Common Bracken – Pteridium Aquilinum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sunny Fern of Wild Plants

Common Bracken - Pteridium Aquilinum

Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is a popular edible, especially in the far east. But like most edible fiddleheads it’s complicated. Not preparing it thoroughly may be linked to stomach cancer. Common bracken (pteridium aquilinum) is traditionally edible and medicinal in many places, but unfortunately a compound in it is potentially linked to stomach cancer. It’s …

Read more

Sheep Sorrel – Rumex Acetosella: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sour Spinach of Wild Plants

Sheep Sorrel – Rumex Acetosella

Sheep sorrel (rumex acetosella) is another tangy nonnative edible and medicinal plant in Ontario. It’s very similar in usage to our native wood sorrel. But it’s an ingredient in the popular and controversial Essiac tea. Sheep sorrel (rumex acetosella) is common here around Haliburton, primarily in ditches and sand flats. This sorrels clusters of reddish …

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

Horseweed – Conyza Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Another Overlooked Pollinator Fav of Wild Plants

Horseweed - Conyza Canadensis

Maybe it’s the name “weed”. Or maybe it’s the location; weedy parking lots and driveways. But I always assumed horseweed was a nonnative plant. Surprise! It’s actually native to Ontario and a powerhouse for small pollinators. Horseweed (conyza canadensis syn. erigeron canadensis) is fairly common around Haliburton county in sand flats, disturbed ground, and roadsides. …

Read more

Bedstraws (Cleavers) – Galium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Coffee Cousin of Wild Plants

Bedstraws - Galium SPP.

Cleavers (galium aparine) is a widely popular edible and medicinal plant, but there are over a dozen bedstraws in our neck of Ontario to confuse them with. Bedstraws (galium spp.) include the most notable cleavers (g. aparine), which will be the star of this feature. When I mention “cleavers” in this article it’ll always be …

Read more

Stonecrops – Sedum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Live Forever of Wild Plants

Stonecrops - Sedum SPP.

Sedum are juicy looking succulents can be found occasionally in the wild, but sadly none are native to Ontario. Stonecrops (sedum spp.) that you may spot around here include Spanish stonecrop (s. hispanicum) and mossy also known as biting stonecrop (s. acre), neither common. They are both pictured below. Tasteless stonecrop (s. sexangulare) has also …

Read more