The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

Dear Wood Folk, We’ve covered a tinier iris before: blue-eyed grass. It’s a miniature lookalike you might find in your lawn around cottage country Ontario. Our title iris on the other hand can grow close to a few feet tall. Common along wetlands here, Northern blue flag (Iris versicolor) is our native blue flag iris. …

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Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne Calyculata: Edible & Alt Uses of the Sun Tea of Wild Plants

Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne calyculata

Leatherleaf (chamaedaphne calyculata) is common around Haliburton, Ontario, in bogs and on the edges of wetlands. This shrubby evergreen plant is often walked past, but if you notice it and get close you may see its white bell shaped flowers covered in ants. If you see leatherleaf, you’re in a wetland! The flowers may remind …

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Beggarticks – Bidens SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Burr Marigolds of Wild Plants

Beggarticks – Bidens SPP.

Beggarsticks (bidens spp.) may look like flowers to choke on, but they are more edible and medicinal than they appear. We currently have around half a dozen species of beggarticks (bidens spp.) in Haliburton county, Ontario. But the only one I’ve noticed is devil’s beggarticks (bidens frondosa). It’s fairly common in waste areas, sand flats …

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Bogbean – Menyanthes Trifoliata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Marsh Clover of Wild Plants

Bogbean - Menyanthes Trifoliata

Bogbean AKA Buckbean (menyanthes trifoliata) is native to Ontario and found in wet, boggy habitats. It’s used for brewing and medicinally. Bogbean is closely related to gentian and it shows. Called buckbean in Haliburton Flora, bogbean (menyanthes trifoliata) is uncommon here. It likes sphagnum mats in bogs and shallow, boggy edges of small lakes, and …

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Bog Myrtle – Myrica Gale: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bay Leaf of Wild Plants

Bog Myrtle - Myrica Gale

Sweetgale AKA bog myrtle (myrica gale) is edible and medicinal, but it can induce an abortion. So excited moms-to-be will want to stick with enjoying its beauty and the beauty of the gorgeous moths who use it as a host plant. Sweetgale AKA bog myrtle (myrica gale) is common in central Ontario, in shores and …

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Water Horehounds – Lycopus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Culvert Mint of Wild Plants

Water Horehounds - Lycopus SPP.

In Chippewa, ande’gopin meaning “crow plant” refers to rough bugleweed, a lycopus you can find in parts of Ontario. Also known as water horehounds, these edible and medicinal plants are one of the least minty of the mint family. Water horehounds (lycopus spp.) can be found, as the name suggests, in wetlands, damp meadows and stream …

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