Several botanists recently concluded, Canada’s new plastic banknotes feature Norwegian maple leaves instead of the Canadian sugar maple leafs.
They debated that the leaf shown bore more sections and had a more pointed outline that the average Canadian version. The new maple leaf can be found on the new C$20, C$50 and C$100 notes, which were introduced in November.
Canada’s iconic red maple leaf image appears on its flag, government logos and countless other branding.
“It’s our national symbol – it’s stunning that we continuously get it wrong,” University of Ottawa professor Julian Starr told a renowned Canadian TV channel.
The differences between the two are – the Norway maple has five main lobes and the tips are stringy while Canada’s sugar maple leaf has just three lobes and the tips are not stringy.
Norway maple trees were introduced to North America in the 1800s but are considered invasive and have been banned in at least two US states. Canada has 10 native maple species.
The Bank of Canada dismissed criticisms, saying the leaf is not Norwegian but rather a “stylized Canadian maple leaf” and does not represent any specific species of tree.
The polymer banknotes have also faced criticism for not working in many vending machines.