTAIN AN EXTREMELY POISONOUS, YELLOW-COLOURED OIL. A SMALL QUANTITY OF THIS PLANT CAN CAUSE DEATH IF EATEN. BEST TO AVOID.

Interest: In ancient Greece, the philosopher Socrates died in  399 BC after drinking a poisonous solution of POISON HEMLOCK. This type of death was considered as a humane method of execution.  The bane in COWBANE comes from the Anglo- Saxon word, "bana", meaning "murderer or destroyer."

Location: Secord Road
Date: July 13, 2003

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Water hemlock plant, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Water hemlock, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Umbrella-like cluster of flowers, Water Hemlock.

Location: Secord Road
Date: July 13, 2003

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Water hemlock leaves, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Leaves of Water Hemlock.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

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Wild parsnip; biennial; introduced from Europe; also known as Yellow parsnip and panais.

Family: Carrot Or Parsley Family (Umbelliferae)

Flower: Yellow, umbrella cluster; June to August.

Leaves: Alternate, compound, lance-shaped; strongly toothed; divided into 3 to 7 pairs.

Stem: Strongly ridged; erect; hollow.

Height: up to 2 m.

Habitat: Prefers standing or running water. It occurs along roadsides, in meadows, fence rows and abandoned fields.

Interest: The plant juices contain furocoumarins which can cause severe skin photodermatitis in some individuals after exposure to sunlight.

Location: Whitefish Falls
Date: July 25, 2006.

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Wild parsnip, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Wild parsnip flower, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild parsnip flower on the side of an old road.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 25, 2006

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Wild parsnip plant.

Wild parsnip plant growing on a limestone beach.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 13, 2001.

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Water parsnip, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Water Parsnip

Family: Carrot Or Parsley Family (Umbelliferae)

Flower: White; numerous clusters of very small (3-4 mm wide) white flowers; in flat-topped, 3-12 cm wide clusters or umbels at tips of stems; August - September.

Leaves: Alternate, once divided with 7-17 toothed leaflets; leaflets are 5-10 cm long.

Stem: Solitary and grooved.

Height: Up to 2 m tall.

Habitat: Marshes, swamps, and ditches and along lakeshores, rivers, and streams. Often the plant occurs in the water.

Other: Water parsnip is very similar to water hemlocks, which are very poisonous. Water hemlock has twice-divided leaves.

Other source of information: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Location: Secord Road
Date: July 27, 2009

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Flower head of Water Parsnip.

Location: Secord Road
Date: July 27, 2009

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Water parsnip, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cow Parsnip

Flower: White; numerous clusters of white flowers; flowers up to 1.3 cm wide, in clusters 10-20 cm wide; June-August (see following photos).

Leaves: Asymmetrical notched petals, sometimes tinged with purple; 3 segments; 7-15 cm wide, lobed and toothed; inflated sheath at base of stalk; entire leaf may be up to 50 cm wide.

Stem: Grooved, woolly, and hollow.

Height: 1-3 m tall.

Habitat: Moist places, such as ditches, edges of lakes or rivers.

Interest: This is one of the largest umbellifers - up to 3 m tall.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 7, 2002.

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Cow Parsnip plant, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cow parsnip leaf sheath.

Cow parsnip - note inflated sheath at the base of the stalk.

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Cow parsnip leaves.

Close-up of Cow Parsnip leaves.

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Cow parsnip flower, Burwash, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cow parsnip plant and flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 7, 2002.

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Cow parsnip seed head, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Cow parsnip seed head.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2002.

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Marsh marigold, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

More information about the poisonous nature of Marsh Marigold: The Nova Scotia Poison Plant Patch

Marsh marigold; also known as Cowslip, Yellow Marsh Marigold, American Cowslip, Water Blobs, May Blobs, Horse Blobs, Bull's Eyes Leopard's Foot, Kingcup, Cowflock; Perennial.

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Flower: Bright yellow; 5-9 petal-like sepals and no petals; clusters; look like buttercup; April-June.

Leaves: Glossy, rounded to heart-shaped; up to 15 cm wide, alternate, stalked; glossy, dark green colour..

Stem: Flowering stems are hollow, grooved, and succulent.

Height: 20-80 cm.

Habitat: Wet areas, such as creeks, swamps, wet meadows, and bogs, generally in, or beside, running water.

