We’ve been working for some time on a database to hold the information that we have accumulated on plants in our Backyard Garden at the FWG. This is a first attempt at an online database and we hope to improve it by making it searchable on factors like light and water requirements, blooming time, etc. There are glitches and some photos are still missing. All photos were taken at the FWG, and we’ll fill in the gaps as soon as we can.

Many people contributed to this work. We especially thank Betty Campbell and Henry Steger (for taking photos of most of our beautiful flowers) and Jeff Blackadar for helping make the database work. But we also thank the many others who added their observations and gave their opinions.

We welcome feedback! Please let us know if you have suggestions or questions about this material.


Native to Eastern Ontario means that the plant is found growing in the wild in the Ottawa region and is indigenous.* It may occur naturally elsewhere, but we are not attempting to describe the range of any of these species.

*Based on Gillett, J.M., D.J. White. 1978. Checklist of vascular plants of the Ottawa-Hull Region, Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences. 155 pp; and Brunton, D. 2005. Appendix A: Vascular plants of the City of Ottawa with identificatio of significant species. In Urban natural areas: Environmental evaluation study. City of Ottawa. 148 pp.

Blooming time is given in fairly general terms — such as “early summer” or “fall” — as it can vary from year to year depending on the weather. It refers to observed blooming time in the Ottawa area.

Height is based on observations at the FWG. For example, Giant Purple Hyssop is reported to grow to 2 m, but in our garden it averages about 1 m in height.

Natural habitat describes where the plant grows in the wild and gives some clues as to where it should be planted in your garden.

In the notes section, we have tried to include information about how the plant behaves in a garden, which may be quite different from how it grows in the wild. Some become quite tall; others spread aggressively. Be warned.

Propagation information is based on our own experience growing these plants from seed for our annual plant sale (on the first Saturday in June).

Wildlife use: This information is based almost entirely on our own observations, as we have found published information on this subject misleading. The notes we have collected are rather sparse, but we continue to add to it. Please let us know your own observations of birds eating seeds, butterflies nectaring on specific plants, pollinators visiting blooms in your garden, etc. – fletcher@ofnc.ca


This page was revised on 15 September 2014
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