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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Indian Tobacco – Lobelia Inflata: Medicinal Uses of the Smoking Cessation Herb of Wild Plants

Indian Tobacco - Lobelia Inflata

Indian tobacco (lobelia inflata) has yet to be renamed, but I imagine it will be decolonized in the future. Another less common name for it is “wild tobacco”. I was going to cover cardinal flower this month, a showier, bright-red close relation. But usage-wise our title plant is stronger. It’s considered toxic yet has medicinal …

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Bladder Campion – Silene Vulgaris: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pea Greens of Wild Plants

Bladder Campion – Silene Vulgaris

Bladder campion (silene vulgaris) isn’t named after medicinal usage for the bladder. It’s named after the bladder shaped nectary behind its petals. Due to this shape some call it cowbell. Its absence in my foraging library is baffling, as it’s a surprisingly popular edible in the Mediterranean region that even has its own festival. You …

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Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius: Inedible Rose of Not-so Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius

Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) isn’t all that edible or medicinal, but it is a wonderful source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) is a rare sight around Haliburton country. When Haliburton Flora was compiled there was only one noted, on an open grassy bank. Yet this is a popular deciduous shrub for native …

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Alder-leaved Buckthorn – Rhamnus Alnifolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Native Buckthorn of Ontario

Alder-leaved Buckthorn – Rhamnus Alnifolia

Alderleaf buckthorn AKA Alder-leaved buckthorn (rhamnus alnifolia) is Ontario’s only native buckthorn/rhamnus spp. Sadly it’s much rarer than the very aggressive nonnatives. It has seen some edible and medicinal usage. Alder-leaved buckthorn (rhamnus alnifolia) is rare around Haliburton. In our flora book it was spotted in one location, along the railroad amoung speckled alders, which …

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Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Hot Pink Milkweed of Wild Plants

Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias Incarnata

In Chippewa, bu’giso’win meaning “swimming“, swamp milkweed is not as edible and medicinal as its common relation. So we’re all the more talking about how much of an all-star this plant is for pollinator gardens and native landscaping. Swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata) can be found in the margins of swamps, marshes and other low wet …

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