Interest: The genus name, Caltha, is derived from the Greek word for "cup" (calathos), which describes the flowers as they open and palustris is from Latin word meaning "of the marsh".  This is one of the early spring wildflowers. All parts of the plant are toxic to humans when raw due to the presence of a volatile yellow oil. Because the plant is so irritating, cattle avoid it.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002

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Marsh marigold flower, Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh marigold flower. The 5 to 9 petal-like petals are not petals. They are sepals that look like petals.

After flowering, the leaves die back and the plant becomes dormant.

Interest 1: This plant grows in both Canada and Europe, suggesting that the Arctic regions were once joined.

Interest 2: The word Caltha is derived from the Greek word meaning chalice or cup. The yellow flowers are cup-shaped.

Interest 3: The name marigold is supposed to denote pain or chagrin.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Marsh marigold habitat , Burwash Ontario, Copyright 2002, Andy Fyon.

Typical marsh marigold habitat - a low, wet area where water is flowing or the soil is saturated.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 25, 2002.

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Blue flag or wild iris

Flower: Blue-violet with darker veins and yellow-green and white colouring towards base of flower, 6-10 cm wide; 3 sepals spread horizontally with 3 petal-like styles standing over them; 3 petals, narrower than sepals stand erect; May-July.

Leaves: Basal are stalkless, sword-like, 20-80 cm long, up to 3 cm wide.

Stem: Thick, coarse stem bears leaves and flower.

Height: 60-90 cm.

Fruit: 3-sided, 1-6 cm long, firm.

Habitat: Moist to wet areas, such as the edges of lakes, beaver ponds, and wet meadows.

Other: roots are extremely poisonous.

Interest 1: Blue flag is also know as liver lily. However, the roots are reported to be extremely poisonous. Blue flag was the emblem of the royal house of Louis VII of France. The alternate name, fleur-de-lis, is a corruption of the literal translation "flower of Louis".

Interest 2: The iris is the rainbow of the Earth. Iris was goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods in the Iliad. That is why the flower, iris, is associated with tidings or messages and good news.  The flower name is fitting, given the range of colours displayed by the iris. The name versicolor means "of varied colours". Both the generic and specific names express the variable colour of the wild iris.

Language of Flowers: Iris means "Glad tidings", "Message" or "I have a message for you".

Location: Bull Bay First Nation
Date: July 22, 2003.

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Blue flag or wild iris; copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

 

Blueflag leaves, wild iris, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Blue flag leaves growing at the edge of a lake.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006.

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Blue flag or wild iris

Cluster of blue flag flowers and leaves.

Location: Secord Road
Date: June 24, 2001

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Joe-Pye weed, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Spotted Joe-Pye weed; perennial; also known as Purple Boneset.

Flower: Purple to pink; flat-topped clusters 15-20 cm wide; up to 22 flower heads; disc florets, no ray flowers; August - September.

Leaves: Whorls that are lance-shaped, 6-20 cm long, 2-10 cm wide; 1 central main vein, toothed; whorls of 3 to 7; have vanilla-like sent.

Stem: Spotted with purple or solid purple tinge; hollow.

Height: 1-3 m.

Habitat: Moist woods, along streams, alvars, beaver dams, edges of lakes, low areas.

Folklore: The common name reportedly comes from an American Indian named Joe Pye who used the plant to cure typhus fever. Also known as gravelroot or Queen of the meadow.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 8, 2002.

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Joe pye weed flower, High Falls Thunder Bay, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Joe Pye weed flower and 

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

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Joe Pye weed leaves, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Joe Pye weed whorls of leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 7, 2002

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Spotted Joe-Pye weed stalk, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Spotted Joe-Pye weed stem - note the purple or dark red spots along the stem.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004.

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Purple loosestrife (Alien)

Family: Loosestrife (Lythraceae)

Flower: Spike of purple-pink flowers; 1-2 cm wide; 4-6 petals, wrinkled, many stamens, June-September. See following photo.

Leaves: Opposite or whorled, unstalked; may be in pairs or in threes and fours; 3-10 cm long; lanceolate to linear; lower leaves clasp stem.

Stem: Erect.

Height: 60-120 cm.

Habitat: Wet places such as ditches, wet meadows, marshes, edges of lakes and rivers.

Other: An alien that was introduced from Europe.  It is an aggressive species.

Location: Kingston
Date: August 4, 2003

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Purple loosestrife plant, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Purple loosestrife flower spike.

Purple loosestrife flower spike.

Location: Laurentian University
Date: August 14, 2002.

