Monthly Archives: September 2012

Oenanthe javanica

Botanical Name : Oenanthe javanica
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Oenanthe
Species: O. javanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms :Oenanthe stolonifera – Wallich ex DC.,Sium javanicum – Blume.

Common Name : Rau Can,Japanese parsley or Chinese celery

Habitat ;Oenanthe javanica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea to Australia. It  grows in ditches, ponds and wet places in lowland areas all over Japan. Marshlands, lakeshores, muddy stream banks and shallow water at elevations of 600 – 3000 metres in most parts of China.

Description:
Oenanthe javanica is a perennial herb, growing to 1m.It is erect to decumbent, c. 1 m tall, glabrous. Stem stoloniferous, rooting at the nodes; roots fibrous. Upper leaves ternate; lower pinnate; leaflets oval to ovate; margin serrate. Umbels leaf opposed. Rays 10-20, stout. Calyx teeth dis¬tinct, linear, persistent. Pedicels 2-4 times longer than the flowers. Stylopodium conical, surrounded by the calyx teeth; styles 2 mm long. Fruit oblong, c. 2 mm long, 1 mm broad; dorsal and intermediate ridges obtuse, not prominent, lateral corky.

You may click to see pictures  of Oenanthe javanica

It is hardy to zone 10. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation:
Requires a wet fertile soil or shallow water and a sunny position. This plant is quite possibly not hardy in Britain, gives a hardiness zone of 10, which means that it is not frost tolerant. However  say that it grows in all areas of China and lowland Japan and this should include areas that do experience frosts and snow. Another report says that many forms of this species are not frost-hardy, though some forms have hardy roots. The sub-species O. javanica rosthornii is found at elevations up to 4000 metres in China and is sometimes also found in drier habitats such as grassland at forest margins – this form should be hardier than the species. There is also a lot of confusion over the correct name for this species. Some reports give O. stolonifera. DC. or O. stolonifera. Wall as the correct name whilst other reports say that these names are synonyms of O. javanica.  says that O. stolonifera japonica. (Miq.)Maxim. is a synonym of O. javanica. The Flora of China treats this as a highly variable single species under the name O. javanica and recognizes at least one sub-species. This species is occasionally cultivated for its edible root or for its edible leaves according to another report, there are some named varieties. There are two main forms of this species, a red form has edible shoots whilst a white form is grown for its medicinal root. In Japan this plant and six other herbs are customarily boiled in rice gruel on January 7th. The cultivar ‘Su Zhou’ is medium early and has few fibres plus an excellent taste.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is erratic. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Layering[200]. Stem tip cuttings. Any part of the stem roots easily

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.

Young leaves and stems – raw or cooked. The leaves are also used as a seasoning in soups etc. The flavour is reminiscent of carrots or parsley. The young shoots that sprout from the root in winter are best. A major vegetable in many parts of the Orient, the leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals (Analysis available). Root – cooked. Highly esteemed in Japan, the roots can grow up to 30cm long in water. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed is said to be edible.

Chemical Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Leaves (Dry weight)
298 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%

*Protein: 19.9g; Fat: 3.2g; Carbohydrate: 62.8g; Fibre: 12.8g; Ash: 14.9g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1202mg; Phosphorus: 585mg; Iron: 32mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 192mg; Potassium: 4713mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 24mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.64mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.34mg; Niacin: 10.6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 149mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Depurative; Febrifuge; Styptic.

The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge and styptic. A decoction is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia. The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.

A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia.   The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.

Other Uses:
Essential; Ground cover.

Spreading rapidly by means of suckers, it makes a good ground cover plant for wet situations. The variegated cultivar ‘Flamingo’ has been especially recommended.

Scented Plants

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:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Oenanthe+javanica

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenanthe_javanica

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200015685

http://web.telecom.cz/atzhoranek/kat1/oenanthe_javanica_flamingo.htm

http://www.victoria-adventure.org/aquatic_plants/craig2/oenanthe_javanica.html

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Papaver bracteatum

Botanical Name : Papaver bracteatum
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. bracteatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name :Iranian poppy

Habitat : Papaver bracteatum is native to W. Asia – Armenia, N.E. Iran, Turkey. It grows in meadows, usually in sub-alpine zones, but also on stony slopes in the lower mountain zone.

