Lactuca sibirica

Botanical Name: Lactuca sibirica
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Lactuca sibirica (L.) Benth., Lagedium sibiricum (L.) Sojak., Sonchus sibiricus L., Mulgedium sibiricum Less., Agathyrsus sibiricus D.Don.

Common Names: Prickly lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca sibirica is native to N. Europe to E. Asia. It grows on woods and scrub, also on river sands and gravels.

Description:
Lactuca sibirica is a perennial herb . Stalks are 25-100 (to 140) cm in height, straight, simple, non-pubescent, frequently red. The main root is erect, sometimes branchy. The root system consists of numerous roots and rhizomes. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate, elongate-acuminate, 1-5 cm in width, 6-18 cm in length, full, less often runcinate or pinnatilobate. Leaves are naked or weakly pubescent, amplexicaul cordate or sagittate at base; upper side green, underside glaucous. Phyllotaxy alternate. Corymbose-paniculate inflorescence consists of rather large calathidia 2.5-3 cm in diameter. Flowers are dark blue or violet, with ligules. Ligules are 10-15 mm in length and 2-3-mm in width. Involucre is cylindrical in form, 3-4-seriate, 9-14 mm in length, 4-8 mm in width. Leaflets lanceolate, bare with the pubescent top. Fruits are hemicarps, slightly compressed and ribbed, up to 5 mm in length, densely pubescent. Rostellum is usually a quarter the size of the hemicarp. Pappus is yellowish, up to 10 mm in length. It is in flower during July -and in fruit during August-September.

Flower color is blue, rarely white. Achene brown to olive green, narrowly ellipsoid, ca. 4 mm, subcompressed, either marginal rib almost as thick as ca. 1/3 of achene diam., middle third with 4 or 5 narrow ribs on either side, apically attenuate or with a ca. 1 mm beak. Pappus 5-7 mm.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. But light sandy loam in a sunny position is prefered.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick. Division in spring. Make sure that each portion of root has at least one leaf bud.

Edible Uses: Young plants are eaten – raw or cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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/Lactuca

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200024118

http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/weeds/Lactuca_sibirica/http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sibirica

 

Lactuca triangulata

Botanical Name: Lactuca triangulata
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribes: Lactucinae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Species: Lactuca triangulata

Common Names: Lactuca triangulata var. sachalinensis Kitamura; Pterocypsela triangulata (Maximowicz) C. Shih.

Habitat : Lactuca triangulata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on grasslands on mountain slopes, mountain forests, forest margins, trailsides; 700-1900 m. Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shanxi [Japan, Korea, SE Russia].
Description:
Lactuca triangulata is a biennial or perennial herb growing 1M tall. Roots ramose. Stem solitary, usually purplish red, erect, branched in apical half or third, glabrous. Lower and middle stem leaves ± glabrous, margin with unequal and triangular teeth; basal portion winged petiole-like, 6-13 cm, base broadly auriculately to hastately clasping stem; apical portion triangular, broadly ovate, or broadly ovate-cordate, 8.5-13 × 9-16 cm. Upper stem leaves similar to middle stem leaves or basally shortly cuneate or winged petiole-like and auriculately or sagittately clasping and apically elliptic to rhombic. Uppermost leaves with semiamplexicaul base. Synflorescence rather narrowly paniculiform, with numerous capitula. Capitula with 10-16 florets. Involucre cylindric, 1-1.1 cm at anthesis, to 1.5 × 0.5-0.6 cm in fruit. Outer phyllaries narrowly triangular to lanceolate, longest ca. 7 × 1 mm, apex acute; inner phyllaries 8, usually purplish red, apex acute to obtuse. Florets yellow. Achene 4-6 mm; body blackish, reddish, or dark brown, ellipsoid, compressed, broadly winged, 2-2.5 mm wide, with 1(or 2) prominent rib on either side, apically contracted into an apically pale stout 0.1-0.5 mm beak. Pappus 6-8 mm, caducous. It is in flower during June-July and fruit comes in August- September.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil.
Cultivation: Prefers a light sandy loam in a sunny position. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Propagation : Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked. They are sometimes eaten.
Medicinal Uses:
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_triangulata
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200024121
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+triangulata

