Speedwells – Veronica SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Green Tea of Wild Plants

Speedwells - Veronica SPP.

Marsh speedwell is the main native speedwell you’ll find here, but we have quite a few species creeping around Ontario. All are edible and medicinal wild plants. Around Haliburton, the most common speedwells are marsh speedwell (veronica scutellata) and thyme-leaved speedwell (veronica serpyllifolia). I most often spot marsh and thyme-leaved in lawns left to grow …

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Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” of Wild Plants

Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: "She Doesn't Even Go Here" of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ma’zana’tig refers to thistles. Despite the popular name Canada thistle, this edible and medicinal plant is not native to Canada. Yup, Canada thistle isn’t from Canada. But it’s common along roadsides and I’ve found it taking over old fields as well. Canada thistles delicate purple-ish flowerheads make it less likely to confuse with burdock …

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Wild Strawberry – Fragaria Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Early Berry of Wild Plants

Wild strawberry – Fragaria virginiana

In Chippewa, ode’iminidji’bik meaning “heart berry root”, wild strawberry is one of the first berries to ripen, around the start of summer in cottage country, Ontario. It’s the “queen berry” of our edible and medicinal wild plants. I titled this entry with the main wild strawberry species you’ll find in abundance here, but we also have …

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Soapwort – Saponaria Officinalis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Suds of Wild Plants

Soapwort - Saponaria officinalis

Soapwort, called “bouncing bet” in Haliburton Flora, is a medicinal and nominally edible plant that has been heavily used as you might imagine – to wash things. And sometimes still is. I’ve noticed soapwort growing in damp places, along streams, and going off meager experience I’d say where settlers and water would congregate 100+ years …

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Hawthorn – Crataegus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Heart Herb of Wild Plants

Hawthorn - Crataegus SPP.

In Chippewa, thornapple is called mine’saga’wunj, meaning “having fruit and also spikes.” No other shrub in Canada has these awl like thorns. Hawthorn, despite its thorny appearance, is both an edible and strongly medicinal plant. Be very careful with the thorns – don’t poke your eye out! They are scary sharp! Northern shrikes have been …

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Goldenrod – Solidago SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the AllerBgone of Wild Plants

Goldenrod - Solidago SPP.

In Chippewa, gi’ziso’muki’ki, goldenrod is a sunny medicinal and edible wild plant. In the past, it was falsely blamed for hayfever allergies, which are actually caused by ragweed. It’s really a medicine to treat allergies! Latin solidare means to join or make whole, and when you come upon the medicinal tags below you’ll see why …

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