Ostrich Fern (Fiddlehead) – Matteuccia Struthiopteris: Top Fern of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, waagaagin, ostrich fern is the usual fern called fiddlehead. It’s a traditional dish in Quebec and New Brunswick and the sprouts are a delicacy called kogomi in Japan. It’s the first fern in our edible and medicinal plants series! Growing 2-6 feet tall, this popular fern may even be found in grocery stores around […]

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Wild Leek – Allium Tricoccum: The Top Locally Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Ojibwe, zhigaagawanzh+iig means onion, wild leek is a popular foraged plant by people who aren’t otherwise foragers around here. Some properties have carpets of them. Others have been stripped of them as people don’t know offhand how long the bulbs take to grow and how easy it is to devastate a population of ramps. In […]

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Stinging Nettle – Urtica Dioica: First Misunderstood of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

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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Jack-In-The-Pulpit – Arisaema Triphyllum: Burning Sensation of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, caca’ gomîn, Jack-in-the-pulpit is a scorching edible and medicinal plant that requires patience and expertise to utilize. It’s not for the beginner forager or herbalist. Despite names like Indian or pepper turnip and Starchwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit isn’t just some root you can dig up like burdock and have at. The roots are covered in […]

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White Trillium – Trillium Grandiflorum: Ontario’s Official Flower and Most Photogenic Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, ini’niwin’dibige’gun, white trillium is Ontario’s official flower and the standardbearer of spring. It’s also a traditional edible and mostly medicinal plant. However, it needs our protection. Also called birth root, a hint at its medicinal qualities. And wake-robin, due to being a spring herald. It heralds the black flies too, who I personally […]

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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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