by Gordon Robertson

The difference between a shrub or bush and a tree is not well defined. Shrubs generally are short trees that are less than 6 metres tall when fully grown and have multiple stems rather than a single trunk. They have woody stems that distinguish them from herbs. Most of the shrubs in this list are flowering and fruit bearing since the Fletcher Wildlife Garden wants to promote plants that serve as food for wildlife.

* Indicates non-native species

Backyard Garden codes:

  • BB – Butterfly Bed
  • FT – Fern Trail
  • HF – Horticultural Favourites
  • OM – Ontario  Meadow
  • PT – Plum Tree Garden
  • RO – Rockery
  • SP – Summy Prairie
  • W – Wetland
  • WE – Woodland Edge
  • WW – Woodland Walk

Barberry (Berberidaceae)


European Barberry*

Berberis vulgaris
Vinettier / Épine-vinette

Family: Barberries (Berberidaceae)
Native to: Northern Europe
Location at the FWG: Old Woods
Flowers: 6 yellow petals
Blooming time:
Height: 4 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Understory of mixed woods.

Wildlife use: Blue Jays, squirrels and other mammals eat the nuts.

Notes: Plant is poisonous. Berries are edible.

European Barberry

Birches (Betulaceae)


Beaked Hazel

Corylus cornuta
Noisetier

Family: Birch (Betulaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: RO
Flowers: yellow catkins and red female flowers
Blooming time:
Height: 4 to 8 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Understory of mixed woods. Common in the Ottawa area.

Wildlife use: Blue Jays, squirrels and other mammals eat the nuts.

Notes: Planted in the upper part of the rockery. May not be getting enough light.

Provenance: Ferguson Forest

Beaked Hazel


Speckled Alder / Grey Alder

Alnus incana

Aulne rugueux

Family: Birch (Betulaceae)
Native to: Northern North America and Eastern Europe
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot
Height:   6 to 8 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Medium to wet
Soil: Sand or loam soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Mixed or deciduous woods

Wildlife use: Birds eat the seeds. Many caterpillars eat its leaves. Browsed by deer and moose.

Notes: 

Speckled Alder; photo by Quadell, Wikipedia

Bladdernut (Staphyleaceae)


American Bladdernut

Staphylea trifolia
Staphylier à trois folioles

Family: Bladdernut (Staphyleaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: pendant white flowers
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 11 m
Light requirements: shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Forests, fields and open areas; rocky woods, river banks.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Can be drought sensitive, watering is needed during dry periods. There are clusters of drooping, tubular white flowers appear in early spring, followed by unusual bladder-like seed pods, which are persistent long into the winter months. Softwood and hardwood cuttings root easily and can also be grown from seed

American Bladdernut

Boxwood (Buxaceae)


Boxwood / Common Box / European Box*

Buxus sempervirens
Buis commun / Buis toujours vert

Family: Boxwood (Buxaceae)
Native to: Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia
Location at the FWG: In grove surrounding Old Field, south side
Flowers: Greenish-yellow, with no petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 1 to 9 m
Light requirements: shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Chalk, limestone
pH:

Natural habitat: Understorey in forests of larger trees.

Wildlife use:

Notes:  Medicinal plant used to treat many diseases. It contains steroidal alkaloids such as cyclobuxine. It also contains flavonoids.

Boxwood

Buckthorns (Rhamnaceae)


Common Buckthorn*

Rhamnus cathartica

Nerprun purgatif  / Nerprun cathartique / Nerprun officinal

Family: Buckthorns (Rhamnaceae)
Native to: Eurasia
Location at the FWG: Ravine, Old Woods, Old Field
Flowers: yellowish-green, with four petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 3 to 6 m
Light requirements: sun, shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Dry
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Forests, fields and open areas, river banks.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Berries are only eaten as last resort by birds. Twigs end in sharp thorn. Leaves have finely toothed edges and  are opposite to subopposite. Don’t propagate!

