Spring Wildflowers in Southern Ontario

These are some photos I took at Spencer Gorge Conservation Area in Hamilton ON, 12 March 2013.

White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda, Ranunculaceae). This plant gets crazy white fruits on red stalks that are poisonous. In the plant world “bane” means poisonous. Check out more pics here.

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum, Araceae). These flowers are typically either male or female, the larger plants normally being female. Insects are attracted into the cozy nook at the bottom of the flower. Male flowers have a little hole that allows the insect to escape, covered in pollen of course. There is no hole in female flowers and the insects are typically trapped. Perhaps a trapped insect is more likely to fertilize the flower? Some more info here.

These are both trilliums in the family Melanthiaceae. The red one is Trillium erectum and the white one is Trillium grandiflorum. The latter is the provincial flower of Ontario.

I am not sure what this forest understory species is, although it must be in the Rosaceae. If y’all know leave a comment below.

UPDATE: In the comments a friend suggested this is Anemone quinquefolia (Ranunculaceae), and I think she is right. Dickinson et al say: “The buttercups [Ranunculaceae] can be mistaken for members of the rose family [Rosaceae] but they lack the stipules and [flat cup-shaped] hypanthium (floral tube) that are often conspicuous in that family.” So it is understandable that I could think this was in the Rosaceae, but I will know better next time :)

Hairy solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum pubescens, Asparagaceae). The genus name comes from the Greek word poly, meaning “many”, and gony, meaning “knee” which is reference to the jointed stem seen in the first photo; pubescens means hairy (this info from the ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario). The second photo shows the flower buds hanging down from the stem.

4 thoughts on “Spring Wildflowers in Southern Ontario

      1. I like this “guess the wildflower” game. Usually I’m not very good, but I’m getting better. One day I’ll be a world expert on all things mushroomy and planty!

    1. Your wood anemone looks a lot like a flower you see all over Sweden (Scandinavia) in early Spring, i.e., anemone nemorosa, vitsippa, but the “vitsippa” is actually a lot smaller and covers the entire floor of the forest, the way the trillium covers the ground in Ontario in the Spring. I saw a similar flower to the one in your picture last week (May 17) in Rattray Marsh, Mississauga, Ontario. Yesterday, I saw a lavender version of the flower in your picture, also in Rattray Marsh.

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