Massif des monts Sutton BioKit: seasons

Red trillium, Painted trillium, Yellow trout lily, Dutchman’s breeches, Carolina spring beauty, Large false Solomon’s seal (Photos: © Isabelle Grégoire)

Operation Charm

The first weeks of spring are crucial for springtime plants, which undergo most of their life cycle then. The plants take advantage of the maximum amount of sunshine at ground level to grow and bloom rapidly before tree leaves block out most of the light.

In the springtime, try to see some of these treasures that abound in the maple forest.

If you were a pollinator, what would attract you to these flowers?

Eco-friendly tip

Please do not pick them! Many of them must grow 5 to 10 years before producing their first flower!

Did you know that...

The leaves of the red trillium smell like raw meat, which attracts flesh flies -- an effective strategy to ensure pollination!

Downy serviceberry. Photo: © John Ruter, University of Georgia,

From season to season...

I am the serviceberry. Like other trees, I sleep all winter long. When springtime comes around, I grow sweet flowers that feed the starving pollinators. Since I am unable to travel, these wonderful allies enable me to reproduce.

During the summer, the sun helps me grow, and I feed those craving my delicious tiny fruit. In the fall, I lose my leaves and have a well-deserved rest.

It is the cycle of seasons. 

Different shapes of seeds: cone (Illustration: © Isabel Julian), helicopter, exploding capsule, berries, parachute (Illustrations: © Isabelle Grégoire)

Taking Over New Ground

Plants have many ways of dispersing themselves. For example, maple seeds are housed in a wing-shaped structure that enables them to travel. Do you think humans and animals can spread seeds?

Look around you and look under your shoes. Do you see a seed or fruit that is illustrated here?

Experiment: Throw a seed or fruit that you find and observe what happens. How do you think these seeds and fruit travel?

Draw a seed or a fruit.

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