Woodland Plants

The other day I took a hike on the Norway Trail. There are places on the trail where the Wintergreen grows in big swaths.

Wintergreen gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens

This plant stays evergreen all winter under the snow. When you crush a leaf between your fingers, you can smell the wintergreen scent. Some places on the trail where there is a lot of sunshine, the Wintergreen has turned a dark burgundy color.

Bog Cranberry

Bog Cranberry, Vaccinium oxycoccos

Fragrance Fern

And this plant that we call Fragrance Fern, I don’t think that’s what its called. I can’t find it in any of my books by that name. The crushed leaves of this plant have a pleasant scent. They’ve turned to a bright orange color.

Gray Jay

There seems to be an influx of Gray Jays coming in to the area. There’s always the resident Jays all summer, but in the fall their numbers increase. This curious Gray Jay was travelling by himself.

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4 Responses to Woodland Plants

  1. Hang on to your hats up there! They are talking about strong winds here in southern MN, too. Love your blog. Catch it every day. First time commenting though. My husband and I are bird watchers, too. Never been to Crane Lake area, but visit Grand Marais and Gunflint Trail area and Duluth quite often. A little less this year because of the gas. Please continue blogging. Always interesting and informative. Great pics, too.
    Vern and Cindy Krienke
    Waterville, MN
    LeSueur County

  2. Steve Ring says:

    I think the “Fragrant Fern” is called SweetFern or Sweet-fern in most of the books. Its scientific name is comptonia peregrina. The Sierra Club “Naturalist Guide for the North Woods” also lists myrica aspenifolia as an alternate name.


  3. Vacation says:

    Very cool! Thanks Steve. I’ve got another mystery plant the Purple Fairy Tongue. I can’t find any information. See my most recent post.

  4. Steve Ring says:

    I think this coral fungi is probably clavariadelphus ligula. That is a big “probably” since I am not a mushroom expert, and I am only looking at a picture. It is called “Strap Shaped Coral” in some sources (not nearly as interesting as “Dancing Earthworms”). Check out this link:



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