A few words will not be out of place by way of preface to the List of Common Canadian Plants contained in the following pages. It will be observed that the List is confined to wild plants, the exclusion of cultivated Species having been determined on, partly because of the difficulty of knowing where to stop when an enumeration of them has once been entered upon, and partly because it was thought that, on the whole, more important results would be attained by directing attention exclusively to the denizens of our own woods and fields. What is really desired is, to create among our young people an interest in the Botany of Canada, and it seems not unreasonable to hope that this end may be better attained by placing within their reach some such handy volume as the present, dealing only with such plants as grow spontaneously within our limits.
The great majority of the plants described have been personally examined, and their occurrence verified, by the writer, his observations having been directed to what may fairly be regarded as representative districts of the older Provinces, but special acknowledgments are also due to Prof. Macoun, of the Geological Survey, for the free use of his valuable notes, and other friendly assistance.
Whilst diligence has been exercised that no commonly occurring plant should be omitted, yet it can hardly be that such omissions do not occur, and the writer will be most grateful to any observers into whose hands the List may come, if they will kindly draw his attention to any such defects, so that they may be remedied in subsequent editions.
The Classification and Nomenclature adopted are very nearly those of the Sixth Edition of Dr. Gray's Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, and the writer most gratefully acknowledges the great assistance he has received from the admirable descriptions in that work.
Except in a very general way, no attempt has been made to define the limits of the range of the various Species, as observations tend to show that the range, in many cases, is undergoing constant alteration from various causes. When, however, a Species has appeared to be confined to a particular locality, mention has been made of that fact, but, as a rule. Species known to be of rare occurrence have been excluded Characters considered to be of special importance in the determination of the various Species have been emphasized by the use of italics, and where the Species of a Genus, or the Genera of an Order, are numerous, a system of grouping according to some prominent character has been adopted, so as to reduce the labour of determination as much as possible.
To assist the non-classical student, names which might be mispronounced have been divided and accentuated, the division having no reference whatever to the etymology of the words, but being simply based upon their sound when properly pronounced.
. It need hardly be added that the writer's Elements of Structural Botany is designed to be the constant companion of the present Flora, in the hands of the young student, for the explanation of such technicalities as he may not have previously mastered.
Barrie, November, 1883.