True Solomon’s Seals – Polygonatum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet Potato of North America

Hairy (sometimes called Dwarf) Solomon’s-Seal (Polygonatum pubescens) is the sole true Solomon’s seal noted on iNat for Haliburton, Ontario. It’s native. However, half a dozen species have been found in Ontario, including the somewhat edible and medicinal smooth Solomon’s seal (P. biflorum). But hairy here, as far as I know is not edible or medicinal. …

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Wild Geraniums – Geranium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of One of the Strongest Astringent Herbs

Wild geraniums are not your common garden centre “geraniums” (Pelargonium spp.). Today’s featured plant is from a different genus. Sometimes called cranesbills, this species is slightly edible, a popular medicinal astringent and also wonderful for native landscaping. Around Haliburton, Ontario, Northern Cranes-bill (Geranium bicknellii) and the more common herb Robert (G. robertianum) are found. In …

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Lady’s Slippers – Cypripedium SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the American Valerian of Wild Plants

Hardy slipper orchids (Cypripedium SPP.) are presently typically called lady’s slippers. Moccasin flower and “many fine roots” are a couple other folk names for these orchids. The most common Cypripedium around Haliburton, Ontario is yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum). I’ve spotted clusters of them along trails, somewhat hidden in partial shade. You may also find …

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Pinks (Carnations) – Dianthus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cloves of Wild Plants

Pinks (Carnations) – Dianthus SPP.

Pinks AKA carnations (dianthus spp.) noted in Haliburton Flora include the uncommon to likely now more common Deptford pink (dianthus armeria), found on sandy roadsides amoung grasses. I see Deptford’s bright pink often along park edges and well used trails. A couple rare varieties included are maiden pink (d. deltoides) and garden pink (d. plumarius). …

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Common Gromwell – Lithospermum Officinale: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the “Ugly Duckling” of Wild Plants

Common Gromwell – Lithospermum officinale

In Chippewa, odji’biknamun refers to one species of gromwell. Common gromwell (lithospermum officinale) was noted in Haliburton Flora in a dry sandy waste area and in open damp ground beside a swamp. I found the pictured specimen in the middle of a spruce grove. The spruce had grown over an old foundation for a homestead that …

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Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Opium of Wild Plants

Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.

In Chippewa, odjici’gomin refers to Canada wild lettuce (lactuca canadensis), one of many edible and medicinal wild lettuces (lactuca spp.) you’ll find in Ontario. They are often confused with chicory, dandelion or sow thistles, but fortunately these tall wild lettuces have no poisonous lookalikes. Although, at a glance rattlesnake roots have a similar look and height. …

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