Sunday, November 29, 2009

Does growing invasive plants help birds?

This past week I was very excited to pick up a beautiful book, Bird by Bird Gardening by Sally Roth (Rodale, 2006), about designing gardens to attract various families of birds to the garden. And in many ways it is an excellent book, with a wealth of information about the needs of different birds in terms of food, shelter, water, etc., with lists of plants and garden plans for all sorts of lovely birds (she's an American writing for American gardeners but of course a lot of it will apply here in Canada too). It's a beautiful book, lavishly illustrated with full colour photographs, and a wealth of information.

As I read the book more closely, however, I became troubled, as she recommended plants which may be invasive in parts of the US (and Canada too, though I can't fault her for that if she wasn't intending to cover Canada in the book). For example, she suggests

  • Berberis spp. (barberries, berbéris) without distinguishing between the native and invasive varieties (B. thunbergii is invasive in the northeastern US, B. vulgaris invasive in many states from coast to coast; they both are listed in the Invasive Exotic Species Ranking for Southern Ontario (PDF))
  • Eucalyptus spp. (Australian natives which are invasive in California, especially, but also in the Pacific north west including part of BC)
  • Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus, fusain ailé) which is invasive in the northeastern US (and southern Ontario)
  • Pyrus calleryana (Callery pear, poirier de Chine) which is invasive in the eastern US

(These are just the most notorious invasives I noticed flipping through the book; I didn't do an exhaustive investigation.)

Now, there are a lot of older wildlife gardening books that recommend various invasives, especially berry plants, but I was very unhappy to see them still being recommended in such a recent book.

I was horrified when I got to a three page essay, "Invasive Implications", on pp. 74-76.

First, she implies that the term "invasive" was created by the USDA and is based on agricultural concerns, and that all non-native plants are invasive. Now, even if invasive plants were only a problem for agriculture, that is still an extremely serious problem since virtually all people in North America are completely dependent on agriculture for our food. To me that would be reason enough to avoid gardening with invasives.

Of course, in reality, there are many ecologists concerned about the impact of invasive species on ecosystems. Invasives are definitely not only a concern for farmers.

Then, she says that invasives mostly affect disturbed areas, and so are not a problem for native plants. Even if invasives only affected disturbed areas, to me that is still a problem, for they are displacing the native plants which would normally colonize disturbed areas. Invasive plants can prevent native plants from returning to disturbed areas, so this habitat is permanently rather than temporarily lost.

(And unfortunately, there are invasive species which invade undisturbed habitat; witness the heartbreaking blanket of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, herbe à l'ail) carpeting the forests in High Park and around the Ontario Science Centre, for example.)

She suggests that invasives are mainly a concern in warm areas (southeast US, California, and Hawaii) or near wetlands. In reality, while invasives may be worse in those areas, that doesn't mean they aren't a serious problem here.

Then she points out that sometimes authorities use environmentally questionable practices (herbicides). There is real debate on if/when pesticides should be used to control invasives, but surely if we don't want the authorities to feel driven to use pesticides we should avoid growing plants that are invasive in the first place! She also describes an instance she witnessed of a birds' nest being destroyed when the plant they were living in was removed. Again, all the more reason to prevent these situations by not growing invasives in our gardens.

Most upsettingly, she writes that since birds use some invasives for shelter or food:

I stick up for many invasives [because] we've destroyed so much bird habitat, so many native plants, and such multitudes of insects, that I believe birds deserve some extra help.


The sad truth is, these invasives she's defending are a leading cause of habitat loss. In particular, the multitudes of insects she mourns depend on a multitude of native plants for food. Most herbivorous insects can only eat certain species; even a closely related non-native plant often supports many fewer insects (in both number of species and number of individuals) compared to its native counterpart. Birds can seek cover and build nests in many locations, and fruit and nectar of many plants are palatable, but without a healthy insect population most birds won't be able to get the nourishment they need.

Invasive plants don't help birds, they harm birds.

If you want to grow plants to help birds, there are many native plants (many listed in Bird by Bird Gardening, and Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy) which provide shelter, berries, and the insects which are such a crucial part of many birds' diets.

