Sugar Maple – Acer Saccharum: The Ultimate Canadian Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, a’nina’tig, a sugar maple by any other name would taste as sweet. I’m not sure you’re going to come across another edible and medicinal plant quite as “Canadian” as this! My sugar maples are young and mostly line the road-side of my property. Thankfully there is one on my property that’s large enough […]

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Wild Sarsaparilla – Aralia Nudicaulis: The Rootbeer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, wabos’odji’bik meaning “rabbit root”, wild sarsaparilla is a prized edible and medicinal herb. And not just for the rootbeer. (Though that’d be enough for me!) Wild sarsaparilla’s folk names include rabbit foot and wild licorice. In some of my herbal books, it’s called spikenard instead. But there are many plants called spikenard. There’s […]

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Common Milkweed – Asclepias Syriaca: The Monarch of the Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ini’niwunj meaning “man like”, common milkweed is a monarch of the edible and medicinal wild plant kingdom. Let’s cultivate this king of herbs for the butterflies more than we eat it, please! Milkweeds folk names are somewhat all over the place, as there are tons of varieties, and many probably don’t refer mainly […]

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Eastern White Cedar – Thuja Occidentalis: Tree of Life of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Anishinaabemowin, eastern white cedar is sometimes called giizhik, and also gi’jikan’dug meaning cedar-like, as it’s not a “true cedar”. This Tree of Life is both edible and medicinal. 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, […]

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White Birch – Betula Papyrifera: The Craftiest of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, wi’gwass’tig, white birch is not only edible and medicinal, but is traditionally used in many other ways from making canoes to baskets to birch bark biting. I think of it as the craftiest tree! White birch is sometimes called paper birch or canoe birch after two of its many utilizations. Are you curious […]

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Common Burdock – Arctium Minus: An Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant That’ll Stick With You

In Chippewa, wiisagibag meaning bitter leaf, also wiisagijiibik meaning bitter taproot and gi’ masan meaning big stickers. Common burdock is an edible and medicinal wild plant that will stick with you. It’s a favorite of mine! Burdock’s folk names are predominately along the lines of burr-this or that-burr, like burrseed for instance. Which is questionable […]

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