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Displaying 141-159 of 159 results
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Cactus

Succulent plants of the family Cactaceae which consists of approximately 1600 species in 104 genera.

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Plant Breeding

Plant breeding is an applied science, in which knowledge of genetics, pathology, plant physiology, statistics, and molecular biology are used to modify plant species for human needs or preferences.

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Forest Regions

A forest region is a major geographic belt or zone characterized by a broad uniformity both in physiography and in the composition of the dominant tree species. Canada can be divided into eight forest regions.

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Boreal Zone

The boreal zone is Canada’s largest vegetation zone, making up 55 per cent of the country’s land mass. It extends from Yukon and northern British Columbia in the west to Newfoundland and Labrador in the east. While much of the region is covered by forest, it also includes lakes, rivers, wetlands and naturally treeless areas. The boreal zone is home to diverse wildlife, and is crucial to maintaining biological diversity, storing carbon, purifying air and water, and regulating the climate. With more than 2.5 million Canadians living in the boreal zone, the forest also provides these rural communities with jobs and economic stability.

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Irish Moss

Irish moss is a type of seaweed that is commercially harvested in Canada’s Maritime provinces. It is mainly composed of carrageenan, a gelatinous substance. Carrageenan extracted from Irish moss is used as a thickening and gelling agent in foods and other products. It is also used to clarify beverages such as beer.

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Coniferous Trees

Sometimes called evergreens, most coniferous trees keep their foliage year-round. There are over 600 living species of conifers, and while there is some debate over how many are native to Canada, the number is approximately 30.

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Maple Trees in Canada

Maples are trees and shrubs in the genus Acer, previously classified within the maple family Aceraceae, but now placed by some taxonomists in Sapindaceae (Soapberry family), which also includes horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastaneum). There are approximately 150 species of maple around the world, most in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, and the majority native to eastern Asia. Ten maple species are native to Canada, perhaps the best known being sugar maple (Acer saccharum) of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. The Canadian flag displays a stylized maple leaf, and maple is Canada’s official arboreal emblem. Maples are not only important to Canada symbolically, they are also ecologically and economically significant.

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Trees

Trees are single-stemmed, perennial, woody plants taller than 3 m and exceeding 8 cm in diameter at breast height; shrubs are multistemmed and smaller. These definitions are somewhat arbitrary, since many species (eg, willow, alder, cherry, maple) can grow as trees or shrubs, depending on the environment. Counting the 30-odd shrubs that assume tree form under favourable conditions, there are about 140 native Canadian trees.

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Cedar

Cedar, in Canada, refers to evergreen conifers (genus Thuja) of the cypress family (Cupressaceae).

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Oak

The Oak (Quercus) is a genus of trees and shrubs of the beech family (Fagaceae). Of the estimated 200 species found worldwide, 75-80 occur in North America and 10 in Canada.

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Birch

Birch (Betula), genus of trees and shrubs of birch family (Betulaceae). About 50 species are found in Arctic and northern temperate regions worldwide

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Endangered Plants in Canada

A species is endangered if there are threats to its survival. Plants are put at risk for several reasons, including: climate change and the loss of natural habitat to cities, agriculture and industry. In Canada, these activities threaten entire natural ecosystems, such as older forests and Prairie grasslands. As of 2021, 250 plant species are at risk in Canada, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. In addition, four are extirpated and one is extinct. The committee’s definition of a wildlife species includes taxonomic categories as well as geographically distinct populations. For example, the bent spike-rush (Eleocharis geniculate) is included on the list of at risk plant species twice, as there are two different populations, one in British Columbia and one in Ontario, facing different threats to their survival. (See also Endangered Animals in Canada.)

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Walnut

Walnut (Juglans), genus of trees of the walnut family (Juglandaceae). The roughly 15 known species are widely dispersed through temperate and tropical regions.

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National Parks of Canada

Canada’s national parks are protected areas established under federal legislation to preserve Canada’s natural heritage. They are administered by Parks Canada, a government agency that evolved from the world’s first national parks service, the Dominion Parks Branch, established in 1911. The National Parks System Plan, developed in 1970, divided Canada into 39 natural regions and set the goal of representing each region with at least one national park. Canada now has 48 national parks and national park reserves in 30 of these regions. In total, the parks cover more than 340,000 km2, which is over 3 per cent of Canada’s landmass. They protect important land and marine habitats, geographical features and sites of cultural significance. National parks also benefit local economies and the tourism industry in Canada.

(This is the full-length entry about National Parks of Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see National Parks of Canada (Plain-Language Summary).)

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Forestry

Forestry is the science and practice of caring for forests. Both the meaning and practice of forestry in Canada have evolved over time.

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Traditional Plants and Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Indigenous peoples in what is now Canada collectively used over a 1,000 different plants for food, medicine, materials, and in cultural rituals and mythology. Many of these species, ranging from algae to conifers and flowering plants, remain important to Indigenous communities today. This knowledge of plants and their uses has allowed Indigenous peoples to thrive in Canada’s diverse environments. Many traditional uses of plants have evolved to be used in modern life by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike. (See also Indigenous Peoples’ Medicine in Canada.)

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Moss

Moss is a small terrestrial plant, usually less than 10 cm tall, that lacks true conducting tissues (xylem, phloem) and has a dominant gametophyte (sexual) generation. Mosses are the largest and most highly developed group of division Bryophyta (which also includes liverworts and hornworts). Bryophytes are sometimes known as the “amphibians of the plant world” because of their dependence on water for sexual reproduction. There are over 10,000 species of moss worldwide, of which about 1,250 are found in North America. Individual parts of Canada have fewer species (e.g., 466 species in Alberta, 445 in Newfoundland, 430 in Ontario). Mosses thrive in humid climates, and coastal parts of Canada have a greater diversity than the interior parts.

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Potato Wart Disease

Potato wart disease, also called potato canker, is a fungal disease of potato sprouts, eyes and stolons. The disease is caused by the soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum. Potato wart disease poses no danger to human health or food safety, but it can impact local economies as the disease can reduce yield and effect economic regulations, such as potato exports. (See also Agricultural Economics.)