Common Buckthorn; photo Malcolm Leith


Glossy Buckthorn / Alder Buckthorn / Breaking Buckthorn*

Rhamnus frangula
Nerprun bourdaine / Bourgène

Family: Buckthorns (Rhamnaceae)
Native to: Eurasia
Location at the FWG: Ravine, Old Woods, Old Field
Flowers:  star-shaped with five greenish-white acute triangular petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 3 to 6 m
Light requirements: sun, shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Wet
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Forests, fields, and river banks.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Berries are only eaten as last resort by birds. No sharp thorn on end of twig. Leaves are  shiny with smooth wavy edges and are alternate although they may appear almost opposite near the branch tips.  Don’t propagate!

Glossy Buckthorn; photo Malcolm Leith

Dogwoods (Cornaceae)


Alternate-leaved Dogwood / Pagoda Dogwood

Cornus alternifolia
Cornouiller à feuilles alternes

Family: Dogwood (Cornaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Old Woodlot
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: Small cream colored flowers  with four small petals
Blooming time: Late spring
Height: Up to 8 m
Light requirements: Shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Understory of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Berries are loved by many bird species. Eastern Kingbird family seen feeding on them in August 2009. Larval food source for Summer Azure butterflies.

Notes: Shrub. Very attractive small tree or tall shrub. Branches horizontal in tiers like a pagoda. Dark blue berries produced in summer.

Alternate-leaved Dogwood


Red Osier Dogwood / Red Osier

Cornus sericea
Harts rouge

Family: Dogwood (Cornaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; field north of Old Woodlot; hedgerow; edge of pond
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: small, dull white, with 4 petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 2 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Meadows, swamps. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Ninety species of birds have been recorded using the berries as a food source. Some of these are: Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Brown Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Evening Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak. Larval food source for Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta). Flowers provide nectar for butterflies.

Notes: Shrub. Has clusters of small white flowers; white berries. Red stems look wonderful in winter garden. Can be heavily pruned for good stem colour.

Red Osier Dogwood

In winter


Grey Dogwood

Cornus racemosa
Harts gris

Family: Dogwood (Cornaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Field north of Old Woodlot;  edge of pond
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: Small white with four petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Up to 3 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Meadows, swamps. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Ninety species of birds have been recorded using the berries as a food source. Some of these are: Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Brown Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Evening Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak. Larval food source for Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta). Flowers provide nectar for butterflies.

Notes: Has clusters of small white flowers; white berries on red petioles. Stem is grey not red.

Grey Dogwood


Round-leaved Dogwood / Roundleaf Dogwood

Cornus rugosa
Cornouiller rugueux / Bois de Calumet

Family: Dogwood (Cornaceae)
Native to: Southern and Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG:
Flowers: White with for petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Up to 4 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Sandy, gravelly, or rocky
pH: Limestone

Natural habitat: Sandy, gravelly, or rocky slopes, often growing in areas underlain by limestone bedrock.

Wildlife use: Fruits are eaten by Ruffed Grouse. Twigs are consumed by White Tailed Deer, Eastern cottontail, and mice.

Notes: Has flat-topped clusters (cymes) of creamy white flowers; fruit are light blue to greenish-white drupes.

Hollies (Aquifoliaceae)


Winterberry / Canada Holly

Ilex verticillata
Houx verticilli

Family: Holly (Aquifoliaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG:
Flowers: 5 to 8 greenish-white (insignificant) petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 1 to 5 m
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to wet
Soil: Average
pH: Acidic

Natural habitat: Wetlands, damp thickets, low woods, around ponds and streams.

Wildlife use: The berries attract many species of birds, although they are not edible by humans.

Notes: Both male and female plants are required for berries. The prolific bright red berries make this a wonderful addition to the fall garden.

Propagation: Seeds collected in fall 2014 and March 2015. Berries collected near Calabogie.

Winterberry

Honeysuckles (Caprifoliaceae)


Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus
Symphorine blanche

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; field west of Old Woodlot
Backyard garden bed: W
Flowers: Small, greenish-white to pink, in small clusters of 5–15 together
Blooming time: Early summer
Height: 3 to 1.2 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wood edges. Uncommon in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Flowers unobtrusive, but white berries are over 1 cm in diameter and stay on the plant late into the fall. Spreads by rhizomes.