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Turtlehead; perennial; also known as Snakehead, Balmony

Flower: White, lavender-tinged or pinkish; tight terminal clusters; tubular, 2-lipped flowers; 2.5-4 cm long; upper lip arches over hairy lower lip; 4 stamens; July-September.

Leaves: 8-15 cm long; opposite, lanceolate to ovate; sharply toothed; principle veins are prominent.

Stem: Erect, branched, smooth, stiff with ascending branches.

Height: 30-90 cm.

Habitat: In swamps, wet meadows, along streams or rivers.

Interest: The flower has two a two-lipped corolla that resembles the head of a turtle, with its mouth closed.

Not common in the Sudbury area.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Turtlehead flower, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Turtlehead,  McVittie, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

White Turtlehead flower head just starting to bloom.

Location: Wanapitei River, McVittie Hydro dam.
Date: August 15, 2002

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White turtlehead plant, McVittie, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

White Turtlehead plant just starting to bloom.

Location: Wanapitei River, McVittie Hydro dam.
Date: August 15, 2002

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Terrestrial smartweed.

Swamp smartweed, terrestrial form; also known as Kelp, Longroot Smartweed, Marsh Smartweed, Swamp Knotweed, Devil’s Shoestring, Tanweed, Amphibious Bistort.

Flower: Deep pink flowers on slender, elongated, spike-like clusters  4-15 cm long, 0.5-1.5 cm wide; flowers 4 mm long; lack petals; July-September.

Leaves: Lanceolate, tapering at both ends; may be covered with minute translucent hairs; up to 35 cm long and ranging from 3 - 10 cm wide; leaf bases rounded, truncate, or tapered; leaf stalks 1-5 cm long.

Stem: Erect to spreading stems; lower stems typically root at the nodes.

Height: 60-90 cm.

Habitat: Edges of ponds, shallow lakes, marshes, and streams, wet fields, areas subject to seasonal flooding, ditches; typically grow in wet to moist soils, but tolerate periods of dryness; the terrestrial plants grow best in disturbed places with fertile soils and minimal competition, such as beaver dams.

Interest: Terrestrial and aquatic varieties are reported to intergrade. Some appear to convert from one variety to the other to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

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Another form of terrestrial swamp smartweed, growing on the muddy top of a beaver dam.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 14, 2003.

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Swamp smartweed, Terrestrial variety, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Marsh skullcap; also known as common skullcap and  mad-dog weed.

Flower: Blue; tubular, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 2 lipped; 2 sepals form a short tube; bump on upper sepal; in pairs from leaf axils; July-August.

Leaves: Opposite, short-stalked,m simple, oblong to lance-shaped with pointed tip; heart-shaped to rounded base; 3-5 cm long; toothed (upper leaves may be toothless).

Stem: Flowering stems, square, branched.

Height: 30-50 cm.

Habitat: Wet meadows and near rivers or lakes.

Other: Perennial herb. Member of the mint family, but it does NOT have the minty flavour.

Interest: The name Mad-dog weed reflects the use of skullcap in medieval times as a remedy for rabid-dog bites.

Location: Killarney
Date: August 6, 2006

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Marsh skullcap, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Marsh skullcap flower, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh skullcap flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Square-stemmed monkey flower

Flower: Violet, lilac, occasionally white; tubular, 2-lipped, 2-4 cm long; upper lip erect and is bent back; lower lip is 3-lobed and appears as three lips; July - August.

Leaves: Opposite; toothed, oblong to lance-shaped, 5-10 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, pointed tip; stalkless.

Stem: Erect, 4-sided.

Height: 30 - 90 cm.

Habitat: Grows on the sides of ditches, rivers, marshes, lakes, and beaver ponds.

Interest: The flower resembles the face of a grinning monkey. The word mimulus is Latin for "a little buffoon" and ringens is Latin for "showing the teeth".

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Square-stemmed monkey flower, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Monkey Flower flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Detail of square-stemmed monkey flower

Location: Kingston
Date: August 4, 2003

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Swamp candles flower, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Swamp candles; perennial; also known as Yellow loosestrife, Earth loosestrife; Dry land loosestrife.

Family: Primrose (Primulaceae)

Flower: Yellow; tall, narrow inflorescence of small flowers; 2 red spots at the base of each petal; 1-1.5 cm wide; 5 petals; 5 stamens; June - August

Leaves: Opposite; lanceolate; sharp-pointed at both ends; small reddish bulblets often present in axils after flowering.

Stem: Erect; bears terminal spike-like cluster of flowers; may reach up to 1 m tall.