Description:
Papaver bracteatum is a sturdy perennial poppy with large deep red flowers up to 8 inches (20 cm) across on stiff stalks up to 4 feet (1.22 metres) high with a prominent black spot near the base of the petals. It is related to the commonly cultivated oriental poppy, Papaver orientale.



Non-horticultural use of this species is for the production of thebaine, which is commercially converted to codeine and semi-synthetic opiates. Papaver bracteatum does not contain morphine or codeine and no other narcotic alkaloids in significant amounts. Oripavine was reported in minute traces but would not exert a relevant activity.

It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Succeeds in an ordinary good soil and in dry soils, tolerating drought when established. Plants prefer a deep soil that is poor and dry rather than rich, they dislike moist conditions. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. A deep-rooting and almost indestructible plant, every scrap of the running root system that is left in the ground can grow into a new plant. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow June in an outdoor seedbed. Plant into permanent positions in September. Seed can also be sown in spring and may then flower in late summer. Division in March or October with care. Another report suggests that division is very simple. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Root cuttings 10cm long, November/December in a cold frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The young seed heads are used as a condiment, they are hot and acrid[2, 105, 183]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic.
The petals are sudorific.The roots are used medicinally.  Their constituents include thebaine.  It is possible to derive codeine and other pain-killing substances from thebaine.  Unlike opium alkaloids, thebaine does not have additive narcotic properties, it cannot be used directly and it thus poses no dancer of drug addiction: morphine, the precursor of the addictive-drug heroin, can be obtained only with great difficulty from it.  For pharmaceutical purposes, therefore, there may be considerable social and economic benefits in introducing this poppy into cultivation in place of Opium Poppy.  Crop scientists have discovered that Iranian Poppy can provide up to 37 kg of codeine per hectare compared with Opium Poppy’s much lower yield of 3 kg per hectare.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_bracteatum

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Papaver+orientale

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.interq.or.jp/www1/chungush/flower/kesi.htm

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Papaver somniferum

Botanical Name : Papaver somniferum
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name:Poppy

Habitat :Papaver somniferum is native to Europe to Asia, though the original habitat is obscure. A rare casual in Britain.
It grows  in a truly wild situation.

Description:
Papaver somniferum is an annual plant  growing to 0.6m by 0.2m. It has many sub-species or varieties and cultivars. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of flowers and fruits, number of seeds, color of seeds, production of opium, etc.

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Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum Group (sometimes called Papaver paeoniflorum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double, and are grown in many colors. Papaver somniferum Laciniatum Group (sometimes called Papaver laciniatum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double and deeply lobed, to the point of looking like a ruffly pompon.

A few of the varieties, notably the Norman and Przemko varieties, have low morphine content (less than one percent), much higher concentrations of other alkaloids. Most varieties, however, including those most popular for ornamental use or seed production, have a higher morphine content, with the average content being 10%

The opium poppy is the principal source of most naturally occurring ?-opioid receptor agonist opioids. The opium poppy is, by definition, the root source of all opioids considered opiates. Opiates are extracted from opium and poppy straw. Opium (also called “raw opium”) is the latex harvested by making incisions on the green capsules (seed pods). Poppy straw is the dried mature plant except the seeds, harvested by mowing.

