Woodland Bouquet

Unlike the butterflies that are in short supply this summer twin flowers have appeared in great abandon, gracing the floor of our woods with delicate pink clusters among the rush of green. Like pixie caps. Or tiny bells.

Twin flower

In the shade of spruce and aspen, their tiny evergreen leaves wind through the cool dampness among the bunchberry, rotting logs and clumps of moss trailing colour in their wake.

Twin flower

Twin flower   Linnaea borealis

Shady Ladies

A walk up a wooded hill on a recent sunny day brought beauty — pale blue clematis, twining around the base of an aspen.

Trailing through the woods

They love shaded woods, trailing along the ground or winding gently up a tree trunk, each flower upright on a tall stalk. The four-pointed blossom is pale blue verging on mauve.

A four-pointed blossom

Clematis belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) which includes many familiar flowers, among them anemones, columbines, larkspurs, crocuses and, of course, buttercups.

Blossoms about to open

Blossoms and three-part leaves

Sun-dappled blooms

Even when clematis go to seed they are lovely, forming silvery plume-like clusters. Another walk up the hill is warranted soon.

Blue clematis   Clematis verticellaris var. columbiana

Shy Violets

The excitement of finding a Calypso orchid was enough to make my day. But the surprises weren’t over — just a few feet away was a scattering of white violets. I’d walked right by them without even noticing.

The dainty blossoms stand almost vertical, rather than face-up, and so seem to disappear into the undergrowth. Unlike many violets, the top two petals fold back and the two side ones come forward giving a wimple-like appearance to the flower.

These perennial violets are widespread across Canada and the northern US, favouring damp, cool woods.

Dainty lady of the forest

Dainty ladies of the forest

White violet/Kidney-leaf violet   Viola renifolia

Tall Bluebells

Not many flowers in bloom yet, besides dandelions and wild strawberries.

I was delighted to spot these little rain-bedecked blossoms on the edge of the woods.

Bright blue flowers on a drooping stem.

Depending on where you live, you might know this plant as northern bells, chiming bells or tall lungwort.

Tall bluebells   Mertenisa paniculata