Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada

Plants

The total flora of Kejimkujik consists of about 544 species of vascular plants. This includes 23 species of ferns, about 15 species of orchids and about 37 aquatic species. Ninety species are woody plants.

Kejimkujik lies in a zone where northerly and southerly forest elements overlap. Common species and rare alike are protected here. Trails allow you to visit different habitats without damaging them. You can help to preserve the plants by staying on the trails and leaving the flowers for others to enjoy. Look, touch, and smell, but please don't pick the wildflowers of Kejimkujik.

Ferns

Sensitive fern Sensitive fern
© Parks Canada

Kejimkujik contains 23 fern species including some of the most common ferns, as well as some of the very rare ones. Among the more common species are Cinnamon fern, Bracken fern, and New York fern.

Rare in Kejimkujik are Oak fern, Dwarf chain fern, Bog fern and the very tiny, inconspicuous Curly-grass fern. Dwarf chain fern is quite rare in Nova Scotia and has been found only once in Kejimkujik in a wet Red maple woods beside a brook.

Orchids

Kejimkujik is home to many orchid species. These plants are unique in the fact that their seeds are without stored food. A few of our special orchids are the Common lady’s-slipper, Rattlesnake plantain, Early and Spotted coralroot. Many lakeshore orchids are also found here.

Common lady’s-slipper

Blooming in June in our open softwoods, this orchid is one of our most beautiful. It takes the lady’s-slipper several years to store enough energy to produce a flower so it is extremely important that you don’t pick these wildflowers.

Rattlesnake Plantain

This orchid blooms from late July to August. It makes its home in our softwoods and mixed woods. When the flowers of this orchid dry up the seeds rattle inside their pods, giving it its name “rattlesnake” plantain.

Coralroot

Calopogon Calopogon
© Parks Canada

The coralroots are the only members of the orchid family native to Nova Scotia that are without chlorophyll and depend upon the decomposing remains of other plants for sustenance.

Two distinct species occur in Kejimkujik. The Early coralroot blooms in June. In July, the Spotted coralroot can be found in hemlock stands.

Unusually high summer water levels along river banks and lakeshores do not discourage the blooming of these plants. Nearly immersed plants will sometimes be seen bravely flowering, the terminal flower just above the surface.

Along our lakeshores you can see Calopogon, Rose pogonia, and Small green orchid.

Spring Wildflowers

Star-flower Star-flower
© Parks Canada

Woodlands, lakeshores, shallow stillwaters are all the homes of Kejimkujik’s wildflowers. The park features many differing habitats in which a diversity of flowering plants are able to survive.

The peak blooming time for our spring wildflowers occurs from late May through June. A visit to Kejimkujik in early June is well worth the trip as you will be able to see most of our beautiful spring wildflowers.

Hardwood forests feature blue violet , star-flower, rose twisted-stalk and cancer-root. Mixed woods host the most species: Bunchberry, Clintonia, Twin-flower, Painted trillium and Goldthread.

Boglands, along lakes and rivers, blush pink with Rhodora, while a closer look reveals Bog rosemary, Pale laurel and Large cranberry.