Did you know that there is no “official” national flower for Canada?
Isn’t it time, during our 150th birthday, that we had an official national flower for Canada?
Although we have an official tree, the generic “Maple” tree, there are only about 10 native Maple species in Canada out of 150 worldwide, and of these, none are found in all parts of Canada.
The Master Gardeners of Ontario decided to launch a search for a pan-Canadian flower. One that appears in every province and territory, and is not already a provincial or territorial emblem. With help from Todd Boland, Research Horticulturist at Memorial University of Newfoundland, we came up with the following three choices:
Which one would you vote for as Canada’s national flower?
The nominees are:
1) Hooded Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana)
Unique spiraling flower spike marks this genus;
Found in open wet areas – meadows, bogs, marshes – in every province and territory;
Fragrant flowers from July to Sept on 10 to 50 cm stems;
Food source for native bumblebees all through summer.
2) Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)
Delicate but tough! “borealis” – of the north;
Found in forests, wetlands all over Canada;
Reproduces mainly by spreading stolons;
Fragrant flowers on 15 cm stems for one week in June, attract native bees;
Winter forage for caribou.
3) Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Changes with the seasons – just like Canada!
White flowers in spring, red berries in summer, great red-purple fall colour;
Very common in forests and wetlands all over Canada;
Creeping form, 10 to 20 cm tall, great as a native groundcover;
Pollinators include native bumblebees and solitary bees;
Berries are food source for small and large mammals, migratory birds;
Winter forage source for caribou, moose, elk, deer.