Flowerpot Island - Unique Landforms of North America

Flowerpot Island is named for two sea stacks thought to resemble flowerpots.
Flowerpot Island is named for two sea stacks thought to resemble flowerpots.

Flowerpot Island is an island that is located in the Georgian Bay, which is located in the province of Ontario in Canada. The island, which is a part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park, has a distance of about 1.3 miles from east to west while the distance from north to south is approximately 0.93 miles. In terms of size, Flowerpot Island has an area of approximately 0.77 square miles. The island’s name comes from the two rocks structures that resemble flowerpots lying on the eastern shore. Currently, only two rocks remain but they used to be three until 1903 when one of them tumbled.


The flowerpots are broadly categorized as a sea stack. By definition, a sea stack is a geological formation that is formed by wave erosion. These features are characterized by proximity to the sea and a usually vertical steep column or columns of rock. To form a sea stack, the process requires plenty of time, wind, water, and other erosional processes in coastal regions. This erosive action works on a headland until a sea stack is formed. In the case of the flowerpots on the island, wind, waves, ice, and rain worked on a cliff that used to stand close to the water until the features were formed. The lower parts of the structure are made up of weaker softer rock, which is why the base is narrower compared to the topmost part. Another reason why the bottom part is narrower is that more geological process act on it compared to the top part.


According to a legend from the Indian tribes of the Chippewa and Ottawa, there were once two young people from the two enemy tribes that fell in love. At first, they hid their love from other clan members until they were discovered. Upon discovery, they attempted to flee the island with the tribe members in hot pursuit. The nearest place of refuge was Flowerpot Island. However, a violent crash petrified the two lovers at the beach entrance thus forming the two features.


Naturally, the uniqueness of the island ensures that it is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. The island can be accessed from Tobermory (which lies on the Bruce Peninsula) by rigid inflatable boats or via cruises. Visitors are able to enjoy several activities such as hiking, sightseeing, and camping. Aside from the island itself, visitors can also visit other sites within the bigger Fathom Five National Marine Park such as the various shipwrecks, water caves, other islands, and lighthouses.


The island has some unique plant and animal life although the variety is not that diverse. Animals living there include the likes of garter snakes and red squirrels. One of the plant species that is unique only to the island is the mature sugar maple plant. The delightful calypso orchid, which also known as the fairy slipper, also grows in Flowerpot Island from mid-May to early June. Other nearby islands within the park have other plant and animal species such as deer, rattlesnakes, and bears on Cove Island.


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