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Herbs & Plants

Agoseris glauca

Botanical Name: Agoseris glauca
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Agoseris
Species: A. glauca

Synonyms:
*Agoseris agrestis Osterh.
*Agoseris altissima Rydb.
*Agoseris apiculata Greene
*Agoseris aspera (Rydb.) Rydb.
*Agoseris dasycarpa Greene
*Agoseris eisenhoweri B.Boivin
*Agoseris isomeris Greene
*Agoseris lacera Greene
*Agoseris lanulosa Greene
*Agoseris lapathifolia Greene

Common Names: Pale agoseris, Prairie agoseris, Short-beaked agoseris, Mountain Dandelion, False agoseris

Habitat: Agoseris glauca is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to Manitoba, south to California and New Mexico. It grows on meadows and other open places at all elevations in moderately dry to moist or even wet soils.

Description:
Agoseris glauca is a perennial herb growing to 0.6 m (2ft) with varies in general appearance. It produces a basal patch of leaves of various shapes which may be as long as the plant is high. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.

There is no stem but the plant flowers in a stemlike inflorescence which is sometimes erect, reaching heights near half a meter or taller. The flower head is one to three centimeters wide with layers of pointed phyllaries. The head is ligulate, bearing many yellow ray florets but no disc florets.

The fruit is an achene with a body up to a centimeter long and a pappus which may be almost 2 centimeters in length.

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Leaves:
Leaves all basal, linear to broadly oblanceolate, 5-35 cm. long and 1-30 mm. wide, entire or toothed to laciniate-pinnatifid.

Flowers:
Head solitary on the scape; involucre 1-3 cm. high, the bracts imbricate or sub-equal, sharply pointed or blunt; corollas all ligulate, yellow.

Fruits:
Achene body 5-12 mm. long, gradually tapering to a stout beak marked with fine, parallel lines, the beak very short to as long as the body.

Varieties:
*Agoseris glauca var. dasycephala (Torr. & A. Gray) Jeps.
*Agoseris glauca var. glauca

Cultivation:
Prefers full sun and a sandy or gravelly loam low in nutrients. The sub-species A. glauca villosa is used for its gum.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 15°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer or late in the following spring. Division with care in spring. The plants do not like a lot of root disturbance so it is best to pot up the divisions and keep them in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are established.

Edible Uses: The solidified sap (latex) of the stem is chewed as a gum.

Medicinal Uses:
The following reports refer to the sub-species A. glauca dasycephala (Torr.&Gray.)Jepson. An infusion of the entire plant is used as a wash for sores and rashes. The milky latex is applied to warts in order to remove them. This requires constant applications over a period of weeks for it to be effective. A poultice made from the latex is applied to sores. An infusion of the root is used as a laxative.

Other Uses:
A latex in the plant contains rubber, but not in sufficient quantities to make it commercially valuable.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoseris_glauca
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agoseris+glauca
http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Agoseris%20glauca

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Herbs & Plants

Agoseris aurantiaca

Botanical Name: Agoseris aurantiaca
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Agoseris
Species: A. aurantiaca

Synonymy:
*Agoseris angustissima Greene
*Agoseris arachnoidea Rydb.
*Agoseris arizonica (Greene) Greene
*Agoseris attenuata Rydb.
*Agoseris carnea Rydb.
*Agoseris confinis Greene
*Agoseris frondifera Osterh.
*Agoseris gaspensis Fernald
*Agoseris gracilens (A.Gray) Kuntze

Common Names: Orange agoseris or Mountain dandelion

Habitat:Agoseris aurantiaca is native to Western N. America from Canada to California. It is primarily a species of mountainous regions and may be found in wet to dry habitats, usually grows on meadows and woods from moderate to high elevations.

Description:
Agoseris aurantiaca is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.

Agoseris aurantiaca is a perennial herb producing a basal rosette of leaves. There is no stem, but it does produce several stem-like peduncles, each peduncle bearing a single flower head surrounded by glabrous to hairy phyllaries. The head is ligulate, containing several ray florets but no disc florets. The florets are most commonly orange but are occasionally yellow, pink, red, or purple. “Aurantiaca” means “orange-red”. The flower head matures into a ball-like head of beaked achenes, each with a terminal pappus of numerous, white bristles.

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Varieties:
*Agoseris aurantiaca var. aurantiaca – most of species range
*Agoseris aurantiaca var. purpurea (A.Gray) Cronquist – southern Rocky Mountains

Cultivation:
Prefers full sun and a sandy loam low in nutrients.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked as a spinach. The leaves can be used as greens, cooked or uncooked. The flowers can be used to make beverages such as Dandelion beer and wine.

Medicinal Uses:
A cold infusion of the plant is used as a lotion for treating wounds. The wet leaves were rubbed onto swollen arms, wrists or ankles.