From opium and poppy straw, alkaloids are extracted such as morphine, thebaine, codeine and oripavine. Morphine is the predominant alkaloid found in the varieties of opium poppy plant cultivated in most producing countries

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Requires a moist soil but does not do well on wet clays. Prefers a sandy loam or a chalky soil. Plants often self-sow in British gardens. The opium poppy is a very ornamental plant that is often cultivated in the flower garden. There are many named varieties, some of which have been developed for their edible uses. The plant is widely grown, often illegally, in warm temperate and tropical climates for the substances contained in its sap. These are often used medicinally as pain killers, especially in the treatment of terminally ill patients suffering extreme pain, they are also used for their narcotic effects by some people. These substances are highly addictive and lead to a shortening of the life span if used with any frequency. In cool temperate zones the plant does not produce sufficient of the narcotic principles to make their extraction feasible and cultivation of the plant is perfectly legal in Britain. Plants have ripened their seeds as far north as latitude 69°n in Norway. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc, it imparts a very nice nutty flavour[K]. The crushed and sweetened seeds are used as a filling in crepes, strudels, pastries etc[183]. Highly nutritious, the seed contains about 22.7% protein, 48% fat, 9.8% carbohydrate, 7.1% ash. It is also a good source of lecithin. The seeds are rather small, but there are large numbers of them contained in capsules 3cm or more in diameter and so they are easy to harvest and utilize. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing very little if any of the narcotic principles. However, although the seeds contain no narcotic alkaloids, analysis of the urine following their ingestion may produce similar results to the analysis of the urine of morphine or heroin addicts. Edible young leaves – raw or cooked. They must be used before the flower buds have formed. In some countries they are eaten at the seedling stage. One report says that the leaves do not contain any narcotic principles. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page. A high quality edible drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has an almond flavour and makes a good substitute for olive oil.

Chemical composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Seed (Fresh weight)
*533 Calories per 100g

*Water: 6.8%

*Protein: 18g; Fat: 44.7g; Carbohydrate: 23.7g; Fibre: 6.3g; Ash: 6.8g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1448mg; Phosphorus: 848mg; Iron: 9.4mg; Magnesium: 2.3mg; Sodium: 21mg; Potassium: 700mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.95mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.17mg; Niacin: 0.98mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Astringent; Diaphoretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Narcotic; Sedative.

The opium poppy contains a wide range of alkaloids and has been a very valuable medicine, especially useful in bringing relief from pain. Its use (especially of the extracted alkaloids opium and morphine which it contains) can become addictive, however, and so it should be treated with extreme caution and only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The dried juice (latex) from the unripe green seed vessels is a rich source of the active alkaloids, including morphine, . It is extracted by making shallow incisions in the capsules as soon as the petals have fallen. Care must be taken that the incisions do not penetrate to the interior of the seed capsules. The latex exudes from the capsules and dries in contact with the air – it is then scraped off[4]. This latex is anodyne, antitussive, astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative. As well as its pain-relieving properties, the latex has also been used as an antispasmodic and expectorant in treating certain kinds of coughs, whilst its astringent properties make it useful in the treatment of dysentery etc. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried latex. This is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including constipation, fevers and insomnia.

In folk medicine poppy heads were used in poultices to cure earache and toothache and a remedy for facial neuralgia was to lay the warmed leaves on the skin.  Medieval doctors pounded the seeds with those of sea holly and mixed them with wine to make a lotion for washing the ears, eyes and nostrils of those suffering from insomnia.  Another cure was to mingle the juice with milk and other agents and make them into sleeping pills.  An infusion made from the powdered capsules of poppy was once applied externally to sprains and bruises and a poppy flower poultice applied to excessive redness of the skin.  A flower compress reduced inflammation and helped watering eyes and also helped to banish dark circles around the eyes.  Morphine, heroin, codeine and papaverine are all derived from the milk juice of the opium poppy.  One poppy product, laudanum, an addictive tincture of opium, was a universal cure-all, widely prescribed by doctors in the 19th century-its abuse celebrated by De Quincey, Coleridge and Baudelaire, among others. It was frequently administered to relieve pain and calm excitement, and was also used in bad cases of diarrhea and dysentery.  It has both hypnotic and sedative effects.  Opium tincture and extract may be used internally to treat depression.
TCM:  Contains the leakage of Lung qi: for chronic coughs; binds up the intestines: for chronic diarrhea and dysenteric disorders; Stabilizes the lower burner: for polyuria, spermatorrhea or vaginal discharge; Alleviates pain: for any kind of pain, especially that of the sinews, bones or epigastrium.

