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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Yellow Birch – Betula Alleghaniensis: Wintergreen Tree of Edible & Medicinal Plants

Yellow Birch - Betula Alleghaniensis

In Ojibwe, wiinizik, yellow birch has a lot in common with other birches, but along with black/sweet birch (which isn’t in Haliburton) yellow birch has a subtle wintergreen scent and taste, making it one of the few wintergreen-y edible and medicinal plants around Haliburton. Yellow birch is common around Haliburton in tall mixed woods. I notice …

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Willow – Salix SPP.: Original Aspirin of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Willow - Salix SPP.

In Chippewa, ozi’sigo’bimle, willow is an edible, medicinal and heavily utilized plant. Its powerful component salicin was synthesized to make the well known OTC medicine Aspirin. “Sal lis” means “near water”. And our many Haliburton waters are surrounded by salix! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety of …

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Basswood – Tilia Americana: Bee Tree of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Basswood - Tilia americana

In Chippewa, wigub’imij, basswood is also called bee-tree, lime-tree, and linden*. It’s an amazing woodcarving material, and those familiar with just that aspect might be surprised at basswood’s edible and medicinal qualities! Plus, bees! *It’s not the same tree as European Linden but the uses are mirrored. Bee lovers, hear, hear – Basswood blooms are …

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