Fire Cherry – Prunus Pensylvanica: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Bird Cherry of Wild Plants

Fire Cherry - Prunus Pensylvanica

We’ve covered almost every native cherry in Ontario and this fire cherry, also called bird cherry for one, is no exception to the fact prunus spp. are fantastic for birds and other wildlife. And not just jam! Pin cherry / Fire cherry (prunus pensylvanica) was common along roadsides, woodland slopes, lake banks, and stream banks …

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Eastern Hemlock – Tsuga Canadensis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Porcupine Tree of Wild Plants

Eastern Hemlock - Tsuga Canadensis

In Chippewa, gaga’gimie, eastern hemlock is also called gaagaagiwanzh meaning “porcupine, his tree“. It’s a tree beneficial to countless wildlife with many edible, medicinal and craft uses. Eastern hemlock (tsuga canadensis) can be found in moist hardwood forests. I haven’t seen any on the 1 or the 100 acre I frequent, but I know people …

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Bittercresses – Cardamine SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pepper Root of Wild Plants

Bittercresses - Cardamine SPP.

Bittercresses are in the mustard family and include toothworts. The Latin name “kardamine” means water or pepper grass. The folk name “pepper root” tells what this edible wild plant tastes like. Bittercresses (cardamine SPP.) like the twoleaf toothwort in our pictures here (cardamine diphylla syn. dentaria diphylla) are related to mustard. Dentaria diphylla is the outdated …

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American Wintergreen – Gaultheria Procumbens: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Other Snowberry of Wild Plants

American Wintergreen - Gaultheria Procumbens

In Chippewa, wini’sibugons’  meaning “dirty leaf”, American wintergreen is often called Eastern tea berry now. It’s edible and medicinal, but you have to mind the amount you use because the oil is toxic if overdosed. Similar to Aspirin, just a tsp of pure wintergreen oil is the equivalent of 21 and a half adult aspirins. American …

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Spring-Beauty – Claytonia Caroliniana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fairy Spuds of 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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Wild Lily-Of-The-Valley – Maianthemum Canadense: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mayflower of Wild Plants

Wild Lily-Of-The-Valley - Maianthemum Canadense

In Ojibwe, agoñgosî’ mînûn meaning chipmunk berries, wild lily-of-the-valley is not a lily. Wild lily-of-the-valley is of the Asparagaceae family (as of 2016). It’s an edible and medicinal plant, but be sure not to confuse it with true lily-of-the-valley! Another lookalike to be ware of is 3-leaved Solomon’s seal. Chipmunks are cute, but the alternative name …

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