Ontario Wildflowers- Gems in the Grasses- Photographs

Hidden gems amongst the grasses

Note: Click any picture to make full-size!

Since childhood, I have enjoyed wildflowers. I collected a series of cards (the complete collection) from boxes of tea my mother bought and I avidly sought out as many wildflowers as I could find. I wish I still had that little collection since I would treasure it even now...but alas it is a victim of history and circumstance; lost long ago in my familiy's moves.

The advent of the digital camera has been a boon for me because now I can capture my finds on camera and hopefully identify them on the net and in books. This series of Hubs on Ontario wildflowers is completely self-indulgent, but I hope you enjoy my passion with me!

Great Mullein
Great Mullein | Source
Great Mullein leaf structuure
Great Mullein leaf structuure | Source

Great Mullein


I find these almost everywhere. They seem to prefer dry poor soil.The Great Mullein is found along roadsides and apart from other vegetation.

The Great Mullein is easy to identify because it is so distinct. Large, thick hairy leaves begin life as pretty rosette the first year and become a one to two metre long plant in it's second year. This flower is a biennial.

The Great Mullein's claim to fame is that the hairy leaves of this plant have been used as diapers by the natives and as toilet paper! Be warned if you try this since the hairy leaves may irritate sensitive skin...personally I think I wouldn't experiment...but if you are ever lost in the woods...just be sure you have the right plant though so you don't get a rash, which would be rather unpleasant!



The lovely Black-eyed Susan
The lovely Black-eyed Susan | Source

Black-eyed Susan


One of my favorite wildflowers that is also found in gardens certainly in Ontario, but I am sure every gardener wants one of these,

It is a native American plant originating in the American midwest, but now native in fields and roadsides of Ontario as well as many other provinces and across America.

The flower is a showy yellow with a dark brown centre. It is a biennial unfortunately, so in gardens it only lasts two years before new plants must be bought. The Back-eyed Susan blooms from June to September.

Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan | Source

Canada Goldenrod


Canada Goldenrod is another very common native plant. it has been blamed for allergies from it's pollen but in fact, it's pollen is too heavy to be windborne so it isn't the culprit at all.

It blooms from August to September, but I caught this one blooming in the last weeks of July.

Creeping Bellflower
Creeping Bellflower | Source

Creeping Bellflower


Creeping Bellflower is not native to Canada but is found growing wild. Once established it can become a nuisance edging out othernative plants.

The photo I have shows a rather anemic specimen, these flowers can be rather showy dark purple that would make one wish to have some growing in a garden. The blossoming time is from July to August.

Comm Viper Bugloss
Comm Viper Bugloss | Source

Common Viper's Bugloss

This is a flower I do not remember seeing until recently. Perhaps I just was not looking!

This plant was introduced as a garden flower to North America in the 1600's. Some people can get rashes from touching this plant, so I was fortunate that I didn't handle the plant as should you ... if you have not identified the plant.

There are many North American plants that can give rashes or worse!

Though this was brought in as a garden plant ...farmers thought it a weed by the 1800's no doubt because the hairy plant is considered bristly and I imagine grazing animals could not eat it!

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne's Lace | Source

Queen Anne's Lace

Again, here is another favourite wildflower of mine. Lovely to look at as well as interesting. The beautiful flowerhead is composed of smaller flowerheads which are filled with small flowers. The effect is like lace so that is probably how this flower got it's name!

A very interesting fact is that the Queen Anne's Lace is the ancestor of our carrot plant! The story goes, that left to grow wild, the domestic carrot will revert back to it's wild state...the Queen Anne's Lace. Now I know how to attempt to get this wonderful plant into my flower garden. Wish me luck! Cool!

There are some other varieties of wildflower that look like Queen Anne's Lace and are harmful. Please consult books that clearly identify the flower, the culprit look-alikes: Common Cow Parsnip and and Spotted Water Hemlock. These plants have very different leaf structure, but the flower resembles Queen Ann's Lace! I have not found any in my areas yet.

Hairy Cat's Ear

Hairy Cat's Ear
Hairy Cat's Ear | Source

Hairy Cat's Ear

Okay here is a name that arouses curiosity? Maybe it is those hairy buds? I would have called it the "long stemmed dandelion"!

It grows 15 to 60 cm tall and was originally grown in Europe as a vegetable, so I guess vegetables used to be a lot smaller because I cannot see anything of value to be eaten! Once again I would caution against ever sampling any wild plant...many range from inedible to causing allergic responses and severe illness! I would say stick to the grocery store or the family garden!

This plant is now considered a weed like the dandelion, another very common wildflower...just check your lawn!


Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade
Bittersweet Nightshade | Source

Bittersweet Nightshade

Caution...leave this plant alone...it belongs to the same plant family as the common potato, tobacco as well as tomato...but make no mistake this plant is noxious,

Bittersweet nightshade is poisonous to humans and livestock. I would venture it is equally bad for dogs and cats... yet here it was growing in the city unoticed and undisturbed!

Hoary Alyssum

Hoary Alyssum
Hoary Alyssum | Source

Hoary Alyssum

This plant can create huge areas of blooms blanketing fields. It's preferred habitat is dry sandy areas. Blossoming time is June to September.

The Hoary Alyssum , if digested by horses in large amounts can cause severe distress in the animals.


Spreading Dogbane

Spreading Dogbane
Spreading Dogbane | Source

Spreading Dogbane

I remember admiring this shrub in my childhhood long before I knew the plant. since my eyesight was more accute, I was able to enjoy the appearance of the tiny delicate flowers more then than I do now!

While these tiny delicate flowers are quite lovely close-up, the flowers on the shrub look quite insignificant.

Natives used the dogbane stem fibers to create thread for sewing, making twine and even fabric.That said, the sap is poisonous and no doubt had to be treated before procesing to anything useful!

references:

www.ontariowildflowers.com

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



More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

What a lovely hub and i am glad you have this passion! We must appreciate those native flowers. It is very interesting to see that many of the wild flowers you mention here are similar to perennials here or is wildflowers where I live too. Somehow the names sound much more beautiful in your hub than in my language so from now on I will use these names instead. Bittersweet Nightshade, Hairy Cat´s Ear and Black-eyed Susan is such good names on beautiful flowers even though non of them is available here. Voted up and thanks for writing this hub!

Tina


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Tina...There are the proper Latin names, but since this Hub isn't scientific, I prefer to use the common names we use..I never realized how colourful they are. Thanks for the perspective because now I appreciate the wildflowers even more!

Thank you so much for commenting!

Maggie


tebo profile image

tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

I really like Queen Anne's Lace as well. It looks lovely. Very nice hub.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Scribenet, a brilliant follow on from your first Ontario Wildflowers hub.

Your description and photos of the flowers are excellent.

The Deadly Nightshade has such a delicate beautiful flower, such a pity it's noxious!

I love all these wildflowers, thank you for sharing and voting up.


louisxfourie profile image

louisxfourie 5 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

This photographs are stanning, love your hub.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Tebo, The Queen Anne's Lace is certainly beautiful. There are so many beautiful wildflowers still to be documented...another favorite of mine is wild columbine, but it has already bloomed so the search for that one waits for next spring!

Thanks for stopping by!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank You Movie Master for your kind comments! It is a pleasure to share these wildflower photos. It is always great to get feedback!

Thank you for stopping by!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

louisxfourie Thank you for the comments on my photography. I certainly enjoy taking the photos of the wildflowers as much as writing about them. I am very glad you liked them!

Thanks for stopping by!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Wild Flowers are so Neat...as are your Pictures Scribenet. These types of Flowers seem to have such Determined Personalities... I've always Loved Black Eyed Susan, as well as Queen Anne's Lace...which I didn't know was an Ancestory to the "Carrot Family". So once again I found this Hub to be a Rewarding and very Informative Read my friend.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you so much for your kind comments b. Malin!

I have at least one more set to publish this summer... once I identify them. I have discovered there are literally hundreds of wildflowers out there as I try to find identification thinking I have found them all. LOL...I do think they will get progressively harder to find once I get pictures from this fall and next spring!

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!


Aaron Megquier profile image

Aaron Megquier 5 years ago from Belfast, ME

This is a beautiful series of hubs! I always enjoy seeing how far afield many of my favorite plants grow. Viper's bugloss is the only plant on your list that I don't see regularly in coastal Maine. Well done & hope to read more! A big vote up to parts 1 & 2.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Aaron...Thank you so much for your comments! I very much appreciate feedback...look for more in wildflowers in the fall since currently I am in dial-up country and have great difficulty loading hubpages so I apologize for any delays commenting!


wilderness profile image

wilderness 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Beautiful work - you have outdone yourself here.

I have often thought of making my backyard all native flowers and plants - your hub raises that possibility once more. It just seems like a great idea, not only from a beauty perspective but from the necessary care and water as well.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Wilderness! I am pleased you enjoyed the wildflowers.

I think native plants can be gorgeous (since I am obviously a fan)...I am also experimenting with a little patch of a native garden. Hopefully it will take next spring. It was a little ragged this summer...but I am hoping for a worry-free garden in the future!

Thanks for commenting! Cheers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Love this. As I take my daily walk I look forward to the flowers that will hidden in among the grasses and weeds growing along the hiking trail. The colors are as vibrant as any beauty in our flowerbeds. Queen Anne's Lace has always been a favorite.

Thanks for sharing. Sending you Angels this evening. :)ps


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you ps! All Angels welcome here! :)

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working