Ontario wild flowers add color to the still wintry landscape on an Ontario spring day.
They appear like magic from out of the melting snow, particularly skunk cabbage, which actually melts snow as it generates its own heat.
Most of these plants grow in woodland or marshlands where the snow melts first, softening the earth.
Here's a series of photos of the ones you're most likely to see on a spring vacation in Ontario.
As I mentioned on another page, the Trillium is Ontario's Provincial flower and the places you're most likely to see it are as a symbol on government documents and signs.
Real Trillium are harder to find as they prefer quiet spring woodlands and are somewhat in decline as most southern woodlands have been chopped down for housing, golf courses, or retail parks.
Trillium are one of the earliest native flowers to appear in the spring, starting in early March (in the south) and lasting through until late May, if the weather doesn't get too hot.
Like the Trillium, Trout Lilies are found among the undergrowth of spring woodlands, after the snow has gone and before the leaves come out and hide the forest floor.
The name 'trout' comes from the speckled appearance of the leaves. These flowers appear in late April and last to early June, weather permitting.
They face the same difficulties the trillium faces, loss of habitat.
Even rarer than Trillium and Trout Lilies, Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a rather dull spring flower that develops into a more interesting, and colorful, 'corn cob' style seed head later in the summer.
Appearing around the same time as trout lilies, jack-in-the-pupit is hard to find nowadays. The name comes from the stamen that pokes up through a surrounding 'bowl', which looked like a preacher in a pulpit to folks in days gone by.
Mayapples have a single flower under their large umbrella-like leaves, which prevents them being seen from above. The flower produces a single small 'may apple', which ripens throughout the late spring and early summer.
When ripe it's edible (it was popular with native Americans in the old days) but you have to be there before the squirrels as they love them too.
In the muddy, middle half of spring, the marshes abound with Marsh Marigolds.
Like dandelions on dry land, they have a sunny disposition that cheers the soul at the end of winter when the skiing is past its best and the boating hasn't yet begun.
And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:
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