Wild Geraniums – Geranium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of One of the Strongest Astringent Herbs

Wild geraniums are not your common garden centre “geraniums” (Pelargonium spp.). Today’s featured plant is from a different genus. Sometimes called cranesbills, this species is slightly edible, a popular medicinal astringent and also wonderful for native landscaping. Around Haliburton, Ontario, Northern Cranes-bill (Geranium bicknellii) and the more common herb Robert (G. robertianum) are found. In …

Read more

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman's Breeches and Squirrel Corn

Dear Wood Folk, You’ve likely heard of or seen the plant bleeding heart. I have some planted over the graves of my beloved pets. Dutchman’s breeches (dicentra cucullaria) and squirrel corn (dicentra canadensis) are the native relations to bleeding heart in Ontario. Dutchman’s breeches have yellow “waistbands” on their upside-down knicker shaped flowers, while squirrel …

Read more

Elms – Ulmus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Slippery Bark of Wild Plants

Elms - Ulmus SPP.

In Chippewa, gawa’komic, slippery elm is the medicinal star of the elms (ulmus spp.) native to Ontario. It’s also most popular local/Haliburton elm for foraging. But elm is at risk due to Dutch elm disease. Around cottage country Ontario there are three main native elm (ulmus spp.) trees. The most common is American/white elm (ulmus americana) …

Read more

Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius: Inedible Rose of Not-so Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius

Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) isn’t all that edible or medicinal, but it is a wonderful source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) is a rare sight around Haliburton country. When Haliburton Flora was compiled there was only one noted, on an open grassy bank. Yet this is a popular deciduous shrub for native …

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

Witch Hazel – Hamamelis Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Most Popular Astringent of Wild Plants

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis Virginiana

Witch hazel is one of those edible and medicinal plants that many people have used frequently without even thinking once about herbal medicine. Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) isn’t listed in Haliburton Flora. We’re on the border of its natural distribution. It didn’t take off as an understory shrub here around Haliburton like, say, its floral …

Read more