There have been reports of effective medicinal uses such as an external pain-relieving liniment for sprains, fractures, and bruising. The leaves contain a number of nutrients including iron, zinc, boron, calcium, silicon, and are especially high in potassium. It is also high in vitamins A, B complex, C, and D. Although, it is reported that every part of the plant is safe, there are also contradictory reports that it is toxic if it enters the bloodstream; care should be taken when using any plant material for medicinal uses.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoseris_aurantiaca
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agoseris+aurantiaca
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/agoseris_aurantiaca.shtml

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Agave utahensis

Botanical Name: Agave utahensis
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Agave
Species: A. utahensis

Synonyms:
*Agave haynaldii var. utahensis (Engelm.) Terracciano
*Agave newberryi Engelm.
*Agave scaphoidea Greenm. & Ronst.
*Agave utahensis var. discreta M.E.Jones
*Agave utahensis var. scaphoidea M.E.Jones

Common Names: Utah agave,Century Plant

Habitat: Agave utahensis is native to South-western N. America – found in the Grand Canyon. It grows on dry stony limestone slopes, 1000 – 1500 metres.

Description:
Agave utahensis discreta is an evergreen Perennial growing to 4 m (13ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Moths, bats.

Agave utahensis is a rosette-shaped agave having blue-green sharp-spiked leaves.

The raceme inflorescence is very tall, reaching a maximum of 4 m (12 ft). It is generally yellow or yellow-green with bulbous yellow flowers. The fruits are capsules 1 to 3 centimeters long and containing black seed.

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Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position. Plants are only hardy on the south coast of England, where they succeed from Torbay westwards[1]. A monocarpic species, the plant lives for a number of years without flowering but dies once it does flower. However, it normally produces plenty of suckers during its life and these take about 10 – 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering. This plant is widely used by the native people in its wild habitat, it has a wide range of uses. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer

Edible Uses:
The heart of the plant is very rich in saccharine matter and can be eaten when baked. Sweet and delicious, but rather fibrous. It is partly below ground. Can be dried for future use or soaked in water to produce a flavourful beverage. Seed – ground into a flour. Flower stalk – roasted. Root – cooked. Sap from the cut flowering stems is used as a syrup. The sap can also be tapped by boring a hole into the middle of the plant at the base of the flowering stem. It can be fermented into ‘Mescal’, a very potent alcoholic drink.

Medicinal Uses:
The sap is antiseptic, diuretic and laxative.

Other Uses:
The leaves contain saponins and an extract of them can be used as a soap. It is best obtained by chopping up the leaves and then simmering them in water – do not boil for too long or this will start to break down the saponins. A very strong fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making rope, coarse fabrics etc. To make hair brushes and brushes for cleaning, the dried matter of a dead and rotten leaf was knocked free from the fibres, which were then bent in two. the upper end of this brush was wrapped with a cord and the bent portion was covered with a cloth. The loose fibres were cut to the right length and hardened by burning the ends. A paper can also be made from the fibre in the leaves. The thorns on the leaves are used as pins and needles. The dried flowering stems are used as a waterproof thatch and as a razor strop.

Agave utahensis is cultivated as an ornamental plant. In the UK it has won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

The plant was used for food and fiber by local Native American peoples such as the Havasupai. Among the Navajo, the plant is used to make blankets.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_utahensis
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agave+utahensis+discreta

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Herbs & Plants

Agave tequilana

Botanical Name: Agave tequilana
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Agave
Species: A. tequilana

Synonyms:
*Agave angustifolia subsp. tequilana (F.A.C.Weber) Valenz.-Zap. & Nabhan
*Agave palmeris Trel.
*Agave pedrosana Trel.
*Agave pes-mulae Trel.
*Agave pseudotequilana Trel.
*Agave subtilis Trel.

Common Names: Blue agave (agave azul),Mescal, Tequila, Tequila agave

Habitat: Agave tequilana is native to the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Aguascalientes in Mexico. It grows on the highlands of Mexico. Prefers sandy soils in arid and semi-arid subtropical areas.

Description:
Agave tequilana is an evergreen, Perennial succulent plant, growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate. It forms a large rosette of leaves and, eventually, a flowering stem that can be up to 5 metres tall. The plant is cultivated, especially around Tequila, for the preparation of agave liqueur.

Agave tequilana plants grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over 2 metres (7 ft) in height. They sprout a stalk (quiote) when about five years old that can grow an additional 5 metres (16 ft); they are topped with yellow flowers. The stalk is cut off from commercial plants so the plant will put more energy into the heart.

The flowers are pollinated by the greater long-nosed bat, (also by insects and hummingbirds) and produce several thousand seeds per plant, many of them are sterile. The plant then dies. The plants are then reproduced by planting the previously removed shoots; this has led to a considerable loss of genetic diversity in cultivated blue agave.

It is rarely kept as a houseplant, but a 50-year-old agave tequilana in Boston grew a 30-foot (9 m) stalk requiring a hole in the greenhouse roof and flowered in the summer of 2006.