Pharmacological Effects: Morphine is a very strong analgesic; in fact, it is the standard by which all other analgesics are judged.  It raises the pain threshold and also reduces the pain reflex.  That is, even though the pain sensation is still perceived, it is no longer regarded as particularly uncomfortable.  Codeine has approximately 1/4 the analgesic effect of morphine.  Morphine and codeine are both hypnotics, but they induce only a light and restless sleep.  Morphine is a strong and highly selective respiratory depressant.  The dosage that acts in this manner is lower than an analgesic dosage.  Codeine’s effect on respiration is much weaker than that of morphine.  Also a strong cough suppressant.  Morphine causes peripheral vasodilation and histamine release, which can lead to orthostatic hypotension.  Morphine in very low doses causes constipation by increasing the resting tone and markedly decreasing propulsive contractions in the wall of the gut, while decreasing the secretion of digestive juices.  The constipating effect of opium is only really noticeable at the start of the treatment.  It soon diminishes and can if necessary be corrected with small doses of rhubarb or the like

Other Uses:
The seed yields 44 – 50% of an edible drying oil. Very good for lighting, it burns for longer than most oils. The oil is also used in paints, soap making etc.

Ornamental cultivation :
A red opium poppy flower used for ornamental purposesOnce known as the “common garden poppy”, live plants and seeds of the opium poppy are widely sold by seed companies and nurseries in most of the western world, including the United States. Poppies are sought after by gardeners for the vivid coloration of the blooms, the hardiness and reliability of the poppy plants, the exotic chocolate-vegetal fragrance note of some cultivars, and the ease of growing the plants from purchased flats of seedlings or by direct sowing of the seed. Poppy seed pods are also sold for dried flower arrangements.

click to see the picture

It has been suggested that, since “opium poppy and poppy straw” are listed in Schedule II of the United States’ Controlled Substances Act, a DEA license may be required to grow poppies in ornamental or display gardens. In fact the legal status of strictly ornamental poppy gardens is more nuanced, and destruction of ornamental poppy installations or prosecution of gardeners (except those caught extracting opium via capsule scarification or tea extraction) are virtually unheard of. During the early spring, opium poppies can be seen flowering in gardens throughout North America and Europe, and beautiful displays are found in many private planters, as well as in public botanical and museum gardens (e.g. United States Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, North Carolina Botanical Garden, residential garden, Seattle, WA, and residential garden, Hartford, CT).

click to see

Many countries grow the plants, and some rely heavily on the commercial production of the drug as a major source of income. As an additional source of profit, the seeds of the same plants are sold for use in foods, so that cultivation of the plant is a significant source of income. This international trade in seeds of Papaver somniferum was addressed by a UN resolution “to fight the international trade in illicit opium poppy seeds” on 28 July

Known Hazards: This plant contains a number of very toxic compounds, many of which are extracted and used as pain killers etc in medicine. They are also used to make various highly addictive narcotic drugs. However, in the cooler climate of Britain these compounds are not formed in sufficient quantity to make their extraction worthwhile. There are no toxins in the seeds.

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:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Papaver+somniferum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_somniferum

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.chiangmai1.com/chiang_mai/sub/papaver.shtml

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/germ/Papa_som.html

Conopodium majus

Botanical Name : Conopodium majus
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Conopodium
Species: C. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Bunium flexuosum – Stokes, Conopodium denudatum – Koch.

Common Name ;Pignut, Hognut, and more indirectly Saint Anthony’s nut

Habitat ;Conopodium majus is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to Italy and Corsica. It grows in  Woods, hedgerows and fields. It is never found on alkaline soils

Description:
Conopodium majus is a small herbaceous perennial common in woods, grasslands, and hedgerows across Europe. It flowers from May to June producing white flowers in compound umbels and has finely divided leaves.It has a smooth, slender, curving stem, up to 1 m high, much-divided leaves, and small, white flowers in many-rayed terminal compound umbels.

The stem terminates in a single tuber up to 20cm below ground with thin fibrous roots growing across its surface (Hather 1993). This storage organ is edible with a nutty flavour similar to chestnut and available all year round.

