Joe-Pye Weed – Eupatorium Maculatum: Bee Bed of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, me’skwana’kuk bu’giso’win meaning swimming, Joe-Pye weed grows well along ponds, wetlands and streams, but any damp sunny area will do. It is one of the pollinator all-stars of edible and medicinal plants. Joe-Pye weed is common around Haliburton in low wet areas by ponds, marshes, streams, and even damp ditches. One spontaneously appeared by …

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Ragweed – Ambrosia Artemisiifolia: Sneeziest of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for ragweed? This maligned plant while rare-ish in Haliburton and considered a “weed” in this part of Ontario is actually native to North America. It’s at least as valuable to a wide swath of wildlife (mainly pollinators) as it is likely to cause a human to sneeze. You might …

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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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Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Comfrey-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have a word for viper’s bugloss in Anishinaabemowin? This edible and medicinal plant is a lot like comfrey and borage in usage. It even has the same toxic PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) as comfrey. That’s something to consider besides the spiny bristles covering this plant. If you’re prone to roadside walks, I’m sure you’ve …

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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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Canada Plum – Prunus Nigra: Scorned of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, bagesaanaatig means plum tree. This edible and medicinal plum tree used to be widespread throughout Ontario. The stones were dropped along trails and around villages, wrapping the world in a plum thicket. But now Canada plum is uncommon here, which is surprising as wildlife loves to gobble up the fruit, so you’d think it …

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