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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Bedstraws (Cleavers) – Galium SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Coffee Cousin of Wild Plants

Bedstraws - Galium SPP.

Cleavers (galium aparine) is a widely popular edible and medicinal plant, but there are over a dozen bedstraws in our neck of Ontario to confuse them with. Bedstraws (galium spp.) include the most notable cleavers (g. aparine), which will be the star of this feature. When I mention “cleavers” in this article it’ll always be …

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Alfalfa – Medicago Sativa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Vitamin and Mineral Supplement of Wild Plants

Alfalfa - Medicago Sativa

Alfalfa is a superfood of edible and medicinal plants, for some people to consume in moderation anyway. There are conditions and drug interactions that clash with this purple. Alfalfa (medicago sativa) is an uncommon sight here in open grassy areas, typically where livestock was foraging on old farmland, and sandy roadsides. It was brought over …

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Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella Bursa-pastoris: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Another Mustard of Wild Plants

Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella Bursa-pastoris

Shepherd’s purse is the second-most prolific wild “weed” in the entire world (polygonum aviculare/pigweed is #1). In cottage country Ontario it’s not that prolific, but you can still find this edible and medicinal mustard. Shepherd’s purse (capsella bursa-pastoris) may be found around here on dry sandy sites and moist wooded roadsides. I’ve only found it …

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Pipsissewa – Chimaphila Umbellata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bitter Wintergreen of Wild Plants

Pipsissewa - Chimaphila Umbellata

In Chippewa, ga’gige’bug meaning “everlasting leaf” for its evergreen-ness, “pipsissewa” is a Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi name meaning “It-breaks-into-small-pieces”. It’s one of my favorite edible and medicinal plants to observe blooming in the wild. The delicate umbrella like flowers are unique here. Pipsissewa (chimaphila umbellata) is uncommon here, and may be found in sparsely wooded, usually rocky areas. I typically …

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Variegated Pond-lily – Nuphar Variegata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Yellow Lake Rose of Wild Plants

Variegated Pond-lily - Nuphar Variegata

In Anishinaabemowin, kandamo, variegated pond-lily is not just an edible and medicinal plant to the 2-leggeds, but a favourite of aquatic wildlife. It’s also visited by many pollinators. Variegated or yellow water-lily (nuphar variegata) is common here in gently flowering shallow waters, up to a few metres deep. There was one small yellow water lily (nuphar …

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