Plant scavenger hunt

Welcome to the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Plant Scavenger Hunt! Below is a list of 25 plant species present in town. Your goal is to use the clues provided to find each plant and take a picture with it to share. Check the map to make sure you are looking in the right spots! Be careful, some plants bloom in early summer (May/June) and others in late summer (July/August). So keep your eyes open, this scavenger hunt could take a whole growing season to complete! 

A big thanks goes to Vanessa Poirier (BSc AgEnv '21) for coming up with the clues!

A picture of a woman with a small plant.

PDF icon McGill Herbarium plant scavenger hunt with answers

ClueNo. Plant riddle
1 I am a tree who loves water. One of my cousins (sharing my genus) was featured in Disney’s Pocahontas. My leaves are 12 cm long and thin, with tiny teeth along the margin. In June you may see me with long yellow catkins, either male or female depending on my gender. I live on McGill campus by the lake, next to Tadja Hall. Who am I? Answer


I am a vine. My purple flowers are arranged in towers of about 20. Each flower has one petal that is at least twice as big as the others, called a banner petal. My leaves are compound, each leaflet being about 1 cm long and lanceolate. You can tell that I am a vine by the way my leaf stems curl at the end. Who am I? Answer


I am a shrub that grows berries so dark they look black. But don’t eat them! Unless you want a laxative, of course. All my veins extend to the tops of my leaves. My leaves are finely toothed and opposite/sub-opposite. I dominate the shore at Paddle Mac. Who am I? Answer


I am a giant tree! I love the water and I usually live there with a few friends just like me. My leaves are simple, toothed, and alternate. Not to mention they are shaped like triangles! I don’t go to school but I live on McGill property, right on the shore of Lac St.Louis. Who am I? Answer


I am a tiny perennial plant, hidden between short blades of grass. My flowers are purple and arranged in a whorl. My leaves are like little bumpy hearts but some are so rounded they look like a completed circle. Like others in my family, my stems are square and my flowers are composed of two lobed petals (one being larger than the other). I live on McGill property, in the field next to Lac St.Louis. Who am I? Answer


People call me a weed since I’m a little plant that grows on roadsides. My leaves all emerge from the base along with one lone yellow flower with 5 petals. My leaves are toothed and the underside of each leaf is grey, while some might call it silver. I live on the edges of the parking lot in the front of John Abbott College. Who am I? Answer


I am a special tree, you won’t see any other with leaves like mine. My leaves can be compared to hand-fans with a little dent in the middle. They are also simple and alternate. My species bears smelly fruits on some trees and pollen on others. I am a pollen tree, so sniffing the air won’t help you find me! I live on John Abbott campus, between Britain Hall and a picnic table. Who am I? Answer


I am a tree with a most noticeable trunk. My bark is thin and peeling; if you were to take a piece it would seem like paper. My leaves are alternate, oval, and toothed. I live on John Abbott campus, between Britain Hall and the parking lot. Who am I? Answer


I am an invasive species, I look like a sugar maple but often have 7 lobed leaves instead of 5, with samaras/helicopters that do the splits. I live next to the street with my namesake, where students enter John Abbott College campus. Who am I? Answer


I am a shrub with paired flowers, although they appear in bundles of four. My flowers are yellow, my petals are fused, bell-shaped, and most often pointing downwards. My leaves are oblong and get wider as you near the top. Not to mention I am hairy; my leaves, my stems, and my flowers. I live on the shore of Lac St. Louis in front of the Ju Jitsu gym. Who am I? Answer


I am a plant with tiny (3 mm) white flowers. My flowers each have 4 petals and are born on racemes. My leaves are alternate, arrow-shaped and sessile, in fact, the base slightly cups the stem. I grow straight up towards the sky. I live along the streets of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, including Lamarche. Who am I? Answer


I am a short plant (so short that I am level with the grass!). My leaves are toothed and slightly separated into 5-7 lobes. Each leaf curls around itself, making it appear almost like a complete circle. My white flowers appear like cones made of 5 petals that each look like they have a dent at the tip of it. I make cheeses but I am not a cow! I live on the road-side of a few residential streets, including Saint-George. Who am I? Answer


