True Solomon’s Seals – Polygonatum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sweet Potato of North America

Hairy (sometimes called Dwarf) Solomon’s-Seal (Polygonatum pubescens) is the sole true Solomon’s seal noted on iNat for Haliburton, Ontario. It’s native. However, half a dozen species have been found in Ontario, including the somewhat edible and medicinal smooth Solomon’s seal (P. biflorum). But hairy here, as far as I know is not edible or medicinal. …

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Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman's Breeches and Squirrel Corn

Dear Wood Folk, You’ve likely heard of or seen the plant bleeding heart. I have some planted over the graves of my beloved pets. Dutchman’s breeches (dicentra cucullaria) and squirrel corn (dicentra canadensis) are the native relations to bleeding heart in Ontario. Dutchman’s breeches have yellow “waistbands” on their upside-down knicker shaped flowers, while squirrel …

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Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Stickseed of Wild Plants

Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.

Agrimonies (agrimonia spp.) are another oft overlooked edible and medicinal herb. Starting around medieval times common agrimony was a popular heal all. For sometime it was available at apothecaries or pharmacies. Despite its decline in popularity it is still used by herbalists today. Like the lettuces we posted two weeks ago, most agrimonies found in …

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Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Opium of Wild Plants

Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.

In Chippewa, odjici’gomin refers to Canada wild lettuce (lactuca canadensis), one of many edible and medicinal wild lettuces (lactuca spp.) you’ll find in Ontario. They are often confused with chicory, dandelion or sow thistles, but fortunately these tall wild lettuces have no poisonous lookalikes. Although, at a glance rattlesnake roots have a similar look and height. …

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American Spikenard – Aralia Racemosa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Jumble Berry of Wild Plants

American Spikenard – Aralia Racemosa

In Chippewa, o’kadak or aya’bidjidji’bikugi’sin, the later implying adhesiveness, spikenard is another edible and medicinal plant from the sarsaparilla family. We’ve covered its relation sarsaparilla before and eventually we’ll cover its other local close relation American ginseng. Be aware, sometimes wild sarsaparilla is also called “spikenard” (plus a few others plants too, who are less related!) …

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