It is easy to take our native Canadian plants for granted, considering we see them every day. These plants might appear to be less interesting or exotic, or simply be mistaken for weeds. However, Canada has many beautiful native plants that are crucial to maintaining its delicate ecosystem. These plants attract insects that play an important role in the pollination process and allow gardens to flourish.
Get out in your neighborhood and appreciate the local plants that are helping it thrive. These plants have also been involved in Canadian history and culture. Knowing your local and native plants is part of being a responsible gardener. Here’s our top five Canadian plant picks that we can all enjoy.
#1: Sugar Maple
The sugar maple leaf shape is well-known throughout the world as the symbol of Canada. These trees can grow up to 35 meters tall and live for hundreds of years. They prefer sun along with rich and well-drained soil. These beautiful trees play a vital role in the economy, as French Canadian maple syrup and maple taffy are staple products.
#2: White Pine
These sturdy trees played an important part in British Empire history as they were used for shipbuilding. Canada’s trade-based economy relied on ships to transport goods to and from Europe. Native to Ontario, white pines can grow up to 30 meters tall.
#3: Paper Birch
In British Columbia, you’ll find this slender tree that grows in a variety of soils. Paper birch is a staple food for animals during the winter like deer and moose, as well as a habitat for birds. For Canada’s First Nations peoples, paper birch was an essential resource to make canoes, baskets, and cradles.
#4: Okanagan Sunflower (Balsam Root)
Found only in British Columbia, this flower was used extensively by First Nations peoples as a source of food. Now its bright yellow blossoms cover the hillsides and the flower is the symbol of the city of Kelowna.
#5: Douglas Fir
This evergreen conifer is native to western North America and flourishes all across the Rocky Mountain region extending into Latin America. Douglas fir has been economically important throughout Canada’s history as a source of lumber. The tallest Douglas firs can tower over 140 meters and flourish in acidic soil.
If you want to learn more about how to support Canada’s incredible native plants, we can help. Soil Advocates Inc. is at the cutting edge in eco-conscious landscaping and gardening practices. We’re leaders in everything from promoting urban green spaces to sustainability and conservation.