Nature Guelph’s Virtual Spring Woodland Walk (and contest!)

With parks and conservation areas mostly closed these days you might be missing watching spring arrive in your favorite woodland. If so, we want to welcome you to the Nature Guelph Virtual Spring Woodland Walk! As spring arrives we’ll be regularly posting photos (including the dates they were taken) of 14 different plants species in Nature Guelph Vice President Judy Brisson’s local native woodland garden so you can watch the plants as they grow and blossom.

Try to guess what plant species is sprouting, and we’ll reveal the answer when it flowers!

Send us your best guess as to what some of the plants may be using the form below (scroll right down to the bottom of this page), and you will be entered into a draw later this spring to win a plant. We’ll try to have one of each of the (native) species featured as the prizes. You can send us as many entries/guesses as you like (but you will only be given one entry into the plant draw).

Here is the Garden – watch it wake up!

The Plants (click on each thumbnail for a larger view)

  1. This is one of the earliest plants to emerge in our woodlands.
  2. This early ephemeral changes colour as the season advances.
  3. A dainty blue woodland flower.
  4. This groundcover is semi-evergreen. Last season’s leaves are revealed when the snow melts, awaiting signs of new growth.
  5. Another evergreen plant. Last season’s fronds are flat after a winter under snow as we await the new fiddleheads.
  6. This invasive non-native species is damaging our woods. It is variable in appearance during the season (note that this plant won’t be one of the prizes!).
  7. A relative of plant number 4, this somewhat taller plant is also semi-evergreen and one parent of a great many garden hybrids.
  8. A semi-evergreen member of the sedge family, Cyperaceae.
  9. A delicate ephemeral found along the woodland edge and in part-shade prairies.
  10. This groundcover provides early nectar and pollen.
  11. A rare plant in Ontario (this one was propagated by an ethical native plant nursery), its seeds are dispersed by ants.
  12. Another semi evergreen groundcover. Keeping low to the ground helps the early spring plants survive wind and last snowfall.
  13. This lacy fern will soon wake up and raise up her new fronds.
  14. Here’s a bit of an usual plant, a fall blooming woodland wildflower. Most woodland plants bloom in spring so this is a welcome addition to the woodland garden.
  15. One of the earliest woody shrubs to bloom in the spring with flower buds beginning to swell.