Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

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Largeflower Bellwort – Uvularia Grandiflora: Not-so Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fairy Bells of Wild Plants

Largeflower bellwort – Uvularia grandiflora

Largeflower bellwort (uvularia grandiflora) has limited human uses, perhaps the most so of any plant I’ve covered so far. But this is a wonderful plant for spring pollinators, I had to bump it up the list. Large-flowered or largeflower bellwort (uvularia grandiflora) is common in deciduous woods on rich leafy hummus. I see it along …

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Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Opium of Wild Plants

Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.

In Chippewa, odjici’gomin refers to Canada wild lettuce (lactuca canadensis), one of many edible and medicinal wild lettuces (lactuca spp.) you’ll find in Ontario. They are often confused with chicory, dandelion or sow thistles, but fortunately these tall wild lettuces have no poisonous lookalikes. Although, at a glance rattlesnake roots have a similar look and height. …

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Alternate-leaved Dogwood – Cornus Alternifolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bee Shrub of Wild Plants

Alternate-leaved Dogwood - Cornus Alternifolia

In Chippewa, muj’omij meaning “moose plant”, alternate-leaved dogwood is one of our many cornus spp. Dogwoods aren’t just edible and medicinal, nor just for the moose. They are one of the main allies of our native bees. Alternate-leaved dogwood (cornus alternifolia) is common in central Ontario, especially around forest edges. Its relation red osier dogwood (cornus stolonifera) …

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American Wintergreen – Gaultheria Procumbens: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Other Snowberry of Wild Plants

American Wintergreen - Gaultheria Procumbens

In Chippewa, wini’sibugons’  meaning “dirty leaf”, American wintergreen is often called Eastern tea berry now. It’s edible and medicinal, but you have to mind the amount you use because the oil is toxic if overdosed. Similar to Aspirin, just a tsp of pure wintergreen oil is the equivalent of 21 and a half adult aspirins. American …

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Spring-Beauty – Claytonia Caroliniana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fairy Spuds of Wild Plants

Spring-beauty - Claytonia caroliniana

In Anishinaabemowin, miiaatikwek piniik, spring-beauty is one of our first spring flowers. It’s a small, striped edible and medicinal ephemeral and one of our first available bee foods. It even has its own specialist bee, the spring beauty miner. You might see non-natives like crocus and coltsfoot bloom first in the spring, before our bees even …

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