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Canada’s new plastic banknotes with the wrong maple leaf

Saturday, January 19th 2013 - 03:16 UTC
Full article 49 comments
The Norway maple was imported from Europe and is now also common in North America. The Norway maple was imported from Europe and is now also common in North America.
Botanist Sean Blaney who tracks Canadian plants spotted the mistake: on the right the sugar maple Botanist Sean Blaney who tracks Canadian plants spotted the mistake: on the right the sugar maple

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 dollar 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 said, adding that 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 centre 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.

”It is not a Norway maple leaf. It is a stylized maple leaf and it is what it ought to be,“ said Bank of Canada currency spokesman Julie Girard.

She said the banknote designers created the image with the help of a dendrologist, a botanist who specializes in trees and shrubs.

”On the advice of this expert, steps were taken to ensure that the design of the leaf in the secondary window is not representative of a Norway maple,“ she said, adding that it was less rectangular than a Norway maple.

Blaney is not buying the explanation. ”I think it's just an after-the-fact excuse,“ he said.

”That may have been their intention, to not have it be a specific species of maple, but they should have drawn it differently if that were the case, because the maple that they've drawn is quite clearly a Norway maple.”
 

Categories: Economy, International.

Top Comments

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  • Marcos Alejandro

    O Canada!
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for the real maple tree.

    Jan 19th, 2013 - 06:59 am 0
  • lsolde

    Does it really matter?
    lts still a Maple Leaf.
    Some people are just so pedantic.
    Btw- the US currency has a pyramid on it. so?

    Jan 19th, 2013 - 09:54 am 0
  • Anglotino

    They look great and were invented and are printed by an Australian company.

    Actually I drive past Note Printing Australia every day where these notes are produced. A great Australian invention and export.

    The Queen appears on our $5 note (pink) and our green note is $100.

    http://banknotes.rba.gov.au/ausbanknotes.html

    Jan 19th, 2013 - 10:31 am 0
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