Houghton's goldenrod, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Houghton's Goldenrod

Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Shore Alvar on Manitoulin Island

 

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Habitat:

Illustrated on this page are some northern Ontario wildflowers that occur on the shore alvar.

Shore alvar consists of limestone or dolomite rock that occurs exposed along the narrow shoreline of Manitoulin Island.  Shore alvar lacks soils, is commonly consists of barren exposed rock that has been polished by lake ice, and contains little to block the wind.  This is a harsh environment where only a few hardy plants can survive. 

Vegetation grows in cracks in the dolomite or limestone or in depressions where soil accumulates.

Because the division between different habitats is transitional, flowering plants illustrated on this page may occur in other alvar or non-alvar habitats.

Because of the nature of the rock (geology), the soils and ponded water is calcareous - limy. This chemical condition is suitable for calciphile plants.

Click here to learn more about the Manitoulin Alvars.

Shore alvar, Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Shore alvar at Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island. Very low water levels in the Great Lakes resulted in the exposure of flat-lying dolomite of the Amabel Formation.

Date: June 9, 2007.

Shore alvar at Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island. Plant growth on the shore alvar is restricted to the very narrow zone between high water and the dense cedar growth. The exposed bedrock is flat-lying dolomite of the Amabel Formation.

Date: June 9, 2007.

Shore alvar, Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Ninebark shrub, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Shore alvar at Misery Bay, west side of the bay, Manitoulin Island. The Ninebark is largely past flowering, but the shrub is rooted in a karst crack. The exposed bedrock is flat-lying dolomite of the Amabel Formation.

Location: Misery Bay
Date: July 29, 2009.

Shore alvar at Murphy Point, Manitoulin Island. Note the prominent cracks, or joints, that have been emphasized by weathering and dissolution of the dolomite rock. This dissolution is part of a karst-forming process. Plants find a foot-hold in the joints where some soil has accumulated.

Location: Murphy Point, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 11, 2010.

Murphy Point shore alvar, copyright Andy Fyon 2010, www.ontariowildflower.com

 

Click here for more habitat information:

 

Wild flower List:

 

 


Cut-leaved anemone, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Reference: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia

Cut-leaved anemone; native perennial; also known as Early anemone, Red windflower, Pacific anemone, globe anemone, and cutleaved anemone.

Family: Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae); pronounced "ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee"

Flower: Pink and white; inflorescence holds one or more flowers; flowers have no petals, but consists of 5 to 9 petal-like sepals; the sepals are somewhat hairy, especially on the outer surface; center of the flower contains up to 80 stamens; June - early July.

Leaves: Long petioled leaves; covered with silky or coarse white hairs; leaf is divided into long, pointed lobes, and the lobes are sometimes subdivided; 5-20 cm long.

Stem: Erect and branching; may be one or many stems.

Height: 30-45 cm.

Habitat: Open and shore alvars, grassy areas, back sides of dunes on Manitoulin Island.

Interest: This is a wildflower typical of prairies and up to subalpine regions of the Rocky Mountains. It occurs on Manitoulin alvars because of the geological history and the local climatic factors.  The flowers attracts bees, butterflies and/or birds. It is drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping. It self-sows freely.

Location: Burnt Island alvar, Manitoulin Island.
Date: June 29, 2002.

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Cut-leaved anemone flower and seed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cut-leaved anemone flower and seed head.

Location: Manitoulin Island.

Cut-leaved anemone seed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Cut-leaved anemone seed. Note that the plant is rooted in a joint (a crack that has been enhanced by dissolution by water) on a shore alvar.

Location: Burnt Island alvar, Manitoulin Island

Date: July 3, 2010

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Golden ragwort, Manitoulin Island, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Balsam Ragwort; native perennial; also known as Balsam Groundsel, northern meadow groundsel, northern ragwort.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow; daisy-like flower heads in flat-topped clusters; 2.5 cm wide; 8-12 ray flowers and central disk flowers; June-July.

Leaves: Basal leaves 1-15 cm long, oblong to lance-shaped; upper stem leaves 2-9 cm long and lobed; alternate; stem leaves are clasping and lobed.

Stem: Erect, branched, usually furrowed.

Height: 30-60 cm.

Habitat: In cracks in limestone pavement alvar adjacent to Lake Huron and in open woodlands.

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

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Balsam ragwort basal leaves, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Balsam ragwort basal leaves.

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

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Golden ragwort flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Balsam ragwort flower

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Bearberry shrub, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Manitoulin Island, Misery Bay
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Bearberry; also known as Bears' Grape,  Mountain Box, and Kinnikinick; low trailing shrub.

