Can You Identify These Canadian Plants and Trees?

By: Deborah Beckwin
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Western Red Cedar What tree is the arboreal emblem of British Columbia?
Plains cottonwood
Western red cedar
On February 18, 1988, the western red cedar (Thuja plicata) became British Columbia's tree. These massive trees can grow over 195 feet tall. It's an important tree for the province and the West Coast First Nations.
Engelmann spruce
White elm

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Lodgepole Pine The name of what tree denotes what First Nations people used it for?
Lodgepole pine
A staple of Alberta's forestry industry, the lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) became the province's official tree on May 30, 1984. Historically, this particular tree is significant because it was used to create railway ties that linked Alberta to Eastern Canada. First Nations people have had a variety of uses for the lodgepole pine, including using it to create their lodges and homes, for food and medicine.
Subalpine fir
Tulip-tree
Ponderosa pine

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White Birch The sap from which tree can be used to make beer?
Pussy willow
White birch
White birch (Betula papyrifera), also known as canoe birch or paper birch, became the provincial tree of Saskatchewan in 1988. Like the mountain paper birch, it's known for its peeling bark that can be used as kindling. Birch beer is a non-alcoholic soft drink.
Redbud
Ohio buckeye

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White Spruce What tree's wood is integral to Canada's construction lumber industry?
Western white pine
White spruce
White spruce (Picea glauca), also known as Canadian spruce and skunk spruce, was adopted as the provincial tree of Manitoba on July 5, 1981. You find this tree all over Canada except on the Pacific Coast.
Pawpaw
Eastern white-cedar

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Northern Red Oak What tree is known to provide excellent firewood and a number of other wood products?
Dwarf chinquapin oak
Plains cottonwood
Northern red oak
Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) became Prince Edward's silvan emblem in 1997. With this tree, even if you were to cut it down, it may not actually be dead. You may see shoots growing from the stump.
Pacific bayberry

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Pacific Dogwood Which flowering tree can you find near Douglas-fir and western hemlock trees?
Pacific dogwood
Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), also known as mountain dogwood, was made British Columbia's official flower in 1956. Primarily, you can find this tree in southwestern British Columbia. Peak blooming months for this tree are April and May.
Harebells
Wood poppy
Foamflower

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Wild Rose What flower can you find on an Alberta license plate?
Aster
Dense-flowered lupine
Trout lily
Wild rose
The wild rose (Rosa acicularis), also known as prickly rose, became Alberta's official flower in 1930 after it was chosen by schoolchildren. This flower is found all along the Pacific Coast and in Canada's boreal forests. Peak blooming season is from the late spring to early summer.

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Prairie Crocus What flower can be harmful if ingested fresh but medicinal in a dry form?
Bearberry
Pearly everlasting
Prairie crocus
The prairie crocus (Pulsatilla patens), also known as the pasqueflower, was chosen by schoolchildren to be Manitoba's official flower on March 16, 1906. You can see this flower as one of the first signs of spring, even if there is still snow on the ground.
Bloodroot

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Mayflower What flower is known to be one of the first signs of spring in eastern Canada?
Mayflower
The Mayflower (Epigaea repens), also known as trailing arbutus, became Nova Scotia's floral emblem in 1901. Ants love the berries that this plant produces and the blooms provide a sweet, pleasant smell.
Harebells
Bog labrador tea
Purple prairie clover

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Purple Pitcher Plant What provincial flower is carnivorous, trapping and eating insects?
Lady's slipper
Purple pitcher plant
The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) became Newfoundland and Labrador's floral emblem in 1954. It's also on Newfoundland's penny thanks to Queen Victoria. You can find this plant growing everywhere in Canada except in the more colder territories of Nunavut and Yukon.
Harebells
Aster

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Mountain Avens What flowering evergreen bush is related to the wild rose?
Foamflower
Blue flag iris
Mountain avens
Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala) became the Northwest Territory's official flower in 1957. It specifically grows in rocky, mountainous regions.
Bog willow

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Purple Saxifrage What territorial flower is primarily found in cold and mountainous places?
Spotted Joe-pye weed
Northern bush honeysuckle
Purple saxifrage
In 2000, the purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) became the territorial flower of Nunavut. You find this edible flower growing in rocky places all over the territory.
Virginia creeper

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Mountain Paper Birch What tree with a light-colored, peeling bark can you find all around Eastern Canada?
American beech
Black oak
Balsam willow
Mountain paper birch
The mountain paper birch (Betula cordifolia) is also known as the eastern paper birch or the mountain white birch. This tree has a distinctive, thin bark that peels.

