Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Native Wildflowers
Waste Areas



Alpine Wildflowers

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Giant Hogweed

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Plant List

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Wildflowers and slide shows from other geographic areas: Bearskin Lake First Nation, Marten Falls First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation, Webequie First Nation

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Manitoulin Wildflowers

Manitoulin Alvar Types and Wildflowers

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Illustrated on this page are some native northern Ontario native wildflowers that occur in waste areas.

Waste areas occur along the roads, highways, and empty lots in the city of Sudbury.

Waste areas have poor soil dominated by sand, gravel, rock, and little organic material. Rain water either runs off quickly or percolates quickly into the porous soil. The soil is dry and has little capacity to store water. Road sides, gravel pits, rock dumps, sandy areas beside sidewalks or dwellings are all typical "waste areas". These areas are open to wind and are VERY hot.

Tall plants in waste areas adapt by developing deep tap roots to assure access to water. Other plants are short with spreading roots. Their short size minimizes exposure to drying winds. Spreading roots rapidly "drink" rain water before it runs off or seeps into the porous soil.

Click here for more habitat information:


Native Plant List:

Blue-eyed grass

Flower: Violet-blue with yellow centre; pointed tip; 6 mm in diameter; on short stalk; 3 petals and 3 sepals that look like the petals, each tipped with a small point; occur at end of stem; exceeded by pointed bract; June-July.

Leaves: Basal grass-like, pointed tips; bright green; 10-50 cm long; about 5 mm wide; a terminal bract extends beyond the flower.

Stem: Flat; angled; tip of stem higher than flower; single.

Fruit: Oval capsules, whitish-green; 3-6 mm long.

Habitat: Open fields, meadows or hillsides, damp sites in old fields, or along lake shores.

Height: 10-60 cm.

Interest: Grass with eyes? Blue-eyed grass is not really a grass. It is an unusual member of the iris family because it is native to prairie grasslands, whereas most iris prefer wet lands. The eye is the yellow centre of the flower. Blue-eyed grass is a morning flower- it opens its flower in the early morning, but closes at midday.

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

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Blue-eyed grass, Manitoulin Island, copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Blue-eyed grass, Manitoulin Island, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Blue-eyed grass flowers.

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

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Climbing False Buckwheat (Polygonum scandens); also known as hedge bindweed, hedge buckwheat, beech wheat, Indian wheat, Saracen's wheat; perennial

Family: Smartweed (Polygonaceae)

Flower: White or yellow-green; 5 regular parts; up to 0.5 cm wide; sepals are prominently winged; June-August.

Leaves: Alternate; entire; heart-shaped at the base and pointed at the tip; no teeth but rough edges; no hairs; up to 12 cm long, but usually much smaller.

Stem: Climbing vine; four-sided; does not have tendrils

Habitat: Moist woods, river banks, road sides, trails, forest edges, and ditches especially where moist.

Height: Crawls along the ground or climbs up other plants, stumps, or any vertical object.

Interest: The Latin name "Polygonum" means "many knees", which describes the swollen joints in the plant stalk.

Location: Paddy Creek area
Date: August 15, 2004.

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Climbimg false buckwheat, Paddy creek, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Climbing False Buckwheat with fall colour growing on the sandy road side.

Location: Old Chicago Road
Date: October 8, 2006

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Climbing false buckwheat, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Common ragweed; native annual; reproduces by seed; also known as Short ragweed.

Family: Aster Composite (Compositae

Flower: Not showy; small, 2 to 5 mm across; green; inconspicuous but very numerous; forms a distinctive inflorescence; individual florets either male or female on same flower head; both male flower heads and female flower heads usually present on the same plant; male flower heads, which produce pollen, form an elongated raceme cluster at ends of branches; female flower heads, which produce seed, occur in axils near the base of each male flower head; August to October.

Leaves: Lower leaves are opposite (2 per node); leaves become alternate (1 per node) higher on the plant; compound and finely divided; divisions usually coarsely toothed.

Stem: Erect 15 to 150 cm high; branched; hairless or hairy throughout.

