Bluebead Lily – Clintonia Borealis: Poisonberry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishnabe, odotaagaans+ag, bluebead lily has toxic berries, but it’s still an edible and medicinal wild plant. It’s gorgeous too, with pretty yellow flowers and stunning blue berries that form a gradient and marbled cluster of blue as they ripen. Corn lily AKA bluebead lily (clintonia borealis) is common around Halliburton in deciduous or mixed woods …

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Catnip – Nepeta Cataria: Nightcap of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gajugens’ibug meaning “little-cat leaf”, catnip isn’t native to Ontario, but at least it’s not aggressive. It’s a surprisingly useful edible and medicinal plant, if you’re not pregnant. And whether or not you’re a cat. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is uncommon around Haliburton, but I find it around old farmsteads. It may also show up …

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Horsetails – Equisetum SPP.: Scourer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gijib’inuskon meaning “it is round”, refers to scouring rush. Common horsetail is used to scrub and clean too, but it also has edible uses. And scouring rush is the equisetum plant preferred for medicinal uses. Related to ferns, common horsetail (sometimes called horsetail fern) is the only living genus of the subclass equisetidae. Its …

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Ragweed – Ambrosia Artemisiifolia: Sneeziest of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for ragweed? This maligned plant while rare-ish in Haliburton and considered a “weed” in this part of Ontario is actually native to North America. It’s at least as valuable to a wide swath of wildlife (mainly pollinators) as it is likely to cause a human to sneeze. You might …

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Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ma’zana’tig refers to thistles. Despite the popular name Canada thistle, this edible and medicinal plant is not native to Canada. Yup, Canada thistle isn’t from Canada. But it’s common along roadsides and I’ve found it taking over old fields as well. Canada thistles delicate purple-ish flowerheads make it less likely to confuse with burdock …

Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata: Tranq of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone know an Anishinaabemowin word for blue vervain? This edible and medicinal plant is highly valued for its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. Ontario’s native blue vervains are pollinator friendly beauties. Finding blue vervain in the wild around Haliburton was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but I have seen numerous small wild …

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