Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival - 2019
Tobermory, ON Canada
Just outside of Tobermory on the Northern Bruce Peninsula, where the Georgian Bay meets Lake Huron, some 44 species of orchid are celebrated with a popular annual festival. Located in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve, the abundance of orchids and rare wildflowers on offer are among the most diverse on the continent, growing amidst some of the oldest trees on east of the continent. Photographers and naturalists leads workshops and walking tours over the weekend-long event.
Orchids & Wildflowers of the Bruce Peninsula
The Bruce Peninsula is home to 44 species of orchids, of which 2 species are not native to the area (they are likely escapees from gardens). But the botanical richness of the Bruce extends well beyond orchids. An overall large diversity of wildflowers can be found on the Bruce, including globally rare species such as Lakeside Daisy and Dwarf Lake Iris. This area is also renowned for its diversity of ferns, totalling about 3 dozen species. In addition, old-growth cedars reaching hundreds of years in age grow on the cliff faces and alvars of the Bruce Peninsula. Despite their gnarly and stunted appearance, these are the oldest trees in eastern North America.
What wildflowers can you expect to see during the festival?
Wildflower blooming dates vary from year to year depending on weather, but you can expect to see several orchid species blooming on festival weekend, as well as a number of other wildflowers. These include some of the most sought-after species: Calypso Orchid (Flowerpot Island only), Ram’s Head Lady Slipper, Yellow Lady Slipper, Striped Coralroot, Lakeside Daisy, Dwarf Lake Iris (global endemic) and Fringed Polygala. The Festival will give you a good introduction to the diversity of wildflowers on the Bruce, and you’ll need to make return visits throughout the spring, summer and early fall to see the full range of species found here.
The Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival is located on the northern Bruce Peninsula, based out of the town of Tobermory. The Park Visitor Centre, just off Highway 6 on Chi-Sintib’dek Road, is the festival headquarters. Here you can register for the festival,