Ribes divaricatum

Botanical Name : Ribes divaricatum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. divaricatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms : Grossularia divaricata. Steud.

Common Names: Coastal Black Gooseberry, Spreading gooseberry, Parish’s gooseberry, Straggly gooseberry. wild gooseberry and, in the UK, Worcesterberry.

Habitat :Ribes divaricatum is native to Western N. America. It grows on open woods, prairies and moist hillsides.

Description:
Ribes divaricatum is a deciduous shrub sometimes reaching 3 meters in height with woody branches with one to three thick brown thorns at leaf nodes. The leaves are generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth. The blades are up to 6 centimeters long and borne on petioles.

The inflorescence is a small cluster of hanging flowers, each with reflexed purple-tinted green sepals and smaller, lighter petals encircling long, protruding stamens. The fruit is a sweet-tasting berry up to a centimeter wide which is black when ripe. It is similar to Ribes lacustre and Ribes lobbii, but the former has smaller, reddish to maroon flowers and the latter has reddish flowers that resemble those of fuchsias and sticky leaves.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jul to 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.

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Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Requires a very sunny position if it is to do well. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. This species is closely allied to R. rotundifolium. Immune to mildew, this species is a parent of many mildew resistant hybrids and is being used in breeding programmes in Europe. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. 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, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and juicy. A very acceptable flavour, though a bit on the acid side. It is considered to be one of the finest wild N. American gooseberries. The fruit is sometimes harvested before it is fully ripe and then cooked. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter. On the wild species the fruit can hang on the plant until the autumn (if the birds leave it alone). Young leaves and unripe fruits are used to make a sauce.
Medicinal Uses:

The inner bark has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore throats. A decoction of the bark or the root has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of sore throats, venereal disease and tuberculosis. The burnt stems have been rubbed on neck sores.

Other Uses:
The roots have been boiled with cedar (Juniperus spp, Thuja sp.) and wild rose (Rosa spp) roots, then pounded and woven into rope. The sharp thorns have been used as probes for boils, for removing splinters and for tattooing.

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/Ribes_divaricatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+divaricatum

Ribes cynosbati

Botanical Name : Ribes cynosbati
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. cynosbati
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms: Grossularia cynosbati (L.) Mill., Ribes cynosbati var. atrox Fernald, Ribes cynosbati f. atrox (Fernald) B. Boivin

Common Names: Prickly gooseberry, Eastern prickly gooseberry, Dogberry, Dog bramble, and Groseillier des chiens (in Quebec)

Habitat :Ribes cynosbati is native to Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to North Carolina, west to Manitoba, Alabama and Missouri. It grows on Open, loamy or rocky woods.

Description:
Ribes cynosbati is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) with erect to spreading stems. Leaves have 3 or 5 lobes, with glandular hairs. Flowers are greenish-white, and the bristly fruits white to greenish and pleasant-tasting.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

It and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April. 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:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Hardy to about -20°c. A parent of the cultivated American gooseberry, it is occasionally cultivated in America for its edible fruit. It does not tend to fruit very heavily in Britain. The ssp. R. cynosbati inerme. Rehd. has a fruit that is without bristles. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between -2 to +2°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. 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, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. A pleasant sub-acid flavour, good for quenching thirst, they also make excellent pies, jellies and preserves. A gooseberry. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter and is covered with short weak bristles.
Medicinal Uses:

Ophthalmic; Women’s complaints.

The root or the root bark has been used in the treatment of uterine problems caused by having too many children. An infusion of the root has been used as a wash for sore eyes.

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/Ribes_cynosbati
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+cynosbati

Ribes cereum

Botanical Name : Ribes cereum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. cereum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Common Names: Wax Currant, Squaw currant

Habitat : Ribes cereum is native to western North America, including British Columbia, Alberta, and much of the western United States, from Washington, Oregon, and California east as far as the western Dakotas and the Oklahoma Panhandle.It grows in canyons, dry ravines, hillsides, prairies and open woodland.

