Ontario’s forest flower


One of the most pleasant, accessible short hikes on Ontario’s famous Bruce Trail begins here, at the end of Cathedral Drive in Hope Ness, on the Bruce Peninsula. And right at the end of my driveway too, by the way.

Depending how leisurely you want to walk, Hope Bay is more or less a two-hour hike south. Or, conversely, a two-hour hike north from Hope Bay to this point.

If you start here, about 15 minutes in you’ll want to take a side trail to the cliff edge overlooking Hope Bay, reaching out in the distance to the broad, blue expanse of Georgian Bay.

I try to walk to the lookout, which I regard as a very special place, at least once a week. A few days ago on the way I saw the trilliums were starting to bloom. But I didn’t have my camera with me. Sometimes I would just as soon let the fleeting moments of natural beauty have their freedom, rather than capture them.


But this morning, to keep a promise, (Hi, Julie) I took a short walk in with my camera to take a few photos of the Province of Ontario’s official flower to post here. Trilliums are mostly white. But I saw quite a few of the rarer, delicately mauve variety.

Not everyone gets to live beside the Hope Bay Forest, so I hope you enjoy these few photos:




This post was definitely not inspired by today’s daily prompt, catapult.


7 thoughts on “Ontario’s forest flower

  1. Per our discussion in the grocery store about cowslips. From a now lost link:

    “On the
    Bruce Peninsula, it
    seems to crop up in
    old orchards. In one site in
    Eastnor Township there is
    probably the biggest spread of it
    to be found anywhere in the
    world! Joe remembers seeing
    this stand first in the 1970s.
    Since then it has spread until it
    now covers several hectares. For
    two or three weeks in May it
    presents a carpet of deep yellow
    blossoms. It appears to have
    started in an old orchard, but has
    spread into the adjacent meadow
    and up along the trail until it
    finally peters out where the shade
    of the forest becomes too dense
    for it. This location fits perfectly
    the habitat description found in
    Oleg Polunin’s “Flowers of
    Europe”: “meadows, pastures,
    open woods”.


      • I have pics but don’t know how to post them here. This is what they look like. They are on th left and opn the trail itself. https://pryorfrancis.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/cowslips-close-up.jpg

        More from the link.

        “Both the Cowslip and the
        Primrose occur throughout much
        of Europe except the extreme
        southeast, but the Cowslip’s range
        extends further north and east into
        Scandinavia as far as Finland.
        This more northerly range may
        account for the Cowslip but not
        the Primrose establishing itself in
        isolated spots in Canada –
        probably escaped by introductions
        by homesick gardeners.
        The Cowslip also seems to have
        established itself in isolated spots
        in Canada. Joe Johnson is
        familiar with it from Nova Scotia
        and it occurs on the Bruce
        Peninsula. There is no mention of
        it in Newcomb’s “Wildflower
        Guide” which seems to indicate
        that it is not found in the States to
        any extent.
        In the United Kingdom it is much
        less common than the
        Primrose and is
        usually found in
        small groups on the
        edge of meadows.
        Joe Johnson recalls a
        similar distribution in
        Nova Scotia.”

        It is all over the place in the township but especially past your place. On the left in the field and on the trail itself. From another link:

        “I ran into another example a year or so ago, in the spring,
        when I was chatting to someone on the beach at Hope
        Bay. We had just been up to the Jack Poste Loop on the
        Bruce Trail where you park near Hopeness. I remarked on
        the wonderful display of Cowslips, far more than I have
        ever seen in one place in England. He did not seem very
        impressed and said there were lots of them where he lived
        in Strathroy. It did not dawn on me until some time later
        that he was talking about Marsh Marigolds (Caltha
        palustris) and I was talking about the European
        introduction, Primula vera. Early settlers moved common
        names across the ocean the way they moved place names.
        I grew up near Woodford, and Epping was a few miles
        away through the forest. That Woodford and Epping were
        on the edge of London, not in Grey County!”


      • Ah, yes. I see by your pic link that what I called Dutchmen’s britches are Cowslips. What I call them maybe goes back many years to a local friend, Wilma Butchart, who used to live where I am now. There’s lots of them on the property.


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