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, thick; green on both sides; rounded tip; 1 - 4 cm long.

Stem: Woody stems that lie on the ground; has many branches covered with dark flaky bark; forms large mats.

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

Habitat: Grows on a range of soils, including coniferous forest with a rocky or sandy soil and on rocky areas and old beach transitions areas related to alvars on Manitoulin Island.

Interest: A wash of bearberry leaves is a folk remedy to stop the spread of poison-ivy rash. A wash of bearberry leaves is a folk remedy to stop the spread of poison-ivy rash. The leaves were also used as a tobacco substitute. A yellow dye can be made from the leaves of Bearberry. The Latin name means "bear-cluster, the grape of a bear".

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Bearberry fruit, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Bearberry fruit.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: September 2, 2007.

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Bird's-eye Primrose; perennial native; Also known as Lake Mistassini primrose, Canadian primrose, Dwarf Canadian primrose, Bird's Eye primrose, Canada Cowslip, Oxlip.

Family: Primrose (Primulaceae)

Flower: Tubular; light lilac to pink-coloured; yellow centres; 5 notched petals; 1-2 cm in diameter; May - August.

Leaves: Oblanceolate to spatulate; some coarse teeth; small; grow in a basal rosette about 1 to 3 cm in diameter; green on both sides, short-stalked.

or sessile, and toothed.

Stem: Long; leafless and topped with flower cluster.

Height: Up to 10 cm.

Habitat: Marshes and bogs; wet, calcareous ledges, rocks, shores and slopes commonly found on alvars; argillaceous rocks.

Interest: This is one of the early spring-blooming plants. Primula mistassinica is named for Lake Mistassini, a large lake in Québec, where the plant was first discovered.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Michael's Bay
Date: May 20, 2006.

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Bird's-eye primrose, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Blue vervain (Verbena hastata); native biennial; also known as Swamp Verbena, False vervain, Hastateleaf vervain, Ironweed, Purvain, Simpler's-joy, Wild hyssop.

Family: Vervain (Verbenaceae)

Flower: Blue to purple; branching pencil-like spikes of small, 5-petaled flowers; individual flowers are inconspicuous, but flower spikes are showy; only a few bloom at a time advancing toward the pointed tip; July to September.

Leaves: Lower may be 3-lobed; opposite, narrow, toothed.

Stem: Grooved, 4-sided.

Height: up to 0.5 m.

Habitat: Roadsides, fence lines, low river banks, beaver dams, lake sides, meadows, pastures, ditches, wet areas on shore alvars, and shores; prefers gravel or loam soils.

Interest: Verbena is an ancient name for a scared plant. The name vervain is supposed to signify "enchantment". In folklore, the plant is said to have been discovered on the Mount of Calvary, where it was used to dress the wounds of crucified Jesus Christ.  Vervain also is referenced in European folklore: people wore necklaces of the flowers as charms to cure headaches, prevent snake bites, and bring good luck. Priests and Druids were said to use it during rites and incantations.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 4, 2001

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blue vervain, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

blue vervain flower, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Blue vervain flower close up.

Note the flower opens from the bottom up along the flower stem.

Language of Flowers: Vervain means "enchantment". Source

Location: Kingston
Date: August 3, 2003.

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Bluet, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: West Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island
Date: June 9, 2007

Bluet; low-growing perennial; also known as Canada summer bluet, Canada bluets, Fringed houstonia.

Family: Madder (Rubiaceae)

Flower: Purple to white; tubular; +/-3 flowers on terminating stems; May - July

Leaves: Opposite; basal leaves have petioles up to 1 cm long; oblong to lanceolate and tapering at base; reddish below, green above; opposing leaves joined at base.

Stem: Multiple stems; simple or branching; 4-sided; glabrous and reddish.

Height: Up to 15 cm.

Habitat: Occurs on rocky or gravelly alvar areas where it is exposed to full sun or partial shade.

Other: Different from H. longifolia in that the petal-like lobes  are more than half as long as the tubular part of the flower, they have basal leaves that are fringed with fine hairs. Houstonia longifolia’s petal-like lobes are about half as long as the tubular part of the flower and does not usually have basal leaves when the flowers are in full bloom.

Note: Some authors include this variety in Houstonia longifoliaThis plant was once classified in the Hedyotis genus, but is now generally found listed as Houstonia.

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Boneset plant; perennial; also known as Common Thoroughwort, Agueweed, Bonesset, Common Boneset, Eupatoire Perfoliee, Eupatorio, Feverwort, Hempweed, Indian Sage, Sweating Plant, Tse Lan, Wasserdost, Waterdost, Eupatorium perfoliatum.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: Dense, terminal compound heads of flat-topped clusters of dull-white flowers; 10-16 florets; July - September. See photo below.

