Creeping Bellflower – Campanula Rapunculoides: Edible & Medicinal Uses of a Long Lost Garden Vegetable

Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) is an invasive nonnative. It’s the most common of a handful of nonnative bellflowers around Ontario. You’ll mostly spot it on banks and grassy roadsides. It was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but is probably fairly common now. It was called ramps in English kitchen gardens, back in its heyday. …

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Silverberries – Elaeagnus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mealy Sour Berry

Silverberries - Elaeagnus SPP.

American silverberries or wolf-willow (Elaeagnus commutata) is Ontario’s native mealy sour silverberry shrub. It does somewhat resemble willow. There are several nonnatives around too. Japanese silverberry AKA Autumn olive (E. umbellata) is invasive around Ontario, especially to the south. In cottage country, it’s more of an introduced small tree you’ll occasionally spot in someone’s lawn. …

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Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus Quinquefolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the American Ivy

In Chippewa, manido’bima’kwud, woodbine AKA American ivy AKA Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a grape relation you can find around Ontario. Locally, it’s found mostly on roadsides and along abandoned railroad tracks. I’ve also found this vine in mixed woods. It’s gorgeously ornamental in Autumn, so you’re likely to find it in town too. In …

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Lungwort (Herb) – Pulmonaria Officinalis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Herb Lungwort

In our previous post, we covered tree lungwort, a lichen. Today’s lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) is an herb related to borage. Often in my herbal book collection, one will always be mentioned in the others entry. Perhaps they get confused? While the namesake lichen is native, the herb lungwort is introduced to Ontario. The species is …

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Chaga – Inonotus Obliquus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Birch Mushroom

Chaga - Inonotus Obliquus

We’re branching out into Fungi, which isn’t a plant so we may need to create a new category here with an exact title. How about Edible & Medicinal Fungi and Lichen? Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a mostly recognizable fungi, black and rugged on the outside and an orangey golden brown on the inside. There are …

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Garlic Mustard – Alliaria Petiolata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of A Notoriously Aggressive Invasive Nonnative

If you spend any time in public parks and woodlands you may be familiar with the notorious garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). While there are numerous nonnative plants in Ontario that are spreading into wild spaces, plants like garlic mustard, creeping jenny, dog strangling vine, “bamboo” that’s actually Japanese knotweed, and Lily-of-the-valley are some of the …

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