Red Baneberry fruit, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Red Baneberry

Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflower Page

Flowering Plants At

Eabametoong First Nation

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Illustrated on this page are just a few of the flowering plants that occur in and around the Eabametoong First Nation community.

The flowering plants were photographed during the summer and early fall,  2002.

There are some factors that influence the types of flora in the area:

  • the local granite and "greenstone" volcanic and sedimentary bedrock is rich in potassium-, sodium-, silica-, calcium-, iron- and magnesium-rich minerals - this type of soil tends to be "acid"

  • the plants grow in glacial till containing these rock fragments that glaciers deposited
  • the growing season is short - the area lies within the plant hardiness zone 1b.


About The Eabametoong First Nation community

The Eabametoong First Nation community is located about:

  • 385 km north-northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario

  • 1100 km northwest of Toronto, Ontario
  • 700 km northwest of Sudbury, Ontario
  • 700 km north east-northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

Eabametoong First Nation location map.


Eabametoong First Nation reserve is located on the north shore of the Eabamet Lake, north of the Albany River.

Eabametoong First Nation location.

Location of the Eabametoong First Nation reserve.

The community is only accessible year-round by air and in some years by winter road.  The community has a population of about 800 people. The community is situated within the geographic area described in the James Bay Treaty #9 Treaty.

Eabametoong First Nation town, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Eabametoong First Nation community on the north shore of Eabamet Lake, looking west.
Date: September 27, 2002


Eabametoong First Nation school, John C. Yesno Education Centre, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

John C. Yesno Education Centre, Eabametoong First Nation.
Date: February 18, 2002



Eabametoong First Nation band office, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Eabametoong First Nation band office.
Date: July 22, 2002.

Local Habitat:

Eabametoong First Nation reserve occurs in the boreal forest.

The landscape consists of rocky outcrops, sandy and gravelly eskers, wet swampy areas and drier upland areas with small trees and shrubs. Soils consist of glacial deposits of till, eskers, and drumlins. Both coniferous and deciduous trees occur.

Bush near Eabametoong First Nation, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Typical forest in proximity to Eabametoong.
Date: September 26, 2002.


Plant List:

A Sampling of Flowering Plants:


Foxtail barley:

Stem: Stems are 20 to 60 cm tall, erect or spreading as a bunch grass.

Height: 10 to 20 cm.

Other: Short-lived perennial, reproducing only by seed; seed head is a barley-like spite, typically nodding to one side; seed awns turn yellowish when mature; ripe awns have tiny, forward-pointing barbs that slide only one way. Because of the barbs, this plant is dangerous to cows and horses when it contaminates food hay.

Language of Flowers: Means "sporting or fun". Source

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 24, 2002.

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Foxtail barley grass, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Bearberry, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Bearberry Fruit; also known as Bears' grape or mountain box, and Kinnikinick.

Flower:White or pink in terminal clusters; bell-shaped; drooping; 5 fused petals; 5 mm long; May-July.

Leaves: Evergreen; 1-4 cm long; smooth, leathery, green on both sides; rounded apex; 1 - 4 cm long.

Stem: Has many branches covered with dark flaky bark.

Fruit: Dull red berry that is edible, but that are dry and mealy.

Habitat: Prefers the coniferous forest with a rocky or sandy soil.

Interest: Member of the heath family; low trailing shrub. A wash of bearberry leaves is a folk remedy to stop the spread of poison-ivy rash. Bearberry often forms large mats. A yellow dye can be made from the leaves of Bearberry.

Ojibway: In Ojibway, the plant is called "bear cub berry". (Source: Andy Yesno)

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Blue bead lily or Clintonia Fruit; also known as Clintonia, Clinton's Lily, Corn Lily, Cow's Tongue, Yellow Beadlily, Yellow Bluebeadlily; 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, 2-5 simple, large basal leaves; oblong or tongue-shaped, pointed tip, clasping at base, 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.

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.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Clintonia fruit, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.


Clubmoss, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.


Wolf's Claw Club-moss; low, trailing perennial evergreen club-moss.

Leaves: Needle-like leaves; lance-shaped or linear; bright green; 3 to 7 mm long.

Stem: Creeping.

Height: Low, trailing.

Fruit: Upright, spore-bearing cones up to 4 cm long; erect. See following photo.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Wolf's Claw Club-moss fruit that consist of upright, spore-bearing cones up to 4 cm long.