Orobanche ludoviciana

Botanical Name: Orobanche ludoviciana
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Orobanche
Species:O. ludoviciana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Broom Rape, Louisiana broomrape, Manyflower broomrape, Prairie broom-rape

Habitat :Orobanche ludoviciana is native to North America – Illinois to South Dakota, Saskatchewan, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona and California. It grows on sandy soils on the plains where it is parasitic on the roots of Ambrosia spp and other members of the Compositae. It is found below 1200 metres in California.
Description:
Orobanche ludoviciana is a perennial plant growing to 1.5 m (5ft) often without branches. Leaves are scales and numerous. The inflorescences are many-flowered spikes that occupy a half to a third of the shoot. Flowers sessile or with small up to 15mm pedicels for the lower flowers. Calyx subtended by 1 or 2 bracts, which are bilabiate. Corolla is 1.5-2.5 cm and often a violet-like color. 2n=24, 48, 72, 96. Inhabits sandy soil.

Numerous flowers are clustered in a dense spike, the spike often making up to 2/3 of the plant height. Flowers are tubular, ½ to ¾ inch long, the lower ones may have up to a 1-inch stalk while upper ones are stalkless. Flowers are densely hairy with color ranging from a light pink to often deep purplish rose with yellow on the inside lower lip. The typical flower has a 2-lobed upper lip and 4-lobed lower though they can be split with 3 above and 3 below. Sepals are also tubular with five long lance-linear lobes, brownish in color and densely hairy. Each flower is attended by a broad oval bract tapered to a point as well as 1 or 2 smaller bractlets, all brownish colored and densely hairy.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple
Stems are usually simple or may be branched, often subterranean with many scale-like leaves.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers 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 should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It requires a well-drained soil and should succeed in sun or shade. A fully parasitic plant lacking in chlorophyll, it is entirely dependant upon its host plant for obtaining nutrient.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in a pot containing a host plant. The seed is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. It might also be possible to sow the seed in situ around a host plant.

Edible Uses:
Root – roasted. Stem. Base of young stems roasted.

Medicinal Uses: The chewed plant has been used as a dressing on wounds. A poultice of the stems has been used in the treatment of ulcerated sores

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/Orobanche_ludoviciana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Orobanche+ludoviciana
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/louisiana-broomrape

Zanthoxylum simulans

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum simulans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Z. simulans

Synonyms: Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum bungei

Common Names: Szechuan Pepper, Chinese-pepper, Prickly Ash

Habitat:Zanthoxylum simulans is native to eastern China and Taiwan. It grows on virgin wilds, hillsides and open woods.

Description:

Zanthoxylum simulans is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. The leaves are 7-12.5 cm long, pinnate, with 7-11 leaflets, the leaflets 3–5 cm long and 1.5–2 cm broad. There are numerous short (3–6 mm) spines on both the stems and the leaf petioles, and large (several cm) knobs on the branches. The flowers are produced in slender cymes, each flower about 4–5 mm diameter. The 3–4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that splits open to release the black seeds from inside.

It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in 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)The plant is not self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Massing. Easily grown in loamy soils in most positions, but prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A plant has been growing well for many years in deep woodland shade at Cambridge Botanical gardens, it was fruiting heavily in autumn 1996. Cultivated for its seed, which is used as a condiment in China. Flowers are formed on the old wood. The bruised leaves are strongly aromatic. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions
Edible Uses:
The fruit is dried and used as a condiment. A pepper flavour, it is stronger and more pungent than black pepper. It can be used whole or ground into a powder and used as a table seasoning. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. It is an ingredient of the famous Chinese ‘five spice’ mixture.
Medicinal Uses:
Astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue. The pericarp is anaesthetic, diuretic, parasiticide and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. It has a local anaesthetic action and is parasiticide against the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium). The pericarp contains geraniol. In small doses this has a mild diuretic action, though large doses will inhibit the excretion of urine. There is a persistent increase in peristalsis at low concentration, but inhibition at high concentration.  The leaves are carminative, stimulant and sudorific. The fruit is carminative, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The seed is antiphlogistic and diuretic. A decoction of the root is digestive and also used in the treatment of snakebites. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

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.