Description:
Ribes cereum is a deciduous Shrub. It is a spreading or erect shrub growing 20 centimeters (8 inches) to 2 meters (80 inches) tall. It is aromatic, with a “spicy” scent. The stems are fuzzy and often very glandular, and lack spines and prickles. The leaves are somewhat rounded and divided into shallow lobes which are toothed along the edges. The leaves are hairless to quite hairy, and usually studded with visible resin glands, particularly around the edges. The inflorescence is a clustered raceme of 2 to 9 flowers. The small flower is tubular with the white to pink sepals curling open at the tips to form a corolla-like structure. Inside there are minute white or pinkish petals, five stamens, and a two protruding green styles. The fruit is a rather tasteless red berry up to a centimeter (0.4 inch) wide, with a characteristically long, dried flower remnant at the end….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. 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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Requires a sunny position[11]. Hardy to about -20°c. A very ornamental and free-flowering plant. Often cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America. It is disease-resistant and is being used in modern blackcurrant breeding programmes. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust‘, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Related to R. viscosissimum.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between -2 to 0°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. 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, planting them out in late spring of the following year Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Not very nice, large quantities can cause nausea. Reports on the quality of the fruit range from insipid and rubbery to highly esteemed as an article of diet. The fruit can also be used to make pemmican, jellies, jams, sauces and pies. Fruits can also be dried for later use[85]. Young leaves. No more details are given. Flowers – raw. A sweet flavour.

The Zuni people use the berries of the pedicellare variety as food, and eat the leaves with uncooked mutton fat or deer fat.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the inner bark has been used as a wash for sore eyes. The fruit has been eaten in quantity as an emetic. It has also been used to treat diarrhoea.

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=Ribes+cereum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribes_cereum

Stevia rebaudiana

 

Botanical Name : Stevia rebaudiana
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Stevia
Species:S. rebaudiana
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Eupatorium rebaudianum.

Common Names:Stevia, Candyleaf, Sweetleaf, Sweet leaf, or Sugarleaf

Habitat:Stevia rebaudiana is native to South AmericaBrazil, Paraguay. It grows on infertile, sandy acid soils with shallow water tables. This is normally in areas like the edge of mashes and grassland communities.

Description:
Stevia Rebaudiana is a sub-tropical plant and prefers a climate where the mean temperature is 75° F. and is always semi-humid. It thrives where it rains approximately 55″ each year. S. Rebaudiana is a herbaceous perennial shrub native to the highlands of Paraguay and sections of Argentina and Brazil that are situated along the 25th Degree Line, South Latitude.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

In the wild, Stevia grows to 2 feet in height while cultivated varieties grow to three feet. A spindly, many-branched plant with an interesting root system. Fine roots spread out on the surface of the soil, while a thicker part of the root grows deep into the soil. The stems are hairy, wand-like and covered with leaves. Leaves are opposite and toothed, fibrous and dark green. Flowers are white, tubular and bisexual. While the plant itself is not aromatic, the leaves are sweet to the taste and dry leaves are sweeter.

It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Stevia was discovered in 1887 by the South American Natural Scientist, Antonio Bertoni. There are approximately 80 wild species in North America and another 200 species are native to South America. However, only Stevia Rebaudiana (and another species, now extinct) possesses the natural sweetness we look for. Some of the other species, while still very sweet, have a taste reminiscent of a well-known artificial sweetener.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy soil, requiring a warm sunny position. It is a short day plant, growing up to 0.6 meters in the wild and flowering from January to March in the southern hemisphere. Flowering under short day conditions should occur 54-104 days following transplanting, depending on the daylength sensitivity of the cultivar. The natural climate is semi-humid subtropical with temperature extremes from 21 to 43 C, averaging 24 C. Stevia grows in areas with up to 1375mm of rain a year. Plants are not very frost resistant, but can be grown as half-hardy annuals in Britain, starting them off in a greenhouse and planting them out after the last expected frosts.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on fast, planting them out after the last expected frosts. It could be worthwhile giving them some protection such as a cloche or cold frame for a few weeks after planting them out until they are growing away well.
Edible Uses:
Used primarily as a sweetener in teas and coffee and contains little, if any, calories. In maney countries, it is used commercially to sweeten sodas and other beverages for the calorie conscious public. Stevia does not break down when heated, so it can be used in baking or cooking without problems. However, it does not crystallize or caramelize like sugar; so meringues and flans are not in the Stevia cooking list. Stevia products currently on the market include: Stevia leaves – whole leaves. Stevia, Cut and Sifted – the leaves are cut into smaller pieces and sifted to ensure that twigs and extraneous matter are not included.

