What Plants Are Native to Kawartha Lakes?

Comprised of a chain of 15 lakes that converge along its shoreline, the Kawartha Lakes region---located in the east-central area of Ontario, Canada---is known for its clean air, water and scenic natural environment. Heightened awareness of the effects of residential and commercial developments in the area on the native landscape may prevent its irreversible loss to modern buildings, manicured lawns and park-like grounds. The Kawartha Region Conservation Authority has undertaken the task of educating area residents about protecting Kawartha Lakes' native plants.

Red Osier Dogwood

A perennial tree or shrub member of the Cornaceae or dogwood family, red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera or Cornus sericea) is native to Kawartha Lakes and all of North America, excluding Texas and the southeastern region of the United States. Red osier dogwood has burgundy-colored stems, and the plant grows up to 12 feet tall, growing actively from spring to summer. Its white flowers are in bloom from late spring to midsummer, and it produces white berries in the summertime. Red osier dogwood grows in moist soil and full sun to partial shade exposure.

Staghorn Sumac

Native to Kawartha Lakes and the rest of Ontario, Quebec and most of the eastern half of the United States, staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina or Rhus hirta) is a perennial tree or shrub member of the Anacardiaceae or cashew family. Staghorn sumac reaches mature heights between 15 and 35 feet, and its yellow-green flowers bloom in early to midsummer. Staghorn sumac produces red berry fruit clusters that mature in late summer. It thrives in sunny locations and in a variety of soils, usually moderately dry. It is also named velvet sumac.

Common Ninebark

A perennial shrub member of the Rosaceae or rose family, common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is native to the eastern half of the United States. Common ninebark grows less than 10 feet tall, produces its white or pink flowers and red fruits from late spring to midsummer. A highly-adaptable species, common ninebark requires full sun to partial shade exposure and is found in moist soil conditions, where its well-established root system is difficult to uproot. It is also known as eastern ninebark and Atlantic ninebark.

Purple Flowering Raspberry

A perennial, low-growing shrub member of the Rosaceae or rose family, purple flowering raspberry or flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus) is native to Kawartha Lakes and the rest of Ontario, Quebec and most of the eastern states of the United States. At mature height, purple flowering raspberry grows to 5 feet, actively growing from spring through summer. It does well in full sun to partial shade and in moist to moderately dry soil conditions. Its flowers are in bloom in late spring, and its red berries grow and mature during the summer.

Keywords: Kawartha lakes, red osier dogwood, staghorn sumac

About this Author

Naima Manal’s articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.