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Showy Orchid What flower is known to be pollinated by the bumblebee?
Sundrops
Bog labrador tea
Showy orchid
The showy orchid (Galearis spectabilis) can be found in Eastern Canada, specifically in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario. You can typically find this flower blooming in the spring and early summer. The showy orchid is usually found in more shaded areas in the woods.
Pallas' wallflower

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White Trillium What flower is popular with gardeners and is primarily found in Quebec and Ontario?
Blue flag iris
Northern bush honeysuckle
White trillium
White trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) became Ontario's floral emblem in 1937. You can also see this flower on Ontario's provincial flag. You'll see this flower bloom in the springtime.
Common sunflower

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Bog Labrador Tea Bush What bush is known for its medicinal and culinary uses?
Bog Labrador tea
Bog Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) also known as Hudson's Bay tea or Greenland tea can be found in the boreal forests of Canada. The leaves and flowers can be steeped into tea, and the leaves can be used to spice meats and other dishes. The leaves also have quite a number of medicinal uses including alleviating and treating colds and as a pain reliever.
Spreading chervil
Common bluet
Fly-trap dogbane

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Little Evening Primrose What flower attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies?
American spikenard
Little evening primrose
Also known as small sundrops, little evening primrose (Oenothera perennis) can be found growing in most provinces (except Alberta) of Canada. This plant blooms from late spring into the late summer months.
Virginia creeper
Bloodroot

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Pallas Wallflower What flower is seen mainly in alpine or arctic climes?
Pallas' wallflower
Pallas' wallflower (Erysimum pallasii) can be found primarily in the mountainous areas of British Columbia, Alberta, and in the three territories of Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest. This shrub blooms mainly in late spring and summer.
Common sunflower
Wood poppy
Trout lily

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Yellow Birch What bark of this tree can be used as kindling for fires?
Arbutus
Cranberry viburnum
English oak
Yellow birch
The yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), also known as Merisier (meaning wild cherry tree in French) became Quebec's provincial tree on November 17, 1993. When this tree's twigs and leaves are scratched or rubbed, you can smell the scent of wintergreen.

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Red Spruce What tree used to be used to make chewing gum?
Whitebark pine
Pitch pine
Pacific crab apple
Red spruce
The red spruce (Picea rubens) became Nova Scotia's silvan emblem in 1988. The chewing gum, called spruce gum, was created in the 19th century. The wood of the red spruce is typically used for stringed instruments like guitars and violins.

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Pink Lady's Slipper What flower can actually cause a severe skin irritation in some people?
Red columbine
Pink lady's slipper
Pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule) became Prince Edward Island's provincial flower on April 25, 1947. You can find this flower everywhere in Canada, even further north in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, except in British Columbia. This type of orchid blooms in late spring.
Pearly everlasting
Trout lily

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Eastern White Pine In colonial times, what tree provided ship masts for the British Royal Navy?
Creeping juniper
Douglas fir
Eastern white pine
The Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), also known as northern white pine, became Ontario's provincial tree on December 31, 1990. This tree has multiple uses including as lumber and medicine.
Balsam fir

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Nodding Trillium What plant has white blooms that are easy to miss because of its large leaves?
Nodding trillium
Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum), also known as whip-poor-will flower can be found as far west as Saskatchewan and as far east as Newfoundland. This flower blooms mainly in the springtime, from April to June.
Inkberry
Wild calla
Wild sarsaparilla

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American Ginseng What plant is exported to China for traditional medicine purposes?
Pacific black snakeroot
Green dragon
Canada columbine
American ginseng
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has been shown in studies to positively affect neurocognitive functioning. This plant's status is threatened in Quebec and endangered in Ontario.

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Red Fruit Bearberry What plant's name is based on who likes to eat it?
Northern bush honeysuckle
Red fruit bearberry
The red fruit bearberry (Arctostaphylos rubra) means just what it says -it's a berry that bears (and other animals) like to eat. Humans can eat it, too (mainly First Nations people). You can find this plant in the alpine and arctic regions of Canada.
Golden alexanders
Western poison oak

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Sand Cherry What plant is a part of the rose family?
Sand cherry
The sand cherry (Prunus pumila) is also known as the dwarf sand plum as far west as Saskatchewan and as far east as Quebec. As the name suggests, you can this plant in sandier places, like along the Great Lakes. The fruit is edible for humans, but wildlife typically eats them more.
Skunkbush
Narrowleaf water-plantain
American water-willow

