The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 6: Baneberries

Dear Wood Folk, Have you seen the plant with doll’s eyes for berries? In Samuel Thayer’s newest book, Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, he calls baneberry “possibly the most poisonous fleshy berry” in our region. As far as berries go both white (Actaea pachypoda) and red (Actaea rubra) baneberries can make you feel pretty …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

Dear Wood Folk, Buttercups are one of the first flowering plants I noticed when I moved to Haliburton County, Ontario. They have a reflective shininess to them that makes them pop. Buttercups are common in my yard, and common along the nearest trail. These mostly perennial plants show up in varied terrain. Some species are …

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Elms – Ulmus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Slippery Bark of Wild Plants

Elms - Ulmus SPP.

In Chippewa, gawa’komic, slippery elm is the medicinal star of the elms (ulmus spp.) native to Ontario. It’s also most popular local/Haliburton elm for foraging. But elm is at risk due to Dutch elm disease. Around cottage country Ontario there are three main native elm (ulmus spp.) trees. The most common is American/white elm (ulmus americana) …

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Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius: Inedible Rose of Not-so Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Ninebark – Physocarpus Opulifolius

Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) isn’t all that edible or medicinal, but it is a wonderful source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. Ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) is a rare sight around Haliburton country. When Haliburton Flora was compiled there was only one noted, on an open grassy bank. Yet this is a popular deciduous shrub for native …

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Canadian Yew – Taxus Canadensis: Heartstopper of Not So Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Canadian Yew - Taxus Canadensis

In Chippewa, ne’bagandag’ meaning “it is one-sided”. Yew is an important shrub to know if you’re going to forage conifers. It’s trendy to make teas out of evergreens like spruce or cedar, but just a cupful of fresh yew leaves can actually kill you. While parts of yew have been used both for edible and medicinal …

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Bunchberry – Cornus Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Little Dogwood of Wild Plants

Bunchberry – Cornus Canadensis

In Chippewa, caca’gomin or spelled zhakaagomin, bunchberry (cornus canadensis) is a small, creeping dogwood. And just like the other native dogwoods, it’s a great nectar and pollen plant and somewhat of an edible and medicinal plant for humans too. Bunchberry (cornus canadensis) is common around cottage country, Ontario. This dogwood likes wet and cool deciduous and …

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