Leaves are eaten -raw or cooked. A very sweet liquorice-like flavour. The leaves contain ‘stevioside’, a substance that is 300 times sweeter than sucrose. Other reports say that they contain ‘estevin’ a substance that, weight for weight, is 150 times sweeter than sugar. The dried leaves can be ground and used as a sweetener or soaked in water and the liquid used in making preserves. The powdered leaves are also added to herb teas. The leaves are sometimes chewed by those wishing to reduce their sugar intake. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

Medicinal Uses:
Stevia has been used by the native South Americans to treat diabetes, because of its ability to lower the blood sugar level. They also use it to treat high blood pressure.  Paraguayan Matto Grosso Indian tribes use stevia as an oral contraceptive.  The women drink a daily decoction in water of powdered leaves and stems to achieve this purpose.  This activity of the plant remains a controversial issue.  The suggestion is that the antifertility effect is due to certain flavonoids and their monoglycosides, and not to stevioside.

The Guarani Tribe of Paraguay, the Mestizos and other natives refer to Stevia as Caa-he-e and they have used the herb to sweeten their bitter beverages (mate´ for example) since pre-Columbian times.

Known Hazards : May cause dizziness, headache, flatulence, nausea & muscle pain. Caution with diabetic patients. May increase blood pressure lowering effects of allopathic medicine.
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/Stevia_rebaudiana

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Stevia+rebaudiana

http://www.n8ture.com/herbs-stevia.html

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

 

 

 

Centaurea montana

Botanical Name : Centaurea montana
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Centaurea
Species:C. montana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Perennial cornflower, Mountain cornflower, Bachelor’s button, Montane knapweed or Mountain bluet

Habitat : Centaurea montana is native to Europe. It is widespread and common in the more southerly mountain ranges of Europe, but is rarer in the north. It escapes from gardens readily, and has thereby become established in the British Isles, Scandinavia and North America. It grows on Mountain woodland margins and meadows.

Description:
Centaurea montana is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.  It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.   It is noted for attracting wildlife.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Specimen. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. The plants have creeping rhizomes and form spreading patches. A good bee plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in August in a greenhouse, overwintered under cover, and planted out in spring. Division in autumn. 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 summer or following spring. This should be done at least once every three years in order to maintain the plants vigour. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 5 – 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Mountain cornflower is seldom used in modern herbalism, though it does still have a reputation in parts of Europe as a wash for tired eyes. It is considered to be most effective on blue eyes, great plantain (Plantago majus) being used for brown eyes. The dried flowers are antitussive, astringent, weakly diuretic, emmenagogue, ophthalmic, very mildly purgative and tonic. An infusion can be used as a treatment for dropsy, constipation, as a mouthwash for bleeding gums and as an eye bath for conjunctivitis.

Other Uses: Can be used as a ground cover plant in a sunny position.

Ornamental Uses : Centaurea montana grows in gardens where it grows best in sunny positions.

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=Centaurea+montana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_montana

Centaurea melitensis

Botanical Name :Centaurea melitensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Centaurea
Species:C. melitensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Maltese star-thistle in Europe, Tocalote or Tocolote

Habitat: Centaurea melitensis is native to Mediterranean region, eastwards to Greece and Tunisia.  It grows on wasteplaces and roadsides.
Description:
Centaurea melitensis is an erect winter annual with a spiny, yellow-flowered head that typically reaches 1 m tall. The stems are stiff and openly branched from near or above the base or sometimes not branched in very small plants. Stem leaves are alternate, and mostly linear or narrowly oblong to oblanceolate. Margins are smooth, toothed, or wavy, and leaf bases extend down the stems (decurrent) and give stems a winged appearance. Rosette leaves typically are withered by flowering time.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor 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.
Cultivation:
We do not have information on this species, but the following notes are based on the closely related C. solstitialis. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils. A good bee and butterfly plant the flowers are rich in nectar. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in situ in the spring, and an autumn swing in situ might also be worth trying.