For more information about the impact of native vs. non-native plants on wildlife, please read Bringing Nature Home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Great podcasts by Doug Tallamy on gardening and wildlife

I've already mentioned Doug Tallamy's wonderful book, Bringing Nature Home (Timber Press). I just discovered these fascinating and inspiring podcasts online. Enjoy!

Part 1: the crisis faced by wildlife, making friends with insects. (8:02)

Part 2: how many native vs. non-native plants do you need, which native plants have the most benefit for wildlife. (11:11)

Part 3: how to distinguish native vs. non-native plants, how invasive plants affect the environment, using herbicides to control invasive plants, organic gardening. (9:24)

Part 4: can one garden really make a difference in helping wildlife? How to get started. (9:15)

Part 5: do lawn alternatives help wildlife, what is the most destructive landscaping practice? Current research on the impact of plants on wildlife, especially birds. Effects of native vs. invasive insects. (11:29)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, November 2009

Here in Toronto, there isn't much blooming; in fact, I was surprised to find as many blooms as I did. Interestingly, they're all volunteers except for the chrysanthemums.

[Photo: pink Antirrhinum majus.]Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon, muflier). I'm not sure where these snapdragons blew in from, since we didn't plant them last year either. I'm planning to let them self-sow.

[Photo: pink Chyrsanthemums.]Chrysanthemum sp. (chrysanthème). The mums aren't as pretty as they were last month, but they still have lasted a very long time.

[Photo: Erigeron annuus.]Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane, vergerette annuelle). I was surprised to see daisy fleabane blooming at this time of year; it mostly blooms in early summer.

[Photo: pink Lobularia maritima.]Lobularia maritima (alyssum, alysse odorante). I love the way this alyssum volunteers in a crack in the driveway. I may deliberately sow some in cracks next year.

[Photo: purple Lobularia maritima.]Lobularia maritima (alyssum, alysse odorante). More alyssum. I must plant more of this next year, it has such a long blooming season, smells lovely, and pollinators love it! Stokes has some interesting colours you don't usually see in alyssums.

[Photo: Petunia.]Petunia. I can't believe this petunia is still blooming, it lost its leaves ages ago and looked so nearly dead my landlords dumped it out of its hanging basket. Here it is sitting in a clump of dried up soil in November, and it's still blooming.

[Photo: lavender Sutera cordata.]Sutera cordata (bacopa, sutera cordée). This was a pleasant surprise volunteer. I may plant some deliberately next year. It really needs to be started early indoors; this plant didn't bloom until autumn.

Check out what's blooming in gardens around the world this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hamamelis virginiana in bloom

[Photo: Hamamelis virginiana flowers © Nicky Sztybel.]Although he photographed these flowers in High Park last Monday, Nicky wanted me to post this plant today in honour of Hallowe'en. Hamamelis virginiana, known in English as "American witchhazel" and in French as hamamélis de Virginie, is a deciduous tree native to eastern and central North America. Unlike most of our native trees, witchhazel blooms in autumn, possibly to take advantage of the lack of other flowers vying for pollinators attention. I was thrilled to see this interesting tree for the first time in real life!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Phlox paniculata 'Katherine': bare root plant

[Photo: Phlox paniculata 'Katherine' bare root plant.]Phlox paniculata, known in English as "garden phlox", "fall phlox", or "summer phlox", and in French as phlox paniculée, is a perennial native to eastern and central United States. It bears clusters of showy five-petalled flowers in shades of pink, purple, or white. This cultivar will have lavender flowers with white eyes.

Garden phlox looks similar to dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis, julienne des dames). You can distinguish the two by counting petals: phlox has five petals, dame's rocket has four. It's important to be able to distinguish them because dame's rocket is seriously invasive here in southern Ontario according to the Invasive Exotic Species Ranking for Southern Ontario (PDF). Since dame's rocket is considered "a threat to natural areas wherever they occur because they can reproduce by means that allow them to move long distances," I hope that other Toronto gardeners will join me in growing the equally pretty but non-invasive garden phlox instead.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Iris × hollandica 'Blue Pearl' bulbs

[Photo: Iris x hollandica 'Blue Pearl' bulbs.]Iris × hollandica, known in English as "Dutch iris" and in French as iris de Hollande, is a bulbous perennial available in a variety of colours including blue violet (e.g. 'Blue Magic'), white (e.g. 'Casa Blanca'), yellow (e.g. 'Crown Jewel'), bronze (e.g. 'Bronze Beauty'), and more. These ones should be a rich blue violet.