Height: Up to 150 cm.

Habitat: Common in waste areas, edges of roads, walkways, disturbed land.

Interest: Common ragweed is very common in southern and near north of Ontario, but is rare or absent in northern and northwestern Ontario. The pollen of common ragweed causes allergic reactions (hay fever) in many people in August and September. The name "ragweed" is a reference to the ragged, divided look of its leaves. The scientific epithet "artemisiifolia" refers to its foliage, whose shape resembles the plant "artemisia".

Location: Misery Bay, Manitoulin Island
Date: August 5, 2010

Other Information - Ontario Weeds

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Common ragweed, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon,

Fireweed, also known as Great Willow Herd

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; July - September.

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: Burwash
Date: July 26, 2009

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Fireweed plant, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon,

Fireweed flower, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Fireweed flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 1, 2005

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Fireweed seed, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Fireweed seed pods: seed pods have opened and silky fluff carries seed away.

Location: McVittie Road, Sudbury area
Date: August 26, 2007.

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Bicknell's crane's -bill geranium, wild geranium, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon. Bicknells cranesbill,


Herb-Robert; annual; also known as Death-come-quickly, Robin's eye, Robin hood, Stinking Bob, Stinker Bobs, Wren flower, Stinky Bob, St. Robert, Storkbill, Cranesbill, Red Robin, Fox geranium, St. Robert's Wort, Bloodwort, Felonwort, Dragon's blood.

Family: Geraniaceae

Flower: Lavender to pinkish in loose clusters of 2 (to 5) at ends of branches; 2-4 cm wide; 5 sepals; 5 petals; 10 stamens; petals may be streaked with 3 white streaks; May - September.

Leaves: 10-13 cm wide; green; deeply cut; fern-like with reddish stems; turn red in the fall; 5 segments.

Stems: Very hairy.

Height: Up to 40 cm.

Habitat: Open dry places, open woods and clearings, rocky shores on Manitoulin Island.

Interest: Common on gravel and shingle shores of Manitoulin Island. The root system is very shallow. Herb-robert has a characteristic small when the leaves are crushed.

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

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Bicknell's cranesbill flower.

Flower: Lavender to pinkish in loose clusters of 2 (to 5) at ends of branches; 2-4 cm wide; 5 sepals; 5 petals; 10 stamens; petals are notched; May - September.

Leaves: 10-13 cm wide; gray-green colour; 5 segments; become spotted with age.

Height: 10-60 cm.

Habitat: Open dry places, open woods and clearings.

Interest: This variety may be Bicknell's cranesbill because it has flowers in pairs. Geranium comes from the Greek word geranos, which mean's crane's bill.  The name Geranium originated because the seed pods resemble the bill of a crane.Bicknell's cranesbill is similar to Herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum).  On Manitoulin Island, Herb-Robert is common on disturbed woodland areas and on cobble shores.  The Bicknell's Cranesbill leaf lobes are:
- less toothed than those of Herb-Robert;
- are on separate petioles.
The petals of Bicknell's Cranesbill are notched at the tip, but are not in Herb Robert.

Location: Trout Lake Road
Date: June 12, 2005

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Bricknell's cranesbill, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.,

Cranesbill or wild geranium, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon,

Close up of Bicknell's Cranesbill plant and leaves.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 5, 2004

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Wild tobacco; annual herb; also known as Asthma weed, Bladder pod, Bladder-podded lobelia, Emetic herb, Emetic weed, Field lobelia, Gagroot, Indian Tobacco lobelia, Pukeweed, Tobacco lobelia, Vomitwort, Wild tobacco.

Family: Bellflower (Campanulaceae)

Flower: Blue and sometimes white; in leaf axils; the seed pod swells into a ball up to 0.8 cm wide, hence the species name "inflata"; irregular in shape; up to 0.6cm wide; July-September.

Leaves: Alternate; up to 6 cm long; can be as wide as 3.5 cm; lanceolate, ovate or obviate and toothed.

Stem: Branching;

Height: Up to 60 cm.

