Black Spruce (Picea Mariana)
Conifers are perhaps more readily associated with winter, but plants are of course amazing all through the year.
Black Spruce tips may be harvested in spring to make an infusion that is high in vitamin C and excellent for lung health.
To identify it in the field, Black Spruce has shorter needles than White Spruce which coincides with it in much of its range.
Nettle (Urtica Dioica)
Stinging Nettle is an amazing plant whose spines provide a safe nursery (and food source) for Red Admiral Butterflies.
Lesser known fact: in spring, the leaves are largely free of spines and may be harvested to make a delicious soup.
It tends to grow in clumps in Ontario and some leaves may easily be harvested, leaving the rest of the patch to host butterfly larvae.
Harbinger of Spring (Erigenia Bulbosa)
Harbinger of spring is exactly that, a very early (and very rare in southern Ontario) small native wildflower that grows in the understory of undisturbed forests.
There is no obvious human utility to this plant, but plants should not need to be useful to be valued.
Keep your eyes open on the trails this spring, make sure you don't step on one by mistake! If you see one, you are amongst the few and the privileged!