The Weedy Orchid Helleborine

Helleborine 🔈 (Epipactis helleborine) is a weedy orchid that has been making it’s appearance more and more in home lawns and gardens. It’s ability to sprout from any small fragment of it’s rhizomes, left in the ground, makes it a very difficult plant to weed out or eradicate; especially considering these rhizomes can be deeply established. This coupled with it’s dust like seeds that can … Continue reading The Weedy Orchid Helleborine

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is an extremely poisonous plant. There is great concern over this plant due to the personal safety of humans, foraging domestic animals and wild life. Most of the cases of poisoning to humans has been the result of foragers misidentifying the plant, believing the root to be that of the edible cow parsnip, or the leaves that of wild celery. Although … Continue reading Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Dog Vomit Slime Mold in Wood Mulch

Dog vomit slime mold is an interesting occurrence in the garden and in the wild. A yellowish blob seems to appear almost overnight that looks very much like an animal has thrown-up in the yard. The cause of this blob is actually a slime mold, Fuligo septica. Fuligo septica are eukaryotic organisms from the Protista kingdom. These decomposers feed on the fungi, mold and bacteria … Continue reading Dog Vomit Slime Mold in Wood Mulch

Birds Nest Fungi In Wood Mulch

Birds nest fungi are are a rather interesting looking fungi. They appear like tiny birds nests filled with eggs. The fungi responsible for this anomaly are a family of fungi called Nidulariaceae. There are 31 birds nest fungi in North America with 5 of them being fairly common. The colour and appearance of the nests and eggs can vary depending on the species of Nidulariaceae … Continue reading Birds Nest Fungi In Wood Mulch

20 Common Spring Weeds in Ontario

The gardens here in Ontario are awakening from their winter slumber. Spring is a time of vigorous, active growth for both desirable and undesirable plants. Winter annual weeds are in full force and many of them have already started flowering. The perennial weeds are likewise coming into full force. Now is the most important time to get a handle on your weed populations. Putting the … Continue reading 20 Common Spring Weeds in Ontario

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and (Toxicodendron pubescens)

Pacific Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and Atlantic Poison Oak (Toxicodendron Toxicodendron pubescens) are the only two poisonous to touch plants in this series that do not grow in Canada except for the very south/western tip of British Columbia. They are not nearly as prevalent as poison ivy with Pacific poison oak occurring natively along the pacific coast of the U.S. and Atlantic poison oak occurring … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and (Toxicodendron pubescens)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)

Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is a perennial shrub or small tree, native to eastern Canada as well as east-central and eastern United States. Like poison ivy and poison oak the leaves and berries of this plant contain urushiol (an oily mixture of organic chemical compounds); but the oil is said to be more concentrated in poison sumac. The Urushiol can cause a severe allergic reaction in sensitive … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) aka poisonous parsnip is one of the phototoxic weeds we grow here in Canada. It is a non-native and as such is an aggressive and invasive species. It is the only one of the phototoxic weeds that has a yellow flower, the others bearing white umbels. It’s pinnately compound leaves are also quite different than the palmately compound leaves of cow … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum) aka Common Parsnip or American Parsnip, is a native plant that widely grows in north America. It is a large plant rising up to heights of 1-2.5 m (3-8 ft.) when in flower. Like giant hogweed, cow parsnip contains organic chemicals within it’s sap called furanocoumarins. This chemical is activated by ultraviolet radiation and the result is severe burning, blistering and … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is likely the largest and most dangerous to touch perennial weed in North America. In Ontario it commonly reaches heights of 3-4.5m but in other parts of the world it can reach heights of 5.5m (MacDonald F. and Anderson H. 2012). There are a few other Giant Hogweed species that are a bit smaller in size but Heracleum mantegazzianum is the … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans and Toxicodendron Rydbergii)

By: Kimberley Pacholko Eastern Poison Ivy, (Toxicodendron radicans) and Western Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Rydbergii ) are important plants to learn how to identify for personal safety. Touching any part of this plant can cause a painful itchy rash with red swollen skin and painful blisters. I have had the miss fortune of being caught twice by this plant and can testify to how unpleasant the … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans and Toxicodendron Rydbergii)

MULCH so Many Benefits and so Many Choices

Why Mulch?    Mulch adds nutrients to the soil and increases soil microbes. Soil microbes are responsible for breaking down organic matter and organic fertilizers and converting them into nutrients that the plants can easily absorb. Mulch holds in moisture, reducing watering requirements and keeps the soil at a more consistent moisture level. Mulch suppresses weeds by shutting out light and any weed seeds that do … Continue reading MULCH so Many Benefits and so Many Choices