Habitat: Weedy fields, roadsides, trails through woods, and in partial shade and usually in dry soils.

General Interest: Lobelia contains the alkaline 'lobeline' which is used to help people to give up smoking tobacco. This compound occurs in many commercial anti-smoking mixtures because it mimics the effects of nicotine. When chewed, Lobelia tastes similar to tobacco and produces effects like those of nicotine. However, when chewed, the leaves induce vomiting, headache and nausea. In larger doses it is reported to have caused death.

Language of Flowers: Lobelia means arrogance.

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Indian tobacco, Copyright 2004, Andy Fyon

Indian tobacco, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

The inflated seed pod is a distinctive characteristic of Indian tobacco.

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Pearly everlasting, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon,

Pearly everlasting; perennial herb; also known as Moonshine.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: Yellow disc florets at centre and dry, showy white, woolly, tiny petal-like bracts that resemble florets; the bracts and disc florets together create a globular flower head in a flat terminal cluster; July to September.

Leaves: Whitish colour, long, linear, gray-green with a woolly underside.

Stem: Soft cottony cover; branched towards the top of the stem; erect, woolly.

Height: up to 0.75 m.

Habitat: Dry old fields, clearings, vacant lots.

Interest: Can a flower last forever? Commonly used as a dried flower because the stem and flowers dry well and retain their fresh-looking form for a long time.  The common name is a translation of the Greek word anaphalis, meaning everlasting, and margarit, meaning pearl.

Language of Flowers: Means "I think of thee", or "never-ceasing memory", or "always remembered", or "never-ceasing remembrance". Source

Location: McVittie Dam
Date: August 5, 2006

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Eyebright; Also known as Common Eyebright, Drug Eyebright, Eufragia, Eufrasia, Euphrasia, Eyebright, Glossy Eyebright; Annual.

Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)

Flower: Lavender, small terminal clusters; 8-13 mm long, upper lip is two-lobed, lower lip marker with purple three notched lobes; flecked with yellow; conspicuous bracts under flowers; spikes of flowers appear at top of stem; some flowers may lack lip; June-September.

Leaves: 6-20 mm long, opposite, oval; coarsely toothed. See following photo.

Stem: Hairy stem

Height: 10-20 cm.

Interest: Partly parasitic on roots of other plants by attaching suckers to the roots and drawing the nutrients required. Member of Snapdragon family. As the name suggests, Eyebright was used as a traditional remedy for eye problems. The flowers have both male and female organs (hermaphrodite), are pollinated by Bees, and the plant is self-fertile.

Location: Thunder Bay conservation area.
Date: September 14, 2006.

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Eyebright, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Eyebright plant, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Eyebright plant.

This plant was growing in the centre of an old road, south of Sudbury.

Location: Thunder Bay
Date: September 14, 2006.

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Canada Hawkweed;

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Native perennial

Flower: Yellow; 1.5 - 2.5 cm; flower is like dandelion, but smaller; July-October.

Leaves: Numerous toothed leaves on stem (see following image); somewhat clasping; no basal rosette at flower time; alternate.

Stem: Erect, branching. This plant is growing in the open, so it is bushier than normal. Typically, the Canada Hawkweed is more erect and less bushy.

Height: 0.5 - 1.5 m.

Habitat: Common in vacant lots, sides of roads and railroad tracks, and edges of fields. Canada Hawkweed prefers to grow in a sunny location and it tolerates drought.

Interest: The Canada Hawkweed is native to the Americas. The Canada Hawkweed has the property that it can reproduce and form a seed without requiring fertilization by pollen. This property is called "apomixis".

Location: Burwash
Date: September 16, 2003

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Canada hawkweed flower.

Canada hawkweed flower, Burwash, Coppyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Canada hawkweed flower detail.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 12, 2004

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Canada hawkweed leaves. Note toothed edge of leaves.

