White Water-Lily – Nymphaea Odorata: Lotus of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

White water-lily – Nymphaea odorata

Does anyone have an eastern Anishinaabe name for white water lily? One of the central names is odite’abug wabi’gwun. White water-lily is one of our stand out edible and medicinal aquatic plants. The flower itself is widely recognizable – a lotus. Around Haliburton we have white water-lily (nymphaea odorata) and the yellow ones you spot …

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False Solomon’s-Seal – Smilacina Racemosa: Beetle-Friend of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

False Solomon’s-seal - Smilacina Racemosa

In Chippewa, agong’osiminun, false Solomon’s-seal is known by multiple Latin names: smilacina racemosa, maianthemum racemosum, and vagnera racemosa. If you’ve seen a plant with a massive cluster of speckled pink and red berries hanging from it along the border of your woods, this edible and medicinal plant is likely the one. Around Haliburton we have …

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Sunflower – Helianthus Annuus: Sunshine of Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants

Sunflower – Helianthus Annuus

I haven’t found a word for sunflower in Anishinaabemowin, but *giizis means sun and waabigwan means flower. While most folks know sunflower is edible, did you know it’s a medicinal plant as well? *The Ojibwe words link to The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary which is the first place I look if Frances Densmore’s book doesn’t include …

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Common Plantain – Plantago Major: Mother of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Common Plantain - Plantago Major

In Chippewa, o’mukiki’bug, common plantain is often an initial edible and medicinal herb for beginner foragers and herbalists. It may seem mundane, but it’s powerful, and has been called the “Mother of Herbs”. It has been called “soldier’s herb” hinting at its medicinal properties. I’m particularly found of the nickname “waybread”, which calls to mind Middle …

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Violet – Viola SPP.: The Pretty Little Things of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Violet - Viola SPP.

In Chippewa, wewaîe’bûgûg is the word for American dog violet in particular. Violets are aplenty around here and all are edible and medicinal. Happily, the plant is unharmed by picking the flowers. However, some violets are rare so do take the usual proper precautions in ID-ing and monitoring your wild plant allies. While you’d probably only …

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Common Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus: The Coziest of Foragable Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Common mullein - Verbascum thapsus

In Anishinaabemowin, mullein is sometimes called Waabooyaanibag (blanket leaf). Its uses are blanketly more medicinal than edible. But you can eat the delicate yellow flowers too! Mullein’s folk names include but are not limited to flannel leaf (leaves stuffed in shoes for warmth), tinder plant/torches/torch-wort, candlewick (dried stems used to be dipped in wax to …

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