• Parlin’s Pussytoes 
    As I write this in mid-May, my Parlin’s Pussytoes are full of blossoms AND full of tiny caterpillars. This early blooming perennial is not as showy as some, but it is a welcome sight with butterflies flitting about laying their eggs on the leaves in early May. These eggs turn into tiny, spiky caterpillars that… Read more: Parlin’s Pussytoes 
  • Virginia Mountain Mint 
    The fragrant minty leaves of this plant can be used in your dinner, but I prefer it to leave it in the garden where lots of bees and other pollinators can be found on the flowers. The tiny white flowers, upon close inspection, are covered in little purple polka dots. This delightful flower is a… Read more: Virginia Mountain Mint 
  • Bloodroot 
    Scientific Name: Sanguinaria canadensis  This month’s plant is one of our early emerging spring ephemerals. I always love the cigar-like tube of furled leaves that unfurl after the flower has shown itself. This forest floor species is sure to brighten you shade garden in the spring. As usual, the Plant Description and In the Garden… Read more: Bloodroot 
  • Sharp Lobed Hepatica 
    Spring is just around the corner, and to help us start dreaming about spring, this month’s Plant of the Month is one of the earliest native flowers to bloom in my garden – Hepatica acutiloba – the Sharp Lobed Hepatica. This tough little perennial stays alive all winter, waiting for the first warm weather, and… Read more: Sharp Lobed Hepatica 
  • American Spikenard 
    As I write this in mid-January, I sit and dream about my spring, summer and fall gardens and one of the plants that always brings a smile to my face is my American Spikenard – Aralia racemosa. This large-leaved, shade tolerant plant produces masses of burgundy coloured, edible berries in late summer, early fall that… Read more: American Spikenard 
  • Lobelia Cardinalis
    Cardinal Flower  The last “Plant of the Month” for 2023. Since we really don’t have any native plants blooming at Christmas (other than, perhaps, Hamamelis virginiana – American Witch Hazel), I thought I’d do the next best thing and at least pick a plant that has “Christmas colour”. For that I chose the nice, cheery… Read more: Lobelia Cardinalis
  • Common Name: Pearly Everlasting 
    Scientific Name: Anaphalis margaritacea  Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family)  Alternate Common Names: Western Pearly Everlasting  Plant Description: Pearly Everlasting has many upright stems that are clumped closely together, giving the plant a mounding appearance. The leaves are up to 10 cm long and 2 cm wide and, like the stems, are covered in numerous small hairs,… Read more: Common Name: Pearly Everlasting 
  • Gentiana andrewsii
    There isn’t much flowering in my southern Ontario garden as I write this in Mid October. A few asters, a couple of goldenrods, a few harebells (Campanula) and some Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia). One that stands out, however, is the Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii). This very late purple flowering plant with blossoms that stay tightly closed… Read more: Gentiana andrewsii
  • Smooth Aster 
    It’s fall, the time for Goldenrods and Asters. For this month’s Plant of the Month, I will be covering Smooth Aster – a beautiful purply-blue, prolifically blossoming fall staple in the garden. One of the earlier asters to bloom in my garden, it signals the coming of autumn with its cooler temperatures and fall colours.… Read more: Smooth Aster 
  • Campanulastrum Americanum
    Common Name: Tall Bellflower  I’ve long admired these growing in an old-growth forest bottomland near me, but only recently found them at a native plant nursery. I think they are far nicer than the invasive Creeping Bellflower, and wish they were more commonly available in garden centers. (As usual, the Plant Description and In The… Read more: Campanulastrum Americanum
  • Canada Lily 
    Some of the most popular posts on my Facebook page are the images of my Canada Lily (Lilium canadense). Technically not native to the part of Ontario that I live in (it could be classified as a “near native” here), it nevertheless thrives in my garden. Each year this plant sends up more shoots and… Read more: Canada Lily 
  • Butterfly Milkweed
    As I write this in mid-June, the Butterfly Milkweed in my southwestern Ontario garden is just starting to get an orange tinge to the flower buds. This brilliant orange flower loves sun and sand and its tuberous root (from which it gets its specific epithet – tuberosa) makes it a great drought tolerant choice for… Read more: Butterfly Milkweed
  • Spotted Jewelweed
    Areas with a fair bit of moisture are perfect candidates for this beautiful annual flower, often found along shady stream banks and in low forested wetland areas. Long known for the ability of its crushed stems to cure the itch of mosquito bites or even poison ivy, its exploding seed pods are also a favourite… Read more: Spotted Jewelweed