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Clubmoss candles, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Fireweed, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Fireweed, also known as Great Willow Herb

Flower: Pink to red; 4 roundish petals, drooping buds, red seed pods point upward. The seeds fill the air floating on silky plume of white hairs; June to September.

Leaves: Alternate; up to 20 cm long, lance-shaped; short-stemmed.

Stem: Reddish, single, smooth, tall, hairless.

Height: 60-180 cm.

Habitat: Burned-over areas, fields, meadows, edges of forests.

General Interest: This is one of the first wildflowers to grow in areas burned by fire, hence its name. The flowers start to open at the bottom of the stem. By the time the upper flowers are in bloom, the lower ones have developed a seed pod and started to go to seed. The seed pods are distinctive, up to 6 cm long, reddish brown, and angle upward. Each seed pod is filled with rows of downy seeds that become airborne when the seed pods dry and split open. Fireweed is the floral emblem of Yukon.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Marsh Grass-of-Parnasis; Native; perennial herb; also known as Bog-star and Swamp Grass-of-Parnassus.

Flower: White; solitary on flowering stem; 5 petals have green or yellow veins and are oval; 8-15 mm long; July - August.

Leaves: Mainly basal except for the single stem leaf; simple, egg-shaped; blunt tip; heart-shaped at base; 3-5 cm long and 1-4 cm wide.

Stem: Flowering stems are 8-35 cm tall; has 1 clasping leaf below the middle of the stem.

Height: Up to 35 cm.

Habitat: Moist areas, often gravel-rich or rocky shores, clearings and ditches, damp calcareous sands.

General Interest: Prefers alkaline habitats that are rich in limestone or limestone pebbles. The name is derived from Mount Parnassus in Greece, where the plant also occurs.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Marsh grass-of-parnasus, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh grass-of-parnasus leaves, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh Grass-of-Parnasis basal leaves. Note the moist gravel-rich soil. Many of the pebbles are limestone carried by glaciers from the James Bay Lowlands.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation airport.
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Highbush cranberry fruit

Flower: Creamy-white; flat-topped clusters; 10-12 cm across; at ends of branches; each cluster composed of tiny fertile creamy-white flowers surrounded by showier white sterile flowers; June.

Leaves: Opposite; three-lobed; maple-like in appearance; edges may be smooth or toothed.

Fruit: Bright red berries; turn glossy or translucent after frost; may be present into winter; September.

Height: Up to 4 m tall.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Highbush cranberry fruit, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Meadow horsetail, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

After the brown-coloured spore-producing shoots have died down, in the spring, these green-coloured vegetative shoots emerge from the underground rhizomes.

Meadow Horsetail; also known as Horse-pipes, Joint-grass, Mare's-tail; green, bottlebrush-like perennial.

Flowering structure: 1 - 2 cm long cone; on long talk at tip of plant.

Stem: Annual, erect, hollow, slender; stems die back each year; fertile stems are unbranched at first, but later develop many whorls of green branches; many whorled branches.

Rhizomes: The plant reproduces by spores and by underground rhizomes. The rhizomes send up two different types of shoots at different times of the year. In the spring, the shoots are brown-coloured, unbranched, hollow, and jointed. At the tip of the spring shoot is the brown-coloured spore-producing cone. After the spore-shoots die, the second green shoot emerges. These have whorls of green-coloured branches.

Height: up to 50 cm.

Habitat: Moist woods, thickets and meadows; widespread across Northwestern Ontario.

Other: The green branches of the Meadow Horsetail are not  branched.  This distinguishes the Meadow Horsetail from the Woodland horsetail, which has compound branches.

Interest: Horsetail is rich in silica. Campers use the plant to shin or scrub dirty pots. It is a plant that has changed little in form over the 200 million years that it has grown on Earth. The prehistoric varieties were larger. Also, Horsetails contain an enzyme that destroys vitamin B1 (thiamine). Horsetails have caused deaths in livestock. Horsetails can also affect humans.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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American Mountain Ash fruit

Flower: White, 7 mm in diameter; 5 petals; in dense round clusters 5-15 cm in diameter; June-July.

Leaves: Alternate, stalked, compound with 11-17 leaflets; leaflets are lance-shaped; pointed tip, 5-10 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide; toothed.

Height: 10 m.

Fruit: Bright red, round berries, 7 mm in diameter; August-September.


