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

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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Tamarack – Larix Laricina: Sweet Gum of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, mu’ckigwa’tig, meaning “swamp tree”, tamarack is common in low, damp areas, treed bogs (especially fens) and shore banks. If you’ve read about other trees here on the Song of the Woods blog and you’re expecting a lot, you won’t be disappointed. When I moved up north I was surprised to see an “evergreen” (it’s …

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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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Balsam Fir – Abies Balsamea: Most Resin-ating of Local Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, a’ninandak’, balsam fir is an edible and mostly medicinal tree that’s the closest local plant to frankincense that I know of, scent-wise. (But it’s not a sedative.) Its resin can also be used to make Balm of Gilead, mentioned in poplar posts. A little ecological history: When the fight against eastern spruce budworm vs …

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Quaking Aspen – Populus Tremuloides: A Popple’r Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, asa’di means aspen. “Balm of Gilead” can be made from various poplar buds including tremuloides/quaking aspen, a common edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. Last month we talked about balsam poplar. But quaking aspen was my first ID’d poplar. I noticed a set of trees on the one-acre wood that softly trembled …

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

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 soon to be covered – basswood. The “white” refers to the pale underside of leaves, twigs, and …

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