Field Mustard – Brassica Rapa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mother Cruciferous of Wild Plants

Field Mustard - Brassica Rapa: Mother Cruciferous of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

You’re unlikely to find the popular white or black mustards here in the wild. The only brassica on iNat for Haliburton, Ontario is field mustard (brassica rapa). It’s more of a wild cabbage or wild turnip. It’s the mother of many vegetables you’ll find in the grocery store, but not a “true mustard” renown for …

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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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Common Juniper – Juniperus Communis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Spicy Conifer of Wild Plants

Common Juniper - Juniperus Communis

In Chippewa, ga’gawan’dagisid meaning deceptive, common junipers “berries” aren’t as sweet as they appear. (I’m not actually sure that is why deceptive is the descriptive name.) But common juniper is still an edible and medicinal plant, especially popular in Northern Europe. In Haliburton, Ontario, you’ll find communis var. depressa Pursh. It’s been fairly common around here, especially …

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Marsh Marigold – Caltha Palustris: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Early Greens of Wild Plants

Marsh Marigold - Caltha Palustris

In Chippewa, o’gite’bug, marsh marigold is a wild edible and medicinal plant that grows too close to water hemlock for the comfort of many. Although they look nothing like each other! Also note marsh marigold across the Atlantic is a different plant. Early spring, when wild food is slim pickings, pollinators and foragers alike can …

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Jack-In-The-Pulpit – Arisaema Triphyllum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Burning Sensation of Wild Plants

Jack-In-The-Pulpit – Arisaema Triphyllum

In Ojibwe, caca’ gomîn, Jack-in-the-pulpit is a scorching edible and medicinal plant that requires patience and expertise to utilize. It’s not for the beginner forager or herbalist. Despite names like Indian or pepper turnip and Starchwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit isn’t just some root you can dig up like burdock and have at. The roots are covered in …

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