Eastern white cedar – Thuja occidentalis

In Anishinaabemowin, eastern white cedar is sometimes called Giizhik, and also gi’jikan’dug meaning cedar like, as it’s not a “true cedar”. One of the alternative names for Eastern white cedar is swamp cedar as it likes to grow in damp woods. Another name is Tree of Life, which the white-tailed deer and a multitude of […]

Common burdock – Arctium minus

In Chippewa, Wiisagibag meaning bitter leaf, also Wiisagijiibik meaning bitter taproot and Gi’ masan meaning big stickers. Burdock’s folk names are predominately along the lines of burr-this or that-burr, like burrseed for instance. Which is questionable – it’s the part of the plant used the least. And if you’ve been playing along, you know I […]

Red clover – Trifolium pratense

If you know any words in our local language (Anishinaabemowin) for Red clover, please comment! My favorite folk name for red clover is honey/honey-stalks, but it isn’t just honey bees that like this honey. Mammals like opossum, snowshoe hare, eastern chipmunk, raccoon, striped skunk, and white-tailed deer are buzzing about it. And birds like ring-necked […]

Jewelweed – Impatiens capensis

If you know any words in our local language (Anishinaabemowin) for Jewelweed, please comment! Jewelweed is so named because of the way the dew beads on it. Sometimes its called Wild Touch-me-not and Snapweed, due to the ripe seedpods exploding when touched. Edible Uses The young shoots are edible, but should be double boiled as […]

Common mullein – Verbascum thapsus

In Anishinaabemowin, mullein is sometimes calledWaabooyaanibag (blanket leaf) Mullein’s folk names include but are not limited to flannel leaf (leaves stuffed in shoes for warmth), tinder plant/torches/torch-wort, candle wick (dried stems used to be dipped in wax to make candles), cow’s lungwort. It’s been called tobacco going off the physical resemblance. Wearing it is said […]