Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Alvar Woodland on Manitoulin Island

 

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Habitat:

Illustrated on this page are some flowering plants that grow in, and adjacent to, alvar woodlands found on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. This habitat is treed and may consist of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs. It is a generalized classification that incorporates several community types used by Brownell and Riley. The Alvar woodlands are intermediate between forested areas and grasslands. The trees may be stunted and tree cover may reach 60% of the area. The ground may consist of patches of open pavement, grassland, or shrubby areas.

While the flowering plants illustrated on this page are commonly found on the open alvar woodlands, gradations occur between alvar habitats. This means a plant may occur in more than one habitat because boundaries are seldom sharp.

Click here for more habitat information:


Wild flower List:

 

 

 


Ram's-head Lady's Slipper; Native perennial herb; also known as Ram's-head and Ram's-head Lady's-slipper.

Family: Orchid (Orchidaceae)

Flower: Solitary; petals and sepals are brownish-green; lower lip is whitish and is strongly veined with pink or red; about 2 cm wide; flower occurs on top of the leafy stalk; the pouch is conical in shape; a circular mouth to the lip is covered with white hairs. late May- early June.

Leaves: 3 to 5 deep green-coloured leaves, elliptical in shape, strongly ribbed; arranged in a spiral around the stem.

Stem:

Height: Up to 35 cm.

Habitat: Alvars, cold, coniferous swamps and bogs, and sandy, old dunes bordered by conifers, and open areas within alvar woodlands.

Interest: One of the smallest orchids. When the flower is viewed on the side, it resembles a ram's head.  This plant is considered "Uncommon in Ontario".  The scientific epithet "arietinum" is the Latin meaning "like a ram".

Location: Manitoulin Island, near Ice Lake.
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Ram's-head Lady's Slipper, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

 

 

Ram's-head Lady's Slipper, Copyright 2007 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Close-up of Ram's-head Lady's Slipper.

Location: Manitoulin Island, near Ice Lake.
Date: May 26, 2007.

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wood lily, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Wood lily, also known as Wild Orange Lily; perennial.

Family: Lily

Flower: Red to orange; base of petals is more orange-coloured and dotted with black spots; upward-opening; purplish-brown spots; 5 cm wide; 3 petals and 3 sepals; spaces between stalks at base of petals and sepals; 6 stamens; no scent; June - August.

Stem: Erect; has whorled leaves.

Leaves: Up to 10 cm long; lanceolate; in whorls of 3 to 8.

Height: up to 90 cm.

Habitat: Found in the wooded areas close to the transition zone between the forest and adjacent open area.

Interest: The wood lily is the floral emblem of Saskatchewan.  There are actually 3 petals and 3 sepals on the flower, even though it appears to have 6 petals.

Location: Burnt Island alvar, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 3, 2010.

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Wood lily flower.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: June 29, 2002.

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Wood lily, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Large yellow lady's slipper, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

Large Yellow Lady's Slipper; Native; perennial herb; also known as American Valerian, Greater yellow lady's slipper, Large yellow lady's slipper, Moccasin Flower, Nerveroot, Noah's ark, Whippoorwills-shoe, Yellow ladies'-slipper, Yellow moccasin-flower, Yellow Indian Shoe.

Family: Orchid (Orchidaceae)

Flower: Single; large 4-6 cm; pale yellow, purple lined; large and showy; located on the top of the stem; has 3 sepals, 2 of which are united that are greenish or yellowish in colour and striped with purple or dull red lines, very long, narrow; has 2 petals, brown in colour, narrow, twisting; the third petal is an inflated pouch that is open at the top, about 4 cm long, white hairs within; late May - early June.

Leaves: 3 to 5 oval or elliptic leaves; pointed; up to 15 cm in length; parallel-veined; sheathing the stem.

Stem: Leafy;

Height: Up to 60 cm in this area.

Habitat: This is a common Lady's-slipper, found in many habitats, including boreal forest, bogs, open swamps and stream edges, and open alvars adjacent to alvar woodlands. On Manitoulin Island, this plant is very common along roadsides and edges of forests.

General Interest: Plants that grown on alvars or calcareous soil, like limestone areas, are commonly clump-forming.  Large Yellow Lady's Slipper is distinguished from the Small Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin) by: a) by the size of the lower lip, which in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (>30 cm) and b) the lateral petals in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper are lighter in colour, yellowish-green streaked with brown, and not the dark brown colour often found in Small Yellow Lady's Slipper.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: May 26, 2007.

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Small Lady's Slipper orchid; perennial herb; also known as

Family: Orchid (Orchidaceae)

Flower: Bright golden-yellow; up to 4 cm; pale yellow, purple lined; lip is compressed vertically; located on the top of the stem; has 3 sepals, 2 of which are united and 2 narrow, long, twisting, glossy up to 5 cm long; petals and sepals are dark purplish-mahogany in colour; very narrow; third petal is an inflated pouch (the slipper) that is open at the top, 2-3 cm long; opening of the slipper is spotted and streaked with purple; the slipper petal has a pleasant vanilla fragrance; late May - early June.

Leaves: 3 to 5 oval or elliptic leaves; oval leaves and stem leaves are less pubescent compared to the Large Yellow Lady's Slipper; parallel-veined; sheathing the stem.

Stem: Leafy; up to 35 cm tall

Height: Up to 35 cm in this area.

Habitat: This is a common Lady's-slipper, found in many habitats, including boreal forest, bogs, open swamps and stream edges, and open alvars adjacent to alvar woodlands. On Manitoulin Island, this plant is very common along roadsides and edges of forests.

General Interest: Small Yellow Lady's Slipper is distinguished from the Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin) by: a) by the size of the lower lip, which in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (>30 cm) and b) the lateral petals in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper are lighter in colour, yellowish-green streaked with brown, and not the dark brown colour often found in Small Yellow Lady's Slipper. The technical word "parviflorum" means "small flowered".

Small yellow lady's slipper orchid, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

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

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Small lady's slipper orchid, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Small Yellow Lady's Slipper clump early in spring where the flower is just opening.

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

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Small lady's slipper orchid, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon, ontariowildflower.com

Detail of flower heads of Small Yellow Lady's Slipper clump. Note the purplish colour of the sepals and the non-pouch petals.

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

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For more information email: andy@ontariowildflower.com
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/manitoulin_alvar_woodland.htm
© 1999-2010 Andy Fyon
Sudbury, Ontario

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Andy Fyon

August 2, 2010

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