WILLIAM COPELAND McCALLA
With Sixty Plates from Original Photographs
by the Author
THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY
Copyright, Canada, 1920
W. C. McCALLA
11 The bubbling brook doth leap when I come by,
Because my feet find measure with its call;
The birds know when the friend they love is nigh,
For I am known to them, both great and small.
The flower that on the lonely hillside grows
Expects me there when spring its bloom has given;
And many a tree and bush my wanderings knows,
And e'en the clouds and silent stars of heaven;"
The plants pictured and described in thia little book are for the most
part quite common in Western Canada. With a territory so vast and varied
in character as is ours, the reader will not expect to find them all in his own
neighborhood, but he will find many of them, also others quite as beautiful
and interesting. He may regret that some favorite flower is not included,
but he may be sure that his regret is shared by the author who found it difficult
to make the final selection. No two persons would have made an identical
choice, still, it is believed that representative plants from all parts of the
West except the extreme North and the Pacific slope have been included.
In a general way the plants are arranged according to their time of bloom,
beginning with the early flowers of Spring. But owing to the extent of our
counti y, to local conditions of soil and exposure, and to variations in weather
from year to year, it is impossible to be exact as to either order or dates.
Still, for a work of this kind, it was felt to be the best arrangement.
In writing of western wild flowers one meets the difficulty that many of
them have as yet no generally recognized common name. Such names as
far as possible have been hunted out and used. In some cases they lack
definiteness, as where a common generic name has come into use and is applied
loosely to any one or to all of the several species. To accurately identify
the flower the botanical name is also given. As the photographs together
with the notes on size, color, and habitat are believed to be quite sufficient
to enable the reader to recognize any of the plants, it has not been thought
necessary or desirable to give detailed technical descriptions.
The landscape pictures are introduced to give variety of interest and to
direct attention to the fascinating subject of plant societies.
To know the name of a flower is, of course, but a preliminary to acquain-
tance. It is hoped that the presentation of certain facts in the life history
of these plants may lead readers to more attentively observe the plants
about them to notice how they adapt themselves in structure and habit
to their environment, how they bravely meet vicissitudes of fortune, how
eagerly they take advantage of favorable opportunities, and how marvelously
in form and service they and the insects are interrelated and mutually depend-
ent. Refeience to these subjects has been much curtailed by limitation of
space but this is not necessarily a disadvantage. Were an attempt made to
give the whole life history of each plant it would be attended by two dangers:
first, its length might discourage many casual readers; and second, the more
interested might be tempted to study the written story rather than the living
plant. Hence, the endeavor has been to make the brief text stimulative
May we all find in the contemplation of the manifold beauties and wonders
of Nature fresh joy, quickened sympathy, and enlarged outlook on life.
W. C. McCALLA.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Golden Pea 11
Fairy Bells 13
Wild Sarsaparilla 15
Early Purple Violet 17
Shooting Star 19
Purple Milk Vetch 21
The Forest Invading a Peat Bog 23
Baked-Apple Berry . . . 25
Arctic Raspberry 27
Water Arum 29
Silver Weed 31
Round-leaved Orchis 33
Blue Beard Tongue 35
Bird's-eye or Mealy Primrose 37
Marsh Ragwort 39
Zones of Vegetation around a Pond 41
Tall Lungwort 43
Yellow Lady's Slipper 45
Yellow Columbine 51
Northern Bedstraw 53
Seneca Snakeroot 55
Red Lily 57
-In a Western Woodland 59
Pink Wintergreen 61
One-flowered Wintergreen 63
Purple Geranium 65
Tall White Cinquefoil 67
Cow Parsnip 69
Prairie Pink 71
Scarlet Gaura 73
Purple Prairie Clover 75
Northern Hedysarum 77
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A Flower-bordered Road 79
Hedge Nettle 81
Great-flowered Gaillardia 83
Tall Meadow Rue 85
Nodding Wild Onion 89
Tall or Glaucous Zygadenus 91
Oval-leaved Milkweed 93
Rough Fleabane Daisy 95
Wild Bergamot 97
A Ferny Dell 99
Great Willow-herb 101
Grass of Parnassus : 103
Spreading Dogbane 105
Giant Hyssop 107
Wild Morning Glory. 109
Blazing Star r Ill
Painted Cup 113
A Western River Scene 115
Giant Sunflower 117
Broad-leaved Arrow-head 119
Marsh Felwort 121
Lesser Pasture Sage Brush 123
White Prairie Aster 125
Drummond's Dryas 127
A Group of Airship Seeds 129
GOLDEN PEA; PRAIRIE BEAN
Thermopsis rhombifolia (Nutt.) Richards
The early flowers are especially welcome and are eagerly
looked for. It is an event of the year to find the first anemone,
the well-known " crocus" of the prairie. Following this pioneer
come the sweet coltsfoot, a dwarf buttercup, a tiny, leafy-stemmed
violet, and, showiest of all, this splendid Golden Pea. It perfumes
and brightens many a hillside and bit of prairie, always showing
a preference for sandy soil.
When the stalk emerges from the ground it wears a gray coat
of silky hairs. Its tip is bent over and sheltered by large stipules
(those leaf-like appendages at the base of each leaf -stalk), as if
the plant hid its face between huge ear tabs from the sudden
exposure to wind and sunshine. As the stem grows, the three-
parted leaves push out from this protection, but for a time the
leaflets remain folded along their mid-ribs, only gradually opening
out and assuming the horizontal position. The flower buds are
soon revealed, and rapidly develop into large, bright yellow, pea-
shaped blossoms, followed a few weeks later by sickle-shaped pods.
It is interesting to observe the various and ingenious devices
used by plants to ensure the safety of the tender young shoots
and leaves during the great change from the snug cradle of the
bud to the full exposure of maturity. The transition is usually
made without injury. Many people believe that while man-
made gardens are often caught by late frosts and storms, the wild
plants have a sure instinct that leads them to defer growth until
the weather is safe. But this is not wholly correct, "for only
those who have studied nature but very little will maintain that
she never errs."* The Golden Peas growing on a sunny slope
near the house of the writer have been badly frozen three years
out of six, while those near by, but on the north side of a coppice,
have escaped all injury. These are no wiser than their brothers
on the hillside, but the brush held the snow and frost and so de-
layed their start.
GOLDEN PEA; PRAIRIE BEAN
Disporum trachycarpum 8. Wats.
Here is no plant of the open prairie. The thin, soft tissue
of it leaves and of its creamj^-white flowers could not stand
exposure to high wind, beating rain, or strong sunshine, hence it
is in deep woods, especially on the sheltered sides of ravines,
that this graceful and dainty beauty of early Spring is to be
found. How well it chooses its home is shown by the fact that
this photograph of perfect specimens was taken in the morning,
after a late snowstorm, followed by frost, had bedraggled or
blighted the hardier plants up in the open.
As the developing foliage of the trees shuts out more sunlight,
the Disporum broadens out with the ample, horizontal leaves
characteristic of woodland undergrowth. Still later in the
season, each branch now widely divergent, bears one or two
bright berries where once hung the delicate bells. These globose,
three-lobed fruits are about one-half inch in diameter, and in
process of ripening change from green to orange and then to
dazzling scarlet. Their skin is minutely roughened, giving it
th' richness of velvet. Within is a small quantity of juicy pulp
and numerous ivory-white seeds. The berries, although not
likely to be used for human food, seen harmless enough. These
are ripe before the leaves assume their autumn tints, so, unless
arrinl away promptly by the birds, they have first a rich green
and later a bright yellow background.
Aralia nudicaulis L.
The Wild Sarsaparilla can hardly be called a beautiful flower,
yet the plant as a whole is attractive, and, for a time in early June,
its abundance makes it the most conspicuous feature of many a
woodland from Newfoundland to British Columbia.
A long aromatic rootstock bears a very short stem, from a
bud on which spring one leaf and one flower-stalk. Developing
together the newly-expanded leaf overarches the newly-opened
flowers. As will be seen by the picture, both are in threes. This
is the usual number, although sometimes there are four main
divisions to the leaf, and the umbels, or clusters of flowers, may
vary from two to seven; if more than four, the extra umbels
spring from one or more of the primary clusters, so giving a two-
The small, greenish-white flowers seem to be followed by either
a full crop of fruit or none at all. In 1919 the bloom was copious,
but little fruit was produced; such plants, however, as had any
berries bore full clusters, there being no half-filled ones. The
berries are purplish-black or finally jet-black, rather sweet when
first put in the mouth, but quickly turning bitter like quinine.
They ripen late in the season, about the time the leaf turns a
The roots are supposed to have some medicinal value and there
is a slight commercial demand for them. The official sarsaparilla,
however, is from quite a different plant, the smilax of Central
and South America.
EARLY PURPLE VIOLET
Viola nephrophylla Greene
Everyone knows and admires the violet, and with our
admiration is combined a warmer feeling, for it is a lovable flower
with a personal, almost human appeal.
Out of the two hundred or more species that have been described
by botanists, Canada has her full share (whether with blue, purple,
white, or yellow flowers), but none is finer than this one, which
grows abundantly in wet meadows and beside ponds and streams
from Quebec to British Columbia. The large, long-stemmed blos-
soms are a true violet in color, wonderfully deep and rich if seen
when "violets bathe in the weto' the morn." If , some dewy morning,
it is your privilege to come upon a little pool, bordered with
these Early Purple Violets, then you have indeed chanced upon
one of the most exquisite of Nature's floral gems. You will
notice the rich, suffused beauty of the violet faces. You will
notice the tender green of the leaves, acting, by the contrast
of their simple freshness, as a foil to intensify the blushing beauty
of the violets which shyly peep forth above, bejewelled with
wonderful, translucent pearls of dew-drops. The human appeal
is so strong that one smiles in wondering if each violet face,
peeping into the expectant waters of the pool is simply greeting,
or studying awaking Nature. Or have we here simply the charm-
ing vanity of conscious beauty?
A remarkable fact, not generally known, is that violets have
two kinds of flowers. The second kind are inconspicuous green
or purple buds on short, often prostrate, stems. The buds
do not open and yet they produce capsules full of seeds. When
this was first noticed by botanists of the eighteenth century,
it seemed such a wonder that they named that particular kind
the Miracle Violet. It has since been found that with few excep-
tions all violets produce these cleistogamous flowers, as they are
called. Self-fertilization in the bud is of course the explanation
of the wonder.
SHOOTING STAR; AMERICAN COWSLIP
Dodecatheon pauciflorum (Durand) Greene
The Shooting Star is one of the most interesting and beautiful
of our wild flowers, whether we consider in detail its form and
color or its general effect on the June landscape. It grows in
wet meadows and the bright blossoms dancing above the grass
are a delightful sight. Even as with Wordsworth's daffodils
"A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company,"
and those of us who are not poets can also feel our hearts fill with
pleasure and dance with the sprightly Shooting Stars. Although
one may sometimes see ten thousand at a glance, they do not
form a solid mass of color but are so scattered as to retain the
effect of lightness and grace.
The habit of the plant is shown by the picture. From the
smooth, light green leaves rise the scapes six to fifteen inches
high, carrying in umbel-like clusters three to ten or more nodding
flowers. With their reflexed and twisted corolla-lobes, they re-
semble their relative, the cyclamen, of the greenhouse, but are
much more slender and dainty. The color is a bright purple,
almost cerise, with the throat showing ;i pretty combination of
white and yellow with an encircling wavy line, narrow but sharply
defined, of dark purple. The stamens closely surround the slender
style giving a tapering point to this quaint, winged blossom.
A fragrance, as of hyacinths, completes the charm.
SHOOTING STAR; AMERICAN COWSLIP
PURPLE MILK VETCH
Astragalus hypoglottis L.
This is one of the earlier and smaller of the milk vetches, of
which many different kinds grow in Western Canada. Its stems
are slender, rather weak, branched at the base, and from three to
eight inches high. The flower clusters resemble clover-heads,
while the leaves are reminiscent of those of the true vetch but
are without the tendril. The pods are short, thick, and hairy.
The Purple Milk Vetch is common over a wide area, growing
in the open or on the edge of thickets, in a variety of soils. It
likes some moisture, and, among the grass in low meadows,
makes a thrifty growth like that shown, almost natural size,
in the picture; but the deep black loam of the prairie is for some
reason not congenial. It may be noticed, however, that, where
the grading of a road through such soil has in places removed
the top layer, exposing the hard, poor-looking subsoil, the Purple
Milk Vetch is often one of the plants that quickly and mysteriously
covers the naked earth with verdure. How do plants, strangers
to the immediate neighborhood, so promptly take possession?
To attempt a full explanation would take many pages, and be
beyond the scope of this little book. One is reminded of a sentence
by Oliver Wendell Homes
"Nay, there are certain patches of ground, which, having
lain neglected for a time, Nature, who always has her pockets
full of seeds, and holes in all her pockets, has covered with hungry
plebian growths, which fight for life with each other, until some
of them get broad-leaved and succulent, and you have a coarse
vegetable tapestry which Raphael would not have disdained to
spread over the foreground of his masterpiece."
