Spikenard on the Seaton Trail: August 2020

I spend a lot of time walking in the woods, in meadows, along lakeshores and by streams. There is one plant that I only see about once a year and I saw it on this day.

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

Spikenard is one of the largest herbaceous species in Ontario.

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

It is widely spreading and bushy, with enormous compound leaves.

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

It grows in rich mostly beech-maple and hemlock hardwoods. These white growths develop into purple-black fruit.

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)
Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)
Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

The stalk is covered in white hairs:

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)
Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

Spikenard is in the same family (Aralia) as the much more common Sarsaparilla.

Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

Other botany:

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)
Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculo
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Soybean (Glycine max)
Soybeans (Glycine max)
Soybean (Glycine max)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)
Ostrich Fern
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)
Lopseed (Phryma leptostachya)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Ground-hemlock (Taxus canadensis)
Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)
Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Elecampane (Inula helenium)
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

The Seaton Trail is divided into upper, middle and lower sections. The section south of Clarkes Hollow is closed at the moment for bridge repair.

On this day, I explored the section north of Clarkes Hollow.

Beaver Dam
Taunton Road bridge

Some insects:

Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Monarch
Monarch

NATURE POETRY

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.          – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Spikenard on the Seaton Trail: August 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Wonderful place, wonderful stuff, fascinating information. I was going to tease you about missing a spider in a web right next to the Spikenard stalk, but I think it’s a victim’s remains that are there, which is why you might not have mentioned it. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.