Canadian $20 bill may not be Canadian

by | Jan 18, 2013 | Biz/Tech


Norway maple leaf to the left and the Canadian maple leaf to the rightCOURTESY Wikicommons

Norway maple leaf to the left and the Canadian maple leaf to the right
COURTESY Wikicommons

Sara Yonis


The new $20 bills that have been circulating since early November have caused quite a stir among Canadians.

According to some botanists the leaf is not a maple leaf at all, but is in fact a maple leaf from a Norwegian tree.

Senior analyst and media relations for the Bank of Canada Julie Girard stands by the $20 bill’s look.

“The hope is that this design will appeal to many different Canadians’ perceptions of a Canadian maple leaf, regardless of what species may be more prominent in their area of the country.”

Girard also wants to make it clear that the leaf on the bill isn’t from Norway.

“It is not a Norway Maple Leaf, we consulted a dendrologist. A dendrologist is a scientist who specializes in the branch of botany that deals with trees and shrubs. To create an image that represents a maple leaf but not a specific species, specifically not the Norway maple.”

Dr. Bruce Ford, a University of Manitoba professor and a Canadian Botanical Association director, can point the differences between the two leaves.

“The maple leaf on the right hand side, the one that is sort of translucent, the one that’s see-through that appears to be what I would call a Norway maple. It has more lobes than a typical sugar maple does, so it is looking Norway maple-ish.“

Still Bank of Canada representative Girard said that the leaf was the bank’s own creative idea.

“With the help of a subject matter expert (dendrologist) created a unique stylized design of a Canadian maple leaf much like the design on our National Flag is a stylized image of Canadian species of maple leaves.”