Common Wildflowers, Worth a Closer Look

Roadside Beauties

This summer I am enjoying a long summer vacation just like the students; one of my pleasures has been indulging myself searching out wildflowers and trying to photograph and identify them. The result is this series of Hubs on wildflowers. The result is a surprise...I didn't realize that there is so much to learn about Ontario wildflowers!

I thought I knew all the wildflowers in my area and have discovered so many more I did not know even existed and realize how many more there are still to discover!

One flower that surprised me was the Purple Fragrant Rasberry featured in this Hub. A pretty flower that bears raspberry-like fruit. This summer is the first time I have ever seen this plant!

Discovering wildflowers is fun:

If you want to find wildflowers become very observant. Some wildflowers are very delicate and small. It helps to have a camera that takes macro pictures to help identify the flowers later with a good reference book or by internet sources.

I would like to recommend a site I have started to use to identify my finds: www.ontariowildflowers.com this site is wonderful and the array of plants and flowers are just beautiful to look at...I can tell I have a long road to travel in identification and discovery of Ontario's wildflowers!




Purple Fragrant Raspberry

This wildflower is a new discovery for me. This shrub has maple like leaves, a wild rose like flower and raspberry like fruit. The shrub is fairly large and the flowers are showy.

This is a native American plant.You would expect the canes (stems) to have thorns, but they are thornless.


Flowers of the Purple fragrant Raspberry
Flowers of the Purple fragrant Raspberry | Source

Pearly Everlasting

This is a pretty flower up close. From a distance it is fairly insignificant, the foliage is rather dull and insignificant, but like many wildflowers you need to get up close to appreciate the beauty of these little gems.

This flower retains it's shape and color after it is dried and is one wildflower that can be used in dried flower arrangements.

Pearly Everlasting...an interesting name
Pearly Everlasting...an interesting name | Source

Butter and Eggs

Another unusual name, which it seems is based on the color of the flowers which can be described in the shades of color of butter and the yellow of egg yolks.


Native to Asia it was brought to Europe because of it's color and hardiness. Eventually brought to North America where it has naturalized.

It blooms May to September. I found these on the beach in sand but also along roadsides.

Butter and Eggs
Butter and Eggs | Source

Common Milkweed

The common milkweed has one important function. The Monarch Butterfly caterpillar feeeds only on Milkweed leaves. The Monarch butterfly needs Milkweed as part of its development. It cannot survive without it. So thank a milkweed the next time you see a Monarch butterfly!

Milkweed refers to the white sap which will ooze out of the plant if cut. This sap is poisonous to most insects

The Milkweed blooms from June to August and is a native North American plant.

Common Milkweed

common Milkweed
common Milkweed | Source

Beach Pea

You can find this, you guessed it, by shore lines...gravel shores and beaches. Related to cultivated peas, this delicate flower blooms June to August, Beach Pea grows around the globe.


Beach Peas

Beach Pea
Beach Pea | Source

Meadowrue

This is a lovely wildflower that I have tried to naturalize in a garden since I admire both the flowers and the foilage. I have found this plant in the city as well as in the country and it seems to like damp areas near water.

The Meadowrue is a native North American plant. The leaves are showy and the flowers are quite striking. It blooms June to July.

Meadowrue

A vision of prettiness...the Meadowrue
A vision of prettiness...the Meadowrue | Source

Bigleaf Lupine

This plant is native to western North America and naturalized in Ontario. The plants pictured are from wildflower seed mix I cast into the grasses by the roadside on my property. It blooms from June to early September though I found these blooms were done by mid August.

Widely grown as an ornamental flower in gardens, the plant enriches poor soils. The plant is harmful to both animals and humans so it would not have been my first choice to plant, but I have to admit it is showy.
.

Bigleaf Lupine

Bigleaf Lupine
Bigleaf Lupine | Source

Common Yarrow

This aromatic flower was commonly used in the Middle Ages as a medicinal herb for an assortment of ailments. It is native around the world and fairly easy to find.

It blooms from June to September.



