Fireweed – Epilobium Angustifolium: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fire-friend of Wild Plants

Fireweed - Epilobium Angustifolium

In Chippewa, oja’cidji’bik meaning “slippery root”, fireweed (epilobium angustifolium) derives its common name from colonizing the charred sites of wildfires. It’s an edible and medicinal plant that is native to Ontario. Fireweed (epilobium angustifolium syn. chamerion angustifolium syn. chamaenerion angustifolium) is common along roadsides, in logged bush, and in fire scourged acres here in central …

Read more

Field Penny-cress – Thlaspi Arvense: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Jet Fuel of Wild Plants

Field Penny-cress – Thlaspi Arvense

Field penny-cress is a slightly edible and medicinal plant may have a future in renewable fuels. Field penny-cress (thlaspi arvense) is listed as uncommon in Haliburton Flora. It is sometimes found along roadsides or on old farmland mixed in with tall grasses. It prefers disturbed areas, so even though it’s not native here it’s not …

Read more

Pipsissewa – Chimaphila Umbellata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bitter Wintergreen of Wild Plants

Pipsissewa - Chimaphila Umbellata

In Chippewa, ga’gige’bug meaning “everlasting leaf” for its evergreen-ness, “pipsissewa” is a Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi name meaning “It-breaks-into-small-pieces”. It’s one of my favorite edible and medicinal plants to observe blooming in the wild. The delicate umbrella like flowers are unique here. Pipsissewa (chimaphila umbellata) is uncommon here, and may be found in sparsely wooded, usually rocky areas. I typically …

Read more

Coneflowers – Echinacea SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Trendiest of Wild Plants

Coneflowers - Echinacea SPP.

In Chippewa,  gi’zuswe’bigwa’is meaning “it is scattering”, who hasn’t heard of coneflowers AKA echinacea? It’s one of the biggest fads in herbal medicine in recent decades. But are the claims about echinacea legit or overblown hype? Friend or fad? I’ll admit I’ve taken echinacea at the first sign of sniffles before. It’s one of if …

Read more

Giant Hyssops – Agastache SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Hummingbird Mint of Wild Plants

Giant Hyssops - Agastache SPP.

In Chippewa, weza’wunuckwuk meaning “yellow plant”, referring to yellow giant hyssop, we have a few native agastache in Ontario. Rarely seen in the wild, they are a popular addition to pollinator gardens and they also have edible and medicinal uses for humans! Giant hyssops (agastache SPP.) are absent from Haliburton Flora although a few are native …

Read more

Pearly Everlasting – Anaphalis Margaritacea: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Moonshine of Wild Plants

Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis Margaritacea

In Chippewa, wa’bigwun meaning “flowers”, pearly everlasting is a unique looking edible and medicinal plant. While not used much these days for food or medicine, it’s still a hit for American Lady butterflies and florists alike. Pearly everlasting (anaphalis margaritacea) is especially common along roadsides and damp ditches. It’s named for its pearly colored flower …

Read more