The following information was put together for a botanical walk done for Nature Manitoba on June 17, 2010.
The Bois des Esprit is a ~47 hectare (117 acre) riparian woodland located primarily on the east shore of the Seine River, Winnipeg, between John Bruce road and Shorehill drive. This forest represents the longest continuous protected riverbank woodland in Winnipeg. With little in the way of invasive species and only minimal distrubance it is a showcase terrace and river bottom forest that also includes several diverse oxbow wetlands. A protection plan was started in 2001/2 with the area identified as a 'park' in 2004. In 2007 a trail and sustainable development plan was proposed in collaboration with the City of Winnipeg, Save our Seine, and other groups. The current crushed limestone trail was completed in 2009 as part of the ongoing plan.
When walking the path look for the forest 'spirits' or sculptures carved into the dead stems or trunks of many of the trees.
This forest hosts five broad plant communities: river bottom, wetland, oak forest, aspen forest, and grassland. It is home to over 100 plant species, 24 mammals, 149 birds and water fowl, 5 amphibian and 6 fish species. The area is well represented by Oaks and Trembling Aspen, with some Maples, Cottonwood, Ash, and Elms in the mix near the river and wetlands. The mature trees (Oaks) found in several long term monitoring plots are fairly uniform in size and age (~75 years); the forest is fairly young. Within the forest there are 10 heritage trees with more, including Winnipeg's largest tree, found elsewhere along the river. Although the forest appears to be pristine, and for an urban area it is, things are not always as they appear. There are relatively few Elm trees in the river bottom forest due to the removal from Dutch Elm disease. If you look closely at the bark of the Oak trees in the upland forest you will see many small orange and yellow lichens - more pristine forests also have many larger green and grey shield lichens which are not found here.
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.)
Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.)
The following species were seen June 11, 2010 during a preliminary 3 hour scouting walk. There are a number of species missing since they were not yet in flower or identification was not possible. In particular I did not identify all of the grass or sedge species seen. There are probably a number of aquatic and emergent wetland species not identified since I didn't want to go wading to look. There had been a considerable amount of rain over the prior several weeks inundating parts of the trail and filling the oxbow areas full of water. I did see a few typical domestic garden flowers blooming that were not recorded; a clump of Peonys for example. I mostly limited this list to native, naturalized, and invasive species. There was a small clump of Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife) seen in one of the oxbows but it disappeared... The species names (both Latin and common) were primarily derived from Budd's Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces with some modifications or additions from other sources.
Acer negundo L. - Manitoba Maple Achillea millefolium L. - Yarrow Actaea rubra (Ait.) Willd. - Red Baneberry. The white forma is also expected. Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. Alnus crispa (Ait.) Pursh. - Green Alder** Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. - Saskatoon Amorpha futicosa L. - False indigo Amphicarpa bracteata (L.) Fern. - Hog-peanut Anemone canadensis L. - Canada anemone Anemone multifida Poir. - Cut-leaved anemone Apocynum cannabinum L.