Common Yarrow

Common Yarrow
Common Yarrow | Source

Cut Leaved Water Horehound

This lovely little flower is very tiny but worth a look because it is so pretty up close. I discovered this one growing by the shoreline of a lake along with a purple version of a similar flower which I have yet to identify.

This plant belongs to the mint family, but is not aromatic as most mints are. The Water Horehound is a native perrenial and blooms July to September.

Cut-leaved Water Horehound

Cut-leaved Water Horehound
Cut-leaved Water Horehound | Source


references:

www.ontariowildflowers.com

Ontario Wildflowers by Linda Kershaw ISBN 13: 978-1-55105-285-4, ISBN 10: 1-55105-285-7



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Comments 19 comments

lavender3957 5 years ago

I love wild flowers so much. I just loved this hub with the beautiful pictures and wonderful information.


Aaron Megquier profile image

Aaron Megquier 5 years ago from Belfast, ME

Another wonderful hub! You've done a great job highlighting the key characteristics of the plants. Almost all of these species grow in Maine as well. I'm hoping to get a hub together on Maine wildflowers in the next few weeks. Great photos - voted up & beautiful!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Lavender3957! Thank you for your kind comments. It is a treat when someone enjoys the wildflowers with me...makes it every bit worth the effort!

Cheers!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hey Aaaron! I am looking forward to seeing the Maine wildflowers! I have a few more and probably tons that I have missed this season...but there is always next season!

Thank you for your comments! They are very much appreciated! Cheers!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I have really enjoyed your series on wildflowers, your knowledge is impressive as are your beautiful photos.

The garden Lupin is one of my favourite flowers, I have never seen the wild Bigleaf Lupine, I see from your photo the leaf is identical, yet the plant is harmful to animals and humans, interesting stuff!

Many thanks for sharing and I look forward to part 4!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Movie Master! Thank you for your comments and encouragements! I think I have enough flowers for one more Hub from flowers I have found this summer. I think Part three might be my favorite as far as wildflowers that are showy!

Cheers!


ellefeeney profile image

ellefeeney 4 years ago from Fredericton, Canada

This is great! I'm also a wild flower enthusiast. We have many of these species in New Brunswick - I look forward to seeing them this summer :)


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi ellefeeney! Wildflowers are so lovely and delicate. I enjoy them every year. They are amazing.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

It was fun learning about your wildflowers. Interestingly, here in New York State we have a lot of the same ones. Butter & Eggs for instance, milkweed, yarrow and lupine as well. I love the colors of wildflowers. And even though some of them have what seem to be insignificant flowers to us, the birds and insects enjoy them for their nectar and seeds.

Your pictures are so sharp and crisp. Loved this article--Voted Up, Interesting and Beautiful and Pinned.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi grandmapearl! I do believe we share many similar flora and fauna since our climates are similar... even though we are colder in winter.

You are correct that the wildflowers are often small and seem insignificant; close up they really are worth a look. They also are important for bees and birds and various insects. as you pointed out! I have always enjoyed them...digital photography makes studying them even better!

Thanks again for your comments! So nice of you!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Hi Scribenet! I was checking the map this morning and found that we are located almost straight down from Ontario! Being up in the woods in the hills gives me a different climate from those that live on what I call the 'flats'. People on the same road about 4 miles down from here usually don't get the icy road conditions and piled up snow that I do. So I suspect you and I may share a very similar climate indeed! It is wonderfully cool here on a blazing hot summer day, but it can be about 8 to 10 degrees colder in the wintertime.

Your photography is truly sharp and breathtaking. Someday I hope to buy myself a really good camera, and acquire the knowledge to capture the wonderful sights that surround me as you have done so skillfully. Have a great day!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi grandmapearl! I have noticed many states have snow before we do so there are the elevations to consider in climate. Our countries share a lot in common so that we do feel a close association with Americans in many ways...we even follow your elections :) !

When you can afford a good camera...check around for deals...mine is now an older model and there are many newer versions I would love to have but have opted to buy a book to learn how to use what I have better... ie focal length, shutter speed etc, etc. It is still a whole lot better than any camera I had years ago!

