Garlic Mustard – Alliaria Petiolata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of A Notoriously Aggressive Invasive Nonnative

If you spend any time in public parks and woodlands you may be familiar with the notorious garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). While there are numerous nonnative plants in Ontario that are spreading into wild spaces, plants like garlic mustard, creeping jenny, dog strangling vine, “bamboo” that’s actually Japanese knotweed, and Lily-of-the-valley are some of the …

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True Solomon’s Seals – Polygonatum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet Potato of North America

Hairy (sometimes called Dwarf) Solomon’s-Seal (Polygonatum pubescens) is the sole true Solomon’s seal noted on iNat for Haliburton, Ontario. It’s native. However, half a dozen species have been found in Ontario, including the somewhat edible and medicinal smooth Solomon’s seal (P. biflorum). But hairy here, as far as I know is not edible or medicinal. …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 7: Peavines

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 7: Peavines

Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Wood Folk Diaries will be on pause in the coming months. Our 2x monthly plant features however will continue to be published. Dear Wood Folk, Poisonous or not? Hmmm. Haliburton Flora lists 4 Lathyrus species. Everlasting pea (L. latifolius), vetchling (l. palustris car. linearifolius), yellow vetchling (L. pratensis), and our …

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Common Valerian – Valeriana Officinalis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Valium of the 19th Century

Common valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a rare garden escape around Haliburton, Ontario. The pictures here are of plants I grew and harvested for medicinal root tea. Valerian is one of my primary go-to herbal medicines. If I am having an anxious time, especially acutely, this is the medicinal tea I brew. Doctors used to recommend …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 6: Baneberries

Dear Wood Folk, Have you seen the plant with doll’s eyes for berries? In Samuel Thayer’s newest book, Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, he calls baneberry “possibly the most poisonous fleshy berry” in our region. As far as berries go both white (Actaea pachypoda) and red (Actaea rubra) baneberries can make you feel pretty …

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Sweet Cicely – Osmorhiza SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Black Licorice of Wild Plants

Sweet cicely – Osmorhiza SPP.

In Chippewa, osaga’tigom meaning tangled branches, edible and medicinal sweet cicely (osmorhiza claytonii) and its close relations have an anise like scent. Wooly AKA hairy sweet cicely (osmorhiza claytonii) is the only osmorhiza listed in Haliburton Flora. It’s fairly common on bush roads and trails and in thin deciduous woods. I tend to find it …

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