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Blue Flag Iris What flower has often been used medicinally but has poisonous rootstocks?
Milkweed
Canadian holly
Blue flag iris
In 1999, the blue flag iris (Iris versicolor Linné) was chosen to be Quebec's official flower because the previous flower, the Madonna lily (a stylized version of the fleur-de-lis symbol on the Quebec provincial flag), was not native to the region. You can see this flower all across Eastern Canada.
Wood poppy

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Black Spruce The wood from which tree is used to make chopsticks for takeout?
Black spruce
The black spruce (Picea mariana) became the provincial tree of Newfoundland and Labrador in May 1991. You'll find this as one of the main trees of Canada's boreal forests. Its twigs and needles are used to create an essential oil.
Yellowwood
Red mulberry
Pussy willow

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Purple Prairie Clover What plant needs fires to clear space for it to grow?
Lapland poppy
Western thrift
Henderson's shooting star
Purple prairie clover
The purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) is a misnomer. It's not actually clover, but part of the legume family because its fruit is a bean pod. You can find this plant in Central Canada, from Alberta to Ontario.

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Purple Violet What flower's leaves can you add to your salad and get a boost of vitamins A and C?
Brittle prickly pear
Nodding trillium
Sand cherry
Purple violet
In 1936, the purple violet (Viola cucullata) was chosen as the provincial flower of New Brunswick. Also known as blue marsh violet or meadow violet, you can see this flower bloom across Eastern Canada.

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Bur Oak If you're looking for shade, what tree would you want to sit under?
Bur oak
The bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is a massive tree that can grow up to 160 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide. Its large leaves (up to 12 inches long) provide a dense canopy and lots of shade. You can find this tree growing from Alberta to Quebec.
Canada elderberry
Pacific madrone
Bebb's willow

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Balsam Fir What tree's resin is the basis of Canada turpentine?
English holly
Balsam fir
The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) became New Brunswick's provincial tree on May 1, 1987. The balsam fir's wood fibers can produce premium quality paper, and its sap is used to make glue, soap, and candles.
Downy hawthorn
Eastern red elderberry

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Trembling Aspen What is the most widely distributed native tree in North America?
Button-bush
Trembling aspen
The trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) is also known as the golden aspen because of the golden color its leaves turn during autumn. This tree can be found all over Canada including the territories.
Bur oak
Canada plum

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Jack Pine What tree's scientific name is named after British botanist Sir Joseph Banks?
Largetooth aspen
Jack pine
Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), also known as Hudson Bay pine or grey pine can be found in provinces and territories in Canada. Jack pine is another tree used for Christmas trees. It's also used to make railroad ties, telephone poles, and lumber.
Basswood
Butternut

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Western Hemlock What tall conifer helps to grow some tasty fungi, chanterelles?
Blue ash
Eastern cottonwood
Eastern redcedar
Western hemlock
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) is found in Alberta and British Columbia. Not only does the western hemlock help to grow different kinds of chanterelles, but the tree's needles can also be steeped for tea, and its cambium can be eaten. The bark also has a high amount of tannins, useful for tanning leather.

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Western Red Lily What flower is especially toxic to cats?
Azure bluet
Western red lily
The Western red lily (Lilium philadelphicum), also known as the wood lily, became Saskatchewan's floral emblem in 1941. Due to forest fires and humans encroaching on its natural habit, this flower is an endangered species and is now protected.
Spotted Joe-pye weed
Aster

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Eastern White-Cedar What evergreen tree is commonly known as arborvitae?
Red oak
White aspen
Eastern white-cedar
The eastern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) has many names including swamp cedar and false white cedar. Arborvitae was the name given by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. This tree is primarily found in provinces from Manitoba to Nova Scotia and has many medicinal and commercial uses.
Sycamore maple

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Fireweed What territorial flower tends to be the first to bloom after a fire?
Bloodroot
Canadian holly
Common sunflower
Fireweed
In 1957, the fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) became the Yukon Territory's official flower. It's also known in Canada as great willowherb. Most of the fireweed is edible, including blooms, stems, and roots.

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Subalpine Fir What tree located in western Canada makes a great Christmas tree?
Eastern redcedar
Pumpkin ash
Subalpine fir
Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) became Yukon's arboreal emblem in 1991. First Nations people have used this tree for traditional medicinal purposes. Commercially, this tree is used for lumber, pulp, and boxes.
Western yew

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Tamarack What tree's name comes from the Algonquin word that means "wood used for snowshoes"?
Red alder
Tamarack
Tamarack (Larix laricina) has many names including eastern larch and hackmatack. Tamarack is one of the rare deciduous conifers (meaning it can shed its needles). This tree was made the silvan emblem of the Northwest Territories on September 9, 1999.
Ponderosa pine
Scarlet oak

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