Grindelia camporum

Botanical Name : Grindelia camporum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Grindelia
Species: G. camporum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Grindelia robusta, Grindelia procera. Grindelia  squarossa

Common Names: Grindelia , Gumweed, Great Valley gumplant and Great Valley gumweed

Habitat : Grindelia camporum  is native to California and Baja California, where it can be found in a number of habitats. Its range may extend into Nevada. This hardy plant readily grows in disturbed and altered areas such as ditches and roadsides.It is normally found  on dry banks, rocky fields and plains, low alkaline ground in California

Description:
It is a gangly weedlike perennial topping two meters in maximum height. Its erect, branching stems are lined with many stiff, wavy-edged, serrated leaves 2 to 3 centimeters long. Atop the stem branches are inflorescences of a single large flower head up to 3 centimeters wide. The head is a vaguely thistlelike cup of green clawlike phyllaries that bend downward. The center of the head is filled with yellow disc florets and there are usually many yellow ray florets around the circumference. The flower head fills with a copious white exudate, especially during the early stages of blooming.It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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It is called gum plant because of the sticky substance covering the plant. It is coveted for medicinal purposes. Grindelia also attracts butterflies and other interesting insects. It likes full sun, and can tolerate deer, and will grow in salty soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun. Does well on dry sandy banks and in poor soils. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. All parts of the plant have a balsamic odour.

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Propagation :
Seed – sow autumn or spring in a cool greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the plants into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Gumplant was used by the native North American Indians to treat bronchial problems and also skin afflictions such as reactions to poison ivy. It is still used in modern herbalism where it is valued especially as a treatment for bronchial asthma and for states where phlegm in the airways impedes respiration. In addition, it is believed to desensitize the nerve endings in the bronchial tree and slow the heart rate, thus leading to easier breathing. The herb is contraindicated for patients with kidney or heart complaints. The dried leaves and flowering tops are antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and sedative. The principal use of this herb is in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, especially when there is an asthmatic tendency, it is also used to treat whooping cough and cystitis. The active principle is excreted from the kidneys, and this sometimes produces signs of renal irritation. Externally, the plant is used to treat burns, poison ivy rash, dermatitis, eczema and skin eruptions. The plant is harvested when in full bloom and can be used fresh as a poultice or dried for infusions etc. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the leaves and flowering stems.

This plant has a number of historical medicinal uses.Grindelia acts to relax smooth muscles and heart muscles. It’s used in the treatment of asthmatic and bronchial conditions, especially where these are associated with a rapid heart beat and nervous response. It may be used in asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and upper respiratory catarrh. Because of the relaxing effect on the heart and pulse rate, there may be a reduction in blood pressure. Externally the lotion is used in the dermatitis caused by poison ivy. Traditionally, Grindelia’s been used for: arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, blisters, bronchitis, bronchorrhea, burns, cachexia, common cold, cough, cystitis, difficulty breathing, dyspepsia, eczema, emphysema, fever, gonorrhea, hay fever, hepatitis, hypertension, indolent skin ulcer, iritis, muscle spasms, ophthalmia, pertussis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, poison ivy, psoriasis, rheumatism, rhus dermatitis (lotion), sleep apnea, smallpox, splenomegaly, syphilis, tachycardia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory catarrh.

Other Uses:…..Adhesive; ……… Dye……...Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowering heads and pods. Aromatic. A possible substitute for wood rosin, used in the manufacture of adhesives etc. This report probably refers to the resin that covers the flower buds.

Known Hazards : Large doses used medicinally can irritate the kidneys

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grindelia_camporum
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/grindelia-camporum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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