Bunchberry – Cornus Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Little Dogwood of Wild Plants

Bunchberry – Cornus Canadensis

In Chippewa, caca’gomin or spelled zhakaagomin, bunchberry (cornus canadensis) is a small, creeping dogwood. And just like the other native dogwoods, it’s a great nectar and pollen plant and somewhat of an edible and medicinal plant for humans too. Bunchberry (cornus canadensis) is common around cottage country, Ontario. This dogwood likes wet and cool deciduous and …

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Fireweed – Epilobium Angustifolium: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fire-friend of Wild Plants

Fireweed - Epilobium Angustifolium

In Chippewa, oja’cidji’bik meaning “slippery root”, fireweed (epilobium angustifolium) derives its common name from colonizing the charred sites of wildfires. It’s an edible and medicinal plant that is native to Ontario. Fireweed (epilobium angustifolium syn. chamerion angustifolium syn. chamaenerion angustifolium) is common along roadsides, in logged bush, and in fire scourged acres here in central …

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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”. …

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Lady Fern – Athyrium Filix-femina: Edible & Medicinal Uses of an Alt Fiddlehead of Wild Plants

Lady Fern - Athyrium Filix-femina

In Chippewa, a’sawan, lady fern (athyrium filix-femina) is another edible fiddlehead in Ontario. It is tricky to tell the edible and medicinal ferns from the entirely toxic and even poisonous ones. And then even the edible ones are often toxic if not prepared correctly. Lady fern (athyrium filix-femina), called upland lady fern in Haliburton Flora, …

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Bittercresses – Cardamine SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pepper Root of Wild Plants

Bittercresses - Cardamine SPP.

Bittercresses are in the mustard family and include toothworts. The Latin name “kardamine” means water or pepper grass. The folk name “pepper root” tells what this edible wild plant tastes like. Bittercresses (cardamine SPP.) like the twoleaf toothwort in our pictures here (cardamine diphylla syn. dentaria diphylla) are related to mustard. Dentaria diphylla is the outdated …

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Giant Hyssops – Agastache SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Hummingbird Mint of Wild Plants

Giant Hyssops - Agastache SPP.

In Chippewa, weza’wunuckwuk meaning “yellow plant”, referring to yellow giant hyssop, we have a few native agastache in Ontario. Rarely seen in the wild, they are a popular addition to pollinator gardens and they also have edible and medicinal uses for humans! Giant hyssops (agastache SPP.) are absent from Haliburton Flora although a few are native …

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