Sweet Taste of Spring
Smooth Wild Strawberry (Fragaria glauca) provides birds and mammals (and sometimes humans) with a tasty, spring snack. The tiny seeds are usually not digested, but excreted whole in the animals’ feces, helping the plant colonize new habitats.
Learn why a strawberry isn’t really a fruit in this BLOG.
Iris of the Prairies
Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum) is not a grass at all; it is related to irises. This plants’ tiny, delicate flowers can be found in sunny, native prairies blooming in May and June. Check out the Manitoba Museum’s virtual Prairie Pollination exhibition for more information on Blue-eyed Grass.
A Pretty Prairie Thief
Although capable of photosynthesis, Pale Comandra (Comandra umbellata) roots penetrate the roots of other plants to steal some of their sap. This strategy of thievery makes them a very successful and common prairie plant. Check out the Manitoba Museum’s virtual Prairie Pollination exhibition for more information on Pale Comandra.
Bluets at Long Last
Long-leaved Bluets (Houstonia longifolia) typically produces clusters of 10-50 flowering stems tipped with several small, white flowers. It provides nectar to bees and long-tongued butterflies and moths in early spring. Learn about how wildflowers also help feed people in this BLOG.
Golden Days Are Here!
Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) is one of the earliest blooming plants in Manitoba, providing nectar for a wide range of spring pollinators. Want to grow your own pollinator garden? Check out this BLOG for tips.
The Criddle family, who came to Manitoba in 1882, were famous naturalists.
Many items they collected or created were donated to the Manitoba Museum including
this watercolour by Norman Criddle, Manitoba’s first Provincial Entomologist.
Image: © Manitoba Museum, H9-24-496
Where There’s Smoke There’s Avens!
Three-flowered Avens (Geum triflorum) is also commonly known as “Prairie Smoke” because its feathery seeds look like wisps of smoke. As its leaves are evergreen, this species can start growing as soon as the snow melts.
Check out the Manitoba Museum’s virtual Prairie Pollination exhibition for more information on Three-flowered Avens.
Hoary Puccoon starts flowering in April and provides a much
beloved burst of colour to the prairie after a long winter.
Image: © Manitoba Museum
Early Spring Flowers
The early spring-flowering Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens) flowers have no noticeable scent. They provide a crucial source of nectar for long-tongued butterflies, clearwing moths, and queen bees after their long winter hibernation.
Take a stroll through the Manitoba Museum’s virtual Prairie Pollination exhibition for more information about the Hoary Puccoon.
The Criddle family, who came to Manitoba in 1882, were famous naturalists in Manitoba.
They recorded weather, painted wild plants, and collected specimens.
This painting is by Norman Criddle, Manitoba’s first Provincial Entomologist.
Image: © Manitoba Museum, H9-24-519
“Manitoba’s provincial flower, the Prairie Crocus (Anemone patens) is a harbinger of spring, being the first wildflower of the year to bloom, usually in mid-April. Crocuses can live up to 50 years, producing more and more flowers with age.”
Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson,
Curator of Botany
You can read these blogs, developed by our collections and conservation team, to learn more about the Criddle family.
Pretty Prairie Lily
The spectacular Western Red Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is Manitoba’s largest prairie flower. It is pollinated most successfully by swallowtail butterflies but hummingbirds are common visitors as well.
Learn more about Manitoba’s lilies in this BLOG.
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