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A virtual tour of rare Ottawa Valley Trilliums and other marvellous mutations

Double Trillium

Double Trillium ©Brian Carson

No one anticipates spring more than “our” Brian Carson. As the spring ephemerals push their way through the earth, he’s down on his knees in Ottawa Valley forests up close to the latest specimens.

Most people know of the brilliant White Trillium —Large-leaved Trillium —Ontario’s provincial flower, seen on our health cards, driver’s licenses and other provincial documents. But this plant hunter’s forays have uncovered a treasure trove of the elusive double trilliums— the holy grail of North America wildflowers as well as incredible colored Trillium variants.  He has also found a colony of new terrestrial orchids for North America and many marvellous mutations of our native wildflowers.

Valley folk will appreciate Carson’s naming of the latter such as Renfrew double super trooper, Dacre double trillium, Rats Hollow doubles and —in particular, Mufferaw bloodroots, which he says are “immense.”

Arnprior’s Ottawa Valley storyteller Bernie Bedore regaled readers and listeners with his accounts of the bigger than life exploits of Mufferaw Joe, based on French Canadian folk hero Joseph Montferrand, legendary for his strength, size and exploits.

Like Bedore, Carson is also a great storyteller and his plant hunting and photography have brought international recognition to the Ottawa Valley.

A Stittsville resident, he lectures frequently, leads field trips and conducts workshops. Last year he received the prestigious Award of Merit from the Ontario Horticultural Association for his work with Trilliums. We’re proud that he’s a 10-year member of our own Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club.

Brian Carson’s presentation, a virtual tour of the Valley, will cover the discovery of floral treasures found hiding in plain sight —perhaps, near you.

Don’t miss: Treasures of the Ottawa Valley – Trilliums

When: Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Arnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior

Cost: Meetings (and presentations) are free for Club members and $5 for guests.

Guests are welcome at this and every meeting of the Macnamara Club.