Leaves: Wrinkled; 10-20 cm long; pointed and tapering; stalkless; opposite, finely toothed, lanceolate, unite at base to completely surround the stem; rough above and downy beneath; dark green and shiny on top.

Stem: Hairy, cylindrical.

Height: 60-120 cm.

Habitat: Wet meadows, along streams, in marshes and swamps, and alvars.

Other: Native to Mexico and West Indies that has become naturalized in North America. It is thought that the name "Boneset" was derived from the observation that the stem appeared to be growing through the leaves. Therefore, it was thought that the plant was useful for setting bones. In folklore, leaves were wrapped within the bandages used to splinting a broken limb.

Location: Manitoulin Island, south shore
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Boneset plant, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

boneset flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Boneset flower

White; numerous small fuzzy heads in rounded, flat-toped clusters.

Folklore: Early herb doctors suggested the leaves should be wrapped with bandages to help set broken bones or as a cough and fever remedy for the affects of the flue called "break-bone fevers". Early settlers to North America used boneset extensively. Recent studies indicate that boneset does not have helpful medicinal qualities and may in fact cause kidney and liver damage.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004.

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brook lobelia or Kalm's lobelia, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Brook lobelia or Kalm's Lobelia; perennial; also known as Kalm's Lobelia.

Flower: Blue, with white centre; attached to stem by a long stalk; summer to late summer.

Leaves: Upper leaves are linear; basal leaves are spatulate; Up to 1 cm long; not commonly toothed.

Stem: Slender and branching.

Height: 10 to 30 cm.

Habitat: Brook lobelia is a wetland species found on alvars, fens, boggy meadows and pastures, and wet rock ledges by waterfalls or lakes.

Language of Flowers: Lobelia means "malevolence". Source

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Cut-leaved water horehound plant, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Cut-leaved water horehound

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)

Native perennial.

Flower: White; 2-lipped; in tiny clusters on stems near leaf axils; July - September.

Leaves: Deeply cut, oak-like lodes on lower leaves; opposite, lance-shaped, upper leaves sharply serrated.

Stem: Slender and hairy; sparingly branched; square in cross section.

Height: up to 30 cm.

Habitat: Along the edges of ponds and lakes, wet roadside ditches, along streams, low woods, and wet meadows.

Distinctive: Square stem; flowers in leaf axils; no mint smell, deeply lobed leaves.

Interest: Water horehound is a member of the mint family; however, it does not have aromatic leaves typical of wild mint. The large, rounded teeth on the leaves distinguish Water Horehound from other species of the Mint family.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay.
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Close up of distinctive, deeply lobed leaves and white flowers of cut-leaved water horehound.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay.
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Cut-leaved water horehound, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Sticky false asphodel, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Sticky false asphodel;  native perennial; also known as False Asphodel and Sticky Tofieldia.

Family: Lily (Liliaceae)

Flower: White to creamy white; tipped with deep red which is dominant colour before flowers open; many tiny white flowers in a dense cluster at top of stem; 6 spreading petal-like segments 3-6 mm long with 6 stamens that lie against them; pink or reddish anthers; June - August.

Leaves:  Long, 5-20 cm, erect and narrow with sheathing stem at base; grass-like and linear.

Stem: Supports flower raceme; smooth; slightly sticky because of glands and short hairs.

Height: 10 - 50 cm.

Habitat: Lime-rich or calcareous areas that are inundated with water each season, such as river edges, shallow rocky areas in rivers that are exposed during low water, ledges, marly bogs.

General Interest: This is not a common wildflower. The species name glutinosa refers to the sticky, glandular hairs on the stem beneath the flower clusters.

Location: Murphy Point, Manitoulin Island 
Date: July 25, 2006.

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Fringed gentian plant, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Fringed gentian; annual.

Family: Gentian (Gentianaceae)

Flower: Blue, single; fringed; up to 4 cm long; tubular; 5 petals; at end of stem; long stalks; July - September.

Leaves: Opposite; 2-5 cm long; ovate to lanceolate, rounded at base, pointed tip.

Stem: Erect, branched, flower at tip of stem and branches; up to 60 cm tall.

Height: 30 - 90 cm.

Habitat: Wet areas, damp woodlands, meadows, rocky areas beside lakes or rivers.

Distinctive: The fringed flower petals and the blue colour are distinctive. It is a biennial.