THE FOREST INVADING A PEAT BOG
Antagnostic Plant Societies
I It- re is a typical picture of one phase of the struggle that is
constantly going on between different plant societies. The birch
lives, supported by willows and alders, have established outposts
in the bo<r, and the main forces of the forest are coming up to
complete the conquest. The common bog plants are still holding
their ground, but their leaves are no longer a healthy green,
and their flowers are small and scattered. Evidently they cannot
last many more years. Behind this victory of the forest over
the bog is a long story concise^ told by the late Prof. Geo. F.
Atkinson of Cornell University in the following paragraphs :
"Many of the peat bogs were once small ponds or lakes.
The peat moss and other plants which find shallow water a con-
genial place to grow in begin marching out from the edge of the
water toward the centre of the pond. The stems of the peat
die below and grow above. So in this way they build up a floor
or platform in the water. The dead peat now in the water
below does not thoroughly rot, as the leaves do in the moist ground
of the forest, because the water shuts out the air. The partly
dead stems of the moss pile up quite fast in making the platform,
which sometimes is entirely composed of peat. Other plants
may grow along with the peat. Their dead bodies also help to
build up this floor beneath.
"The army of peat and other water plants continues to march
out toward the centre of the pond, though slowly. Finally, in
many cases, the line around the shore meets in the centre and the
pond is filled up, the floor having been extended entirely across.
But they keep on adding each year to the floor, raising it higher
and hi'jher. until it is high enough and dry enough for the march-
ing armies of the dry land Brasses, shrubs, and trees. At length a
forest comes to stand on the floor built across the pond by the
peat moss and the other members of its society." First
<>f I ' lii n f /,//>. (thin and Company.
THE FOREST INVADING A PEAT BOG
BAKED- APPLE BERRY; CLOUD-BERRY
Rubus Chamaemorus L.
One must go to a peat bog in early June to find this curious
little raspberry in blossom. Springing from rootstocks creeping
through the moss, the stems rise only a few inches high. They
are neither woody nor prickly as are most raspberries, and bear
two or three simple leaves instead of the usual divided ones.
These leaves are plaited in the bud, and in process of expansion
the underside, with firm, close ribbing, is first exposed. Slowly
the ribs or veins lengthen and spread apart, and as they do so,
the leaf settles to its proper position facing the sky, so that its
millions of cells, each a tiny starch factory, may by the energy
of the sunshine produce a full day's output. Strikingly handsome
the leaves are, rich and deep in texture and color.
A single flower, like a little white rose, tops each stalk. There
are two kinds, as may be seen in the picture, where the four centre
ones bear clusters of stamens, while the two tall, outside plants
have flowers with pistils only. The staminate blossoms soon
shed their yellow dust, then shrivel up and that is the end of them ;
but the pistillate ones, if they have received the vitalizing touch
of the pollen grains, develop into the pleasant berries which give
the plant one of its popular names. Many fruits in ripening
change from green through yellow to red at full maturity, but
here the order is reversed, from green to red, then to yellow.
When stamens and pistils are produced by separate individuals,
the plant is said to be dioecious. This habit makes sure of cross-
fortilization, with its advantage of seeds endowed with superior
vigor and adaptability. On the other hand, it is not an economical
method as only about half the plants can produce seeds, hence
most of the higher plants combine stamens and pistils in the same
flower, but so arrange things that cross-fertilization is usually
assured, or at least encouraged.
ARCTIC RASPBERRY; ARCTIC BRAMBLE
Rubus arcticus L.
Many interesting plants not elsewhere found grow in bogs,
for conditions of life in company with peat moss are so unusual
that only plants of special structure and habits can endure or
thrive. Among the commonest of these bog-dwellers are the
Labrador tea, a low shrub with round clusters of white flowers
and thick leaves, rusty woolly underneath, and the cranberry,
with its slender creeping stems, firm, tiny leaves and dainty,
pink flowers nodding an inch or two above the moss. Among
the most curious are three carnivorous plants, the sundew, the
butterwort (whose leaves catch and devour insects), and the
pitcher-plant whose pitfalls are baited with honey above a slippery
incline that sends unwary visitors to certain death below. Of
the beautiful flowers might be mentioned the three-leaved
Solomon's seal, the tall white bog orchis, and the pretty little rasp-
berry shown natural size on the opposite pa'ge.
Like the Baked-apple Berry, the Arctic Raspberry is herbaceous
and unarmed, but more slender and with thinner three-foliolate
leaves. The season of bloom is a week or ten days later, the
flowers being pink or rose-colored and delightfully fragrant.
As these are usually perfect, that is, have both stamens and
pistils, they each produce a berry, bright red and of good flavor.
The Arctic Raspberry likes a little shade, and is at home in wet
mossy woods as well as in open bogs.
Although its name suggests the polar regions, it is sometimes
found far south in Canadian territory.
WATER ARUM; WILD CALLA
Calla palustris L.
" Yes, though you may think me perverse, if it were proposed to me to dwell
in the neighborhood of the most beautiful garden that ever human art contrived,
or else of a Dismal Swamp, I should certainly decide for the swamp." Thoreau.
If you feel in any measure the fascination of these so-called
waste places, as did the philosopher of Walden, you will some day
in your rambles come upon a colony of Water Arums. It is likely
to be in a little pool in the bog or on the margin of the swamp.
The dark masses of smooth, heart-shaped leaves should serve
as identification. If in doubt, look for long, creeping rootstocks,
with white fibrous roots at the joints. If not yet satisfied, break
a rootstalk and taste the juice, but very delicately, for it has an
acrid bite. In early Summer the flowers make such experiments
unnecessary, as you at once recognize a humble relation of the
stately calla lily of the greenhouse.
The flowers proper are small, consisting of stamens and pistil
only, and are compactly arranged around the top of the stem
into a fleshy* spike, called the spadix. Below this is a thick,
pointed bract, the spathe, white on the inner surface, greenish
on the outside. This snowy banner behind the inconspicuous
spike serves to attract insects, who unconsciously aid in ferti-
lization as they crawl over the flowers and pass from plant to
plant. By late Summer the spadix has developed into a large,
knotty head of bright red berries, containing hard, smooth seeds
surrounded by a jelly-like pulp.
SILVER- WEED; SILVER-FEATHER
Potentilla Anserina L.
The Silver-weed has a cheerful and active disposition, readily
adapting itself to a variety of conditions, and quickly grasping
opportunities for advancing its fortunes. Preferring wet ground,
yet making the most of dry, it has occupied so much territory
that its neat silver-green uniform is well known from Newfound-
land and New Jersey to Alaska and California. While its behavior
at times is such as to class it with the weeds, it certainly is not
Silver-feather is a better name because of its plume-like
leaves, silvered beneath by long, silky hairs and usually green
on top. Sometimes, however, the upper surface has also a thin,
silky covering. This variation with its cause is nicely shown by
two patches beside the house of the writer. One is close to the
foundation on the south side in poor soil, exposed to full sunlight,
and the leaves are gray green. The other is on the west side
in rich loam, getting no sun until after eleven o'clock, and here
the upper surface is bright green.
The yellow flowers are produced over a long season, as they
spring from the axils of small leaves on the strawberry-like runners
sent out in profusion. These runners are usually from one to
three feet long, and from them new plants start every few inches.
A mat of vegetation is soon formed. In producing and directing
their runners, the plants exhibit something very like intelligence,
as the following instance will show. On the shore of a little lake
in 1919 grew a vigorous Silver-weed. The dry season lowered
the water until a strip of sandy bottom eight feet wide was exposed.
The plant was crowded behind and on either side by competing
neighbors, but in front lay this land of promise, so, with concen-
trated energy, a single runner was pushed out straight towards
it. By the twenty-fourth of August an advance of over five feet
had been made, and eighteen young plants established on the line
of march were aiding the parent in its forward movement.
Orchis rotundijolia Pursh
Although not one of our rarest or showiest orchids, this one
is pretty enough, and in most districts uncommon enough, to
make its discovery a happy event to the lover of flowers. Some
years ago, in October, I found a few dried stems with empty seed
cases at the top and a withered leaf at the base of each, and
recognized an old acquaintance not met with for fifteen years.
My eagerness took me back too early the next June, but on a
second visit, the two or three dozen plants were in full bloom.
This small colony has flourished and spread along the little
waterway, and last Summer several hundred flower-spikes were
produced a sight worth going far to see, and a natural garden
The Round-leaved Orchis lives in rich, moist woods, often
where the ground is covered with moss, from which, leaving its
single leaf behind, the flowers rise in crisp, glistening purity to
a height of about six inches. They are white, delicately tinted
pink with a suggestion of mauve. The upper sepal and two
petals form a hood, and under it stands the column, a structure
peculiar to the orchid family, in which are combined the organs
corresponding to stamens and pistil in other flowers. On either
side are wing-like sepals, while in front, the third petal spreads
out into a purple-spotted lip or apron, and below is a curved tube
containing nectar. The hood protects the column, the essential
part of the flower, the lip is the landing stage for the winged
guest, who finding in front of him the opening into the nectary,
thrusts in his tongue, thus bringing his head against the adhesive
ends of the two pollen masses. When he flies away to the next
flower he of course carries the pollen along.
The wonderful interrelationship in form and service that
exists between flowers and insects, suggested in the above descrip-
tion, is nowhere carried to such a specialized degree as in the
Pentstemon procerus Dougl.
The Penstemons liold an important place in the flora of
\\Vst, TII America. Dr. Rydberg describes ninety-seven species
of which at least a score are found in Canada. They are perennial
herbs found for the most part on dry plains and hillsides. Their
stems, which branch from the base only, hear opposite leaves
and terminal clusters of showy blue, purple, yellow, or white
Mowers. The corolla is irregular with a long tube and two spread-
ing lips. Four stamens are anther-bearing, but the fifth is sterile
and usually densely hairy, giving to the plant its curious but
appropriate name of Beard-tongue.
This parl ieular species the Blue Beard-tongue is character-
istic of the southern part of our territory but strays northward
in places. The clustered stems are 'from four to twelve inches
hijrh and usually quite smooth as are also the leaves. The crowded
Mowers are smaller than those of most beard-tongues and are
dark purplish-blue of such a distinctive shade that once seen,
it thereafter serves as a means of indentification.
Color, however, is not always constant enough to be a safe
guide. Blue and purple flowers are especially subject to variation,
and among such plants as the bluebells, blue asters, bergamots,
and great willow-herb, lighter shades than normal are common,
and even albinos may occasionally be found. Delicate shades
of pink and mauve are quite inconstant, and the brilliant pink.
rose, or red of the painted cup seems to change with each variation
of soil or exposure. Yellow is much more stable, and. although
we have many yellow-flowered plants, each has its own particular
tone, or its own particular way of bearing its Mowers, even its
own way of forming groups or masses. Hence, by means of the
colcr and the disposition of the color masses, a close observer
can usually recognize a plant while he is still too far away to dis-
tinguish the form of either flower or leaf. Vet even the yellows
will sometimes prove misleading.
BIRD'S-EYE OR MEALY PRIMROSE
Primula farinosa L.
The primrose, like the violet, has ever been a favorite with
the poets. Shakespeare, Burns, Wordsworth, and many others
have sung its j>raises. One who has rambled in the woods and
along the lanes and hedgerows of England in early Spring can
understand what a large place the primrose holds in the life
and literature of the people.
But the Bird's-eye Primrose, although widely distributed
and often abundant, will never take the place in Canada that
its yellow namesake holds in the Old Land. It is too shy, and so
unassertive in color and habit that it is often walked over without
being seen. It grows in wet meadows and is usually half hidden
among the grass. Of this Primrose, as of the walking-fern,
it may be said that no one ever found it, unless it was first in his
heart. Still, observation can be assisted to locate it. For
instance, the Shooting Star and this Primrose frequently grow
together, so that the gaudy flowers of the former may readily
help one to find its pretty but retiring relative.*
Ah! here are a few, on tip-toe, as it were, to peep over the
surrounding damp sedge. Pluck one and notice the corolla,
pale lilac in color, .with a yellow eye. And the leaves! Notice
how they are tufted^at the roots, of a pale green color on the upper
side, and covered on the under side^with a fine white down which
gives a white mealy effect. This white down also creeps up to
cover the flower-stem which is from four to fifteen inches high.
The whole color effect is in harmony with the surroundings,
whilst yet leaving the flower with a modest distinction.
*It should be said that while their periods of bloom overlap, the Shooting
Star opens first by a week or two.
BIRD'S-EYE OR MEALY PRIMROSE
Senecio Palustris (L.) Hook.
The March Ragwort belongs to the great family of the
which numbers over ten thousand species in all parts
of the earth. In Western Canada, beginning in early Spring
with the sweet coltsfoot, the family increases in importance as
the season advances until late in Summer the sunflowers, daisies,
asters, goldenrods, and other members of the family quite dom-
inate the floral world.
The flowers differ from those of other families being borne
many together in a compact head surrounded by bracts. In
this subdivision of the family the flowers are of two kinds, the
di>k f Ion-is, small, tubular, and crowded, in the centre; and the
ray florets, more or less strap-shaped and spreading outward to
form a kind of aureole. On account of its great size the Russian
sunflower is a good composite to study first.
