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

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 […]

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

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. […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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Common Burdock – Arctium Minus: An Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant That’ll Stick With You

In Chippewa, wiisagibag meaning bitter leaf, also wiisagijiibik meaning bitter taproot and gi’ masan meaning big stickers. Common burdock is an edible and medicinal wild plant that will stick with you. It’s a favorite of mine! Burdock’s folk names are predominately along the lines of burr-this or that-burr, like burrseed for instance. Which is questionable […]

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Red Clover – Trifolium Pratense: The Honey of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, nisoobag+oon ezhi-wadong+in, red clover is honeylicious and this edible and medicinal plant is not just for the bees! My favorite folk name for red clover is honey/honey-stalks, but it isn’t just honey bees that like this honey. Mammals like the opossum, snowshoe hare, eastern chipmunk, raccoon, striped skunk, and white-tailed deer are buzzing […]

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