Creeping Bellflower – Campanula Rapunculoides: Edible & Medicinal Uses of a Long Lost Garden Vegetable

Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) is an invasive nonnative. It’s the most common of a handful of nonnative bellflowers around Ontario. You’ll mostly spot it on banks and grassy roadsides. It was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but is probably fairly common now. It was called ramps in English kitchen gardens, back in its heyday. …

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Silverberries – Elaeagnus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Mealy Sour Berry

Silverberries - Elaeagnus SPP.

American silverberries or wolf-willow (Elaeagnus commutata) is Ontario’s native mealy sour silverberry shrub. It does somewhat resemble willow. There are several nonnatives around too. Japanese silverberry AKA Autumn olive (E. umbellata) is invasive around Ontario, especially to the south. In cottage country, it’s more of an introduced small tree you’ll occasionally spot in someone’s lawn. …

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Sweet Cicely – Osmorhiza SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Black Licorice of Wild Plants

Sweet cicely – Osmorhiza SPP.

In Chippewa, osaga’tigom meaning tangled branches, edible and medicinal sweet cicely (osmorhiza claytonii) and its close relations have an anise like scent. Wooly AKA hairy sweet cicely (osmorhiza claytonii) is the only osmorhiza listed in Haliburton Flora. It’s fairly common on bush roads and trails and in thin deciduous woods. I tend to find it …

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Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne Calyculata: Edible & Alt Uses of the Sun Tea of Wild Plants

Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne calyculata

Leatherleaf (chamaedaphne calyculata) is common around Haliburton, Ontario, in bogs and on the edges of wetlands. This shrubby evergreen plant is often walked past, but if you notice it and get close you may see its white bell shaped flowers covered in ants. If you see leatherleaf, you’re in a wetland! The flowers may remind …

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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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Elms – Ulmus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Slippery Bark of Wild Plants

Elms - Ulmus SPP.

In Chippewa, gawa’komic, slippery elm is the medicinal star of the elms (ulmus spp.) native to Ontario. It’s also most popular local/Haliburton elm for foraging. But elm is at risk due to Dutch elm disease. Around cottage country Ontario there are three main native elm (ulmus spp.) trees. The most common is American/white elm (ulmus americana) …

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