Coming back to the March Ragwort, we notice that it is a
stout, hairy plant. The stems are eight to forty inches high,
the bigger ones as thick as a broom handle. All are hollow,
with no cross partitions from just above the root to the flower
brandies. The outside of the grooved stem and the veins of
the wavy-edred leaves are often thickly covered with white
cobwebby hairs which, seen through a hand lens, look as if spun
from clear glass. The intlorcscncc is at first compact, but soon
opens out in a rather raided way. The disks are yellowish, and
the short broad rays are li<rht yellow. After flowering, the heads
turn down and remain in that position until the seed is ripe,
when they straighten up again. As with many other members
of the family, each seed is furnished with a tuft of white hair
that acts as a parachute to float it away on the breeze.
ZONES OF VEGETATION AROUND A POND
Marsh Ragwort forming the first belt thirty feet wide
Such a pond as this is a good place to study plant societies,
both congenial and antagonistic. Some plants live together in
peace, sharing space, food, and water, and in various ways being
mutually helpful; others wage war on their neighbors, the success
of one bringing disaster to competitors. The character of the
season has a large share in determining with whom victory shall
The year 1919, or perhaps the Fall of 1918, seemed to favor
the Marsh Ragwort which is usually a Winter annual. In many
places it was more in evidence than usual, but nowhere have I
seen a more complete triumph over competing vegetation than
it won around this particular pond. In the zone suited to it,
every foot of space was occupied to the exclusion of all else.
Behind the ragworts was a fairly solid belt of the great bulrush.
Back of this were coarse grasses and sedges, among which, how-
ever, the northern green orchis, the skullcap, mint, knotweed,
and other plants were thriving. On still higher ground the willows
dominated, as did the poplars on the low ridge in the background.
By mid-August the water was gone and the mud beginning
to dry and crack. The portion of the pond bottom that shows
as a mud bar in the picture was densely carpeted with young
ragworts six inches high. In the deeper parts, where the water
remained longest, and among the dead stems of the parent plants,
seedlings were breaking ground in countless numbers, hence the
ragworts bid fair to repeat their triumph next year. We may wish
them good luck, for they stay in their own place, do not march
%p on to higher land to choke out the farmer's crops, and in
June transform their portion of the landscape into a veritable
"Field of the Cloth of Gold."
TALL LUNGWORT; BLUEBELLS
Mertensia paniculate (Ait.) G. Don
Although many members of the Borage family are rough,
hairy herbs of weedy aspect, others are of marked beauty and
refinement. Among the latter might be mentioned the vanilla-
scented heliotrope of the greenhouses, and the forget-me-not
which beautifies alike lonely mountain streams and formal city
gardens. But the finest of the family and perhaps the loveliest
of all blue wild flowers in Canada is the Virginian cowslip (Mer-
tensia virginica). It, however, is found only in Southern Ontario
and is rare even there, while this western Mertensia is widely
distributed and abundant, no other blue flower of early Summer
being so conspicuous in many districts.
The picture shows the plant much reduced in size, as the
stems grow from one to three feet high. They bear open clusters
of drooping flowers which are pink when in bud, turning rich
blue as they open. The dark green leaves, especially those at
the base of the stem, are strongly and handsomely veined.
In open meadows, where it sometimes grows, this Lungwort
is rather stiff and quite hairy; in shade and along streams it becomes
smoother, taller, and more graceful; while among bushes on
mountain slopes, high enough to be frequently bathed injmist,
it may be seen in such perfection as to rival its lovely eastern
TALL LUNGWORT; BLUEBELLS
YELLOW LADY'S SLIPPER
Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb.
The orchids, the aristocrats of the floral world, form a large
family, with family seat ; as it were, in the tropics and scions in
almost all parts of the earth. Some of them, especially those
that grow as airplants on tl. bark of trees in hot, moist forests,
produce flowers weird and fantastic, or marvelously beautiful,
beyond imagination. Thousands of species have been found
by collectors who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives in the
search. Sent home to Europe or America, these dormant plants
have been purchased by orchid enthusiasts in whose hothouses
under skilful and devoted care they bloom again in wondrous
diversity of form and color.
Our Canadian orchids are all land plants, and while a number
have small, inconspicuous flowers, interesting chiefly because
of their structure and family relationship, a dozen or so are of
such beauty and distinction that they would be noticed in any
company. Of such is the Yellow Lady's Slipper pictured here.
The inflated lip or slipper is deep yellow, and the other parts
are yellowish-green, often striped or shaded with dark purple.
The long, narrow side petals are usually twisted or curled, enhanc-
ing the charm of these strange flowers, which are so poised that
in a breeze they seem animate, expectant, ready for eager flight.
This orchid, growing in open woods and thickets and blooming
in June, was at one time comparatively common in many parts
of Canada, but advancing civilization is destructive of native
life, and they are becoming rarer each year. The remaining
ones should be preserved as far as possible or this splendid plant
is likely to be exterminated.
YELLOW LADY'S SLIPPER
Linnaea borealis var. americana Rehder
"He saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
The slight Linnaea hang its twin-born heads,
And blessed the monument of the man of flowers,
Which breathes his sweet fame through the northern bowers."
This dainty, trailing vine with small, evergreen leaves and
fragrant, pink flowers was a favorite of Linnaeus, the great
Swedish botanist of the eighteenth century, in whose honor it
In Canada it occurs from ocean to ocean and from the Arctic
to the international boundary. It is likely to be found in woods
surrounding bogs, on the shady side of ravines, and in any cool,
moist forest. It is especially at home in the mountains, and
many readers will remember how delightfully some of the wood-
land trails at Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper are bordered with
its "odorous beds." Spring comes first to the valleys and travels
slowly up the mountain sides, so if the visitor be too late for it
at the lower altitudes he need only do a little climbing. Late
in July on a mountain slope at Jasper Park I saw, not patches
only, but a vast, continuous carpet stretching away for miles.
As we went up through the lodgepole pines, the first plants met
with were in seed ; a few hundred feet higher some belated flowers
were seen; still higher, bloom was at its best, tinting the floor
of the rather open forest as far as one could see. The slender,
leafy vines crept over and through the fallen needles, weaving
a ground covering of pale green over which shimmered a delicate
rosy-tinted light caused by the millions of little pink bells, each
a minute censer filling the air with delicious and delicate perfume.
" 'Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell that suringeth
And tolls its perfume on the passing air,
Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth
A call to prayer." Horace Smith.
BUNCHBERRY; DWARF CORNEL
Cornus canadensis L.
The Dogwood family is represented in Canada by many
handsome shrubs and trees. The most famous of the latter
group are the two flowering dogwoods, one species found in
Southern Ontario and the other on the Pacific Coast. These
trees, when covered in Spring with clouds of large white blossoms
and in Autumn with brilliant foliage and bright red berries, are
the most splendid ornaments of the woodlands where they occur.
Owing to their limited range, however, these flowering dogwoods
are known to comparatively few Canadians.
But the Dwarf Cornel, the pigmy of the family, is common
in cool, damp woods from coast to coast. Its floral arrangement
is like that of its two big relatives. The true flowers are small
and greenish, in a compact head surrounded by four white, petal-
like bracts. Each flower-head springs from the centre of a
whorl of broad, strongly-ribbed leaves, borne at the summit
of a stem from three to eight inches high. The stems are pro-
duced freely from creeping underground rootstocks and some-
times dense patches are formed. A stretch of forest floor carpeted
with these handsome leaves, studded with four-pointed stars,
is a pretty sight.
The flowers fade, and are succeeded by berries in the close
bunches which give to the plant one of its common names. In
late Summer, therefore, the green carpet is again brightened,
this time with coral-red fruit clusters. A little later, the leaves
assume the rich crimson shades characteristic of dogwood foliage
Even against this gorgeous background the berries stand out
clearly. When the sunlight flickers through the autumn woods
on this final stage in the Bunchberry development it lights up
a scene so warm and glowing that memory recalls it with pleasure
in the gray days of Winter.
Aquilegia flavescens 8. Wats.
"One sometimes seems to discover a familiar wild flower anew bi/
upon it in some peculiar and striking situation. Our columbine is at all times
and in all places one of the most exquisitely beautiful of flowers: yet one
spring day, when I saw it growing out of a small seam on the face of a great
lichen-covered wall or rock, where no soil or mould was visible, a jet of
foliage and color shooting out of a black line on the face of a perpendicular
mountain wall and rising up like a tiny fountain, its drops turning to flame-
colored jewels that hung and danced in the air against the gray rock if sur-
face, its beauty became something magical and audacious."
Mr. Burroughs, in the fine descriptive passage quoted above,
refers to the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) with gay
scarlet and yellow flowers, the common species in Eastern Canada,
but with its western range limited, perhaps, to Manitoba. Our
illustration is of the Yellow Columbine, found chiefly in the
mountains and foothills. The sepals of this nodding flower
are spreading and wing-like, sometimes pale yellow, but frequen-
tly flushed more or less with crimson. The cream-colored petals
are concave and spurred, five horns of honey in a circle, from the
centre of which projects a cluster of yellow stamens. Very grace-
ful in form and foliage, as well as dainty in coloring, is this
Among the foothills, and extending its range eastward in
open woods and meadows, grows the Small-flowered Columbine.
The neat little flowers of this species have blue sepals, white
short-spurred petals and short stamens which do not form a pro-
jecting tassel as in the Yellow Columbine.
The spurs of these quaint anl lovely blossoms contain nectar
that can be reached only by long-tongued bees or by butterfies,
who pay for the feast by carrying pollen from flower to flower.
Sometimes, however, one may find a columbine in which some
insect, unable to reach the nectar in a legitimate way, has ciitcn
or bored a hole in the bottom of the spur. Such back-entrance
robbery is not confined to the columbine. Other plants also suffer
from it occasionally, but usually the designs of insect marauders
are frustrated by a sticky flower stem, a brisly calyx, a bitter
juice in the tissue of the corolla, or by some other device.
Galium boreale L.
The Northern Bedstraw is a common plant from Quebec to
Alaska and southward across the international boundary. But
it is most abundant and reaches its highest floral development
in the northern part of its range, blooming over quite an extended
period in June and July. Woods and thickets, gravelly roadsides,
railway embankments, and rocky hillsides are made beautiful
by its light clouds of tiny four-parted blossoms, and the passing
air is sweetened by its fragrant breath. Wild Baby's Breath
would seem to be a more appropriate name for this dainty flower.
In the woods the Northern Bedstraw grows thirty inches high
with large, open panicles of white flowers. In the open the height
is reduced to eighteen inches or less, the stems are stouter and
more erect, and the flower clusters more compact. The plants
pictured on the opposite page grew in dry soil in full sunshine,
and were fifteen inches high. It will be noticed that the stems
are square, and the narrow leaves borne in fours. The flowers
are followed by small bristly-hairy burrs.
Several other kinds of bedstraws are found in Canada. All
have small, often inconspicuous flowers, and all have their leaves
arranged in whorls of four to eight. The stems of the Sweet-
scented Bedstraw a woodland species with leaves in sixes and
greenish flowers in threes are soft and weak, and when dried
make a comfortable and fragrant camp bed. Other weak-stemmed
species are usually, furnished with stiff, deflexed hairs or bristles
on the angles of their stems and on the edges and midveins of
their leaves to enable them to scramble over stronger neighbors.
The burrs of many species have hooked bristles which cling to
passing animals or men, and in this way they become widely
Polygala Senega L.
The Seneca Snakeroot is found in dry or rocky soil from New
Brunswick to Alberta. It seems to be equally at home in open
woods, among thickets, or on the plains. If supplied with shade
and sufficient moisture, it may reach a height of sixteen inches.
On the other hand, in full sunshine and dry soil it seems also to
prosper, but may be only one-quarter as tall.
The clustered stems rise from a thick, hard, and knotty root-
stock. The lower part of the stem the part hidden in the grass
is purple in color, and here the leaves are reduced to scales. The
ordinary leaf is remarkably uniform in size and shape, smooth
except on the edges, and with a prominent mid vein. The white
flowers, borne in a terminal spike, are irregular in form. Two
of the five sepals are white and petal like, and are called wings.
Of the three petals, the lower and larger one concave and crested
is called the keel. The flowers never open widely, and most
of the time are closed, giving the flower-spike the appearance
of being always in bud. The whole aspect of this little plant
is neat and attractive, and although it is not at all showy its
discovery always gives pleasure.
The name Polygala is from the Greek meaning "much milk."
It was applied from a belief that the eating of it by cows increased
the secretion of the lactic fluid. Some of the other species may
be partaken of by cattle, but this one does not seem to be eaten.
The roots, however, although no longer considered to be a remedy
for snakebite, have some medicinal value, and there is a limited
commercial demand for them.
CA SNAKKK( M T
RED LILY; WOOD LILY
Lilium montanum A. Nels.
The Red Lily, in slightly different forms, is common in many
districts from Ontario to Alberta. It grows in open woods,
among bushes, and along roadsides in rather dry soil. Usually
each leafy stem is crowned by a single red, or orange-red flower,
although vigorous plants may produce two, three, or even five
in a cluster.
