Diospyros kaki

Botanical Name : Diospyros kaki
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. kaki
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names :Japanese Persimmon, Kaki Persimmon  or Asian Persimmon

Habitat :Diospyros kaki is native to   E. Asia – China, Japan.Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s[3], and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.Now in North America, is the most widely cultivated species of the Diospyros genus. Although its first published botanical description was not until 1780, the kaki is also among the oldest plants in cultivation, known for its use in China for more than 2000 years.

Not known in a truly wild situation, it is found in broad leafed woodland but probably as an escape from cultivation.

Description:
Diospyros kaki is a deciduous tree  with broad, stiff leaves. It grows  to 12 m (39ft) by 7 m (23ft).
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in November. 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.

..CL.ICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>.(1)…..(2)………(3).…..….(4)…

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

The persimmon (kaki) is a sweet, slightly tangy fruit with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s, and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.

In many cultivars, known as the astringent varieties, the fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. It is not edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften after harvest. It has a delicious soft jelly-like consistency, and is best eaten with a spoon. The Japanese cultivar ‘Hachiya’ is a widely grown astringent cultivar. Some cultivars, such as Fuyu, do not contain tannins when firm, and can be eaten like an apple, or can be allowed to go to any stage of ripeness, including to the jelly-like stage. These non-astringent varieties are considered to have a less complex flavor.

When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. “Sharon Fruit” (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is the trade name for D. kaki fruit whose astringency has been chemically removed.[5] It is also known as the “Korean mango”.

Cultivation :
Prefers a good deep loamy soil in sun or light shade but succeeds in most soils. Dislikes very acid or wet and poorly drained soils. Requires a sheltered position[200]. Dormant plants are quite hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -14°c, but they require warmer summers than are normally experienced in Britain in order to ripen their fruit and wood. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A warm sunny wall improves the chance of producing ripe fruit and trees fruit freely when grown under glass. Fruits are frequently produced outdoors at Kew. A tree seen in a open position with afternoon shade at Kew in November 1993 (after a cool summer) had about 200 almost ripe fruits around 8cm in diameter. The same tree, after a fairly warm summer in 1996, had a large quantity of fruit just about ready for harvesting in the middle of December. Trees produce a long taproot and should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible. The young trees require some winter protection for their first winter or two. The persimmon is widely cultivated for its edible fruit in warm temperate areas of the world, especially in Japan and China, there are many named varieties. Some cultivars, such as ‘Fuyu’, lack the usual astringency and can be eaten whilst still firm, though they develop a richer flavour if allowed to become soft. These non-astringent forms require a warmer climate and do not ripen in cooler areas. The astringent cultivars are somewhat hardier and ripen well in cooler climates than the non-astringent forms. The fruit colours better and is sweeter in warmer areas but in hot conditions has a poor texture and deep black spots develop. If allowed to become very ripe (almost to the point of going rotten), they develop a better flavour than non-astringent forms. Dioecious, but the female tree can produce seedless fruits in the absence of a pollinator. However, unfertilized fruit tends to be smaller and more astringent. This astringency is due to the high content of tannin but once the fruit is fully ripe it loses this astringency and becomes sweet. If fertilized fruit is required, then growing one male for every 8 – 10 females is usually adequate.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed requires a period of cold-stratification and should be sown as early in the year as possible[78]. It usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into fairly deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Give them some protection from winter cold for their first year or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE
Edible Uses: Coffee; Condiment; Sweetener.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit has an exquisitely rich flavour when it is very soft and fully ripe (almost at the point of going bad), but the fruit of many cultivars is very harsh and astringent before then[K]. In Britain, the fruit needs to be harvested whilst it is still very hard. This is done very late in the season (in December or even January if possible), it is then stored in a cool but frost-free place until very soft and fully ripe[K]. The fruit can also be used in pies, cakes, bread, desserts etc. It contains 25% sugars. A fuller nutritional analysis is available. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 7.5cm in diameter. The peel of the fruit can be powdered and used as a sweetener. The leaves are used to improve the flavour of pickled radishes. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute.

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

*Fruit (Dry weight)  :350 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 3.6g; Fat: 1.5g; Carbohydrate: 91g; Fibre: 7.7g; Ash: 4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 80mg; Phosphorus: 100mg; Iron: 8mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 20mg; Potassium: 950mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 5600mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.2mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.15mg; Niacin: 0.9mg; B6: 0mg; C: 75mg;

CLICK TO  SEE  THE PICTURE

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Antitussive;  Antivinous;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Hypotensive;  Laxative;  Sialagogue;
Stomachic;  Styptic.