Interest: The fringed gentian flower opens in the sun and closes at night. This wildflower is becoming rare. Please do not pick.  Fringed Gentian is commonly found, or has a tolerance for, damp, sunny meadows associated with magnesium rich rock, such as amphibolite, serpentine, and dolomite-rich alvar.

Language of Flower: Means "intrinsic worth". Source

Location: Manitoulin Island, Misery Bay
Date: August 2, 2004

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Fringed gentian flower. Note the delicately fringed petals.

Location: Murphy Point alvar, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 11, 2010.

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Fringed gentian flower , copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Grass-of-parnasis plant, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon

Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus; 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, alvars, 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: Manitoulin Island
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Detail of Grass-of-Parnasis flower.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: August 17, 2007

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Grass-of-parnasis flower, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon.

Hairy Rock-cress; Native short-lived perennial or bi-annual; also known as Hairy Rockcress.

Family: Mustard (Brassicaceae)

Flower: White; Early May to late June.

Leaves: Alternate; leaves flare out at the base into a lobe; hairy toward the base, leaf stems are hairy.

Stem: Erect, generally single.

Height: Generally less than 40 cm in this area.

Habitat: Limestone alvar, limestone rocks and walls, dunes and dry banks, gravelly native prairie.

Location: Barrie Island, Manitoulin Island.
Date: May 26, 2007

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Hairy rockcress, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Harebell; perennial; also known as Bluebells of Scotland.

Family: Bluebell

A graceful, and fragile-looking wildflower that grows is some hostile and exposed areas.

Flower: Blue to purple, bell-shaped; 2 cm long; 5-petals that flare outward; the flower heads nod from branch tips; its colour is one of the brightest and purest of blue colours; June - September.

Leaves: Stem leaves about 7 cm long, numerous, narrow and linear; small roundish basal leaves that wither early and are usually absent.

Height: 15 to 45 cm.

Habitat: Waste and rock areas near waterfalls, slopes, meadows, and shores.

General Interest: This is a tenacious plant that grows in very hostile habitats. Harebell grows in cracks in the rocky shore along lakes and Georgian Bay, where it is exposed to wind and ice and where soil is virtually absent. Harebell is native to the northern areas of Canada, Europe, and Asia. If the plant is not pollinated by insects, harebell is able to pollinate itself.

Language of Flowers: Means "grief", retirement", "gratitude", or "submission". Source

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harebell, copyright Andy Fyon 2007, ontariowildflower.com

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 8, 2001

Harebell flower, copyright Andy Fyon 2007, ontariowildflower.com

Close up of harebell flower.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 8, 2001

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Houghton's goldenrod; perennial herb.

Family: Aster (Compositae or Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow; large umbrella-shaped head that is flat topped; 5-30 flower heads; has button-like disk flowers are ringed by prominent ray flowers; flowering stems or pedicles may be finely hairy; August to September.

Leaves: Rosette of narrow leaves at its base; linear lower stem leaves that are slightly clasping, up to 18 cm long and 2 cm wide, sometimes folded along the mid-rib; flat, sickle-shaped, folded, and triple-nerved; upper stem leaves are slightly clasping at stem; longer leaves may be up to 10 cm long and < 1 cm wide.

Stems: Erect, slender 30-60 cm tall; reddish and hairless.

Height: 30 to 60 cm.

Habitat: This species is endemic to the Great Lakes region. It is characteristic of shore alvars in moist calcareous fens. It grows only along the shorelines of the Great Lakes - primarily along the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron. In Ontario, it grows on the Bruce Peninsula and rarely on Manitoulin Island.

Identification: Can be confused with Grass-leaved goldenrod and Ohio goldenrod, which also have a flat-topped flower clusters, and that grow in the same habitat. These are the only goldenrods with flat-topped flower clusters that occur along the shores of the northern Great Lakes. Grass-leaved goldenrod has many more leaves along the stem, but it lacks leaves at the plant base during flowering. Also, its flower-heads are much smaller than those of Houghton's goldenrod. Ohio goldenrod is larger with broader, flat leaves and a dense, many headed flower cluster with smooth, non-hairy stalks of the individual flower-heads. The yellow "petals" in Houghton's goldenrod are larger than those in the other two.

Status: Threatened Provincially, Special Concern Nationally

Distribution: Range Map

Interest: Does not require seeds to reproduce as new plants grow from underground rhizomes. Individual plants do not necessarily flower every year; individual plants may live up to 6 years without flowering and may continue to live after flowering. Houghton's goldenrod was named after Douglass Houghton, who was the first state geologist of Michigan. During the geological survey of Michigan in 1839, Houghton discovered this goldenrod species in Michigan, on the north shore of Lake Michigan.

