Canada is rich in natural resources, one of her best (from a gardener’s standpoint) being the wide variety of plants she claims. Each plant plays a specific role in its environment. Some provide nectar, while others are host plants for various insect larvae. Then there are the non-native plants that have become pests in one way or another.
Lesser False Indigo (Baptisia Minor)
B. minor is a small, perennial shrub that grows up to 24 inches in height. Lavender-blue blossoms are produced on spikes measuring up to 18 inches tall. The leaves are small, ovate and numerous, giving the plant a lacy, airy look. The plant grows best in well-drained soils and is hardy when established. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the plant.
Heart-Leaved Skullcap (Scutellaria Ovata)
S. ovate is a branching member of the mint family with dark green, rough, ovate, toothed leaves. The blossoms are produced on stalks that resemble miniature snapdragons or salvia. In favorable conditions, heart-leaved skullcap can grow to 3 feet in height. It prefers well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in a protected area. This plant can usually be grown from seed without trouble.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda Fistulosa)
Wild bergamot, a common herb used in teas, grows wild in Canada and other parts of North America. The blossoms are light lavender and fragrant, attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The plant grows up to 5 feet under favorable conditions. Its stems are hollow, green and at times--in full sun--have purple accents. The leaves are petiolate and serrated (toothed).
Blue Vervain (Verbena Hastata)
Classified as a short-lived perennial herb, V. hastate is found throughout Canada and the United States. Preferring moist soil, this plant is often found growing beside streams and in wet meadows. Its blossoms are produced on candelabra-type stems; each flower head is comprised of numerous small, lavender-blue blossoms. Blue vervain grows 5 to 6 feet tall in favorable conditions.
Canada Thistle (Cirsium Arvense)
C. arvense boasts vanilla-scented blossoms that range from white to purple. One to five flowers are produced on each branch with a diameter of around 1cm. Canada thistle grows to 4 feet in height. A vigorous grower, the plant can crowd out more desirable plant species. Its name is misleading, as this species of thistle is native to southeastern Eurasia, and was introduced to Canada in the 18th century. C. arvense is attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.