Beaked Hazel – Corylus Cornuta: Nut of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, one word for hazel is bagan‘, which means nuts, burs or wood. Beaked hazel or hazelnut is our local edible and medicinal filbert. And it can be used just the same as the store bought one! Like many related (and similarly leaved) trees and shrubs, you’ll find them most along the edges. If […]

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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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Highbush Cranberry – Viburnum Trilobum: Sour Patch of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, aniibimin. Not a true cranberry, highbush cranberry is just as tart. It’s related to blueberries. Sometimes it’s called viburnum opulus var. americanum (trilobum). Opulus is the European relation, commonly called “guelder rose” in those parts. Our county is full of maple leafed looking plants. For instance, the literal maple-leaved viburnum (viburnum acerifolium). Highbush has […]

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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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Balsam Poplar – Populus Balsamifera: Pop’lar Balm of Foraging Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, man’asa’di, balsam poplar is often used to make the ever-popular Balm of Gilead. Poplar is a common wild edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. (And some people think it’s trash!) Next month I’ll cover quaking aspen. For today, the focus is balsam poplar, also called Balm of Gilead. Writing about two populus […]

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