Medicinal Uses: The plant is used in the treatment of the kidneys.
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/Centaurea_melitensis
http://texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=CEME2
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Centaurea+melitensis

Hippobroma longiflora

Botanical Name : Hippobroma longiflora
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Hippobroma
Species:H. longiflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Isotoma longiflora, Laurentia longiflora

Common Names: Star of Bethlehem, Madam Fate, White Tibey, Cipril
Hawaiian Name: Pua hoku, China: Ma zui cao.

Habitat:Hippobroma longiflora is native to West Indies. In Hawai‘iit is naturalized in low elevation and disturbed areas with moderate rainfall.

Description:
Star of Bethlehem is a perennial herb which forms a rosette of narrow sessile oblanceolate coarsely pinnatilobed leaves mostly 10-15 cm long, up to 3-4 cm wide near apex; flowers white, on 2 cm pubescent pedicel; calyx to 3 cm long; corolla usually 8-11 cm long, plus the 2-2.5 cm long lobes; anthers apically bearded; capsule campanulate, pubescent, 2-celled, nearly 2 cm long, over 1 cm thick; seeds many, ovate, reticulate, light brown, minute.
The plant contains a poisonous milky sap, an alkaloid, which can cause burns and irritation. The flowers are long and white, on a 2 cm pubescent pedicel in a shape of a star with bearded anthers. The fruit is a pubescent capsule divided in two cells with minute light brown seeds….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation:The plant is propagated through seeds.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have been used as a counter-irritant.

Known Hazards:It is notable for its concentrations of two pyridine alkaloids: lobeline and nicotine. The effects of nicotine and lobeline are quite similar, with psychoactive effects at small dosages and with unpleasant effects including vomiting, muscle paralysis, and trembling at higher dosages. For this reason, H. longiflora (and its various synonyms) is often referenced for both its toxicity and its ethnobotanical uses.

When uprooting this weed, it is important to wear gloves: the sap is an irritant which can be absorbed through the skin, and a small amount of sap in the eyes can cause blindness….CLICK & SEE
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/Hippobroma_longiflora
http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=11854
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://hear.org/pier/species/hippobroma_longiflora.htm
http://www.asianplant.net/Campanulaceae/Hippobroma_longiflora.htm

Illicium verun

Botanical Name: Illicium verun
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species:I. verum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Austrobaileyales

Synonyms: Illicium san-ki Perr

Common Names: Ba Jiao Hui Xian, Staranise tree, Star anise, Star anise seed, Chinese star anise or badiam

Habitat : Illicium verun is native to E. Asia – China, Vietnam. It grows on the light woodland and thickets. Forests at elevations of 200 – 1600 metres in S and W Guangxi Province, China.

Description:
Illicium verum is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and requires a very sheltered position or the protection of a wall when grown in Britain. Chinese anise is extensively cultivated in China for its fruit and medicinal essential oil. It is planted in the grounds of temples in Japan, and also on tombs. Plants seldom grow larger than about 3 metres in Britain, but eventually reach about 18 metres tall in their native habitat.
Propagation:
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient that gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking, as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe.[citation needed] Star anise enhances the flavour of meat. It is used as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of ph?, a Vietnamese noodle soup.It is also used in the French recipe of mulled wine : called vin chaud (hot wine).

Medicinal Uses:
Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Shikimic acid is produced by most autotrophic organisms, and whilst it can be obtained in commercial quantities elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was caused by its use in the production of Tamiflu. Later that year, a method for the production of shikimic acid using bacteria was discovered. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from fermentation by E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages, as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.

Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a 10-stage manufacturing process which takes a year.

In traditional Chinese medicine, star anise is considered a warm and moving herb, and used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao.

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible; in Japan, it has instead been burned as incense. Cases of illness, including “serious neurological effects, such as seizures”, reported after using star anise tea, may be a result of deliberate economically motivated adulteration with this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. The toxicity of I. anisatum, also known as shikimi, is caused by its potent neurotoxins anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin, which are noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.

Star anise is used in the East to relieve colic and rheumatism and to flavor cough medicines. It warms the abdomen, dispels gas, regulates energy, treats belching, vomiting, abdominal pains and hernia.

