OTTAWA, (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada has barked up the wrong maple tree with its new plastic banknotes, using a foreign Norway maple leaf as the emblem on the notes instead of the sugar maple that the country has on its national flag, an eagle-eyed Canadian botanist says.
The untrained eye might not at first spot the difference between the maple leaf on the new $20, $50 and $100 bills and the North American sugar maple.
But it is clear to Sean Blaney, a botanist who tracks plants for the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre in New Brunswick, and who brought it first to the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The maple leaf (on the currency) is the wrong species,” he told Reuters yesterday.
He said the Norway maple has more lobes or sections and has a more pointed outline than the sugar maple, and the lobe that rises in the center is shorter than the sugar maple’s.
The Norway maple was imported from Europe and is now also common in North America. Blaney said it was probably the most popular tree along streets in central and eastern Canada. “It has naturalized to Canada,” he said. But it’s not the grand sugar maple.
The central bank said the image on the new bills was purposefully designed not to represent any specific species but rather to be a combination of various kinds.