Ontario's Biodiversity: More information about this Species at Risk (Royal Ontario Museum).

Houghton's goldenrod, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island
Date: August 4, 2010

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Houghton's goldenrod growing in a calcareous fen habitat close to the shore, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com.

Houghton's goldenrod growing in a calcareous fen, South Bay, Manitoulin Island.

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Date: August 4, 2010

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Houghton's goldenrod flower head, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Houghton's goldenrod flower head. Note the few flower heads and the larger ray flowers.

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Date: August 4, 2010.

Houghton's goldenrod, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Houghton's goldenrod illustrating the subtle hairy stem below the flower head.

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Date: August 4, 2010

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Lakeside daisy; also known as Manitoulin Gold and Stemless Rubberweed, Angelita Daisy, Plains Hymenoxys, Stemless Hymenoxys; member of the Sunflower family.

Lakeside Daisy is classified as a Threatened Species in Ontario.

Flower: Yellow; flower heads are solitary, about 2 cm wide, with pale yellow rays that bend downward at maturity; May - early July.

Leaves: Leaves are all basal, silvery green with short hairs, about 5 cm long and up to 1 cm wide.

Stem: The plant has no stem. The structure supporting the flower head is a leafless organ called a scape.

Height: 8 - 15 cm.

Habitat: Occurs in alvar habitats in the Great Lakes region, including crevices in limestone, on cliffs and alvars (shallow soil over limestone) and other open, sunny, generally cool and windy sites.

Interest: The lakeside daisy is adapted to rocky, windswept areas because its thick, rubbery leaves store water, allowing the plants to withstand dry spells. Acaulis means "without a stem" in botanical Latin.

Lakeside daisy, Manitoulin Island, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Misery Bay
Date: May 20, 2006.

Prints of Manitoulin Gold are available for purchase here

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Lakeside daisy, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Location: Manitoulin, Misery Bay
Date: May 20, 2006.

Prints of Manitoulin Gold are available for purchase here

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Lakeside daisy habitat, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Lakeside daisy plants growing on limestone pavement. Note that plants are concentrated along fractures in the limestone, where water and soil accumulate.  The fractures are marked by the linear train of plants.

Location: Manitoulin, Misery Bay
Date: May 20, 2006.

Prints of Manitoulin Gold are available for purchase here

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Lyre-leaved Rock Cress; Native; biennial or short-lived perennial herb; also known as Lyrate rock-cress, Sand cress.

Family:Mustard (Brassicaceae)

Flower: White; 4-parted; less than 1 cm wide; flowers occur in a terminal cluster or raceme; the seed pods are long (2-cm), flattened, and project upward; May - July.

Leaves: The lower leaves are lyre-shaped and have lobes at the base; the stem leaves generally have no lobes.

Stem: Erect stems with many weak branches originate from from a hairy base.

Height: Up to 30 cm.

Habitat: Rocky and sandy soil, on alvars, rock ledges and cliffs.

Interest: The Greek word "Arabis" means "mustard" or "cress".  The Greek word "Arabia" may refer to the ability of the plant to grow in rocky or sandy soils.

Lyre-leaved rock cress, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Manitoulin Island, Misery Bay west
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Lyre-leaved rock cress flower, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Manitoulin Island, Carter's Bay
Date: May 21, 2006

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Lyre-leaved rock cress, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Typical form of Lyre-leaved rock cress - branching.

Location: Misery Bay, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 18, 2008

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Mossy stonecrop

Mossy Stonecrop

Flower: Yellow; starlike; 5 petals on top of stalk; June-July.

Leaves: Tiny flat fleshy leaves; succulent.

Stem: Branched.

Height: 2-5 cm.

Other: Alien; found also on rocky beaches. It is possible that this plant escaped from cultivation.

Interest: Cacti, including sedum, have an interesting way to conserve water during the very hot, dry, desert weather typical of their environment. These plants only open their stomates during the cool of the night. However, this means the plants do not get CO2 from the atmosphere that is needed by the plant to create sugars, by a photosynthesis reaction that takes place during the daytime. The adaptation goes like this: at night, the plants open their stomates and take in CO2; that CO2 is stored in various organic compounds; during the daytime, when the light-based photosynthesis takes place, but the stomates are closed, the plants take the CO2 from the organic compounds.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay
Date: July 8, 2001.

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

Mossy Stonecrop flower

Language of Flowers: Stonecrop means "tranquility". Source

Location: Manitoulin Island, Shequiandah Museum
Date: June 21, 2009.

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Ohio goldenrod, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Location: Manitoulin Island, south shore
Date: August 2, 2004.

