Silverberries – Elaeagnus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mealy Sour Berry

Silverberries - Elaeagnus SPP.

American silverberries or wolf-willow (Elaeagnus commutata) is Ontario’s native mealy sour silverberry shrub. It does somewhat resemble willow. There are several nonnatives around too. Japanese silverberry AKA Autumn olive (E. umbellata) is invasive around Ontario, especially to the south. In cottage country, it’s more of an introduced small tree you’ll occasionally spot in someone’s lawn. …

Read more

Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus Quinquefolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the American Ivy

In Chippewa, manido’bima’kwud, woodbine AKA American ivy AKA Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a grape relation you can find around Ontario. Locally, it’s found mostly on roadsides and along abandoned railroad tracks. I’ve also found this vine in mixed woods. It’s gorgeously ornamental in Autumn, so you’re likely to find it in town too. In …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Willowherbs – Epilobium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pie Scented Wild Plants

Willowherbs – Epilobium SPP.

Willowherbs (epilobium spp.) aren’t a stranger to our Edible and Medicinal Plants blog. We covered Fireweed previously, the star of the species as far as human usage goes. And the showiest. The others are mostly quainter looking, but I think they deserve a moment in the sun too. Hairy willow-herb (e. hirsutum) has showier blooms …

Read more