Like the United States, the provinces of Canada each have an official flower. The flowers that represent each area are, for the most part, native to that portion of Canada or a source of regional pride. While each province established its flower choice at different times in the 20th century, the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act of 1988 insured that each of the provinces' representative flowers would be protected from poaching and picking.
Selected as Alberta's flower, wild rose (Rosa acicularis) is usually pink and grows in a shrub that tops out around 4 feet tall. The flower blooms in early May with a 1-inch blossom.
Native to North America, Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is found throughout Canada and the United States, as far south as southern California. A small tree, growing to about 15 feet high, it has small, white flowers.
With its bright blooms of red and even orange in the middle to late summer months, the western red lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is one of the most striking plants in this region. The bloom can be found on the flag of Saskatchewan.
Considered the signifier of spring, the Prairie crocus (Anemone patens) is often the first plant to blossom in northern climates, even when snow is still on the ground.
The three-leafed white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) with a small white flower goes by several names including: ground lily, wood lily and Indian shamrock. A long-living plant, it is found in moist and fertile woods. This edible plant was used as an antiseptic by the Native Americans.
The blue flag (Iris versicolor) grows near water, with stems that can reach more than 4 feet tall. The blue-purple flower is very fragrant and attracts bees and hummingbirds.
The purple violet (Viola cucullata) is also the state flower of four American states. This violet is found in patches of new grass. Traditionally a violet-colored blossom, the plant now is available in several new hybrid colors that have been developed and are even seen in the wild.
The Mayflower (Epigaea repens) is named after the famous ship that brought the pilgrims to North America. The small white or pink flower clusters appear from March to May, often before the last snow has fallen. It is a very fragrant and fragile plant.
Prince Edward Island
An ornate orchid, the lady slipper (Cypripedium acaule) has slipper-shaped pouches that trap insects--not for consumption, but to ensure the insects collect the plant's pollen and help propagate the species. In the United States, the plant is called the moccasin flower.
Newfoundland and Labrador
A carnivorous plant, the pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) has cupped leaves that trap water, then lure insects to their doom. A strange-looking plant, it is related to the better-known Venus flytrap.
An attractive flowering plant, the fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a perennial that grows in open fields, often after the field has been ravaged by fire. As long as it can find space and light, it will grow, but as larger plants shoot upward, the fireweed cannot compete and so dies off. The flowers are numerous dark pink blossoms.
Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala) is an Arctic flowering plant with a cream-colored blossom that resembles a wild rose in bloom. The flowers grow in large colonies low to the ground, creating a beautiful carpet of white.