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Title: North American Wild Flowers
Author: FitzGibbon, Agnes, Traill, Catharine Parr Strickland
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "North American Wild Flowers" ***

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[Illustration: Title page]

                             NORTH AMERICAN

                             WILD FLOWERS.

                        Painted and Lithographed


                           AGNES FITZ GIBBON


                         BOTANICAL DESCRIPTIONS


                             C. P. TRAILL.



                                PLATE I.
 Liver-Leaf—Wind-Flower.—(Sharp Lobed Hepatica.)—_Hepatica             9
 Bellwort—(Wood Daffodil.)—_Uvularia perfoliata_                      11
 Wood Anemone.—_Anemone Nemorosa_                                     13
 Spring Beauty.—_Claytonia Virginica_                                 16

                                PLATE II.
 Adders-Tongue.—Dog-Toothed Violet.—_Erythronium Americanum_          19
 White Trillium.—Death-Flower.—_Trillium Grandiflorum_                21
 Rock Columbine.—_Aquilegia Canadensis_                               24

                               PLATE III.
 Squirrel Corn.—_Dicentra Canadensis_                                 27
 Purple Trillium.—Death-Flower.—Birth-Root.—_Trillium erectum_        29
 Wood Geranium.—Cranes-Bill.—_Geranium maculatum_                     31
 Chickweed Wintergreen.—_Trientalis Americana_                        34

                                PLATE IV.
 Sweet Wintergreen.—_Pyrola elliptica_                                35
 One Flowered Pyrola.—_Moneses uniflora_                              39
 Flowering Raspberry.—_Rubus Odoratus_                                41
 Speedwell.—American Brooklime.—_Veronica Americana_                  43

                                PLATE V.
 Yellow Lady’s Slippers.—_Cypripedium parviflorum and Cypripedium     45
 Large Blue Flag.—_Iris Versicolor_.—_Fleur-de-luce_                  47
 Small Canberry.—_Vaccinium Oxycoccus_                                50

                                PLATE VI.
 Wild Orange Lily.—_Lilium Philadelphicum_                            53
 Canadian Harebell.—_Campanula Rotundifolia_                          56
 Showy Lady’s Slipper.—_Cypripedium Spectabile_.—(Moccasin Flower)    59

                               PLATE VII.
 Early Wild Rose.—_Rosa Blanda_                                       63
 Pentstemon Beard-Tongue.—_Pentstemon pubescens_                      66

                               PLATE VIII.
 Sweet Scented Water Lily.—_Nymphæa Odorata_                          67
 Yellow Pond Lily.—_Nuphar Advena_.—(Spatter Dock)                    71

                                PLATE IX.
 Pitcher Plant.—(Soldier’s Drinking Cup.)—_Sarracenia Purpurea_       73

                                PLATE X.
 Painted Cup, Scarlet Cup.—_Castilleia Coccinea_                      77
 Showy Orchis.—_Orchis Spectabilis_                                   81
 Indian Turnip.—_Arum triphyllum_ (_Arum family_)                     83
 Cone Flower.—_Rudbeckia fulgida_                                     87


                                 TO THE

                     WILD FLOWERS OF NORTH AMERICA.

The first and second edition of our Book of Wild Flowers was published
last year under the title of “CANADIAN WILD FLOWERS;” but it has been
suggested by some American friends that we ought not to have limited the
title to the Wild Flowers of _Canada_, as nature has given them a much
wider geographical range, and, in fact, there are none of those that
have been portrayed and described in our volume but may be found
diffused over the whole of the Eastern and Northern States of the Union,
as well as to the North and West of the Great Lakes. We, therefore, have
rectified the error in our present issue, not wishing to put asunder
those whom the Great Creator has united in one harmonious whole, each
family and tribe finding its fitting place as when it issued freshly
forth from the bounteous hand of God who formed it for the use of His
creatures and to His own honor and glory.

As our present volume embraces but a select few of the Native Flowers of
this Northern Range of the Continent, it is our intention to follow it
by succeeding series, which will present to our readers the most
attractive of our lovely Wild Flowers, and flowering shrubs. The subject
offers a wide field for our future labours.

What a garland of loveliness has nature woven for man’s admiration, and
yet, comparatively speaking, how few appreciate the beauties thus
lavishly bestowed upon them?

The inhabitants of the crowded cities know little of them even by name,
and those that dwell among them pass them by as though they heeded them
not, or regarded them as worthless weeds, crying, “Cut them down, why
cumber they the ground?” To such careless ones they do indeed “waste
their sweetness on the desert air.” Yet the Wild Flowers have deeper
meanings and graver teachings than the learned books of classical lore
so much prized by the scholar, if he will but receive them.

They shew him the parental care of a benificent God for the winged
creatures of the air, and for the sustenance of the beasts of the field.
They point to the better life, the resurrection from the darkness of the
grave. They are emblems of man’s beauty and of his frailty. They lend us
by flowery paths from earth to heaven, where the flowers fade not away.
Shall we then coldly disregard the flowers that our God has made so
wondrously fair, to beautify the earth we live on?

Mothers of America teach your little ones to love the Wild Flowers and
they will love the soil on which they grew, and in all their wanderings
through the world their hearts will turn back with loving reverence to
the land of their birth, to that dear home endeared to their hearts by
the remembrance of the flowers that they plucked and wove for their
brows in their happy hours of gladsome childhood.

How many a war-worn soldier would say with the German hero of Schiller’s

        “Oh gladly would I give the blood stained victor’s wreath
         For the first violet of the early spring,
         Plucked in those quiet fields where I have journeyed.”

                     DESCRIPTION OF THE TITLE PAGE.

Our Artist has tastefully combined in the wreath that adorns her title
page several of our native Spring Flowers. The simple blossoms of
_Claytonia Virginica_, better known by its familiar name “SPRING
BEAUTY,” may easily be recognized from the right hand figure in the
group of the first plate in the book. For a description of it see page

The tall slender flower on the left side on the title page is
_Potentilla Canadensis_, (Var _simplex_). This slender trailing plant
may be found in open grassy thickets, by road side wastes, at the foot
of old stumps, and similar localities, with the common Cinquefoil or
Silver Leaf. This last species is much the most attractive plant to the
lover of wild flowers. It abounds in dry gravelly and sandy soil,
courting the open sunshine, rooting among stones, over which it spreads
its slender reddish stalk, enlivening the dry arid wastes with its
silvery silken leaves and gay golden rose-shaped blossoms.

The Potentilla family belongs to the same Natural Order, ROSACEÆ, as the
Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry and the Rose—a goodly fellowship of
the useful and the beautiful among which our humble Cinquefoil has been
allowed to find a place.

The little plant occupying the lower portion of the plate is _Viola
sagittata_, “ARROW LEAVED VIOLET.” The anthers of the stamens are flesh
coloured or pale orange; the slender pointed sepals of the calyx are of
a bright light green, which form a lively contrast to the deep purple
closely wrapped pointed buds that they enfold. The leaves are of a dull
green, somewhat hairy, narrow, blunt at the apex, not heart-shaped as in
many of the species but closed at the base and bordering the short
channelled foot-stalk. Among our numerous species few are really more
lovely than “the Arrow Leaved Violet.” _Viola ovata_ and _Viola villosa_
closely resemble the above, and probably are varieties of our pretty

The violet, like the rose and lily, has ever been the poet’s flower.
This is not one of our earliest violets; it blossoms later than the
early white violet, _V. rotundifolia_ or than the early Blue Violet, _V.
cucullata_, or that delicate species _V. striata_, the lilac striped
violet, which adorns the banks and hill sides on some of our plain
lands, early in the month of May. Later in this month and in the
beginning of June we find the azure blossoms of _V. sagittata_ in warm
sheltered valleys, often among groups of small pines and among grasses
on sandy knolls and open thickets. The plant grows low, the leaves on
very short foot-stalks closely pressed to the ground; the bright full
blue flowers springing from the crown of the plant on long slender stems
stand above the leaves.

The petals are blunt, of a full azure blue, white at the base and
bearded. Among many allusions to this favourite flower, here are lines
somewhat after the style of the older poets, addressed to early violets
found on a wintry March day at Waltham Abbey.


        Children of sweetest birth,
        Why do ye bend to earth
        Eyes in whose softened blue,
        Lies hid the diamond dew?
        Has not the early ray,
        Yet kissed those tears away
        That fell with closing day?

        Say do ye fear to meet
        The hail and driving sleet,
        Which gloomy winter stern
        Flings from his snow-wreathed urn?
        Or do ye fear the breeze
        So sadly sighing thro’ the trees,
        Will chill your fragrant flowers,
        Ere April’s genial showers
        Have visited your bowers?

        Why came ye till the cuckoo’s voice,
        Bade hill and vale rejoice;
        Till Philomel with tender tone,
        Waking the echoes lone,
        Bids woodland glades prolong
        Her sweetly tuneful song;
        Till sky-lark blithe and linnet grey,
        From fallow brown and meadow gay,
        Pour forth their jocund roundelay;
        Till ‘cowslip, wan’ and ‘daisies pied’
        ’Broider the hillock’s side,
        And opening hawthorn buds are seen,
        Decking each hedge-row screen?

        What, though the primrose drest
        In her pure paly vest
        Came rashly forth
        To brave the biting North,
        Did ye not see her fall
        Straight ’neath his snowy pall;
        And heard ye not the West wind sigh
        Her requiem as he hurried by?

        Go hide ye then till groves are green
        And April’s clouded bow is seen;
        Till suns are warm, and skies are clear
        And every flower that does appear,
        Proclaims the birthday of the year.

Though Canada does not boast among her violets the sweet purple violet
(_Viola odorata_) of Britain she has many elegant species remarkable for
beauty of form and colour; among these “The Yellow Wool Violet,” the
“Song Spurred Violet” and the “Milkwhite Wool Violet,” (_V. Canadensis_)
may be named. These are all branching violets, some, as the yellow and
the white, often attain, in rank shaded soil, to a foot in height and
may be found throwing out a succession of flowers through the later
summer months. They will bloom freely if transplanted to a shady spot in
the garden.

[Illustration: _PLATE I._]

                           3 ANEMONE NEMOROSA
                             (Wood Anemone)

                          2 UVULARIA PERFOLIATA
                        (Large flowered Bellwort)

                          1 HEPATICA ACUTILOBA
                         (Sharp lobed Hepatica)

                          4 CLAYTONIA VIRGINICA
                             (Spring Beauty)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                 NAT. ORD. RANUNCULACEÆ.

                        (SHARP LOBED HEPATICA.)
                         _Hepatica acutiloba._

             “Lodged in sunny clefts,
              Where the cold breeze comes not, blooms alone
              The little Wind-flower, whose just opened eye
              Is blue, as the spring heaven it gazes at.”

THE American poet, Bryant, has many happy allusions to the Hepatica
under the name of “WIND-FLOWER;” the more common name among our Canadian
settlers is “SNOW-FLOWER,” it being the first blossom that appears
directly after the melting off of the winter snows.

In the forest—in open grassy old woods, on banks and upturned roots of
trees, this sweet flower gladdens the eye with its cheerful starry
blossoms; every child knows it and fills its hands and bosom with its
flowers, pink, blue, deep azure and pure white. What the daisy is to
England, the Snow-flower or Liver-leaf is to Canada. It lingers long
within the forest shade, coyly retreating within its sheltering glades
from the open glare of the sun: though for a time it will not refuse to
bloom within the garden borders, when transplanted early in spring, and
doubtless if properly supplied with black mould from the woods and
partially sheltered by shrubs it would continue to grow and flourish
with us constantly.

We have two sorts, _H. acutiloba_, and _H. triloba_. A large variety has
been found on Long Island in Rice Lake; the leaves of which are _five
lobed_; the lobes much rounded, the leaf stalks stout, densely silky,
the flowers large, of a deep purple blue. This handsome plant throve
under careful cultivation and proved highly ornamental.

The small round closely folded buds of the Hepatica appear before the
white silky leaves unfold themselves, though many of the old leaves of
the former year remain persistent through the winter. The buds rise from
the centre of a silken bed of soft sheaths and young leaves, as if
nature kindly provided for the warmth and protection of these early
flowers with parental care.

Later in the season, the young leaves expand just before the flowers
drop off. The white flowered is the most common among our Hepaticas, but
varieties may be seen of many hues: waxen-pink, pale blue and azure blue
with intermediate shades and tints.

The Hepatica belongs to the Nat. Ord. Ranunculaceæ, the crow-foot
family, but possesses none of the acrid and poisonous qualities of the
Ranunculus proper, being used in medicine, as a mild tonic, by the
American herb doctors in fevers and disorders of the liver.

It is very probable that its healing virtues in complaints of the liver
gave rise to its common name in old times; some assign the name to the
form of the lobed leaf.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                            (WOOD DAFFODIL.)
                         _Uvularia perfoliata._

                      “Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
                        Thee haste away so soon,
                      As yet the early rising sun
                        Has not attained his noon.
                      Stay, stay!—
                  Until the hasting day
                        Has run,
                      But to the evening song;
                        When having prayed together we
                      Will go with you along.”

THIS slender drooping flower of early spring is known by the name of
BELLWORT, from its pendent lily-like bells; and by some it is better
known as the _Wood Daffodil_, to which its yellow blossoms bear some
remote resemblance.

The flowers of the Bellwort are of a pale greenish-yellow; the divisions
of the petal-like sepals are six, deeply divided, pointed and slightly
twisted or waved, drooping from slender thready pedicels terminating the
branches; the stem of the plant is divided into two portions, one of
which is barren of flowers. The leaves are of a pale green, smooth, and
in the largest species perfoliate, clasping the stem.

The root (or rhizome) is white, fleshy and tuberous. The Bellwort is
common in rich shady woods and grassy thickets, and on moist alluvial
soil on the banks of streams, where it attains to the height of 18 or 20
inches. It is an elegant, but not very showy flower—remarkable more for
its graceful pendent straw-coloured or pale yellow blossoms, than for
its brilliancy. It belongs to a sub-order of the Lily Tribe. There are
three species in Canada—the large Bellwort—_Uvularia grandiflora_ and
_U. perfoliata_—we also possess the third, enumerated by Dr. Gray, _U.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                 NAT. ORD. RANUNCULACEÆ.

                             WOOD ANEMONE.
                          _Anemone nemorosa._

             “Within the wood,
              Whose young and half transparent leaves,
              Scarce cast a shade; gay circles of anemones,
              Danced on their stalks.”

THE classical name ANEMONE is derived from a Greek word, which signifies
the _wind_, because it was thought that the flower opened out its
blossoms only when the wind was blowing. Whatever the habits of the
Anemone of the Grecian Isles may be, assuredly in their native haunts in
this country, the blossoms open alike in windy weather or in calm; in
shade or in sunshine. It is more likely that the wind acting upon the
downy seeds of some species and dispersing them abroad, has been the
origin of the idea, and has given birth to the popular name which poets
have made familiar to the ear with many sweet lines. Bryant, who is the
American poet of nature, for he seems to revel in all that is fair among
the flowers and streams and rocks and forest shades, has also given the
name of “_wind flower_” to the blue hepatica.

The subject of our plate, the little white pink-edged flower at the left
hand corner of the group, is _Anemone nemorosa_, the smaller “WOOD

This pretty delicate species loves the moderate shade of groves and
thickets, it is often found in open pinelands of second growth, and
evidently prefers a light and somewhat sandy soil to any other, with
glimpses of sunshine stealing down upon it.

The Wood Anemone is from 4 to 9 inches in height, but seldom taller, the
five rounded sepals which form the flower are white, tinged with a
purplish-red or dull pink on the outside. The leaves are three parted,
divided again in three, toothed and sharply cut and somewhat coarse in
texture; the three upper stem leaves form an involucre about midway
between the root and the flower-cup.

Our Wood Anemone is a cheerful little flower gladdening us with its
blossoms early in the month of May. It is very abundant in the
neighbourhood of Toronto, on the grassy banks and piny-dells at Dover
Court, and elsewhere.

        “There thickly strewn in woodland bowers,
         Anemones their stars unfold.”

A somewhat taller species, with very white starry flowers, is found on
gravelly banks under the shade of shrubs near the small lakes formed by
the Otonabee river, _N. Douro_, where also, we find the downy seeded
species known as “Thimble-weed,” _Anemone cylindrica_, from the
cylindrical heads of fruit. The “Thimble-weed” is not very attractive
for beauty of colour; the flower is greenish-white, small, two of the
sepals being shorter and less conspicuous than the others; the plant is
from 1 to 2 ft. high; the leaves of the cut and pointed involucre are
coarse, of a dull green, surrounding the several long flower-stalks. The
soft cottony seeds remain in close heads through the winter, till the
spring breezes disperse them.

The largest species of our native Anemones is _A. Virginiana_, “TALL
ANEMONE.” This handsome plant loves the shores of lakes and streams;
damp rich ground suits it well, as it grows freely in such soil, and
under moderate shade when transferred to the garden.

The foliage of the tall Anemone is coarse, growing in whorls round the
stem, divisions of the leaf three parted, sharply pointed and toothed.
In this, as in all the species, the coloured sepals, (or calyx leaves)
form the flower. The outer surface of the flower is covered with minute
silky hairs, the round flattened silky buds rise singly on tall naked
stems, the upper series are supplied with two small leaflets embracing
the stalk. The central and largest flowers open first, the lateral or
outer ones as these fade away; thus a succession of blossoms is
produced, which continue to bloom for several weeks. The flowers of this
sort, under cultivation, become larger and handsomer than in their wild
state, ivory white, tinged with purple. The Anemone is always a
favourite flower wherever it may be seen, whether in British woods, on
Alpine heights, or in Canadian wilds; on banks of lonely lakes and
forest streams; or in the garden parterre, where it is rivalled by few
other flowers in grace of form or splendour of colour.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                 NAT. ORD. PORTULACACEÆ.

                             SPRING BEAUTY.
                         _Claytonia Virginica._

                Where the fire had smoked and smouldered
                Saw the earliest flower of Spring time,
                Saw the beauty of the Spring time,
                Saw the Miskodeed[1] in blossom.

THIS simple delicate little plant is one of our earliest April flowers.
In warm springs it is almost exclusively an April flower, but in cold
and backward seasons, it often delays its blossoming time till May.

Partially hidden beneath the shelter of old decaying timbers and fallen
boughs, its pretty pink buds peep shyly forth. It is often found in
partially cleared beech-woods, and in rich moist meadows.

In Canada, there are two species; one with few flowers, white, both
leaves and flowers larger than the more common form; the blossoms of the
latter are more numerous, smaller, and of a pale pink colour, veined
with lines of a deeper rose colour, forming a slender raceme; sometimes
the little pedicels or flower stalks are bent or twisted to one side, so
as to throw the flowers in one direction.

The scape springs from a small deep tuber, bearing a single pair of
soft, oily, succulent leaves. In the white flowered species these leaves
are placed about midway up the stem, but in the pink (_C. Virginica_)
the leaves lie closer to the ground, and are smaller and of a dark
bluish green hue. Our SPRING BEAUTY well deserves its pretty poetical
name. It comes in with the Robin, and the song sparrow, the hepatica,
and the first white violet; it lingers in shady spots, as if unwilling
to desert us till more sunny days have wakened up a wealth of brighter
blossoms to gladden the eye; yet the first, and the last, are apt to be
most prized by us, with flowers, as well as other treasures.

How infinitely wise and merciful are the arrangements of the Great
Creator. Let us instance the connection between BEES and FLOWERS. In
cold climates the former lie torpid, or nearly so, during the long
months of Winter, until the genial rays of the sun and light have
quickened vegetation into activity, and buds and blossoms open,
containing the nutriment necessary for this busy insect tribe.

The BEES seem made for the Blossoms; the BLOSSOMS for the BEES.

On a bright March morning what sound can be more in harmony with the
sunshine and blue skies, than the murmuring of the honeybees, in a
border of cloth of gold crocuses? what sight more cheerful to the eye?
But I forget. Canada has few of these sunny flowers, and no March days
like those that woo the hive bees from their winter dormitories. And
April is with us only a name. We have no April month of rainbow suns and
showers. We miss the deep blue skies, and silver throne-like clouds that
cast their fleeting shadows over the tender springing grass and corn; we
have no mossy lanes odorous with blue violets. One of our old poets thus

        “Ye violets that first appear,
         By your pure purple mantles known,
         Like the proud virgins of the year,
         As if the spring were all your own,
         What are ye when the rose is blown.”[2]

We miss the turfy banks, studded with starry daisies, pale primroses and
azure blue-bells.

Our May is bright and sunny, more like to the English March; it is
indeed a month of promise—a month of many flowers. But too often its
fair buds and blossoms are nipped by frost, “and winter, lingering,
chills the lap of May.”

In the warmth and shelter of the forest, vegetation appears. The black
leaf mould, so light and rich, quickens the seedlings into rapid growth,
and green leaves and opening buds follow soon after the melting of the
snows of winter. The starry blossoms of the hepatica, blood-root,
bellwort, violets, white, yellow and blue, with the delicate Coptis
(gold-thread), come forth and are followed by many a lovely flower,
increasing with the more genial seasons of May and June.

But our April flowers are but few, comparatively speaking, and so we
prize our early Violets, Hepaticas and Spring Beauty.


[1] Miskodeed—Indian name for Spring Beauty.

[2] Sir Henry Wotton—written in 1651.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE II._]

                          3 AQUILEGIA CANADENSIS
                             (Wild Columbine)

                         2 TRILLIUM GRANDIFLORUM
                          (Large white Trillium)

                         1 ERYTHRONIUM AMERICANUM
                          (Yellow adders tongue)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                     NAT. ORD. LILIACEÆ.

                         (DOG-TOOTHED VIOLET.)
                       _Erythronium Americanum._

             “And spotted Adders-tongue with drooping bell,
              Greeting the new-born spring.”

IN rich black mould, on the low banks of creeks and open woodlands,
large beds of these elegant lilies may be seen piercing the softened
ground in the month of April; the broad lanceolate leaves are
beautifully clouded with purple or reddish brown, or sometimes with
milky white. Each bulb of the _second_ year’s growth produces two
leaves, and between these rises a round naked scape, (or flower stem),
terminated by a drooping yellow bell. The unfolded bud is striped with
lines of dark purple. A few hours of sunshine and warm wind soon expands
the flower, which is composed of six coloured sepals, recurved, which
form a lily-like turbaned flower; each segment grooved, and spotted at
the base, with oblong purplish brown dots. The outer surface of the
sepals is marked with dark lines. The stamens are six; anthers, oblong;
pollen of a brick-red, or dull orange colour, varying to yellow. The
style is club-shaped; stigmas three, united.

This elegant yellow lily bends downward when expanded, as if to hide its
glories from the full glare of the sun-light. The clouded leaves are of
an oily smoothness, resisting the moisture of rain and dew.

The name Dogs-tooth Violet seems very inappropriate. The pointed
segments of the bell may have suggested the resemblance to the tooth of
a dog, but it is difficult to trace any analogy between this flower and
the violet, no two plants presenting greater dissimilarity of form or
habit than the lily and the violet, though often blended in the verse of
the poet. The American name of the Adders-tongue is more significant.[3]

The White Flowered Adders-tongue grows, it has been said, in the more
western portion of Canada, on the shores of Lake Huron, probably the
_Erythronium albidum_ of Gray.


[3] The name Dogs-tooth refers to the shape of the small pointed white
bulbs of the common European species, so well known in English
gardens.—PROF. LAWSON.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                 SUB ORD. TRILLIACEÆ.—(TRILLIUM FAMILY.)

                            WHITE TRILLIUM.
                            (DEATH FLOWER.)
                        _Trillium Grandiflorum._

                   “And spotless lilies bend the head
                    Low to the passing gale.”

NATURE has scattered with no niggardly hand these remarkable flowers
over hill and dale, wide shrubby plain and shady forest glen. In deep
ravines, or rocky islets, the bright snow-white blossoms of the
Trilliums greet the eye and court the hand to pluck them. The old people
in this part of the Province call them by the familiar name of Lily.
Thus we have _Asphodel Lilies_, _Douro Lilies_, _&c._ In Nova Scotia
they are called Moose-flowers, probably from being abundant in the
haunts of Moose-deer. In some of the New England States the Trilliums,
white and red, are known as the _Death-flower_, but of the origin of so
ominous a name we have no record. We might imagine it to have originated
in the use of the flower to deck the coffin or graves of the dead in the
olden times. The pure white blossoms of _T. nivale_, _T. cernum_
(nodding Trillium) and _T. grandiflorum_, might serve not
inappropriately for emblems of innocence and purity, when laid upon the
breast of the early dead. The darker and more sanguine hue of the red
species, _T. sessile_, and _T. recurvatum_, might have been selected for
such as fell by violence, but these are but conjecture. A prettier name
has been given to the Nodding Trillium: that of “Smiling Wake-robin,”
which seems to be associated with the coming of the cheerful chorister
of early spring, “The household bird with the red stomacher,” as Bishop
Carey calls the robin red-breast. The botanical name of the Trillium is
derived from trilex, triple, all the parts of the plant being in threes.
Thus we see the round fleshy scape furnished with three large sad green
leaves, closely set round the stem, two or three inches below the
flower; which is composed of a calyx of _three_ sepals, a corolla of
_three_ large snow-white, or, else, chocolate red petals: the styles or
stigmas _three_; ovary _three_ celled; stamens _six_, which is a
duplicate of three. The white fleshy tuberous root is much used by the
American School of Medicine in various diseases, also by the Indian herb

_Trillium grandiflorum_ is the largest and most showy of the white
species. _Trillium nivale_ or “lesser snowy Trillium,” is the smallest;
the last blooms _early_ in May. May and June are the months in which
these flowers appear. The white flowered Trilliums are subject to many
varieties and accidental alterations. The green of the sepals is often
transferred to the white petals in _T. nivale_; some are found
handsomely striped with red and green, and in others the very short
foot-stalk of the almost sessile leaves are lengthened into long
petioles. The large White Trillium is changed previous to its fading to
a dull reddish lilac.

The Red Trilliums are rich but sombre in colour, the petals are
longish-ovate, regular, not waved, and the pollen is of a greyish dusty
hue while that of the White species is bright orange-yellow. The leaves
are of a dark lurid green, the colouring matter of the petals seems to
pervade the leaves; and here, let me observe, that the same remark may
be made of many other plants. In purple flowers we often perceive the
violet hue to be perceptible in the stalk and under part of the leaves,
and sometimes in the veins and roots. Red flowers again show the same
tendency in stalk and veins.

The Blood-root in its early stage of growth shews the Orange juice in
the stem and leaves, so does the Canadian Balsam and many others; that,
a little observation will point out. The colouring matter of flowers has
always been, more or less, a mystery to us: that light is one of the
great agents can hardly for a moment be doubted, but something also may
depend upon the peculiar quality of the juices that fill the tissues of
the flower, and on the cellular tissue itself. Flowers deprived of
light, we know, are pallid and often colourless, but how do we account
for the deep crimson of the beet-root, the rose-red of the radish, the
orange of the rhubarb, carrot, and turnip, which roots, being buried in
the earth, are not subject to the solar rays? The natural supposition
would be that all roots hidden from the light would be white, but this
is by no means the case. The question is one of much interest, and
deserves the attention of all naturalists, and especially of the
botanical student.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. RANUNCULEÆ.

                            ROCK COLUMBINE.
                        _Aquilegia Canadensis._

               “The graceful Columbine all blushing red,
                Bends to the earth her crown
                Of honey-laden bells.”

THIS graceful flower enlivens us all through the months of May and June
by its brilliant blossoms of deep red and golden yellow.

In general outline the Wild Columbine resembles its cultivated sisters
of the garden, but is more light and airy from its nodding habit. The
plant throws up many tall slender stalks from its centre, furnished with
leafy bracts, from which spring other light stems terminated by little
pedicels, each bearing a large drooping flower and bud which open in

The flower consists of five red sepals and five red petals; the latter
are hollowed trumpet-like at the mouth, ascending; they form narrow
tubes, which are terminated by little round knobs filled with honey. The
delicate thready pedicels on which the blossom hangs cause it to droop
down and thus throw up the honey bearing tubes of the petals; the little
balls forming a pretty sort of floral coronet at the junction with the

The unequal and clustered stamens, and five thready styles of the pistil
project beyond the hollow mouths of the petals, like an elegant
golden-fringed tassel; the edges and interior of the petals are also of
a bright golden yellow. These gay colours are well contrasted with the
deep green of the root leaves and bracts of the flower stalks. The
bracts are lobed in two or three divisions. The larger leaves are placed
on long foot stalks; each leaf is divided into three, which are again
twice or thrice lobed, and unequally notched; the upper surface is
smooth and of a dark rich green, the under pale and whitish.

As the flowers fade the husky hollow seed pods become erect—a wise
provision in this and many other plants of drooping habits, giving the
ripening seed better access to the sun and wind, and preventing them
from being prematurely scattered abroad upon the earth.

The wild Columbine[4] is perennial and very easily cultivated. Its
blossoms are eagerly sought out by the bees and humming birds. On sunny
days you may be sure to see the latter hovering over the bright drooping
bells, extracting the rich nectar with which they are so bountifully
supplied. Those who care for bees, and love humming birds, should plant
the graceful red-flowered Columbine in their garden borders.

In its wild state it is often found growing among rocks and surface
stones, where it insinuates its roots into the clefts and hollows that
are filled with rich vegetable mould; and thus, being often seen
adorning the sterile rocks with its bright crown of waving blossoms, it
has obtained the name, in some places, of ROCK COLUMBINE.


[4] If two sepals with a petal be separated from the rest of the flower,
they will be found to resemble a _dove_ flying, hence the name
Columbine, from the Latin _columba_, a dove.—DR. BELL.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE III._]

                         4 TRIENTALIS AMERICANA
                         (Star flower Chickweed)

                           2 TRILLIUM ERECTUM
                            (Purple trillium)

                          3 GERANIUM MACULATUM
                           (Wild Cranes-bill)

                          1 DICENTRA CANADENSIS
                             (Squirrel Corn)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                NAT. ORD. FUMARIACEÆ.—(FUMITORY FAMILY.)

                             SQUIRREL CORN.
                         _Dicentra Canadensis._

THIS graceful plant belongs to the fumitory family, of which we have
many cultivated varieties in Britain and elsewhere. Here our lovely
flower grows wild in rich black mould in the forest, and in recently
cleared spots within its protecting shadow, where its drooping bells and
rich scent have gained for it the not very inappropriate name of
“Wild Hyacinth.” The common name of “Squirrel-Corn” is
derived from the round orange tubers at the roots, resembling in size
and colour grains of Indian-Corn, and from their being a favourite food
with the ground squirrel.

The blossoms are of a pellucid whiteness, sometimes tinged with reddish
lilac; they form a drooping raceme on a round smooth scape, springing
from a scaly bud; the corolla is heart-shaped, composed of four petals,
in two pairs, flattened and sac-like, the tips united over the stigma,
and slightly projecting; in _D. cucullaria_ assuming the likeness of the
head of a fly, the cream-coloured diverging petals presenting a strong
resemblance to the deer-fly of our lakes. This very charming species is
known by the somewhat vulgar name of “BREECHES FLOWER” and “DUTCHMAN’S
BREECHES.” A more descriptive name would be “FLY-FLOWER.”

All the species flourish under cultivation, and become very ornamental
early border flowers; but care should be taken to plant them in rich
black vegetable mould, the native soil of their forest haunts.

Our artist has chosen the delicate rosy-tinted variety as the subject of
the right hand flower of the plate.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                            PURPLE TRILLIUM.
                          _Trillium erectum._

       “Bring flowers, bring flowers o’er the bier to shed
        A crown for the brow of the early dead.
        Though they smile in vain for what once was ours,
        They are love’s last gift, bring flowers, bring flowers.”

GRAY and other botanical writers call this striking flower (_T.
erectum_) the “_Purple Trillium_;” it should rather be called RED, its
hue being decidedly more _red_ than purple, and in the New England
States it is called by the country folks, “The Red Death-Flower,” in
contrast to the larger White Trillium, or “WHITE DEATH-FLOWER.” For
further remarks on this singular name we refer the reader to the
description of that flower where all the native varieties of the genus
are dwelt upon, including the one now before us, which forms the central
flower in the present group, and shall merely add that like the rest of
this remarkable family, _T. erectum_ is widely spread over the whole of
Canada. It appears in the middle of May and continues blooming till
June, preferring the soil of rich shady woods.

“Few of our indigenous plants surpass the Trillium in elegance and
beauty, and they are all endowed with valuable medicinal properties. The
root of the Purple Trillium is generally believed to be the most active.
Tannin and Bitter Extract form two of its most remarkable ingredients.”
So says that intelligent writer on the medicinal plants of North
America, Dr. Charles Lee. There are three of the dark flowered Trillium
enumerated by Gray, two of which appear to be common to our Canadian
soil, _T. erectum_ and _T. sessile_. The latter is smaller, and often
the dull chocolate colour of the pointed petals assumes a livid greenish
hue. It is earlier in flowering, appearing at the beginning of May, at
the same time with _T. nivale_, the “Dwarf White” or “SNOWY TRILLIUM.”

Under cultivation the flowers of all the species become very ornamental;
they require black leaf mould and moderate shade, and, if left to grow
undisturbed, increase and continue to flower year after year, in the
borders or shrubbery.

The seeds when ripe are easily obtained; they are hard and bony, several
in each division of the three celled capsule. The roots of these plants
are thick, wrinkled, fleshy, and contain the medicinal principle
described by Dr. Lee.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. GERANIACEÆ.

                             WOOD GERANIUM.
                         _Geranium maculatum._

THERE are but few flowers of the Cranes-bill family in Canada. The one
most worthy of notice is the Wood Geranium (_Geranium maculatum_). This
is a very ornamental plant: its favourite locality is open grassy
thickets among low bushes, especially those tracts of country known as
Oak-openings, where it often reaches to the height of from 2° to 3°,
throwing out many branches adorned with deep lilac flowers; the
half-opened buds are very lovely. The blossom consists of five petals,
obtuse and slightly indented on their upper margins, and are lined and
delicately veined with purple. The calyx consists of five pointed
sepals; stamens ten; the anthers are of a reddish brown; styles five,
cohering at the top. When the seed is mature these curl up, bearing the
ripe brown seed adhering to the base of each one. The common name
Cranes-bill has been derived from the long grooved and stork-like beak
which supports the stigma. The Greek name of the plant means a Crane.
The whole plant is more or less beset with silvery hairs. The leaves are
divided into about five principal segments; these again are lobed and
cut into sharply pointed irregularly sized teeth. The larger hairy root
leaves are often discoloured with red and purplish blotches, from whence
the specific name (_maculatum_) spotted, has been given by botanists to
this species.

The flower stem is much branched and furnished with leafy bracts; the
principal flowers are on long stalks, usually three springing from a
central branch and again subdividing into smaller branchlets terminating
in buds mostly in threes, on drooping slender pedicels; as the older and
larger blossoms fall off a fresh succession appears on the side
branches, furnishing rather smaller but equally beautiful flowers during
many weeks. Gray gives the blooming season of the Cranes-bill from April
to July, but with us it rarely appears before June, and may be seen all
through July and August.

This Wood Geranium is a beautiful species, and would no doubt repay the
trouble of cultivation. Besides being very ornamental our plant
possesses virtues which are well known to the herbalist as powerful
astringents, which quality has obtained for it the name of ‘_Alum root_’
among the country people, who apply a decoction of the root as a styptic
for wounds; and sweetened, as a gargle for sore throats and ulcerated
mouth: it is also given to young children to correct a lax state of the

Thus our plant is remarkable for its usefulness as well as for its

A showy species, with large rose-coloured flowers and much dissected
leaves, may be found on some of the rocky islets in Stoney Lake, Ont.
The slender flower stem is about six inches in height, springing from a
leafy involucre which is cut and divided into many long and narrow
segments; flowers generally from one to three, terminal on the little
bracted-foot-stalks. The seed vessels not so long as in the Wood

Besides the above named we have two smaller species. The well known HERB
ROBERT—_G. Robertianum_ or fœtid geranium—which is said to have been
introduced from Britain, but is by no means uncommon in Canada, in half
cleared woodlands and by waysides attracting the eye by its bright pink
flowers, and elegantly cut leaves, which becomes bright red in the fall
of the year. This pretty species is renowned for its rank and
disagreeable odour when handled.

Another small flowered species, with pale insignificant blossoms is also
common as a weed by road sides and in open woods, probably this is _G.
pusilum_, smaller Cranes-bill; it also resembles the British plant, but
is of too frequent occurrence in remote localities to lead us to suppose
it to be otherwise than a native production of the soil.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. PRIMULACEÆ.

                         CHICKWEED WINTERGREEN.
                        _Trientalis Americana._

THIS pretty starry-flowered little plant is remarkable for the
occurrence of the number seven in its several parts, and was for some
time regarded by botanists of the old school as the representative of
the Class Heptandria.

The calyx is seven parted; the divisions of the delicate white corolla
also seven; and the stamens seven. The leaves form a whorl at the upper
part of the stem, mostly from five to seven, or eight; the leaves are
narrow, tapering at both ends, of a delicate light-green, thin in
texture, and of a pleasant sub-acid flavour. The star-shaped flowers,
few in number, on thread-like stalks, rise from the centre of the whorl
of leaves, which thus form an involucre to the pretty delicate starry
flowers. This little plant is frequently found at the roots of
beech-trees; it is fond of shade, and in light vegetable mould forms
considerable beds; the roots are white, slender, and fibrous; it is one
of our early May flowers, though, unless the month be warm and genial,
will delay its opening somewhat later. In old times, when the herbalists
gave all kinds of fanciful names to the wild plants, they would have
bestowed such a name as “HERBE INNOCENCE” upon our modest little forest

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE IV._]

                           4 VERONICA AMERICANA
                           (American Brooklime)

                             3 RUBUS ODORATUS
                       (Purple flowering Raspberry)

                            2 MONESES UNIFLORA
                          (One flowered Pyrola)

                            1 PYROLA ELLIPTICA
                               (Shin Leaf)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                  NAT. ORD. ERICACEÆ.—SUB. ORD. PYROLEÆ.

                           SWEET WINTERGREEN.
                          _Pyrola elliptica._

THE familiar name “Wintergreen” is applied by the Canadians to many
species of dwarf evergreen plants without any reference to their natural
affinities. The beautiful family of Pyrolas share this name in common
with many other charming forest flowers in reference to their evergreen

Every member of this interesting family is worthy of special notice.
Elegant in form and colouring, of a delicate fragrance and enduring
verdure, they add to their many attractions the merit of being almost
the first green thing to refresh the eye long wearied by gazing on the
dazzling snow for many consecutive months of winter.

As the dissolving crust disappears from the forest beneath the kindly
influence of the transient sunbeams of early spring, the deep
glossy-green shoots of the hardy Pyrolas peep forth, not timidly, as if
afraid to meet

              “The snow and blinding sleet;”

not shrinking from the chilling blast that too often nips the fair
promise of April and May, but boldly and cheerfully braving the worst
that the capricious season has in store for such early risers.

All bright, and fresh, and glossy, our Wintergreens come forth as though
they had been perfecting their toilet within the sheltering canopy of
their snowy chambers, to do honour to the new-born year just awakening
from her icy sleep.

_P. elliptica_ forms extensive beds in the forest, the roots creeping
with running subterranean shoots which send up clusters of evergreen
leaves, slightly waved and scalloped at the edges, of a deep glossy
green and thin in texture.

The name Pyrola is derived from a fancied likeness in the foliage to
that of the Pear, but this is not very obvious, nevertheless we will not
cavil at it, for it is a pretty sounding word, far better than many a
one that has been bestowed upon our showy wild flowers, in compliment to
the person that first brought them into notice.

The pale-greenish white flower of our Pyrola forms a tall terminal
raceme, the five round petals are hollow; each blossom set on a slender
pedicle, at the base of which is a small pointed bract; the anthers are
of a reddish orange colour, the stamens ascending in a cluster, while
the long style is declined, forming a figure somewhat like the letter J.
The seed vessel is ribbed berry-shaped, slightly flattened and
turbinate; when dry, the light chaffy seeds escape through valves at the
sides. The dry style in this and most of the genus remain persistent on
the capsule.

The number 5 prevails in this plant; the calyx is 5 parted; petals 5;
stamens 10, or twice five; stigma one, but 5 rayed; 5 knobs or tubercles
at the apex; seed-vessel 5-celled and 5-valved. The flowers are
generally from 5 to 10 on the scape. Most of our Pyrolas are remarkable
for the rich fragrance of their flowers, especially _P. rotundifolia_,
_P. elliptica_, _P. incarnata_ and _P. minor_.

These flowers are, for the most part, found in rich woods, some in low
wet ground, but a few prefer the drier soil of piny forests, and one of
the finest and most fragrant of the species grows freely on grassy
uplands, the larger flowered _P. rotundifolia_ (round-leaved Pyrola).

The exquisitely beautiful evergreen plant known by Canadian settlers as
_Prince’s Pine_ is a member of the family of Pyrola. From root to summit
this plant is altogether lovely. The leaves are dark, shining and
smooth, evergreen and finely serrated; the stem of a bright rosy-red;
the delicately pink-tinted flowers look as if moulded from wax; the
anthers are of a bright amethyst-purple, set round the emerald-green
turbinated stigma. The flowers are not many, but form a loose corymb
springing from the centre of the shining green leaves. There is scarcely
a more attractive native plant than the _Chimaphila umbellata_ in our
Canadian flora.

The leaves of this beautiful Wintergreen are held in high estimation by
Indian herbalists who call it RHEUMATISM WEED, (_Pipissewa_). It is
bitter and aromatic in quality.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                  NAT. ORD. ERICACEÆ.—SUB. ORD. PYROLEÆ.

                          ONE FLOWERED PYROLA.
                          _Moneses uniflora._

THIS exquisitely scented flower is only found in the shade of the
forest, in rich black leaf mould, where, like _P. elliptica_, it forms
considerable beds; it is of evergreen habit. The leaves are of a dark
green and smooth surface, clustered at the base of the running
root-stalk and sending up from the centre one simple scape, bearing a
gracefully nodding flower; each milk-white petal is elegantly scalloped;
the stamens, 8 to 10, are set close to the base of the petal; the
anthers are of a bright purple amethyst colour; the style straight, with
five radiating points at the extremity forming a perfect mural crown in
shape: it is of a bright green and much exceeds in length the stamen.

The scent of the flower is very fine, resembling in richness that of the
hyacinthe. This species is not common. There is another variety of the
single-flowered Pyrola that is of more frequent occurrence in our woods.
The flower is of a greenish white, the anthers of a brownish fawn
colour, the whole height of the plant scarcely exceeding four or five
inches, and the scent is less fragrant than that of the pure white
single Pyrola (_Moneses uniflora_).

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                      NAT. ORD. ROSACEÆ.

                          FLOWERING RASPBERRY.
                           _Rubus Odoratus._

IN English gardens our beautiful Red-Flowered, Sweet-Scented Raspberry
is deemed worthy of a place in the shrubberies, but in its native
country it is passed by because it is not an exotic, and therefore
regarded as of little worth.—Like a prophet it has no honour in its own
country.—Yet what can be more lovely than its rose-shaped blossoms,
from the deep purplish-crimson bud wrapped in its odorous mossy calyx,
to the unfolded flower of various shades of deep rose and paler reddish
lilac. The flowers of the Red Raspberry derive their pleasant aromatic
odour from the closely-set coating of short bristly glandular hairs,
each one of which is tipped with a gland of reddish hue, containing a
sweet-scented gum, as in the mossy envelope of the moss-rose of the
garden. These appendages, seen by the aid of a powerful microscope, are
objects of exquisite beauty, more admirable than rubies and diamonds,
living gems that fill us with wonder while we gaze into their marvellous
parts and glorious colours.

All through the hot months of June, July and August, a succession of
flowers are put forth at the ends of the branches and branchlets of our
Sweet Raspberry—

        “An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds.”

The shrub is from two to five feet in height, branching from the woody
perennial root-stock; the leaves are from three to five lobed, the lobes
pointed and roughly toothed. The leaves are of a dullish green, varying
in size from several inches in length, to mere bracts. The blossoms are
often as large as those of the sweet-briar and dog-rose, but when first
unfolded more compact and cup like. The fruit consists of many small red
grains arranged in the form of an inverted saucer on the receptacle, and
is somewhat dry and acid, more tempting to the eye than the palate, but
not injurious in any degree. The shrub is more attractive for its
flowers than its insipid fruit. We have indeed few that are more
ornamental among our native plants than the RUBUS ODORATUS. Canada
cannot boast of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas that adorn the Western and
Northern States, but she possesses many attractive shrubs that are but
little known, which flourish year after year on the lonely shores of our
inland lakes and marshy beaver meadows, Ledums and Kalmias, with many a
fair flower that withers unnoticed and uncared for in its solitary
native haunts.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                    VERONICA.—NAT. ORD. SCROPHULARIACEÆ.

                         (AMERICAN BROOKLIME.)
                         _Veronica Americana._

    “Flowers spring up and die ungathered.”

IN the language of flowers the blossoms of the Veronica or Speedwell are
said to mean undying love, or constancy, but the blossoms of the
Speedwell are fugacious, falling quickly, and therefore, one would say,
not a good emblem of endurance.

Sweet simple flowers are the wild Veronicas, chiefly inhabiting damp
overflowed ground, the borders of weedy ponds and brooks, from whence
the names of “Brooklime” and “Marsh Speedwell,” “Water Speedwell,” and
the like. Some of the species are indeed found mostly growing on dry
hills and grassy banks, cheering the eye of the passing traveller by its
slender spikes of azure flowers, and this is often known by the pretty
name of Forget-me-not, though it is not the true “Forget-me-not,” which
is _Myosotis palustris_, also called “SCORPION-GRASS;” the derivation of
which last name we should find it difficult to trace.

The subject of the elegant little flower on the right hand side of the
plate is _Veronica Americana_—“AMERICAN BROOKLIME”—one of the
prettiest of the native Veronicas, and may easily be recognized by its
branching spikes of blue flowers, and veiny, partially heart-shaped

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE V._]

                        1 CYPRIPEDIUM PARVIFLORUM
                         (Smaller Lady’s Slipper)

                         2 CYPRIPEDIUM PUBESCENS
                      (Larger yellow Lady’s Slipper)

                            3 IRIS VERSICOLOR
                            (Larger blue Flag)

                          4 VACCINIUM OXYCOCCUS
                            (Small Cranberry)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. ORCHIDACEÆ.

                        YELLOW LADY’S SLIPPERS.
          _Cypripedium parviflorum and Cypripedium pubescens._

    “And golden slippers meet for Fairies’ feet.”

THIS ornamental family are remarkable alike for the singular beauty of
their flowers, and the peculiar arrangement of the internal organs. In
the Linnæan classification they were included in common, with all the
Orchis tribe, in the class Gynandria, but in the Natural Order of
Jussieu, which we have followed, the “Lady’s Slipper” (_Cypripedium_),
forms one of the sub-orders in the general Order ORCHIDACEÆ.

Of the two species represented in our Artist’s group, the larger and
central flower is _Cypripedium pubescens_, the smaller, _C.
parviflorum_, or LESSER LADY’S SLIPPER. The latter is, perhaps, the more
elegant and graceful plant, and is also somewhat fragrant. The sepals
and petals are longer and more spiral, but the colouring of the lip is
not so rich and vivid as in the larger flower, _C. pubescens_.

The small flowered plant affects a moist soil, such as low wet meadows
and open swampy woods; while the larger species, better known by its
more familiar name Moccasin flower, loves the open woodlands and drier
plains; where, in the month of June, it may be seen beside the gay
Painted Cup (_Castilleia coccinea_), the Blue Lupine (_L. perennis_),
the larger White Trillium, and other lovely wild flowers, forming a
charming contrast to their various colours and no less varied forms.

The stem of the larger Moccasin flower is thick and leafy, each bright
green, many-nerved leaf sheathing the flowers before they open. The
flowers are from one to three in number; bent forward; drooping
gracefully downwards. The golden sac-like lip is elegantly striped and
spotted with ruby red; the twisted narrow petals, and sepals, two in
number of each kind, are of a pale fawn colour, sometimes veined and
lined with a deeper shade. Like many others of the genus, the organs of
the flower assume a singular and grotesque resemblance to the face of
some animal. On lifting up the fleshy petal-like middle lobe which
protects the stamens and pistil, the face of an Indian hound may be
imagined; the stamens, which are two in number, situated one on either
side of the sterile depressed central lobe, when the flower is mature,
turn of a deep brown, and resemble two round eyes; the blunt stigma
takes the form of the nose, while the sepals look like ears. There is
something positively comical in the appearance of the ape-like face of
_C. spectabile_, the beautiful showy Lady’s Slipper, the description of
which will be found to face the plate in which it forms a prominent

The most beautiful of all the species is the “Stemless Lady’s
Slipper,” _Cypripedium acaule_, of which we will treat at some
future time. It bears removal to the garden if planted in a suitable
situation; but all these native flowers require attention to their
peculiar habits and soil, or they will disappoint the expectation of the
cultivator and end in failure. All wild flowers transplanted from the
woods require shade, and bog plants both moisture and shade.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                     NAT. ORD. IRIDACEÆ.

                            LARGE BLUE FLAG.
                           _Iris Versicolor._

                      Lilies of all kinds,
                      The fleur-de-luce being one.
                                    WINTER’S TALE.

THIS beautiful flower, the blue Iris, which forms the right hand figure
in the group of Moccasin flowers, abounds all through Canada, and forms
one of the ornaments of our low sandy flats, marshy meadows and
over-flowed lake shores; it delights in wet muddy soil, and often forms
large clumps of verdure in half-dried up ponds and similar localities.
Early in spring, as soon as the sun has warmed the waters after the
melting of the ice, the sharp sword-shaped leaves escaping from the
sheltering sheath that enfolded them, pierce the moist ground, and
appear, forming beds of brilliant verdure, concealing the swampy soil
and pools of stagnant water below. Late in the month of June the
bursting buds of rich purple begin to unfold, peeping through the spathe
that envelopes them. A few days of sunshine, and the graceful petals, so
soft and silken in texture, so variable in shades of colour, unfold: the
three outer ones reflexed, droop gracefully downwards, while the three
innermost, which are of paler tint, sharper and stiffer, stand erect and
conceal the stamens and petal-like stigmas, which lie behind them: an
arrangement so suitable for the preservation of the fructifying organs
of the flower, that we cannot fail to behold in it the wisdom of the
great Creator. The structure of the cellular tissue in most water
plants, and the smooth oily surface of their leaves, has also been
provided as a means of throwing off the moisture to which their place of
growth must necessarily expose them; but for this wise provision, which
keeps the surface dry though surrounded with water, the plants would
become overcharged with moisture and rot and decay too rapidly to
perfect the ripening of their seeds—a process often carried on at the
bottom of streams and lakes, as in the case of the Pond-lily and other
aquatics. Our blue Iris, however, does not follow this rule, being only
partly an aquatic, but stands erect and ripens the large bony,
three-sided seeds in a three-sided membraneous pod. The hard seeds of
the _Iris versicolor_ have been roasted and used as a substitute for
coffee. The root, which is creeping, fleshy and tuberous, is possessed
of medicinal qualities.

At present we know of only two varieties of the Iris, _Iris versicolor_,
and a tall slender variety with paler blue flowers and rounder scapes.
The former is the handsomer flower, being beautifully varied with
lighter and darker shades of blue, purple and yellow—the latter shade
being at the base of the flower leaves. These are again veined with
delicate lines and veinings of darker purple.

The name IRIS, as applied to this genus, was bestowed upon it by the
ancient Greeks, ever remarkable for their appreciation of the beautiful,
on account of the rainbow tinted hues displayed in the flowers of many
of the species; especially are the prismatic colours shown in the
flowers of the large pearly white garden Iris, a plant of Eastern
origin, and also in the Persian or Susian Iris.

The Fleur-de-lis, as it was formerly written, signified whiteness or
purity. This was changed to Fleur-de-luce, a corruption of
Fleur-de-Louis. The blossoms of the plant having been selected by Louis
the Seventh of France as his heraldic bearing in the Holy Wars. The
flowers of the Iris have ever been favourites with the poet, the
architect, and sculptor, as many a fair specimen wrought in stone and
marble, or carved in wood, can testify.

The Fleur-de-lis is still the emblem of France.

Longfellow’s stanzas to the Iris are very characteristic of that
graceful flower:

        Beautiful lily—dwelling by still river,
              Or solitary mere,
        Or where the sluggish meadow brook delivers
              Its waters to the weir.

        The wind blows, and uplifts thy drooping banner,
              And around thee throng and run
        The rushes, the green yeomen of thy manor—
              The outlaws of the sun.

        O fleur-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
              Linger to kiss thy feet;
        O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever
              The world more fair and sweet.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                     NAT. ORD. ERICACEÆ.

                            SMALL CRANBERRY.
                         _Vaccinium Oxycoccus._

               There’s not a flower but shews some touch
               In freckle, freck or stain,
               Of His unrivalled pencil.

THERE is scarcely to be found a lovelier little plant than the common
marsh Cranberry. It is of a trailing habit, creeping along the ground,
rooting at every joint, and sending up little leafy upright stems, from
which spring long slender thready pedicels, each terminated by a
delicate peach-blossom tinted flower, nodding on the stalk, so as to
throw the narrow pointed petals upward. The leaves are small, of a dark
myrtle-green, revolute at the edges, whitish beneath, unequally
distributed along the stem. The deep crimson smooth oval berries are
collected by the squaws and sold at a high price in the fall of the

There are extensive tracts of low, sandy swampy flats in various
portions of Canada, covered with a luxuriant growth of low Cranberries.
These spots are known as _Cranberry Marshes_; these places are generally
overflowed during the spring; many interesting and rare plants are found
in these marshes, with mosses and lichens not to be found elsewhere, low
evergreens of the heath family, and some rare plants belonging to the
Orchidaceous tribes, such as the beautiful Grass-pink (_Calopogon
pulchellus_), and _Calypso borealis_.

Not only is the fruit of the low Cranberry in great esteem for tarts and
preserves, but it is also considered to possess valuable medicinal
properties, having been long used in cancerous affections as an outward
application—the berries in their uncooked state are acid and powerfully

This fruit is successively cultivated for market in many parts of the
Northern States of America, and is said to repay the cost of culture in
a very profitable manner.

So much in request as Cranberries are for household use, it seems
strange that no enterprising person has yet undertaken to supply the
markets of Canada. In suitable soil the crop could hardly prove a
failure, with care and attention to the selection of the plants at a
proper season.

The Cranberry forms one of the sub-orders of the heath family
(Ericaceæ), and its delicate pink-tinted flowers are not less beautiful
than many of the exotic plants of that tribe, which we rear with care
and pains in the green-house and conservatory; yet, growing in our midst
as it were, few persons that luxuriate in the rich preserve that is made
from the ripe fruit, have ever seen the elegant trailing-plant, with its
graceful blossoms and myrtle-like foliage.

The botanical name is of Greek origin, from _oxus_, sour, and _coccus_,
a berry. The plant thrives best in wet sandy soil and low mossy marshes.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE VI._]

                         1 LILIUM PHILADELPHICUM
                          (Wild orange Red lily)

                         2 CAMPANULA ROTUNDIFOLIA

                         3 CYPRIPEDIUM SPECTABILE
                          (Showy Lady’s Slipper)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                             NAT. ORD. LILIACEÆ.—(GRAY.)

                           WILD ORANGE LILY.
                        _Lilium Philadelphicum._

    “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not,
    neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in
    all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

THE word Lily is derived from the Celtic, _li_, which signifies
whiteness; also from the Greek, _lirion_. Probably the stately Lily of
the garden, _Lilium candidum_, was the flower to which the name was
first given, from its ivory whiteness and the exquisite polish of its
petals. However that may be, the name LILY is ever associated in our
minds with grace and purity, and reminds us of the Saviour of men, who
spake of the lilies of the field, how they grew and nourished beneath
the care of Him who clothed them in robes of beauty more gorgeous than
the kingly garments of Royal Solomon.

Sir James Smith, one of the most celebrated of English botanists,
suggests that the lilies alluded to by our Lord may have been _Amarylis
latea_, or the Golden Lily of Palestine—the bright yellow blossoms of a
plant which abounds in the fields of Judea, and at that moment probably
caught his eye; their glowing colour aptly illustrating the subject on
which he was about to speak.

The Lily has a wide geographical range, and may be found in some form in
every clime.

There are Lilies that bloom within the cold influence of the frigid
zone, as well as the more brilliant species that glow beneath the
blazing suns of the equator in Africa and Southern Asia.

Dr. Richardson mentions, in his list of Arctic plants, _Lilium
Philadelphicum_, our own gorgeous orange (or rather scarlet-spotted
Lily). He remarks that it is called by the Esquimaux “MOUSE-ROOT,” from
the fact that it is much sought after by the field mice, which feed upon
the root. The porcupine also digs for it in the sandy soil in which it
delights to grow.

In Kamtschatka the _Lilium pomponium_ is used by the natives as an
article of food; and in Muscovy the white Narcissus is roasted as a
substitute for bread.

The healing qualities of the large white Lily roots and leaves are well
known, applied in the form of a poultice to sores and boils. Thus are
beauty and usefulness united in this most attractive plant.

The subject of our artist’s pencil, the ORANGE LILY, is widely spread
over this portion of the American continent, as well as in the more
sunny Western States of North America.

We find it, however, more frequently growing on open plain-lands, where
the soil is sandy loam. In partially shaded grassy thickets in
oak-openings, in the months of June and July, it may be seen mixed with
the azure blue Lupine (_Lupinus perennis_), the golden flowered Moccasin
(_Cypripedium pubescens_), _Pyrola rotundifolia_ the large sweet-scented
Wintergreen, and other charming summer flowers. Among these our gay and
gorgeous Lily stands conspicuous.

The stem is from 1½ to 2 feet high. The leaves are narrow-pointed; of a
dark green colour, growing in whorls at intervals round the stem. The
flowers are from 1-3; large open bells, of a rich orange-scarlet within,
spotted with purplish-brown or black. The outer surface of the petals is
pale orange; anthers six, on long filaments; pollen of a brick red, or
brown colour; stigma three cleft. The Lily belongs to the artificial
class and order, _Hexandria monogynia_.

Many flowers increase in beauty of colour and size under cultivation in
our gardens, but our glorious Lily can hardly be seen to greater
advantage than when growing wild on the open plains and prairies, under
the bright skies of its native wilderness.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                 NAT. ORD. CAMPANULACEÆ.

                           CANADIAN HAREBELL.
                       _Campanula Rotundifolia._

                “With drooping bells, of purest blue
                 Thou didst attract my childish view,
                       Almost resembling
                 The azure butterflies that flew,
                 Where ’mid the heath thy blossoms grew,
                       So lightly trembling.”

THE same charming writer has also called the Harebell “the Flower of
Memory,” and truly the sight of these fair flowers, when found in lonely
spots in Canada, has carried one back in thought to the wild heathery
moors or sylvan lanes of the mother country.

                “I think upon the heathery hills
                    I ae hae lo’ed sae dearly;
                I think upon the wimpling burn
                    That wandered by sae clearly.”

But sylvan wooded lanes, and heathery moorlands are not characters of
our Canadian scenery, and if we would seek the Harebell, we shall find
it on the dry gravelly banks of lakes or rivers, or rocky islets, for
these are its native haunts.

Although, in colour and shape of the blossom, the Canadian flower
resembles the British one, it is more robust in its growth, less
fragile—the flower stems being stouter, and the foot-stalk or pedicel
stiffer and less pendulous, and yet sufficiently graceful. The root
leaves, which are not very conspicuous during its flowering season, are
round, heart-shaped. Those of the flower-stem are numerous, narrow and
pointed. This pretty flower is variable in colour and foliage. Its
general flowering season is July and August.

The corolla is bell-shaped or campanulate; 5 cleft; calyx lobes, awl
shaped, persistent on the seed vessel; stamens 5, style 1, stigmas 2;
seed vessel several celled and many seeded; in height the plant varies
from a few inches to a foot; number of flowers varying from a few to

We have but three known species in Canada, _Campanula Americana_, “a
large handsome species being found in Western Canada;”[5] and _C.
aparinoides_. The rough-leaved Bellflower is found in marshes and in
thickets where the soil is poor but the atmosphere moist; it is of a
climbing or rather clinging habit; the weak slender stem, many branched,
laying hold of the grasses and low shrubs that surround it for support,
which its rough teeth enable it to do very effectually; in habit it
resembles the smaller Galium, or Lady’s bedstraw. The delicate
bell-shaped flowers are marked with fine purple lines within, at the
base of the white corolla. The leaves of this species are narrow-linear,
rough, with minutely-toothed hairs; the flowers are few, and fade very
quickly. The name campanula is from _campana_, a bell.

The Harebell has often formed the theme of our modern poets, as
illustrative of grace and lightness. In the Lady of the Lake we have
this pretty couplet when describing Ellen:

        “E’en the light Harebell raised its head,
         Elastic from her airy tread.”

Our Artist has availed herself of the Canadian Harebell to give airy
lightness to her group of natives flowers.


[5] Professor Hincks.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. ORCHIDACEÆ.

                         SHOWY LADY’S SLIPPER.
                           (MOCCASIN FLOWER.)
                       _Cypripedium spectabile._

                  But ye have lovely leaves, where we
                  May see how soon things have
                  Their end, tho’ n’er so brave;
                  And after they have bloomed awhile,
                  Like us, they sink
                            Into the grave.

AMONG the many rare and beautiful flowers that adorn our native woods
and wilds, few, if any, can compare with the lovely plants belonging to
the family to which the central flower of our Artist’s group belongs.
Where all are so worthy of notice it was difficult to make a choice;
happily there is no rivalry to contend with in the case of our Artist’s

There are two beautiful varieties of the species, the pink and white,
and purple and white Lady’s Slipper (_Cypripedium Spectabile_), better
known by the familiar local name of Moccasin-Flower, a name common in
this country to all the plants of this family.

Whether we regard these charming flowers for the singularity of their
form, the exquisite texture of their tissues, or the delicate blending
of their colours, we must acknowledge them to be altogether lovely and
worthy of our admiration.

The subject of the figure in our plate is the Pink-flowered Moccasin; it
is chiefly to be found in damp ground, in tamarack swamps, and near
forest creeks, where, in groups of several stems, it appears, showing
its pure blossoms among the rank and coarser herbage. The stem rises to
the height of from 18 inches to 2 feet high. The leaves, which are
large, ovate, many nerved and plaited, sheathing at the base, clothe the
fleshy stem, which terminates in a single sharp pointed bract above the
flower. The flowers are terminal, from one to three, rarely more; though
in the large purple and white Lady’s Slipper, the older and stronger
plants will occasionally throw out three or four blossoms. This variety
is found on the dry plain-lands, in grassy thickets, among the oak
openings above Rice Lake, and eastward on the hills above the River
Trent. This is most likely the plant described by Gray; the soil alone
being different. The unfolded buds of this species are most beautiful,
having the appearance of slightly flattened globes of delicately-tinted
primrose coloured rice paper.

The large sac-like inflated lip of our Moccasin flower is slightly
depressed in front, tinged with rosy pink and striped. The pale thin
petals and sepals, two of each, are whitish at first, but turn brown
when the flower is more advanced toward maturity. The sepals may be
distinguished from the petals; the former being longer than the latter,
and by being united at the back of the flower. The column on which the
stamens are placed is three-lobed; the two anthers are placed one on
either side, under the two lobes; the central lobe is sterile, thick,
fleshy, and bent down—in our species it is somewhat blunt and
heart-shaped. The stigma is obscurely three-lobed. The root of the
Lady’s Slipper is a bundle of white fleshy fibres.

One of the remarkable characteristics of the flowers of this genus, and
of many of the natural order to which it belongs, is the singular
resemblance of the organs of the blossom to the face of some animal or
insect. Thus the face of an Indian hound may be seen in the
Golden-flowered _Cypripedium pubescens_; that of a sheep or ram, with
the horns and ears, in _C. arietinum_; while our “Showy Lady’s
Slipper,” (_C. spectabile_), displays the curious face and
peering black eyes of the ape.

One of the rarest and, at the same time, the most beautiful of these
flowers, is the “STEMLESS LADY’S SLIPPER,” (_C. acaule_), a figure of
which will appear in our second volume.

It is a matter of wonder and also of regret, that so few persons have
taken the trouble to seek out and cultivate the beautiful native plants
with which our country abounds, and which would fully reward them for
their pains, as ornaments to the garden border, the shrubbery, the
rookery, or the green-house. Our orchidaceous plants alone would be
regarded by the foreign florist with great interest.

A time will come when these rare productions of our soil will disappear
from among us, and can be found only on those waste and desolate places
where the foot of civilized man can hardly penetrate; where the flowers
of the wilderness flourish, bloom and decay unseen but by the all-seeing
eye of Him who adorns the lonely places of the earth, filling them with
beauty and fragrance.

For whom are these solitary objects of beauty reserved? Shall we say
with Milton:—

        “Thousands of unseen beings walk this earth,
         Both while we wake and while we sleep:—
         And think though man were none,—
         That earth would want spectators—God want praise.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE VII._]

                              1 ROSA BLANDA
                            (Early wild Rose)

                         2 PENTSTEMON PUBESCENS
                        (Pentstemon Beard-Tongue)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                      NAT. ORD. ROSACEÆ.

                            EARLY WILD ROSE.
                             _Rosa Blanda._

             “Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
              Nor praise the deep vermillion of the rose.”

             “The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem,
              For that sweet odour which in it doth live.”

OUR Artist has given us in the present plate a charming specimen of one
of our native roses. The early flowering Rose (_Rosa blanda_) is hardly
so deeply tinted as our dwarf wild rose, _rosa lucida_, but both possess
attractions of colour and fragrance; qualities that have made the rose
to be the theme, of many a poet’s song. In the flowery language of the
East, beauty and the rose seem almost to be synonymous. The Italian
poets are full of allusions to the rose, especially to the red damask
rose, which they call “purpurea rosa.”

A popular song in the days of Charles the 1st was that beginning with
the lines—

        “Gather your roses while you may,
            For time is still a flying,
        And that same flower that blooms to-day,
            To-morrow may be dying.”

The leaves of _rosa blanda_ are pale underneath; leaflets five to seven;
flowers blush-pink; stem not very prickly; fruit red and round; the bush
from one to three feet in height.

Another of our dwarf wild roses, _R. lucida_, is widely diffused over
Canada; it is found on all open plain-lands, but shuns the deep shade of
the forest.

The bark of this wild rose is of a bright red, and the young wood is
armed with bristly prickles of a greyish colour. When growing in shade,
the half opened flowers and buds are of a deep pink or carmine, but
where more exposed in sunny spots, the petals fade to a pale
blush-colour. This shrub becomes somewhat troublesome if encouraged in
the garden, from the running roots which send up many shoots. In its
wild state the dwarf rose seldom exceeds three feet in height; it is the
second and older wood that bears the flowers: the flower bearing
branches become almost smooth or only remotely thorny. The leaflets vary
in number from five to nine; they are sharply serrated at the edges, and
smooth on the surface; the globular scarlet fruit is flattened at the
eye; of a pleasant sub-acid taste.

This beautiful red-barked rose grows in great profusion on the
huckleberry plains above Rice Lake, clothing large tracts of hill and
dale, and scenting the evening air at dew-fall with its delicate

There is, or used to be, a delicate pale flowered briar rose, having
small foliage and numerous blossoms of a low branching habit growing in
the high oak-hills in the township of Rawdon. I have never seen the
flowers myself, but have heard the plant described as a rare species.
The SWAMP ROSE, _Rosa Carolina_, is not uncommon; it is often seen
growing at the margin of lakes and rivers, and at the edges of stony
islands; it will climb, by aid of supporting trees, to the height of
eight and ten feet. The flowers are of a somewhat purplish tinge of
pink. The leaves are whitish underneath; this rose is armed with rather
stout prickles below on the old woody stem but smoother above; the
flowers are more clustered than in either of the other species.

The sweet briar is often found growing in waste places, and in thickets
near clearings—no doubt the seed has been carried thither by birds.

It is very possible that other varieties of the rose tribe may yet be
found native to Canadian soil, but the above named are our only known
species at present.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                              NAT. ORD. SCROPHULARIACEÆ.

                        PENTSTEMON BEARD-TONGUE.
                        _Pentstemon pubescens._

    “Flowers spring up and die ungathered.”

THE wild Pentstemon is a slender, elegant branching plant, not unlike in
outline to the fox-glove. The flowers are delicately shaded from white
to pale azure-blue, sometimes varying to deeper blue. The corolla is an
inflated slender tube, somewhat flattened on the upper side, with a
rigid line passing from the base of the tube to the upper lip. There are
also two bearded lines within. The lower lip is three-cleft and slightly
projecting beyond the two-lobed upper lip; the stamens are five, but one
is sterile and thickly beset with fine white hairs (or bearded). The
name is derived from a Greek word signifying _five_. The root leaves are
broadly lanceolate and coarsely toothed; the upper or stem-leaves
narrower, and nearly clasping the stem. The flowers grow on long
branching stalks in a loose panicle.

The plant is perennial, from one to two feet in height; it seems
addicted to dry gravelly soil on river banks and dry pastures. The
Beard-tongue would be well worthy of cultivation; though less showy than
the garden varieties, it is not less beautiful and keeps in bloom a long
time, from July to September; it might be mixed with the red flowering
plants of the garden to great advantage.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE VIII._]

                            1 NYMPHÆA ODORATA
                        (Sweet scented Water Lily)

                             2 NUPHAR ADVENA
                            (Yellow Pond-Lily)
                              (Spatter dock)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                           NAT. ORD. NYMPHÆACEÆ.—(GRAY.)

                       SWEET SCENTED WATER LILY.
                           _Nymphæa Odorata._

               “Rocked gently there the beautiful Nymphæa
                Pillows her bright head.”
                                     CALENDER OF FLOWERS.

POND-LILY is the popular name by which this beautiful aquatic plant is
known, nor can we find it in our hearts to reject, the name of LILY for
this ornament of our lakes. The White Nymphæa might indeed be termed
“Queen of the Lakes,” for truly she sits in regal pride upon her watery
throne, a very queen among flowers.

Very lovely are the Water Lilies of England, but their fair sisters of
the New World excel them in size and fragrance.

Many of the tribe to which these plants belong are natives of the torrid
zone, but our White Pond-Lily (_Nymphæa odorata_), and the Yellow
(_Nuphar advena_), and _Nuphar Kalmiana_ only, are able to support the
cold winter of Canada. The depth of the water in which they grow enables
them to withstand the cold, the frost rarely penetrating to their roots,
which are rough and knotted, and often as thick as a man’s wrist; white
and fleshy. The root-stock is horizontal, sending down fibrous slender
rootlets into the soft mud; the stocks that support the leaves and
blossoms are round of an olive-green, containing open pores filled with
air, which cause them to be buoyed up in the water. These air-cells may
be distinctly seen by cutting the stems across.

The leaves of the Pond-Lily are of a full-green colour, deeply tinged
with red toward the fall of the year, so as to give a blood red tinge to
the water; they are of a large size, round kidney shape, of leathery
texture, and highly polished surface; resisting the action of the water
as if coated with oil or varnish. Over these beds of water-lilies,
hundreds of dragon flies of every colour, blue, green, scarlet, and
bronze, may be seen like living gems flirting their pearly tinted wings
in all the enjoyment of their newly found existence; possibly enjoying
the delicious aroma from the odorous lemon scented flowers over which
they sport so gaily.

The flowers of the Pond-Lily grow singly at the summit of the round,
smooth, fleshy scape. Who that has ever floated upon one of our calm
inland lakes, on a warm July or August day, but has been tempted, at the
risk of upsetting the frail birch-bark canoe or shallow skiff, to put
forth a hand to snatch one of those matchless ivory cups that rest in
spotless purity upon the tranquil water, just rising and falling with
the movement of the stream; or have gazed with wishful and admiring eyes
into the still clear water, at the exquisite buds and half unfolded
blossoms that are springing upwards to the air and sun-light.

The hollow boat-shaped sepals of the calyx are four in number, of a
bright olive green, smooth and oily in texture. The flowers do not
expand fully until they reach the surface. The petals are numerous,
hollow (or concave), blunt, of a pure ivory white; very fragrant, having
the rich odour of freshly cut lemons; they are set round the surface of
the ovary (or seed-vessel) in regular rows, one above the other,
gradually lessening in size, till they change by imperceptible gradation
into the narrow fleshy petal-like lemon tinted anthers. The pistil is
without style, the stigma forming a flat rayed top to the ovary, as in
the poppy and many other plants.

On the approach of night our lovely water-nymph gradually closes her
petals, and slowly retires to rest within her watery bed, to rise on the
following day, to court the warmth and light so necessary for the
perfection of the embryo seed; and this continues till the fertilization
of the germ has been completed, when the petals shrink and wither, and
the seed-vessel sinks down to ripen the fruit in its secret chambers.
Thus silently and mysteriously does nature perform her wonderful work,
“sought out only by those who have pleasure therein.”[6]

The roots of the Pond Lily contain a large quantity of fecula (flour),
which, after repeated washings, may be used for food; they are also made
use of in medicine, being cooling and softening; the fresh leaves are
used as good dressing for blisters.

The Lotus of Egypt belongs to this family, and not only furnishes
magnificent ornaments with which to crown the heads of their gods and
kings, but the seeds also served as food to the people in times of
scarcity. The Sacred Lotus (_Nelumbium speciosum_) was an object itself
of religious veneration to the ancient Egyptians.

The Chinese, in some places of that over-populated country, grow the
Water Lilies upon their lakes for the sake of the nourishment yielded by
the roots and seeds.

“Lotus-eaters,” says that valuable writer on the Medical Botany of
America, Dr. Charles Lee, “not only abound in Egypt, but all over the
East.” “The large fleshy roots of the _Nelumbium luteum_, or great
Yellow Water Lily, found in our North American lakes, resembles the
Sweet Potato (_Batatas edulis_), and by some of the natives are esteemed
equally agreeable and wholesome,” observes the same author, “being used
as food by the Indians, as well as some of the Tartar tribes.”

As yet little value has been attached to this charming plant, the White
Pond Lily, because its uses have been unknown. It is one of the
privileges of the botanist and naturalist to lay open the vegetable
treasures that are so lavishly bestowed upon us by the bountiful hand of
the Great Creator.


[6] In that singular plant, the Eel or Tapegrass, a plant indigenous to
our slow flowing waters, the elastic flower-bearing stem uncoils to
reach the surface of the water, drawn thither by some mysterious hidden
attraction towards the pollen-bearing flowers, which are produced at the
bottom of the water on very short scapes, and which, united by the same
vegetable instinct, break away from the confining bonds that hold them
and rise to the surface, where they expand and scatter their fertilizing
dust upon the fruit-bearing flowers which float around them; these,
after a while, coil up again and draw the pod-like ovary down to the
bottom of the water, there to ripen and perfect the fruit; a curious
fact vouched for by Gray and many other creditable botanists.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                           YELLOW POND LILY.
                            (SPATTER DOCK.)
                            _Nuphar advena._

          And there the bright Nymphæa loves to lave,
          And spreads her golden orbs along the dimpling wave.

THE Yellow Pond Lily is often found growing in extensive beds, mingled
with the White, and though it is less graceful in form, there is yet
much to admire in its rich orange-coloured flowers, which appear at a
little distance like balls of gold floating on the still waters. The
large hollow petal-like sepals that surround the flower are finely
clouded with dark red on the outer side, but of a deep yellow orange
within, as also are the strap-like petals and stamens: the stigma, or
summit of the pistil, is flat, and 12-24 rayed. The leaves are
dark-green, scarcely so large as those of the White Lily, floating on
long thick fleshy stalks, flattened on the inner side, and rounded
without. The botanical name Nuphar is derived, says Gray, from the
Arabic word _Neufar_, signifying Pond Lily.

Our Artist has closely followed nature’s own arrangements by grouping
these beautiful water plants together.

Where there is a deep deposit of mud in the shallows of still waters we
frequently find many different species of aquatics growing
promiscuously. The tall lance-like leaf and blue-spiked heads of the
stately _Pontederia_, keeping guard as it were above the graceful
_Nymphæa_, like a gallant knight with lance in rest, ready to defend his
queen, and around these the fair and delicate white flowers of the small
arrow-head rest their frail heads upon the water, looking as if the
slightest breeze that ruffled its surface would send them from their
place of rest.

Beyond this aquatic garden lie beds of wild rice _Zizania aquatica_,
with its floating leaves of emerald green, and waving grassy flowers of
straw colour and purple—while nearer to the shore the bright rosy tufts
of the Water Persicaria, with its dark-green leaves and crimson stalks,
delight the eyes of the passer-by.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE IX._]

                           SARRACENIA PURPUREA
                          (Side-saddle Flower)
                             (Pitcher Plant)
                            (Huntsman’s Cup)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                NAT. ORD. SARRACENIACEÆ.

                             PITCHER PLANT.
                       (SOLDIER’S DRINKING CUP.)
                         _Sarracenia purpurea._

EVEN the most casual observer can hardly pass a bed of these most
remarkable plants without being struck by their appearance, indeed, from
root to flower, it is every way worthy of our notice and admiration.

The Pitcher Plant is by no means one of those flowers found singly and
in inaccessible bogs and dense cedar-swamps, as are some of our rare and
lovely Orchids. In almost any grassy swamp, at the borders of low lying
lakes, and beaver-meadows, often in wet spongy meadows, it may be found
forming large beds of luxuriant growth.

When wet with recent showers or glistening with dew-drops, the rich
crimson veinings of the broadly scalloped lip of the tubular leaf (which
is thickly beset with fine stiff silvery hairs), retaining the moisture,
shine and glisten in the sun-light.

The root is thick, solid, and fibrous. The tubular leaves are of a
reddish tinge on the outer and convex side, but of a delicate light
green within. The texture is soft, smooth, and leathery; the base of the
leaf, at the root, is narrow and pipe-stem like, expanding into a large
hollow receptacle, capable of containing a wine-glass full of liquid;
even in dry seasons this cup is rarely found empty. The hollow form of
the leaves, and the broad ewer-like lips, have obtained for the plant
its local and wide-spread name of “Pitcher Plant,” and “Soldier’s
Drinking Cup.” The last name I had from a poor old emigrant pensioner,
when he brought me a specimen of the plant from the banks of a half
dried up lake, near which he was located: “Many a draft of blessed water
have we poor soldiers had when in Egypt out of the leaves of a plant
like this, and we used to call them the ‘Soldier’s Drinking Cup.’”

Most probably the plant that afforded the _blessed water_ to the poor
thirsty soldiers was the _Nepenthe distillaria_, which plant is found in
Egypt and other parts of Africa. Perhaps there are but few among the
inhabitants of this well-watered country that have as fully appreciated
the value of the PITCHER PLANT as did our poor uneducated Irish
pensioner, who said that he always thought that God in His goodness had
created the plant to give drink to such as were athirst on a hot and
toilsome march; and so he looked with gratitude and admiration on its
representative in Canada. Many a lesson may we learn from the lips of
the poor and the lowly.

Along the inner portion of the leaf there is a wing or flap which adds
to its curious appearance: from the section of the leaf has arisen the
somewhat inappropriate name of “_Side-Saddle Flower_.” The evident use
of this appendage is to contract the inner side of the leaf, and to
produce a corresponding rounding of the outer portion, which is thus
thrown back, and enables the moisture more readily to fill the cup.
Quantities of small flies, beetles, and other insects, enter the
pitcher, possibly for shelter, but are unable to effect a return, owing
to the reflexed bristly hairs that line the upper part of the tube and
lip, and thus find a watery grave in the moisture that fills the hollow

The tall stately flower of the Pitcher Plant is not less worthy of our
attention than the curiously formed leaves. The smooth round simple
scape rises from the centre of the plant to the height of 18 inches to 2
feet. The flower is single and terminal, composed of 5 sepals, with
three little bracts; 5 blunt broad petals of a dull purplish-red colour,
sometimes red and light-yellowish green; and in one variety the petals
are mostly of a pale-green hue, and there is an absence of the crimson
veins in the leafage. The petals are incurved or bent downwards towards
the centre. The stamens are numerous. The ovary is 5-celled, and the
style is expanded at the summit into a 5 angled, 5 rayed umbrella-like
hood, which conceals beneath it 5 delicate rays, each terminating in a
little hooked stigma. The capsule or seed vessel is 5-celled and
5-valved; seeds numerous.

I have been more minute in the description of this interesting plant,
because much of its peculiar organization is hidden from the eye, and
cannot be recognized in a drawing, unless a strictly botanical one, with
all its interior parts dissected, and because the Pitcher Plant has
lately attracted much attention by its reputed medicinal qualities in
cases of small-pox, that loathsome scourge of the human race. A
decoction from the root of this plant has been said to lessen all the
more violent symptoms of the disorder. If this be really so, its use and
application should be widely spread; fortunately, the remedy would be in
the power of every one; like many of our sanative herbs it is to be
found without difficulty, and being so remarkable in its appearance can
never be mistaken by the most ignorant of our country herbalists for any
injurious substitute.[7]


[7] The belief that a decoction of this plant is of use in small-pox has
been found by experiment to be quite chimerical.—J. B.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: _PLATE X._]

                          1 CASTILLEIA COCCINEA
                          (Scarlet painted Cup)

                          2 ORCHIS SPECTABILIS
                             (Showy Orchis)

                            3 ARUM TRIPHYLLUM
                             (Indian Turnip)

                           4 RUDBECKIA FULGIDA
                              (Cone Flower)

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                      NAT. ORD. SCROPHULARIACEÆ.—(GRAY.)

                       PAINTED CUP, SCARLET CUP.
                         _Castilleia coccinea._

                                              Scarlet tufts
            Are glowing in the green like flakes of fire;
            The wanderers of the prairie know them well,
            And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup.

THIS splendidly-coloured plant is the glory and ornament of the
plain-lands of Canada. The whole plant is a glow of scarlet, varying
from pale flame-colour to the most vivid vermillion, rivalling in
brilliancy of hues the scarlet geranium of the greenhouse.

The Painted Cup owes its gay appearance not to its flowers, which are
not very conspicuous at a distance, but to the deeply-cut leafy tracts
that enclose them and clothe the stalks, forming at the ends of the
flower branches clustered rosettes. (See our artist’s plate.)

