Canada’s prairie province, Saskatchewan, is home to countless plants and herbs. Located between the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba, Saskatchewan’s prairie life makes it a popular location for botanists and herbalists alike. Depending on the time of year, unique and ancient plant species can be found throughout the land. Does this Spark an idea?
Saskatchewan boasts 25 species of native orchids including Amerorchis, Calypso, Goodyera, Cypripedium, Liparis, Listera and Plantanthera. The flowering times for these orchids range from late May to the middle of August. Each native orchid species is terrestrial. One particular species, Corallorhiza, is saprophytic meaning that it does not possess chlorophyll but rather derives its nutrients from decaying organic material.
Saskatchewan’s unique climate has initiated adaptations in some of its native plants. In response to their nutrient-deficient environment, carnivorous plants consume insects to provide them with additional nitrogen. These types of plants can be found mostly in wet areas such as bogs, especially the acidic bogs in the boreal forest. While these plants rely on insects for pollination, they will also consume the insect whenever possible. Species include Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia.
Wild native herbs can also be found throughout the province of Saskatchewan. These herbs have been used for centuries as flavoring agents in cooking as well as in natural remedies and curatives. Native Saskatchewan herbs include coriander, cumin, fennel, dill and milk thistle amongst many others. According to the Government of Saskatchewan, native berry crops are already a significant export while herb and spice crops are becoming increasingly popular. Currently, Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s largest producers of caraway and coriander.