Grand Manan 2017

These plants were observed in the second week of August 2017 on the island of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy

Information is taken mostly from Wildflowers of the Maritimes by Edmund Redfield and Wildflowers of the Grand Manan Archipelago Checklist by Wendy Dathan. (NA denotes North America, GM Grand Manan) Species described as common means in this area.

NOTE:  This page has detail and descriptions as well as photographs … if you prefer to look through the photographs more rapidly there is a separate, and more compact, album you can visit here [LINK]

Indian Pipe – Monotropa uniflora

The most curious plant I spotted during our trip. Native, perennial herb lacking chlorophyll so can grow in full shade. It is parasitic, getting its energy from trees, utilising mycorrhizal fungi that grow on the tree roots in a symbiotic relationship.

Fully erect flowers
More mature plants showing black markings
Close up of flower
Clump of emerging plants

Meadowsweet – Spirea alba

This common name is also given to a plant native to Europe which looks somewhat similar but belongs to a different genus (Filipendula ulmaria); this can also be found on GM. S. alba or latifolia is native to north eastern NA. Flowers can be white or pale pink and the shrub is commonly found in large colonies on open damp sites. We saw it in lots of places.

Flowerhead and woody stem
Colony of plants

Steeplebush (Hardtack in GM) – Spirea tormentosa

This looks somewhat similar to Meadowsweet with a more upright form. The flower panicles are arranged differently and its flowers are pink or purple. Native.

Common Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare

Prolific – invasive non-native Eurasian.


Saltspray (GM) Wrinkled rose Rosa rugosa

The dense thickets of roses with the lovely scent were most likely this non-native, introduced from Asia.

There are native wild roses to be found in GM and R. virginiana blooms at much the same, with some similar characteristics, but the fruits (hips) are smaller and leaves less wrinkled.

Detail of flower and rose-hip

Pearly everlasting – Anaphalis margaritacea

Seen in several places with dry, open disturbed sites. Native perennial herb grows 30 to 80 cm tall.

Canada Goldenrod Solidago canadensis

Common, native – we saw so much this but was the only photo! 

There are 10 species of goldenrod listed in the checklist so we probably saw more than one.

Aster could be Symphyotrichum novi-belgii

Asters are difficult to id to species, but this seems the most likely although there are 11 species on the checklist. Native.


Grass-leaved goldenrod – Euthamia graminifolia

Probably what it is – the photo was really taken for the butterfly. Native perennial, common along roadsides and ditches.

Evening primrose – Oenothera biennis

Native biennial herb, common in well drained sites.

These specimens look a bit scruffy because flowers open in evening or early morning and these were in bright sunlight so had gone over.

Bluebead lily/Corn lily – Clintonia borealis

Common native perennial occurs in coniferous or mixed woods, flowering is in spring so we saw only the blue seedhead.

Star-flowered false Solomon’s seal – Maianthemum stellatum

Native perennial, common. It flowers in June so we saw only the characteristic seedheads which will eventually ripen to be completely red.

Plant in situ
Seed capsules
Seed capsules

Meadow cranesbill – Geranium pratense

Introduced from Eurasia, but naturalized

??Caraway – Carum carvi

I think that’s what this is; it looks a bit like Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild carrot) but the umbels of that are flatter and it is not listed for GM.

Caraway is a naturalized Eurasian introduction to NA.

Detail of umbels

?Rough bedstraw – Galium asprellum

This is a bedstraw but I can’t be certain it is this species which is native. A Eurasian introduction, G. mollugo (smooth bedstraw) is also a possibility but so far as I can see in the photos, these specimens do have not have the right number of leaflets.

Rough bedstraw lives up to its name, having downward-pointing hairs which allow it to attach itself to clothing or animals’ fur but I didn’t get in among it to test this.

Common Eyebright – Euphrasia nemorosa

Despite the fact that one of the NA names appears to be European eyebright, various authorities state that it is native. It is partially parasitic on grass roots, obtaining the rest of its nutrients in the normal way by photosynthesis.

