Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ma’zana’tig refers to thistles. Despite the popular name Canada thistle, this edible and medicinal plant is not native to Canada. Yup, Canada thistle isn’t from Canada. But it’s common along roadsides and I’ve found it taking over old fields as well. Canada thistles delicate purple-ish flowerheads make it less likely to confuse with burdock …

Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata: Tranq of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone know an Anishinaabemowin word for blue vervain? This edible and medicinal plant is highly valued for its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. Ontario’s native blue vervains are pollinator friendly beauties. Finding blue vervain in the wild around Haliburton was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but I have seen numerous small wild …

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Heal-All – Prunella Vulgaris: Another Woundwort of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, name’wuskons, selfheal or heal-all is another edible and medicinal wild plant from the mint family. It doesn’t really heal-all, but it’s still a well rounded astringent plant with many uses. We have a mix of European and native selfheal in Ontario. Common around Haliburton, you’re most likely to find it in your lawn. …

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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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Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Comfrey-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have a word for viper’s bugloss in Anishinaabemowin? This edible and medicinal plant is a lot like comfrey and borage in usage. It even has the same toxic PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) as comfrey. That’s something to consider besides the spiny bristles covering this plant. If you’re prone to roadside walks, I’m sure you’ve …

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Blue-Eyed Grass – Sisyrinchium Montanum: Tiny Iris of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for blue-eyed grasses? Strict blue-eyed grass is in the iris family, and isn’t truly a grass. This edible and medicinal wildflower is widespread and around here may be one of the first you see dotting your lawn when you haven’t mowed. Sisyrinchium montanum is Halliburton’s only blue-eyed grass, but …

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