Height: 30 - 90 cm.

Habitat: Grows on the sides of rivers, marshes, lakes, and beaver ponds and in wet meadows.

Interest: Flowers in the genus Lysimachia have no nectar.

Location: Killarney Lighthouse
Date: July 10, 2005

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Swamp candles flower, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Swamp candles flower detail.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Swamp candles leaves, Elbow Lake, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Swamp candles flower leaves.

Location: Elbow Lake
Date: August 10, 2002

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Pale St. John'swort flower, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Pale St. Johnswort; perennial; also known as Elliptic-leaved St. Johnswort, Pale Saint John's-wort.

Family: Mangosteen (Clusiaceae)

Flower: Yellow; few or several in terminal branched stems or cymes; each flower about 0.75 - 1 cm wide; central flower in each cluster opens before flowers on lateral branches; 5 petals; sepals slightly shorter than petals; July - August.

Leaves: Opposite; oval or elliptic, 2 cm long, 0.5-1 cm wide; blunt tip.

Stem: Herbaceous, slightly 4-sided, mainly simple or with a few branches, erect.

Height: 12 to 30 cm.

Habitat: Grows on moist ground, such as the sides of rivers, marshes, lakes, and beaver ponds.

Interest: The name "Hypericum" comes from the ancient Greek name derived from hyper, "above," and ikons, "picture," from the practice of placing flowers above an image in the house to ward off evil spirits at the midsummer festival, which became the feast of St. John.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Pale St. John'swort plant.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Pale St. John'swort plant, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Creeping spearwort flower, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Creeping Spearwort; native perennial; also known as Creeping Buttercup, Acrid Crowfoot, Spearwort Buttercup, Flam Buttercup; a very common narrow-leaved buttercup that grows in wet meadows and pasture, fens, swamps, lake edges, canals and river banks.

Flower: Yellow; 4 to 7 petals; flower is 3 mm wide; July-August.

Leaves: Narrow; 0.5 mm and up to 10 mm long; lance-shaped.

Stem:More or less prostrate, rooting at the nodes and creeping.

Height: >5 cm, prostrate.

Habitat: Grows on moist ground, such as the sides of rivers, marshes, lakes, and beaver ponds. The plant grows in sandy, loamy and heavy clay-rich acid, neutral and basic soils. It can grow in semi-shade and full sun, but it must have moist or wet soil.

Caution: All parts of the plant are poisonous. The plant also has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Creeping Spearwort plant - each flower head is about 3 mm across.

Location: Wanapitei River
Date: August 15, 2002

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Creeping spearwort plant, Wanapetei River, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Purple Gerardia plant, Killarney Provincial Park, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Purple Gerardia; annual; slender, wiry, branched plants; member of snapdragon family.

Flower: Purple, pink, or rarely white bell-shaped flowers; 2.5 cm long; bloom on short stalks in the axils of leaves; corolla has 5 fused petals; 4 stamens; July-September.

Leaves: Narrow; 3 mm wide and up to 4 cm long; lance-shaped; opposite

Stem: Slender, branched, smooth; upward spreading branches.

Height: Up to 50 cm tall.

Habitat: Grows on moist ground, such as the sides of rivers, marshes, lakes, and beaver ponds.

Location: Killarney Lighthouse
Date: August 20, 2006

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Purple Gerardia flower detail.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, Chikanishing Trail, standing in shallow water of Georgian Bay.

Location: Killarney
Date: August 20, 2006

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Purple gerardia flower detail, Killarney Provincial Park, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Kidneyleaf buttercup;

Flower: Yellow; inconspicuous, drooping sepals, 6 mm wide; 5 sepals; petals shorter and narrower than sepals; April-August.

Leaves: Kidney-shaped basal leaves, 1-4 cm wide; stalked with scalloped margins; stem leaves are stalkless; divided into 3 - 5 lobes that are incised.

Stem: Branching.

Height: 15-60 cm.

Habitat: Moist areas that may be shaded.

Other: This does not look like a buttercup, because we are familiar with the larger flowers of the more familiar Tall Buttercup.

Location: Paddy Creek Trail
Date: July 12, 2003.

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Kidney-leaf buttercup, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Kidneyleaf buttercup, Burwash Ontario, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Kidneyleaf buttercup flower detail and developing seed head.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Tall meadow rue; also known as Muskrat Weed; perennial.

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Flower: White; no petals; 4-5 white sepals that are 2 - 3.5 mm long; oblong, blunt; female flowers have many showy stamens protruding from the sepals; June - August.