Ohio goldenrod; perennial herb.

Family: Aster (Compositae or Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow; large umbrella-shaped head with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers; flat-topped; June to October.

Leaves: Flat, not triple-nerved; long, erect, upward-pointing.

Stems: Erect.

Height: 40 0 90 cm.

Habitat: Characteristic of calcareous fens and common in moist areas, such as Alvars, beaches, ditches, moist meadows.

Interest: Can be confused with Riddell's goldenrod (Solidago Riddellii), which occurs in similar habitats; however, S. Riddellii has leaves that are are sickle-shaped, folded, and triple-nerved, and its inflorescence is hairy.  Solidago comes from the Latin word solido meaning "to strengthen; to make solid". Ohioensis is the Latin word meaning "of Ohio".

 

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Ohio goldenrod plant growing in the alvar habitat.

Location: Manitoulin Island, south shore
Date: September 11, 2005.

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Ohio goldenrod plant, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Purple rattlesnakeroot, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Purple rattlesnake-root; Native perennial herb; also known as Glaucous white-lettuce, glaucous rattlesnakeroot.

Family: Asteraceae or Aster or Daisy

Flower: Pink or white; up to 25 in the flower head; August - September.

Leaves: Lowermost leaves are stalked. Stem leaves are clasping on the stem.

Stem: Smooth and pale coloured.

Height: Up to 2 m.

Habitat: Purple rattlesnake-root occurs in damp prairies and meadows, along banks of streams, and wet rocky open shore alvar areas.

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

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Purple rattlesnake-root plant.

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

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Purple rattlesnakeroot, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Rock Sandwort; native; annual or short-lived perennial; also known as Texas Sandwort, Stiff Sandwort, Michaux's stitchwort.

Family: Pink (Caryophyllaceae)

Flower: White; 0.5 cm across maximum; five-petals and 5 sepals that are shorter than the petals; petals rounded or slightly notched; June - early July.

Leaves: Opposite, needlelike; arranged in whorls about the stem; tufts of shorter leaves in axis; often matted mass or clump.

Stem: Mass of numerous, moos-like, fine, thread-like stems; up to 3 flower heads on a stem.

Height: Up 20 cm.

Habitat: Found on rocky soils or limestone pavement or alvar in this area; full sun; adapted to calcareous soil.

General Interest: This species grows well in a limestone rock garden, but it is difficult to transplant.  In addition, the plant is easily overgrown by woody species through succession, destroyed by trampling; and intolerant of soil compaction.

Reference: see Morton et al. (2000).

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

Rock sandwort flower, copyright 2002, Andy Fyon.

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Rock sandwort leaves, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Rock sandwort leaves.  Note whorl of grass-like leaves around stem.

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

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Rock sandwort plant, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Rock sandwort plant.  Note moss-like appearance.

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

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Sandcherry flower, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Sand Cherry; native perennial shrub; Also known as Beach plum, Dwarf American Cherry, Great Lakes sand cherry.

Family: Rosaceae (Rose)

Flower: White; 5 petals; clusters of 2-4 flowers occur in leaf axils; 25-30 stamens; June.

Leaves: Alternate; narrow (10 to 18 mm wide) oblanceolate; dark green; 4-7 cm long; entire to finely toothed; lustrous on top surface and pale on lower surface.

Stem: Twigs are red but become gray with age.

Height: Up to 0.5 m high and 1 m. spread; prostrate growth.

Fruit: Turn a deep blackish purple; larger than choke cherry fruit; favourite fruit for wildlife; the fruit are edible; June-July.

Habitat: The Great Lakes sandcherry is often found on well drained glacial sand plains or sand dunes bordering larges bodies of water, on alvars, along gravel bars or shorelines, on cliff faces, rocky slopes, and on calcareous.

Interest: Sandcherry has an important role of stabilizing the sand dune.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay
Date: June 11, 2005

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Sandcherry fruit, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Sandcherry fruit.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Providence Bay
Date: June 11, 2005

Prostrate sandcherry shrub, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Sandcherry shrub illustrating a prostrate form, growing close to the surface of limestone pavement. Note that the shrub is rooted in a karst crack in the limestone.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Misery Bay west
Date: May 26, 2007

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Showy Lady's Slipper; native perennial; also known as Queen Lady's Slipper, Pink-and-white Lady's Slipper

Family: Orchid (Orchidaceae)

Flower: White slipper with a pink colour; petals and sepals are waxy white; the two petals spread out like wings; the dorsal sepal arches over, while the two lateral sepals are joined into one and occur behind the flower; the triangular-shaped, white and yellow, sterile stamen occurs over the round entrance of the slipper; 1 to 3 flowers per stem; mid-June - July.

