Avens – Geum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Chocolate Root of Wild Plants

Avens - Geum SPP.

In Ojibwe, wica’wasa’konek meaning “yellow light” is one word for an avens, specifically large-leaved avens. Our chocolatey title is after the edible usage of the purple avens. We’ve got many geum spp. in Ontario, Canada! Avens (geum spp.) are in the rose family, closely related to cinquefoils and strawberries. In milder climates they are evergreen. Our …

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Stinging Nettle – Urtica Dioica: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Misunderstood Prickly Wild Plant

Stinging Nettle - Urtica Dioica

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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White Ash – Fraxinus Americana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Crafty Tree of Wild Plants

White Ash - Fraxinus Americana

In Chippewa, a’gimak’, white ash is a useful tree to know. In fact, it’s one of the top five trees Caleb Kinew Nini Musgrave @canadianbushcraft recommends knowing in our area. The other four being birch, cedar, spruce and basswood. The “white” refers to the pale underside of leaves, twigs, and bark, although it’s really more …

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American Beech – Fagus Grandifolia: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Old Tree of Wild Plants

American Beech - Fagus Grandifolia

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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Trout Lily – Erythronium Americanum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Spotted Ephemeral Wild Plant

Trout lily - Erythronium americanum

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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