Tulipa tarda bulbs

[Photo: Tulipa tarda]Tulipa tarda, known in English as "tarda tulip" or "species tulip" and in French as tulipe tarda or tulipe botanique, are bulbous perennials native to Turkey and the surrounding area. Unlike the usual hybrid tulips, species tulips will self-sow and are more perennial in nature (hybrids may come back in future years but often decline). Tarda tulips are petite plants with showy 6-petalled star-shaped flowers in yellow with white tips.

Galanthus nivalis bulbs

[Photo: Galanthus nivalis bulbs.]Last year snowdrops (perce-neige) were the very first flowers up in our neighbourhood, and very welcome after the long winter. (Last year, Helen's first snowdrop came up in late February!

Cyclamen hederifolium tubers

[Photo: Cyclamen hederifolium tubers.]

The plants I ordered from Veseys have arrived (except the phlox, which is back-ordered), so I have a busy weekend ahead!

You can see that one of these tubers seems to have sprouted already. I do hope it will be okay.

Cyclamens are sometimes wild-collected for the horticultural trade, and some species have become endangered because of this. So when you buy cyclamens, make sure that they are nursery propagated!

Crocus chrysanthus corms

[Photo: Crocus chyrsanthus 'Romance' corms.]Crocus chrysanthus, known in English as "snow crocus" and in French as crocus de printemps, are bulbous perennials native to Eurasia. A variety of cultivars are available, in colours ranging from white (e.g. 'Snow Bunting', pale lavender blue (e.g. 'Blue Pearl', and pale yellow (e.g. 'Romance') to dark purple (e.g. 'Lady Killer') and bronze ('Zwanenburg Bronze').

[Photo: Crocus chrysanthus 'Blue Pearl' corms.]Of course at this stage they all look pretty much the same. The top photo shows 'Romance' (light yellow blooms) and the bottom photo shows 'Blue Pearl' (very pale blue).

Chionodoxa forbesii bulbs

[Photo: Chionodoxa forbesii bulbs.] More treasures from Veseys: Chionodoxa forbesii (glory-of-the-snow, gloire des neiges). These little beauties, native to Turkey, bear six-petalled light blue flowers in early spring—here are some photos at Dave's Garden. I've seen these in real life so I know they really are as pretty as the pictures!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, October 2009

It's definitely autumn now, and most of the flowering plants are either finished or on their last legs. Here are the brave hangers-on: [Photo: Antirrhinum majus.] Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon, muflier) volunteers in the front garden.

[Photo: Chrysanthemum sp.] Chrysanthemum sp. (chrysanthème), courtesy of my landlord.

[Photo: Helianthus annuus.] Helianthus annuus (sunflower, tournesol) volunteer.

[Photo: Impatiens walleriana 'Accent Lavender Blue.] Impatiens walleriana 'Accent Lavender Blue' (impatience).

[Photo: Lobularia maritima.]Lobularia maritima (alyssum, alysse odorante), volunteer offspring of 'Rosie O'Day'.

[Photo: Myosotis sp.]Cynoglossum sp. (forget-me-not, souvenez-vous-de-moi).

[Photo: Rudbeckia hirta.]Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan, rudbeckie dressée).

[Photo: Sutera cordata with Sedum spurium.]Sutera cordata (bacopa, bacopa) volunteer in the Sedum spurium (rock cress, orpin bâtard).

And here are some plants that are not blooming now but are looking pretty:

[Photo: Heuchera 'Bressingham Hybrid'.]Heuchera 'Bressingham Hybrid' (coral bells, heuchère).

[Photo: Solidago canadensis gone to seed.]Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod, verge d'or du Canada).

[Photo: Tiarella cordifolia.]Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower, tiarelle cordifoliée).

[Photo: Waldsteinia fragaroides.]Waldsteinia fragaroides (barren strawberry, waldsteinie faux-fraisier).

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming in gardens around the world!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grower admits photos are falsified to sell plants!

