The watershed of the Meduxnekeag River in New Brunswick is home to a significant part of the province’s remaining stands of Appalachian Hardwood Forest, a forest type not found elsewhere in Atlantic Canada. AHF is similar to tolerant hardwood forests normally found further south and west – in New England and Quebec –  and contains many flowering plants and ferns rare or uncommon in New Brunswick. Some of these rare and uncommon species are relatively widespread in the watershed’s remnant AHF stands; others are known from only a few locations.

The following very rare, rare, or uncommon (provincial designations) AHF species are known from the Meduxnekeag watershed:

Pointed Leaf Tick Trefoil

(Desmodium glutinosum)

is extremely rare in New Brunswick, known from only one site: Bell Forest. Flowering in mid-summer on the north bank of the Meduxnekeag.

Bottlebrush Grass

(Hysrtrix patula)

gets its name from its seedhead shape. Listed as very rare by the New Brunswick Committee on Endangered Species, one of its four known New Brunswick sites is in the Meduxnekeag watershed.

Canada Violet

(Viola canadensis)

a very rare species, flowering in June, six of whose seven known New Brunswick locations are in the Meduxnekeag watershed.

Black Snakeroot (Fragrant Snakeroot)

(Sanicula odorata)

 is known from only five sites in New Brunswick, all in Carleton county, three of them in the Meduxnekeag watershed. Listed as very rare.

Black Snakeroot (Large-fruited Snakeroot)

(Sanicula trifoliata)

is similar to the above, also very rare, known from three Meduxnekeag sites and three elsewhere in New Brunswick.

Northern Wild Comfrey

(Cynoglossum boreale)

very rare in New Brunswick, known from fewer than eight sites, one in the Meduxnekeag watershed

Nodding Fescue

(Festuca verticillata)

very rare; known from only four New Brunswick sites, one in the Meduxnekeag watershed

Plantain-leafed Sedge

(Carex plantaginea)

very rare in New Brunswick, known from several Meduxnekeag locations including Bell Forest where more than a dozen separate clumps flourish on and beside the old woods road.

Showy Orchis

(Galearis spectabilis)

rare in New Brunswick, most of its ten known sites are in the Meduxnekeag watershed. Flowers in early June.

Wild Leek

(Allium tricoccum)

rare in New Brunswick; grows in several locations in the Meduxnekeag watershed.

Lance-leafed Grape Fern

(Botrychium lanceolatum)

rare in New Brunswick, known from two Meduxnekeag sites.

Pubescent Sedge

(Carex hirtifolia)

rare in New Brunswick; four of its seven known locations are in the Meduxnekeag watershed. Found in Bell Forest.

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Sprengel’s Sedge

(Carex sprengelii)

rare in New Brunswick; known from several Meduxnekeag watershed sites.

Goldie’s Fern

(Dryopteris goldiana)

rare in New Brunswick, known from several Meduxnekeag locations including Bell Forest. One of the largest woodland ferns.


(Dirca palustris)

 rare in New Brunswick, this shrub grows in several Meduxnekeag forest sites, sometimes reaching 3 metres in height.

Wild Coffee

(Triosteum aurantiacum)

 rare in New Brunswick with most known sites in the Meduxnekeag watershed; abundant in both Bell Forest and Leonard Woods.

Black Raspberry

(Rubus occidentalis)

rare in New Brunswick, found in many Meduxnekeag locations, favouring forest edges and high canopy – along the woods road in Bell Forest and the Black/Orange trail down the hill in Leonard Woods are good locations.

Round-leafed Hepatica

(Hepatica nobilis)

rare in New Brunswick; one of the earliest spring flowers, often blooming in late April; known from a handful of Meduxnekeag locations.

Yellow Lady’s-slipper

(Cypripedium calceolus)

 this large orchid is uncommon in New Brunswick, but abundant in several sites in the Meduxnekeag watershed, sometimes forming large colonies of many blooming plants.

Wild Ginger

(Asarum canadense)

is uncommon in New Brunswick, and abundant in many sites in the Meduxnekeag. Its distinctive low-growing heart-shaped leaves conceal purplish-brown recumbent flowers in May. Forms low mounds or patches of many plants.

Blue Cohosh

(Caulophyllum thalictroides)

is uncommon in New Brunswick; abundantly scattered in many Meduxnekeag hardwood forest sites; inconspicuous yellowish flowers in late May and June are followed by showy blue berries in the fall, often remaining on the stem over winter.


(Polygala senega)

uncommon in New Brunswick; found in several Meduxnekeag sites, usually along the shorelines, sometimes in exposed rocky outcrops rather than in the forest.


(Phryma leptostachya)

uncommon in New Brunswick; known from several locations in the Meduxnekeag, including Bell Forest.

Maidenhair Fern

(Adiantum pedatum)

uncommon in New Brunswick, this delicate lacy fern flourishes in many Meduxnekeag sites, often in large patches

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The following plant species are considered common; found in many forested sites in the Meduxnekeag and elsewhere in New Brunswick; usually though not always in tolerant hardwood forest. Some, of course, are more commonly found than others. Some, like bloodroot, are abundant in certain areas like the Meduxnekeag watershed but not found at all in some other parts of the province. Others, like spikenard, are considered to have “conservation significance”, without actually falling into the very rare, rare, or uncommon categories


(Aralia recemosa)

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(Arisaema triphyllum)

June flowering, with three leaves and a separate flower stalk; flower is green streaked with purple outside and purple inside. Prefers rich hardwood forests and moist, often streamside, sites. Some plants produce a tight cluster of red berries in late summer.


(Sanguinaria canadensis)

flowers abundantly in many Meduxnekeag locations in May; perhaps best seen from a canoe along the north bank of the river between Red Bridge and the old railway bridge. Also very abundant at the entrance to Bell Forest.