Category Archives: Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Prunus americana lanata

Botanical Name: Prunus americana lanata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus:Prunus
Section: Prunocerasus
Species: P. americana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Prunus lanata. (Sudw.)Mack.&Bush.

Habitat : Prunus americana lanata is native to Central and Southern N. America – Indiana to Illinois, south to Texas. It grows on the hillsides and river bottom lands.

Description:
Prunus americana lanata is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in). The leaves are somewhat stout with pubescent, usually glandless petioles; twigs often become somewhat spinelike at the tips. White flowers usually appear before the leaves and are borne in fasicles of two to five on the tip of spur branchlets or from axillary buds formed the previous season. Fruits are yellow to red plums (drupes), at least 0.8 inch (2 cm) long with yellow flesh and a compressed stone. Although this species sometimes produces small, hard plums, the fruits are generally fleshy and highly palatable. Occassionally trees cultivated for plums escape and persist. Horticultural varieties can be distinguished from the native species by their larger petals, smaller flower clusters (one to three per node), and sometimes by the gland-tipped teeth of the leaves.

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It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.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;
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Used mainly in jellies. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter, it has a thick succulent flesh and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Wood – heavy, hard, close-grained, strong. The tree is too small for the wood to be of commercial value.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is al
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana+lanata
http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_American_plum.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_americana

Triticum aestivum

 

Botanical Name: Triticum aestivum
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Tribe: Triticeae
Genus: Triticum
Species: T. aestivum

Synonyms:
*Triticum sativum Lam.
*Triticum vulgare Vill.

Common Names: Common wheat, Bread wheat, Wheatgrass

Habitat : Triticum aestivum is native to Egipt or Armenia. An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich well-drained soil.

Description:
Triticum aestivum is an annual plant growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich well-drained soil. Wheat is widely cultivated in most parts of the world, but less so in Asia, for its edible seed. There are many named varieties. This is a hexaploid species. Grows well with maize and with camomile in small quantities. Dislikes dogwood, cherry, tulips, pine and poppies.

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Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a few days.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. The seed can be cooked as a whole grain but it is more usually ground into a powder and used as a flour for making bread, fermented foods, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc. High in gluten, it is the most common flour used for making bread. The seed can also be sprouted and then added to salads or juiced to make a healthy drink. A nutritional analysis is available.
Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Fresh weight)

*340 Calories per 100g
*Water : 13%
*Protein: 11.7g; Fat: 2.2g; Carbohydrate: 72g; Fibre: 2g; Ash: 1.7g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 40mg; Phosphorus: 377mg; Iron: 3.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 400mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.55mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 4.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The young stems are used in the treatment of biliousness and intoxication. The ash is used to remove skin blemishes. The fruit is antipyretic and sedative. The light grain is antihydrotic. It is used in the treatment of night sweats and spontaneous sweating. The seed is said to contain sex hormones and has been used in China to promote female fertility. The seed sprouts are antibilious, antivinous and constructive. They are used in the treatment of malaise, sore throat, thirst, abdominal coldness and spasmic pain, constipation and cough. The plant has anticancer properties.

Other Uses:
Biomass; Mulch; Paper; Size; Starch; Thatching.

The straw has many uses, as a biomass for fuel etc, for thatching, as a mulch in the garden etc. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper. The stems are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in lye or soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a green-tan paper. The starch from the seed is used for laundering, sizing textiles etc

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_wheat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Triticum+aestivum

Avena orientalis

Botanical Name: Avena orientalis
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species: orientalis

Synonyms : A. sativa orientalis. Hook.f.

Common Name: Hungarian Oat

Habitat :Avena orientalis is native to Southern Europe. It grows in dry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils.

Description:
Avena orientalis is an annual olant. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species, but it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in Britain, and might also succeed as an autumn-sown crop. Occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, especially in S.E. Europe, this species is considered to be no more than a part of A. sativa by many botanists. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun. Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc. The hull is incompletely attached to the grain, yielding a naked seed easily upon threshing. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:
The seed is diuretic, emollient and refrigerant.

Other Uses:
Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.
The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
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://linnean-online.org/28441/
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Avena+orientalis

Jin Qian Cao

Botanical Name: Lysimachia christiniae
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Jin Qian Cao

Habitat: Jin Qian Cao is native to E. AsiaChina. It grows in grassy thickets along roadsides. Damp areas along streamsides, open forests and forest margins at elevations of 500 – 2300 metres.

Description:
Jin Qian Cao is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils 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:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist loamy soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. 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.
Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is antiphlogistic, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and lithontripic. A decoction is used in the treatment of abscesses, burns, bites, kidney stones, gallbladder stones, inflammation etc.   It is also used to treat mushroom poisoning and drug poisoning
Click & see :(1..)…….( 2)..….(3.)
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=Lysimachia+christiniae
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Qian_Cao

Androsace sarmentosa

Botanical Name: Androsace sarmentosa
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Androsace
Species: A. sarmentosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

.
Synonyms:

*Androsace chumbyi Pax & R. Knuth
*Androsace dubyi (Dergnac) N.P. Balakr.
*Androsace sarmentosa var. chumbyi auct.
*Androsace sarmentosa var. duby Dergnac
*Primula sarmentosa Kuntze
*Primula sarmentosa (Wall.) Bennet & Raizada
Common Name: Rock Jasmine

Habitat : Androsace sarmentosa is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from Sikkim to Kashmir. It grows in mixed forests and grassy slopes at elevations of 2800 – 4000 metres.