Interest: One superstition holds that on the eve of May day, it was customary to tie branches of Mountain Ash over barn doors to protect livestock from evil spirits.

Language of Flowers: Mountain ash means "prudence" and "I watch over you". Source

In Ojibway, Mountain ash is called bearberry or ma-Ko-me-none (Source Andy Yesno, Eabametoong First Nation).

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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American Mountain Ash fruit, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Lesser pyrola; also known as Lessor Wintergreen and Small Shinleaf; perennial.

Flower: White to pink; bell-shaped and waxy; nodding; 5 petals, 3-5 mm long; 6-17 flowers on spike above basal leaves; does not have a style sticking out of the flower; June-August.

Leaves: Basal rosette, stalked, simple, dark green; oval or rounded, blunt to slightly pointed tip; evergreen colour; 1-5 cm long.

Stem: Single flowering stem, 5-25 cm tall, leafless.

Height: Up to 25 cm.

Other: This flower does not stick its tongue out. Lesser Pyrola is a member of the Wintergreen Family. Like other members of the Wintergreen Family, the leaves of the Lesser Pyrola contain a drug related to aspirin that has been used to relieve pain from wounds. Lesser pyrola is the only pyrola that does NOT have a style protruding from its flower.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Lesser pyrola, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Red baneberry leaves, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

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

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 the Latin Pliny, meaning "a strong scented plant" and rubra, from the Latin, "red, ruddy".

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; July - August.

Habitat: Cool, moist and rich forest floors.

Other: All parts of the plant are, including the berries, are poisonous.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Red baneberry fruit.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Red baneberry fruit, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Sow thistle, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Common Sow Thistle: also known as corn sow thistle, creeping sow thistle, dindle, field milk thistle, field sow thistle, gutweed, hare’s colewort, hare’s lettuce, hare’s palace, milk thistle, swine thistle, swinies, tree sow thistle; introduced from Europe; perennial.

Flower: Yellow; 3-5 cm; ray florets; dark green bracts below flower head; dandelion-like, tuffs of white fluff seeds when mature.

Leaves: toothed and prickly-edged.

Stem: Few or no hairs on bracts and stem. This distinguishes the Common sow thistle from the Field sow thistle. The stem contains a bitter, milky juice.

Height: up to 2 m.

Habitat: Roadsides, edges of fields, vacant lots.

Other: A flower that is a pig?  No, but some legends state that the Perennial sow thistle is a favourite of rabbits, hence the many common folk names referring to hares. It was believed predators can not disturb a rabbit sitting beneath the plant. This is a perennial that reproduces by seed and root. The flower head looks like a dandelion, but the flower stalk is very tall, compared to the dandelion. In Ontario, the Sow Thistle is considered a noxious weed. The Latin word Sonchus means "hollow", and refers to the hollow stems.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Common Sow Thistle stand.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002

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Sow thistle plant, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.


Stinging nettle, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Stinging nettle

Flower: Green; 1-2 mm long, no petals; on clusters from leaf axils of upper leaves; June-September.

Leaves: Opposite; stalked; simple; coarsely toothed, heart-shaped; 5-15 cm long; rounded at base.

Stem: Hollow, 4-sided.

Height: 30-200 cm.

Other: DO NOT TOUCH THIS PLANT. It is covered with coarse stinging hairs, up to 2 mm long. The plant contains an acid that can cause a severe, burning skin irritation. The family and genus names come from the Latin word uro, meaning "I burn".

Language of Flowers: Nettle means "cruelty or slander". Source

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Stinging nettle plant.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Stinging nettle plant, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

White clover, 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.

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

Location: Eabametoong First Nation, school yard.
Date: July 24, 2002.

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White Sweet Clover; Alien.

Flower:Tiny white flowers are popular with bees, slender, tapering clusters; individual flowers are 6 mm long; clusters up to 20 cm long; June - October.

Leaves: Tripart, fragrant; toothed, lanceolate and clover-like in shape; up to 2.5 cm long.

Stem: Smooth, branched.

Height: up to 3 m.

Habitat: Waste areas such as roadsides.

Other: Alien; deep tap root. This plant was photographed on the floor of an old quarry. The red colour of the rock is the actual colour. Like the yellow sweet clover, this species was introduced to North America from Europe as a forage crop for cattle. It is  valued by beekeepers as a source of nectar for their bees. The names Melilotus, and melilot, are derived from the Greek word for honey.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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White Sweet Clover, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Wild lettuce, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Wild Canada Lettuce; also known as Butterweed, Devil's ironweed, Fall lettuce, Fallweed, wild lettuce, wild opium, Prickly lettuce, and Tall lettuce; annual or biennial.

