American Bittersweet – Celastrus Scandens: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Our 100th Featured Wild Plant

American Bittersweet - Celastrus Scandens

In Chippewa, bima’kwud meaning “twisting around”, American bittersweet is much less edible and medicinal than our usual featured plants, but the berries on this vine are stunning in the fall and winter. Cheers to our 100th plant! Is it bittersweet? Yes and no. Is it very edible and medicinal? Nah. The berries are poisonous, although that’s …

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Chokecherry – Prunus Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sour Cherry of Wild Plants

Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana

In Chippewa, a’sisuwe’minaga’wunj, chokecherries are one of our most commonly found edible and medicinal berry shrubs. The “choke” is a reference to how sour they are. Pucker up! Common around Haliburton and in Algonquin park too, chokecherry dots the roadsides, stream edges and fencerows. They may be the most widespread tree in North America. Up …

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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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Basswood – Tilia Americana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bee Tree of Wild Plants

Basswood - Tilia americana

In Chippewa, wigub’imij, basswood is also called bee-tree, lime-tree, and linden*. It’s an amazing woodcarving material, and those familiar with just that aspect might be surprised at basswood’s edible and medicinal qualities! Plus, bees! *It’s not the same tree as European Linden but the uses are mirrored. Bee lovers, hear, hear – Basswood blooms are …

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Common Blackberry – Rubus Allegheniensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Cordial Bramble of Wild Plants

Common Blackberry - Rubus Allegheniensis

In Chippewa, oda’tagago’minaga’wunj, common blackberry is a cordial wild edible and medicinal bramble. It’s distinguishable from black raspberries by having a core instead of being hollow inside when harvested (second picture down this page). There are around 50 species of black and raspberries in North America and up here in the north, aren’t we lucky it’s …

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Wild Red Raspberry – Rubus Idaeus Var. Strigosus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of a Berry Sweet Wild Plant

Wild red raspberry - Rubus idaeus var. strigosus

In Chippewa, mis’kominaga’wunj, wild red raspberry is one of hundreds of wild edible and medicinal brambles. Its fruit is not a true berry, but a cluster of drupelets. So, yeah, bananas are berries and raspberries are not. Around Haliburton you’ll also find purple-flowering raspberry (rubus odoratus), which will be covered in its own feature someday, and …

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