Well east of the city’s centre, beyond the government buildings, at the edge of deep suburbia, in the Ottawa river, lies one of the city’s most beautiful treasures. Sure Petrie Island has got a great, big sandy beach, beach volleyball leagues and Carivibe, but tucked away down a narrow spit of land is a part of the island that gets me really excited. Visit the quieter, western end of the island and you will discover a beautiful wetland and wilderness delight. A unique habitat, Petrie Island’s ecosystem is closer to the Carolinian forest of Southern Ontario, and includes many uncommon and rare species of plants that you won’t find elsewhere in the Ottawa region.
Last Sunday I led a plant walk hosted by the Petrie Island Nature Centre and we explored some of the edible and medicinal plants of the island.
I was introduced to two new plants while I was there, showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense) and square-stemmed monkey flower (Mimulus ringens). I can’t wait to return to learn more about these plants and see what other surprises I find.
Here are two short (not great quality- sorry) videos I took of a few other plants on the island.