Location: Burwash area gravel pit
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Canada hawkweed leaves, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

rough hawkweed flower, Copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Rough Hawkweed

Flower: Yellow; about 1.5 cm i diameter; numerous flower heads that are like a dandelion in form, but smaller; flower heads are hairy; the involucre that surrounds the flower head is also covered with hairs; flowers occur in a cluster at the top of the stem; July-August.

Leaves: Alternate; hairy on edges and top side; oblong; up to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide, but generally much smaller in this area; leaf stem not well developed on upper stalk.

Stem: Erect, generally not branching; leaves become less common towards the flowers; lacks a basal set of leaves; stem is coloured with reddish streaks or colour; hairy.

Height: 0.5 - 1.0 m.

Habitat: Dry forest, roadside, waste area, or other sunny locations; tolerates drought.

Interest: The rough, hairy leaves, hairy involucre, and hairy reddish stem stem help distinguish Rough Hawkweed from other hawkweeds.

Location: Rantala quarry road, by Paddy Creek
Date: July 13, 2003

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Rough hawkweed plant, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Rough Hawkweed plant.

Location: Rantala quarry road, by Paddy Creek
Date: July 1, 2005

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rough hawkweed leaves, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Rough Hawkweed plant leaves. Note the hairs on the top and sides of the leaves.

Location: Rantala quarry road, by Paddy Creek
Date: July 13, 2003

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American knapweed; Annual; Also known as: Basket-Flower, Powderpuff Thistle, Thornless Thistle, American Knapweed, American Starthistle, Shaving brush, Star thistle, Sweet Sultan.

Flower: Pink; up to 6 cm across; usually solitary; purple or pink; bristle-tipped bracts; June - August.

Leaves: Slender-oblong; untoothed.

Stem:Swollen at summit.

Height: up to 1 m.

Habitat: Prairies, fields.

See flower below.

Location: Burwash
Date: July 26, 2009

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American knapweed, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon,

knapweed flower, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

American knapweed flower.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: August 2, 2004.

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Knapweed on Bidwell Bog, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon,

Location: Bidwell Bog, Manitoulin Island
Date: July 29, 2009

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Common milkweed; also known as Silkweed, Milkplant, and silk grass, common silkweed, cottonweed, milkweed, wild cotton, Virginia-silk, algodoncillo, silky swallowwort; Perennial that reproduces by seed and roots.

Flower: Lavender; star-shaped individual flowers; dense clusters located at top of plant where leaves join the stem; drooping, June to August.

Leaves: Opposite, blunt; coated with grayish down on the underside.

Stem: Erect, have milky sap.

Fruit: rough-textured pod; splits open to release silky sails attached to seeds.

Height: 1-2 m.

Habitat: Meadows, fields, rocky flat areas, and roadsides.

General Interest: The seed pods look like a large cocoon and seeds are carried on silky fluff. This plant is a favourite to the Monarch butterfly. The plant juices impart a bad taste to the mature butterflies, which serves to protect the butterflies from birds. Candle wick made of the milkweed silk burns cleaner than wick made of cotton.  Milkweed contains compounds that are toxic to animals.

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

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

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common milkweed plant, copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Milkweed flower, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Milkweed flower cluster.  Monarch butterfly caterpillars feed on the milkweed plant.  The caterpillar accumulates the milky poison of the milkweed.  Birds and other insects recognize the markings of the caterpillar, associate those markings with the poison or bad taste of the caterpillar, and thus, avoid eating the caterpillar.

Caterpillar photo: Burwash, July 26, 2009.

Location: Killarney
Date: August 26, 2007.

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Common milkweed flower, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Milkweed flower detail; Location: Kingston; Date August 4, 2003.

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Milkweed seed pod, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Milkweed seed pod.

Location: Manitoulin Island
Date: September 2, 2007

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Milkweed seed

Milkweed seed.

Location: Burwash
Date: October 12, 2008

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Yellow evening primrose; biennial native to North America; also known as evening primrose.

Family: Evening-primrose (Onagraceae)

Flower: Yellow, 4 petals; 2-4 cm wide; 4 are fused when the flower is in bud, but split and bend backwards when the flower opens; all along stems; lemon-scented; June to September.

