Hickories – Carya SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet “Nuts” of Wild Plants

Hickories – Carya SPP.

In Ojibwe, mitigwaabaak meaning “bow tree”, hickories (carya SPP.) are diverse and native, but not very abundant in our area of Ontario. They are part of the walnut family and more edible than medicinal. Hickories (carya SPP.), like the shagbark hickory (carya ovata) sapling that’s pictured and bitternut hickory (carya cordiformis), are two of the four …

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Water Smartweed – Persicaria Amphibia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Water Buckwheat of Wild Plants

Water Smartweed - Persicaria Amphibia: Shore Buckwheat of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Water smartweed (persicaria amphibia syn. polygonum amphibium) is another edible and medicinal plant from the buckwheat family. It is native to Ontario and has the showiest flower of all our local smartweeds. Water smartweed (persicaria amphibia syn. polygonum amphibium) since the compilation of Haliburton Flora got a new genus, persicaria. It’s common here in wet ditches, shoresides and banks, and …

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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 shrub, 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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