The fruit is also often chewed in small quantities after meals in order to promote digestion and to sweeten the breath. The fruit has an antibacterial affect similar to penicillin. The fruit is harvested unripe when used for chewing, the ripe fruits being used to extract essential oil and are dried for use in decoctions and powders. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the seed.

Other Uses:   The pounded bark is used as an incense.

Known Hazards : The fruit is poisonous in quantity.

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/Illicium_verum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+verum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_verum

Ecballium elaterium

Botanical Name : Ecballium elaterium
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Tribus: Bryonieae
Genus: Ecballium
Species: Ecballium elaterium
Subspecies: E. e. subsp. elaterium – E. e. subsp. dioicum
Synonyms: Momordica elateria

Common Name : Squirting Cucumber

Habitat :Ecballium elaterium is native to Europe – Mediterranean. Naturalized in Britain at a few locations along the south coast. It grows on hot dry places on waste ground and roadsides, usually close to the coast.

Description:
Ecballium elaterium is a perennial plant,  growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to 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 Insects.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist well-drained soil in a sunny position. Grows best in a rich soil. Another report says that it succeeds in poor soils. The foliage is fairly frost-tender, though the roots are much hardier and plants can survive quite cold winters in Britain. They are more likely to be killed by excessive winter wet. The squirting cucumber is sometimes cultivated for its use as a medicinal plant. The ripening fruit becomes pumped full of liquid, leading to an increase in pressure. As the seed becomes ripe, this pressure forces the fruit to break away explosively from the plant, ejecting its seed to a considerable distance in the opposite direction. The plant occasionally self-sows in our Cornwall trial ground and can become a weed in warmer climates than Britain. It is subject to statutory control as a weed in Australia.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in rich compost in a greenhouse. Place 2 – 3 seeds per pot and thin to the strongest plant. The seed usually germinates in 10 – 21 days at 25°c. Grow the plants on fast and plant them out after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses:
Ecballium elaterium has been used as a medicinal plant for over 2,000 years, though it has a very violent effect upon the body and has little use in modern herbalism. The juice of the fruit is antirheumatic, cardiac and purgative. The plant is a very powerful purgative that causes evacuation of water from the bowels. It is used internally in the treatment of oedema associated with kidney complaints, heart problems, rheumatism, paralysis and shingles. Externally, it has been used to treat sinusitis and painful joints. It should be used with great caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Excessive doses have caused gastro-enteritis and even death. It should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause an abortion. The fully grown but unripe fruits are harvested during the summer, they are left in containers until the contents are expelled and the juice is then dried for later use. The root contains an analgesic principle.
Known Hazards : Poisonous in large quantities (this probably refers to the fruit). The juice of the fruit is irritative to some skins
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/Ecballium_elaterium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ecballium+elaterium

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

Forestiera neomexicana

Botanical Name : Forestiera neomexicana
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Oleeae
Genus: Forestiera
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : F. pubescens glabrifolia. Adelia neo-mexicana.

Common Name : Wild Olive

Habitat : Forestiera neomexicana is native to South-western N. AmericaTexas to New Mexico, west to California. It grows on dry slopes and ridges below 2000 metres.

Description:
Forestiera neomexicana is a upright spiny branching deciduous perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).It blooms before grayish-green foliage emerges. Leaves mature to bright green and contrast beautifully with one-year-old black bark. Small, attractive black berries appear in autumn.

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Flower color is yellow. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)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 dry or moist soil.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Tolerates dry sites. Flowers are produced in the axils of the previous years leaves. Plants do not fruit well in Britain, probably due to a lack of sunshine.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Easy. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.
Edible Uses: Fruit. Although only 4 – 8mm long, it has been suggested as a substitute for the true olive, Olea europaea.
Medicinal Uses: Miscellany.

Other Uses: Plants growing in the wild are used as indicators of underground water. Common uses for New Mexico Forestiera are in shrub borders, native plantings, hedges, xeriscapes and as an accent. They can be pruned into a small tree. This plant is ideal for the environment of New Mexico because it requires little water or shade to survive. It is known to be a low maintenance 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/Forestiera
http://www.finegardening.com/new-mexico-privet-forestiera-neomexicana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Forestiera+neomexicana
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pes/lowwaterplants/new-mexico-forestiera.html