The Ottawa National Forest Botany Program includes the following components:

  • Rare plant conservation: surveys, population monitoring, protection recommendations, biological evaluations, some species recovery efforts with Toumey Nursery (for example, dwarf bilberry, Douglas hawthorn).
  • Non-native invasive plants: education, prevention efforts, survey, treatment, Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area.
  • Management Indicator Species--cutleaf toothwort: surveys, evaluation.
  • Celebrating Wildflowers Program: public outreach through school and visitor center presentations, wildflower walks, etc.
  • Native plant program: goal is to increase use of local native plant materials in revegetation and restoration; cooperative program with Toumey Nursery, trying to engage local growers.
  • Botanical forest products: part of special forest products program, to provide permits for sustainable harvest of products such as balsam boughs, sheet moss, landscaping transplants, and others.

Quick facts:

  • over 1000 vascular plant species on the Forest
  • about 240 moss and liverwort species
  • about 200 lichen species
  • no information on fungus diversity
  • about 60 Regional Forester’s Sensitive plants, most have fewer than 10 populations on the Forest
  • no federally threatened or endangered plants
  • 10 high priority invasive plants
  • 10 new invader invasive plants
  • Rash-producing plants to be aware of: poison ivy, cow and wild parsnip, stinging nettles




Celebrating Wildflowers

For the past several years, the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and others join many public groups to celebrate the diversity of flowering plants and plant habitats found on the Nation's public lands.

National Celebrating Wildflowers events are posted on the NatureWatch Homepage, beginning each April. The Celebrating Wildflowers Hotline runs April 1 through August 31, at which time it will become the Fall Foliage Hotline, running through mid to late November. The number for both hotlines is 1-800-354-4595.

Celebrating Wildflowers--Wildflower Week commemorates a season long festival highlighting wildflower education, interpretation, and restoration activities on the 640 million acres of land managed by these four agencies.

On the Ottawa National Forest, Celebrating Wildflowers events are mostly held in conjunction with the North Woods Native Plant Society.  Eight field trips are scheduled for 2010, starting in late May.

While many wildflower species are already in bloom on more southern forests, the Ottawa so far is only recording pussy willows and aspen catkins.  Spectacular blooms of spring ephemerals such as trilliums, spring beauty, Dutchman's breeches and toothwort usually appear in May.  

US Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website