Stem: Branched, reddish, hairy.

Leaves: Leafy, hairy; low rosette of leaves produced the 1st year and a flower stalk produced the 2nd year; the first-year leaves have red tinges along midrib and a white mid-vein on the flat, basal rosettes; 6-20 cm long when mature and in pairs, rough, hairy, pointed; 2nd year are alternate, oblong to lance-shaped, 2-12 cm long; leaves reduce in size upwards.

Height: 2 m.

Habitat: Roadsides, edges of sandy fields, farmyards, and meadows and tolerates dry, sandy and gravelly soil and full sun.

Other: This is a plant that likes the night life. The flowers open at dusk and close by noon the following day. It is pollinated by moths that are active only at night. In the first year, Evening Primrose  produces a basal rosette of leaves. In the second year, it produces the flowering stalk. It has a deep taproot that enables the plant to survive periods of drought. Oils extracted from the flowers are used in skin lotions.

Language of Flowers: Means "inconstancy, fickle, changeable". Source

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

See image below

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Evening primrose plant, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon,

Yellow common evening primrose flower, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon,

Yellow, common evening primrose flower.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

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Yellow, common evening primrose - winter seed head.

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Pale Corydalis; also known as harlequin-flower, rock harlequin; a native annual or biennial.

Family: Fumewort

Flower: Pink with yellow tips; tubular; drooping; at branch ends; 2 sepals; 4 petals; single sour; May-September. See following 2 photos.

Leaves: Alternate; bluish-green; lower leaves on stalks, upper leaves nearly stalkless; leaflets divided into 3 lobes; tips blunt or rounded; 1-2 cm long. See following photo.

Height: 30-60 cm.

Habitat: Dry rocky areas, edges of woods, disturbed parts of woods, in full sun and poor soil.

General Interest: Pale Corydalis is a member of the poppy family. It is a plant that grows in areas immediately after a forest fire. It will remain in the area for up to 5 years following fire. Therefore, Pale Corydalis needs fire to survive. Pale Corydalis grows rapidly on dry soils of the disturbed area. It is also common near campsites, especially dry sunny exposures near the shore.

Location: Burwash

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Pale corydalis plant, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Pale corydalis leaves, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Pale Corydalis spring leaves, prior to development of flower.

Location: Burwash

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Pale corydalis flower, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon

Pale Corydalis flower.

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Bastard toadflax, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon

Bastard toadflax; perennial

Family: Sandalwood

Flower: No petals; 4-5 white-coloured sepals that look like petals; 4 mm across; May-July.

Leaves: Elliptical; alternate; attached singly, pale beneath; 2-4 cm long.

Height: 12-40 cm.

Habitat: Occurs in dry fields, roadsides, open hillsides, and dry waste areas, including open areas in mixed forests. Forms in colonies of many plants.

Other: This is a parasitic plant the acquires some of its nutrients from the roots of trees and shrubs. One product of the parasitic behaviour is production of water, which may explain how the plant can survive in dry conditions.

Location: Agnew Lake
Date: June 6, 2003.

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Bastard toadflax flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 10, 2002.

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Bastard toadflax, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon,

Lady's thumb; annual.

Flower:  Pink, red, or purplish; 4 mm long, spike-like clusters 1-5 cm long, no petals; 4-6 sepals; June-October.

Leaves: 5-15 cm long, narrow, lance-shaped; with black blotch in centre; long hairs at the base.

Stem: Branching; growing erect or spreading from 0.2 to 1 metre long.

Height: 20-80 cm.

Other: Member of buckwheat family.

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Lady's thumb plant, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Lady's thumb flower, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Lady's thumb flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 8, 2002

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Smooth wild rose.

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Wild rose

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)

Flower: Pink, saucer-shaped; 5 petals, 2-3 cm long; solitary or few in terminal clusters; May-July.

Leaves: Alternate, compound, with 5-7 leaflets; leaf-like bracts at base of stalk; oval to egg-shaped; widest above middle; pointed to rounded tip; 1-4.5 cm long; margins toothed below middle.

