Bluebead Lily


Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis)

Background:

When people talk of wildflowers, they generally mention lovely colours, fragrances, or leaves. The blue-bead lily is a woodland wildflower deserving of kindly words, but not just for its striking appearance. It is important habitat for one of our migratory woodland warblers.

 

Identification:

The broad, fleshly leaves at the base give way to a single stem topped with pale yellow flowers in the spring, when it is often referred to as the corn lily. In the fall, those flowers turn into beautiful, though toxic, bright blue berries. These lilies often grow in dense mats in the forest, creating a wonderful natural landscape.

Wildlife values:

As if that wasn’t enough, they also provide excellent habitat for the ovenbird, a migratory warbler that nests on the ground. The nest has a roof on it and an opening in front, reminiscent of a Dutch oven. Like all ground nesting birds, these warblers are easy prey for a variety of nest-robbers, including cats, foxes, raccoons and blue jays. To counter these threats, the ovenbird often makes its nest in a dense patch of blue-bead lily – the fleshy, overhanging leaves hide and protect the nest.

Conservation:

like trilliums, the blue-bead lily can easily be grown from seed, and the young plants then can be placed in woodlands that have few or no seed sources. They are widely adaptable, preferring mixed woodlands with dappled light, but they can also grow thrive in older conifer stands. In areas with blue-bead lilies, it is important to keep to the trails (or if there are no trails, skirt the patches) to avoid walking on the plants. This helps conserve both the plants themselves and any nesting ovenbirds.

Upcoming Events

Apr
27
Sat
7:30 pm Owl Prowl
Owl Prowl
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come join the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in celebrating the wonderful world of owls at one of this year’s Owl Prowls. To meet the growing interest in these fascinating birds, there will be Owl
May
4
Sat
2:00 pm Landscaping with Native Plants
Landscaping with Native Plants
May 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Want to spend less time cutting grass and more time enjoying the beautiful plants around your home? This workshop introduces a variety of hardy native plants to attract wildlife and beautify your yard.
May
11
Sat
8:00 am Birds and Breakfast
Birds and Breakfast
May 11 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
The Macphail Homestead will be open at 7am to serve a free “early bird” breakfast. Join other birders beside the fireplace in the Great Room for at hot beverage and breakfast treats to start your
May
18
Sat
10:00 am Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Participants will practice pruning on a variety of plants in the nursery, arboretum and woodlands. Please bring along any of your favourite pruning tools. Workshop will include a slide show and demonstration of proper pruning
May
25
Sat
10:00 am Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
May 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This workshop will look at on creating diverse, beautiful and functional hedgerows and windbreaks using a variety of native plants. Participants will learn about which plants are best, spacing, planting and maintenance.

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