Elecampane

Elecampane

 

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Alien Meadow Wildflowers

 

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Habitat:

Illustrated on this page are some alien northern Ontario wildflowers that occur in meadows.

Meadows are characterized by a mix of grasses and wildflowers. The soil in this area consists of sandy loam - sand, clay, and organic material.

The meadows receive lots of sun and are open sites with good air circulation. They are hot and become dry when rain is infrequent.

Wildflowers adapt by having deep tap roots, both to compete with the grasses and to access water during periods of drought. The matting, tight-knit roots of the grasses, in combination with the deep roots of the wildflowers, combined to help keep weedy plants to a minimum.

Link here for a discussion of Native wildflowers that prefer a meadow habitat: native Ontario meadow wildflowers.

Click here for more habitat information:

 

Alien Wildflower List:


Paddy Creek road orange hawkweed, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Orange hawkweed and yellow hawkweed alien wildflowers along the waste margin of an old road.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: June 22, 2008


Orange hawkweed, yellow hawkweed, ox-eye daisy meadow , Copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Orange hawkweed, ox-eye daisy, and yellow hawkweed alien wildflowers along the waste margin of an old road.

Location: Paddy Creek
Date: June 22, 2008


 

Orange hawkweed meadow.

 

Wildflower meadow.

 

Orange and yellow hawkweed meadows, Burwash, Ontario.

alfalfa, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Alfalfa (pea family): introduced from Europe as a forage plant; perennial.

Flower: Ovate cluster up to 5 cm long, blue-violet or purplish; up to 1 cm long; 5 united sepals, 5 united petals; short spikes, May to October.

Leaves: Clover-like, alternate, compound, composed of 3 oval hairy leaflets; terminal leaf is stalked; lateral leaves are stalkless.

Stem: Green

Seed: Seed pods are shaped like coiled spirals in August-September.

Height: up to 1 m.

Habitat: Fields and roadsides adjacent to fields.

Other: Alfalfa - a friend of the farmer. Alfalfa is used as a high quality component of forage mixtures for cattle. Alfalfa is also important for soil enrichment, soil water holding capacity improvement, mulch, and extraction of deep minerals and nitrogen. Alfalfa takes the nitrogen from the air and adds it to the soil. This helps improve the soil and allows the plant to grow in poor soil. The plant has deep tap root that may penetrate up to 30 m below the surface. Alfalfa is even used by humans for nutritional tablets and alfalfa sprouts! Alfalfa is a very nutritious food. Its calcium, carotene, chlorophyll, and vitamin K content make alfalfa an important nutritional supplement.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 12, 2003

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Detail of alfalfa flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 12, 2003.

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Alfalfa flower, Burwash, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Red clover; introduced from Europe.

Flower: Purple-red or magenta, dense globe-shaped flower clusters; tubular, sweet-smelling, ~up to 2 cm across, May - September.

Leaves: Alternate, compound, with 3 leaflets, each 2 - 5 cm long; leaflets display a pale-coloured inverted "V-shaped" pattern on the upper surface.

Stem: Green, hairy, with nodes.

Height: up to 50 cm.

Habitat: Open fields and grassy waste areas.

Interest: Only bumble-bees and butterflies have the mouth parts equipped to reach down into the individual flowers to reach the nectar.  The word clover comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for club - cloefer. This refers to the three-knotted club that belonged to Hercules. The design for the club suit in a deck of playing cards is taken from the clover leaf.

Language of Flowers: Means "industry" or "Dedication". The four-leaf clover means "Good luck".

Location: Burwash
Date: July 26, 2009

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red clover, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Red clover, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

White clover flower, Trout Lake road, Sudbury, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

White clover; also known as alsike clover, Dutch clover, wild white clover; perennial introduced from Europe and Asia.

Flower: White to pinkish white; occur in terminal clusters 15 - 20 mm across; each globe-shaped cluster contains up to 40 individual flowers, up to 10 mm long.

Leaves: Alternate, compound, with 3 leaflets, each 2 - 5 cm long; 1-3 cm long; often have an inverted "V" shape on the upper surface.

Stem: Green, hairy, with nodes; plant often roots at the nodes; up to 50 cm long.

Height: up to 50 cm.

Habitat: Open fields, grassy waste areas, and ditches.

Interest: Like other members of the legume family, white clover fixes nitrogen from the air into the atmosphere to improve poor soil. The plant has a shallow root system and does not tolerate drought.

Location: Trout Lake road
Date: June 22, 2002.

Language of Flowers: Means "industry" or "Dedication". The four-leaf clover means "Good luck".

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Tall or common buttercup, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Common or tall buttercup; perennial, hairy plant; Alien.