Respources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_simulans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+simulans

Zanthoxylum alatum

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum alatum
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily:Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms :Zanthoxylum armatum.

Common Names: Winged Prickly Ash, Tooyh ache tree

Other vernacular names:
Bengali: Gaira.
Hindi: Darman, Darmar (as Z. alatum), Tejbal, Tejpal, Tejphal, Tumru.
Kannada: Dhiva, Jimmi, Tumburudu.
Malayalam: Thumbunalari, Tumpunal, Tumpuni.
Tamil: Tumpunalu.
Telagu: Gandhalu, Konda kasimi.
Burmese: Gawra kha nan nan, Teza bo.
Nepalese: Timbur, Timur.
Sanskrit: Tejohwa, Tejpal, Tumburu, Tumburuh.
Chinese: Ci zhu ye hua jiao, Qin jiao, Huan hua zhen, Bai zong guan, Shan hua jiao. Zhu ye jiao.
Japanese: Fuyu zanshou.
German: Nepalpfeffer.

Habitat:Zanthoxylum alatum is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas. It grows in the forest undergrowth and hot valleys to 1800 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:
Zanthoxylum alatum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft 1in). The tree is almost entirely smooth, with a strong aromatic smell. Bark is corky, with conspicuous young stems with thick conical prickles raising rising from a corky base. Spines are shining and sharp, growing on branchlets. Leaves are alternate, usually with 2 to 6 pairs of leaflets. Petioles and rachis are narrowly winged. Leaflets are elliptic-lanceolate, 2 to 8 centimeters long and 1 to 1.8 centimeters wide. Flowers are small, yellow, usually unisexual, borne in dense lateral panicles. Fruit is usually a solitary carpel dehiscing ventrally, about 3 millimeters in diameter, tubercled, red, and strongly aromatic.

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)The plant is not self-fertile...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. This species is closely related to Z. planispinum. Flowers are formed on the old wood. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The seed is ground into a powder and used as a condiment. A pepper substitute, it is widely used in the Orient. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. The seed is an ingredient of the famous Chinese ‘five spice’ mixture. The fruit is rather small but is produced in clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed. Young leaves are used as a condiment.
Medicinal Uses:

The seeds and the bark are used as an aromatic tonic in the treatment of fevers, dyspepsia and cholera. The fruits, branches and thorns are considered to be carminative and stomachic. They are used as a remedy for toothache.

Other Uses: 
Miscellany; Teeth; Wood.

The fruit contains 1.5% essential oil. The fruit is used to purify water. Toothbrushes are made from the branches[146, 158]. Wood – heavy, hard, close grained. Used for walking sticks.

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/Zanthoxylum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+alatum

Betula platyphylla

Botanical Name : Betula platyphylla
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. platyphylla
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Betula alba subsp. tauschii, Betula latifolia, Betula platyphylla var. japonica, Betula verrucosa va

Common Names:White Birch, Asian white birch, Japanese white birch or Siberian silver birch

Habitat: Betula platyphylla is native to E. Asia – northern China, Japan, Korea, Siberia. It grows on highlands, C. and N. Japan.

Description:
Betula platyphylla is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in) at a fast rate.

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays. Fairly wind tolerant. A fast-growing but short-lived tree. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to B. pendula. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:
Inner bark – cooked. Rich in starch. It can be dried and ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups etc or mixed with flour for making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap. Used for making a vinegar.
Medicinal Uses:
The bark of the sub-species Betula platyphylla japonica is often used medicinally in Korea. It contains several medically active constituents including triterpenoids and flavonoids and is antifungal, anti-inflammatory and tonic. It is used in the treatment of conditions such as internal diseases and inflammation. The root bark, and other parts of the plant, show anticancer activity. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism.

Known Hazards: The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.

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/Betula_platyphylla
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+platyphylla

Betula nigra

Botanical Name : Betula nigra
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Neurobetula
Species: B. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Fagales

Synonyms: Betula americana, Betula lanulosa, Betula rubra.

Common Names: Black birch, River birch, Water birch, Red Birch

Habitat: Betula nigra is native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas. It grows on the banks of streams, by swamps etc, in deep rich soil that is often inundated for weeks at a time.