Stem: Lack prickles or have a few straight, slender prickles near base; branchlets are reddish-purple.

Height: 1.5 m.

Fruit: Red rose hips, 1-1.5 cm long; August - October.

Habitat: Margins of fields, open woodlands, rocky outcrops, roadsides, open sunny areas, edges of lakes or meadows.

Interest 1: In ancient times, the wild rose was considered sacred. The Greeks and Romans used wild rose as the crowning ornament of their feasts. In the lays of troubadours, rose and nightingale were united in songs addressed to "fair women". This is perhaps the origin of the use of the rose to symbolize love.

Language of Flowers: Wild rose means "Love", "Passion", or "Simplicity".

Location: Burwash
Date: June 15, 2001

Prickly Wild Rose

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)

Flower: single; pink, 5-7 cm across; May to July.

Leaves: Alternate; compound with 5-7 leaflets, blunt to pointed tip and rounded base; margins are sharply toothed.

Stem: Deciduous, reddish, branchlets; covered with prickles that are 3-4 mm long.

Height: 1 m.

Fruit: Bright red; rounded to egg-shaped; up to 2 cm long; August-September.

Habitat: Waste areas and moist areas including conifer swamps, river banks, and open forests. Common in northwestern Ontario.

Interest: The fruit has a high vitamin C content and is commonly used to make jelly and rose hip tea.

Location: Burwash, Nellie Lake
Date: June 23, 2002.

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Prickly wild rose, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Foxtail barley: also known as Skunk grass, skunktail, Squirreltail, and Wild barley; biennial or short-lived perennial; native.

Inflorescence: Dense barley-like spike up to 10 cm long; turns to a yellow colour in the late summer.

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

Leaves: Bluish-green to grayish-green colour; ribbed; rough on the backside

Height: 10 to 20 cm.

Habitat: Occurs in moist depressions, cultivated fields, roadsides, waste areas, and lawns.

Other: Seed head is a barley-like spike, typically nodding to one side; ripe seeds 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 because the seeds get caught in the animal's nose, face, and mouth.

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

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foxtail barley, copyright 2005 Andy Fyon.

Woolgrass, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon,

Wool grass:

Flower: Inflorescence is dense, reddish-brown cluster 3-10 cm long, branches tipped with loose clusters of slender spikes; August to October.

Leaves: Long, flat, 3-10 mm wide, rough margins.

Stem: thick or slender stems, smooth, triangular to nearly rounded in cross-section.

Height:1-1.5 m

Habitat: Moist area such as edges of lakes, low wet areas, and creeks.

Other: Perennial sedge.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 12, 2007

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Woolgrass in the Sun in fall.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 26, 2004

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Woolgrass in the Sun, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon,

Poison ivy; native shrub or vine.

Family: Sumac

Flower: Yellow-white or yellowish-green; 3 mm wide; loose clusters of flowers are 2-7.5 cm long at lower leaf axils; May-July.

Leaves: Compound, divided into 3 glossy or dull green leaflets, 5-10 cm long; turns red in fall.

Stem: Woody where old.

Fruit: White, clustered berries, 6 mm wide; August-November.

Height: Vine or ground cover.

Habitat: Open woods, along fences, roadsides, ditches and other open waste areas.

Other: All parts of the plant contain volatile oil that causes severe skin rash - avoid contactPoison ivy contains urushiol, which is the allergenic agent found in most parts of the plant. The chemicals are released when the plant is damage. Poison ivy is probably responsible for more cases of plant dermatitis in Canada than any other plant. Because urushiol can contaminate clothes, tools, the fur of domestic animals and through smoke if the plant is burned, humans can be infected indirectly. Many humans are sensitized on first contact with the plant and then develop dermatitis on subsequent contact.

Poison ivy leaves.

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Poison ivy berry, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

White berries of poison ivy.

Location: La Cloche Island
Date: July 25, 2006.

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Poison ivy shrub, copyright 2010 Andy Fyon,

Poison ivy shrub growing in cracks in a limestone cliff.