Description:
Androsace sarmentosa is a perennial herb. It can grows to about 30 centimetres (12 in) in diameter.
This plant forms deep-green evergreen compact rosettes of elliptic-oblanceolate leaves, 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.18 in) in width, covered with short white hairs. Flowers are bright pink to purple with a yellow centre, 7–9 millimetres (0.28–0.35 in) in diameter, with umbels 4–10 millimetres (0.16–0.39 in) tall. They bloom from June to August.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained light or sandy alkaline soil of low nutrient status and with the addition of limestone chippings if necessary. Usually best in full sun, though in hot-summer areas it can be better if given some shade, especially from the hottest sun. Grows well on dry stone walls, or as a low ground cover, and tolerates hot humid summers.

Propagation:
Seed – requires a period of cold stratification. Where possible, the seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame – all watering should be from the bottom of the pot. The seed can take 2 years to germinate, prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in a partially shaded cold frame. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division of runners in early summer. Pot them up into a sandy compost and grow them on until they are well-rooted before planting them into their permanent positions
Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling and coarsening potency. A resolutive, it dries up serous fluids. It is used in the treatment of disorders from tumours, inflammations of fluids and other serous fluid disorders.

Other Uses:  The plant can be used as a low-growing ground cover.

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/Androsace_sarmentosa
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Androsace+sarmentosa

Asarum maximum

Botanical Name: Asarum maximum
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. maximum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name : Ling Ling Panda Face Ginger

Habitat :Asarum maximum is native to E. Asia – China in Hubei and E. Sichuan. It grows in the forests in humus rich soils at elevations of 600 – 800 metres.

Description:
Asarum maximum is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
This clumping species from China has large, 6″, glossy, rounded arrowhead-shaped, green leaves. It is certainly best-known for its stunning flowers (often the subject of fine paintings). It is in flower from May to June. The 2″ flower is velvet-black outside with a stunning white interior. This easy-to-grow species really responds well to rich humus-laden soils and high fertility. A well-grown 10″ tall x 18″ wide clump of Asarum maximum ‘Green Panda’ is simply stunning as well as deer-resistant .

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.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) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden[1, 200]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried plant is used medicinally in Vietnam. The leaves ate used in the treatment of dyspepsia and colic whilst the flowers and roots are used as a reconstituent. Analgesic, expectorant. Used as a gargle for sore throats etc
Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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/Asarum_maximum
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+maximum
http://www.plantdelights.com/Asarum-maximum-Ling-Ling-for-sale/Buy-Ling-Ling-Panda-Face-Ginger/

Asarum forbesii

Botanical Name: Asarum forbesii
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name: Du Heng

Habitat :Asarum forbesii is native to E. Asia – C. China.It hails from moist woodland valleys below 2,500′ in the Chinese provinces of Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. It grows on moist shady places in forests in valleys at elevations under under 800 metres.
Description:
Asarum forbesii is a perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 6in).
In the garden, Asarum forbesii ‘Mercury’ resembles a smaller Asarum arifolium, making a slowly expanding clump composed of 3″ wide, heart-shaped leaves of green, highlighted by attractive silver blotches. From April through June (NC), the foliage covers the basal clusters of small liver-colored flowers.

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Rhizomes vertical, 1-2 mm in diam., internodes 0.5-1 cm. Leaves solitary; petiole 3-15 cm, glabrous; leaf blade adaxially dark green with white blotches along midvein, broadly cordate to reniform-cordate, 3-8 × 3-8 cm, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface with short hairs along midvein, base cordate, lateral lobes 1-3 × 1.5-3.5 cm, apex obtuse to rounded; cataphylls reniform-cordate or obovate, ca. 1 × 1 cm. Peduncle ascending, 1-2 cm. Calyx dark purple, cylindric to campanulate, 1.5-2.5 × ca. 1 cm; sepals connate beyond attachment to ovary, abaxially glabrous; tube subcylindric, 1-1.5 × 0.8-1 cm, not constricted at throat, adaxially tessellate, orifice ring less than 1 mm wide; lobes broadly ovate, 0.5-0.7 × 0.5-0.7 cm, base smooth. Stamens 12; filaments much shorter than anthers; connectives slightly extended beyond anthers, rounded. Ovary half-inferior. Styles free, apex 2-lobed; stigmas lateral. Fl. Apr-May.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.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) or semi-shade (light woodland).