Admired for its beauty, and easily found because of its large
size and vivid color, the Red Lily is eagerly gathered. In rural
homes and schools it may be seen in great bunches packed into
vases, cans, or pails. Town and city dwellers returning from an
evening's run into the country or from a First of July excursion
have their arms, one might almost say their cars, filled with the
bright blossoms. The country for miles around is stripped.
Those who gaily picked them had probably a hazy idea that wild
flowers just happen, and in some way will always happen. But
into the flower the plant puts its supreme effort, an effort that
leaves the roots lax and depleted. Their energy can be restored
only by the work of the leaves during the Summer. These Lilies
and many other flowers are pulled up or broken off with all their
leaves attached, hence the roots in their weakened condition
either die or at best require several years to regain strength
enough to produce more flowers.
The beautiful wild flowers are the culmination of Nature's
efforts applied to plant life through millions of years* They should
be the heritage of mankind for all time, but the choicest are in
danger of disappearing in a single generation. We have learned
to hunt song-birds with field-glass and camera instead of a gun.
Let us learn to enjoy wild flowers where they grow. Each has
aMife story well worth reading, legible to the patient and sym-
RED LILY; WOOD LILY
IN A WESTERN WOODLAND
" Nestled at his root
Is beauty such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the indwelling Life."
A Forest Hymn Bryant.
Something there is in the perspective of a woodland glade that
has a tranquilizing and restorative effect upon the mind. Analysis
would -but destroy the charm. And yet, just as one is here
aware of a different mental attitude when "far from the madding
crowd's ignoble strife," so one must notice the special appeal
made by woodland flowers. Usually they are smoother and
broader of leaf, more delicately colored, and generally more grace-
ful than their kinsmen of the plains. Nor is variety of plant
societies lacking. In mixed woods especially, a few steps may
take one readily from one type of vegetation to another, the
determining factors of the change, of course, being the amount
of sunshine finding its way through the foliage and the amount
of moisture in the soil.
In the picture opposite, showing the sloping bank of a wooded
ravine, we have in the foreground a rather compact group of
spruce trees, and beyond the sunlit aspen forest. In the dense
coniferous shade grow mosses and lichens in abundance but
flowering plants are few. We may find, however, an odd specimen
of the wild sarsaparilla, of the green-flowered wintergreen, the
one-sided wintergreen, and small clusters of that curious
saprophytic orchid, the early coral-root a plant without leaves,
just pale stems bearing small flowers mottled with dull white,
yellow, and purple. Moving out into the lighter shade on the
edge of the spruce grove we notice flowers of cleaner and brighter
colors the pink wintergreen, the dwarf cornel, the fairy bell,
and the twin-flower. Under an overhanging bank are lovely
soft beds of the oak fern, and lower down a few scattered fronds
of the brittle fern. In the more open poplar woods grow colum-
bines, geraniums, Canada violets, lungworts, and nodding onions.
Going down near the brook, in still more open spaces, we find
anemones, fleabanes, and jewel-weeds. In the stream itself
are beds of the dainty blue speedwell.
This list of plants, although by no means complete, will give
the reader some idea of the flowers to be found in such a wooded
ravine almost anywhere throughout that vast irregular region,
stretching from Manitoba to the Rocky Mountains, and lying
between the open prairie and the great sub-arctic forest.
IN A WESTERN WOODLAND
Pyrola asarifolia Michx.
Our woods in early Spring lack many a delicate forest flower
that some of us knew and loved in the East. We do not have
the frequent April showers that bring forth May flowers. After
the first flush, heralding its advance, the floral pageant seems
sometimes to halt and mark time, waiting for the Summer rains.
Meanwhile, the days lengthen, until only a few hours of darkness
remain. Then comes the rain with its almost miraculous quicken-
ing of vegetable life. Verdure flows over the prairies, up the
hills, and into the woods, quickly followed by successive waves
of gay color. In the lighter aspen shade there are more flowers
than beneath the heavier foliage of the hardwood forest, and our
midsummer woods are adorned with many bright blossoms.
None is more ornamental than the Pink Wintergreen which grows
in great profusion in rich, damp woodlands and thickets throughout
In late June or early July, from the circle of thick, shining,
evergreen leaves, rises a slender stem, five to twelve inches high,
bearing numerous nodding flowers, each with a curved and
protruding style. The petals are softly shaded from pale pink
in the centre to deep rose on the edges. When a fragrance like that
of the cultivated lily-of-the-valley is combined with such beauty
of form and color it perfects a plant of rare loveliness.
The large buds, from which the flower-stalks sprung, were
fully formed during the previous Summer. All parts were there
stem, calyx, corolla, stamens, pistil beautifully formed in
miniature, each separate flower-bud packed away beneath its
own scale, and the whole enclosed by a few larger red scales.
In this condition, with perhaps a light blanket of leaves, they
were exposed to zero weather before the snow came as addition*
This careful preparation of parts in miniature, so beautifully
exhibited by the Pink Wintergreen, can be traced, in varying
degrees, in other plants, and, generally speaking, accounts for
the rapid development of vegetation when the quickening breath
of Spring begins to loosen the hold of Winter.
PINK WINTER*. i
ONE-FLOWERED WINTERGREEN; SINGLE
Moneses uni flora (L.) Gray.
The name Moneses is derived from Greek words meaning
"single delight" and is surely appropriate. Many flower lovers
consider this our most beautiful wild flower, and the finding of
a colony in bloom in the mossy spruce woods is the laying up of
a treasure in memory. Such a pleasure is within the, reach of
many, for the plant is widely distributed, although not as common
as the Pink Wintergreen. These glistening, waxy blossoms
with crisped edges, are usually white, but are said to be occasion-
ally rose-colored. They are shown natural size in the picture
This little plant is prudent as well as fair. Its chief purpose
is to produce seeds, and send them forth with a good chance of
success in life. The vitality that comes from cross-fertilization
is highly desirable, and in the early stage of bloom, the pendent
position of the flower with the relative arrangement of pistil
and stamens gives visiting insects every chance to carry pollen
from one flower to another, and also prevents self-fertilization.
But even self-fertilized seeds are better than none, hence in the
later stage, to make assurance doubly sure, the face of the flower
is tilted upward, even when cross-fertilization has already taken
place, giving the style an oblique postion and bringing some
of the anthers directly above the five-lobed stigma. These
anthers open by pores at one end, and the curve of their stalk
of filament is now changed so that the pores point downward,
and the pollen remaining in the sacks is shaken out upon the
stigma below. Thus fertilization is doubly provided for
surely a happy instance of the attempt by the individual plant
to carry on and extend the species.
PURPLE GERANIUM OR CRANE'S-BILL
Geranium indsum Nutt.
Several Geraniums with comparatively large flowers three-
quarters of an inch or so in diameter occur in Western Canada.
The Spotted Geranium, the common form in Eastern Canada
has apparently not found its way westward beyond Manitoba.
However, it is replaced by at least two handsome species
Richardson's Geranium, with its thin leaves and delicate white
flowers, found chiefly in woods and thickets; and this Purple
Geranium, a more hairy and rugged plant, with bright purple
'flowers, found in open meadows as well as in shaded places.
Both grow to a height of two feet or more, and bloom from late
June until August. In both, the leaves contribute not a little
to the attractiveness of the plant.
After the petals have fallen, the seed vessels develop in such
a way as to give these plants the name of Crane's-bill. The
five carpels or seed-pods, growing in a ring, suggest, remotely,
the head of a bird, and the stout column, which rises from their
centre, suggests the beak of a crane. This column consists of
a central five-angled axis with which are combined five stout
bristles, each one of which is produced up from, and forms a
part of, one of the five seed-pods. As the seeds ripen, the column
dries unevenly and in such a way that there is a great tension
in each bristle. This tension is ever increasing until the seed-
pod suddenly breaks away at its base. The bristle, coiling upward
with great force, acts as a spring to fling the seed a considerable
distance from the parent plant. After the explosion the empty
cases hang from the top of the column's axis in a pretty chandelier-
On a dry, warm day it is interesting to watch the operation
of this novel process of seed distribution. If the observer be
pressed for time or lacking in patience he may hasten its action,
for a touch will often spring the mechanism of this vegetable
PURPLE GERANIUM OR CRANE'S-BILL
TALL WHITE CINQUEFOIL
Potentilla arguta Pursh
The Cinquefoils are ubiquitous in Western Canada. On Iho
rocky summits of mountains grow low, tufted forms, starred with
short-stemmed blossoms. In moist and fertile meadows in the
deep valleys the}' flourish in variet}', reaching a height of Hirer
feet or more. On the dry plains, by clothing themselves in dense
hair or wool, they endure successfully scorching sun and wind.
In swamps and peat bogs the marsh cinquefoil with its curious
dark red flowers is a common sight. Along brooks and fences,
among piles of rubbish, and in cultivated ground one will every-
where find cinquefoils. Some two score species are scattered
over Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The great majority
have yellow flowers and all have compound leaves. The leaflets
vary in number from three to thirteen, but as five is common,
the name, cinquefoil, has been applied to all.
The Tall White Cinquefoil impresses one as being a rather
handsome plant of gentlemanly attitude. Its strawberry-like
blossoms are commonplace enough, its general aspect is not very
different from some of its weedy kinsfolk, yet it has an air of
distinction. Trying to analyse the cause we notice that the stems
are tall, erect, and moderately slender, that the leaves are well-
shaped, neatly veined, and evenly covered with somewhat glandu-
lar hairs, that the flower clusters are compact and the blossoms
close : set, and that there is a certain dignified reserve about the
whole plant. It does not take advantage of superior height to
thrust its elbows into the faces of its neighbors, and it sends out
no runners to seize adjoining land. Yet the Tall While rinqm't'oil
ireK on very welli n the world, and may frequently be met with
in dry meadows and thiekeis throughout the whole breadth of
TALL WHITE CINQUEFOIL
Heracleum lanatum Michx.
This lusty perennial of decorative character is widely distri-
buted, from Newfoundland to Alaska, and south from North
Carolina to California, but reaching its greatest profusion in the
North where one of the rivers is named "The Parsnip" because of
the abundance of the growth of this plant on its banks. In the
open it grows three or four feet high, and almost as many wide,
while in moist, shaded places it stretches up eight feet. It prefers
damp soil, as its broad leaf-surfaces indicate. The hollows in
these, caused by the waved and curled edges, the shallow channels
on the stalks of the lower leaves, and the inflated sheaths on the
upper ones, aid in catching rain and conveying it down the stem
to the cluster of fleshy roots.
The white flowers, opening in June and July, are borne in
great umbels sometimes a foot across. The outer petals of the
outside flowers are enlarged, spreading out where they find room,
so making the whole head more conspicuous. Such massing of
many minute flowers, in various forms, is common among plants
and adds to their beauty and efficiency. In the one under
consideration, the large, honey-laden expanse of white attracts
many insects, and the flat clusters afford a firm and ample feeding
platform for these guests. In return they carry the pollen from
one flower to another, and from plant to plant, so bringing about
the cross-fertilization necessary to maintain the vigor of successive
PRAIRIE PINK; SKELETON WEED
Lygodesmia juncea (Pursh) D. Don
This meagre plant is in striking contrast to the umbrageous
Cow Parsnip which we have just been considering. The one
suggests the dry plains of the South, the other, the moist valleys
of the North; the one suggests stern struggle against conditions
adverse to life, the other, easy enjoyment of all the good things
in the plant world. Yet I have seen them growing within a
few hundred yards of each other, one on a gravelly, sunny slope,
the other in the springy soil at the bottom. Each is a successful
and (if we share Wordsworth's faith "that every flower enjoys
the air it breathes") a happy plant.
The Prairie Pink is successful because it has adapted itself
to hard conditions and ordered its life with frugality in all things.
The roots are thick, woody, and deep in the soil, hence are not
shrivelled up by drought. The leaves are reduced to narrow,
pointed bracts in order that the scanty supply of moisture may
not be lost by rapid transpiration. Even the flower-heads have
only five florets instead of the one hundred or more found in
many other members of the family the dandelion for instance.
The flowers, which open in bright weather and remain open but
a short time, are a pretty shade of pink.
PRAIRIE PINK; SKELETON WEED
SCARLET GAURA; BUTTERFLY WEED
Gaura coccinea Nutt.
The Scarlet Gaura, an interesting plant of the open prairie,
may often be found growing in gravelly soil from Manitoba to
the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The much-branched stems are usually decumbent (that
is, reclining at the base with their tips ascending) and vary in
height from four inches to a foot or more. The small and numer-
ous leaves are usually hoary by reason of their close coating of
short, gray hair. The drier the soil in which the plant grows
the heavier is this protective covering.