 

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE…...(1).…..(2)……..(3)..…....

It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

The rounded “nut” (inconsistently described by authorities as a tuber, corm, or root) is similar to a chestnut in its brown colour and its size (up to 25 mm in diameter), and its sweet, aromatic flavour has been compared to that of the chestnut, hazelnut, sweet potato, and Brazil nut. Palatable and nutritious, its eating qualities are widely praised, and it is popular among wild food foragers, but it remains a minor crop, due in part to its low yields and difficulty of harvest.

Cultivation:
Never found on alkaline soils in the wild. See the plants native habitat for other ideas on its cultivation needs. This species responds to cultivation by producing larger tubers. With careful selective breeding it is probably possible to produce a much more productive plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out when in early summer. It is also possible to sow in situ, though this requires a lot more seed to produce the same amount of plants from a protected sowing. Division in late summer as the plant dies down.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Tubers – raw or cooked. A very pleasant food with a flavour somewhat between a sweet potato and hazelnuts, with a hot aftertaste of radish. We have never detected this hot aftertaste, and feel that the flavour is reminiscent of brazil nuts. There is only one tuber on each plant, this is rather small and difficult to harvest, but the size could probably be increased by cultivation.

Medicinal Uses
The powdered roots have been recommended as a cough remedy.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conopodium_majus

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Conopodium+majus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Pontederia cordata

Botanical Name ; Pontederia cordata
Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Pontederia
Species: P. cordata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Commelinales

Common Name ;Pickerelweed (USA) or Pickerel weed (UK)

Habitat ;Pontederia cordata is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Florida andTexas. A garden escape occ naturalized in Britain.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Description:
Pontederia cordata is a perennial herb  growing to 0.75m by 0.45m.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

The species grows as an emergent plant, that is, in flooded conditions, so the plant is generally dependent upon aerenchyma in the stem to carry oxygen into the roots. Its metabolism, is, however, also tolerant of low soil oxygen. It is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate naturally, with spring flooding and later summer emergence. Apart from flooding, the species is also influenced by soil fertility, tending to grow in the more fertile bays of large lakes, for example. Like many aquatic plants, it is negatively affected by salinity and grazing. It is also negatively affected by competition from other wetland plants. Like many wetland plants, it can survive infavorable conditions as buried seeds in the soil.

The plant flowers in late summer. The purple flowers have yellow markings which may assist in attracting bees for pollination.One bee species known to pollinate the flowers is Dufourea (Halictoides) novaeangliae. Once the plant begins to produce seeds, the stem supporting the infloresence bends to submerse the fruits and seeds. Seeds are dormant at the time of dispersal and will not germinate without stratification for 6-8 weeks.

The flowers of the species are tristylous, meaning the styles of individual plants occur in three different morphs, with most populations containing all three. Leaf shape, which varies considerably across populations, within populations, and even within individuals, has been the source for many taxonomic synonyms. Like many wetland and aquatic plants, the species can reproduce asexually by means of branching rhizomes, and hence can form large clonal stands.

Cultivation;  
A water or bog garden plant, it requires a rich soil[56] and prefers growing in water 15 – 30 cm deep. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it forms spreading patches by means of a thick creeping rhizome. There is a species of bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) which visits this plant for nectar and pollen and does not visit any other species of plant. The reproductive biology of Pontederia cordata has been well studied. It is a tristylous species, and most populations contain all three forms. At least some degree of self-incompatibility exists, being strongest with the short-style forms and weakest with the midstyle forms.

Propagation: 
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots standing in 2cm of water in a cold frame. Cover the seed lightly with silver sand. Submerse in 3cm depth of water after the seedlings emerge. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in water in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division is best in April but it can be done at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Lateral shoots.

Edible Uses  :    
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed – raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder. A very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven. Young leafstalks – raw or cooked. The whole plant is edible cooked or raw. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups.

Medicinal Uses:  
An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive.