Location: La Cloche Island
Date: May 23, 2010

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Red leaves of poison ivy, with berry fruit, in the fall

Location: La Cloche Island
Date: September 2, 2007

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Poison ivy, red leaves, fall, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Horseweed, also known as Canada fleabane, bitterweed, hog-weed, mare's tail, colt's tail.

Flower: Greenish-white flower heads with white flower rays and yellow disk flowers; flower rays do not spread so the flower appears closed; flower heads <5 mm; crowded on to branched terminal clusters.

Leaves: Dark green, 2-10 cm long, alternate, linear to lanceolate; lower leaves are hairy, often slightly toothed.

Stem: Bristly-haired stem; branching.

Height: up to 2 m.

Other: Annual; thrives on bare soil, but is soon crowded out as other plants become established.

Location: Byng Inlet
Date: August 1, 2010

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Horseweed, Copyright 2010 Andy Fyon,

Horseweed flower and seed, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon,

Close-up of Horseweed flower and seed.

Location: Burwash
Date: September 16, 2003

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Field pussytoes; also known as Woman's tobacco; native to North America; perennial.

Family: Aster (Asteraceae)

Flower: White; flat-topped clusters in small, fuzzy, white heads clustered atop erect stem; May - June.

Stem: Single; grey colour.

Leaves: Alternate; simple; basal leaves are ovate with 1 central vein in rosette; underside is woolly; toothless; stem leaves are tiny.

Height: 15-40 cm.

Habitat: Forms dense colonies in dry, open areas such as fields, old pastures, and rocky areas.

Interest: The word Antennaria refers to the projecting stamens developed on some flowers that resemble  insect antennae. These plants were used historically for coughs, colds, bruises, as a post childbirth tonic for mothers, and to treat snakebite. There is no scientific evidence that the plant is effective for treating any of these conditions. Pussytoes forms dense mats and releases material into the soil to reduce competition from other plants.

Location: Burwash


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Field pussytoes , copyright 2002 Andy Fyon,

Field pussytoes, Burwash, Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Field pussytoes in early morning light.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 1, 2002

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Field pussytoes, Burwash, Ontario, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Detail of field pussytoes flower head.

Location: Burwash
Date: June 2, 2002.

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Rough cinquefoil, Copyright 2006 Andy Fyon.

Rough cinquefoil; also known as Norway cinquefoil, strawberry-weed, upright cinquefoil, yellow cinquefoil; introduced from Europe, but is also native to Americas; annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial.

Flower: Yellow; 5 petals; as clusters at the ends of branches; June - October.

Stem: Upright, hairy; branched; stems become woody and change from green to dull purplish-red as the plant ages.

Leaves: 3 leaflets; toothed; stem leaves are alternate; lower leaves attach to stems by way of long stalks; leaves along the upper part of the stem have very short stalks. A pair of leaf-like appendages is located at the base of each short stalk where it attaches to the stem.

Height: 20 - 75 cm.

Habitat: Open sites with dry soil, roadsides, fields, old homesteads, and wastelands.

Other: A cinquefoil with only 3 leaves? The rough cinquefoil has 3 leaflets, not the 5 typical of other cinquefoil. During the Middle Ages, cinquefoil was commonly included in love potions. Cinquefoil plants are drought tolerant and few animals eat them. During the Middle Ages, cinquefoil was commonly included in love potions.

Location: Sudbury By-pass Highway
Date: June 18, 2006

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Rough cinquefoil flower.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 10, 2002.

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Rough cinquefoil flower, Burwash, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Wormseed mustard

Wormseed mustard

Flower: Yellow; numerous; 6-10 mm; in dense terminal clusters up to 3 cm across; 4 sepals, 4 petals; summer.

Stem: Upright, branched.

Leaves: Alternate, oblong to lance-shaped; up to 8 cm long and 2 cm wide; smooth wavy margins; upper leaves may be toothed.

Height: up to 1 m.

Other: Erect annual native wildflower.