Snowberry


Eastern Wahoo / Burningbush

Lonicera atropurpureus
Fusain de Caroline a fleur noires

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: Eastern North America
Location at the FWG:
Flowers: 4 pink to brown-purple petals
Blooming time: Early summer
Height: to 8 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wood edges.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Fruit is red surrounded by red arils

Eastern Wahoo; photo Mason Brock


Tatarian Honeysuckle*

Lonicera tatarica
Chèvrefeuille de Tartarie

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: Asia
Location at the FWG:
Flowers: 5 pink to red petals
Blooming time: Early summer
Height: to 3 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wood edges.

Wildlife use:

Notes:

Tatarian Honeysuckle


Morrow’s Honeysuckle*

Lonicera morrowii
Lonicera morrowii

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: eastern Asia
Location at the FWG: near softball parking lot
Flowers: white to pale yellow, tubular petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 2 to 2.5 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wood edges.

Wildlife use: Frequently eaten by birds especially Cedar Waxwings.

Notes:  Fruit is a dark red berry 7–8 mm diameter containing numerous seeds. The berries, while eaten frequently by birds, are considered poisonous to humans.

Morrow’s Honeysuckle

Moschatels, Viburnums, Elderberries (Adoxaceae)


Common Elderberry / Canada Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis (syn. nigra)
Sureau blanc

Family: Moschatel (Adoxaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; thickets in front of Resource Centre; Hedgerow; Amphibian Pond
Backyard garden bed: BB
Flowers: 5 small white petals in corymbs
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 3 m at maturity
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Low ground, thickets, edges of woods, roadsides, fencerows. Uncommon in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Fruit is eaten by birds – Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Grry Catbird. Good nest tree.

Notes: Small tree or large shrub. Branches wide-spreading. Flat creamy white heads of flowers in the summer, followed by purple-black fruit. Our shrub is likely a horticultural variety.

Canada Elderberry


 Red-berried Elderberry / Red-berried Elder

Sambucus racemosa (syn. pubens)
Sureau rouge

Family: Moschatel (Adoxaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Old Woodlot; edges of Old Field; Hedgerow
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: white, cream, or yellowish petals in cone-shaped panicle of several cymes of flowers
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 3 m at maturity
Light requirements: Partial sun
Moisture requirements: Average to wet
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Thickets, ravines, open woods, and clearings. roadsides and edges of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Red berries provide food for a number of birds and mammals, although they are not edible by humans: Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Grey Catbird.

Notes: Small tree or shrub; branches arch out into umbrella form. Tolerant of pollution.

Red-berried Elderberry


Cranberrybush Viburnum / Highbush Cranberry

Viburnum trilobum
Viorne trilobée

Family: Muschatel (Adoxaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: edges of Old Woodlot
Flowers: 5 white, rounded, petals white, produced in corymbs up to 13 cm
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Up to 4 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Woods, wood edges. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Provides an emergency food supply in winter when other fruit has vanished; very good for cover and nesting sites.

Notes: Not actually a cranberry. The fruits, sour and rich in vitamin C, can be eaten raw or cooked into a sauce to serve with meat or game. The Inupiat mix the berries with rosehips and Ribes triste and boil them into a syrup,

Cranberrybush Viburnum


Nannyberry

Viburnum lentago
Viorne flexible

Family: Moschatel (Adoxaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; thickets in front of Resource Centre; hedgerow; edges of Old Woodlot
Backyard garden bed: WW
Flowers: 5 whitish petals, arranged in large round terminal cymes 5–12 cm
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Up to 4 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Woods, wood edges. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Provides an emergency food supply in winter when other fruit has vanished; very good for cover and nesting sites. Fruit eaten by Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Evening Grosbeak. Larval food source for Lucia Azure (Celastrina lucia).

Notes: Multi-stemmed, upright branches. Use in shrub borders, tall hedge, or screen. Good background for native plantings. Suckering habit is conducive to naturalizing. Clusters of creamy-white flowers, followed by blue-black edible fruit. Berries stain. Tolerant of both moist and dry soils; very adaptable to many sites; easily transplanted and established. The fruit is edible to humans.

