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 …

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Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

Dear Wood Folk, We’ve covered a tinier iris before: blue-eyed grass. It’s a miniature lookalike you might find in your lawn around cottage country Ontario. Our title iris on the other hand can grow close to a few feet tall. Common along wetlands here, Northern blue flag (Iris versicolor) is our native blue flag iris. …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

Dear Wood Folk, Buttercups are one of the first flowering plants I noticed when I moved to Haliburton County, Ontario. They have a reflective shininess to them that makes them pop. Buttercups are common in my yard, and common along the nearest trail. These mostly perennial plants show up in varied terrain. Some species are …

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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 …

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Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Stickseed of Wild Plants

Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.

Agrimonies (agrimonia spp.) are another oft overlooked edible and medicinal herb. Starting around medieval times common agrimony was a popular heal all. For sometime it was available at apothecaries or pharmacies. Despite its decline in popularity it is still used by herbalists today. Like the lettuces we posted two weeks ago, most agrimonies found in …

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