I guess Casa Flora assumed only other industry people would be reading their website, not ordinary gardeners. Check out this page for Heuchera 'Cathedral Windows'. They actually admit
Cathedral Windows was published on the front cover of a popular plant catalog and was an instant success. Even though the photo may have been computer colored enhanced, it caught the public eye and is still asked for by its intriguing name. It’s a nice selection with a network of silver veins and purple patches between veins, but it is not nearly as nice as the cover. Merchandising works!
May have been colour-enhanced? The photos used to market 'Cathedral Windows' show rich deep purple leaves. The photos taken by regular gardeners at Dave's Garden show much less striking dull dark green foliage with a slight purplish cast, with purple undersides and stems.

Casa Flora may think that this type of merchandising works. In the short run, sure, but in the long run, you're disappointing customers and teaching us to never ever buy a plant based on a photo, since unethical companies can easily photoshop a plant into something it's not.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Glorious autumn colour in eastern Ontario

[Photo: where I grew up.]When I was growing up, autumn was my favourite season. The weather was good, not too hot and not too cold, and the forests surrounding our house erupted in glorious oranges, yellows, and reds. The photo to the left shows the land where I grew up, although the house I lived in has been replaced by the new owner.

[Photo: tree with yellow autumn foliage © Nicky Sztybel.]Since moving to Toronto over 20 years ago, I've found autumn disappointing. Our fall colours just don't seems as rich and varied as those in eastern Ontario. Obviously living in a city is not going to provide the same number of trees as living surrounded by forest, but in eastern Ontario even in the more built up areas the trees seem more vivid. (This tree was photographed on Church Street in Almonte.)

[Photo: trees on Wolf Grove Road.]My very favourites are these maples, don't know which species, which turn a gorgeous red-orange (these photos do not do the colours justice). [Photo: trees on Wolf Grove Road.]

[Photo: sprouting maple stump with exuberant fall colours © Nicky Sztybel.]My son discovered these gorgeous leaves on a sprouting maple stump, also on Church Street in Almonte. [Photo: trees beside marsh on Wolf Grove Road.]It seems to me that the best fall colours are by water.

[Photo: red maple leaf © Nicky Sztybel.]I think this was the first time I was home at the right time to see autumn leaves in 20 years! I'll have to make this a regular autumn pilgrimage.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Helianthus divaricatus in bloom

[Photo: Helianthus divaricatus flowers © Nicky Sztybel.]Helianthus divaricatus, known in English as "woodland sunflower" and in French as hélianthe à feuilles étalées, is a perennial native to eastern North America. I love the contrast between the clear yellow flowers and the dark green foliage. [Photo: Helianthus divaricatus © Nicky Sztybel.]

My son photographed these plants at High Park.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's blooming in High Park, late September

[Photo: Asters and goldenrod blooming in High Park.]Sunday was a perfect day for planting with the High Park Volunteer Stewardship Programme. Summer is coming to an end, but there are many plants still in bloom. The asters are the current stars; I was especially impressed with the white heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides, aster ericoïde), which has gorgeous plumes densely packed with small white flowers. So-called sky blue aster (Symphyotrichum oolentiangense, aster azuré) creates clouds of soft pale lavender, while New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, aster de Nouvelle-Angleterre) has big bright purple flowers. There are still some goldenrods (Solidago spp., verges d'or) and woodland sunflowers (Helianthus divaricatus, hélianthe à feuilles étalées), complementing the mauve asters with their bright yellow blooms. I also saw Campanula rotundifolia (harebells, campanule à feuilles rondes) in bloom for the first time in real life! [Photo: Volunteer Stewardship Programme planting native plants in High Park.]