Nannyberry flowers

Nannyberry fruit


Wayfaring Tree*

Viburnum lantana
Viorne mancienne

Family: Moschatel (Adoxaceae)
Native to: Europe, Africa, Asia
Location at the FWG: edges of Old Woodlot
Flowers: 5 creamy-white petals, produced in dense cymes 4–10 cm
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Up to 4 to 5 m
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Woods, wood edges. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use:

Notes:

Wayfaring Tree; photo Opioła Jerzy, Wikipedia

Roses, Plums, and Cherries (Rosaceae)


Downy Serviceberry

Amelanchier arborea
Amilanchier arborescent

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Hedgerow; thicket in front of Resource Centre
Backyard garden bed: OM
Flowers: 5 white petals, with 4-10 flowers per raceme
Blooming time: Early spring
Height: to 4 m at maturity
Light requirements: Sun to partial shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Woods and edges of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Birds love the berries and often eat them before they are fully ripe. In July 2008, catbirds, orioles, cardinals, and robins were eating or collecting fruit from the serviceberry tree in our Backyard Garden; and four chipmunks were stuffing themselves with all the fruit they could reach.

Notes: Attractive white flowers in early spring (blooms before the cherries); attractive foliage with good fall colour. Edible dark purple berries in July; fruit sweet and juicy.

Downy Serviceberry


Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius
Physocarpe à feuilles d’Obier

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Hedgerow
Backyard garden bed: FT
Flowers: 5 white to pink in corymb clusters
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 2 to 3 m at maturity
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Woods, wood edges. Uncommon in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Upright, spreading, much-branched shrub. White flowers in late June or July, reddish-brown inflated seed pods can persist over winter. Related to spirea. Peeling bark, showing several under-layers, looks like a nine. Effective in hedges or for erosion control on banks. Easy to grow; adaptable to harsh conditions. High salt tolerance. Benefits from renewal pruning.

Ninebark


Prickly Wild Rose

Rosa acicularis
Rosier arctique

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: OM
Flowers Pink, rarely white, with 5 petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Up to 1.2 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators (e.g., syrphid flies). Produces red rosehips in late summer, which are eaten by robins and red and grey squirrels. Seeds are eaten by some songbirds. Rose bushes are also used by a huge variety of insects, including gall-making wasps, moths, sawflies, and beetles.

Notes: Shrub native to Ontario; widespread. Moderately shade tolerant. Flowers in early summer. Small plants arising from rhizomes are easy to transplant.

Prickly Wild Rose


Broadleaf Meadowsweet

Spiraea latifolia
Spirie à larges feuilles

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: PW
Flowers: White flowers are borne in elongate panicles
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 0.5 to 1.8 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wet fields, meadows. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Larval food source for Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta).

Notes: White or pale pink flowers.

Broadleaf Meadowsweet


Purple-flowered Raspberry

Rubus odoratus

Framboisier sauvage

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Hedgerow; south slope of ravine near Amphibian Pond
Backyard garden bed: PW
Flowers: 5 pink petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 1 to 2 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Clearings, thickets, and ravines, along roads, lakeshores, riverbanks, and borders of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Raspberry-type berries are unpalatable to people, but very attractive to birds.

Notes: Erect or arching shrub. Forms thickets, spreading by underground shoots. Showy, with large, rose-like pink flowers. Does well in part shade as well as full sun.

Purple-flowered Raspberry


American Red Raspberry

Rubus strigosus

Framboisier sauvage

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot
Flowers: 5 white petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: 1-2 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Clearings, thickets, and ravines, along roads, lake shores, riverbanks, and borders of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Raspberry-type berries are unpalatable to people, but very attractive to birds.

Notes: Erect or arching shrub. Forms thickets, spreading by underground shoots. Generally perennials, which bear biennial stems (“canes”) from a perennial root system.

American Red Raspberry


Canada Plum / Black Plum / Horse Plum

Prunus nigra

Prunier noir

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: near Amphibian Pond
Flowers: 5 white fading to pale pink, rounded, petals
Blooming time: Summer
Height: to 5 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Clearings, thickets, and ravines, along roads, lake shores, riverbanks, and borders of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Fruit when ripe (yellow or red) can be eaten by people and are very attractive to squirrels.

Notes:  Leaf margins have blunt, gland-tipped teeth, that don’t occur in American Plums. 

