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

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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Marsh Marigold – Caltha Palustris: Early Greens of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, o’gite’bug, marsh marigold is a wild edible and medicinal plant that grows too close to water hemlock for the comfort of many. Although they look nothing like each other! Also note marsh marigold across the Atlantic is a different plant. Early spring, when wild food is slim pickings, pollinators and foragers alike can […]

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Common St. John’s-Wort – Hypericum Perforatum: Happy Little Flowers of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Called nsidaiindamowin mshkiki by Joe from Creators Garden, “depression medicine”, St. John’s-wort is worthy of the happy little Bob Ross reference. It’s an edible and renown medicinal plant. Locals especially, check Joe out! He’s in Peterborough area. While picking common for the title plant, I could just as well go all out hypericum var. There […]

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Basswood – Tilia Americana: Bee Tree of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, wigub’imij, basswood is also called bee-tree, lime-tree, and linden*. It’s an amazing woodcarving material, and those familiar with just that aspect might be surprised at basswood’s edible and medicinal qualities! Plus, bees! *It’s not the same tree as European Linden but the uses are mirrored. Bee lovers, hear, hear – Basswood blooms are […]

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Lowbush Blueberry – Vaccinium Angustifolium: Super Berry of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, minaga’wunj, blueberry. Lowbush (also called “low sweet”) blueberry is common here, as is velvet-leaf blueberry (vaccinium myrtilloides) which thrives around marshes. I’ve heard a few personal anecdotes from locals about picking blueberries all the while watching a black bear or bears doing the same nearby. The shorter species of “vaccinium” are cranberries and […]

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

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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