Serviceberry – Amelanchier SPP.: Early Bloomer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, guzigwa’kominaga’wunj, referring to the shad fish spawning when the serviceberry blooms. The English name serviceberry has origins related to when one can finally have funeral services/burial for winters dead. They’re also called juneberries even though you’ll be waiting until the end of June or later for ripe berries. Here around Haliburton, Ontario you’ll […]

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

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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Wild Red Raspberry – Rubus Idaeus Var. Strigosus: Berry Sweet Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, mis’kominaga’wunj, wild red raspberry is one of hundreds of wild edible and medicinal brambles. Its fruit is not a true berry, but a cluster of drupelets. So, yeah, bananas are berries and raspberries are not. Around Haliburton you’ll also find purple-flowering raspberry (rubus odoratus) and dwarf raspberry (rubus pubescens) among other brambles. Haliburton Flora […]

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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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