But on the flowers our chief interest centres, for they have
the curious habit of expanding four pure white petals and shortly
afterward dyeing them scarlet. Hence, one may commonly
find flower-spikes with white flowers above and brilliant scarlet
ones beneath. This startling color scheme is rendered more
striking by reason of the fact that the eight prominent stamens
have white filaments and large brick-red anthers. Sometimes,
however, the petals remain white during the whole of a warm
sunshiny day. This was the case with the plants whose photo-
graph, reproduced on the opposite page, was taken by the roadside
at four o'clock of a day in early July. It will be noticed that the
petals are drooping somewhat from the ardent heat, yet no blush
of red has yet appeared. Some of these plants were taken home
and placed in a cool cellar overnight. Next morning the flowers
of the previous day were mostly withered, but five or six fresh,
widely-expanded flowers adorned each stem. A good photograph
of these plants with wide-awake blossoms was then made.
Subsequently, when shown to a well-known botanist, the early
morning photograph quite puzzled him, while the one taken in
the afternoon was declared at once to be a typical picture of
the Scarlet Gaura.
Here it has been thought better to present the plant in its
PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER
Petalostemon purpureus (Vent.) Rydb.
The Purple Prairie Clover is a perennial with a deep, tough,
woody root from which grow clustered stems in height from one
to three feet. The smaller stems are simple, the larger branched,
and each stem or branch is terminated by a short, dense flower-
spike. Before the flowers open, early in July, the spike is a soft,
pretty shade of gray, with spiral rows of closely packed buds.
The lower buds open first, and the circle of bright purple corollas
travels upward. The color scheme of the flower is rendered
more striking by reason of the deep orange anthers that project
beyond the corolla.
The structure of the flower is so different from the usual pea
blossom that young botanists often have difficulty in identifying
it. In the first place, it has no keel (formed by the union of the
two lower petals). It has, it is true, a banner but represented
only by a petal somewhat broader than the rest, the other four
being alike. The five stamens are distinct from each other,
as compared with the nine or ten more or less united stamens
in other members of the family. Then the pod is very short
with only one seed.
The Purple Prairie Clover is found abundantly on dry plains
and gravelly hills throughout our territory. It is a typical dry
ground plant, almost as much so as the Prairie Pink described
and pictured on earlier pages. It has more foliage than the latter
plant, but the leaflets are narrow and the edges are rolled inward
to protect the under side of the leaves, where the breathing pores
are located. Its root also is admirably adapted to withstand
A white-flowered species, with somewhat broader leaflets and
longer flower-spikes, is common in many districts. Two additional
ones are also sometimes found the slender white prairie clover
and the silky prairie clover.
PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER
Hedysarum boreale Nutt.
The Northern Hedysarum is a native of the northern and
western part of the Continent. Common among thickets, along
roadsides, and on the plains, it is, over wide areas, quite the most
abundant member of its family.
The picture shows it greatly reduced in size, as the plants
photographed were more than two feet tall. The height, however,
varies from one to three feet. The rather stout stems bear
pinnate leaves, having from eleven to twenty-one leaflets. From
the axils of the upper leaves spring long racemes of numerous
pale pink, rose, or purple flowers. Although the stems are stiff,
the drooping blossoms and light foliage lend an air of elegance
and grace to the plant. The drooping flowers are succeeded by
drooping pods. As these are prominently jointed, they serve
as a ready means of identification.
Several other species of Hedysarum occur in Western Canada.
As none of them seem to have yet been given a common name,
they must be referred to by their botanical names. H.
sulphurescens closely resembles the one described above but has
sulphur-yellow flowers, and is found chiefly in the mountains
and foothills. H. dnerascens, with reddish-purple flowers and
silvery leaves, is found in dry soil on the prairie. H. Mackenzii,
the most showy one of all, is common in the meadows of the
foothills and eastward in the southern part of the prairie region.
On river banks it seems also to be spreading far to the East and
North. Its manner of growth clustered stems, eight to eighteen
inches high, forming a rounded mass of bright green foliage
topped with clusters of large flowers of a vivid rose-purple
renders it one of the most striking and handsome of our wild
A FLOWER-BORDERED ROAD
-/ lover of nature never takes a walk without perceiving something
unil interesting." John Burroughs.
A flower-bordered trail over the gently rolling prairie, a clump
or two of poplars or willows, overhead the deep blue sky and the
splendid everchanging cloud formations such a scene as this
is repeated in endless variation throughout the Prairie Provinces
during the Summer months.
A list of the roadside flowers would be too long for this page.
They form a lovely natural calendar, giving to the observant
passer-by accurate information concerning the character and
progress of the season. No two years are just alike. Conditions
of weather may hasten or retard flowering time. A wet year
favors the moisture-loving plants and they make a remarkable
display. A dry season discourages these and brings a different
set into unusual prominence. One may use a road for a lifetime
Mini still each year will show some new floral feature.
Just over the ridge on this road is a little pond which three
years ago in June was filled with slender submerged stems
and thread-like leaves of the White Water-Crowfoot, the surface
being starred with thousands of the delicate, golden-centred
Mossoms. The following year the water disappeared. The
Water-Crowfoot bravely met the new condition. It modified
its leaves so that they could live out of water, threw out roots
from creeping stems, and covered the mud with lacy foliage
and the same pretty flowers. Last year the mud dried up. ;md
only by careful search could a few weak plants be found among
the coarse grasses and sedjres that had taken possession. If this
(Mniiiir season the pond fills again will the Water-Crowfoot flour-
ish as before?
This is but an example of the many stories of plant life that
may be read as interesting serials while one travels familiar
Stachys palustris L.
So common is the Hedge Nettle throughout Canada that it
is no doubt known to most of our readers. Yet to know the name
of a plant is but a preliminary to acquaintance, so let us consider
this plant in some of its details of structure and habit.
Although hardly a kindly way to begin we shall carefully
dig up a thrifty Hedge Nettle and examine its roots. At once
it will be noticed that the plant is a perennial with quantities
of long underground rootstocks. If our plant happens to grow
on the edge of cultivated land these runners will have been direct-
ed away from the congestion behind towards the space and free-
dom of the garden or field. The Hedge Nettle can therefore
travel toward opportunity.
In A ut iiiiin some of these underground stems become thickened
until they look like slender white tubers, as indeed they are,
for the portion connecting them with the plant is thin and easily
broken, and, if these crisp tubers be taken and planted like
potatoes, they will make a ready growth. The Hedge Nettle
therefore carries life insurance.
Leaving the root, we notice that the stems are square. Now,
square stems are said to have a mechanical advantage over round
stems where leaves are borne oppositely, as in this plant. For
it must not be thought that stems are a simple aggregation of
cells. On the contrary, they are wonderful and complicated
structures, each designed to carry the loads and stand the strains
incidental to the particular type of plant and its manner and
place of growth. Plants constructed reinforced columns and
girders with great efficiency and economy of material, lonn In-Tore
human engineers knew of such things, and the Hedge Nettle
is no mean exponent of Nature's mechanics. Of course the si cm
has other functions besides that of furnishing support. Through
special lines of cells in the stem the raw sap is carried upwards
to the leaves, and through other cells the enriched sap is returned
downwards to the roots, or carried to other growing parts of the
Although space does not permit of it here, the reader may pass
on to the consideration of the leaves, flowers, and seeds, assured
that each detail of form and arrangement is of vital use and
meaning in the life of the Hedge Nettle.
Gaillardia aristata Pursh
This Gaillardia, perhaps the handsomest member of the
Sunflower tribe, is a native of the western hills and plains. Whilst
found over a wide area, it is most abundant in the southern part
of our territory. It prefers sandy and gravelly soil and rejoices
in full exposure to sunshine. Its graceful form and its wonderful
coloring have attracted the attention of horticulturists, so that
today one may find it in the best laid out gardens everywhere.
The stems, one or two feet high, are gray-green by reason
of their hairy covering, as are also the leaves. The flower-heads,
carried singly on long stalks, are from two to four inches in
diameter. At first the disk is flat and light green, but soon after
shows an outer ring of dark red. As the florets open, the outer
ones first, this red ring spreads inward, its progress being marked
by the projection of successive rings of yellow anthers. Finally,
the green buds having all opened, the whole disk becomes reddish-
brown, convex in shape, and heavily fringed with brown hairs.
The broad, overlapping rays, notched at the ends, are sometimes
entirely golden yellow but oftener at the base are flushed dark
red, and veined, especially on the underside, with the same color.
The whole combination of size, form, color, and texture is
charming, and vests this Brown-eyed Susan of the plains with
a wealth of glowing beauty. When each Province comes to
adopt an official flower, the Gaillardia should be a candidate for
such honor in the West.
TALL MEADOW RUE
Thalictrum purpurascens L.
Growing in open woods and thickets and along roadsides,
this Meadow Rue, lifting its big panicles of cream-colored tassels
six feet high, is one of the elegant plants of late June or early
July. The large but finely divided leaves resemble coarse maiden-
hair ferns, and, together with the feathery bloom, give an airy
grace to the tall herb.
It is usually of dioecious habit. Neither male nor female
flowers have petals and the sepals are small and drop off early.
The male cluster owes its beauty to the masses of anthers drooping
on slender filaments, and the female cluster to the numerous
bunches of pistils with long, glistening stigmas, which are admir-
ably shaped to catch pollen as it drifts through the air.
There is here no elaborate arrangement for securing fertilization
by insects and although they may sometimes be of service, chief
dependence seems to be placed on the wind as carrier. Con-
sequently the flowers are held above surrounding vegetation,
and pollen is produced lavishly to allow for the great waste
resultant from this simple method.
Sometimes the pistillate plants bear also a few stamens with
fertile anthers, showing that there is perhaps an ambition to reach
the higher development which would be indicated by the pro-
duction of perfect flowers, a point already reached by some of
the meadow rues.
In our greatly reduced photograph are shown two male plants
on the outside and a female in the centre.
TALL MEADOW RUE
Oxytropis Lamberti Pursh
The Loco-weed, although well-known in Western Canada,
is notorious rather than renowned. Its bad reputation is due
to its poisonous effects when eaten by sheep, cattle, and horses,
causing them to stagger in their gait, to walk in circles, and other-
wise behave as no well-regulated animals should. Sometimes the
death of the afflicted animals results. Yet there seems to be
some mystery about the plant, for over certain wide areas where
it grows one scarcely ever hears of a case of loco-poisoning, while
other parts of the country report such an occurrence frequently.
The Loco-weed exhibits great variation also in form and
color, both among individuals in the same locality, and among
the types found in different localities. Our picture gives a general
idea of the aspect of the plant clustered leaves and flower-stalks
springing from a deep root, both leaves and stalks more or less
gray with silky hairs, and many pea-shaped blossoms borne in
spikes. Frequently, however, the spikes are denser and shorter
than those shown opposite, and, instead of light cream-colored
flowers such as this plant produced, the bloom may be purple
Although " beauty is what beauty does" the Loco-weed
is a pretty plant, and it has several handsome relatives. Foremost
of these is the Showy Oxytrope found commonly on dry prairies
from Manitoba to the Rockies. It may be distinguished from
the Loco-weed by its more hairy leaves, which are so densely
covered with long silvery hairs as to appear white; by its leaflets
which are borne in bunches of three to five instead of singly;
and by its more showy rose-purple flowers which are arranged
in more narrow and elongated spikes. Indeed, the Showy
Oxytrope (0. splendens) is well named, for with its shafts of bright
blossoms rising from a mass of soft, shining white foliage it forms
in June one of the most conspicuous .and splendid ornaments
of the dry prairie.
NODDING WILD ONION
Allium cer-Hiiiim tioth.
As a culinary herb the onion is known to everyone, but many
fail to recognize in this dainty and graceful plant a member of
that odorous tribe. And yet its narrow, long-necked bulbs
possess the characteristic odor in such concentrated power as
to render them highly objectionable to some people. Still, since
the bulbs are deep in the soil, they need not interfere with our
admiration for the pretty flowers.
The leaves of the Nodding Wild Onion are not hollow tubes
like those of the garden onion, but are flat and grass-like, and pale
jrrcen in color by reason of a whitening bloom. The flower-
stalks, growing one or two feet high, over-top the leaves. Each
stalk bears many nodding flowers in an umbel. At first each
luicl cluster is enclosed in 'a thin, semi-transparent membrane,
as shown in the upper left-hand corner of our picture. Soon the
expanding buds burst this fragile covering, and one after another
open like tiny bells with six projecting stamens. In texture the
(lowers are thin and delicate, and in color they vary from white
to rose, and purple, the more delicate shades being common.
The sheathed buds, rising upon a slender stalk and bursting
into downward-pointed 'blossoms, suggest a rocket, which, rising
high into the air, curves gracefully earthward and then, explod-
ing, casts down a shower of gaily-colored stars.
The Nodding Wild Onion is a typical flower of tin- prairie
country and in midsummer may often be found blooming on
wooded banks among thickets, and in meadows.
NODDING WILD ONION
TALL OR GLAUCOUS ZYGADENUS; WHITE
Zygadenus elegans Pursh
This beautiful Zygadenus may frequently be found in wet
meadows throughout the Western Provinces. However it may
occur, in scattered groups or in greater profusion, it is always in
a quiet and elegant way an attractive feature of the landscape.
Springing from bulbous roots, the stems rise to a height of
one to three feet. Both stems and leaves are smooth and glaucous
whitened with a bloom. The smaller stems bear their flowers
in a simple raceme, but the stronger ones may carry a large, open
panicle of bloom a foot in length. Each flower, about three-
quarters of an inch in diameter, is white or greenish-white with a
large green gland, shining with a moist secretion, near the base
of each of its six divisions. The three-parted pistil with the
six surrounding stamens adds much to the beauty of the flower.