  • Caltha Palustris – Marsh Marigold
    Caltha palustris is a very early blooming wetland species that brightens the forest floor each spring. Its bright yellow flowers seem to almost glow on the damp forest floor. Plant Description and In the Garden sections, below, are courtesy of Shaun Booth of In Our Nature.  Common Name: Marsh Marigold  Scientific Name: Caltha palustris  Family:… Read more: Caltha Palustris – Marsh Marigold
  • Monarda Punctata – Spotted Beebalm/Dotted Horsemint
    Monarda punctata – where have you been all my life?! About 3 years ago I bought a small plug of spotted beebalm on a whim while visiting a native plant nursery. Little did I realize that this would soon rank in my top 10 favourite plants (and with over 300 species in my yard –… Read more: Monarda Punctata – Spotted Beebalm/Dotted Horsemint
  • Wild Columbine
    I am frequently asked what my “favourite” native plant is. To me, that’s like asking a mother which is her favourite child. But invariably, when asked, Wild Columbine is the first to pop into my mind. I love how it is drought tolerant, produces abundant, easily collected seeds, and has amazing 2 tone flowers. It… Read more: Wild Columbine
  • Allium Cernuum
    This month’s plant is a member of the Allium family noted for its beautiful clusters of pink flowers in mid to late summer that attracts pollinators from far and wide. As a member of the onion family, the tender young stems can be used where you would use chives and the bulbs can be used… Read more: Allium Cernuum
  • Helianthus Divaricatus
    As I write this, winter storms are threatening parts of the Great Lakes region, with snow and freezing rain forecast. So to help us escape for a moment from the impending winter, I thought this month’s native plant of the month should be the quintessential summer blossom. And what could be more summery than a… Read more: Helianthus Divaricatus
  • Plant of the Month: Pale Corydalis
    November in southwestern Ontario means frosts, the first snowfall, and not much left flowering in the garden. In my garden there is one plant – Capnoides sempervirens – that looks wonderfully delicate, but those looks are deceiving. This tough little drought tolerant plant is one of the last to keep blooming – some years I… Read more: Plant of the Month: Pale Corydalis
  • New England Aster
    Who doesn’t love the purples of New England aster in the fall? These tall, prolific splashes of colour line the roadside ditches throughout much of our area and look so awesome growing with the bright yellow goldenrods and black eyed Susans. Easy to grow, even in a pot, this is a must have plant for… Read more: New England Aster
  • Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem Artichoke
    Fall is a time of food harvesting, and a few of our native plants have provided tasty nutrition for humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. One such plant is a member of the sunflower family, noted not for its sunflower seeds (of which it rarely produces any) but for its delicious roots. That… Read more: Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Coreopsis tripteris
    August in my garden consists of a lot of yellow, and a lot of tall plants. Coreopsis tripteris (tall tickseed) is one of the newer additions to my yard and is no exception to this. It doesn’t reach the lofty heights of Agastache nepetoides (yellow giant hyssop) or Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant), but it easily… Read more: Coreopsis tripteris
  • Monarda fistulosa and Friends
    Without a doubt, the most active pollinator attracting plant in my garden (and with over 300 species of Ontario natives and a few near natives, that’s saying something) is Monarda fistulosa, aka Wild Bergamot.  While the flowers are blooming, there is constant activity with bees of all sizes – from tiny ones the size of… Read more: Monarda fistulosa and Friends
  • Blue Flag Iris
    Beginning to bloom in my garden as I write this, is one of my favourites – Iris versicolor or blue flag iris. Its glorious royal purple blossoms are a real eye catcher. If you have sufficient moisture, it can be a garden show stopper in June before the bulk of the colourful summer and fall… Read more: Blue Flag Iris
  • Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod
    Common Name:  Blue-stemmed Goldenrod          Scientific Name: Solidago caesia Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family) Alternate Common Names: Woodland Goldenrod, Wreath Goldenrod Plant description: Blue-stemmed Goldenrod has sparingly branched, arching stems that are green when young but turn blueish purple with age.  Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong (long and rounded) in shape and measure about 12cm long, 2cm wide… Read more: Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod