General

Biodiversity: Park’s Flora

Trees

These lovely giants act as the guardians of the park for centuries. They provide a shelter and hiding place for the wildlife, but one of the most magnificent things about the trees in the Park comes from the color of their leaves. They paint the landscape each season in different colors, especially in autumn. If you decide to take a hike through the park here is the list of the tree species that you might spot.

Sugar Maple

The national tree of Canada is easy to spot as the Park is abundant with it. Mostly known from the Canadian flag this tree’s trademark is his characteristic leaves. They are producing a truly amazing visual display of the colors in the fall when they turn from brilliant orange to red, and the best place to enjoy the scenery is the Vista Trail lookout.

Apple Trees

Early settlers brought seeds of the apple orchards, and you can spot old apple trees along the Orchard Trail.

Black Walnut

The best place to spot black walnut trees is the southern end of the Orchard Trail. They drop greenish-brown walnuts in the fall and their distinctive smell is similar to the smell of an orange. How to recognize a black walnut tree? You can identify a black walnut tree if you see dark multiple leaflets attached to a single stem.

White Cedar

White Cedar is a slow-growing tree and some of them are more than 500 years old which makes them some of the oldest trees in Ontario. The best place to spot them is along the northern end of the Cedar Trail. They are small to medium in size with red-brown bark and have small scaly leaves.

White and Red Pine

The difference between White and Red Pine is in the color of the bark. White Pine has grey-brown ridged bark, while red pines have red-pink bark. The best place to spot them is the second half of the Woodland Trail. White Pine is the provincial tree of Ontario.

Ironwood and Blue Beech

Ironwood
Blue Beech

These small trees are characteristic trees of the Carolinian Life Zone. Ironwood has oval leaves with sharp teeth and grey-brown bark, and Blue Beech has oval leaves with gray bark. Ironwood is known for its extremely dense hardwood.

Other notable tree species in the Park are Staghorn Sumac, Trembling Aspen, and Red Oak.

Wildflowers

Warmer months reveal all the Park’s wildflowers, and there are many of them. Some wildflowers are native species of the Park.

White Trillium

This is Ontario’s provincial flower! His three petals are falling off within a few weeks in the spring after they bloom.

Black-eyed Susan

This wildflower can be found in the open areas around Cedar Trail. How to recognize it? It is a daisy-like flower with yellow-orange petals.

Mayapple

They can be found growing in the brush of Park’s forest. The average height is 12 to 18 inches, and they have huge green leaves.

Canada Goldenrod and New England Aster

Canada Goldenrod
New England Aster

Their bright yellow color can be spotted in the mid to late summer when they color the meadows near the Vista Trail. They are a native flower species just like Canada goldenrod.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

This carnivorous plant can be found in moist woodlands in the Park.

Plants

There are many native and non-native plant species in the park. Some of the native plant species are:

Common Milkweed

This native flowering plant is very important for the life cycle of the monarch butterfly as their caterpillars only feed on them.

Water Lily

This large floating water plants are residing in the slow streams and ponds. Their large floating green leaves are topped with big white flowers that last open for up to 5 days only in the morning.

Indian Grass and Switchgrass

These native grass species can grow up to two meters in height. They are special for their extensive root systems that help stabilize the soil. They are protecting the soil by keeping nutrients from running off, and they improve water quality in nearby streams.