Spot these 10 wildflowers in the Great Lakes region | Great Lakes Guide

Environment and Education

Spot these 10 wildflowers in the Great Lakes region

Published May 28, 2019

"Almost every person, from childhood, has been touched by the untamed beauty of wildflowers."

Lady Bird Johnson

Wildflowers are some of mother nature’s most under-appreciated gifts. They are not planted or cultivated by us, instead they crop up naturally. They display their cheerful colours in a wide range of places: sunny meadows, dense forests, rocky cliffs, even the grassy medians of parking lots or perhaps your own backyard.

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Shawn Callon

Many varieties of wildflowers make their homes by lakes, ponds, and rivers. Water helps the flowers flourish, while flowers filter and improve the quality of the water and help prevent erosion. They provide food for animals, like deer and rabbits, nectar for bees, and nutrients and shelter for insects.

Check out the Bruce Trail which runs alongside the west end of Lake Ontario and east of Lake Huron in the spring. Along the trail, you’re likely to find a wide variety of colourful flowers.

Here are 10 types of wildflowers you may spot growing along the banks of the Great Lakes:


Golden Alexanders

Habitat: Fields, open areas, and wet areas
Also known as: Golden Meadow Parsnip
Scientific name: Zizia aurea

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Fritzflohrreynolds (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Fields, open areas, wet areas, ponds, marshes, moist meadows, and swamps
Also known as: Glossy-leaved Aster, Swamp Aster
Scientific name: Symphyotrichum puniceum

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Unknown (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas
Also known as: Bogbean
Scientific name: Menyanthes trifoliata

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peupleloup (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas and bogs
Also known as: Marsh Goldenrod, Bog Goldenrod
Scientific name: Solidago uliginosa

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Barnes Dr Thomas G (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas, bogs, and shores
Also known as: Calyxed Leatherleaf, Cassandra
Scientific name: Chamaedaphne calyculata

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Katja Schulz (Wikimedia Commons: Link)


Meadow Beauty

Habitat: Fields, open areas, and wet areas
Also known as: Common Meadow Beauty, Deergrass
Scientific name: Rhexia virginica

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Bob Peterson (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas
Also known as: Bedstraw Bellflower
Scientific name: Campanula aparinoides

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Zeynel Cebeci (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas
Also known as: Common Boneset, Perfoliate Thoroughwort, Thoroughwort
Scientific name: Eupatorium perfoliatum

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Melissa McMasters (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Wet areas
Also known as: Lady’s Smock
Scientific name: Cardamine pratensis

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Bernard DUPONT (Wikimedia Commons: Link)



Habitat: Fields, open areas, and wet areas
Also known as: Common Silverweed, Silvery Cinquefoil
Scientific name: Potentilla anserina

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USFWS - Pacific Region (Wikimedia Commons: Link)

The next time you’re by the water, keep an eye out for some of these wildflowers. They will be sure to brighten your day with their simple, understated beauty.



Spring, Summer