Other Uses:
Pickerelweed near Ottawa, OntarioThis plant is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit

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:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Pontederia+cordata

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontederia_cordata

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Myroxylon pereirae

Botanical Name : Myroxylon pereirae
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Sophoreae
Genus: Myroxylon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name :Peru Balsam

Habitat ; Myroxylon pereirae is native to tropical America

Description:
Myroxylon pereirae is a large tree growing to 40 m tall, with evergreen pinnate leaves 15 cm long with 5-13 leaflets. The flowers are white with yellow stamens, produced in racemes. The fruit is a pod 7–11 cm long, containing a single seed.

Myroxylon balsamum seedlings in Udawattakele F...

Myroxylon balsamum seedlings in Udawattakele Forest, Kandy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wood is dark brown with a deep red heartwood. Natural oils grant it excellent decay resistance. In fact, it is also resistant to preservative treatment. Its specific gravity is 0.74 to 0.81.

As regards woodworking, this tree is regarded as moderately difficult to work but can be finished with a high natural polish; it tends to cause some tool dulling.

click to see the picture

Its sweetish scent, reminiscent of vanilla and green olives, has caused it to be used in the manufacture of perfumes as a source for Balsam. Balsam of Peru is used as a flavoring and fragrance in many products and can cause allergic reactions.

Peru Balsam aromatic resin is extracted from the variant Myroxylon balsamum pereirae, native from Central America farther north. The name is a misinterpretation of its origin, since it was originally assembled and shipped to Europe from the ports of Callao and Lima, in Peru, even though the species is not indigenous to Peru. The indigenous use of Peru Balsam led to its export to Europe in the seventeenth century, where it was first documented in the German Pharmacopedia. Today El Salvador is the main exporter of Peru Balsam where it is extracted under a plainly handicraft process.[4]

Peru balsam has uses in medicine, pharmaceutical, in the food industry and in perfumery. It has been used as a cough suppressant, in the treatment of dry socket in dentistry, in suppositories for hemorrhoids, the plants have been reported to inhibit Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as the common ulcer-causing bacteria, H. pylori in test-tube studies, so it is used topically as a treatment of wounds and ulcers, as an antiseptic and used as an anal muscle relaxant. Peru Balsam can be found in diaper rash ointments, hair tonics, antidandruff preparations, and feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes

Medicinal Uses;
Peru Balsam has been in the US Pharmacopeia since 1820 used for bronchitis, laryngitis, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, dysentery and leucorrhea and has also been used as a food flavoring and fragrance material for its aromatic vanilla like-odor. Today it is used extensively in topical preparations for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and scabies, and can be found in hair tonics, anti-dandruff preparations, feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes.
Peruvian balsam is strongly antiseptic and stimulates repair of damaged tissue.  It is usually taken internally as an expectorant and decongestant to treat emphysema, bronchitis, and bronchial asthma.  It may also be taken to treat sore throats and diarrhea.  Externally, the balsam is applied to skin afflictions.  It also stimulates the heart, increases blood pressure and lessens mucus secretions.  Traditionally used for rheumatic pain and skin problems including scabies, diaper rash, bedsores, prurigo, eczema, sore nipples and wounds.  It also destroys the itch acarus and its eggs.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myroxylon

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.erbesalute.it/web/scheda.asp?id=2440

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Piper kadsura

Botanical Name : Piper kadsura
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: P. kadsura
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name :Japanese Pepper

Habitat :Piper kadsura is native to  Eastern Asiati countries

Description:
This is an evergreen vine capable of growing straight up a tree trunk. It is reported to be dioecious so a single plant will not produce seeds. It grows well in shade in a well-drained soil and responds to irrigation. Catalogs guess that it will be cold hardy in zone 8b and south.

English: Piper kadsura – Japanese Pepper, f?t?...

