In Toronto, the Maple Leafs aren’t only an NHL team, they’re also a native plant.
Plants native to Toronto, Ontario include those which evolved there and over time have adapted to Ontario’s climate, soils and native wildlife population. Plants and tree seeds native to Toronto will perform especially well in Toronto. For example, a maple tree planted from a seed grown in Toronto will do better than a seed from a maple tree grown in other southern Ontario cities like Ottawa or Windsor. Does this Spark an idea?
Native Plant Community
If you live in Toronto and are interested in planting native trees or plants on your property, you may be interested in planting an entire native plant community on your land. A native plant community is a term for a group of plants that naturally grow up together in Toronto. A native plant community garden is low-maintenance and if you incorporate native wildflowers into your garden, you will not have to re-seed from year to year. To get ideas on which type of native community you’d like to plant, consider joining a Toronto area green group which visits native communities and can offer assistance in selecting plants.
Native plants to Toronto can be categorized by ideal growing conditions such as sun level and soil type. Native Toronto plants that enjoy full sun and dry soil include black oak, white pine, smooth rose and American bittersweet. Those that enjoy partial sun include choke cherry, snowberry and smooth aster. Those plants which also enjoy dry soils that are sandy or gravely and drain easily. Shade-loving (less than 2 hours of sunlight each day) native plants that prefer dry soil include sugar maple, bottlebrush grass and zig-zag goldenrod.
Average soil is well-drained silt or clay soil that may accumulate water into small puddles for a time after a period of heavy rain. Native sun-loving (2 to 6 hours of full or partial sun) plants include trembling aspen, black cherry, grey dogwood, white ash, red oak, wild columbine and Michigan lily. Native shade-dwelling plants that prefer average soil include witch hazel, Solomon’s seal and red baneberry.
Moist soil is that which includes high clay content and remains moist throughout the growing season. Moist soils experience extended periods of standing water. Sun-loving, moist-soil native Toronto plants include white cedar, buttonbush, dense blazing-star, yellow birch, nannyberry and turtlehead. Shade-preferring native plants that do best in moist soil include hemlock, wild ginger, spicebush and black currant.