Fire Cherry – Prunus Pensylvanica: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bird Cherry of Wild Plants

Fire Cherry - Prunus Pensylvanica

We’ve covered almost every native cherry in Ontario and this fire cherry, also called bird cherry for one, is no exception to the fact prunus spp. are fantastic for birds and other wildlife. And not just jam! Pin cherry / Fire cherry (prunus pensylvanica) was common along roadsides, woodland slopes, lake banks, and stream banks …

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Winterberry Holly – Ilex Verticillata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Ornamental “Berry” of Wild Plants

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata

Winterberry holly is a stunning ornamental vine, but not so edible and medicinal. However, we’re trying to be festive this December, so let’s bump this feature up in the spirit of winter holidays. This is a plant to consider mainly for its looks and for crafting reasons, like wreaths. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is fairly …

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Chokecherry – Prunus Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sour Cherry of Wild Plants

Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana

In Chippewa, a’sisuwe’minaga’wunj, chokecherries are one of our most commonly found edible and medicinal berry shrubs. The “choke” is a reference to how sour they are. Pucker up! Common around Haliburton and in Algonquin park too, chokecherry dots the roadsides, stream edges and fencerows. They may be the most widespread tree in North America. Up …

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Lowbush Blueberry – Vaccinium Angustifolium: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Super Berry of Wild Plants

Lowbush blueberry - Vaccinium angustifolium

In Chippewa, minaga’wunj, blueberry. Lowbush (also called “low sweet”) blueberry is common here, as is velvet-leaf blueberry (vaccinium myrtilloides) which thrives around marshes. I’ve heard a few personal anecdotes from locals about picking blueberries all the while watching a black bear or bears doing the same nearby. The shorter species of “vaccinium” are cranberries and …

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Common Blackberry – Rubus Allegheniensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cordial Bramble of Wild Plants

Common Blackberry - Rubus Allegheniensis

In Chippewa, oda’tagago’minaga’wunj, common blackberry is a cordial wild edible and medicinal bramble. It’s distinguishable from black raspberries by having a core instead of being hollow inside when harvested (second picture down this page). There are around 50 species of black and raspberries in North America and up here in the north, aren’t we lucky it’s …

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Wild Red Raspberry – Rubus Idaeus Var. Strigosus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of a Berry Sweet Wild Plant

Wild red raspberry - Rubus idaeus var. strigosus

In Chippewa, mis’kominaga’wunj, wild red raspberry is one of hundreds of wild edible and medicinal brambles. Its fruit is not a true berry, but a cluster of drupelets. So, yeah, bananas are berries and raspberries are not. Around Haliburton you’ll also find purple-flowering raspberry (rubus odoratus), which will be covered in its own feature someday, and …

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