Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

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Cardinal Flower – Lobelia Cardinalis: Not-so Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Reddest Flower of Wild Plants

Cardinal flower – Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal-flower (lobelia cardinalis) is a similar but less potent medicinal as its close relation lobelia inlata, and it’s similarly inedible. But it’s got one of the most stunning, if not the most stunning, red flowers of all of Ontario’s native plants. In Haliburton county, cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis) is an uncommon but memorable sight on …

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Wild Thyme – Thymus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Five-star Kitchen Herb

Wild thyme – Thymus SPP.

It may surprise folks that basic kitchen herbs and spices have any medicinal value. Thyme (thymus spp.) is actually a powerful medicinal herb for respiratory issues and more. Wild thymes (thymus spp.) have one species noted in Haliburton Flora: mother of thyme (t. praecox). The few specimens were found on an open hillside and in …

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Pinks (Carnations) – Dianthus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cloves of Wild Plants

Pinks (Carnations) – Dianthus SPP.

Pinks AKA carnations (dianthus spp.) noted in Haliburton Flora include the uncommon to likely now more common Deptford pink (dianthus armeria), found on sandy roadsides amoung grasses. I see Deptford’s bright pink often along park edges and well used trails. A couple rare varieties included are maiden pink (d. deltoides) and garden pink (d. plumarius). …

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Common Gromwell – Lithospermum Officinale: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the “Ugly Duckling” of Wild Plants

Common Gromwell – Lithospermum officinale

In Chippewa, odji’biknamun refers to one species of gromwell. Common gromwell (lithospermum officinale) was noted in Haliburton Flora in a dry sandy waste area and in open damp ground beside a swamp. I found the pictured specimen in the middle of a spruce grove. The spruce had grown over an old foundation for a homestead that …

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Knapweeds – Centaurea SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cornflower of Wild Plants

Knapweeds - Centaurea spp.

Most local knapweeds (centaurea spp.) look similar to bull thistle. However, you’re more likely to find your knapweed in patches instead of lone like bull thistles. Spotted knapweed (c. maculosa) is noted in Haliburton Flora on the edge of the highway, which is where I’ve seen it too. Another centaurea is bachelor’s buttons, as pictured …

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