Leaves: Alternate, compound, bluish- to olive-green colour; divided into 3's or 3-lobed and leaflets are rounded to oblong; 1-5 cm wide and about 3 cm long.

Height: 0.5 - 2.5 m

Habitat: Wet areas such as lake edges, ditches, wet forest edges, river edges.

Interest: The nickname Muskrat Weed reflects the presence of this plant along pond edges and rivers where muskrat frequent.  Some members of the genus contain thalictrine, which is considered to be a strong cardiac poison.

Location: Secord Road
Date: June 29, 2003

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Fall meadow rue flower, Copyright 2003, Andy Fyon

Tall meadowrue leaves, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Tall meadow-rue leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 1, 2005

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Fall meadow-rue plant.

Tall meadow-rue plant, about 1.5 m tall.

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Northern sweet coltsfoot.

Northern sweet coltsfoot; native, perennial; also known as Arctic sweet-colt's-foot.

Family Asteraceae

Flower: Creamy white; in terminal clusters; 8-13 mm wide; 30 or more stalked flowers occur at the top of the stem; rounded or flat-topped clusters; May.

Leaves: Basal, on long slender stalks; generally cut into 5-7 lobes or segments; deeply cut palm-shaped; 5-40 cm wide on long stalk; upper surface green, hairless; underside white-woolly; margins coarsely toothed.

Height: 10-30 cm tall.

Habitat: Found in swamps and wet areas, moist deciduous forest and wet meadows.

Interest: Flowering stems appear before leaves emerge. One of the earliest plants to flower. Like other members of the Aster Family, what appear to be flowers are actually clusters of florets, modified true flowers. The derivation of the scientific name: Petasites: from the Greek word for the "broad-brimmed felt hat" worn by Greek shepherds, referring to large leaves.  The word frigidus refers to "stiff, of the cold", which tells us that the plant grows in cold regions. All parts of the plant have a sweet celery-like scent.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 13, 2001

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Close up of flower for northern sweet coltsfoot

Location: Burwash
Date: May 19, 2004

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Northern sweet coltsfoot, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Northern sweet coltsfoot leaf, copyright 2004, Andy Fyon.

Leaf of northern sweet coltsfoot

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004

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Ragged fringed orchid

Ragged fringed orchid; perennial; also known as Prairie White Fringed Orchid or Green Fringed Orchid.

Flower: Whitish-green; on raceme with 20 - 40 flowers; each flower has lacerated lip petals; 3-parted lip petals on spikes; up to 1 cm long; sepals and petals are same colour; 2 narrow petals stand erect, lateral petals are ovate and spreading, and lip petal is deeply 3-parted; outer flower lobes are deeply divided into almost threadlike segments; June - August.

Leaves: 2-5 lower leaves up to 20 cm long, lanceolate, and sheath the stem; become bracts above; upper leaves are smaller.

Height: 30 - 50 cm.

Habitat: Acidic soils of bogs, wet woods, wet meadows and fields, so long as the area area is not completely dry. Grows among grasses, shrubs, and sedges in bogs, ditches, moist areas and sometimes in deep shade of low deciduous woods.

Interest: One of the more common orchids. The presence of native orchids indicates a little disturbed area because orchids require certain microorganisms in the soil for their seeds to germinate. The fringed lip is distinctive. The specific name lacera is the Latin meaning "torn". This descriptor refers to the fringed margin of the side flower lobes. This flower is pollinated by noctuid moths (nocturnal moth) and hawkmoths.

Language of Flowers: Orchis means "Supreme beauty", "a belle", or a "Luxury".

Location: Burwash
Date: July 20, 2003

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Ragged fringed orchid flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 20, 2003

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Ragged fringed orchid, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Small purple-fringed orchid; perennial herb.

Flower: Light purple; lower lip is 8-13 mm long and wide with 3 fringed fan-shaped parts; the lower lip looks like 3 petals; slender curved spur; June - August.

Leaves: Oval or lance-shaped; 5-20 cm long, 2-7 cm wide; leaves are smaller upward along the stem.

Stem: Tall and flowering.

Height: 20 - 90 cm.

Habitat: Moist open areas such as wet forest edges, stream and river banks, roadside ditches, and moist meadows. In forests and swamps, the soil is often highly organic.

Distinctive: The colour of the flower and the fringed lower lip.

Language of Flowers: Orchis means "Supreme beauty", "a belle", or a "Luxury".