This White Camas, to use another of its names, is unfortunat e
in its relatives. Several related species, known as Death Camas,
are so poisonous that numerous animals, especially sheep, die
each year from having eaten of them. The White Camas is said
to have in some degree the same poisonous principle, but to be
very seldom eaten by stock. With the descriptions here given
and the picture shown opposite as guides to identification no
one need make a mistake. The deadly species are smaller in
size, with narrower leaves which are rather rough to the touch.
Moreover, the gland, so distinctive of the White Camas, is not
much in evidence in the smaller and more crowded yellow or
yellowish flowers of the Death Camas.
TALL OR GLAUCOUS ZYGAOENUS; WHITE CAMAS
Asclepias ovatifolia Dec.
A flower of such marked individuality as the milkweed, once
seen in life or in picture, is easily recognized thereafter. For
although several species occur in Western Canada, differing in
color and in many details, the unique flower-form common to
all, sots them apart from other plants.
The Oval-leaved Milkweed is probably the commonest western
species, growing in rich, well-drained soil, either in full sunshine
or among bushes, from Manitoba to Alberta. Its stalks are
from six to eighteen inches high, its leaves, especially on the
underside, are soft-downy, and its greenish-white flowers, some-
times tinted with purple, are borne in soft umbelled clusters.
And now to a closer study of these prettily and curiously
formed flowers. In addition to the calyx, and a corolla with five
reflexed lobes, there is in the centre of the flower a five-lobed
structure happily named the crown. But when the botanist speaks
of each lobe of the crown as a hood, and the hood as bearing a
horn, and the horn as having a tooth on either side, it begins to
grow confusing. Still, these features may be seen fairly well in
our picture. But to study the inner structure of the flower in de-
tail is impossible here. Suffice it to say that the pollen is produced
in minute paired masses, each pair connected by a kind of clip,
having a catch in the centre, and that the two pistils are em-
bedded in a fleshy column. The problem of the plant is to bring
the pollen masses of one flower into contact with the stigmas of
another flower, and this can only be done by insect agency.
Accordingly, the flowers secrete nector, and then advertise it
by a heavy sweet odor which attracts bees and butterflies in
Alighting upon one of the yielding flower clusters, the heavy
bumble bee finds himself suddenly swinging head downward.
( i rasping frantically for a foothold, his legs are likely to slip
into the catches on the pollen clips, and as he jerks himself free
the pollen is torn from the flower and remains attached to his
legs. Later, the same kind of a scramble for foothold while sip-
ping nectar results in some of the pollen being rubbed off upon
the stigmas of other flowers.
To the human observer this may seem a rough way of per-
forming a delicate operation. It may also seem to be a highly
complicated mechanism for producing tlo apparently small
n'siilts attained, for of the thirty of forty flowers in a cluster.
usually only one or two become fruitful and develop into big,
soft pods of silky-tufted seeds. But although we may wonder
at Nature's methods, they are here amply justified in the final
result, for the milkweeds are a numerous, vigorous, widely
distributed, highly successful tribe of plants.
ROUGH FLEABANE DAISY
Erigeron glabellus Nutt.
Fleabane daisies are extremely common in Western America.
In Rydberg's Flora one hundred species are described, of which
probably one-third are found in Canada. A number of these,
however, grow only in the mountains.
The Erigerons are often mistaken for Asters. Without going
into botanical details, it may be said that the former bloom in
June and July, the latter in August and September. Also, the
Erigerons have smaller and much more numerous disk florets,
and narrower and more numerous ray florets than the Asters.
This may be seen in the picture opposite, where the close firm
disk, made up of a multitude of tiny florets, is encircled by a thick
fringe of fine rays numbering one hundred or one hundred and
The Rough Fleabane grows in dry soil and is common on the
prairie. Its stems are from five to fifteen inches high. They
and the leaves are usually somewhat rough to the touch, although
hardly rough enough to justify the common name of the species.
The flower-heads on each stem are few in number, but, as the
stems are clustered, the flowers make a pretty show among the
grass. Their disks are yellow, and their rays blue, purple, mauve,
or occasionally nearly white.
An earlier-flowering species is so abundant and showy that it
must have at least a few words of description. It is the Phila-
delphia Fleabane, with upright stems, usually from two feet to
three and one-half feet high, each carrying many pink or lavender
flowers. Unlike the Rough Fleabane, this species loves wet
ground. One may often see stretches of low land brightened
by its myriad blossoms, or with even greater pleasure one's eye
may trace the winding course of a brook through a meadow,
by the bands of these gay flowers along its margins.
ROUGH FLEABANE DAISY
Monarda mollis L.
This is a handsome member of the aromatic Mint family,
growing in abundance on the prairie, along roadsides, and among
open thickets. The stems are one to two-and-a-half feet high,
bear gray-green, soft-hairy leaves, and are crowned in midsummer
by rosy-pink or lilac flowers in dense clusters. These open from
the centre outward. The long, narrow, upper lip of the corolla
stands erect, the lower and broader lip is curved downward, as
are also the buds, both being covered with soft hairs and showing
delicate gradation in color from nearly white to purple. The
combination of form, texture, and color throughout the entire
plant is in quiet, but elegant, taste.
Unlike the eastern Bergamot many flowers are open at once,
so that the head is full and fluffy. This fulness of flower-head,
or length of spike, is noticeable in many plants of Western Canada.
The phenomenon is due to the coolness of the nights, to frequent
summer showers, and to the moisture-holding power of the black
prairie soil. In an unusually hot and dry season, the individual
flowers fade more quickly and the richness of the floral display
A FERNY DELL
A CONGENIAL PLANT SOCIETY
To discover such a fern-filled woodland as this would be
delightful anywhere, but especially is it so in the Prairie Prov-
inces, where, owing to the moderate rainfall and dry air, ferns
are not as much in evidence as in the moister parts of Eastern
Canada and British Columbia. It has been stated that ferns are
not found anywhere in the prairie region even where trees and
brush abound. Such a statement overstates a tendency, since our
picture, taken in prairie country, is evidence that luxuriant beds
of ferns do so occur, further, they are more numerous than is
They do not of course occur on the dry, open plains. Shade
and moisture are necessary for this Ostrich Fern, as it is called,
with its great fronds three to six feet high. But such favorable
conditions are found in wet woods and thickets, especially along
streams, and from Newfoundland to British Columbia, one
occasionally meets with it. As will be noticed, the fronds grow
in clusters or crowns. These spring from underground runners
sent out the previous season by the older rootstocks. Hence,
when the plant finds a suitable habitation, an extensive mass
of lovely foliage is soon formed.
Ferns do not, like the flowering plants, produce seeds, but
rather great quantities of spores, minute and dust-like. These
spores are often borne in cases 011 the backs of the ordinary leaves,
but in other species, the one before us for example, special con-
tracted leaves, called fertile fronds are produced.
Ferns are an ancient race. Before the coming of any bright-
colored flowers, even before the grasses, they appeared on the
earth. They flourished in great splendor during the Carboni-
ferous age, reaching the size of great trees. Along with /nml
club-mosses and horsetails, they covered the interminable
marshes of that time, ;m<l from the tropical luxuriance of their
growth resulted most of the coal beds of the world. Although
appearing so early, perhaps millions of years before man, the
grace and elegance of fern foliage, even as known to us in the
smaller forms descended from that distant age, has never been
surpassed. The Fern still delights us by its charming form and
restful green, and the strength of its appeal is measured by the
certainty with which it is assured a place in our schemes of home
and garden decoration.
GREAT WILLOW-HERB ; FIRE-WEED
Epilobium angusti folium L.
"A goodly and stately plant, having leaves like the greatest
\cillnw garnished with brave flowers of great beautie,
consisting of four leaves apiece of an orient purple color."
John Gerard, 1545-1612.
Growing to a height of three to eight feet, its steins thickly
set with long, narrow, willow-like leaves, each stem topped by
a big spike-like raceme of bright purple blossoms, the Great
Willow-herb is a striking and handsome feature of any landscape
where it occurs. And its occurrence is extremely common,
for the Great Willow-herb is one of the eminent^ successful
plants of the Northern Hemisphere. It succeeds by endowing
its numerous seed-children with almost unequalled means for
rapid and distant travel. Hence they are always first, or amongsl
the first, to reach land newly cleared by axe or fire, where they
quickly cover the charred desolation with the beauty of their
fine foliage and brilliant flowers.
The lower flowers on the stalk open first, and in the early
period of bloom the anthers ripen and shed most of their pollen.
During this time the style is bent down out of the way and the
lobes of the still immature stigma are not yet opened. After
the pollen is gone the style straightens, and the four branches
of the stigma expand to form a cross directly in front of the
centre of the flower. Now this arrangement obviously prevents
self-fertilization. It also ensures cross-fertilization by the bees
For the bees are co-workers with the flowers in this matter.
Bees always begin at the bottom of a flower-spike and work
upward, hence when they leave the newly-opened blossoms
at the top they are well dusted with pollen. Ftying to another
plant, most of this pollen is rubbed off on the ripe stigmas of
the lower flowers, and so the process is repeated throughout the
bright hours of the midsummer day. That the bees and the
flowers work together effectively is shown by the heavy spike
of long, well-filled seed pods that almost invariably results.
For a picture of- the seed pods and some facts regarding the
great buoyancy of the tiny, down-tufted seeds, the reader is
referred to page 128.
GREAT WILLOW-HERB; FIRE WEED
GRASS OF PARNASSUS
Parnassia palustris L.
For a plant with short, broad leaves and showy white flowers
"Grass of Parnassus" seems a strange name. It has, however,
the sanction of distinguished origin and ancient usage, having
been applied to this very species by Dioscorides, a learned Greek
physician of the first and second centuries, who has been called
the founder of botany.
The entire-margined, heart-shaped leaves of the Grass of
Parnassus all spring from the rootstock, with the exception of
a single one, which clasps the stem one-third of the way to the
flower. Each stem, four to twelve inches high, terminates in a
single white blossom an inch or so in diameter always facing
the sky. Although of a very common form open, regular, and
five parted these flowers have such individuality of detail that
once attentively observed they are not afterwards forgotten or
confused with others. The broad petals are clearly and hand-
somely veined with light green. In front of each stands a fan-
shaped group of nine to fifteen slender white filaments each top-
ped, not by an anther, but by a small yellow knob. Together the
five groups form a kind of grille surrounding the inner parts of
the flower. Since even minute details of structure are not with-
out use and meaning in the life of a flower, it will be an interest-
ing problem for readers to discover what purpose is served by this
unusual and prominent floral accessory. The centre of the flower
is, of course, occupied by the ovary the immature seed capsule
which is short and round, and bears on top three or four stigmas.
These stigmas, however, do not ripen until late in the blooming
period. Surrounding the capsule and alternate with the petals
are five stamens whose method of development is worth watching.
When the petals first expand each stamen is close-folded against
the capsule. Soon one of them straightens up, elongates its
filament, and takes a place in the centre of the flower directly
in the way 'of alighting insects. Later, probably the next day,
a second stamen, ripening its pollen, acts in the same manner.
The other three follow suit, the anthers of the earlier ones having
meanwhile shed their pollen and fallen off. This deliberate
development gives insects ample time in which to accomplish
their mission of cross-fertilizaton, and full seed-pods usually
In midsummer, throughout Canada to the Arctic Circle, the
starry blossoms of the Grass of Parnassus form constellations
in many wet meadows, and a Milky Way around many a grassy
GRASS OF PARNASSUS
Apocynum androsaemi folium L.
Although placed by botanists in a separate family, the dogbanes
are allied to the milkweeds. The same kind of milky juice
promptly oozes from the slightest abrasion of their delicate
skin. Both have simple leaves with entire margins, and both
bear pods filled with down-tufted seeds; but, whereas the pods
of the milkweeds are fat, spindle-shaped, and upright, those of
the dogbanes are long, slender, and drooping. In bloom also they
differ, the umbelled, complex flowers of the milkweeds being
replaced in the dogbanes by open clusters of simple bell-shaped
The Spreading Dogbane, a common plant throughout Canada,
grows on wooded banks, among thickets, in fields, and along
roadsides. Studied in these different situations, it exemplifies
very nicely the influence of illumination on plant form and growth.
In woodlands the plant is tall, and the leaves on each branch are
arranged in one plane in order to take full advantage of the
overhead light; the flower clusters terminating the branches are
comparatively small, and the whole effect is that of a richly-
leaved plant sparingly adorned with pretty pink blossoms. In
full sunlight the plant is lower and more spreading, the leaves are
smaller, relatively fewer in number, and more or less twisted
out of the horizontal plane. The flowers on the other hand are
much more abundant, and often the large open clusters on the
more numerous branches unite to form a floral hemisphere, or
sometimes almost a sphere within which the leaves seem of quite
As might be expected, the plants growing in the open bear
the greater number of seed pods, for insects love the sunshine,
and, like the milkweeds, the Spreading Dogbane is dependent
upon their good offices for the fertilization of its flowers. It
has, however, a terrible way of punishing certain small flies
who apparenty are unable to be of service in this matter and
yet desire the flower's nectar. As the unwelcome visitor eagerly
reaches for the honey, it frequently happens that his tongue is
caught in a notch in the centre of the flower, and, unable to free
himself, the unhappy creature slowly dies of starvation. In the
shade this tragedy is seldom seen, but in sunshine it is so common
that the plant is sometimes called Fly-trap.