Leaves: 3 to 6 in total; up to 16 cm wide and 25 cm long; strongly ribbed; hairs; sheaths the stem.

Stem: Leafy.

Height: 20 - 80 cm.

Habitat: Swampy or moist woods, openings in cedar swamps, and occasionally in open ditches, or moist fen-like shore areas.

Interest: The scientific name "reginae" is a tribute to its beauty. It is the largest and showiest orchid flower in Canada. Hairs on the plant are irritating and may cause an itchy rash on some people. As a calcicole plant, it does not tolerate acidic soil.  This was originally the provincial flower for Prince Edward Island, chosen in 1947, but because it is so rare on the island, pink lady slipper (Cypripedium acaule) replaced it as PEI's provincial floral emblem. A pant may live for as long as 50 years.  Reproduction is largely by chance. The plant can't self-pollinate has no nectar to attract insects, so they rely on the chance that a random insect pollinates them. When pollinated, a single flower may produce up to 35,000 seeds. If a seed finds its way to the wet habitat, where it may take up to 7 years for their root systems and first leaves to develop.

Location: South Bay Mouth, Manitoulin Island
Date: June 21, 2009

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Showy Lady's Slipper orchid (Cypripedium reginae), copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Showy Lady's Slipper orchid, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Frontal view of Lady's Slipper orchid flower.

Location: South Bay Mouth, Manitoulin Island
Date: June 21, 2009.

Showy lady's slipper orchid flower backside, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Side view of Lady's Slipper orchid flower.

Location: South Bay Mouth, Manitoulin Island
Date: June 21, 2009.

Shrubby Cinquefoil (Shrubby Potentilla); botanical name for a group of hardy perennials and shrubs; is the only shrubby species among the cinquefoils.

Flower: Yellow; saucer-shaped; June to September.

Leaves: Smooth-edged; compound with 3 - 7 leaflets, but generally 5, hence the name "cinquefoil"; 

Stem: Woody shrub; the bark is reddish-brown and shreds easily.

Height: up to 1 m.

Habitat: Hot and dry locations or moist partial shade areas, such as alvars, open fields, edges of rivers, and rocky areas.

Interest: "Potentilla" means potent. Historically, the entire plant can be gathered as medicine to reduce inflammation of gums and tonsils, the tannin was used in the tanning of leathers, and the plant was used to stop the flow of blood when applied directly to open cuts; also used as a fever-reducing agent. The leaves have been used to make tea. Potentilla is a popular "home gardener" shrub because it is easy to grow, showy, is low maintenance and is tolerates dry conditions.

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island
Date: August 4, 2010

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Shrubby cinquefoil, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Shrubby cinquefoil, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Shrubby cinquefoil flower.

Location: South Bay area, Manitoulin Island
Date: August 4, 2010.

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Kalm's St. John's-wort (Johnswort), copyright 2004 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Shrubby St. Johnswort; spreading deciduous shrub; native to North America; also known as Kalm's St. John's-wort.

 

Flower: Yellow; 2-3 cm wide; 5 petals, 5 sepals, numerous stamens; the large fluffy stamens at the centre of the flower are diagnostic; July - August.

Leaves: 5 cm long; opposite, linear to oblong; clusters of tiny leaves present in axils of larger leaves.

Stem: Branching.

Height: Up to 1 m.

Habitat: Found on rocky soils or limestone pavement in this area.

General Interest: Shrubby St. Johnswort is one of the few plants that will grow under the Black Walnut tree. It does well in dry soils and in full sun. Hypericum is a Latin modification of a Greek name for a European species of the genus. Prolificum means "abundant in number".

Location: Killarney
Date: September 1, 2004.

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Kalm's St. John's-wort growing on open alvar pavement. The plant is rooted in a joint in the dolomite rock.

Location: Murphy Point, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 11, 2010

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Kalm's St. John's-wort, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Across: Shrubby St. Johnswort (Kalm's St. John's-wort) leaves. Note the tiny leaves in the axils of the larger leaves.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 8, 2001.

 

Below: Shrubby St. Johnswort (Kalm's St. John's-wort) flowers. Note the numerous, large stamens on the flower.

Location: Killarney
Date: September 1, 2004.

Shrubby St. Johnswort, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

 

 

 

 

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Shrubby St. Johnswort leaves

Silverweed, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Location: Belanger Bay, Manitoulin Island
Date: June 9, 2007

Silverweed; also known as Crampweed, Five fingered grass, Five-leaf grass, Five-leaf, Five-fingers, Five-Finger Blossom, Goosegrass, Goose tansy, Moor grass, Rough-fruited Silverweed, Silver cinquefoil, Potentilla.