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 many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies.   Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.
Medicinal Uses: The root is used in the treatment of goitre, cough, fever and worms. Continued use of this plant gives the body a fragrant odour

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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/Asarum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200006649
http://www.plantdelights.com/Asarum-forbesii-Mercury/Flowering-Ginger
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+forbesii

Asarum caudatum

Botanical Name : Asarum caudatum
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. caudatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Asarum hookeri Fielding & Gardner, Asarum rotundifolium Raf.

Common Names: British Columbia wild ginger, western wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger.

Habitat :Asarum caudatum is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to California. It grows on deep shade in moist pine woods and redwood forests. Understory of conifer forests, usually in mesic or wet places from sea level to 1200 metres and occasionally to 2200 metres.

Description:
Asarum caudatum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are distinct, hirsute (hairy), cup-shaped, and brown-purple to green-yellow which terminate in three, long, gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads, forming mats. The leaves emit a ginger aroma when rubbed.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
The root can be used as a ginger substitute. The root has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. It can be harvested all year round, but is best in the autumn. It can also be dried for later use. Leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is laxative, stomachic and tonic. A tea made from the root is used in the treatment of colds, colic, indigestion and stomach pains. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is analgesic, antirheumatic, appetizer and tonic. A decoction is used externally to treat headaches, intestinal pain and knee pains. A poultice made from the heated leaves is applied to boils, skin infections and toothaches, whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as a wash on sores.

Other Uses :
A useful ground-cover plant for deep shade, spreading by its roots.Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Woodland garden.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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/Asarum_caudatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Asarum+caudatum

Arum dioscoridis


Botanical Name : Arum dioscoridis
Family: Araceae
Genus: Arum
Species: A. dioscoridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : A. hygrophyllum. Boiss.

Habitat :Arum dioscoridis is native to forests in the east of the Mediterranean in southern Turkey, Cyprus, and the Middle East.It grows in hedges and rocky places, often on calcareous soils.
Description:
Arum dioscoridis is a perennial plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is not frost tender. In winter appear green, arrow-shaped leaves. In spring, the short-stalked inflorescence appears consisting of a black, rod-shaped spadix surrounded by a yellow-green, purple-mottled brown or even purple bract (spathe). The female flowers are located at the bottom of the spadix; above are the male flowers; and the top is a sterile area (appendix). The spadix emits a pungent smell that attracts flies as pollinators.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in leaf 7-Oct It is in flower in May. 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 Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:
Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Grows well in woodland conditions. Succeeds in sun or shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Because it comes into growth in the late autumn it is best grown by a warm wall or in a bulb frame A polymorphic species. The inflorescence is pollinated by flies and it smells of dung and carrion in order to attract the flies. It also has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. This probably protects the flowers from damage by frost, or allows it to penetrate frozen ground. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root…..Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable. It must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses : Abortifacient….The root is abortifacient.
Other Uses:
The plant can be grown as an ornamental plant in rock gardens Mediterranean regions. In the Benelux, the plant can be grown indoors as a pot plant. The plant can be propagated by seeding.

Known Hazards: The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.

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=Arum+dioscoridis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arum_dioscoridis

Amorphophallus rivieri

Botanical Name: Amorphophallus rivieri
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideaen f
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Conophallus konjak.

Common Names: Devil’s Tongue, Umbrella Arum, Leopard Palm, Snake Palm

Habitat: Amorphophallus rivieri is native to E. Asia – Cochin China, East Indies. Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats. It grows in forest margins and thickets at elevations of 830-1200 metres in western Yunnan.

Description:
Amorphophallus rivieri is a tuberous herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.6 m (2ft). It is foul-smelling somewhat fleshy tropical plant of southeastern Asia cultivated for its edible corms or in the greenhouse for its large leaves and showy dark red spathe surrounding a large spadix.

It is 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 Flies.

Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Late spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container. Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain. This species is being increasingly cultivated for its edible tubers in Japan and Chin The plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display. It is also said to make a good house plant. The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep. The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant flowers, Flowers have an unpleasant odor.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture. It usually germinates in 1 – 8 months at 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly. Division of offsets. These are rarely produced

Edible Uses:
Rhizome – cooked. The root must be thoroughly boiled or baked, it is acrid when raw. Very large, it can be up to 30cm in iameter. In Japan the large brown tubers are peeled, cooked and pounded to extract their starch, which is solidified with dissolved limestone into an edible gel called ‘Konnyaku’. Konnyaku is a type of flour valued for its use in many dietary products. The flour is valued for its ability to clean the digestive tract without being a laxative. A nutritional analysis is available. This root is very high in water and low in calories, so it is being promoted as a diet food in N. America.

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

•308 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 3.8g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 88.5g; Fibre: 3.8g; Ash: 7.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 654mg; Phosphorus: 269mg; Iron: 11.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses: The root is oxytoxic and sialagogue. It is used in the treatment of cancer. The flowers are febrifuge.

Other Uses : The plant has insecticidal properties.

Known Hazards: We have one report that this plant is very toxic raw, though no more details are given. It belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.

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=Amorphophallus+rivieri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphophallus

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Amorphophallus+rivieri