Winterberry Holly – Ilex Verticillata: Ornamental “Berry” of Wild Plants

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for winterberry holly? This highly ornamental vine isn’t so edible and medicinal, but we’re trying to be festive this December. It’s a plant to consider mainly for its looks, and it makes for stunning wreaths. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is fairly common in central Ontario. It’s usually found along …

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Prickly Gooseberry – Ribes Cynosbati: Spiky Berry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Prickly Gooseberry - Ribes Cynosbati

In Chippewa,  micidji’minaga’wunj meaning “fuzzy fruit”, prickly gooseberry is a fuzzy wild currant. Spiky is more apt. Despite the soft flexible spikes on the fruit, it’s an edible and medicinal wild plant. And native to Ontario. There are many ribes spp. to feature from Ontario. A couple are gooseberries. Prickly gooseberry (ribes cynosbati) is the common …

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Chokecherry – Prunus Virginiana: Sour Cherry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana

In Chippewa, a’sisuwe’minaga’wunj, chokecherries are one of our most commonly found edible and medicinal berry shrubs. The “choke” is a reference to how sour they are. Pucker up! Common around Haliburton and in Algonquin park too, chokecherry dots the roadsides, stream edges and fencerows. They may be the most widespread tree in North America. Up …

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Red Osier Dogwood – Cornus Stolonifera: Substitute Willow of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Red osier dogwood - Cornus stolonifera

Joe from *Creator’s Garden calls it mskwabiimnagohns. Red osier dogwood is our most recognizable dogwood. It’s both a wild edible and a medicinal that you may be aching to know. *Link is to Joe’s video about red osier on Facebook, have a listen and follow 🙂 Our local dogwoods include at least five: pagoda (cornus …

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Serviceberry – Amelanchier SPP.: Early Bloomer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Serviceberry - Amelanchier SPP.

In Chippewa, guzigwa’kominaga’wunj, referring to the shad fish spawning when the serviceberry blooms. The English name serviceberry has origins related to when one can finally have funeral services/burial for winters dead. They’re also called juneberries even though you’ll be waiting until the end of June or later for ripe berries. Here around Haliburton, Ontario you’ll …

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Lowbush Blueberry – Vaccinium Angustifolium: Super Berry of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Lowbush blueberry - Vaccinium angustifolium

In Chippewa, minaga’wunj, blueberry. Lowbush (also called “low sweet”) blueberry is common here, as is velvet-leaf blueberry (vaccinium myrtilloides) which thrives around marshes. I’ve heard a few personal anecdotes from locals about picking blueberries all the while watching a black bear or bears doing the same nearby. The shorter species of “vaccinium” are cranberries and …

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