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

Tamarack - Larix Laricina

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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Red Osier Dogwood – Cornus Stolonifera: Substitute Willow of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Red osier dogwood - Cornus stolonifera

Joe from *Creator’s Garden calls it mskwabiimnagohns. Red osier dogwood is our most recognizable dogwood. It’s both a wild edible and a medicinal that you may be aching to know. *Link is to Joe’s video about red osier on Facebook, have a listen and follow 🙂 Our local dogwoods include at least five: pagoda (cornus …

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Lowbush Blueberry – Vaccinium Angustifolium: Super Berry of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Lowbush blueberry - Vaccinium angustifolium

In Chippewa, minaga’wunj, blueberry. Lowbush (also called “low sweet”) blueberry is common here, as is velvet-leaf blueberry (vaccinium myrtilloides) which thrives around marshes. I’ve heard a few personal anecdotes from locals about picking blueberries all the while watching a black bear or bears doing the same nearby. The shorter species of “vaccinium” are cranberries and …

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

Wild red raspberry - Rubus idaeus var. strigosus

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), which will be covered in its own feature someday, and …

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Wild Sarsaparilla – Aralia Nudicaulis: The Rootbeer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Wild sarsaparilla - Aralia nudicaulis

In Chippewa, wabos’odji’bik meaning “rabbit root”, wild sarsaparilla is a prized edible and medicinal herb. And not just for the rootbeer. (Though that’d be enough for me!) Wild sarsaparilla’s folk names include rabbit foot and wild licorice. In some of my herbal books, it’s called spikenard instead. But there are many plants called spikenard. There’s …

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