Forest Wildflowers

Image of a Trillium in the forest

Trillium in the forest

More than 2,700 flowering plants, including woody trees and shrubs, grow uncultivated across Ontario. Over 2,200 of these are herbaceous species.

Approximately two thirds of Ontario’s flowering species are native and arrived between 14,000 and 7,000 years ago. The remainder of Ontario’s flowering plants were introduced intentionally via European settlers.

Many introduced species have become naturalized in Ontario and pose little to no threat to native species. However, some species do threaten native plants and efforts must be made to prevent them from taking over habitat of the native plants. (Read more on Invasive Species) Where each species of wildflower grows is dependant on temperature, precipitation, soil, topography, and geology.

Wilderness Park has 123 species of plants identified to date, thanks to the Kawartha Field Naturalists efforts, which carried out a plant inventory of the park, once in 2013 and once in 2014. (View the Inventory) Forty three plants (35%) of the total list of plants are considered non-native species. In agricultural areas of Ontario, the list of non-native species typically exceeds 30%.

Trilliums

Trillium (disambiguation) is a genus of about 40 - 50 species of perennial flowering plants native to temperate regions of North America and Asia.

Plants of this genus are perennial herbs growing from rhizomes. They produce scapes which are erect and straight in most species. Trilliums are myrmechochorous, and ants are agents of seed dispersal. Ants are attracted to the elaiosomes on the seeds and collect them and transport them away from the parent plant.

Picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed. Some species of trillium are listed as threatened or endangered and collecting these species may be illegal.

A white trillium serves as the emblem and official flower of the province of Ontario. It is an official symbol of the Government of Ontario.