Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella Bursa-pastoris: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Another Mustard of Wild Plants

Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella Bursa-pastoris

Shepherd’s purse is the second-most prolific wild “weed” in the entire world (polygonum aviculare/pigweed is #1). In cottage country Ontario it’s not that prolific, but you can still find this edible and medicinal mustard. Shepherd’s purse (capsella bursa-pastoris) may be found around here on dry sandy sites and moist wooded roadsides. I’ve only found it …

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Eastern Hemlock – Tsuga Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Porcupine Tree of Wild Plants

Eastern Hemlock - Tsuga Canadensis

In Chippewa, gaga’gimie, eastern hemlock is also called gaagaagiwanzh meaning “porcupine, his tree“. It’s a tree beneficial to countless wildlife with many edible, medicinal and craft uses. Eastern hemlock (tsuga canadensis) can be found in moist hardwood forests. I haven’t seen any on the 1 or the 100 acre I frequent, but I know people …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Common Hop – Humulus Lupulus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Not Just Beer of Wild Plants

Common Hop – Humulus Lupulus

Common hops isn’t that common here, but you may find this edible and surprisingly medicinal plant near where old timers booze stills were hidden. Around Haliburton you may find hops randomly on a dry gravelly roadside. Where I tend to find it is on old farmsteads that were once home brewing. It’s still uncommon here, …

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