English: Piper kadsura – Japanese Pepper, futokazura (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stems rooting at nodes, ridged, sparsely pubescent when young. Petiole 1-1.5 cm, sometimes pubescent, sheathed at base only; leaf blade ovate or long ovate, 6-12 × 3.5-7 cm, ± leathery, abaxially usually pubescent on veins, adaxially glabrous, with uniformly scattered raised white glands, base cordate to rounded, ± symmetric, apex acute or obtuse; veins 5, apical pair arising up to 1.5 cm above base, others basal; reticulate veins conspicuous. Spikes leaf-opposed. Male spikes yellow, ascending, 3-5.5(-12) cm × ca. 2.5 mm; peduncle 0.6-1.5 cm; rachis hispidulous; bracts yellow, orbicular, ca. 1 mm wide, peltate, margin irregular, abaxially roughly white pubescent, ± sessile. Stamens 2 or 3; filaments short. Female spikes shorter than leaf blades; peduncle ca. as long as petioles; rachis and bracts as in male spikes. Ovary globose, distinct; stigmas 3 or 4, linear, pubescent. Drupe brownish yellow, globose, 3-4 mm in diam. Fl. May-Aug.

Medicinal Uses:
This pepper is used as a stomachic, expectorant, and stimulant.

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:

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200005569

http://southeastgarden.com/piper.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Parsley

Botanical Name :Petroselinum crispum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Petroselinum
Species: P. crispum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name :Parsley

Habitat :Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.

Description:
Garden parsley is a bright green, hairless, biennial, herbaceous plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas.]

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Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm long with numerous 1–3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem to 75 cm tall with sparser leaves and flat-topped 3–10 cm diameter umbels with numerous 2 mm diameter yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The seeds are ovoid, 2–3mm long, with prominent style remnants at the apex. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The plant normally dies after seed maturation.

In cultivation, parsley is subdivided into several cultivar groups depending on the form of the plant, which is related to its end use. These are often treated as botanical varieties, but are cultivated selections, not of natural botanical origin.

Leaf parsley:
The two main groups of parsley used as herbs are curly leaf (i.e.) (P. crispum crispum group; syn. P. crispum var. crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P. crispum var. neapolitanum); of these, the neapolitanum group more closely resembles the natural wild species. Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some as it is easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine, and has a stronger flavor (though this is disputed), while curly leaf parsley is preferred by others because of its more decorative appearance in garnishing.   A third type, sometimes grown in southern Italy, has thick, celery-like leaf stems

Root Parsley:
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, the Hamburg root parsley (P. crispum radicosum group, syn. P. crispum var. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although seldom used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisine, where it is used in soups and stews.

Though root parsley looks similar to the parsnip, it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the family Apiaceae, but the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning “forked turnip”; it is not closely related to real turnips.

Cultivation:
Parsley grows best in moist, well drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C, and is usually grown from seed. Germination is slow, taking four to six weeks, and often difficult because of furanocoumarins in its seed coatPlants grown for the leaf crop are typically spaced 10 cm apart, while those grown as a root crop are typically spaced 20 cm apart to allow for the root development.

Edible Uses:
Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central and eastern Europe and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Green parsley is often used as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb or goose, steaks, meat or vegetable stews (like beef bourguignon, goulash or chicken paprikash).

.

English: Mashed potatoes with a parsley leaf. ...

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Escargot cooked with garlic and parsley butter...

In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh. Persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley used in French cuisine. Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

Root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisines, where it is used as a vegetable in many soups, stews and casseroles.

Medicinal Uses:
Chew the leaf raw to freshen the breath and promote healthy skin. Infuse for a digestive tonic.  Bruised leaves have been used to treat tumors, insect bites, lice and skin parasites and contusions.  Parsley tea at one time was used to treat dysentery and gallstones.  Other traditional uses reported include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver and spleen, in the treatment of anemia, arthritis and cancers, and as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth.   Use in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for sprains, wounds and insect bites.  Decoct the root for kidney troubles and as a mild laxative.  Apply juice to reduce swellings.  It also stimulates appetite and increases blood flow to digestive organs, as well as reducing fever. Another constituent, the flavonoid apigenin, reduces inflammation by inhibiting histamine and is also a free-radical scavenger.   The seed, when decocted, has been used for intermittent fevers.  It has also traditionally used as a carminative to decrease flatulence and colic pain.  The seeds have a much stronger diuretic action than the leaves and may be substituted for celery seeds in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis.  It is often included in “slimming” teas because of its diuretic action.   Oil of the seed (5-15 drops) has been used to bring on menstruation.  Avoid if weak kidneys

Other Uses:
Parsley attracts some wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.

