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University of Guelph


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Culturally Significant

GRIPP Mingan Thistle Parks Canada

Many plant species are considered culturally significant by contributing in one way or another to a specific culture, community, custom or belief system. For example, in Canada the sugar maple is considered culturally significant to many due to its importance during maple syrup production as well as prominence in our landscape during autumn, which in turn has led to its placement on the Canadian flag. In addition to sugar maple, there are many lesser known plant species considered to be culturally significant in Canada. These species are integral to maintaining a specific cultural landscape (i.e. Alvar, Carolinian forests or Garry Oak eco-regions). Additionally, these landscapes as well as specific species found within are crucial for aboriginal peoples through their incorporation into specific cultural beliefs and practices.

Did you know?

Mingan Thistle is a culturally important species in Quebec.

GRIPP Mingan Thistle Parks Canada
  • The closest neighboring population to the Quebec population is 3,500 Km away in southern British Columbia and Alberta.
  • It is believed that the Quebec population has been separated since the last ice age deglaciation, representing a genetically isolated relict population.
  • In Quebec the Mingan Thistle was first named in 1924 by Brother Marie-Victorin, a notable Canadian botanist who founded the Montreal botanic Garden in 1931 and created an inventory for all of QuebecÍ›’s plants in 1935.
Find out more about what GRIPP is doing to conserve Mingan Thistle populations

Golden Paintbrush is a culturally significant species with Canadian populations representing ~ 20% of the global population.

GRIPP Golden Paintbrush Castilleja levisecta
  • The ‘golden’ yellow color produced by its inflorescence contributes significantly to prairie and meadow landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, being the only flowering species possessing this color.
  • This species is a larval host for Taylor’s checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori) an endangered butterfly which is a subspecies to Edith’s checkerspot (Euphydryas editha).
Find out more about what GRIPP is doing to conserve Golden Paintbrush populations