Description:
Betula nigra is a deciduous tree growing to 25–30 meters (82–98 ft) with a trunk 50 to 150 centimeters (20 to 59 in) in diameter, often with multiple trunks. The bark is variable, usually dark gray-brown to pinkish-brown and scaly, but in some individuals, smooth and creamy pinkish-white, exfoliating in curly papery sheets. The twigs are glabrous or thinly hairy. The leaves are alternate, ovate, 4–8 centimeters (1.6–3.1 in) long and 3–6 centimeters (1.2–2.4 in) broad, with a serrated margin and five to twelve pairs of veins. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3–6 centimeters (1.2–2.4 in) long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect. The fruit is unusual among birches in maturing in late spring; it is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Woodland garden. Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Likes its roots within reach of water. Dislikes wet soils according to another report. Shade tolerant. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses: 
Sap – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl. The trunk is tapped by drilling a hole about 6mm wide and about 4cm deep. The sap flows best on warm sunny days following a hard frost. It makes a refreshing drink and can also be concentrated into a syrup or sugar. The sap can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”

Native Americans used the boiled sap as a sweetener similar to maple syrup, and the inner bark as a survival food. It is usually too contorted and knotty to be of value as a timber tree.

Medicinal Uses:
A salve was made by boiling the buds until they were thick and pasty, sulphur was added and this was then applied externally to skin sores and ringworm. The leaves have been chewed, or used as an infusion, in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the bark has been used to treat stomach problems, ‘milky’ urine and difficult urination with discharge. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Besom; Soil stabilization; Wood.

Young branches are used to make besoms, whisks etc. This species has an extensive root system and is sometimes planted for erosion control along the banks of streams. Wood – light, strong, close grained and hard, but it contains many knots because of the numerous branches along the trunk. It weighs 36lb per cubic foot. Of little use commercially, though it is sometimes used for furniture, turnery etc.

While its native habitat is wet ground, it will grow on higher land, and its bark is quite distinctive, making it a favored ornamental tree for landscape use. A number of cultivars with much whiter bark than the normal wild type have been selected for garden planting, including ‘Heritage’ and ‘Dura Heat’; these are notable as the only white-barked birches resistant to the bronze birch borer Agrilus anxius in warm areas of the southeastern United States of America.
Known Hazards :The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.
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=Betula+nigra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_nigra

Betula kenaica

Botanical Name : Betula kenaica
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Species: B. kenaica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Betula papyrifera kenaica (W.H.Evans.)Henry

Common Names: Kenai birch

Habitat : Betula kenaica is native to North-western N. AmericaAlaska. It grows along the coast. Rocky slopes in the subalpine zone from sea level to 300 metres.
Description:
Betula kenaica is a deciduous Tree growing up to 12 m (39 ft) tall, with reddish-brown bark that may become pink or grayish-white. The leaf blades are ovate and grow in 2-6 pairs which are 4–5 cm (1.6–2.0 in) (sometimes up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in)) long and 2.5–4.5 cm (0.98–1.77 in) wide. The leaf margins are cuneated and serrated with rounded base and acute apex. The flowers bloom in late spring while fruits fall in autumn.

The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES: 

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays. Fairly wind tolerant. A fast-growing but short-lived species. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process[20]. This plant is closely related to B. papyrifera, and possibly no more than a sub-species of that species. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.

Edible Uses:
The buds and twigs of the plant are used as a stew flavor while its inner bark can be eaten either raw or cooked and can be used as soup thickener. The sap is used to make honey.

Young leaves and catkins are eaten raw. Inner bark – raw or cooked. Best in spring. Inner bark can be dried and ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap is eaten raw or cooked. It can be used as a refreshing drink, or can be concentrated by boiling to make a syrup. It is tapped in late winter, the flow is best on sunny days following a heavy frost. The sap can be fermented into a beer. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”

Medicinal Uses: The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment.

Other Uses: Wood – close-grained, light, strong, hard, tough. It makes a good fuel, whilst the bark makes a good kindling.

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/Betula_kenaica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+kenaica

Betula alleghaniensis

Botanical Name: Betula alleghaniensis
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betulenta
Species: B. alleghaniensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots, Magnoliophyta, >Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : Betula lutea.

