Lady’s Slippers – Cypripedium SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the American Valerian of Wild Plants

Hardy slipper orchids (Cypripedium SPP.) are presently typically called lady’s slippers. Moccasin flower and “many fine roots” are a couple other folk names for these orchids. The most common Cypripedium around Haliburton, Ontario is yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum). I’ve spotted clusters of them along trails, somewhat hidden in partial shade. You may also find …

Read more

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

Dear Wood Folk, Buttercups are one of the first flowering plants I noticed when I moved to Haliburton County, Ontario. They have a reflective shininess to them that makes them pop. Buttercups are common in my yard, and common along the nearest trail. These mostly perennial plants show up in varied terrain. Some species are …

Read more

Wood Nettle – Laportea Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Nettliest of Wild Plants

Wood Nettle - Laportea Canadensis

Wood nettle (laportea canadensis) is the most common native nettle in Ontario, and like the introduced stinging nettle it’s edible and medicinal. In fact, wood nettle is considered to be the favoured of the two. Wood nettle (laportea canadensis) is common in open moist woods, low damp areas and wet swamps. I found a great …

Read more

Currants – Ribes SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Tiny Tart Berry of Wild Plants

Currants – Ribes SPP.

In Chippewa, cigagwa’tigon meaning “skunk-like”, refers to swamp red currant, one of our native currants around Ontario. These edible and medicinal plants aren’t the same “currant” you find dried in grocery stores. Currants (ribes spp.) are spattered everywhere around Haliburton county, Ontario. Gooseberry was covered earlier this year and is also a ribes. But here we’re …

Read more

Docks – Rumex SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Yellow Root of Wild Plants

Docks – Rumex SPP.

In Chippewa, oza’widji’bik meaning “yellow root” refers to bitter dock (rumex obtusifolius), a nonnative here in Ontario. The nonnative yellow rooted docks, sour and bitter, have a long history of medicinal use. We have a couple dozen (native and nonnative) edible and medicinal docks. Last week’s sheep sorrel is a rumex too, but docks stand alone. …

Read more

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 …

Read more