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 is one of the largest herbaceous species in Ontario.
It is widely spreading and bushy, with enormous compound leaves.
It grows in rich mostly beech-maple and hemlock hardwoods. These white growths develop into purple-black fruit.
The stalk is covered in white hairs:
Spikenard is in the same family (Aralia) as the much more common Sarsaparilla.
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.
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)