SPREADING DOGBANE; FLY-TRAP
Agastache Foeniculum (Pursh) Kuntze
In midsummer the breath of the prairie is fragrant with the
spicy odors of the mints. In midwinter, if one shake up the hay
in the farmer's mow, the air at once becomes redolent with the
same perfumes which recall to memory the warmth and color
of the sunlit plains.
Certain members of the family are low-set plants with small
flowers clustered in the axils of the leaves; others, like the Wild
Bergamot described on a previous page, are taller with showy
terminal flower-heads; still others are coarse and weedy.
This Giant Hyssop, a tall and handsome mint, may frequently
be seen on the plains, along fence rows, and among bushes from
Manitoba to Alberta. Its smooth, sharply angled stems grow
from two to four feet high. Its anise-scented leaves are of marked
beauty, being firm in texture, triangular-ovate in outline, sharply
and evenly toothed, dark green and strongly veined above, and
a clean white beneath. The flowers, produced over a long season,
are borne in terminal spikes two to five inches in length. Fre-
quently these spikes are compact throughout, but the larger
ones may be interrupted by pairs of small leaves and short lengths
of stem. The bright blue corollas, about two-fifths of an inch
long, project almost at right angles to the stem. The calyces
are also tinted blue, and after the corollas wither and fall off this
blue shade deepens, leaving the tall, leafy wands still conspicuous
and decorative through the rest of the Summer.
It is interesting to notice that, whereas, in a simple flowi
spike the blossoms open in a regular, easily recognized ordc
here, in the spike of the Giant Hyssop, they seem to appe*
at random up and down its length. Yet for each plant there is
a master design, and it cannot be doubted that these flowers also
open in a definite, predetermined order. But in these dense
spikes the scheme is not readily apparent, for we have here a
double geometrical design, first in the arrangement of clusl
on the stem, and second in the arrangement of flowers in th<
WILD MORNING GLORY; HEDGE BINDWEED
Convolvulus sepium L.
MORNING GLORY FAMILY
11 And starred with a myriad blossom the
long convolvulus hung}" Tennyson.
Draping banks, bushes, and fences with handsome foliage
and beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers, the Wild Morning Glory
twines its graceful way from Newfoundland to British Columbia.
Its trumpets are sometimes pink with white stripes, but in Western
Canada they seem to be usually white, and since we have here
the unusual phenomenon of both pollen and pistil being white,
the flower is arrayed in bridal purity. In the throat of the
flower are fine tubes in a circle (they may be readily seen in the
picture opposite), each with a honey gland. Occasionally a big
sphynx, or humming bird moth may be seen hovering over
these wells of nectar, but in Western Canada certain species of
bees are the usual insect visitors.
The Morning Glory climbs by twining its stems around any
support within reach. When, in the Spring, from the perennial
root a new shoot starts growth, its tip begins to revolve. Des-
cribing, as it lengthens, ever-widening circles, it seeks something
on which to ascend. If fortunate in touching anything, it at
once begins to entwine the support and seems by such contact
to be stimulated to greater growth. If nothing be found, the
shoot at length becomes so heavy that it falls prostrate, but the
growing tip, like Antaeus touching the ground, finds new strength
from the contact to again raise itself and swing in circles from
this advanced point. If several shoots chance to come together
they entwine each other, forming a living cable. Such cables
may often be seen writhing up from the ground as if in an agony
of endeavor to reach some support. Being stiffer than a single
strand, they rise higher and may sometimes attain to an overhead
branch that would be beyond the reach of a single shoot. The
claim has been made that climbing plants can sense in some way
the proximity of a suitable support. Wonderful stories in support
of such a claim have been told. But, on the whole, facts seem
to discredit such a theory. The reader may easily try some
simple experiments which might help to decide this interesting
WILD MORNING GLORY; HEDGE BINDWEED
BLAZING STAR; BUTTON SNAKEROOT
Liatris scariosa Willd.
Common names of plants are oft-times curious and sometim<
inappropriate, but whoever called this one Blazing Star had a
pretty fancy. The plant grows on dry plains and hills amonj
short grasses above which the flowers shine brilliantly. On
nearer view, the overlapping bracts of the involucre the scale
surrounding the flower-head are seen to be dark red in color.
As the florets open, long style-branches of a vivid rose-purpk
are thrust out, as if from the dull smoldering glow of the bud
had erupted darting tongues of flame.
As to its other name, Button Snakeroot, the button is th<
globular corm, or rootstock, an inch or so in diameter, at the
of the stem, and it is reputed to be a remedy for snake bites.
The plants vary in height from six to eighteen inches, depending
upon the fertility of the soil and the amount of moisture it contains.
They are in bloom about the first of August. The flowers are
interesting and unusual for this reason: In most flowers the
style is rather inconspicuous, its function being to connect the
stigma and ovary, and to hold the stigma in the proper position
to receive pollen according to the special method adopted by each
plant. But in the case of the Blazing Star, although the style-
branches are stigmatose only at the base, there is a remarkable
development carried to such a degree that it is the styles that make
the flowers showy, not the usual gaily-colored corollas.
BLAZING STAR; BUTTON SNAKEROOT
PAINTED CUP; INDIAN PAINT BRUSH
Castilleja miniata Dougl.
That the Figwort family contains many floral oddities is
evidenced by the common names of some of its members, such as
snapdragon, turtle-head, monkey-flower, owFs clover, elephant's
head and so on. Nor are these names so wildly fanciful, since
the resemblances are sometimes very real. In the elephant's
head for instance, each tiny flower on the long, slender spike
imitates the broad spreading ears and the upturned trunk of the
elephant in a remarkable manner.
The Painted Cup, a familiar plant from Manitoba to the
Rockies, is curious in a different way. The flowers are borne
in dense leafy spikes at the top of a leafy stem, but, being greenish-
yellow in color, they are scarcely noticeable among the longer
and more brilliantly colored bracts, which look as if they had
been dipped in a pot of scarlet paint. Its other common name
Indian Paint Brush is therefore more appropriate than Painted
Cup. Still, the color of the bracts varies greatly, not only in
the several species found in Western Canada, but also among
different individuals of the same species, ranging from scarlet
and brick-red to rose, pink, and even to white. Individually,
the plants are rather coarse but in the mass their effect is beautiful,
and many a hillside and prairie seems aflame with them.
Not the least interesting fact in the life of the paint brush
is its deviation from what one might call the standards of common
honesty in plant life. For frequently this plant attaches itself
to the roots of other plants and steals from them their life juices.
In short, it seems to be by instinct, if not always by opportunity,
a parasite. Still its moral declension is not complete. For in
the case of those plants which are wholly parasitic in nature their
low character is usually revealed by the absence of green color
in their leaves. But where, as with the paint brush, the theft
is incidental, as it were, where the plant can, and to a certain extent
does, live by its own exertions there is usually little outward
sign of this brand of degeneracy.
PAINTED CUP; INDIAN PAINT BRUSH
A WESTERN RIVER SCENE
"But there is one thing a large river does for one that is beyond
the scope of the companionable stream, it idealizes the landscape,
it multiplies and heightens the beauty of the day and of the season.
A fair day it makes more fair, and a wild and tempestuous day it
makes more wild and tempestuous. It takes on so quickly and
completely the mood and temper of the sky above _ _ _ . How it
enhances and emphasizes the beauty of those calm motionless
days of Summer or Fall, the broad glassy surface perfectly dupli-
cating the opposite shore, sometimes so smooth that the finer floating
matter here and there looks like dust upon a mirror;
Not always is the river so placid as in our picture. When
summer heat melts the snow on the mountains, and summer
rains along its great length swell the flood, the water rises rapidly
and sweeps along in swelling strength chafing at its steep ^clay
banks and carrying away soil and plants that are not firmly
anchored. Hence, we find that the perennial plants that grow
on these steep river banks are either grasses with numerous
intertwining rootstocks firmly binding together the soil/ or else
plants that have deep and strong roots, like Hooker's mugwort,
shown in the foreground of our picture, Mackenzie's hedysarum,
the deflexed oxytrope, and other herbs of like habit. Sometimes
several inches of surface soil will be carried away from the tap
roots of these plants and the roots with their tufted stems hang
down, dirty and forlorn. But abatement of the flood brings
restoration to air and sunshine. The leaves quickly resume
their interrupted functions, the stems bend upward hopefully.
and soon the bank is again clothed with clean, fresh verdure.
A WESTERN RIVER SCENE
Helianthus giganteus L.
The Giant Sunflower is so called because of its tall stems
which sometimes grow ten feet high, although half that height
or less is commoner. As compared with the thick stems, broad
leaves, and massive heads of the cultivated Russian sunflower,
it is not at all gigantic, for its stem is usually much branched and,
except at the base, rather slender, its leaves narrow and taper-
pointed, and its flower-heads only two or two-and-a-half inches
across. Still it is a big, vigorous plant and with such a capacity
for spreading and massing that it may often become a troublesome
weed in low ground. From the Lake of the Woods to the Rockies,
the Giant Sunflower is abundant and furnishes in many, a mid-
summer landscape great expanses of radiant color.
If a stem of this big herb be dug up in Autumn it will bring
with it a great cluster of roots. Some are ordinary feeding and
anchoring roots, others are so thickened as to look like small
sweet potatoes. From among these, spreading out in all directions,
are stout creeping rootstocks. In these spindle-shaped tubers
is stored concentrated building material upon which the runners
draw in early Spring, so getting a good start in their work of
extending the sunflower colony.
Sagittaria latifolia Willd.
A handsome plant is the Arrow-head with distinctive and
decorative leaves and flowers. Growing in shallow water or mud,
along the margins of ponds and streams, it occurs commonly
and often abundantly throughout most of the North American
continent. Since aquatic plants are subject to sudden changes
in their surrounding conditions floods may increase the current
of the streams and raise the water in the ponds, or drought may
dry up both it is not strange to find that this plant exhibits great
variation in size and form. Its height may be six inches or two feet.
Its leaves may be broad or narrow, but, unless submerged during
growth, they retain their arrow-head shape. The plants are
occasionally dioecious but usually monoecious, that is, bearing
both male and female flowers on the same plant but separately.
As may be seen by referring to the picture opposite, both kinds
grow in clusters of three around the common flower-stalk. Both-
kinds also have three glistening white petals more delicate
than the most gauzy fabric ever spun by man. But in the centre
of the male flower is a beautiful cluster of golden stamens, while
in the female flower is a dull green, rounded mass of pistils.
The superior beauty of the male over the female blossom,
although not fully apparent in our picture, is quite pronounced,
and follows a general rule among plants. Many other examples
of this might be mentioned for instance, the long drooping
male tassels of the birch and alder as compared with their small
inconspicuous female catkins, or the golden dress of the male
willow as compared with the quieter silver of the female. Again,
in the case of the cultivated squash or pumpkin, both sexes have
great orange-yellow trumpets, but the female, close-seated upon
the embryo fruit, is partly hidden by the leaves, while the male
rises up on a long stalk to better display his splendor. Yet these
decorative distinctions of male and female dress and form are
not motived by anything corresponding to human vanity; rather
they spring from vital necessities in the life, not of the individual,
but of the species.
Pleurogyne fontana A . Nels.
This plant is probably an unfamiliar one to many of our
readers. It is said by the late Mr. J. M. Macoun to be character-
istic of alkali flats in the southern part of the prairie country,
and Rydberg's Flora gives its habitat as mountain bogs. The
plants pictured on the opposite page grew hundreds of miles
from the international boundary and far from the mountains,
and it probably occurs on brackish shores and in salt marshes
over a wide range.
One reason why it is little known is its habit of opening its
flowers in bright sunshine only, and then for but a short time.
Another is that its usual rather desolate surroundings do not
promise the flower lover much in the way of floral beauty, and he
is likely to turn to more fertile fields. Finally, it is a capricious
annual and may appear in a neighborhood one season and then
not to be seen again for several succeeding years. In this latter
elusive quality it resembles its beautiful relative the fringed
gentian whose flowers of heavenly blue have captivated alike
the poet and the artist.
Individual plants of the Marsh Felwort, even when growing
together, differ curiously in size. Some are three or four inches
high bearing but one or two blossoms, each slender stem bending
to the lightest breeze. Others grow to a height of fifteen inches
and are stiffly erect with a dozen or more close-set flowers. The
white corolla is so deeply cleft into four or five lobes, that each
seems to be a separate petal. At first sight, also, the flower
seems to have neither style nor stigmas. The style is indeed
lacking, but closer examination will revel the latter as stigmatose
lines on the sides of the ovary quite an unusual arrangement.
