Partridge-berry – Mitchella Repens: Uterine Tonic of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Partridge-berry Mitchella Repens

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for partridge-berry? Not to be confused with wintergreen or cranberries, also sometimes called partridgeberries, or for lingonberry. Partridge-berries are an edible and medicinal evergreen vine, non climbing, with double-berry fused red fruits. The leaves have white veins. Partridge-berry (mitchella repens) is common around Haliburton, Ontario. The first specimen I …

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Winterberry Holly – Ilex Verticillata: Ornamental “Berry” of Wild Plants

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for winterberry holly? This highly ornamental vine isn’t so edible and medicinal, but we’re trying to be festive this December. It’s a plant to consider mainly for its looks, and it makes for stunning wreaths. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is fairly common in central Ontario. It’s usually found along …

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American Wintergreen – Gaultheria Procumbens: Snowberry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

American Wintergreen - Gaultheria Procumbens

In Chippewa, wini’sibugons’  meaning “dirty leaf”, American wintergreen is often called Eastern tea berry now. It’s edible and medicinal, but you have to mind the amount you use because the oil is toxic if overdosed. Similar to Aspirin, just a tsp of pure wintergreen oil is the equivalent of 21 and a half adult aspirins. American …

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Prickly Gooseberry – Ribes Cynosbati: Spiky Berry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Prickly Gooseberry - Ribes Cynosbati

In Chippewa,  micidji’minaga’wunj meaning “fuzzy fruit”, prickly gooseberry is a fuzzy wild currant. Spiky is more apt. Despite the soft flexible spikes on the fruit, it’s an edible and medicinal wild plant. And native to Ontario. There are many ribes spp. to feature from Ontario. A couple are gooseberries. Prickly gooseberry (ribes cynosbati) is the common …

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Wild Basil – Clinopodium Vulgare: Cilantro of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Wild Basil - Clinopodium Vulgare

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for wild basil? This edible and medicinal native plant has been flying under-the-radar. Basil lovers, sorry, but it’s more of a cilantro tasting plant. Wild basil (clinopodium vulgare) is fairly common in cottage country, Ontario. You’ll find it along damp woods, trails and roadsides and even in meadows. It’s …

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American Bittersweet – Celastrus Scandens: Our 100th Featured Wild Plant

American Bittersweet - Celastrus Scandens

In Chippewa, bima’kwud meaning “twisting around”, American bittersweet is much less edible and medicinal than our usual featured plants, but the berries on this vine are stunning in the fall and winter. Cheers to our 100th plant! Is it bittersweet? Yes and no. Is it very edible and medicinal? Nah. The berries are poisonous, although that’s …

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