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Flower: Yellow; 5 glossy petals; petals overlap; 2.5 cm wide; 5 green sepals; May-September.

Leaves: Basal leaves are long stalked and deeply cut into 5 to 7 segments with pointed tips, 3-10 cm wide; stem leaves are alternate, short-stalked. See following photo.

Stem: Hairy, erect, branched, hollow.

Height: up to 0.8 m.

Habitat: Open fields or meadows that are moist.

Interest and folklore: This is a plant introduced from Europe. It is an old custom to hold the cup-like buttercup flower under a friend's chin. If you see the yellow colour reflected on their skin, then they are supposed to like butter.

Language of Flowers: Means "childishness", or "riches", or "memories of childhood", or "ingratitude". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: June 22, 2002

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Tall or common buttercup seed.

Seed pod of tall or common buttercup.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 7, 2002

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Tall or common buttercup leaves, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Tall buttercup leaves.

Location: Indian Mountain Road, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 23, 2010

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Common buttercup, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Meadow of tall or common buttercup growing in a moist ditch.

Location: Indian Mountain Road, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 23, 2010

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Tall buttercup meadow, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Meadow of tall or common buttercup, Burwash, Ontario.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 22, 2002.

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Common St. Johnswort; also known as Klamath Weed; introduced from Europe; perennial.

Flower: Yellow; 5 petals; 0.5 cm; bushy stamens; black dots on margins of some petals; occur in one terminal cluster; June to September.

Leaves: Paired, oval or elliptical, up to 5 cm long; see-through dots on leaves.

Stem: Erect, branching at the top; has two raised ridges running up its length.

Height: up to 75 cm.

Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, old fields.

Other: The whole plant may have an incense-like scent.

Interest: This plant is named in honour of Saint John the Baptist. In pre-Christian times, sprays of St. Johnswort were suspended over ikons to drive away evil spirits. When crushed, a red pigment stains the flower petals and the fingers red. The plant appears to bleed.  This is said to be the blood of Saint John. The leaves have many small, clear dots. According to another legend, these are spots where the devil pricked the plant with a needle. The plant resisted and from then on, the devil feared this plant. Therefore, people believed that this plant would protect them from the devil. The plant also contains hypericin, a photosensitizing compound, that can result in light sensitive skin if consumed in high dosage.

Language of Flowers: Means "superstition", "animosity", and "you are a prophet". Source

Common St. Johnswort, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

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

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Common St. Johnswort flower, Burwash, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Common St. Johnswort flower detail. Note the black dots on margins of some petals.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 26, 2009

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Cow vetch flower, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cow vetch;  also known as tufted vetch; introduced from Eurasia.

Flower: Bluish-purple, pea-like, 1.5 cm long; one-sided clusters of many flowers on spikes that bend downward; May-August.

Leaves: Alternate, thin, nearly stalkless, thin, 5-10 pairs of leaflets and a branched tread-like twisting tendril at tip; leaflets about 2.5 cm long.

Fruit: Pods, brownish, lance-shaped, flattened; 2-3 cm long, 5-7 mm wide.

Height: 60- 120 cm.

Habitat: Fields, fence lines, road sides.

Interest: Member of the pea family. Its flowers look like pea and bean flowers. It produces pods and grows like a bean or pea plant. When a vetch tendril comes in contact with another plant, the tendril curls around the other plant for support as it continues to grow upward and outward. Bees love the sweet nectar of cow vetch.

Language of Flowers: Vetch means "I cling to thee". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: July 26, 2009

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Cow vetch flowers, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Cow vetch plant with several flower heads.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 1, 2005

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Cow vetch seed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Cow vetch plant seed pods.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 15, 2010

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Ox-eye daisy, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Language of Flowers: Daisy means "innocence" (given its simplicity and whiteness), "preference", or "beauty and innocence". Ox-eye daisy means "a token". In the Middle Ages, the knight who wore two daisies on his shield was the "Lady's" choice. If a Lady wore a crown of daisies, it meant that she had not chosen her suitor.

Daisy, ox-eye, also known as white daisy, white weed, field daisy, and dog daisy; introduced from Europe; perennial.

Flower: Solitary heads; white ray florets and yellow disc florets in centre; 2-5 cm wide; at ends of stems; 15-35 ray florets that are 10 - 20 mm long; June-August.

Stem: Flowering stems; numerous branching stems raising from the base, leafy.

Leaves: First-year plants produce a basal rosette of leaves; Second-year plants produce stem and flowers; stem leaves are alternate, smooth, glossy, toothed or lobed and partly clasp the stem; stalked basal leaves are 4-15 cm long and 5 cm wide.

