Wildflowers Monday

A very late spring arrival made it that early wildflowers, especially the ephemerals, will be in a rush from flowers to seeds. I almost missed the flowering start of Sanguinaria! This is the “joy” of a temperate continental climate – long winter hibernation is followed by a fast sprint which is merely a transition into the summer. Meet the future parents…

Spring wildflowers of Southwestern Ontario

  • Sanguinaria canadensis


  • Caulophyllum thalictroides

    Blue cohosh

  • Claytonia virginica

    Eastern Spring beauty

  • Eryhtronium americanum


  • Dicentra cucullaria

    Dutchman’s breeches

  • Claytonia caroliniana

    Carolina Spring beauty

  • Symplocarpus foetidus

    Skunk cabbage

  • Trillium erectum

    Stinking Benjamin, Wake robin

  • Viola macloskeyi

    Small white violet

 More to come…

I forgot to include in the slideshow an interesting finding – one nicely coloured and early blooming Arisaema triphyllum; all others were just showing up.

Arisaema triphyllum - early flowering form1

Arisaema triphyllum – early flowering form



Vermiculite from Latin ‘vermiculus’ = wormlet

The recently emerged rootlet of bloodroot seed has attached on this vermiculite particle with the same desperation a climber clings onto a rock. A place to grow on, salvation…

Sanguinaria canadensis seedling attached

Sanguinaria canadensis seedling growing attached on a vermiculite particle

For us, it remains just an exfoliated fragment of a hydrated silicate mineral; worm-like shaped, lightweight, incombustible, compressible, sterile, with a high cation-exchange capacity…

Only very few Sanguinaria canadensis seeds have started to germinate in moist storage; this one was particularly well developed – good genes probably… The very young rhizome already shows signs of the future red coloration characteristic to Sanguinaria rhizomes.

More Bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensis – Part II

It’s raining cats and dogs here (instead of flowers); a good time to get back to the bloodroot. It flowered over the weekend – a sure sign that the woodland floor is slowly awakening. Not much is happening in our gardens either, except another early riser that I’ll talk about soon.

Sanguinaria canadensis is a variable species and sometimes you can stumble upon forms with pink-lilac flowers (after opening they turn white), with increased number of petals or slightly different petal shape (the group from the gallery has unusual pointed petals).

Sanguinaria canadensis - pink form

Sanguinaria canadensis – pink form

I admit it is not a  glamorous flower, it is more than that. Sitting down on an old stump to watch them glistening in the filtered sun rays I was overwhelmed by the smell of the spring forest, the mixture of the decayed leaves, fresh greens and the warmth of the soil.

To see a World in a grain sand
And a Heaven in a Wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
                        William Blake (from Auguries of Innocence)