Latin Name: Comptonia peregrina

Other Names: Fern Gale


  • deciduous, shrub-like, low, branching
  • darker bark (stems)
  • leaves: narrow, underside paler, slightly hairy
  • leaves sweetly aromatic when rubbed or crushed
  • flowers: small, inconspicuous, catkins
  • fruits: smooth, rounded, nutlets, bur-like

Edible Uses

  • Fruit (nutlets)
  • Leaves for tea (fresh or dried)

Medicinal Uses

  • Used as toothache remedy
  • Used to treat diarrhea
  • Used to treat skin irritations (Poison Ivy, stings, ringworm, etc.)
  • USed for fevers, catarrh, vomiting of blood
  • Used for sprains and rheumatism
  • Leaves are astringent
  • Used as blood purifier
  • Used in form of a poultice, expectorant or tonic

Other Uses

  • Leaves used to line and cover blueberry baskets to maintain berry freshness, and prevent spoilage
  • Leaves used as insect repellent
  • Leaves burnt as incense

Cautionary Uses

  • n/a

References & Resources

  1. Comptonia peregrina on Plants for a Future
  2. Book: Forest Plants of Central Ontario, 1996