The flower is a flattened tube, bordered with bright red, and edged with
golden yellow. Stamens, four; pistil, one, projecting beyond the tube of
the calyx; the capsule is many seeded. The radical or root leaves are of
a dull, hoary green, tinged with reddish purple, as also is the stem,
which is rough, hairy, and angled. The bracts or leafy appendages, which
appear on the lower part of the stalk, are but slightly tinged with
scarlet, but the colour deepens and brightens towards the middle and
summit of the branched stem.

The Scarlet Cup appears in May, along with the smaller white and red
trilliums; but these early plants are small; the stem simple, rarely
branched, and the colour of a deeper red. As the summer advances, our
gallant soldier-like plant puts on all its bravery of attire. All
through the glowing harvest months, the open grassy plains and the
borders of the cultivated fields are enriched by its glorious colours.
In favourable soils the plant rises, enclosed in a tubular slightly
twice-cleft calyx, of a pale green colour, attains a height of from 2ft.
4in., throwing out many side branches, terminated by the clustered,
brilliantly-tinted bracts; some heads being as large as a medium-sized
rose. They have been gathered in the corners of the stubble fields on
the cultivated plains, as late as October. A not uncommon slender
variety occurs, of a pale buff, and also of a bright lemon color. The
American botanists speak of _Castilleia coccinea_, as being addicted to
a low, wettish soil, but it is not so with our Canadian plant; if you
would find it in its greatest perfection, you must seek it on the high,
dry, rolling plains of Rice-lake, Brantford, to the north of Toronto,
Stoney lake, the neighbourhood of Peterboro, and similar localities; it
is neither to be found in swamps nor in the shade of the uncleared

For soil, the Scarlet Cup seems to prefer light loam, and evidently
courts the sunshine rather than the shade. If it could be prevailed upon
to flourish in our garden borders, it would be a great acquisition, from
its long flowering time and its brilliant colouring.

These lovely plants, like many others that adorn our Canadian woods and
wilds, yearly disappear from our midst, and soon we shall seek them, but
not find them.

We might say with the poet:

        “’Twas pity nature brought ye forth,
            Merely to show your worth,
                And lose ye quite!
        But ye have lovely leaves, where we
            May read how soon things have
            Their end, though ne’er so brave;
        And after they have shewn their pride,
            Like you awhile they glide
                Into the grave.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                   NAT. ORD. ORCHIDACEÆ.

                             SHOWY ORCHIS.
                         _Orchis spectabilis._

              “Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
               The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
               Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
               And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

DEEP hidden in the damp recesses of the leafy woods, many a rare and
precious flower of the Orchis family blooms, flourishes, and decays,
unseen by human eye, unsought by human hand, until some curious,
flower-loving botanist plunges amid the rank, tangled vegetation, and
brings beauties to the light.

One of these beautiful Orchids, the _Orchis spectabilis_ or Showy
Orchis, is here presented in our group.

This pretty plant is not, indeed, of very rare occurrence; its locality
is rich maple and beechen woods all through Canada. The colour of the
flower is white, shaded, and spotted with pink or purplish lilac; the
corolla is what is termed ringent or throated, the upper petals and
sepals arching over the hollow lower-lipped petal. The scape is smooth
and fleshy, terminating in a loosely-flowered and many-bracted spike;
the bracts are dark-green, sharp-pointed, and leafy; the root a bundle
of round white fibres; the leaves, two in number, are large, blunt,
oblong, shining, smooth, and oily, from three to five inches long, one
larger than the other. The flowering time of the species is May and

Our forest glades and boggy swamps hide many a rare and precious flower
known but to few; among some of the most beautiful of this interesting
group of plants, we might direct attention to the elegant and rare
_Calypso borealis_, _Pogonia triphoria_, and _Pogonia pendula_. The
beautiful Grass Pink, _Calopogon pulchellus_, with many others of the
Orchidaceæ tribe, may be regarded as flower gems to be prized alike for
their exquisite forms and colouring as for their scarcity.

These lovely Orchids, transplanted to the greenhouse or conservatory,
would be regarded as objects of great interest, but are rarely seen and
little valued by the careless passer-by, if he chances upon them in
their forest haunts.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                             INDIAN TURNIP.
                            (_Arum family_.)
                           _Arum triphyllum_

               “Or peers the Arum from its spotted veil.”

THERE are two species of Arums common to Canada, the larger of which is
known as Green-dragon (_Arum Dracontium_); the other, which forms the
central figure in the plate, is the most common to our soil, and is
known by the familiar name of INDIAN TURNIP (_Arum triphyllum_ or _A.

These moisture-loving plants are chiefly to be found in rich black,
swampy mould, beneath the shade of trees and rank herbage, near creeks
and damp places, in or about the forest.

The sheath that envelops and protects the spadix, or central portion of
the plant, is an incurved membraneous hood of a pale green colour,
beautifully striped with dark purple or brownish-purple.

The flowers are inconspicuous, hidden by the sheath; they are of two
kinds, the sterile and fertile, the former placed above, the latter
consisting of four or more stamens and 2 4-celled anthers, the fertile
or fruit-bearing flowers of a one-celled ovary. The fruit, when ripe, is
bright scarlet, clustered round the lower part of the round fleshy
scape. As the berries ripen, the hood or sheath withers and shrivels
away to admit the ripening rays of heat and light to the fruit.

The root of the Indian Turnip consists of a round, wrinkled, fleshy
corm, somewhat larger than that of the garden crocus; from this rises
the simple scape or stem of the plant, which is sheathed with the base
of the leaves. These are on long naked stalks, divided into three ovate
pointed leaflets, waved at the edges.

The juices of the Indian Turnip are hot, acrid, and of a poisonous
quality, but can be rendered useful and harmless by the action of heat;
the roots roasted in the fire are no longer poisonous. The Indian
herbalists use the Indian Turnip in medicine as a remedy in violent
colic, long experience having taught them in what manner to employ this
dangerous root.

The Arum belongs to a natural order, most plants of which contain an
acrid poison, yet under proper care can be made valuable articles of
food. Among these we may mention the roots of _Colocosia mucronatum_,
_violaceum_, and others, which, under the more familiar names of EDDOES
and YAMS, are in common use in tropical countries.

The juice of _Arum triphyllum_, our Indian Turnip, has been used, boiled
in milk, as a remedy for consumption.

Portland sago is prepared from the larger species, _Arum maculatum_,
Spotted Arum. The corm, or root, yields a fine, white, starchy powder,
similar to Arrow-root, and is prepared much in the same way as potato
starch. The pulp, after being ground or pounded, is thrown into clean
water and stirred; the water, after settling, is poured off, and the
white sediment is again submitted to the same process until it becomes
quite pure, and is then dried. A pound of this starch may be made from a
peck of the roots. The roots should be dried in sand before using. Thus
purified and divested of its poisonous qualities, the powder so procured
becomes a pleasant and valuable article of food, and is sold under the
name of Portland Sago, or Portland Arrow-root.

When deprived of the poisonous acrid juices that pervade them, all our
known species may be rendered valuable both as food and medicine; but
they should not be employed without care and experience. The writer
remembers, not many years ago, several children being poisoned by the
leaves of _Arum triphyllum_ being gathered and eaten as greens, in one
of the early-settled back townships of Western Canada. The same
deplorable accident happened by ignorant persons gathering the leaves of
the Mandrake or May Apple (_Podophyllum pellatum_).

There seems in the vegetable world, as well as in the moral, two
opposite principles, the good and the evil. The gracious God has given
to man the power, by the cultivation of his intellect, to elicit the
good and useful, separating it from the vile and injurious, thus turning
that into a blessing which would otherwise be a curse.

“The Arum family possess many valuable medicinal qualities,” says Dr.
Charles Lee, in his valuable work on the medicinal plants of North
America, “but would nevertheless become dangerous poisons in the hands
of ignorant persons.”

The useful Cassava, (_Zanipha Manipor_), of the West Indies and tropical
America, is another remarkable instance of art overcoming nature, and
obtaining a positive good from that which in its natural state is evil.
The Cassava, from the flour of which the bread made by the natives is
manufactured, being the starchy parts of a poisonous plant of the
Euphorbia family, the milky juice of which is highly acrid and
poisonous. The pleasant and useful article sold in the shops under the
name of tapioca is also made from the Cassava root.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                                                    NAT. ORD. COMPOSITÆ.

                              CONE FLOWER.
                          _Rudbeckia fulgida._

THE Cone Flower is one of the handsomest of our rayed flowers. The
gorgeous flaming orange dress, with the deep purple disk of almost
metallic lustre, is one of the ornaments of all our wild open
prairie-like plains during the hot months of July, August and September.
We find the Cone Flower on the sunny spots among the wild herbage of
grassy thickets, associated with the wild Sunflowers, Asters and other
plants of the widely diffused Composite Order.

During the harvest months, when the more delicate spring flowers are
ripening their seed, our heat-loving Rudbeckias, Chrysanthemums,
Sunflowers, Coreopsises, Ox-eyes, and Asters, are lifting their starry
heads to greet the light and heat of the sun’s ardent rays, adorning the
dry wastes, gravelly and sandy hills, and wide grassy plains, with their
gay blossoms;

              “Bright flowers that linger as they fall.
                        Whose last are dearest.”

Many of these compound flowers possess medicinal qualities. Some, as the
thistle, dandelion, wild lettuce, and others, are narcotic, being
supplied with an abundance of bitter milky juice. The Sunflower,
Coreopsis, Cone-Flower, Tagweed, and Tansy, contain resinous properties.

The beautiful Aster family, if not remarkable for any peculiarly useful
qualities, contains many highly ornamental plants. Numerous species of
these charming flowers belong to our Canadian flora; lingering with us

        “When fairer flowers are all decayed,”

brightening the waste places and banks of lakes and lonely streams with
starry flowers of every hue and shade—white, pearly blue, and deep
purple; while the Solidagoes (golden rod), are celebrated for the
valuable dyes that are yielded by their deep golden blossoms. But to
return to the subject of our artist’s plate, the Cone Flower:

The plant is from one to three feet in height, the stem simple, or
branching, each branchlet terminating in a single head. The rays are of
a deep orange colour, varying to yellow; the leaves broadly lanceolate,
sometimes once or twice lobed, partly clasping the rough, hairy stem,
hoary and of a dull green, few and scattered. The scales of the chaffy
disk are of a dark, shining purple, forming a somewhat depressed cone.
This species, with a slenderer-stemmed variety, with rays of a golden
yellow, are to be met with largely diffused over the Province.

Many splendid species of the Cone Flower are to be found in the
wide-spread prairies of the Western States, where their brilliant starry
flowers are mingled with many a gay blossom known only to the wild
Indian hunter, and the herb-seeking medicine men of the native tribes,
who know their medicinal and healing qualities, if they are insensible
to their outward beauties.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Captitalization of genus and species names is inconsistant and has been
left as in the original. Hyphenation of some plant names and use of
apostrophes in some names is inconsistent and have been left as in the
original. Modern spelling of common and Latin names differs in some
cases but spelling of names has been left as in the original. Obvious
type-setting errors and punctuation have been corrected without note.
Other corrections have been noted below.

Plates for this book were used for previous publications by the same
authors, one being _Canadian Wild Flowers_. The plates were used in a
different order in this book and as a result some numbers printed on the
plates did not match the Table of Contents. Therefore, some plate
numbers in the text have been changed to match the Table of Contents.
Those changes are noted below.

page 7, day at Waltham Abby. ==> day at Waltham Abbey.
plate, _PLATE X._ ==> _PLATE I._
page 14, pointed involcure are ==> pointed involucre are
plate, _PLATE III._ ==> _PLATE II._
page 31, supports the stigmata. ==> supports the stigma.
plate, _PLATE IV._ ==> _PLATE III._
plate, _PLATE II._ ==> _PLATE IV._
page 42, few that are were ornamental ==> few that are more ornamental
plate, _PLATE VI._ ==> _PLATE V._
plate, _PLATE V._ ==> _PLATE VI._
plate, _PLATE I._ ==> _PLATE X._

[End of North American Wild Flowers, by Agnes FitzGibbon and Catharine
Parr Traill]

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