We planted seedlings of native plants at a new site (the former Sculpture Garden), including

  • Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem, barbon de Gérard)
  • Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane, apocyn à feuilles d'androsème)
  • Asclepias tuberosa (butterflyweed, asclépiade tubéreuse)
  • Campanula rotundifolia (harebell, campanule à feuilles rondes)
  • Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot, monarde fistuleuse)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem, schizachyrium à balais)
  • Solidago juncea (early goldenrod, verge d'or jonciforme)
  • Symphyotrichum ericoides (white heath aster, aster ericoïde)
  • Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (sky blue aster, aster azuré)

and others that I don't remember. (My son said they look like they're just weeds, but next year I'm sure they'll be lovely.) [Photo: ground covered with black plastic to kill the weeds in preparation for planting. High Park.]Nearby, another patch of ground was covered with heavy black plastic to kill the weeds through solarization. We'll be planting there next year.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Celosia argentea var. plumosa

[Photo: Celosia argentea var. plumosa and Heliotropium arborescens planting at the main entrance to High Park.]Celosia argentea, known in English as "plumed cockscomb", "feathered cockscomb", "silver cockscomb", or by the genus name, and in French as célosie crête de coq, is an annual native to the tropics, perhaps Africa or India. The leaves and flowers are grown as a food crop in Africa. The flowers of the plumosa group are reminiscent of those of amaranth, and in fact celosia is a member of the Amaranthaceae.

I've never grown celosia myself, but I have a sentimental attachment to the cristata types, because they remind me of my first husband. (Geoffrey liked them because the flowers look like brains). I thought this combination of red celosia with deliciously fragrant deep purple Heliotropium arborscens (heliotrope, héliotrope), which I photographed at the main entrance of High Park opposite High Park subway station, was really striking.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Which natives are easy to grow from seed?

