An indigenous Spring-blooming flower, the Blue Flag Iris, Iris versicolor linné, grows throughout more than half of the province. The flower, upon which the heraldic fleur-de-lis is based, has long been considered an emblem of Québec.
Bird - Snowy Owl
Adopted in 1987 by the National Assembly, the Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca, nests in the tundra regions of northern Québec. Unlike other owls, the Snowy Owl is not necessarily nocturnal and hunts both day and night, surviving mainly on lemmings. In selecting the Snowy Owl as a symbol, Québec joined a national movement to protect the environment and wildlife of Canada.
In 1987, Canada replaced its $1 bill with a coin. Featured on the 'tail' side of the coin is a swimming loon, very similar to the one pictured above, but without the riding infants. The nickname 'Loonie' was quickly applied to the coin and remains to this day.
Tree - Yellow Birch
Since the early days of colonization, the Yellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensis Britton has played a vital role in the furniture industry of Québec. Found in abundance throughout the southern regions of the province, the Yellow Birch is not only admired for its beauty and functionality as a wood product, but also for the brilliant orange-yellow leaves which appear in Autumn.