Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Botanical Name :Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthoides
Species: H. non-scripta
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Names:Wild Hyacinth , Bluebell

Habitat :Hyacinthoides non-scripta is native to the western parts of Atlantic Europe, from north-western Spain (occasionally even north-western Portugal) to the Netherlands and the British Isles. It is found in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, and also occurs as a naturalized species in Germany, Italy, and Romania. It has also been introduced to parts of North America, in both the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) and the north-eastern United States (Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York).

Description:
Hyacinthoides non-scripta is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb.[8] It produces 3–6 linear leaves, all growing from the base of the plant, and each 7–16 millimetres (0.28–0.63 in) wide. An inflorescence of 5–12 (exceptionally 3–32) flowers is borne on a stem up to 500 mm (20 in) tall, which droops towards the tip; the flowers are arranged in a 1-sided nodding raceme. Each flower is 14–20 mm (0.55–0.79 in) long, with two bracts at the base, and the six tepals are strongly recurved at their tips. The tepals are violet–blue. The three stamens in the outer whorl are fused to the perianth for more than 75% of their length, and bear cream-coloured pollen. The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented. The seeds are black, and germinate on the soil surface.

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The bulbs produce contractile roots; when these roots contract, they draw the bulbs down into deeper layers of the soil where there is greater moisture, reaching depths of 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 in). This may explain the absence of H. non-scripta from thin soils over chalk in South East England, since the bulbs are unable to penetrate into sufficiently deep soils.

H. non-scripta differs from H. hispanica, which occurs as an introduced species in the British Isles, in a number of ways. H. hispanica has paler flowers which are borne in radially symmetrical racemes; their tepals are less recurved, and are only faintly scented. The outer stamens are fused with the tepals for less than 75% of their length, and the anthers are the same colour as the tepals. These two species are thought to have diverged 8000 years ago. The two species also hybridise readily to produce fertile offspring known as Hyacinthoides × massartiana; the hybrids are intermediate between the parental species, forming a spectrum of variation which connects the two.

Constituents:  inulin, mucilage

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Medicinal Uses:
Bluebells, a classic wildflower is no longer used in herbal medicine, its slight benefits being outweighed by the toxic nature of the bulbs. According to the account by Ms. Grieve, the medicinal reputation Wild Hyacinth of England benefits greatly from being associated with the Hyacinthus of Greek mythology, although it is not clear it is in the same genus as the ancient plant of legend. What little medicinal use attributed to the plant originated in writings of John Hill, a noted 18th century botanist who recommended it as a styptic.

Other Uses:
Bluebells are widely planted as garden plants, either among trees or in herbaceous borders. They flower at the same time as hyacinths, Narcissus and some tulips. Their ability to reproduce vegetatively using runners, however, means that they can spread rapidly, and may need to be controlled as weeds.

Bluebells synthesise a wide range of chemicals with potential medicinal properties. They contain at least 15 biologically active compounds that may provide them with protection against insects and animals. Certain extracts – water-soluble alkaloids – are similar to compounds tested for use in combating HIV and cancer. The bulbs of bluebells are used in folk medicine as a remedy for leucorrhoea, and as a diuretic or styptic, while the sap can be used as an adhesive.

The bluebell may be regarded as the United Kingdom’s “favourite flower”, and a stylised bluebell has been used since 2005 as the logo for the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

Taxonomic history:
Hybrids between H. non-scripta and H. non-scripta were first given a specific name in 1997, when the Belgian botanist D. Geerinck described them as H. × massartiana, honouring the botanist Jean Massart. The type locality is Watermael-Boitsfort, near Brussels, Belgium; the holotype is held in Brussels, with an isotype in Liège. The same taxon had already been given the name “Hyacinthoides × variabilis” by P. D. Sell in 1996 in the Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, but without a valid Latin diagnosis

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://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail281.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_non-scripta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_%C3%97_massartiana

 

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