Common Bracken – Pteridium Aquilinum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sunny Fern of Wild Plants

Common Bracken - Pteridium Aquilinum

Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is a popular edible, especially in the far east. But like most edible fiddleheads it’s complicated. Not preparing it thoroughly may be linked to stomach cancer. Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is traditionally edible and medicinal in many places, but unfortunately a compound in it is potentially linked to stomach cancer. It’s …

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Sweetgrasses – Anthoxanthum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sacred Grass of Wild Plants

Sweetgrasses - Anthoxanthum SPP.

In Anishinaabemowin, wiingashic/wiingashk syn. bashkodemashkosiw, sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines. The other three are asemma (tobacco), bashkodejiibik syn. mashkodewashk (sage), and giizhik (cedar). It’s sacred in the traditional spirituality of various first nations across the Americas. And it’s holy grass in Europe too. Its previous genus, hierochloë is a Greek-Latin combo meaning “holy grass”. …

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Horseweed – Conyza Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Another Overlooked Pollinator Fav of Wild Plants

Horseweed - Conyza Canadensis

Maybe it’s the name “weed”. Or maybe it’s the location; weedy parking lots and driveways. But I always assumed horseweed was a nonnative plant. Surprise! It’s actually native to Ontario and a powerhouse for small pollinators. Horseweed (conyza canadensis syn. erigeron canadensis) is fairly common around Haliburton county in sand flats, disturbed ground, and roadsides. …

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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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Witch Hazel – Hamamelis Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Most Popular Astringent of Wild Plants

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis Virginiana

Witch hazel is one of those edible and medicinal plants that many people have used frequently without even thinking once about herbal medicine. Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) isn’t listed in Haliburton Flora. We’re on the border of its natural distribution. It didn’t take off as an understory shrub here around Haliburton like, say, its floral …

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New Jersey Tea – Ceanothus Americanus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Redroot of Wild Plants

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus Americanus

In Chippewa, odiga’dimanido’ refers to prairie redroot, New Jersey teas close relation. Both have red roots and thus redroot as a folk name. They have the same uses and host the same caterpillars. This edible and medicinal plant will certainly end up in our pollinator series for the Wood Folk Diaries! The shrub New Jersey tea …

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