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Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position. Requires a well-drained soil. Succeeds in poor soils. Established plants are very drought tolerant. The plant favors altitudes of more than 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) and grows in rich and sandy soils. A monocarpic species – the plant lives for a number of years without flowering but dies once it does flower. However, it normally produces plenty of suckers during its life and these continue growing, taking about 10 – 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering. The cultivar ‘Azul’, or blue agave, is preferred for tequila production. Specimens have been recorded living up to 50 years in gardens. Blue agaves sprout a stalk (quiote) when about five years old that can grow an additional 5 metres (16ft); they are topped with yellow flowers. The stalk is cut off from commercial plants so the plant will put more energy into the heart.

Edible Uses:
The sap of the plant is concentrated to make a sugar-rich syrup known as ‘Agave syrup’ or ‘Agave nectar’. The sugar-rich sap is extracted from the roasted bases of the defoliated flowering stems of the plants shortly before flowering, and is then fermented and distilled into mescal and tequila.

Medicinal Uses: Not known to us.

Other Uses:
A fibre is obtained from the leaves. Known as ‘Jarsia’, the fibres are soft enough to be used for yarn production. The squeezed shoot axes are used to stabilize loam-bricks. Recently, blue agave has also been suggested as a potential source of ethanol (biofuel).

Known Hazards: Every leaf ends in very sharp point.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_agave
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agave+tequilana

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Agave sisalana

Botanical Name: Agave sisalana
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Agave
Species: A. sisalana

Synonyms:
*Agave amaniensis Trel. & Nowell
*Agave rigida var. sisalana (Perrine) Engelm.
*Agave segurae D.Guillot & P.Van der Meer
*Agave sisalana var. armata Trel.
*Agave sisalana f. armata (Trel.) Trel.

Common Names: Sisal, Sisal hemp

Habitat: Agave sisalana is native to southern Mexico but widely cultivated and naturalized in many other countries. Planted abundantly in some regions, and, often escaping, seen in many localities in hedges or fence-rows.

Description:
Agave sisalana is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate. Sisal plants, Agave sisalana, consist of a rosette of sword-shaped leaves about 1.5–2 metres (4 ft 11 in–6 ft 7 in) tall. Young leaves may have a few minute teeth along their margins, but lose them as they mature and eventually, a flowering stem that can be up to 6 metres tall.

The sisal plant has a 7–10 year life-span and typically produces 200–250 commercially usable leaves. Each leaf contains an average of around 1000 fibres. The fibres account for only about 4% of the plant by weight. Sisal is considered a plant of the tropics and subtropics, since production benefits from temperatures above 25 °C (77 °F) and sunshine.

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Cultivation:
Sisal was used by the Aztecs and the Mayans to make crude fabrics and paper.

In the 19th century, sisal cultivation spread to Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Brazil (Paraiba and Bahia), as well as to countries in Africa, notably Tanzania and Kenya, and Asia. Sisal reportedly “came to Africa from Florida, through the mechanism of a remarkable German botanist, by the name of Hindorf.”

In Cuba its cultivation was introduced in 1880, by Fernando Heydrich in Matanzas.

The first commercial plantings in Brazil were made in the late 1930s and the first sisal fibre exports from there were made in 1948. It was not until the 1960s that Brazilian production accelerated and the first of many spinning mills was established. Today Brazil is the major world producer of sisal. There are both positive and negative environmental impacts from sisal growing.

Propagation:
Propagation of sisal is generally by using bulbils produced from buds in the flower stalk or by suckers growing around the base of the plant, which are grown in nursery fields until large enough to be transplanted to their final position. These methods offer no potential for genetic improvement. In vitro multiplication of selected genetic material using meristematic tissue culture (MST) offers considerable potential for the development of improved genetic material.

Edible Uses:
Edible portion: Leaves, Sap, Plant heart, Vegetable. Root. The heart of new shoots – cooked. The sap from the flower stalk is fermented to make an alcoholic drink. The roots are used in the production of an alcoholic beverage.

Medicinal Uses:
Sisal is a folk remedy for dysentery, leprosy sores, and syphilis. It is a source of hecogenin. The leaves contain hecogenin used in the partial synthesis of the drug cortisone.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses: The plant is cultivated for fences as well as for protection against soil erosion. Short fibres from the leaves, obtained as by-products, are used for production of compost. Other Uses A high quality fibre is obtained from the leaves.The leaves provide one of the most important hard fibres, it is used for making ropes and all kinds of strings, fishing-nets, hammocks, door-curtains, floor-covers, bags etc. The fibre cannot be spun as finely as jute and ropes tend to break suddenly. Short fibres, obtained as by-products, are used for production of cellulose, paper as well as for upholstery material. Fibres are also used to reinforce plaster boards and paper. The waste material, after extraction of the fibre, is reported to be molluscicidal and fungistatic and can be used as mulch for plants. The sharp leaf spines are traditionally used as needles.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisal
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agave+sisalana