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)

Flower: Yellow, 5 petals, present on runners and stalks.

Leaves: 5-parted radial leaves; the underside of the leaf is covered with silver-coloured fine hairs.

Stems: Prostrate stems, rooting at nodes.

Height: Hugs ground.

Habitat: Common on moist areas, such as Alvars, beaches, ditches, moist meadows.

Interest: The presence of the silver-coloured hairs on the underside of the leaf gives the plant its name "silverweed".  The plant spreads by red-coloured runners above ground to form large patches of plants.

Language of Flowers: Means "beloved child", "a beloved daughter", or "maternal affection". Source

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Silverweed leaves. Note the "silver" colour that helps to reflect the Sunlight.

Location: Misery Bay west, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Silverweed leaves, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Swamp milkweed plant, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Swamp milkweed

Family: Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)

Flower: Deep pink; clustered at top of stem; flowers 6 mm wide; 5 recurved petals and elevated central crown; June - August.

Leaves: Opposite; up to 10 cm long.

Stem: Tall, up to 1.2 m; branching, crowned by flower clusters.

Fruit: Elongated pod up to 10 cm long, but are slender and tapered at both ends; opens along one side.

Height: 30 to 120 cm.

Habitat: Wet areas such as ended of lakes, swamps, alvars.

Distinctive: Flower form is distinctive of milkweeds. Juice is less milky compared to other milkweeds.

Language of Flowers: Milkweed means "hope in misery". Source

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: July 25, 2006

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Swamp milkweed flower.

Location: Great La Cloche Island
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Swamp milkweed flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Pringle's Aster, var. pilosum, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Other links to Upland White goldenrod:

a) Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium (University of Wisconsin)
b) Flora of North America
c) Ontario Wildflowers

d) The Asters, Goldenrods, and Fleabanes of Grey and Bruce Counties

Location: Providence Bay area, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 26, 2006.

Uplands White Goldenrod; native perennial herb; also known as Upland White Aster, Prairie Goldenrod, Prairie flat-top-goldenrod, Sneezewort aster, Stiff aster.

Family: Aster (Compositae or Asteraceae)

Flower: White; flat-topped inforesence; individual flower heads are 1 cm across; 10 to 25 white ray flowers per head; yellow disc centres; July to September.

Leaves: Linear-lanceolate; 1 to 3-nerved; smooth edge (entire) or with a few distant teeth on the margins; sessile or very short petioled; lower and basal leaves up to 12 cm long; upper leaves smaller and those on the branches are very small.

Stems: Erect.

Height: Up to 50 cm, but appears to be smaller on shore alvars on Manitoulin Island.

Habitat: Characteristic of shore alvar, open pavement alvar and calcareous fens on Manitoulin Island; prefers full sun; also typical of dry prairies, inland sands, and sandy, gravelly, limy soil (typical of Manitoulin Island alvars).

Interest: Was historically classified as an aster (Aster ptarmicoides) or Oligoneuron album because of the white rays and showy flowers. It is now considered to be a native prairie wildflower and the name "Solidago asteroides" has been proposed. The scientific name "Solidago" comes the Latin word "solido", meaning "to make whole or heal", presumably a reference to inferred medicinal qualities of the goldenrod plants.

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Uplands White Goldenrod plant growing in a crack in open pavement dolomite alvar.

Location: Manitoulin Island, Murphy Point
Date: July 26, 2006.

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Pringle's Aster plant, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Wild chives, Copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Wild Chives; Native perennial; also known as Purple onion, Prairie Onion, Wild Onion, Wild garlic, or Fall Glade Onion..

Family: Alliaceae

Flower: Rose-pink, lilac; darker centre line; tubular-bell-shaped; flowers form a dense terminal cluster; up to about 30 in a round cluster; flowers consist of 6 petals that spread slightly at the tip to form the bell; late May - June.

Leaves: Straw-like, round, hollow; about 2 mm in diameter.

Stems: Stem rises from tiny bulbs to produce a typical onion-like stem topped by lavender flowers.

Height: 20 - 50 cm.

Habitat: Moist alvar and calcareous meadows, open alvar; often with wet ground in the spring.

Interest: Circumpolar; smells like onion; the name Allium is the Latin for garlic.

Location: Mississagi Lighthouse, Manitoulin Island
Date: May 23, 2009

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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/manitoulin_alvar_shore.htm
© 2009-2010 Andy Fyon
Sudbury, Ontario

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Andy Fyon

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