I do recommend digital cameras ...there is so much to capture and you are an outdoor enthusiast. BTW you will need a decent amount of computer storage capacity (or) the will power to delete all but the best because they are memory hogs! I just deleted a whole pile of fuzzy and not so great ones and freed up 15% of the storage capacity in my old computer...besides adding an extra hard drive for the additional ones I expect to take!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Scribenet, thank you for the great suggestions about storage space. The camera I now have is digital, and I try to make a habit of deleting any pictures that are 'less than perfect' in order to free up space. A friend of mine told me about thumb drives, so I am constantly transferring not only images but documents to them. The only problem with that is keeping track of which thumb drive contains what images. I have them all labelled, but that is time consuming as well.

I think that I need to upgrade to a different camera though, because no matter what I do I cannot seem to figure out how to make it work any better. When I check the picture I have just taken, say of a bird at the feeder, it looks great. But when I download the image, it is either all fuzzy or black! I don't know why it would look fine in the display mode and then just awful later. It seems to happen when I try to capture my birds. Scenery comes out just fine, unless it's windy. In a word, it is very Frustrating! I bought this particular camera because of the digital zoom and that has proved to be less than satisfactory. I am now saving for a Nikon Coolpix L120. I have been told that I should also use a tripod to get the best shots of birds.

Any other hints you can give me will be most welcome. I would love to be able to take wonderfully detailed pictures like you! Thanks, Pearl


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi grandmapearl...My camera is dated since it is a 10 megapixel Fujifilm Finepix S1000 with a 12x optical zoom. I think the tripod is an answer for bird pictures... The fuzzy pictures are often "camera shake"...not sure what the black is though.

I drool at the variety out there ...I believe you want optical zoom instead of digital zoom in a newer camera...there is tons of info out there on all the cameras! Enjoy when you get your new one...you will be like a kid in a candy shop!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Thank you Scribenet! I just ordered a tripod as a matter of fact! This camera says it has digital zoom and then also optical zoom. My nephew says I am having trouble because of the 'face recognition' feature. It seems to focus on a large tree trunk or whatever in the background rather than on the bird I want to capture. So I have to do some more reading to find out how to circumvent that feature.

My first digital camera was a Fuji Finepix! I loved that thing, but all of a sudden it stopped working. We replaced the SD card and still could not make it work. That was a really nice camera.

Thanks for all your good hints and suggestions. I appreciate being able to 'pick your brain'! Pearl


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi grandmapearl! Yeh, I do love this camera and hopefully it does not stop suddenly...but I have had an HP doing just that so I would not be surprised...lost some pictures on that HP because it ruined the card as well! Reminder to self...back up photos... :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Beautiful hub! I love your pictures. I love to go for walks in the country with my camera and capture all the beauty of the wildflowers. There are so many different varieties that go unnoticed because of their small size. You did a great job with your pictures! Backup, backup, backup! I go through my pictures and put my good ones on a cd to save them. Then I go one step farther and also place them on a removable device, such as a thumb drive. I really enjoyed your hub! Voted up interesting and beautiful. :)


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you so much Sgbrown for the comments! I have seen your photos and they are so beautiful... so I am very flattered. :)

The tiny flowers are so easily dismissed, but on close observation are truly gorgeous and so many of us do not have the time or inclination to take a closer look, so I often snap a photo as much for myself...but they are really great to share with Hub readers!

Thanks for the reminder... I do back-up but not nearly as often as I should. Had my old camera malfunction and lost a bunch... fortunately, I had backed up a portion! I also lost a bunch on the computer and had to use a recovery program. Recuva got most of them back...Whew!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I'm glad you were able to recover most of your photos. It is heart breaking to loose them. That is why I back up to a cd. Then, I had a cd that wouldn't load for some reason and I lost all those pictures. That is when I decided to back up, yet again, to a thumb drive. Now I should always have my pictures somewhere! Thank you for your kind comment about my photos, I really appreciate it! :)

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