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

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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True Solomon’s Seals – Polygonatum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet Potato of North America

Hairy (sometimes called Dwarf) Solomon’s-Seal (Polygonatum pubescens) is the sole true Solomon’s seal noted on iNat for Haliburton, Ontario. It’s native. However, half a dozen species have been found in Ontario, including the somewhat edible and medicinal smooth Solomon’s seal (P. biflorum). But hairy here, as far as I know is not edible or medicinal. …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 7: Peavines

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 7: Peavines

Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Wood Folk Diaries will be on pause in the coming months. Our 2x monthly plant features however will continue to be published. Dear Wood Folk, Poisonous or not? Hmmm. Haliburton Flora lists 4 Lathyrus species. Everlasting pea (L. latifolius), vetchling (l. palustris car. linearifolius), yellow vetchling (L. pratensis), and our …

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Wild Geraniums – Geranium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of One of the Strongest Astringent Herbs

Wild geraniums are not your common garden centre “geraniums” (Pelargonium spp.). Today’s featured plant is from a different genus. Sometimes called cranesbills, this species is slightly edible, a popular medicinal astringent and also wonderful for native landscaping. Around Haliburton, Ontario, Northern Cranes-bill (Geranium bicknellii) and the more common herb Robert (G. robertianum) are found. In …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 5: Red Columbine and Yew

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 5: Red Columbine and Yew

Dear Wood Folk, A couple months ago we covered buttercups. Eastern red AKA Canada columbine AKA wild columbine (aquilegia canadensis) is also a member of the notoriously toxic buttercup family. All plants in this family produce toxins when wounded or macerated. Substances you wouldn’t want to handle or ingest. The leaves of our native red …

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