Photographs and Identitification of Ontario Wildflowers Your Backyard
Nature's Bounty of Wildflowers in Ontario
Note: Click on pictures to enlarge photo
I am priviledged to have a backyard that borders into wilderness. No cultivated garden past my own yard yields many delights in the form of wildflowers, birds, insects and small animals.
This is what I left my city job for! I am giving myself time to decide if I should retire for good. Call it a Sabbatical. Living is cheap away from the maddening crowds. No more traffic congestion; just the wind in the trees and waking to the birds! One of my guilty pleasures is looking for wildflowers and photographing them for my own pleasure.
Ontario's wildflowers... they are everywhere,roadsides, fields even growing in crevices in pavement. Some are not loved because they tend to choke out other plants if they get the upper hand, others are more elusive to find and appreciated. While some wildflowers can be picked; most Ontarians know that a beautiful wildflower is best photographed rather than picked so it can reproduce and keep populating it's own natural habitat. NOTE: The trillium is Ontario's provincial flower...picking one is illegal (we love it, so please just enjoy them, photograph and enjoy them digitally later... wildflowers wilt and die very easily, but a photo lasts forever!.
In this Hub I will be sharing the wildflowers I find throughout this summer. I will add flowers periodically as I find, photograph and identify them. I may even add extra Hubs as my collection grows. Orignally the identification will be by the common names I know and eventually I hope to compile a more detailed identification. I plan for this to be a work in progress, an ongoing project which is close to my heart. I hope you enjoy my discoveries as much as I do!
The Wild Rose
The Wild Rose
I will begin with the wild rose. It is found in other provinces other than Ontario. The province of Alberta has adopted the wild rose as it's provincial flower. The flower of this shrub species has five single petals and it's colours range from deep pink to light pink. At the moment, I do not know the official species of the rose I photographed, but i can say, no matter which species, I have always loved the scent of this lovely shrub. It spreads and can get rather bushy and beware it is pricky just like the roses in your garden!
This flower isn't particularly beautiful sitting by itself on a medium length hairy stem with leaves that grow from the base. Unless you look it closely...that is when you realize how colourful and pretty it is closeup! In a field where there are many flowers growing in masses it can look quite spectacular.
Although the Devil's Paintbrush is the common name in Ontario it is also called Orange Hawkweed.
Wild Blackberry Mixed with Silver Maple Shoots
Wild Blackberry Flower
While the wild blackberry bush isn't beautiful and the woody canes are very scratchy with thorns, the flowers are quite showy. The raspberry bushes grow in dense clusters that grow several feet high.The spent flowers produce clusters of blackberries.
What child hasn't picked a bouquet of Buttercups for Mom? These common flowers are everywhere and they even steal into flower gardens! if held under your chin, the shiny petals reflect the yellow colour onto your skin...something every Ontario child has experienced... "just because"!
Buttercups grow everywhere and it should not be too hard to find some! While the individual flowers are pretty, the stems are thin and leggy, the flowers look insubstantial against the backdrop of other vegetation.
Red Clover smells sweet and is loved by bumblebees. The most common honey is harvested by bees from clover fields. Red clover is also used as feed for grazing animals and is cultivated by farmers to supplement feed.
Not only that It can be a good groundcover. My grandmother never wanted clover on her lawn to be mowed. I think she considered it good luck to have it in her garden.
Bird's Foot Trefoil
Bird's Foot Trefoil
Bird's Foot Trefoil is no doubt named so since the flower sort of resembles a bird's foot!
I just recently identified this plant though I have seen it growing on roadsides for many years. I find this wildflower so colourful and vibrant I am encouraging a wild patch to establish itself in my garden.
There are two species of Bindweed, Hedge False-Bindweed and Field Bindweed. They look similar so i am not certain which this one is. The flower is Morning Glory like and quite showy. I was pleased to find this one hidden among the grasses!
This flower looks nice closeup, but is one of my least favourite wildflowers. Vetch twines around and knots unto other plants, clogs lawnmowers and looks a mess when it takes over a patch of vegetation. That said, butterflies and bees love it's nectar!
This flower is called Oxeye Daisy and is one of the flowers gathered by children because it is so common. While it is considered a weed by farmers since it overtakes more useful forage plants for the grazing animals, it looks quite cheerful blanketing a hiilside with itd clean and bright white and yellow prescence!
Ontario Wildflowers by Linda Kershaw ISBN 13: 978-1-55105-285-4, ISBN 10: 1-55105-285-7