Many of our familiar trees – Aspen Poplar, Paper Birch, the pines and spruces – appear in this book. Fascicle 5 combines Saskatchewan’s conifers with trees and shrubs that bear catkins. Catkins are specialized groupings of flowers that many will know as the downy buds on bare branches of Pussy Willows in early spring, or the fluff-filled ‘caterpillars’ that litter the ground beneath poplars and cottonwoods.
Conifers and catkin-bearing trees and shrubs are ubiquitous in the province: spruces and pines in the Cypress Hills, willows around sloughs in the grassland, aspens in bluffs in the Aspen Parkland, and birches, alders, Beaked Hazelnut and Sweet Gale throughout the boreal forest region. And, in se Saskatchewan, Burr Oak reaches the northwestern edge of its North American range. Saskatchewan hosts 53 native species in these two groups, 29 of which are willows.
The goal of this amply illustrated guide is to show the differences among families and genera, and provide the tools for identification of plants to genus and species. These tools include keys, descriptions, drawings, distribution maps and a glossary of botanical terms. The background provided in this book should lead to increased familiarity with key structures, and to greater ease and accuracy of identification.