Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata: Hot Pink Milkweed of Edible & Medicinal Plants

Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias Incarnata

In Chippewa, bu’giso’win meaning “swimming“, swamp milkweed is not as edible and medicinal as its common relation. So we’re all the more talking about how much of an all-star this plant is for pollinator gardens and native landscaping. Swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata) can be found in the margins of swamps, marshes and other low wet …

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Winterberry Holly – Ilex Verticillata: Ornamental “Berry” of Wild Plants

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for winterberry holly? This highly ornamental vine isn’t so edible and medicinal, but we’re trying to be festive this December. It’s a plant to consider mainly for its looks, and it makes for stunning wreaths. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is fairly common in central Ontario. It’s usually found along …

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Joe-Pye Weed – Eupatorium Maculatum: Bee Bed of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Joe-Pye Weed - Eupatorium Maculatum

In Chippewa, me’skwana’kuk bu’giso’win meaning swimming, Joe-Pye weed grows well along ponds, wetlands and streams, but any damp sunny area will do. It is one of the pollinator all-stars of edible and medicinal plants. Joe-Pye weed is common around Haliburton in low wet areas by ponds, marshes, streams, and even damp ditches. One spontaneously appeared by …

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Arrowheads – Sagittaria SPP.: Marsh Potato of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Arrowhead - Sagittaria SPP.

In Chippewa,  muj’ota’buk meaning “moose leaf”, arrowhead is an edible and medicinal plant in the humans case as well as moose. Not to be confused with arrowroot, which you can find at health food stores, you’ll find arrowhead in the marsh instead. Usually surrounded by cattail and the like, arrowhead (sagittaria SPP.) is a common aquatic …

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Alder – Alnus SPP.: Oak-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Alder - Alnus SPP.

In Chippewa, wadub, alder is a highly astringent edible and medicinal wild plant. Its usage is similar to oak. Alder means red in German, so named because the bark makes your saliva red. But don’t go nibbling on the bark now – it’s emetic (it will make you throw up!) Speckled alder (alnus rugosa) as listed …

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Spring-Beauty – Claytonia Caroliniana: Fairy Spuds of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Spring-beauty - Claytonia caroliniana

In Anishinaabemowin, miiaatikwek piniik, spring-beauty is one of our first spring flowers. It’s a small, striped edible and medicinal ephemeral and one of our first available bee foods. It even has its own specialist bee, the spring beauty miner. You might see non-natives like crocus and coltsfoot bloom first in the spring, before our bees even …

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