Spring-Beauty – Claytonia Caroliniana: Fairy Spuds of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishinaabemowin, miiaatikwek piniik, spring-beauty is one of our first spring flowers. It’s a small, striped edible and medicinal ephemeral and one of our first available bee foods. It even has its own specialist bee, the spring beauty miner. You might see non-natives like crocus and coltsfoot bloom first in the spring, before our bees even …

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Common Juniper – Juniperus Communis: Spicy Conifer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ga’gawan’dagisid meaning deceptive, common junipers “berries” aren’t as sweet as they appear. (I’m not actually sure that is why deceptive is the descriptive name.) But common juniper is still an edible and medicinal plant, especially popular in Northern Europe. In Haliburton, Ontario you’ll find var. depressa Pursh. It’s been fairly common around here, especially dotting …

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Cannabis – Cannabis Sativa: Weed of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for hemp or cannibis? Here in Canada, cannabis is a legal (and hopefully decriminalized someday) edible, medicinal and industrial plant. In Haliburton, we even have our own pot shop Capturing Eden. It’s a December day as I post this, the 24th! Mary Christmas! When Haliburton Flora was compiled, there was …

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Mint – Mentha SPP.: Freshest of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for mint? We’ll cover the edible and medicinal wild mint, peppermint and spearmint in this post. There are other mints I will cover separately: heal-all, catnip, wild bergamot, etc! Wild mint (mentha arvensis) and peppermint (mentha x piperita) are listed in Haliburton Flora, with wild mint being more common. …

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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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Willow – Salix SPP.: Original Aspirin of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ozi’sigo’bimle, willow is an edible, medicinal and heavily utilized plant. Its powerful component salicin was synthesized to make the well known OTC medicine Aspirin. “Sal lis” means “near water”. And our many Haliburton waters are surrounded by salix! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety of …

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