Winter Cress – Barbarea Vulgaris: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Arugula of Wild Plants

Winter Cress – Barbarea Vulgaris

Wintercress is a nonnative garden vegetable that has escaped into the wild in Ontario. The subtitle was a toss up between broccoli and arugula of edible wild plants. Which would you have picked? Winter cress (barbarea vulgaris) is common here along moist roadsides and in fields among flowers and grasses. Its bright yellow flower clusters …

Read more

Bog Myrtle – Myrica Gale: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bay Leaf of Wild Plants

Bog Myrtle - Myrica Gale

Sweetgale AKA bog myrtle (myrica gale) is edible and medicinal, but it can induce an abortion. So excited moms-to-be will want to stick with enjoying its beauty and the beauty of the gorgeous moths who use it as a host plant. Sweetgale AKA bog myrtle (myrica gale) is common in central Ontario, in shores and …

Read more

Hop Clover – Trifolium Aureum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Yellow Clover of Wild Plants

Hop Clover – Trifolium Aureum

Hop clovers (like trifolium aureum) round out our few featured clover plants. We’ve covered red, then white and their hybrid alsike. The yellow clover is edible like its relations. Large hop clover (trifolium aureum) is barely mentioned in my herbal library. Red and white clover are the popular clovers. Perhaps one reason is that the …

Read more

Alder-leaved Buckthorn – Rhamnus Alnifolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Native Buckthorn of Ontario

Alder-leaved Buckthorn – Rhamnus Alnifolia

Alderleaf buckthorn AKA Alder-leaved buckthorn (rhamnus alnifolia) is Ontario’s only native buckthorn/rhamnus spp. Sadly it’s much rarer than the very aggressive nonnatives. It has seen some edible and medicinal usage. Alder-leaved buckthorn (rhamnus alnifolia) is rare around Haliburton. In our flora book it was spotted in one location, along the railroad amoung speckled alders, which …

Read more

Currants – Ribes SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Tiny Tart Berry of Wild Plants

Currants – Ribes SPP.

In Chippewa, cigagwa’tigon meaning “skunk-like”, refers to swamp red currant, one of our native currants around Ontario. These edible and medicinal plants aren’t the same “currant” you find dried in grocery stores. Currants (ribes spp.) are spattered everywhere around Haliburton county, Ontario. Gooseberry was covered earlier this year and is also a ribes. But here we’re …

Read more

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”. …

Read more