Stinging Nettle – Urtica Dioica: First Misunderstood of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, bepadji’ckanakiz’it ma’zana’tig, stinging nettle tends to make a bad impression on first meeting, as the name suggests. But there’s way more to this needled edible and medicinal plant. The Chippewa name given refers specifically to the slender leaf subsp. The sting never lasts long for me, but I’ve heard of it lasting for days […]

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Quaking Aspen – Populus Tremuloides: A Popple’r Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, asa’di means aspen. “Balm of Gilead” can be made from various poplar buds including tremuloides/quaking aspen, a common edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. Last month we talked about balsam poplar. But quaking aspen was my first ID’d poplar. I noticed a set of trees on the one-acre wood that softly trembled […]

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American Beech – Fagus Grandifolia: This Old Tree of Foraging Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, gawe’mîc, beech is the oldest tree name in the world! It’s also an antique edible and old school medicinal plant. The beechnut tree scarcely grows fruit before it’s 40, 50 years old and produces more with age. Even then, good seed crops won’t happen every year. They tend to hold onto their leaves […]

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Balsam Poplar – Populus Balsamifera: Pop’lar Balm of Foraging Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, man’asa’di, balsam poplar is often used to make the ever-popular Balm of Gilead. Poplar is a common wild edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. (And some people think it’s trash!) Next month I’ll cover quaking aspen. For today, the focus is balsam poplar, also called Balm of Gilead. Writing about two populus […]

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Trout Lily – Erythronium Americanum: The Ephemeral Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Ojibwe, namegobagonii’n partially derived from namegos meaning “lake trout”, trout lily is one of the first edible and medicinal plants to come up in the Spring. But it doesn’t stay for long! A spring ephemeral (which means it springs up and then goes away far too quickly), trout lily’s leaves have the mottled appearance of […]

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White Trillium – Trillium Grandiflorum: Ontario’s Official Flower and Most Photogenic Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, ini’niwin’dibige’gun, white trillium is Ontario’s official flower and the standardbearer of spring. It’s also a traditional edible and mostly medicinal plant. However, it needs our protection. Also called birth root, a hint at its medicinal qualities. And wake-robin, due to being a spring herald. It heralds the black flies too, who I personally […]

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