Height: 30-100 cm.

Habitat: Waste areas, roadsides, meadows, fields, virtually any sunny dry area.

General Interest: The word daisy comes from two Anglo-Saxon words: daeges and eage, which mean "day's eye". When the daisy flowers open, the white ray flowers uncover and surround the yellow disk flowers at the centre. The yellow tube flowers resemble the Sun, so the flower is considered to be the "eye" of the day.

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Elecampane plant, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Elecampane; also known as Elfdock, Elfwort, Horse-elder, Horseheal, Scabwort, Starwort, Velvet-dock, Wild sunflower, Yellow starwort; introduced from Europe.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow; 5-10 cm wide; sunflower-like flowers with long, narrow, straggly ray flowers surrounding a darker central disk; July-September. See next photo.

Leaves: Large, rough, toothed, stem leaves stalkless and clasp stem; basal leaves up to 50 cm long on long stalks; hairy above and downy beneath; pointed; upper leaves are stalkless.

Stem: Hairy, tall, erect.

Height: 60-180 cm.

Habitat: Fields, road sides, but prefers shady areas.

Interest 1: Introduced from Europe, but thought to be of Asian origin. According to legend, the plant is Helen of Troy's plant which sprang up from her tears when she was abducted by Paris.

Interest 2: The name Elecampane comes from the Latin word campus, meaning field.

Interest 3: The root contains a gum that was used in England as an ingredient in confectionery.

Location: Manitoulin Island
July 29, 2009.

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Elecampane flower, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Elecampane flower.  Language of Flowers: Means "tears". Source

For more insight, check out Wikipedia and Botanical.com

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 29, 2009

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Leafy Spurge; also known as Spurge, wolf's milk,  and wolf's-milk.

Family: Spurge (Euphorbiaceae)

Flower: Yellow-green in umbrella at top of plant; petal-like bracts surround flowers; March-September. See following photo.

Leaves: Lance-shaped; 2-7 cm long; whorled just below flower.

Stem: Somewhat woody, smooth.

Height: up to 1 m; 20-40 cm in spring when first flowering.

Other: All parts of the plant contain a white milky sap, or latex, that may irritate human skin and livestock. First reported in Ontario in 1889. Spurge is a common garden "escapee" from the old Burwash town site.  Leafy Spurge was introduced into North America from Eurasia in the early 1800's.

Poison information

Location: Burwash
Date: May 13, 2007

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leafy spurge, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, Ontario Wildflower.com

leafy_spurge_flower, Copyright Andy Fyon 2007, Ontariowildflower.com

Leafy Spurge flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: May 13, 2007

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White mallow

Location: Burwash
Date: July 24, 2001

Mallow

Flower: Pink or white; 5 petals; July-September

Height: 1 m.

Other:This particular photograph may be of a domestic plant that has escaped into the meadow.  It was photographed in the area of an old settlement. See following photo of the plant.

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Location: Burwash
Date: Summer 2000

Mallow flower

Mallow plant.

Language of Flowers: Means "good and kind", "sweetness", and "mildness". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: Summer 2000

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Mallow plant

Orange hawkweed; perennial; also known as Devil's Paintbrush, Orange paintbrush, Red daisy, King devil.

Flower: Orange flower heads in a compact, flat-topped cluster, each head up to 2.5 cm across; 5-25 flower heads; composed of ray florets; bracts are covered with black bristly hairs; June to September.

Leaves: Basal as rosette leaves; club-shaped, 5-15 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide; upper and lower leaf surfaces covered by hairs; smooth leaf margins.

Stem: Hairy; 20 - 70 cm tall; covered with black hairs; stem exudes milky juice when broken.

Height: up to 50 cm.

Habitat: Vacant lots, fields, roadsides, old dry meadows.

Interest: At one time, it was believed that the hawkweeds improved peoples' eyesight. Hawks, whose survival depended on good eyesight, are said to have visited the hawkweeds to drink their juice to strengthen their eyesight. Because these plant are hard to remove once established, farmers called them Devil's Paintbrush or Devil's Weed.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2001.

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orange hawkweed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Language of Flowers: Means "quicksightness". Source

Orange hawkweed flower, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Location: Burwash
Date: June 23, 2002

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Orange hawkweed meadow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Orange hawkweed wildflower meadow.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 23, 2002

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Garden phlox or Fall phlox

Flower: Blue to lavender; pyramidal ; 5 petals that are trumpet-shaped ; July-October.

Stem: Smooth, erect.

Leaves: Opposite, 7-12 cm; ovate; distinct veins.

Height: 0.5 - 1.5 m

Other: Often indicates proximity to old houses. This flower likely has escaped from a former domestic garden.

