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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Goutweed – Aegopodium Podagraria: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Celery of Wild Plants

Goutweed – Aegopodium podagraria

Goutweed (aegopodium podagraria) was rare when Haliburton Flora was compiled, in one spot even. It was on an open damp roadside, an escapee from cultivation – a mere hint of how invasive this plant would become. Now you can find it taking over lawns and parks. It’s even crept into the west side of Algonquin …

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Knapweeds – Centaurea SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cornflower of Wild Plants

Knapweeds - Centaurea spp.

Most local knapweeds (centaurea spp.) look similar to bull thistle. However, you’re more likely to find your knapweed in patches instead of lone like bull thistles. Spotted knapweed (c. maculosa) is noted in Haliburton Flora on the edge of the highway, which is where I’ve seen it too. Another centaurea is bachelor’s buttons, as pictured …

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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 …

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Mulberries – Morus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the 1 Endangered vs. 1 Invasive Tree of Wild Plants

Mulberries - Morus SPP.

In Ojibwe, mitigwaabimin+ag, Ontario’s local red mulberry is precariously close to extinction. The Asian white has taken over and hybridized with the red. Only around 200 true red mulberries are left. Mulberries (morus SPP.) are absent from Haliburton Flora; just its relations hops and marijuana made the cut. I have seen them around, likely all planted …

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Reed Grass – Phragmites SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Roasted Marshmallow of Wild Plants

Reed Grass - Phragmites SPP.

In Chippewa, abo’djigun meaning “something turned out or over”, reed grass has turned me over too. It changed my completely black-and-white thinking about herbicides. It’s hard to tell our native reed grass from the invasive European subspecies, and it may be hard to tell if a patch has been treated. It’s a tread with caution sort of …

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