Pearly Everlasting – Anaphalis Margaritacea: Moonshine of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis Margaritacea

In Chippewa, wa’bigwun meaning “flowers”, pearly everlasting is a unique looking edible and medicinal plant. While not used much these days for food or medicine, it’s still a hit for American Lady butterflies and florists alike. Pearly everlasting (anaphalis margaritacea) is especially common along roadsides and damp ditches. It’s named for its pearly colored flower …

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Bull Thistle – Cirsium Vulgare: Artichokes of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Bull Thistle - Cirsium Vulgare

Does anyone have an Anishinaabemowin word for bull thistle (cirsium vulgare)? It’s a common sight in sunny pastures and along the roadside here. Its (also euro) cousin Canada thistle (cirsium arvense) will be covered another time, even though the edible and medicinal usage is similar. Bull thistle is more edible. I’m going to interrupt this …

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Goldenrod – Solidago SPP.: Sun Medicine of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Goldenrod - Solidago SPP.

In Chippewa, gi’ziso’muki’ki, goldenrod is a sunny medicinal and edible wild plant. In the past, it was falsely blamed for hayfever allergies, which are actually caused by ragweed. It’s really a medicine to treat allergies! Latin solidare means to join or make whole, and when you come upon the medicinal tags below you’ll see why …

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Evening Primrose – Oenothera Biennis: Midnight Oil of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Evening primrose - Oenothera biennis

If anyone knows an Anishinaabemowin word for evening primrose, please comment! While not a true “primrose”, common evening primrose is truly amazing. You might have heard of evening primrose oil as a medicinal supplement, but this foraged wild plant is also amazingly edible! The flowers open at dusk hence the “evening”. Observe them and you’ll …

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Common Blackberry – Rubus Allegheniensis: Cordial Bramble of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Common Blackberry - Rubus Allegheniensis

In Chippewa, oda’tagago’minaga’wunj, common blackberry is a cordial wild edible and medicinal bramble. It’s distinguishable from black raspberries by having a core instead of being hollow inside when harvested (second picture down this page). There are around 50 species of black and raspberries in North America and up here in the north, aren’t we lucky it’s …

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

Balsam Poplar - Populus Balsamifera

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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