- Indian-Hemp. Also see A. androsaemifolium L. or Spreading dogbane. Aralia nudicaulis L. - Wild sarsaparilla Arenaria lateriflora L. - Blunt-leaved sandwort Artemisia frigida Willd. - Pasture sage Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt. - Prairie Sage Asclepias speciosa Torr. - Showy milkweed. Also look for A. ovalifolia. Aster spp (syn Symphyotrichium) There are several but none were flowering on the survey date. Possible/Likely: A. laevis, A. ciliolatus, A. ericoides, A. lateriflorus, Aster novae-angliae, A. simplex. Bidens frondosa L. - Common beggarticks Bromus inermis Leyss. - Smooth Brome Campanula rapunculoides L. - Creeping Bellflower Carex assiniboinensis Boott - Assiniboia sedge Carex atherodes Spreng. - Awned sedge Carex bebbii - Bebb's sedge Carex canescens - Short sedge Carex disperma Dewey - Two-seeded sedge Carex lanuginosa Michx. - Woolly sedge Carex retrorsa Schw. - Turned sedge Carex spp - Sedge. I got tired of keying sedges there are at least four more Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. - Canada Thistle Cornus stonlonifera L. - Redosier dogwood Convolvulus sepium L. - Hedge bindweed Corylus americana Walt. - American hazelnut Corylus cornuta Marsh. (Beaked hazelnut) is also expected. Crataegus rotundifolia Moench - Round-Leaved Hawthorn Elaeagnus angustifolia L. - Russian olive* Elymus sp. L. - Wild Rye (probably E. canadensis but didn't key) Equisetum arvense L. - Common horsetail Erigeron canadensis L. - Canada fleabane Erigeron philadelphicus L. - Philadelphia fleabane (probably but didn't key) Fragaria virginiana Dcne. - Wild strawberry Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. - Green Ash Galium boreale L. - Northern bedstraw Galium triflorum Michx - Sweet-scented bedstraw Geranium bicknellii Britt. - Geranium Geum alleppicum Jacq. - Yellow avens Glechoma hederacea L. - Creeping Charlie Glyceria sp. - Tall Manna Grass (probably G. grandis but didn't key) Glycyrrhiza lepidota (nutt.) Pursh - Wild Licorice Helenium autumnale L. var. montanum (Nutt.) Fernald - Mountain sneezeweed* Helianthus maximiliani Schrad. - Maximilian sunflower* Hordeum jubatum L. - Wild barley Lappula deflexa (Wahl.) Garcke - Nodding stickseed Lathyrus ochroleucus Hook. - Cream colored vetchling Lathyrus venosus Muhl. - Wild peavine Lemna minor L. - Duckweed. Also expect Spirodelia polyrhiza (L.) Schleid. Larger duckweed Wolffia columbiana Karst. (Columbian watermeal) was collected near Bishop Grandin so it might be found here as well. Lemna trisulca L. - ivy-leaved duckweed Lonicera dioica L. - Twining honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica L. - Tartarian honeysuckle Lycopus americanus Muhl. - Water-horehound Lysimachia ciliata L. - Fringed loosestrife Lysimachia thyrsiflora L. - Tufted loosestrife Maianthemum canadense Desf. - Wild lily-of-the-valley Medicago sativa L. - Alfalfa. Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall - Yellow sweet clover Expect to see: Melilotus alba Medic. (White sweet clover) & Lotus corniculatus L. (bird's-foot trefoil) Menispermum canadense L. - Moonseed Mentha arvensis L. - Mint Mertensia paniculata (Ait.) G. Don - Tall Lungwort Nuphar variegatum Engelm. - Yellow pond lily Oxalis stricta L. - Yellow wood-sorrel Osmorhiza aristata (Thunb.) Mak. & Yabe - Smooth sweet cicely* Panicum virgatum L. - Switch Grass (questionable) Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. - Virginia creeper Phleum pratense L. - Timothy Phalaris arundinacea L. - Reed Canary grass Picea glauca (Moench) Voss - White Spruce - only a few small plants. Plantago major L. - Common plaintain Poa pratensis L. - Kentucky blue grass. Polygonum amphibium L. - Swamp persicaria. Look for other Polygonum species as well. Populus balsamifera L. - Balsam Popular* Populus deltoides Marsh. - Cottonwood Populus tremuloides Michx. - Aspen Poplar or Trembling Aspen Potentilla anserina L. - Silverweed Prunus virginiana L. - Choke Cherry Pyrola spp. - Wintergreen* Quercus macrocarpa Michx. - Bur Oak Ranunculus spp. - Buttercup* I did see several but did not collect. Expect Ranunculus abortivus L. (Smooth-Leaved buttercup) and Ranunculus macounii Britt. (Macoun's buttercup) Ribes americanum Mill - Black current. Check also for R. rubrum & R. glandulosum Ribes oxyacanthoides L. - Gooseberry Rosa acicularis Lindl. - Prickly Rose Rosa blanda Ait - Smooth Rose. R. woodsia is expected but not seen. Rubus idaeus L. - Wild Raspberry Rubus pubescens Raf. Dew berry Rumex crispus L. - Curled Dock. Look for other Rumex species as well. Salix amygdaloides Anderss. - Peach-leaved Willow. Other willows will probably be found as well. Sanicula marilandica L. - Snakeroot Senecio vulgaris - Common groundsel (expect other Senecio species). Sisyrinchium montanum Greene - Blue-eyed grass Sium suave Walt. - Water-parsnip Smilacina stellata (L.) Desf. - False solomon's seal Smilax herbacea L. - Carrion Flower Solidago canadensis L. - Graceful goldenrod. Sonchus arvens L. - Sow-thistle Stachys palustris L. - Marsh Hedge-Nettle Stellaria longifolia L. - Long leaved stitchwort. Stellaria media (Chickweed) is expected. Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook. - Snowberry Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg. - Dandelion Thalictrum dasycarpum Fisch. & Lall. - Tall meadow-rue Thalictrum venulosum Trel. - Veiny meadow-rue Toxicodendron rydbergii (Small ex Rydb.) Greene - Poison Ivy syn: Rhus radicans L. var. rydbergii (small) Rehder Tragopogon pratensis L. Goat's beard Trifolium repens L. - White Clover also expect Trifolium pratense L. Red Clover Trillium cernuum L. - Nodding Trillium Typha latifolia L. - Common cattail Ulmus americana L. - American Elm. A Siberian elm seedling (or two) was also seen Viburnum lentago L. - Nannyberry. Viburnum opulus or Viburnum edule (Michx.) Raf. - High bush cranberry Viburnum rafinesquianum Schultes - Downy Arrowwood. Vicia americana Muhl. - American vetch Viola spp. There are a number of species likely but none blooming. Expect: V. adunca, V. rugulosa Viola pubescens Ait. - Downy Yellow Violet* Vitis riparia Michx. - Riverbank Grape Zizia aurea (L.) Koch - Golden Alexanders Zizia aptera (A. Gray) Fernald - Heart-leaved alexanders* *These species were listed on City of Winnipeg Naturalist site but not seen in this survey. **Reported on information sign at trail head but not seen at site.
This is only a short list - there were no crustose lichens identified and not all of the expected lichens were noted. Only a few of the mosses seen were identified. Lichens were identified using primarily Lichens of North America. Mosses identification was done using a variety of sources including how to know the mosses and liverworts, Moss Flora of the Maritime Provinces, Illustrated Guide to some Hornworts, Liverworts and Mosses of Eastern Canada, and Mosses Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America.
Candelaria concolor - Candleflame lichen/lemon lichen Cladonia chlorophaea - Pixie Cup Cladonia phyllophora - Felt cladonia Flavoparmelia caperata - Common greenshield lichen Parmelia sulcata - Hammered shiled lichen Peltigera canina - Dog-lichen Peltigera malacea - Veinless pelt Peltigera neckeri - Black saddle lichen Phaeophysicia cernohorskyi - Hairy shadow lichen Physcia stellaris - Star rosette lichen Physciella chloantha - Cryptic rosette lichen Physconia detersa - Frost lichen Punctelia subrudecta - Powedered speckled shield lichen Xanthoria fallax - Hooded sunburst lichen Xanthoria hasseana - Poplar sunburst lichen Xanthoria sp. - I expect X. elegans also appears Brachythecium acuminatum (Hedw.) Aust. Brachythecium salebrosum (Web & Mohr) B.S.G. - Golden Ragged Moss Homalia trichomanoides (Hedw.) B.S.G. Leskea gracilescens Hedw. Plagiomnium cuspidatum (Hedw.) Kop - Woodsy moss
Naturization Area (Royalwood Retention Pond)
The retention ponds within Royalwood have been built to mimic prairie wetlands providing improved wildlife habitat and water quality. The ponds, and surronding buffer zones, have been seeded with native wetland and prarie species. The walk did not look at these ponds specfically but I have included the following for general interest and information. The following list was taken from the information display at the site. There are still some invasive species found around the buffers.
Agropyron subsecundum (link) Hitchc. - Awned wheatgrass Andropogon gerardii Vitman - Big bluestem Dalea purpurea Vent. - Purple prairie clover Elymus canadensis L. - Canada wildrye Glyceria sp. - Manna grass Panicum virgatum L. - Switchgrass Spartina pectinata Link - Prairie cord grass
The following books may be a useful source for identifying the plants found in this forest.
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Last modified: Sun Mar 29 10:28:19 2015