Garden phlox is native to parts of northeastern US and southern Canada. It appears on this page because as many as 50 cultivars have been created for the retail trade. These cultivars are human-induced and clearly are not native.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 24, 2000.

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Garden phlox or fall phlox. Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Garden phlox, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Garden phlox flower detail. This cluster of plants escaped from a pre-existing garden that had been established when the Burwash community was in place.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 24, 2000.

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Salsify Plant; alien biennial native to Mediterranean; Also known as s Purple or common salsify, Oyster plant, Vegetable oyster, Jerusalem star, Goatsbeard, and Salsify.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae or Compositae)

Flower: Purple ray flowers; flower head is up to 5 cm across; green bracts that are longer than the ray flowers; single flower on the stem; ray flowers are surrounded by 8 or 9 green bracts; May to September.

Leaves: Rosette and stem leaves are grasslike with parallel veins; release a milky sap when broken; 15–50 cm long; leaf base is broad and clasps stem; stem leaves are alternate.

Stem: Unbranched generally; exudes a milky sap from the stems.

Height: Up to 120 cm.

Habitat: Waste areas, meadows and fields.

Other: The genus name is derived from two Greek words that, combined, mean "goat's beard"?a reference to the long, light hairs on its seeds; plant is hermaphroditic (has reproductive organs of both male and female sexes); plant is hardy to Zone 5 and thus is likely not to occur north of Manitoulin Island; the root is said to taste like an oyster; hence the alternative familiar name of oyster plant.

More information - Weed Gallery, University of California

Salsify plant, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Location: Highway 6 ditch, south of Sheguiandah, Manitoulin Island.
Date: May 23, 2010.

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Stitchwort, lesser

Flower: White, deep cleft makes single petals appear like 2; May-October.

Leaves: Narrow leaves; opposite.

Stem: Flower at top of stem; stem is weak and the plant does best where supported by other sturdy meadow grasses and wildflowers.

Height: 20-50 cm.

Habitat: Meadows, fields, fence lines.

Other: Tends to sprawl throughout grasses; very weak stem breaks easily.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 22, 2002.

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Lesser stitchwort, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Lesser stitchwort , copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Mass of Lesser Stitchwort in a meadow.

Location: Burwash

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Yellow goatsbeard plant.

Yellow goatsbeard, also known as Go-to-bed-at-noon, Joseph's flower, Noonflower, Noontide, Western Salsify and Yellow Salsify; introduced from Europe;

Flower: Single yellow flower; 2.5 - 6 cm across; all ray flowers surrounded at base by 10-14 long, pointed green bracts that are longer than the ray-flowers; June - August.

Leaves: Grass-like leaf blades; alternate, up to 30 cm long; clasp stem.

Stem: Hollow just below flower heads; smooth; contains a  milky juice.

Height: 30-90 cm.

Habitat: Common along roadsides, vacant lots, and edges of fields.

Interest: Yellow Goatsbeard, a member of the Sunflower family, is an early morning wildflower. The yellow flowers open in morning, but usually close by noon or on a cloudy day. The flower head follows the Sun. When the seeds have formed, the floral head becomes a large "blowball", formed of silky "sails" that carry the seeds away. Some people think the seeds resemble goat's beard; hence, the name Goatsbeard.

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Goat's Beard seed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Yellow goatsbeard gone to seed.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 26, 2010

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Yellow goatsbeard flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Yellow goatsbeard flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 14, 2003

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Yellow hawkweed

Yellow hawkweed: also known as King Devil, Field Hawkweed; perennial

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow flower heads in a compact, flat-topped cluster, each head ~1 cm across, June to September. See following photo.

Leaves: Rosette leaves; upper and lower leaf surfaces covered by hairs.

Stem: Hairy

Height: up to 50 cm.

Habitat: Fields, roadsides, and vacant lots. Hawkweed spreads by stolons and rhizomes creating colonies that form patches.

Interest: At one time, it was believed that the hawkweeds improved peoples' eyesight. Hawks, whose survival depended on good eyesight, are said to have visited the hawkweeds to drink their juice to strengthen their eyesight. Because these plant are hard to remove once established, farmers called them Devil's Paintbrush or Devil's Weed.

Language of Flowers: Means "quicksightness". Source

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2001

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Yellow hawkweed meadow, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Yellow hawkweed wildflower meadow, with ox-eye daisy and orange hawkweed.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: June 9, 2001.

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Yellow hawkweed flower.

Yellow hawkweed flower head.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 9, 2001.

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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
http://www.ontariowildflower.com/alien_wildflower_meadow.htm
© 1999-2011 Andy Fyon

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Andy Fyon

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