Common Bracken – Pteridium Aquilinum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sunny Fern of Wild Plants

Common Bracken - Pteridium Aquilinum

Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is a popular edible, especially in the far east. But like most edible fiddleheads it’s complicated. Not preparing it thoroughly may be linked to stomach cancer. Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is traditionally edible and medicinal in many places, but unfortunately a compound in it is potentially linked to stomach cancer. It’s …

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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. …

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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 …

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Bedstraws (Cleavers) – Galium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Coffee Cousin of Wild Plants

Bedstraws - Galium SPP.

Cleavers (galium aparine) is a widely popular edible and medicinal plant, but there are over a dozen bedstraws in our neck of Ontario to confuse them with. Bedstraws (galium spp.) include the most notable cleavers (g. aparine), which will be the star of this feature. When I mention “cleavers” in this article it’ll always be …

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New Jersey Tea – Ceanothus Americanus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Redroot of Wild Plants

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus Americanus

In Chippewa, odiga’dimanido’ refers to prairie redroot, New Jersey teas close relation. Both have red roots and thus redroot as a folk name. They have the same uses and host the same caterpillars. This edible and medicinal plant will certainly end up in our pollinator series for the Wood Folk Diaries! The shrub New Jersey tea …

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Eastern Hemlock – Tsuga Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Porcupine Tree of Wild Plants

Eastern Hemlock - Tsuga Canadensis

In Chippewa, gaga’gimie, eastern hemlock is also called gaagaagiwanzh meaning “porcupine, his tree“. It’s a tree beneficial to countless wildlife with many edible, medicinal and craft uses. Eastern hemlock (tsuga canadensis) can be found in moist hardwood forests. I haven’t seen any on the 1 or the 100 acre I frequent, but I know people …

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