Plant identification walk with Toronto Bruce Trail Club

19th June: On Saturday 10th June, we joined the Toronto Bruce Trail Club on a slow plant identification walk in Cedarvale, led by Marilyn MacKellar and Glynn Richardson. At the start, there were 28 of us.* Most of the people there had heard about the walk via Friends of Cedarvale. Marilyn and Glynn first separated us into groups of three and gave each group a map and a list of plants to identify and mark on the map. Here is part of the crowd:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 023

And here is another part. Marilyn is third from left, with her back to the camera:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 024

First, Marilyn showed as a tree right there near the subway entrance, one of those planted to replace the ash trees that sadly had been removed because of the emerald ash borer. It is a tulip tree, one of Ontario’s Carolinian species:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 025

I can only show you a small fraction of the plants we identified. Near the bottom of the slope was a purple flowering raspberry, part of an extensive planting last year by a Parks group (see earlier blog posting):

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 029

Just off the path was this example of horsetail:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 031

And this is daisy fleabane:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 035

Next up is giant ragweed:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 036

I had spotted this pretty white flower on an earlier walk, and could now put a name to it: Canada anemone:

Cedarvale June 2017 024

Somewhere around here, Rachel Gottesman recognized the loud and lengthy song of the winter wren (a recording has been posted on our Facebook page). Another white flower is comfrey, somehow making me think of Shakespeare:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 039

In the cat-tail wetland, we spotted high bush cranberry:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 041

Close by was purple vetch:

Cedarvale Marilyn's walk 2017 042

We continued beyond the Bathurst St bridge. At one point, Marilyn warned a young mother that her child was getting very close to some poison ivy. I got a good photo of it, but will make this the topic of my next blog posting.

This was a very informative walk. Many thanks to Marilyn and Glynn for taking the time to prepare so thoroughly and for making us aware of the rich diversity of plant life in Cedarvale. They will lead a similar walk in the fall sometime. If you are interested in seeing Marilyn’s list of plants and trees seen in Cedarvale (a work in progress, but fairly complete), it is on the web site under “Cedarvale Park/flora and fauna”.

*I have the exact number because the Bruce Trail makes all walk participants sign a waiver sheet before the walk. One person did not sign it.

John Cummings