Common Names: Yellow Birch,Swamp Birch, Golden Birch.(Betula alleghaniensis is the provincial tree of Quebec, where it is commonly called Merisier, a name which in France is used for the wild cherry.)

Habitat :Betula alleghaniensis is native to North-eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Virginia and Tennessee. It is usually found in moist well-drained soils in rich woodlands on lower slopes, it is also found in cool marshlands in the south of its range.
Description:
Betula alleghaniensis is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 20 meters (66 ft) tall (exceptionally to 30 m) with a trunk up to 80 cm (2.6 ft) diameter. The bark is smooth, yellow-bronze, flaking in fine horizontal strips, and often with small black marks and scars. The twigs, when scraped, have a slight scent of wintergreen oil, though not as strongly so as the related Sweet Birch. The leaves are alternate, ovate, 6–12 cm long (2.4–4.7 in) and 4–9 cm broad (1.6–3.5 in), with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3–6 cm long (1.2–2.4 in); the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect. The fruit, mature in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen, Woodland garden. Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes wet soils. Shade tolerant. A slow-growing tree, it is relatively long-lived for a birch, with specimens 200 years old recorded. Plants often grow taller than the 12 metres mentioned above. The trees are highly susceptible to forest fires, even when wet the bark is highly inflammable. The bruised foliage has a strong smell of wintergreen. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:
Inner bark – cooked or dried and ground into a powder and used with cereals in making bread. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. The sap is harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. It flows abundantly, but the sugar content is much lower than maple sap. A pleasant drink, it can also be concentrated into a syrup or fermented into a beer. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”. A tea is made from the twigs and leaves. The dried leaves are used according to another report. An excellent flavour. The twigs and leaves have the flavour of wintergreen and can be used as condiments.
Medicinal Uses:
Yellow birch is little used medicinally, though a decoction of the bark has been used by the native North American Indians as a blood purifier, acting to cleanse the body by its emetic and cathartic properties. The bark is a source of ‘Oil of Wintergreen‘. This does have medicinal properties, though it is mainly used as a flavouring in medicines.

Other Uses
Containers; Fuel; Waterproofing; Wood.

The bark is waterproof and has been used by native peoples as the outer skin of canoes, as roofing material on dwellings and to make containers such as buckets, baskets and dishes. Wood – close-grained, very strong, hard, heavy. The wood is too dense to float. An important source of hardwood lumber, it is used for furniture, boxes, tubs of wheels, floors etc. It is also often used as a fuel

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/Betula_alleghaniensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+alleghaniensis

Betula glandulosa

 

Botanical Name : Betula glandulosa
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Chamaebetula
Species: B. glandulosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms:Betula crenata, Betula glandulifera.

Common Names: American Dwarf Birch, Resin Birch, Shrub Birch,Scrub Birch

Habitat :Betula glandulosa is native to North-western N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska, southwards on mountain ranges. It grows on streambanks, marsh margins, lakes and bogs, also found on alpine slopes.

Description:
Betula glandulosa is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub typically growing to 1–3 m tall, often forming dense thickets. The trunks are slender, rarely over 5–10 cm diameter, with smooth, dark brown bark. The leaves are nearly circular to oval, 0.5–3 cm long and 1.2.5 cm broad, with a toothed margin. The fruiting catkins are erect, 1-2.5 cm long and 5–12 mm broad…CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

It is closely related to the Dwarf Birch (Betula nana), and is sometimes treated as a subspecies of it, as B. nana subsp. glandulosa. It is distinguished from typical B. nana by the presence of glandular warts on the shoots and longer leaf petioles. Hybrids with several other birches occur.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Shade tolerant. B. glandulifera, mentioned above as a synonym of this species, might be a separate species in its own right. This species is native to areas with very cold winters and often does not do well in milder zones. It can be excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to frost damage. The branches are covered in aromatic glands, and the leaves are pleasantly fragrant when crushed. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to B. nana. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:Young leaves and catkins – raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and catkins are eaten raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.

Medicinal Uses: The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative.

Other Uses: The plant is valuable for ground cover. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment

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.
Resurces:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_glandulosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+glandulosa