Yellow Birch – Betula Alleghaniensis: Wintergreen Tree of Edible & Medicinal Plants

In Ojibwe, wiinizik, yellow birch has a lot in common with other birches, but along with black/sweet birch (which isn’t in Haliburton) yellow birch has a subtle wintergreen scent and taste, making it one of the few wintergreen-y edible and medicinal plants around Haliburton. Yellow birch is common around Haliburton in tall mixed woods. I notice …

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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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Willow – Salix SPP.: Original Aspirin of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ozi’sigo’bimle, willow is an edible, medicinal and heavily utilized plant. Its powerful component salicin was synthesized to make the well known OTC medicine Aspirin. “Sal lis” means “near water”. And our many Haliburton waters are surrounded by salix! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety of …

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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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