Growing in moist environment
Growing in dry, cliff-top environment
Growing in dry, cliff-top environment

(Spotted) Joe Pye weed – Eutrochium (Eupatorium) maculatum

Native perennial herb, so common that we only took this one photo which was really of the butterfly.

Bird’s foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus

This is easily confused with Yellow vetchling Lathyrus aphaca but I do not think this is because the flowers all emerge from one central point and, although not all that clear, the leaves look more like Bird’s foot trefoil which is non-native.

Sea rocket – Cakile edentula

Native, occurs along sandy beaches and inland disturbed sites.

?Smooth blackberry Rubus canadensis

Native shrub, can’t think what else this might be.

Lupin (Lupine) – Lupinus polyphyllus

I can’t bring myself to use the NA spelling – do you pronounce it like a pine tree? I thought not. Had our trip been some weeks earlier the roadsides and banks would have been covered with large stands of these non-native perennials; however they are native to western NA. The ones found in eastern provinces are largely garden escapes and appear in a lovely variety of pinks through to purple. This specimen was past its best so I have included one taken by Brian Capper in Newfoundland 2012.

Bunchberry – Cornus canadensis

Native of our forests, flowers in spring so we saw only the rather attractive red berry

s. Redfield includes this interesting note: “The tiny flowers produce no nectar to invite pollination. Instead, each flower remains closed with its stamens tightly bound, until it’s triggered by contact with an insect attracted by the large petal-like bracts. It then bursts open with great force (24,000 metres per second) and sprays pollen into the air, coating whatever is passing by. The pollen is then transported to fertilize nearby plants.”

Bunchberry flowers (image collected in Newfoundland, 2012)

Square-stemmed monkeyflower – Mimulus ringens

Native perennial herb, likes moist soils. Common but towards the end of its flowering period.

Viper’s Bugloss (Blueweed) – Echium vulgare

Introduced (non-native) found in much of north-eastern NA where it often occurs on roadsides and similar dry banks. It can be invasive but a lot of insects like it.

The name is odd but gives this explanation: “Bugloss is derived from the Greek word bou meaning cow or ox and the Latin word glosso meaning tongue. These refer to its leaves, which could be said to be shaped like an ox-tongue.”

It’s so common for me that the only photo we took is really of a bee. [Note: better photos of the whole plant can be found on this website:

Shrubby cinquefoil – Potentilla (now Diasiphora) fructicosa

Native shrub.

Common St. John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum

Non-native European but common, invasive in some areas.

Common wood sorrel – Oxalis montana

Native and common on undisturbed sites under conifers. Photo taken largely because of the composition with the moss as it was past its time for flowering.

Rabbit foot clover – Trifolium arvense

Introduced Eurasian, invasive in some areas. Occurs in open disturbed sites along the edges of tracks etc.

Last Photograph in this set (but some additional plants follow)

The Digital Botanist


We also saw quite a number of species which were either common for me or mostly seen from the bus, on waysides and banks and so did not get photographed on this trip. I list them below with photos we have taken elsewhere.


Fireweed Epilobium angustifolium

We saw it in many places in banks and roadsides, but often from the bus.

Common ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Native, common. I saw it in several places. It is unremarkable, the flowers being green, except for its allergenic pollen and the the fact that too many people believe their allergies are caused by goldenrod. They also think ragweed has yellow flowers.

Jewelweed (Touch-me-not) Impatiens glandulifera

Native. The seed pods (which hadn’t yet formed) have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched, if ripe, which is where the name ‘touch-me-not’ comes from. The leaves appear to be silver or ‘jeweled’ when held underwater, which is possibly where the jewelweed name comes from.

Common mullein Verbascum thapsus

Eurasian introduction. Not aggressively invasive but quite common.

White sweet clover Melilotus alba

Non-native, introduced from Europe as animal forage. Lots of insects enjoy the nectar, including hive bees.

Oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare

Introduced from Europe

Hedge bindweed (wild morning glory) Calystegia sepium

Found throughout temperate zones in Northern and Southern hemispheres. Herbaceous perennial. It is in the Convolvulus family.

Yarrow Achillea millefolium

Native, common.

Bladder campion Silene cucubalus

European introduction. Common weed.