Flower: Yellow, white or blue; small, 6 mm wide; elongated cluster of small flowers heads at top of stem; flowers are not showy; June - September.

Stem: Tall, not branched.

Leaves: Up to 30 cm long; lanceolate to deeply lobed, stalkless; does not have the spines of the Prickly Lettuce.

Height: 60 - 300 cm - very tall!

Habitat: In addition to waste areas, roadsides, clearings, edges of forests, and other dry, sandy places.

Interest: Wild lettuce is a member of the sunflower family. The leaves and stem exude milky juice when broken. The height of the plant, its leaves and its very tiny flowers are distinctive aspects of this plant. The Latin names is derived from Lactuca (meaning milky) and Canadensis (of Canada). Wild lettuce is a relative of the garden lettuce. The milky juice becomes firm and brown when exposed to air and looks and smells like opium. There is no scientific research to support any medical use.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Wild Canada Lettuce flower heads. This flower is light blue.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: July 25, 2002.

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Wild lettuce, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Wild Canada lettuce leaves, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Wild Canada Lettuce leaves.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

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Yellow sweet clover; biennial herb; mature, 2nd-year plants are bushy.

Flower:Tiny yellow flowers in slender, cylindrical spike clusters; individual flowers are 6 mm long; spikes are 15 cm long; flowers are crowded densely on the top 10 cm of an elongated stem;  younger flowers emerge nearest to the tip; June - October.

Leaves: Compound; alternate; each leaflet up to 2.5 cm long; 3 leaflets per leaf; lanceolate to ovate; toothed; tripart, fragrant.

Stem: Smooth, loosely branched.

Height: 60 - 150 cm.

Seeds: Seed pods are small, egg-shaped to round, inflated, and contain 1 to 4 seeds.

Habitat: Grows well in direct sunlight and in partial shade, but it cannot tolerate dense shade. Common places include roadsides, abandoned fields, railroad ballasts, pastures and any unflooded, open natural community such as a prairie.

Interest: Yellow sweet clover is an aromatic plant, but is a  member of the pea (legume) family. It is not not a true clover.

Location: Eabametoong First Nation
Date: September 26, 2002.

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Yellow Sweet Clover, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Tall northern green orchid, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Tall Northern Green Orchid; native perennial; also known as Tall Leafy Green Orchid.

Flower: Green to yellowish-green; one sepal forms a hood with the lateral sepals like wings; lip tapers from the base; has a cylindrical spur about as long as the lip; flowers occur on spike; mid June - mid August.

Leaves: Several leaves, ascending; leaves become bracts above basal leaves.

Stem: Contains the flowers; covered by few- to many flowers and bracts.

Height: Up to 80 cm.

Habitat: Gowns in full Sun to full shade; in moist to wet swamps, edges of ditches, stream and pond edges, and moist woods. Grows in both mineral and organic soils over a variety of bedrock types, but prefers areas where calcareous bedrock or calcareous-rich glacial deposits. It does not grow in bogs.

Location: Eabametoong
Date: July 2, 2003

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Tall Northern Green Orchid flower detail.

Location: Eabametoong
Date: July 2, 2003

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Tall leafy green orchid, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Pink pyrola, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

Pink Pyrola; native evergreen perennial; also known as Bog Wintergreen and Common Pink Wintergreen.

Flower: Pink; 5 petals; up to 15 flowers along the flower spike; waxy in appearance; nodding; each flower is 8 - 12 mm across; bell- or cup-shaped; style long, curved, bends downwards; mid-June to July.

Leaves: Numerous in basal rosette; elliptical shape; 3 - 6 cm long; leathery, shiny, finely toothed, dark green on upper side and purplish on lowerside; stalks generally longer than blades.

Stem: Flowering stems growing up to 30 cm tall.

Height: Up to 30 cm.

Habitat: Moist mixed woods and sandy woodland soil in cool, partial shade.

Location: Eabametoong
Date: July 2, 2003

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Pink pyrola flower detail.

Location: Eabametoong
Date: July 2, 2003

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Pink pyrola flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

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© 2002 - 20013 Andy Fyon

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Andy Fyon

September 16, 2013

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