O Canada! Our home and native land. A luscious land full of beautiful blooming flowers. The humble maple leaf is the most recognized national symbol, but let’s not forget our our provincial and territorial flowers! These floral emblems represent the diversity and beauty of our glorious nation.
Alberta: Wild Rose
The Wild Rose was chosen by school children in 1930 as the official flower of Alberta. This hardy and fragrant flower can be found all over Alberta, including the Rocky Mountains. They are a source of food for humans and wildlife. The rose hips, the fruit of the plant, can be made into jams, syrups, and tea.
British Columbia: Pacific Dogwood
The Pacific Dogwood was adopted in 1956. These flowers are actually clustered white leaves surrounding a bunch of tiny green flowers. The tree and the flowers are protected by law, which means the tree cannot be cut down. The red berries are a source of food for animals.
Manitoba: Prairie Crocus
The Prairie Crocus was chosen in 1906 to represent Manitoba. This hairy perennial is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. But be careful not to ingest it, as it is known to be poisonous. It contains toxins that can slow down your heart rate and might kill you.
New Brunswick: Purple Violet
The Purple Violet was adopted in 1936. These flowers are very versatile; they are edible raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, desserts and teas. They are rich in vitamins A and C. And because they smell nice, they are used in perfumes.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Pitcher Plant
Photo credit: http://www.sd71.bc.ca
The Pitcher Plant was adopted in 1954. It is a carnivorous plant that gets its nutrients from the insects it traps inside the “pitcher-like” leaves. Insects fall into the pitcher and drown in the rainwater that is collected at the base of the plant.
Nova Scotia: Mayflower
photo credit: bloomingwriter.blogspot.ca
The Mayflower was chosen in 1901. This flower was named after the famous ship that carried settlers to the New World. It is one of the first flowers to appear in the spring. The mayflower is distinguished by its hairy leaves and fragrant, pink or white waxy flowers.
Ontario: White Trillium
The White Trillium was adopted in 1937. This odorless plant is composed of three petals and three leaves. They start off as white flowers and turn pink as they age. Trillium is one of the many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
Prince Edward Island: Pink Lady’s Slipper
This flower from the orchid family that also happens to look like a slipper was adopted in 1947. Lady slippers are so rare that in some places, it is illegal to pick them. It can take up to 16 years to produce their first flowers. In addition, the growing condition is so specific that transplanting them will not guarantee success. They need plenty of light, moisture and high acidity. Specifically, they thrive where there is fungi.
Quebec: Blue Flag Iris
This flower replaced the white lily in 1999 as the floral emblem of Quebec. This flower is commonly found in the wetlands. It thrives best in moist conditions and requires practically no maintenance. The roots are poisonous to humans and animals. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The sap can also cause rashes in some individuals.
Saskatchewan: Western Red lily
This prairie lily was chosen in 1941 to represent Saskatchewan. In some states, this flower is considered to be endangered. In Saskatchewan, this floral emblem is protected by law, meaning it cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any manner. Deer grazing may be a reason why the population of these flowers is on the decline.
Northwest Territories: Mountain Aven
This official flower was adopted in 1957 and is a member of the rose family. As the name implies, the mountain aven can be found in the mountains. The rooting stems grow horizontally, allowing the plant to grow in the rocky terrain. They bloom within weeks of the melting snow, producing white, cream or yellow flowers.
Nunavut: Purple Saxifraga
Adopted in 2000, this edible flower is commonly found in the Arctic. It is one of the first plants to bloom in the Arctic spring. These little purple flowers are picked for food, especially in communities where berries are scarce. They are sweet tasting and can relieve gastric problems. The stems and leaves can be used to make tea.
Chosen in 1957, this floral emblem gets its name due to the fact that it is one of the first plants to grow in area after a fire. They can grow in a variety of conditions, but can be commonly found in burned forests and avalanche areas. Fireweed leaves and young shoot tips are edible, raw or cooked. They can be good source of Vitamins C and A. They can be used in salads, soups or teas.