Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne Calyculata: Edible & Alt Uses of the Sun Tea of Wild Plants

Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne calyculata

Leatherleaf (chamaedaphne calyculata) is common around Haliburton, Ontario, in bogs and on the edges of wetlands. This shrubby evergreen plant is often walked past, but if you notice it and get close you may see its white bell shaped flowers covered in ants. If you see leatherleaf, you’re in a wetland! The flowers may remind …

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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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Cinquefoils – Potentilla SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mock Strawberries of Wild Plants

Cinquefoils - Potentilla SPP.

In Ojibwe, tcode’ imînaga’ wûnj meaning “like a strawberry” is a name for one of the cinquefoils. You can find at least seven species in our area of Central Ontario, with varying levels of edibility and medicinal quality. Around the world the most popular cinquefoils are tormentil and silverweed, neither of which are in Haliburton, Ontario. …

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Yellow Birch – Betula Alleghaniensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Wintergreen Tree of Wild Plants

Yellow Birch - Betula Alleghaniensis

In Ojibwe, wiinizik, yellow birch has a lot in common with other birches, but along with black/sweet birch (which isn’t in Haliburton) yellow birch has a subtle wintergreen scent and taste, making it one of a handful of wintergreen-y edible and medicinal plants around Haliburton. Yellow birch is common around Haliburton in tall mixed woods. I …

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Tamarack – Larix Laricina: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet Gum of Wild Plants

Tamarack - Larix Laricina

In Chippewa, mu’ckigwa’tig, meaning “swamp tree”, tamarack is common in low, damp areas, treed bogs (especially fens) and shore banks. If you’ve read about other trees here on the Song of the Woods blog and you’re expecting a lot, you won’t be disappointed. When I moved up north I was surprised to see an “evergreen” (it’s …

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Serviceberry – Amelanchier SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Early Bloomer of Wild Plants

Serviceberry - Amelanchier SPP.

In Chippewa, guzigwa’kominaga’wunj, referring to the shad fish spawning when the serviceberry blooms. The English name serviceberry has origins related to when one can finally have funeral services/burial for winters dead. They’re also called juneberries even though you’ll be waiting until the end of June or later for ripe berries. Here around Haliburton, Ontario you’ll …

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