Although I really botched this last season's attempt to grow native plants from seed, I'm not giving up. I was pleased to see that William Cullina's Growing and propagating wildflowers of the United States and Canada (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000) lists which genera are easy to grow from seed. Here's a summary of the genera relevant to Toronto gardeners:
Genus Species native to Toronto
  • Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop, anis hysope)
  • Agastache nepetoides (yellow giant hyssop, faux-népéta)
  • Ageratina altissima (white snakeroot, eupatoire rugueuse)1
  • Antennaria howellii (Howell's pussytoes, immortelle)*
  • Antennaria neglecta (field pussytoes, antennaire négligée)*
  • Antennaria parlinii (Parlin's pussytoes, antennaire de Parlin)
[Photo: Asclepias syriacus flowers.]
  • Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed, asclépiade très grande)
  • Asclepias hirtella (tall green milkweed, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed, asclépiade incarnate)
  • Asclepias purpurascens (purple milkweed, asclépiade pourpre)
  • Asclepias quadrifolia (four-leaf milkweed, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Asclepias sullivantii (Sullivant's milkweed, asclépiade de Sullivant)*
  • Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed, asclépiade commune)
  • Asclepias tuberosa (butterflyweed, asclépiade tubéreuse)
  • Asclepias variegata (white milkweed, asclépiade blanche)
  • Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed, asclépiade verticillée)
  • Asclepias viridiflora (green milkweed, asclépiade à fleurs vertes)*
  • Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo, indigo sauvage)
  • Campanula aparinoides (bedstraw bellflower, campanule faux-gaillet)*
  • Campanula rotundifolia (harebell, campanule à feuilles rondes)
  • Chamerion angustifolium (fireweed, épilobe)2
  • Chelone glabra (white turtlehead, galane glabre)
  • Conoclinium coelistinum (mist flower, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)3
[Photo: Coreopsis lanceolata flowers.]
  • Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf coreopsis, coreopsis à feuilles lancéolées)
  • Coreopsis tinctoria (calliopsis, coréopsis des teinturiers)*
  • Coreopsis tripteris (tall coreopsis, coréopsis trifoliolé)
  • Dalea purpurea (prairie clover, petalostemon pourpre)
  • Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower, échinacée pâle)*
  • Eupatoriadelphus maculatus (spotted Joe Pye weed, eupatoire maculée)4
  • Eupatorium altissimum (tall boneset, eupatoire élevée)*
  • Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset, eupatoire perfoliée)
  • Eupatorium purpureum (sweet Joe Pye weed, eupatoire pourpre)*
[Photo: Geranium robertianum.]
  • Geranium bicknellii (Bicknell's cranesbill, géranium de Bicknell)*
  • Geranium carolinianum (Carolina geranium, géranium de Caroline)*
  • Geranium maculatum (wild geranium, géranium maculé)
  • Geranium robertianum (herb Robert, géranium de Robert)*
[Photo: Geum triflorum in bloom.]
  • Geum aleppicum (yellow avens, benoîte d'Alep)*
  • Geum canadense (white avens, benoîte du Canada)*
  • Geum lacinatum (rough avens, benoîte laciniée)*
  • Geum macrophyllum (large-leaf avens, benoîte à grandes feuilles)*
  • Geum rivale (water avens, benoîte des ruisseaux)
  • Geum triflorum (prairie smoke, benoîte à trois fleurs)
  • Geum vernum (spring avens, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Geum virginianum (pale avens, benoîte de Virginie)*
  • Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman's root, gillenia à trois feuilles)5
  • Helianthus decapetalus (thin-leaf sunflower, hélianthe à dix rayons)*
  • Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower, hélianthe à feuilles étalées)
  • Helianthus maximilliani (Maximillian sunflower, hélianthe de Maximilien)
  • Helianthus nuttallii (Nuttall's sunflower, hélianthe de Nuttall)*
  • Helianthus pauciflorus (stiff sunflower, hélianthe raide)*
  • Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaf wood sunflower, hélianthe scrofuleux)*
  • Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke, topinambour)
  • Heuchera americana (American alumroot, heuchère d'Amérique)
  • Hibiscus laevis (halberd-leaf rose mallow, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)
  • Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow, ketmie des marais)
  • Hydrophyllum appendiculatum (appendaged waterleaf, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Hydrophyllum canadense (broad-leaf waterleaf, hydrophylle du Canada)
  • Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia waterleaf, hydrophylle de Virginie)
  • Liatris aspera (rough blazing-star, liatride rugueuse)
  • Liatris cylindracea (Ontario blazing-star, liatris cylindrique)*
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower, lobélie cardinale)
  • Lobelia dortmanna (water lobelia, lobélie de Dortmann)*
  • Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco, lobélie gonflée)*
  • Lobelia kalmii (brook lobelia, lobélie de Kalm)*
  • Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia, lobélie syphilitique)
  • Lupinus perennis (wild lupine, lupin sauvage)
  • Lupinus polyphyllus (big-leaf lupine, lupin polyphylle)
  • Mimulus alatus (sharp-winged monkey-flower, mimule ailé)*
  • Mimulus glabratus (round-leaf monkey-flower, mimule glabre)*
  • Mimulus moschatus (muskflower, mimule musqué)*
  • Mimulus ringens (square-stemmed monkey-flower, mimule à fleurs entrouvertes)
[Photo: Monarda didyma.]
  • Monarda didyma (beebalm, monarde écarlate)
  • Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot, monarde fistuleuse)
  • Monarda media (purple bergamot, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm, monarde ponctuée)
  • Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose, onagre bisannuelle)*
  • Oenothera clelandii (Cleland's evening primrose, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Oenothera fruticosa (sundrops, onagre frutescente)
  • Oenothera nutans (nodding evening primrose, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun en français)*
  • Oenothera oakesiana (Oakes' evening primrose, onagre d'Oakes)*
  • Oenothera parviflora (small-flowered evening primrose, onagre parviflore)*
  • Oenothera perennis (little evening primrose, onagre vivace)*
  • Oenothera pilosella (meadow evening primrose, onagre piloselle)*
  • Oenothera villosa (hairy evening primrose, onagre velue)*
  • Penstemon digitalis (foxglove beardtongue, penstémon digitale)
  • Penstemon grandiflorus (large-flowered beardtongue, penstémon à grandes fleurs)
  • Penstemon hirsutus (hairy beardtongue, penstémon hirsute)
  • Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox, phlox divariqué)
  • Phlox pilosa (downy phlox, phlox nain)
  • Phlox subulata (moss phlox, phlox mousse)
  • Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant, physostégie de Virginie)
  • Potentilla arguta (tall cinquefoil, potentille âcre)*
  • Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil, potentille du Canada)*
  • Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil, potentille de Norvège)*
  • Potentilla paradoxa (bushy cinquefoil, potentille paradoxale)*
  • Potentilla rivalis (brook cinquefoil, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun en français)*
  • Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil, potentille simple)*
  • Pycnanthemum incanum (hoary mountain-mint, pycnanthème gris)
  • Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (slender mountain-mint, pycnanthème à feuilles étroites)
  • Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia mountain-mint, pycnanthème de Virginie)*
  • Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower, chapeau mexicain)
[Photo: Rudbeckia hirta.]
  • Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan, rudbeckie dress&eaucte;e)
  • Rudbeckia lacinata (green-headed coneflower, rudbeckie laciniée)
  • Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap, scutellaire à casque)*
  • Scutellaria lateriflora (mad-dog skullcap, scutellaire latériflore)
  • Scutellaria nervosa (veined skullcap, scutellaire)*
  • Scutellaria parvula (smaller skullcap, scutellaire minime)*
  • Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil, potentille tridentée)6
  • Silene antirrhina (sleepy catchfly, silène muflier)*
  • Silene virginica (fire pink, silène de Virginie)
  • Sisyrinchium albidum (white blue-eyed grass, bermudienne blanche)*
  • Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrow-leaf blue-eyed grass, bermudienne à feuilles étroites)
  • Sisyrinchium montanum (strict blue-eyed grass, bermudienne montagnarde)*
[Photo: Solidago canadensis.]
  • Solidago arguta (sharp-leaf goldenrod, verge d'or à fines dentelures)*
  • Solidago bicolor (silverrod, verge d'or bicolore)
  • Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod, verge d'or bleuâtre)
  • Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod, verge d'or du Canada)*
  • Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod, verge d'or à tige zigzaguante)
  • Solidago gigantica (giant goldenrod, verge d'or géante)*
  • Solidago hispida (hairy goldenrod, verge d'or hispide)*
  • Solidago juncea (early goldenrod, verge d'or jonciforme)*
  • Solidago macrophylla (large-leaf goldenrod, verge d'or à grandes feuilles)*
  • Solidago nemoralis (grey goldenrod, verge d'or des bois)
  • Solidago patula (rough-leaf goldenrod, verge d'or étalée)*
  • Solidago puberela (downy goldenrod, verge d'or pubérulente)*
  • Solidago rugosa (rough-stem goldenrod, verge d'or rugueuse)
  • Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod, verge d'or toujours verte)
  • Solidago simplex (Mt. Albert goldenrod, verge d'or simple)*
  • Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod, verge d'or splendide)
  • Solidago squarrosa (stout goldenrod, verge d'or squarreuse)*
  • Solidago uliginosa (bog goldenrod, verge d'or des marais)*
  • Solidago ulmifolia (elm-leaf goldenrod, verge d'or à feuilles d'orme)*
  • Stylophorum diphyllum (wood poppy, célandine)
  • Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue, pigamon dioïque)
  • Thalictrum pubescens (king of the meadow, pigamon pubescent)
  • Thalictrum revolutum (waxy meadowrue, pigamon à feuilles révolutées)*
  • Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone, isopyre faux pigamon)*
  • Thalictrum venulosum (veiny meadowrue, pigamon veiné)
  • Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower, tiarelle cordifoliée)
[Photo: Tradescantia ohiensis flowers.]
  • Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio spiderwort, tradescantia de l'Ohio)*
  • Verbena bracteata (big-bract verbena, verveine prostrée)*
  • Verbena × deamii (Deam's verbena, verveine de Deam)*
  • Verbena × engelmannii (Engelmann's verbena, verveine d'Engelmann)*
  • Verbena hastata (blue vervain, verveine hastée)
  • Verbena × perriana (vervain, verveine)*
  • Verbena simplex (narrow-leaf vervain, verveine simple)*
  • Verbena stricta (hoary vervain, verveine veloutée)
  • Verbena urticifolia (white vervain, verveine à feuilles d'ortie)*
  • Vernonia gigantea (giant ironweed, vernonie géante)*
  • Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root, veronicastre de Virginie)
  • Viola adunca (hooked-spur violet, violette à éperon crochu)
  • Viola affinis (pale early violet, violette affine)*
  • Viola bicolor (field pansy, pensée des champs)*
  • Viola blanda (sweet white violet, violette agréable)*
  • Viola × brauniae (Braun's violet, violette)*
  • Viola canadensis (Canada violet, violette du Canada)
  • Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet, violette cucullée)*
  • Viola labradorica (alpine violet, violette du Labrador)
  • Viola lanceolata (lance-leaf violet, violette lancéolée)*
  • Viola macloskeyi (small white violet, violette pâle)*
  • Viola × malteana (violet, violette de Malte)*
  • Viola nephrophylla (northern bog violet, violette néphrophylle)*
  • Viola novae-angliae (New England blue violet, violette de la Nouvelle-Angleterre)*
  • Viola × palmata (palmate-leaf violet, violette palmée)*
  • Viola palustris (alpine marsh violet, violette des marais)*
  • Viola pedata (bird's-foot violet, violette pédalée)
  • Viola pedatifida (prairie violet, violette pédalée)*
  • Viola populifolia (Peck's violet, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)*
  • Viola × porteriana (Stone's violet, violette de Porter)*
  • Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet, violette pubescente)
  • Viola renifolia (kidney-leaf violet, violette réniforme)*
  • Viola rostrata (long-spurred violet, violette rostrée)*
  • Viola rotundifolia (round-leaf yellow violet, violette à feuilles rondes)*
  • Viola sagittata (arrow-leaf violet, violette sagittée)*
  • Viola selkirkii (great-spurred violet, violette de Selkirk)*
  • Viola septentrionalis (northern blue violet, violette septentrionale)*
  • Viola sororia (wooly blue violet, violette parente)
  • Viola striata (pale violet, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun français)
  • Viola sublanceolata (lanceleaf violet, violette sublanceolée)*
  • Viola triloba (cleft violet, je ne peux pas trouver le nom commun en français)*
  • Zizia aptera (heart-leaf Alexanders, zizia des marais)
  • Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders, zizia doré)