Appetizer, sialagogue. The stem bark is astringent and styptic. The fruit is said to have different properties depending on its stage of ripeness, though it is generally antitussive, astringent, laxative, nutritive and stomachic. The fresh fully ripe fruit is used raw in the treatment of constipation and haemorrhoids and when cooked is used to treat diarrhoea. The dried ripe fruit is used in the treatment of bronchial complaints, whilst when ground into a powder it is used to treat dry coughs. Juice from the unripe fruit is used in the treatment of hypertension. The fruits, picked green and ripened in containers with the leaves, become very sweet and are considered to be antifebrile, antivinous and demulcent. The fruits are also peeled and then exposed to sunlight by day and dew by night. They become encrusted with a white powder and are then considered to be anthelmintic, antihaemorrhagic, antivinous, expectorant, febrifuge and restorative. The peduncle is used to treat coughs and hiccups. The calyx is used to treat hiccups.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic;  Wood.

The pulp of unripe fruits is used in cosmetics to make face-packs because of its firming qualities. Wood – hard and durable with a beautiful grain. Used for making fine furniture

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diospyros+kaki

http://plantarium.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/the-kaki-tree-diospyros-kaki/

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Cymopterus fendleri

Botanical Name : Cymopterus fendleri
Family : Apiaceae – Carrot family
Genus: Cymopterus Raf. – springparsley
Species: Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. – plains springparsley
Variety : Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. var. fendleri (A. Gray) Goodrich – Fendler’s springparsley
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Cymopterus glomeratus,Cymopterus acaulis variety fendleri.  (Biscuitroot)

Common Names: Chimaja

Habitat :Cymopterus fendleri is native to  South-western N. America – Arizona.  Found at an altitude of 1500 – 1800 metres in Arizona.

Description:
Cymopterus fendleri is a perennial plant.  It is the most common of the spring Parsleys in the Four Corners area and one finds them scattered over much of the high desert trails in small or large patches.  This tiny Parsley is similar to a number of spring blooming members of this family. The half-sphere of tightly packed clusters of flowers, often golden, is characteristic of a number of flowers in this genus and family.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…….

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

Edible Uses:        
Edible Parts: Leaves.
.
Leaves – cooked. The plant has a particularly strong and pleasant odour, it is used as a flavouring in soups and stews. Root – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. An aromatic flavour.

Medicinal Uses:  
The leaves and seeds are brewed as a tea for weak stomach and indigestion with gas. Steeped in whiskey or tequila, a sip serves the same purpose. Simple tea of leaves and seeds.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cymopterus+fendleri

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CYACF

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

http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/yellow%20enlarged%20photo%20pages/cymopterus%201.htm

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Eugenia chequen

Botanical Name : Eugenia chequen
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Luma
Species: L. chequen
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms :  Eugenia chequen Molina, Myrtus chequen (Molina) Spreng., and Luma gayana (Barn.)

Common Names :Chequén, Huillipeta, and Arrayán Blanco (White Myrtle).

Habitat :Eugenia chequen is native to the central Andes mountains between Chile and Argentina.It has been introduced as ornamental in the North Pacific Coast of the United States.

Description:
It is a shrub (rarely a small tree) growing to 9 m tall, with dull grey-brown bark (unlike the smooth red bark of the related Luma apiculata). It is evergreen, with small fragrant oval leaves 0.5-2.5 cm long and 0.3-1.5 cm broad, and white flowers in early to mid summer. Its fruit is an edible dark purple berry 1 cm in diameter, ripe in early autumn.

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Medicinal Uses:
Most useful in the chronic bronchitis of elderly people and in chronic catarrh of the respiratory organs.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/5390791

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Castela erecta

Botanical Name : Castela erecta
Family : Simaroubaceae – Quassia family
Genus : Castela Turp. – castela
Species:  Castela erecta Turp. – goatbush
Kingdom:  Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Castela nicholsoni Hook, Castelaria micholsoni (Hook.) Small

Common Names :Cockspur, Amargosa,Goat-bush, Retama, and Urupagüita

Habitat :Castela erecta is native to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Curacao, Aruba, northern Venezuela and northern Colombia (Howard 1988, Little and others 1974).  It is not known to have been planted or naturalized  elsewhere.

Castela erecta is a coastal species. It grows in beach strand vegetation, in sandy soils behind it, and on rocky escarpments and hills somewhat inland (Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales 2002), a dominant to minor part of local xeric scrub communities (Locklin 2002). It occurs to an elevation of about 100 m in Puerto Rico (Little and others 1974).