I am a bright plant. My purple flowers bloom in towers, and my pink stamens stretch beyond my petals, tasting the air like a snake’s tongue. All along my stem are dots of red and hairs of white, so if you touch me I will poke you. I live next to the 20 highway, right before the bridge and at the train station you can see me too. Who am I? Answer


I am a tree but I can pass as a shrub at times. In my species, females have fussy red horns of fruits. My leaves are toothed and numerous, in the fall they are bright red; they are compound leaves with up to 22 leaflets per leaf! I frequent roadsides and disturbed areas but in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, I am next to the parking lot under the bridge. Who am I? Answer


I am plant with white flowers, I bloom in the summer. My leaves are deeply lobed, with 3-5 lobes per leaf. Each lobe also has three tips to it, every tip being toothed. My flowers are composed of 5 petals that spread out evenly. Also, my namesake is quite patriotic. I live in Parc Gidon, near the water. Who am I? Answer


I am a tree with many sessile leaflets (11-17) and hairy stems. Some might call me soft as butter though the edges of my leaves aren’t smooth. If you wait for Fall, you can taste one of my walnuts. I enjoy the breeze of the lake next to my home in Parc Gidon. Who am I? Answer


I am a plant that doubles as a vegetable, one that is similar to a carrot--but don't touch my leaves because I will give you a burn. My leaves are compound, toothed, and lobed. My flowers are tiny and yellow and present in umbels. I live along the bike path, just past highway 40. Who I am? Answer


I grow in big patches with others like me. Our round, opposite leaves cover the ground like a mat. Each one of us has a pair of whitish pink flowers, like two little bells pointing down. I live in the forest, pressed up against a fence. You can see me if you follow the bike path over highway 40. Who am I? Answer


I am a common shrub that grows delicious red berries. If you pick me, you can bake me into a pie, but be careful, my stem is prickly with thorns. My leaves are compound, containing 5 leaflets each which are all double toothed and sessile. If you touch them, they’ll feel fuzzy. I live between the bike path and a fence, right before you turn onto Pine street. Who am I? Answer


I am the only coniferous plant that sheds its needles in the winter. My short needles (2-5cm) are present in bundles of 15-60. My cones are also short, no bigger than 20 centimeters and only having 20 light brown scales. I live on Pine street, along the gravel road leading to the Morgan Arboretum. Who am I? Answer


I am a common tree. My cousin is featured on the Canadian flag, but unlike them, the lobes on my leaves are separated by deeper grooves. If you look closely, you’ll see that these grooves end in a point, like the letter ‘V’. I live in the Morgan Arboretum, around the picnic tables and bird feeders. Who am I? Answer


I am a fern. My pinnae are unlike others since my pinnae seem fused, each only hinting at individual pinnules. I do not grow in circles like some other ferns and my spores are present on separate fertile fronds, in brown, bead-like segments. Though my name suggest differently, I am not sensitive. I live in the Morgan Arboretum, near the beginning of the orange trail. Who am I? Answer


I am a tree with bark as smooth as a sandy grey beach. My leaves are narrowly oval and 6-14 cm long. If you follow my veins, each one will lead you to a large tooth. I produce edible nuts although they’re encased in bristly shells. I live in the Morgan Arboretum, in fact, at the beginning of the orange trail is a forest that I dominate. Who am I? Answer


I am a shrub with big leaves. My leaves are opposite, double-toothed, ovate, and shaped like hearts. My buds look like hands pressed together to prey. In the spring I have beautiful white flowers and in the fall I have red berries. I live in the Morgan Arboretum, down the orange trail and near the swamp. Who am I? Answer


I am a tree with bark like no other. It is peeling off everywhere on my trunk, so much that some might describe it as shaggy. My leaves are compound and finely toothed with 5 leaflets on each stem. I live in the Morgan Arboretum, scattered along the orange trail. Who am I? Answer

Map to location of plants in the riddles

Refer to the map above to find the home of each plant with a clue!


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