Note: On your next spring time visit, stop by at the gatehouse before heading out on a walk and pick up a handout describing the common spring flowers of the Arboretum
Mother's Day Spring Blossoms Walk:
Are you looking for a great way to celebrate Mother's Day? The Morgan Arboretum will be hosting a FREE Mother's Day walk on Sunday May 8th (French: 11:00-12:30) (English: 1:00-2:30). Anyone can attend. Please let us know if you are interested by calling the gatehouse at 514-398-7811.
The flowers are an integral part of our forest - particularly so in the spring when the forest floor is carpeted with Trilliums, Bloodroot and many others that take advantage of the light just before the trees put out their leaves.
Flowers of the temperate forests
In the mixed deciduous forest of the Arboretum, herbaceous plants and wildflowers are in a perpetual race against the trees. Once the canopy is fully grown, the life-giving sunlight will no longer penetrate and our beautiful spring blossoms will disappear. Thus, our spring flowers are very fast growing and come into flower early in the spring before their sunlight is gone. This means that their life cycle is rapid and short lived. Often these flowers are referred to as “spring ephemerals”, the term ephemeral meaning “short-lived”. Most of these plants are around only for a couple weeks, and if you go out even just a week too early or too late, you will miss them altogether. Some flowers like Trout Lilies and Spring Beauties have all but disappeared even before the end of spring, with only their perennial underground tissues surviving into the next year.
(Above: left; Glory of the Snow / right; Trout Lilly) (photo: Sue Bishop)
(Below: Spring Beauties) (photo: Fred Parkinson)
The temperate forests of Southern Canada are constantly changing. Also referred to as a seasonal forest, this area is characterized by four distinct seasons. In the winter, much of the life seems to come to a halt, awaiting the melting snow and longer days of spring. Despite the cold temperatures and skeleton-like trees of winter, many of our plants and wildflowers rely on this season’s freezing temperatures in order to survive. Freezing triggers growth in many species, and without it, seed and flowers may not develop for many of our flora.
Purple (or Red) Trillium
With an abundance of sunlight and moisture in the spring, life seems to once again emerge from the cold, dark winter months. Life has begun again, seemingly from nothing, but nature always seems to surprise us. Take a walk through any forest stands during the months of April and May and you will be amazed at the total diversity of flowers which “pop” up around the woods.
Bloodroot (photo: Chick Taylor)
A handout describing spring flowers is available from the office.
Last Updated: Friday, 15 April 2011 15:40