Sunday, April 18, 2010

Squirrel Corn

In a new subdivision of identical tall houses on small lots, a pathway leads back to a bit of forest and swamp. Big forests and swamps once covered the area but they were gradually turned to farmland which was eventually sold to developers.

Black Cohosh

A pathway leads into the bush and wild flowers are poking up through the carpet of dead leaves on the ground. Bloodroot, Hepatica, Spring Beauties, Trilliums, Jack in the Pulpit, Wild Ginger, Black Cohosh and Trout Lilies are growing quickly and blooming before the trees high above come into full leaf.

Squirrel Corn

I look for Dutchmen's Britches and think I have found a patch, but no, this is something different. The flower is the same shape as the Bleeding Heart in my garden and the leaf shape is similar too. This is the first time I have seen Wild Bleeding Heart, or Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis). It is very closely related to Dutchman's Britches (Dicentra cucullaria) in the Fumewort family of flowers.

Tubers of Squirrel Corn

The tubers of this native wild flower resemble corn and the next day I remove a single stalk from the ground to positively identify the plant.

I have taken many pictures of wild flowers in the past week and have posted some on my Flickr page. They are old favourites but a new discovery is always welcome. I would love to find some wild orchids this year if anyone knows of an area on southwestern Ontario where they grow.


  1. I LOVE these pictures!! I especially love the wild bleeding hearts. Although my botany is not spectacular, bleeding hearts have been one of my favourite flowering plants ever since childhood. :)

    Unfortunately, I don't know where to find wild orchids! Perhaps unrelated, but I did hear that there are some forests around these parts where one may pick wild fiddleheads and leeks! Not really flowers, I guess, but I'm a sucker for anything that's edible. Hahaha. :)

  2. It so sad to see our wetlands go for development. I believe that we are not in that much need of new development. We need to consider preserving our lands.

    I googled wild orchids for Ontario and see that they are in the Bruce Peninsila. I also want to see what to look for in my own travels. Beautiful flower. I hope you find one.

  3. There's an area around here, called Purdon Conservation Area. It's noted for it's Lady Slippers. Should be at its height around mid-June because we went there one Fathers Day. I'll see if I can find my post from back then. Hold on.

    Sorry to keep you waiting.
    Wild Orchids

  4. Thanks for sharing the beauty of the wild flowers.

  5. Interesting finds. Maybe you'll be able to help me identify some mystery plants and flowers this year.


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