Canada Plum


American Plum / Wild Plum / Horse Plum*

Prunus americana
Prunier rouge américain

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern USA
Location at the FWG: near BYG
Flowers: 5 white petals singly or in clusters in the leaf axils
Blooming time: Summer
Height: to 5 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Clearings, thickets, and ravines, along roads, lake shores, riverbanks, and borders of woods. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Fruit when ripe (yellow or red) can be eaten by people and are very attractive to squirrels.

Notes:  Leaves have sharp, glandless teeth that do not occur in Canada Plums.

American Plum


Pin Cherry / Bird Cherry / Fire Cherry

Prunus pensylvanica
Cerisier de Pennsylvanie

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot
Backyard garden bed:
Flowers:  5 white petals, flowers are in clusters of 5 to 7
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 5 to 15 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil:
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Open woodlands. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Fruit is eaten by many birds and small mammals. Its leaves are food plants for many types of moths and butterflies.

Notes: Fruits are small and red when ripe. Bark is a shiny, dark reddish-brown with large conspicuous lenticels. All non-fruit parts of the tree contain toxins and are inedible.

Pin Cherry


Chokecherry

Prunus virginiana
Cerisier à grappes

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Evergreen Woods; Butterfly Meadow
Backyard garden bed: OM
Flowers:  5 white petals on racemes
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 1 to 9 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Riverbanks, roadside, edges of woods and swamps. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Dark red-purple astringent berries provide food for many birds. Larval food source for Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis), Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops), Lucia Azure (Celastrina lucia).

Notes: Tall shrub or very small tree; trunk often crooked; branches upright. High salt tolerance. Grow in a shrub border, open woodland garden, bird garden, screen or informal hedge. Short-lived but fast growing (a good starter tree).

Chokecherry


Common Hawthorn /  Oneseed Hawthorn*

Crataegus monogyna
Aubépine monogyne

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Europe, Africa, and Asia
Location at the FWG: Butterfly Garden
Flowers: 4 white or purple petals
Blooming time: Late spring
Height: to 5 to 14 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Ripe red berries are eaten by various birds.

Notes: Often the afflicted by Cedar-Hawthorn Rust (Gymnosporangium globosum) on leaves and fruit.

Common Hawthorn


Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis
Aubépine ergot de Coq

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Eastern North America
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Flowers: 4 white petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 7 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Ripe red berries are eaten by various birds.

Notes: Often the afflicted by Cedar-Hawthorn Rust (Gymnosporangium globosum) on leaves and fruit. This hawthorn is notable because it is thornless.

Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn


Orchard Apple / Domestic Apple*

Malus domestica (syn. M. pumila)
Pomme

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Central Asia but domesticated worldwide
Location at the FWG: Near Butterfly Meadow
Flowers: 5 white with pink petals with 4-6 flowers on cymes
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 10 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Fruit eaten by various birds, mammals, and humans.

Notes: A very edible fruit. Should be left for the wildlife.

Orchard Apple


European Crabapple*

Malus sylvestris
Boquettier / Pommier sauvage / Pommier des bois

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Europe but domesticated worldwide
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot, Butterfly Meadow, Ravine
Flowers: 5 white, pink petals in clusters
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 10 m
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Fruit are eaten by various birds and mammals

Notes:

Typical crabapples


Showy Mountain-ash

Sorbus decora
Sorbier décoratif

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Northeastern North America
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot
Flowers: 5 white petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 4 to 10 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Can tolerate different moisture levels.
Soil: Can grow in a variety of soils including rocky and poor soil.
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Fruit eaten by crows and robins.

Notes: Fruit is bright red to orange-red.

Showy Mountain-ash


European Mountain-ash / Rowan

Sorbus aucuparia
Sorbier des oiseleurs / Sorbier des oiseaux  

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
Native to: Europe and Asia
Location at the FWG: near Amphibian Pond
Flowers: yellowish-white petals
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 5 to 15 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Can tolerate different moisture levels.
Soil: Can grow in a variety of soils including rocky and poor soil.
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use: Fruit eaten by crows and robins.

Notes: Fruit is green the turns bright red to orange.

