Posts Tagged ‘Ontario wildflowers’


Tiarella, commonly known as foamflower owing to the frothy appearance of its clusters of star-like white blooms, is native to Ontario. The photographs above and below were taken by Seabrooke this spring in a moist woodland near Perth, Ontario. Its full name is Tiarella cordifolia. Cordifolia means heart-leaved, although maple-leaf-shaped might be more accurate. The genus name comes from the Greek tiara, which once meant turban, referring to the shape of the fruit. However, I prefer to think of the dazzling crown of flowers that the plants produce as their shining tiara.


Tiarellas make lovely additions to the shade garden, and there are a number of hybrids available to the home gardener. I currently have three varieties. They all are tidy, compact plants that are very showy through the month of May. Here is Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’, catching the morning sun.


Photographed below is Tiarella wherryi.


And finally, here is Tiarella ‘Mystic Mist’.


Mystic Mist has very distinctive leaves speckled with white. They remind me of the splatter painting kids do with a toothbrush. Even after this tiarella is finished blooming, the leaves still brighten a shady corner nicely.


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One of the loveliest of the early spring wildflowers is Bloodroot. It is a native of Ontario and widespread throughout Eastern North America, where it prefers damp forests and stream edges. This particular patch is growing in my garden, under an oak tree. Its presence here predates my own, but it had become overgrown with grass, and I moved the plant last spring, clearing out the grass and giving it a new start. It appears to be happy with its new location and has settled in well.

Bloodroot is a member of the Poppy family. Its common name echoes its scientific name, Sanguinaria canadensis, and refers to the plant’s bloodlike red-orange juice. Native Americans used the plant to produce a dye used in craftwork and as body paint.


I dug up a single flower and set it on a sheet of white paper. You can see a little dab of coloured sap to the right of the leaf. Each flower stem is embraced by a single deeply lobed leaf. The flowers only open in full sunlight, and close at night, or on dull, overcast days. The closed evening blooms are almost as charming as their open sunlit selves, snuggled cozily into their leafy bed for the night.


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