Horsetails – Equisetum SPP.: Scourer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gijib’inuskon meaning “it is round”, refers to scouring rush. Common horsetail is used to scrub and clean too, but it also has edible uses. And scouring rush is the equisetum plant preferred for medicinal uses. Related to ferns, common horsetail (sometimes called horsetail fern) is the only living genus of the subclass equisetidae. Its …

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Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Comfrey-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have a word for viper’s bugloss in Anishinaabemowin? This edible and medicinal plant is a lot like comfrey and borage in usage. It even has the same toxic PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) as comfrey. That’s something to consider besides the spiny bristles covering this plant. If you’re prone to roadside walks, I’m sure you’ve …

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Common Juniper – Juniperus Communis: Spicy Conifer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ga’gawan’dagisid meaning deceptive, common junipers “berries” aren’t as sweet as they appear. (I’m not actually sure that is why deceptive is the descriptive name.) But common juniper is still an edible and medicinal plant, especially popular in Northern Europe. In Haliburton, Ontario, you’ll find communis var. depressa Pursh. It’s been fairly common around here, especially …

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Hawthorn – Crataegus SPP.: Heart Herb of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, thornapple is called mine’saga’wunj, meaning “having fruit and also spikes.” No other shrub in Canada has these awl like thorns. Hawthorn, despite its thorny appearance, is both an edible and strongly medicinal plant. Be very careful with the thorns – don’t poke your eye out! They are scary sharp! Northern shrikes have been …

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Lady’s-Thumb – Polygonum Persicaria: Buckwheat of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for lady’s-thumb? A type of buckwheat, lady’s-thumb is a common garden “smartweed” here. It’s a smart beginner wild edible and medicinal green because of the distinguished triangular purple spot on the leaf making it easily identifiable. Syn. persicaria maculosa. Check out the nice, clearest “thumb”print, bottom-left: Edible Uses of …

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Queen Anne’s-lace – Daucus Carota: Carrot of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, okaadaak means carrot, and Queen Anne’s-lace is literally a carrot. It’s another likely garden escapee, naturalized to Haliburton, and a surprisingly edible and medicinal wild plant. (If you’re not possibly pregnant, anyway!) Edible Uses of Queen Anne’s-lace The whole plant smells distinctly of carrot. But the edible roots are white instead of orange. …

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