European Mountain-ash

European Mountain-ash

Sumacs & Cashews (Anacardiaceae)


Staghorn Sumac

Rhus typhina
Vinaigrier

Family: Cashew (Anacardiaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; north side of ravine near pond; south side of ravine opposite Resource Centre
Flowers: Small, greenish-white through yellowish
Height: Up to 3-5 m
Light requirements: Full sun. Does not grow in shade.
Moisture requirements: Average to dry
Soil: Moist, loamy soil
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Sandy and rocky soils. Edges of roads. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Dense, hairy reddish fruit is important winter sustenance for Common Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Grey Catbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Northern Cardinal.

Notes: Showy autumn foliage. Spreads aggressively by underground roots. Good for stabilizing slopes or in hard-to-cover areas with poor soils or for naturalizing in wild areas. High salt tolerance. Can be very attractive in a small front yard, where it is bounded by road, sidewalks, etc. In a backyard setting, need to watch for shoots which come up 20 to 50 feet from the parent and grow very quickly.

Staghorn Sumac

Bittersweets, Staff-trees (Celastraceae)


Hamilton’s Spindle / Siebold’s Spindle*

Euonymous hamiltonianus
Fusain de Hamilton

Family: Bittersweet, Staff-tree (Celastraceae)
Native to: Asia
Location at the FWG: between Old Woodlot and Old Field
Backyard garden bed:
Flowers: 4 white petals about 1 cm on small axillary cymes
Blooming time: Spring
Height: 3 m shrub to 20 m tree
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to wet
Soil: Average
pH: Acidic

Natural habitat: Wetlands, damp thickets, damp woods, around ponds, and streams.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Four seeds per pod. Has scarlet arils and purple fruits like Eastern Wahoo, can be easily distinguished from European Spindle with its orange arils and pink fruits. 

Hamilton’s Spindle


European Spindle / Common Spindle / Spindle-tree *

Euonymous europaeus
Fusain d’Europe

Family: Bittersweet, Staff-tree (Celastraceae)
Native to: Europe
Location at the FWG: Old Field, south end
Backyard garden bed:
Flowers: Green, yellowish-white
Blooming time: Spring
Height: to 6 m
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to wet
Soil: Average
pH: Acidic

Natural habitat: Wetlands, damp thickets, damp woods, around ponds, and streams.

Wildlife use:

Notes: Four seeds per pod. Eastern Wahoo, with its scarlet arils and purple fruits, can be easily distinguished from European Spindle with its orange arils and pink fruits.

European Spindle

Willows, Poplars, Aspens, & Cottonwoods (Salicaceae)


(American) Pussy Willow / Glaucous Willow

Salix discolor

Saule discolore

Family: Willows (Salicaceae)
Native to: Across Canada and northern USA
Location at the FWG: Amphibian Pond
Height: to 6 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: rich and moist
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Mixed or deciduous woods

Wildlife use:

Notes: Fast growing, leaves move easily in a breeze.  Flowers are soft silky yellow-white catkins that bloom in spring.

Pussy Willow, catkin; photo Christine Hanrahan

Witch-Hazels (Hamamelidaceae)


(American) Witch-Hazel / Common Witch-Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana
Hamamelis virginiana

Family: Witch-Hazels ( Hamamelidaceae)
Native to: Eastern North America
Location at the FWG: near Amphibian Pond
Flowers: bright yellow, rarely orange or reddish, with four ribbon-shaped petals
Height: to 6 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil:
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Mixed or deciduous woods

Wildlife use: “One of the very few woody plants avoided by herbivores” Kock (2008). Host plant for several moths.

Notes: Used in producing divining rods. Two black seeds are released explosively in spring. Small yellow flowers appear in the autumn.

Witch-Hazel

Yews (Taxaceae)


Japanese Yew*

Taxus cuspidata
If du Japon

Family: Yews (Taxaceae)
Native to: Japan, Asia
Location at the FWG: near Amphibian Pond

Height: 10 to 18 m
Light requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil:
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Mixed or deciduous woods

Wildlife use: Berries eaten by wildlife.

Notes: Produces small red berries. Entire plant, except for the fleshy berry surrounding the seed, is toxic due to a group of chemicals called taxine alkaloids.

Japanese Yew

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This page was revised on 30 May 2020
© Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Photos by D. Gordon E. Robertson unless attributed.
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