Location: Burwash
Date: July 10, 2003

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Small purple-fringed orchid, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Small purple fringed orchid, Burwash, Copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Small purple-fringed orchid

Location: Burwash
Date: July 1, 2005

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Small purple-fringed orchid, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Small purple-fringed orchid flower detail.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 10, 2003

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Rough bedstraw; perennial herb.

Flower: White; 2-3 mm wide; usually 4 petals; in numerous clusters that are terminal or from leaf axils; June - August.

Leaves: Whorls of six, with 4-5 on branchlets; stalkless, simple, pointed tip; 1-2 cm long; 2-4 mm wide; edges are rough with stiff hairs.

Stem: Tall and flowering; lots of weak branches that usually reclines on adjacent vegetation.

Height: 50 - 180 cm.

Habitat: Moist areas such as hardwood stands adjacent to stream and river banks, conifer swamps, open wet forest edges.

Distinctive: The rough bedstraw is rough to touch and can stick to clothing

Location: Burwash
Date: July 13, 2002

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Rough bedstraw, Burwash, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Fowl Manna grass, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Fowl Manna Grass; Also known as Fowl Manna Grass, Fowl Mannagrass, Fowl Meadow Grass; Perennial grass.

Flower clusters: Open panicle 10-20 cm long with branches ascending; nodding at tips; spiklets are green or purplish, 2-3 mm wide, up to 4 mm long; mid-summer.

Leaves: Blades flat, 2-3 mm wide.

Stem: Flowering stems are slender and tufted.

Height: 50 - 120 m.

Habitat: Shores of lakes or rivers and in hardwood and conifer swamps, ditches, and fens.

Interest: This is a good species to help stabilize upper shoreline zones and banks of streams and in vegetated swales.  The flowers have both male and female organs (hermaphrodite) and are pollinated by the wind.

Location: Old Chicago Road
Date: October 8, 2006

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Arrow-leaved tearthumb; annual; also known as False buckwheat, Arrow-leaf Tearthumb, Arrow-leaved Tear Thumb, and  Arrowleaf Tearthumb.

Family: Smartweed or Buckwheat (Polygonaceae)

Flowers: White to pink; small clusters of 1-10 flowers at the ends of branches; occur on the ends of leafless flower stalks; June - September.

Leaves: Arrow-shaped leaves; without hairs; petiolate; up to 6 cm long; leaf bases often encircle the stem and give the leaves even more of an arrowhead appearance.

Stem: Climbing and branching stems with many prickles that are turned oppositely from the direction of the stem.

Height: Reclined and generally less than 60 cm tall.

Habitat: Arrow-leaved tearthumb occurs as an aquatic weed along  shorelines, marshes, and swamps.

Interest: Tearthumb uses the backward-pointing prickles on the stem and leaves to help it climb over other plants. The prickles give rise to the name "tearthumb."  The flowers are hermaphrodite - they flower has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 7, 2002

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Arrow-leaved tearthumb, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Arrow-leaved tearthumb, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Arrow-leaved tearthumb flower cluster at end of branches.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 7, 2002

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Nodding sedge; perennial sedge.

Flowers: Clusters; nodding; long stalked spikes; has 1-3 male terminal spikes, up to 5 cm long; 2-6 female spikes below that are cylindrical in shape, 3-10 cm long on stalks, often with male flowers at tip.

Leaves: Flat, 4- 1- mm wide, rough-edges; leaf sheaths are rough with stiff hairs.

Height: Stems are 50-150 cm tall; leaves slightly taller.

Habitat: Swamps, along shorelines of lakes and rivers, marshes, ditches, wet woods.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: August 8, 2002

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Nodding sedge, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Tufted loosestrife; perennial;  also known as False buckwheat, Arrow-leaf Tearthumb, Arrow-leaved Tear Thumb, and  Arrowleaf Tearthumb.

Family: Primrose (Primulaceae)

Flowers: Yellow; globe-shaped; 1-3 cm long on stalks up to 4 cm long; in leaf axils; June - August.

Leaves: Opposite; stalkless, lance-shaped or willow-shaped; pointed tip; up to 12 cm long; many contain black or dark purple spots on leaves.

Stem: Hairless; unbranched.

Height: Up to 60 cm.

Habitat: Occurs along the edges of lakes, swamps and marshes.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: July 3, 2004.

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Tufted loosestrife, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Tufted loosestrife flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Tufted loosestrife flower detail.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: July 3, 2004.

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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/lakeedge.htm
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Andy Fyon

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