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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; 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: Killarney Provincial Park, Proulx Marsh
Date: August 6, 2007

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Wild Canada lettuce, copyright 2007 Andy Fyon,

Wild Canada lettuce leaves, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon,

Deeply lobed leaves of the Wild Canada Lettuce.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

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Wild lettuce flowers, copyright 2006 Andy Fyon,

Wild Canada Lettuce flowers, on a plant growing along a railroad track.

Location: Killarney Highway
Date: August 6, 2006

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Marsh Hedge-nettle; perennial herb; member of the Mint Family; also known as Woundwort, Roughweed, Clown's heal and Dead nettle.

Flower: Rose, pink, lilac; mottled with light and dark tones; flowers occur in whorls on a long spike terminating stem; individual flowers have two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobed lower lip; up to 1.5 cm long; usually 6 flowers in a whorl; the terminating spike may be up to 25 cm long; June - September.

Stem: Tall, not branched; square in cross section; covered with hairs; up to 1 m tall.

Leaves: The leaves are opposite, stalkless or occurring on short petioles; lanceolate to elliptic in shape; up to 15 cm in length with toothed edges and a pointed tip; hairy on both surfaces;  deep green colour.

Height: Up to 1 m tall.

Habitat: Moist areas of meadows, fields, banks of ponds, rivers, lakes, creeks, roadsides, cultivated fields and waste places.

Interest: In folklore, this plant was applied to wounds as a sedative - hence, the name "woundwort".

Location: Makynen Road
Date: July 13, 2002.

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Mrash hedge-nettle flower, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh hedge-nettle, Copyright 2002 Andy Fyon.

Marsh hedge-nettle plant in moist creek bank area.

Location: Makynen Road
Date: July 13, 2002.

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Yellow wood sorrel; native perennial; also called Yellow Oxalis, Sheep Sorrel and Yellow Sourgrass.

Family: Wood Sorrel Family (Oxalidaceae)

Flower: Yellow; 5 petals; 1.3 cm wide; 10 stamens and an erect, pencil-like pistil; single; May - October.

Stem: Low, spreading member; up to 35 cm tall; branched at the base; forms mats or mounds.

Leaves: Alternate, clover-like leaflets; shamrock shape; 1.0 to 2 cm wide; tri-foliate with three heart-shaped leaflets, pale green; on stalk.

Height: Up to 1 m tall.

Habitat: Along roadsides, in fields, open woods, prairies, ravines, stream banks, lawns, cracks in sidewalks, and disturbed areas.

Interest: The whole plant has a sour taste and the fresh leaves and stem contain oxalic acid, which can cause poisoning if too much is eaten. Boiled plants yield a yellowish-orange dye. The plant closes its leaves at dusk and opens them again in the morning. It may also fold its leaves when growing in direct sun or during storms. To spread its seed, the seed pods burst open at the slightest touch, scattering seeds as far as 2 metres away.

Location: Kingston
Date: August 4, 2003.

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Yellow wood sorrel, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Sand Jointweed, copyright 2003 Andy Fyon.

Sand Jointweed; native annual; also known as Coastal Jointweed

Family: Buckwheat (Polygonaceae)

Flower: White, sometimes pink; 5 petals; about 2 mm across; occur on flowering spike; August-September.

Stem: Wiry, rigid, and jointed; round cross-section; looks like an armored green succulent; branched.

Leaves: Small, thread-like leaves.

Height: 25 cm.

Habitat: Sandy, dry waste areas; this specimen was growing along the margins of a gravel pit.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 16, 2003.

More Information - Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium - University of Wisconsin

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Sand jointweed community, copyright 2009 Andy Fyon, Sept2009,

Sand jointweed community growing on a sandy plain adjacent to a gravel pit.

Location: Burwash
Date: Sept 20, 2009.

Sand Jointweed flower, Copyright 2004 Andy Fyon.

Sand Jointweed white flowers on jointed green stems.

Location: Burwash
Date: August 16, 2003.

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© 1999-2013 Andy Fyon
Sudbury, Ontario

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Andy Fyon

September 16, 2013

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