Catnip – Nepeta Cataria: Nightcap of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gajugens’ibug meaning “little-cat leaf”, catnip isn’t native to Ontario, but at least it’s not aggressive. It’s a surprisingly useful edible and medicinal plant, if you’re not pregnant. And whether or not you’re a cat. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is uncommon around Haliburton, but I find it around old farmsteads. It may also show up …

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Honeysuckles – Lonicera SPP.: Nectar of Edible & Medicinal Plants

In Ojibwe, ozaawaaskined, honeysuckles are sometimes edible and sometimes medicinal. But always a favorite of nectar seekers like the ruby-throated hummingbird along with all-stars like scarlet bee balm and cardinal flower. Some human folks seek the nectar too. The most abundant native honeysuckle here is American/Canadian Fly (lonicera canadensis), which likes openings in deciduous and mixed …

Ragweed – Ambrosia Artemisiifolia: Sneeziest of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for ragweed? This maligned plant while rare-ish in Haliburton and considered a “weed” in this part of Ontario is actually native to North America. It’s at least as valuable to a wide swath of wildlife (mainly pollinators) as it is likely to cause a human to sneeze. You might …

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Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata: Tranq of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone know an Anishinaabemowin word for blue vervain? This edible and medicinal plant is highly valued for its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. Ontario’s native blue vervains are pollinator friendly beauties. Finding blue vervain in the wild around Haliburton was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but I have seen numerous small wild …

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Bergamot – Monarda Spp.: Bee Balm of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishinaabemowin, sasaapkwaanins, bergamot is also popularly known as bee balm. It’s a native edible and medicinal plant that’s frequented by pollinators (although that’s not why it’s called bee balm!) And it’s a mint, named after the similar tasting bergamot orange that flavors earl grey tea. Wild bergamot (monarda fistulosa) is rare here. It’s the …

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White Clover – Trifolium Repens: Groundcover of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, nisoobag+oon. Not to be confused with white sweet clover, white clover is the blanco version of red clover. Used less medicinally and culinarily as its red cousin, it’s like a runner-up clover, but still useful. Most people looking into white clover are thinking groundcover options. If you hunt you’ll likely find the uncommon hybird …

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