The flowers open in late Summer and it is always a pleasant
surprise to find such pure and delicate beauty amid the usual
coarse vegetation of its environment.
LESSER PASTURE SAGE BRUSH; WORMWOOD
Artemisia frigida Willd.
In Western Canada grow many species of Artemisia, kuo\
variously as wormwoods, sage brushes, or mugworts. Most
them are dry ground plants, a few are found in moist valleys,
and one at least (A . biennis) has become in many places a common
and unsightly weed. Certain kinds, especially the European
wormwood (^4. Absinthium) grown in many gardens and escaped
from them to the roadside, are so widely used as domestic medicine
that "wormwood tea is an odorous memory with every persoi
who was reared in the country."*
Those species of Artemisia commonly called sage brushes
are characteristic of arid regions, where over large tracts they
sometimes constitute almost the entire vegetation. We have all
heard of, even if we have not seen, the sage brush desert whose
gray monotony impresses travellers as they cross the continent
by southern railway lines. Such universal grayness of tone is
due to the fact that stems, leaves, and flower-heads of these plants
are all densely coated with white hair or wool. The protection
thus afforded is two-fold: first, transpiration is greatly diminished;
and, second, the chlorophyll the green coloring matter of plants
in the tissue beneath the hairs is shaded as by an awning from
the destructive action of too intense sunshine.
The Lesser Pasture Sage Brush pictured on the opposite page
is one of the smaller of these desert sages. It has, however, a
range extending far beyond the desert, being found northward as
far as Hudson's Bay and Alaska. Over much of this great
expanse it occurs sparingly in small colonies on particularly dry
banks or hillsides, but in the arid part of the Canadian plains it
sometimes covers the ground over considerable areas.
Considered, not as a hundred or a thousand acre carpet,
but individually in detail, it is a pretty plant with soft masses of
finely-cut, silvery foliage above which in late Summer rise silvery
plumes eight to twenty inches high. Along the slender branches
of these stems are strung round and nodding flower-heads, pearly
gray on the outside, but soon opening to emit the tiny yellow
'Liberty Hyde Bailey.
LESSER PASTURE SAGE BRUSH; WORMWOOD SAGE
WHITE PRAIRIE ASTER
Aster com mutatis T. and G.
In the floral pageantry of early summer the Asters take no
part, but from midsummer onward they demand increasing
notice until in the climax of splendor with which the season
closes they occupy the premier place. Other handsome flowers
in great number and variety join in the display, but many of
them furnish only here and there outstanding points of color,
valuable additions to the general effect, but still merely inci-
dental. Not so the Asters ! Vast plains, unending miles of road-
way, and innumerable swamps, thickets, and forest glades are
beautified by their mj-riad blossoms.
Asters respond kindly to human care, and in England these
Michaelmas daisies, as they are called, are highly esteemed and
generally cultivated. In Canada little attention of this kind
has yet been paid to them. But, although neglected by human
gardeners, Nature here uses them lavishly, and many a lonely
settler's simple home is transformed and glorified by the blue
and white of asters and the yellow of goldenrods.
This White Prairie Aster is common in dry and sandy soil
from Manitoba to British Columbia. Its stem, somewhat
branched, grows one or two feet high, its leaves are small and
narrow, both stem and leaves are hairy, but one notices little
such details, as attention is centred upon the splendid panicle
of white flowers, a particularly fine specimen of which is shown
on the opposite page.
A closely allied species, the White Wreath Aster (A. wiilti-
florus) with smaller flower-heads and a more branched stem,
grows in similar soil over an even wider territory.
The Smooth-leaved Aster (A. laevis) with rather compact
panicles of sky-blue flowers is one of the most abundant and
elegant forms in open woods, on the edge of thickets, ami along
In swamps we frequently find a stout, rough-hairy, purple-
stemmed Aster (A. puniceus) bearing aloft above the tallest
sedges a great pyramid of large lilac-blue flowers.
Scattered along hilly roads and on openly wooded hillsides is
the Showy Western Aster '(A. conspicuus) whose broad leaves
and flat-topped clusters of large violet or pink-purple flowers
quite justify its name.
Many other kinds merit mention. The ambitious young
student may find some difficulty in the exact determination
of species, but both he and the amateur lover of flowers will
find interest and pleasure in their great variety and beauty.
WHITE PRAIRIE ASTER
DRUMMOND'S DRYAS FRUITING ON A
Dryas Drummondii Richards
Having now considered many flowers, it seems fitting that,
before bringing this series to a close, we should glance at a few
of the seeds, or fruits as a botanist calls them, the production
of which is the object of all blossoms.
Our photograph of Drummond's Dryas, fruiting on a gravel-
bar of a great northern river, was chosen because it illustrates
so well the frequent beauty of this final stage in plant growth,
and also the lavish manner in which seeds are usually produced.
This plant forms dense mats of foliage above which in early
Summer rise small, short-stemmed flowers. The petals wither,
and the numerous styles afterwards elongate into twisted awns,
fringed throughout their length with fine hairs. While still
immature these styles are tightly twisted together, but when
ripe they fluff out into a downy ball two inches or more in diameter.
The seed-stems lengthen to eight or ten inches, thus raising the
seed-heads well above the leaves.
As to the beauty of such a Dryas bed there can be no question.
The soft, feathery expanse of plumose seeds gleaming in the
sunshine quite surpasses in attractiveness the same bed when
dotted with small yellow flowers. And since this one colony shows
thousands of seed-heads, and each head has about one hundred
and fifty seeds, some idea of the great quantity of seed produced
is readily formed.
But, when the individual plant has ripened a good crop of seed,
the achievement will be of little benefit to the race unless the seeds
reach a place where they can grow successfully. If they fall
directly to the ground, then, in the case of all perennials, the parent
itself becomes the chief danger to its offspring. Plants, therefore,
have developed many devices to scatter their seeds abroad.
As is fitting, these Dryas seeds, born beside the water, are good
swimmers. They are also able to fly, although not with the
buoyancy of thistle-down. Using both modes of travel, they
quickly reach and triumphantly occupy the gravel-bars on
thousands of miles of northern waterways.
DRUMMOND'S DRYAS FRUITING ON A GRAVEL-BAR
A GROUP OF AIRSHIP SEEDS
Ready to start on the great adventure
Of the many methods of seed dispersion that of using the
wind as carrier is one of the most common and most effective.
In the picture opposite we have an interesting group of such
airship seeds. The centre is occupied by a spike of the great
willow-herb, or fireweed, whose forty long pods conta'ned about
twelve thousand seeds On a dry day it is a pretty sight to see
these pods splitting open, their four slender divisions cui
quickly but gently outward into the form of a cross, and the
imprisoned down instantly fluffing out as if delighted to find
freedom. The seeds lose no time in starting on their momentous
journey, but eagerly commit themselves to the first passing breeze.
The launching of these tiny, crowded airships is in open situations
usually attended by few mishaps, and away they sail, each freighted
with a potential fireweed that may by and by bloom in splendor
on some distant clearing. These seeds are extremely light and
buoyant. Twelve hundred of them weigh less than one grain,
and in a still room, experiment showed that on the average the
seeds took forty seconds to fall eight feet. The slightest upward
breath of air sent them soaring, and in the open there is no doubt
that they rise to great heights and travel long distances.
On the left of our picture are opened milkweed pods. Each
held about fifty large, brown seeds. These pods split open along
one side only, and at first no silk is seen, for the flat seeds overlap
one another like the scales of a spruce cone, but as drying pro-
gresses the elasticity of the compressed hairs pushes up and out
seed after seed to be whirled away by the wind. The weight of
each is more than one hundred times that of a fireweed seed, yet
the sustaining power of its large and beautiful parachute is such
that it has one-fifth the buoyancy of the lighter seed.
To the right are five disintegrating cylinders of the long-
fruited anemone. While still intact, all the seeds about two
hundred and forty to each are on the outside, arranged in well-
ordered spirals with the wool tightly packed within. When the
expansive pressure of this drying wool finally bursts the neat
cylinder, the crinkly wool separates into little tufts with a seed
A GROUP OF AIRSHIP Si -\ \^
in the centre of each. These weigh fifteen times as much as,
and have one-eighth the bouyancy of the fireweed seeds.
In the lower right hand corner are two heads of Troximon,
an artistic ally of the dandelion. At the bottom are three globes
of the dandelion itself, and above them the half-dozen small
heads are those of the golden aster. These three plants belong
to the Thistle family and serve to illustrate the fruiting method
of many of their kindred. As the dandelion, especially, is so well-
known it is unnecessary to describe this method in detail. Every
child has played with dandelion " clocks" and watched the seeds
sail away before his vigorous puffs. The dandelion seeds are
quite light about four hundred of them weigh one grain
and yet in a quiet room their buoyancy is only about one-tenth
that of the fireweed seeds.
This comparison suggests that other factors play a part in
the successful spread of a species. From a close, hard fight the
fireweed flies far away to seek easier conditions elsewhere, but the
dandelion stays and fights it out, successfully competing with
even blue-grass sod, and dodging serious lawn-mower injury by
spreading its leaves flat and bearing its flowers on very short
stems. Then, just when the seeds are ripe,, the stems shoot up
and lift the seed-heads well above the grass. The dandelion
seed may not travel so far as that of the fireweed, but it will
germinate and thrive where the latter would perish.
Here we must leave this interesting subject. The reader,
however, may by observation and simple experiment easily
continue its investigation.
Aralia nudicaulis 14
Arctic Raspberry 26
Arrow-head, Broad-leaved 118
Artemisia frigida 122
Asclepias ovalifolia 92, 128
Aster commutatis 124
" Golden 130
" Showy Western 124
" Smooth-leaved 124
" White Prairie 124
" White Wreath 124
Astragalus hypoglottis 20
Baked-apple Berry 24
Beard-tongue, Blue 34
Bedstraw, Northern 52
" Sweet-scented 52
Blazing Star 110
Butterfly Weed 72
Button Snakeroot 110
Calla palustris 28
Camas, Death 90
" White 90
Caslilleja miniata 112
Cinquefoil, Tall White 66
Columbine, Small-flowered 50
M Wild 50
Convolvulus scpiuin 108
Cornus canadensis . . 48
Cow Parsnip : . . . ... 68
Cowslip, American 18
" Virginian 42
Crane's-bill ; 64
Cypripedium parviflorum 44
Disporum trachycarpum 12
Dodecatheon pauciflorum 18
Dogbane, Spreading 104
Dogwood, Flowering 48
Dryas Drummondii 126
Dwarf Cornel 48
Epilobium angustifolium 100, 128
Erigeron glabellus 94
Fairy Bells ... 12
Felwort, Marsh 120
Fern, Oak 58
" Ostrich 98
Ferny Dell, A 98
Fleabane Daisy, Philadelphia 94
Flower-bordered Road, A 78
Forest Invading a Peat Bog . . 22
Gaillardia aristata 82
Galium boreale 52
Gaura coccinea 72
Geranium incisum 64
" Richardson's 64
" Spotted 64
Giant Hyssop 106
Golden Pea 10
Grass of Parnassus 102
Great-flowered Gaillardia 82
Hedge Bindweed ... 106
Hedge Nettle 80
Hedysarum boreale 76
Helianthus giganteus 116
Heracleum lanatum . . 68
Primula farinosa 36
Pyrola asarifolia 60
Ragwort, Marsh 38, 40
Round-leaved Orchis 32
Rubus arcticus . . 26
Indian Paint Brush. . 112 Rubus Chamaemorus
Labrador Tea 26
Lady's Slipper, Yellow 44
Liatris scariosa 110
Lilium montanum 56
Lily, Red or Wood 56
Linnaea borealis 46
Lungwort, Tall 42
Lygodesmia juncea 70
Meadow Rue, Tall 84
Mertensia paniculata 42
" virginica 42
Milk Vetch, Purple 20
Milkweed, Oval-leaved 92, 128
Monarda mollis 96
Moneses uniflora 62
Morning Glory 108
Northern Hedysarum 76
Orchis rotundifolia 32
Oxytrope, Showy 86
Oxytropis Lamberti 86
Painted Cup 112
Pamassia palustris 102
Pentstemon procerus 34
Petalostemon purpureus 74
Pleurogyne fonlana 120
Polentilla anserina 30
" arguta 66
Polygala Senega 54
Prairie Bean 10
Prairie Clover, Purple 74
Prairie Pink 70
Primrose, Bird's-eye 36
Brush, Lesser Pasture 122
Sarsaparilla, Wild 14
Sagittaria latifolia 118
Scarlet Gaura 72
Seneca Snakeroot 54
Senecio palustris 38
Shooting Star 18, 36
Single Beauty 62
Skeleton Weed 70
Solomon's Seal 26
Stachys palustris 80
Sunflower, Giant 116
Thalictrum purpurascens ....
Twin-flower . .
Violet, Early Purple
Western River Scene, A. .
Western Woodland, In a .
Wild Onion, Nodding 88
Willow-herb, Great 100. PJs
Wintergf een, One-flowered 62
Wintergreen, Pink 60
Wormwood Sage 1 -'-
Zones of Vegetation
1C C. LIMITED. TORONTO
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO