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Yarrow flowers, flat-topped clusters above fern-like, fuzzy leafed stems, attract butterflies and bees.





blamed for causing hayfever, howev- er, it is the insect-pollinated ragweed that is the likely culprit.

Asclepias tuberosa is the non-inva- sive variety of milkweed used in many gardens.

Asclepias incarnata or swamp milk- weed.

Prairie roses are distributed from seeds by wildlife (typically birds) that have consumed its fruit and spread out from rhizomes once established.

Common milkweed is an important plant because so many species of insects, like the monarch depend on it to survive.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Canada goldenrod

(Solidago canadensis L.) are commonly sighted along coun- try roads, fields, open areas and borders of aspen poplar forests. Yarrow, also known as milfoil, has both native and introduced genotypes. It can become invasive and is considered an invasive weed in Ontario. A herbaceous perennial, yarrow, can grow up to one metre (3.28 feet) high. Wild yarrow flowers, most commonly white, also occur in shades of pink and yellow. The Canada goldenrod, along with the velvety (Solidago mollis) and stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida), are the three most common varieties. The Canada variety is the tallest, growing 60-70 cm (24-30 inches), with bright yellow pyramidal flower clusters atop a single stem. Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), the common

milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), and swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) are very important plants native to

Canada. They have become quite rare due to agricultural spraying, and are the only plant that the monarch butterfly will feed upon. Many gardeners are taking up the cause to save the monarch by planting the less invasive variety Ascle- pias tuberosa in their gardens. Milkweed flowers bloom in summer and can be yellow, orange, white or pink. The flower clusters appear at the top of the plant which can grow to reach 30-90 cm (11-35 inches). Prairie roses (Rosa arkansana porter) are common sights

in both grasslands and parklands. They can often be found along the roadside or in uncultivated fields. Their five- petalled, pink blooms occur in clusters of two or three, flowering from June through August. These low branch- ing shrubs 15-20 cm (6-18 inches) fill the air with the sweet heady smell of roses when they bloom. Flowers are followed by globular red hips filled with seeds. Coneflowers, anemone, veronica and lupine are some

of the many other wildflowers found throughout our vast landscape and in many garden centres. Some of these beau- ties are native to Canada and others have migrated in. As with any wildflower, research before planting it. Wildflow- ers are wild at heart and while some may allow you to tame them, submitting happily to the confines of your garden, others may simply perish or begin their insidious takeover. Most greenhouses will be able to share information on

where plants will thrive and their spreading habits; your local invasive species office can also let you know if they are something you should refrain from planting. i

Summer 2015 • 25

Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds.

Photo by Ken Pei.

Photo by Aaron Carlson.

Photo by D. Gordon.

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