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Entries in Wildflower (4)


Wildflower Wednesday ~ Yellow Iris (Iris Pseudacorus)

As I sit down to write this post I can hear from outside the mighty winter winds howling and I can see the many snowflakes cascading down from the clouds above.  Then I take a look at the next series of photos and am overcome with an overwhelming desire for spring to arrive!!  The next six weeks of winter are usually tough for me to get through but looking at and into these beautiful wildflowers helps a bunch.  I hope they brighten your day :-)

(The flowers in this post are of a garden variety of Yellow Iris.  The Yellow Iris wildflower is completely yellow with a small ring of brownish markings.)

  • a herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe, western Asia and northwestern Africa.
  • a member of the Iris family.
  • the yellow flowers are 3" wide with 3 sepals curling backwards and 3 petals which are smaller and upright.
  • the leaves grow to approximately 3' high, rising from the basal cluster.  They are often taller than the flower stalk.
  • grows 2-3' high from June through August in marshes, wetlands, ponds and streamsides.
  • spreads quickly by rhizome, water dispered seed and is pollinated by bumble bees.

  • is primarily an aquatic plant but has been shown to survive prolonged periods of dry conditions, longer than three months.
  • can quicckly colonize into large numbers, forming dense stands by outcompeting other plants (similar to Cattails.)
  • was brought into Canada and the US during the early part of the 20th century as a garden flower.  It was first documented as escaped in Newfoundland during 1911.
  • used as a form of water treatment due to its ability to absorb heavy metals through its roots.
  • also used as tool in dealing with erosion issues.

  • the name Iris comes from Greek culture.  Iris is the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, a link to humanity.
  • the name pseud is also Greek and means false.  Acorus is a sweet flag genus of plants.  Together, pseudacorus, is in reference to the similarity of the Yellow Iris to the genus Acorus.
  • the roots were used historically as a herbal remedy to induce vomiting.
  • the leaves and rhizomes contain an irritating resinous substance called irisin which can cause gastric disturbances if ingested.
  • a slice of root held up to an aching tooth is said to bring instant relief.
  • is used in the perfume and cosmetics industry.

  • the wild Yellow Iris is said to be the first ever iris called "Fleur de Lys," a symbol of the French Courts.  The name Lys has long been thought to be a corruption of Louis, as in Louis VII who used it as an emblem in his royal house.
  • it has also been said the name Fleur de Lys is from the old German word for yellow iris, Lieschblume - blume became fleur and liesch became lys.
  • has many old names including Segg, Seag and Skeggs from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning sword, in reference to the long sword-like leaves.
  • is often called a Yellow Flag, in reference to how the plant moves in the breeze.

Now for CM Barker's take on the Yellow Iris...

antique Iris Flower Fairy print

The Song of The Iris Fairy

I am Iris: I'm the daughter
Of the marshland and the water.
Of the clear and peaceful stream;
Water-lilies large and fair
With their leaves are floating there;
All the water-world I see,
And my own face smiles at me!


Nature 10+1 - 1.220 "Busy Bee"

Shot at Bear Creek Wetlands in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Handheld, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS, f/7.1, 1/640, ISO 400


Wildflower Wednesday ~ True Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis Scorpioides)

This week's flower is the small but mighty cute True Forget-Me-Not.  We see this wildflower all over the place, all summer long and they always puts a smile on my face.  I hope this post does the same for you!! :)

  • a herbaceous perennial plant that flowers from May through to the first frosts of October.
  • was introduced from Asia and Europe - is now naturalized over much of North America.  
  • is considered a noxious weed(*) in Connecticut and Massachussetts.   
  • is a member of the Borage Family.
  • the five lobed flowers are only 1/4 of an inch across and are light blue with a yellow centre, called a corolla.
  • the leaves are oblong, hairy and stalkless, about 1 - 2 inches in size.  
  • they grow 6 - 24 inches in height, thriving in or near wet spaces such as rivers, streams and bogs.
  • The name 'myosotis' is Greek for 'mouse ear' in relation to the shape of the leaves.
  • The name 'scorpioides' is in reference to the tightly coiled flower bud clusters which are said to resemble a scorpion.
  • the French called them 'Ne m'oubliez pas.'  It is suggested that term was first anglicized and used as Forget-Me-Not back in 1532. 
  • the seeds are in pods found along the stem.  If you want to collect its seeds all you have to do is put something underneath the stem and give the plant a shake.
  • an abundance of folklore and legend surround this wildflower.  There is a German legend that suggests when God forgot to name it, it cried out 'forget me not,' and so that is what God so named it. 
  • another legend suggests a young Jesus wanted to preserve the beauty of Mary's blue eyes and so he touched them, waved his hand over the ground and Forget-Me-Nots appeared.
  • there is a story in medieval legend where a knight falls into a river while picking flowers for his ladylove; as he is drowning, he throws up the flowers to her and shouts 'forget me not.'
  • Henry IV adopted the True Forget-Me-Not as his symbol during his exile in 1398 and upon his return to England a year later.

"It is one of the most interesting minute flowers.  It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest."  HD Thoreau  

*Noxious Weed: refers to an invasive species of plant that has been designated as one that injurious to agricultural and/or horticultural crops, natural habitats and/or ecosystems and/or humans or livestock.


Wildflower Wednesday ~ False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum Racemosum)

Nature 365 - Day 128

This week's flower is False Solomon's Seal.  We took this photo while walking the trail at McRae Provincial Park where spring conditions are perfectly moist, enabling this beauty of a wildflower to grow.

  • a woodland herbaceous perennial plant that flowers from May to July.
  • is native to North America, excluding the Arctic.   
  • is the only member of the Lily family to have elongated clusters of small white flowers.
  • the arching stems end with a pyramidal cluster of white flowers (each 1/8" long) that have 3 petals, 3 petal-like sepals, and 6 stamen(*) each.
  • the leaves, which have hairy undersides, are 3-6" long, eliptical, and are placed alternately from the stem.
  • they grow 1-3 feet in height, thriving in rich woods and moist clearings.
  • deer and rabbits love to eat it!! :)
  • is known to successfully survive forest fires and actually grow quickly after the fire has been put out.
  • in late summer the plant forms a cluster of fruit where the flowers had previously been.  The fruit starts out green and ultimately turns to red.  This fruit is occasionally called scurvy berries, in reference to them being eaten to ward of the condition.
  • is also known as Solomon's Plume, False or Wild Spikenard, Golden Seal, Job's Tears and Zigzag.
  • is said to have been used by early settlers as a treatment for headaches and sore throats.  
  • if the young shoots are stripped of their leaves, they can be simmered in water and eaten.  They are said to taste like asparagus.  Once the plant flowers, however, it becomes quite bitter and not very tasty. 
  • caution is to be exercised when wanting to eat this plant as it is very similar in appearance to the Indian Hellebore which is a highly toxic member of the Lily family.
  • folklore suggests the name Solomon's Seal originates from the markings found on the rootstalks that resemble both a seal and hebrew characters.  There is a story of Solomon that suggests he was knowledgeable in the realm of plants and the virtues of roots and so he set his seal upon them in testimony of their value to man as a medicinal root. (

*Stamen: refers to the stalks which grow out from the centre of a flower.  The stamen produce pollen which is then held at the tips by what is called anthers.