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Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallow...

Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail en ( Papilio polyxenes en ) on its Curly Parsley en ( Petroselinum crispum en ) host plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may click to learn more  uses of Parsley…..(1)l….(2)

Known Hazards:
Parsley should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts can have uterotonic effects.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Iris x germanica var. florentina

Botanical Name : Iris x germanica var. florentina
Family : Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Genus: Iris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Tribe: Irideae
Subgenus: Iris
Section: Iris
Species: I. germanica

Synonyms :Iris florentina – L.

Common Name :Orris

Habitat :Iris germanica florentina  is native to Europe – Mediterranean. It probably grows in an albino form of I. germanica, it is not found in a truly wild situation

Description:
Iris germanica florentina is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.9m by 0.6m.The roots can go up to 10 cm deep. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

 

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil that contains some lime. Grows well in dry soils in light deciduous shade. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5 or higher. The plant is sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its root. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A sterile plant, it does not produce seed. Division, best done after flowering though it is usually successful at most times of the year. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The root can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring[105]. The root may take several years of drying to develop its full fragrance.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Purgative; Stomachic.

The dried root is diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of coughs, catarrh and diarrhoea. Externally it is applied to deep wounds. The root is harvested in late summer and early autumn and dried for later use. The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.

English: Dried roots of Iris germanica (Orris ...

English: Dried roots of Iris germanica (Orris root), ready to be sold by the planter Walon: Souwêyès raecinêyes di cladjot d’ corti, presses a esse vindowe på cotlî (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orris was formerly used in upper respiratory tract catarrh, coughs and for diarrhea in infants.  It was used to treat dropsy and has been used as a snuff for congestive headaches.  DRIED ROOT, preferably aged for at least 2 years. ½ to 1 teaspoon in warm water as suspended tea; the pressed “fingers” for teething infants to gum on.  Although sometimes a topical allergen, it is not so internally.

Other Uses:
Beads; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential; Ground cover; Incense.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its violet-like fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The root has been burnt in open fires in order to sweeten the smell of a room. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. The seeds are used as rosary beads. Plants can be grown for ground cover, the dense mat of roots excluding all weeds.

Scented Plants:
Root: Dried
The dried root develops a delicious violet-like fragrance.

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:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Iris+germanica+florentina

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_germanica

http://hortiplex.gardenweb.com/plants/jour/p/31/gw1021031/3197311017788975.jpeg

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Atractylodes lancea

Botanical Name : Atractylodes lancea
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Subtribe: Carlininae
Genus: Atractylodes
Especie: A. lancea
División: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Atractylis lancea – Thunb.
*Atractylis ovata – Thunb.
*Atractylodes chinensis – (DC.)Koidz.
*Atractylodes ovata – (Thunb.)DC.
 
Common Name :Okera

Habitat ;Atractylis ovata is native to  E. Asia – Central China.  It grows in grassland, forests, thickets and rock crevices at elevations of 700 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Atractylis ovata is a herbeculus perennial plant growing to 1m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)

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English: Atractylodes lancea ???: ??????

English: Atractylodes lancea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. This species is closely related to A. japonica. It is being investigated in China for the viability of growing it as a commercial crop. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species is dioecious. Both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – raw or cooked. Exceedingly rich in vitamin A, it also contains 1.5% essential oils.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiemetic; Appetizer; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

 

This plant is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root is a bitter-sweet tonic herb that acts mainly upon the digestive system. The root is antibacterial, antiemetic, appetizer, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. It is used in the treatment of poor appetite, digestive disorders such as dyspepsia, abdominal distension and chronic diarrhoea, rheumatoid arthritis, oedema, spontaneous sweating and night blindness. The roots are harvested in the autumn and baked for use in tonics.

The roots are used to treat indigestion, skin problems, diarrhea, fever, stomach disorders, and night blindness

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:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Atractylodes+lancea

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atractylodes_lancea

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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