Winterberry Holly – Ilex Verticillata: Ornamental “Berry” of Wild Plants

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for winterberry holly? This highly ornamental vine isn’t so edible and medicinal, but we’re trying to be festive this December. It’s a plant to consider mainly for its looks, and it makes for stunning wreaths. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is fairly common in central Ontario. It’s usually found along …

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Catnip – Nepeta Cataria: Nightcap of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Catnip - Nepeta Cataria

In Chippewa, gajugens’ibug meaning “little-cat leaf”, catnip isn’t native to Ontario, but at least it’s not aggressive. It’s a surprisingly useful edible and medicinal plant, if you’re not pregnant. And whether or not you’re a cat. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is uncommon around Haliburton, but I find it around old farmsteads. It may also show up …

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Bergamot – Monarda Spp.: Bee Balm of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Bergamot - Monarda Spp.: Bee Balm of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishinaabemowin, sasaapkwaanins, bergamot is also popularly known as bee balm. It’s a native edible and medicinal plant that’s frequented by pollinators (although that’s not why it’s called bee balm!) And it’s a mint, named after the similar tasting bergamot orange that flavors earl grey tea. Wild bergamot (monarda fistulosa) is rare here. It’s the …

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Willow – Salix SPP.: Original Aspirin of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Willow - Salix SPP.

In Chippewa, ozi’sigo’bimle, willow is an edible, medicinal and heavily utilized plant. Its powerful component salicin was synthesized to make the well known OTC medicine Aspirin. “Sal lis” means “near water”. And our many Haliburton waters are surrounded by salix! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety of …

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Evening Primrose – Oenothera Biennis: Midnight Oil of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Evening primrose - Oenothera biennis

If anyone knows an Anishinaabemowin word for evening primrose, please comment! While not a true “primrose”, common evening primrose is truly amazing. You might have heard of evening primrose oil as a medicinal supplement, but this foraged wild plant is also amazingly edible! The flowers open at dusk hence the “evening”. Observe them and you’ll …

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Quaking Aspen – Populus Tremuloides: A Popple’r Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

Quaking Aspen - Populus Tremuloides

In Chippewa, asa’di means aspen. “Balm of Gilead” can be made from various poplar buds including tremuloides/quaking aspen, a common edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. Last month we talked about balsam poplar. But quaking aspen was my first ID’d poplar. I noticed a set of trees on the one-acre wood that softly trembled …

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