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 …

Read more

Common Elderberry – Sambucus Canadensis: Pharmacy of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Common Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for elder? Common elderberry is possibly the epitome of edible and especially of medicinal wild plants. If I had to pick one, elder is The One. Its been called “a medicine chest of its own” and “a pharmacy of its own”. I’m excited to finally cover elderberry! I use …

Read more

Tamarack – Larix Laricina: Sweet Gum of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Tamarack - Larix Laricina

In Chippewa, mu’ckigwa’tig, meaning “swamp tree”, tamarack is common in low, damp areas, treed bogs (especially fens) and shore banks. If you’ve read about other trees here on the Song of the Woods blog and you’re expecting a lot, you won’t be disappointed. When I moved up north I was surprised to see an “evergreen” (it’s …

Read more

Chicory – Cichorium Intybus: Coffeeweed of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Chicory - Cichorium Intybus

Does anyone have a Anishinaabemowin word for chicory? It’s a popular edible and medicinal plant. And yet another naturalized from Europe. Its bright blue blooms are eye catching, scattered along the roadside throughout summer. But keep reading – they aren’t just flair! I thought about calling it the time teller of edible and medicinal wild plants. …

Read more

Black Cherry – Prunus Serotina: The Cherry Cough Drop of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Black cherry – Prunus serotina

In Chippewa, ikwe’mic, black cherry while perhaps the least palatable of our cherries is still a bouncin’ edible and medicinal tree. I absolutely love making stuff with it too! The scent of the sawdust – yum! Black cherry is also called rum cherry because settlers blended the fruit with rum or brandy and called the …

Read more

Wild Sarsaparilla – Aralia Nudicaulis: The Rootbeer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Wild sarsaparilla - Aralia nudicaulis

In Chippewa, wabos’odji’bik meaning “rabbit root”, wild sarsaparilla is a prized edible and medicinal herb. And not just for the rootbeer. (Though that’d be enough for me!) Wild sarsaparilla’s folk names include rabbit foot and wild licorice. In some of my herbal books, it’s called spikenard instead. But there are many plants called spikenard. There’s …

Read more