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 …

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Bittercresses – Cardamine SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pepper Root of Wild Plants

Bittercresses - Cardamine SPP.

Bittercresses are in the mustard family and include toothworts. The Latin name “kardamine” means water or pepper grass. The folk name “pepper root” tells what this edible wild plant tastes like. Bittercresses (cardamine SPP.) like the twoleaf toothwort in our pictures here (cardamine diphylla syn. dentaria diphylla) are related to mustard. Dentaria diphylla is the outdated …

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Horsetails – Equisetum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Scourer of Wild Plants

Horsetails - Equisetum SPP.

In Chippewa, gijib’inuskon meaning “it is round”, refers to scouring rush. Common horsetail is used to scrub and clean too, but it also has edible uses. And scouring rush is the equisetum plant preferred for medicinal uses. Related to ferns, common horsetail (sometimes called horsetail fern) is the only living genus of the subclass equisetidae. Its …

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Spring-Beauty – Claytonia Caroliniana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fairy Spuds of Wild Plants

Spring-beauty - Claytonia caroliniana

In Anishinaabemowin, miiaatikwek piniik, spring-beauty is one of our first spring flowers. It’s a small, striped edible and medicinal ephemeral and one of our first available bee foods. It even has its own specialist bee, the spring beauty miner. You might see non-natives like crocus and coltsfoot bloom first in the spring, before our bees even …

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Common Blackberry – Rubus Allegheniensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cordial Bramble of Wild Plants

Common Blackberry - Rubus Allegheniensis

In Chippewa, oda’tagago’minaga’wunj, common blackberry is a cordial wild edible and medicinal bramble. It’s distinguishable from black raspberries by having a core instead of being hollow inside when harvested (second picture down this page). There are around 50 species of black and raspberries in North America and up here in the north, aren’t we lucky it’s …

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Eastern White Cedar – Thuja Occidentalis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Tree of Life of Wild Plants

Eastern white cedar – Thuja occidentalis

In Anishinaabemowin, eastern white cedar is sometimes called giizhik, and also gi’jikan’dug meaning cedar-like, as it’s not a “true cedar”. This Tree of Life is both edible and medicinal. One of the alternative names for eastern white cedar is swamp cedar as it likes to grow in damp woods. Another name is Tree of Life, …

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