Sweetgrasses – Anthoxanthum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sacred Grass of Wild Plants

Sweetgrasses - Anthoxanthum SPP.

In Anishinaabemowin, wiingashic/wiingashk syn. bashkodemashkosiw, sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines. The other three are asemma (tobacco), bashkodejiibik syn. mashkodewashk (sage), and giizhik (cedar). It’s sacred in the traditional spirituality of various first nations across the Americas. And it’s holy grass in Europe too. Its previous genus, hierochloë is a Greek-Latin combo meaning “holy grass”. …

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Horseweed – Conyza Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Another Overlooked Pollinator Fav of Wild Plants

Horseweed - Conyza Canadensis

Maybe it’s the name “weed”. Or maybe it’s the location; weedy parking lots and driveways. But I always assumed horseweed was a nonnative plant. Surprise! It’s actually native to Ontario and a powerhouse for small pollinators. Horseweed (conyza canadensis syn. erigeron canadensis) is fairly common around Haliburton county in sand flats, disturbed ground, and roadsides. …

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Horseradish – Armoracia Rusticana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sting Nose of Wild Plants

Horseradish - Armoracia Rusticana

Horseradish is a nonnative edible and medicinal plant that has escaped into the wild here in Ontario. It’s known for causing your nose to sting when you eat it. Horseradish (armoracia rusticana syn. cochlearia armoracia, armoracia lapathifolia, and rorippa armoracia), originally called sea radish, is a long way from home in Ontario. It was brought here as a …

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Witch Hazel – Hamamelis Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Most Popular Astringent of Wild Plants

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis Virginiana

Witch hazel is one of those edible and medicinal plants that many people have used frequently without even thinking once about herbal medicine. Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) isn’t listed in Haliburton Flora. We’re on the border of its natural distribution. It didn’t take off as an understory shrub here around Haliburton like, say, its floral …

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New Jersey Tea – Ceanothus Americanus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Redroot of Wild Plants

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus Americanus

In Chippewa, odiga’dimanido’ refers to prairie redroot, New Jersey teas close relation. Both have red roots and thus redroot as a folk name. They have the same uses and host the same caterpillars. This edible and medicinal plant will certainly end up in our pollinator series for the Wood Folk Diaries! The shrub New Jersey tea …

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Wild Grapevines – Vitis SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pickle Crisper of Wild Plants

Wild Grapevines - Vitis SPP.

In Chippewa, jo’minaga’wunj is the word for vitis vulpina the wild “fox grape”. In Ontario, you’ll find both wild grapes like riverbank grape and abandoned stretches of old cultivated vines. And they are all edible and medicinal. Wild grapevines (vitis SPP.) like riverbank grape (vitis riparia) are strangely absent from the plant index in Haliburton Flora. Their …

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