on January 23, 2013
Sym. Ledum groenlandicum
Picture taken near Sackville, New Brunswick
A native wetland shrub growing in enclosed marshes and wetlands in the Acadian Forest.
This ‘tea’ was used by Native Americas as a diuretic, bad breath, diarrhea, infections, headaches and migraines. It was also used by early European settlers as a black tea alternative. One should take care in identifying this in the wild, as similar plant species are toxic. Only small doses of this tea should be taken, as the Labrador Tea can be toxic in high doses.
Not to be confused with bog laurel (Kalmia microphylla).
on January 22, 2013
Taken in Sackville, New Brunswick
A rare native forest herb featured in CFI’s Food Forest Garden at the Sackville Community Garden. This plant flowers in the early spring, before the leaves have opened on the trees. This plant is known as a spring ephemeral, holding nutrients in the forest soil in the snow melts and heavy rains of the spring. It dies back just as the other forest plants wake up, releasing nutrients back into the forest ecosystem.
on January 21, 2013
This may be a farmer’s arch enemy – but Alder has countless ecological services. It is known as a pioneer plant, taking over old fields after grasses and smaller woody shrubs. It fixes nitrogen in the soil – the most limiting nutrient in plant growth. It shades the soil so that grasses struggle and trees can grow. It holds water, keeping land from flooding. Generations down the line we see a forest – many thanks to the Alder shrub.
on January 17, 2013
Picture taken near Port Elgin, New Brunswick
Bunchberry is a ground cover that grows under the forest canopy. It’s a beautiful native herb for your food forest garden.
Bunchberry also accumulates Cu, Fe, K, Pb, Mn, Mg, P, Ca and Zn in its tissues, holding nutrients within the system preventing leaching. When the plants die back every year, some of these nutrients become available to other plants.
Berries edible. Roots – antispasmodic and antiseptic; Leaves – analgesic and cathartic; Fruits – capillary tonic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.