For references for which plants are native to Toronto, see my native plant list. (Here I'll insert my usual caveat that I'm not an expert, the native plant list is still under development, etc. Corrections are always welcome.)

*: although Cullina says plants in this genus are easy to grow, he does not discuss this particular species.
  1. Listed in Cullina as Eupatorium rugosum.
  2. Listed in Cullina as Epilobium angustifolium.
  3. Listed in Cullina as Eupatorium coelestinum.
  4. A synonym for Eupatorium maculatum. This species is not listed in Cullina, but he does say the eupatoriums are easy in general.
  5. Listed in Cullina as Porteranthus trifoliatus.
  6. Listed in Cullina as Potentilla tridentata.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, September 2009

Here's what's blooming in our garden today:


  • Amaranthus tuberculatus (rough-fruit amaranth, amarante tuberculée)
  • Conyza canadensis (horseweed, vergerette du Canada)
  • Oxalis stricta (wood sorrel, oxalide) [Photo: Rudbeckia hirta and Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lulu'.]
  • Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan, rudbeckie dressée)
  • Solidago canadensis (goldenrod, verge d'or)


  • Callibrachoa
  • Campanula rapunculoides (creepy bellflower, campanule fausse raiponce)
  • Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower, echinacée pourpre) [Photo: Helianthus annuus.]
  • Helianthus annuus (sunflower, tournesol) [Photo: Heliotropium arborescens 'Fragrant Delight'.]
  • Heliotropium arborescens 'Fragrant Delight' (heliotrope, héliotrope) [Photo: Impatiens walleriana 'Accent Lavender Blue'.]
  • Impatiens walleriana 'Accent Lavender Blue' (impatiens, impatience)
  • Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue'
  • Lobularia maritima (alyssum, alysson)
  • Mentha sp. (mint, menthe) [Photo: Petunia 'Sanguna Lavender Vein']
  • Petunia 'Sanguna Lavender Vein' (shown) and others [Photo: Sutera cordata.]
  • Sutera cordata (bacopa, sutera cordée)
  • Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lulu' (signet marigold, tagète tachée) (shown in photo above with black-eyed Susan) [Photo: Tropeolum majus 'Jewel Mix'.]
  • Tropeolum majus (nasturtium capucine)
  • Verbena [Photo: Viola x wittrockiana 'Delta Pure Rose']
  • Viola × wittrockiana 'Delta Pure Rose' (pansy, pensée) [Photo: Zinnia elegans 'Polar Bear'.]
  • Zinnia elegans 'Polar Bear'

Not bloooms, but still nice

    [Photo: Taxus sp.]
  • Taxus sp. (yew, if) [Photo: Vitis sp. fruit.]
  • Vitis sp. (grape, raisin)

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming elsewhere for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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