A Canadian botanist, Sean Blaney told Reuters on Friday, The Bank of Canada have been using wrong maple leaf on new $20, $50 and $100 Canada banknotes. He said 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 center 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."
In August 2012, The Bank of Canada had to apologize after news broke that it replaced the picture of an Asian lab assistant on its new C$100 banknote with a woman who looked more Caucasian. Focus groups said Asians should not be the only group represented. Critics then accused the bank of racism.