Canada Thistle – Cirsium Arvense: “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ma’zana’tig refers to thistles. Despite the popular name Canada thistle, this edible and medicinal plant is not native to Canada. Yup, Canada thistle isn’t from Canada. But it’s common along roadsides and I’ve found it taking over old fields as well. Canada thistles delicate purple-ish flowerheads make it less likely to confuse with burdock …

Wild Strawberry – Fragaria Virginiana: Early Berry of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ode’iminidji’bik meaning “heart berry root”, wild strawberry is one of the first berries to ripen, around the start of summer in cottage country, Ontario. It’s the “queen berry” of our edible and medicinal wild plants. I titled this entry with the main wild strawberry species you’ll find in abundance here, but we also have …

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Soapwort – Saponaria Officinalis: Suds of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin name for soapwort? Soapwort, called “bouncing bet” in Haliburton Flora, is a medicinal and nominally edible plant that has been heavily used as you might imagine – to wash things. And sometimes still is. I’ve noticed soapwort growing in damp places, along streams, and going off meager experience I’d say …

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Hawthorn – Crataegus SPP.: Heart Herb of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, thornapple is called mine’saga’wunj, meaning “having fruit and also spikes.” No other shrub in Canada has these awl like thorns. Hawthorn, despite its thorny appearance, is both an edible and strongly medicinal plant. Be very careful with the thorns – don’t poke your eye out! They are scary sharp! Northern shrikes have been …

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Goldenrod – Solidago SPP.: Sun Medicine of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, gi’ziso’muki’ki, goldenrod is a sunny medicinal and edible wild plant. In the past, it was falsely blamed for hayfever allergies, which are actually caused by ragweed. It’s really a medicine to treat allergies! Latin solidare means to join or make whole, and when you come upon the medicinal tags below you’ll see why …

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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 honey 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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