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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Chokecherry – Prunus Virginiana: Sour Cherry of Edible & Medicinal 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: Super Berry of Foraged Edible & Medicinal 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: Cordial Bramble of Foraged Edible & Medicinal 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: Berry Sweet Foraged Edible & Medicinal 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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American Beech – Fagus Grandifolia: This Old Tree of Foraging Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

American Beech - Fagus Grandifolia

In Ojibwe, gawe’mîc, beech is the oldest tree name in the world! It’s also an antique edible and old school medicinal plant. The beechnut tree scarcely grows fruit before it’s 40, 50 years old and produces more with age. Even then, good seed crops won’t happen every year. They tend to hold onto their leaves …

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