Salsifies – Tragopogon SPP.: Oyster of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for salsifies? This edible and medicinal plant is like a tall, fluffier version of dandelion. It’s a non-native plant in Ontario, and part of the sunflower family. In the reference book Haliburton Flora you’ll only find goatsbeard (tragopogon dubius), better called yellow salsify (there are unrelated plants called goatsbeard). …

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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 …

Heal-All – Prunella Vulgaris: Another Woundwort of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, name’wuskons, selfheal or heal-all is another edible and medicinal wild plant from the mint family. It doesn’t really heal-all, but it’s still a well rounded astringent plant with many uses. We have a mix of European and native selfheal in Ontario. Common around Haliburton, you’re most likely to find it in your lawn. …

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Bergamot – Monarda Spp.: Bee Balm of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishinaabemowin, sasaapkwaanins, bergamot is also popularly known as bee balm. It’s a native edible and medicinal plant that’s frequented by pollinators (although that’s not why it’s called bee balm!) And it’s a mint, named after the similar tasting bergamot orange that flavors earl grey tea. Wild bergamot (monarda fistulosa) is rare here. It’s the …

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White Clover – Trifolium Repens: Groundcover of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, nisoobag+oon. Not to be confused with white sweet clover, white clover is the blanco version of red clover. Used less medicinally and culinarily as its red cousin, it’s like a runner-up clover, but still useful. Most people looking into white clover are thinking groundcover options. If you hunt you’ll likely find the uncommon hybird …

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Alder – Alnus SPP.: Oak-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, wadub, alder is a highly astringent edible and medicinal wild plant. Its usage is similar to oak. Alder means red in German, so named because the bark makes your saliva red. But don’t go nibbling on the bark now – it’s emetic (it will make you throw up!) Speckled alder (alnus rugosa) as listed …

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