Catnip – Nepeta Cataria: Nightcap of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gajugens’ibug meaning “little-cat leaf”, catnip isn’t native to Ontario, but at least it’s not aggressive. It’s a surprisingly useful edible and medicinal plant, if you’re not pregnant. And whether or not you’re a cat. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is uncommon around Haliburton, but I find it around old farmsteads. It may also show up …

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Salsifies – Tragopogon SPP.: Oyster of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for salsifies? This edible and medicinal plant is like a tall, fluffier version of dandelion. It’s a non-native plant in Ontario and part of the sunflower family. In the reference book Haliburton Flora you’ll only find goatsbeard (tragopogon dubius), better called yellow salsify (there are unrelated plants called goatsbeard). …

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Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ma’zana’tig refers to thistles. Despite the popular name Canada thistle, this edible and medicinal plant is not native to Canada. Yup, Canada thistle isn’t from Canada. But it’s common along roadsides and I’ve found it taking over old fields as well. Canada thistles delicate purple-ish flowerheads make it less likely to confuse with burdock …

Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Comfrey-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have a word for viper’s bugloss in Anishinaabemowin? This edible and medicinal plant is a lot like comfrey and borage in usage. It even has the same toxic PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) as comfrey. That’s something to consider besides the spiny bristles covering this plant. If you’re prone to roadside walks, I’m sure you’ve …

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White Clover – Trifolium Repens: Groundcover of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, nisoobag+oon. Not to be confused with white sweet clover, white clover is the blanco version of red clover. Used less medicinally and culinarily as its red cousin, it’s like a runner-up clover, but still useful. Most people looking into white clover are thinking groundcover options. If you hunt you’ll likely find the uncommon hybird …

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Asparagus – Asparagus Officinalis: Gibbons-Famed of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for asparagus? One of the most famous edible shoots in the world, asparagus sometimes escapes from gardens becoming a “wild” edible and medicinal plant. Finding asparagus in the wild is uncommon here, but with its legendary title mention in Euell Gibbon’s Stalking the Wild Asparagus and its ability to …

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