The garden centre had left a voicemail for me. The extra tall Russian Sage I wanted had arrived and was ready to be picked up. As I looked out over my garden, trying to figure out where I could wedge in this new prize, I had a sudden hankering to drop it all and retreat to our cottage up on the Bruce Peninsula in southwestern Ontario. It wasn’t the flower beds which, in full spring bloom, were exploding in all their exotic glory that made me have this change of heart. No, maybe it was the glints of sunlight on the wet grass that reminded me of untouched meadows and marshes and my favourite fen. There’s another miracle happening right now in the bigger garden out there. All you need to do is get out of town. Find a country road. Slow down. And look. Here are some of my favourite Ontario wildflowers blooming right now or just about to bloom.
Large Yellow Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var pubescens). Blooms June through July 15th. Shot June 7, 2015. The Large Yellow Lady’s Slipper is more common than other Lady’s Slipper orchids.
Painted Cup (Indian Paintbrush) (Castilleja coccinea). Blooms May through July 15th. Shot on June 7, 2015. This brightest of bright red flowers is native to central Canada and the eastern half of the U.S.
Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). Blooms mid-May through mid-July. Shot June 7, 2015. The Pitcher Plant is carnivorous. You can see the trap-leaves at the base of the plant in this shot.
Pitcher Plants prefer sphagnum bogs, fens and barrens. This group was found in the Oliphant fen on the Bruce Peninsula in southwestern Ontario.
Later, the Pitcher Plant opens up to its full alien-looking glory. The green umbrella-shaped centre of the flower is the stigma. The yellow stamens of the flower are hidden by it.
Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum). Blooms June through the first week of August. Shot July 1, 2015.
Kalm’s Lobelia (Lobelia kalmii). Blooms July to September. Shot July 1, 2015.
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor). Blooms May to August. Shot July 1, 2015.
Indian Plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum). Blooms late June through August. Shot July 1, 2015.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense). Blooms June to September. Shot July 1, 2015. A weed by any other name…is a beautiful flower.
Tuberous Grass-Pink (Calopogon tuberosus). Blooms mid-June through July. Shot July 1, 2015.
Grass-Pinks in a summer breeze.
Which are your favourite wildflowers?