Description:
Castela erecta is an evergreen, spiny shrub 1 to 4 m in height and up to 10 cm onstem diameter. The plant is multi-stemmed and branchy. The twigs are stiff, sometimes zig-zag, whitish from fine hairs, and end in spines. There are also short spines at the leaf bases. The foliage is sometimes dense, composed of alternate simple oblong to elliptic, almost sessile leaves, 0.6 to 2.5 cm long by 0.3 to 1.2 cm broad, dark green and glabrous above, and hairy below. The foliage and twigs are bitter. Flowers are tiny, whitish to red and tightly clustered in the leaf axils. The fruits are 6- to 10-mm, red, fleshy drupes, one to four developing from a flower. Each fruit contains one hard seed.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Medicinal Uses:
Internally it is used as a tea for amebic dysentery, possibly hepatic amebiasis and for loss of appetite and nonulcer dyspepsia with fullness, flatulence

Other Uses:
Castela erecta  helps protect the soil and furnishes food and cover for wildlife. The sister species C. texana (T.&G.) Rose, once considered a part of cockspur as C. erectas subsp. texana (T. & G.) Cronq., is considered an important browse species (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. 2002). The common name, goat-bush, suggests that it is browsed by goats.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/pdf/shrubs/Castela%20erecta.pdf

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAER3

http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/8598577v5315713-amargosa-goatbush-castela-erecta-blossom-starr-county

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/204731/

http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=26929

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Ranunculus ficaria

Botanical Name : Ranunculus ficaria
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. ficaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:   Ficaria grandiflora Robert, Ficaria verna Huds

Common Names :Lesser celandine

Habitat :Ranunculus ficaria is found throughout Europe and west Asia and is now introduced in North America. It prefers bare, damp ground and in the UK it is often a persistent garden weed. The flowers are orange, turning yellow as they age.

Description:
Ranunculus ficaria is a low-growing, hairless perennial plant, with fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves.It grows to  0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 6-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

It exists in both diploid (2n=16) and tetraploid (2n=32) forms which are very similar in appearance. However, the tetraploid type prefer more shady locations and frequently develops bulbils at the base of the stalk. These two variants are sometimes referred to as distinct sub-species, R. ficaria ficaria and R. ficaria bulbifer respectively.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, celandine comes from the Latin chelidonia, meaning swallow: it was said that the flowers bloomed when the swallows returned and faded when they left. The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for “little frog,” from rana “frog” and a diminutive ending. This probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs.

Cultivation:   
Prefers a moist loamy neutral to alkaline soil in full sun or shade[1, 238]. A very common and invasive weed[17, 90], especially when growing in the shade because this encourages formation of bulbils at the leaf bases[238]. You would regret introducing it into your garden, though it might have a place in the wild garden[90]. This is, however, a polymorphic species[90] and there are a number of named forms selected for their ornamental value[188]. These are normally less invasive than the type species. The plant flowers early in the year when there are few pollinating insects and so seed is not freely produced[4]. The plant, however, produced tubercles (small tubers) along the stems and each of these can grow into a new plant[4]. Grows well along woodland edges[24], and in the deeper shade of the woodland where it often forms dense carpets[4]. The flowers do not open in dull weather and even on sunny days do not open before about 9 o’clock in the morning and are closed by 5 o’clock in the evening[4]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].

Propagation :  
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. This species doesn’t really need any help from us. Division in spring.

Edible Uses   :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Young leaves in spring – raw or cooked as a potherb. The first leaves in spring make an excellent salad. The leaves, stalks and buds can be used like spinach, whilst the blanched stems are also eaten. The leaves turn poisonous as the fruit matures. Caution is advised regarding the use of this plant for food, see the notes above on toxicity. Bulbils – cooked and used as a vegetable. The bulbils are formed at the leaf axils and also at the roots[9, 183]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The flower buds make a good substitute for capers.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.

Lesser celandine has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of haemorrhoids and ulcers. It is not recommended for internal use because it contains several toxic components. The whole plant, including the roots, is astringent. It is harvested when flowering in March and April and dried for later use. It is widely used as a remedy for piles and is considered almost a specific. An infusion can be taken internally or it can be made into an ointment and used externally. It is also applied externally to perineal damage after childbirth. Some caution is advised because it can cause irritation to sensitive skins.

Other Uses :
Teeth.

The flower petals are an effective tooth cleaner.  The plant often forms dense carpets when grown in the shade and can therefore be used as a ground cover though they die down in early summer. This should be done with some caution, however, since the plant can easily become an unwanted and aggressive weed in the garden.

Known Hazards :  All parts of the plant are poisonous. The toxins are unstable and of low toxicity, they are easily destroyed by heat or by drying. The sap can cause irritation to the skin

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ranunculus+ficaria

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

Juniperus ashei

Botanical Name : Juniperus ashei
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Juniperus
Species: J. ashei
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synnonyms: Juniperus occidentalis var. conjungens, Juniperus occidentalis var. texana & Juniperus sabinoides.

Common Names : Ashe Juniper, Post Cedar, Mountain Cedar, or Blueberry Juniper

Habitat : Juniperus ashei is   native to northeastern Mexico and the south-central United States north to southern Missouri; the largest areas are in central Texas, where extensive stands occur.

Description:
Juniperus ashei is a drought-tolerant evergreen shrub or small tree.It grows up to 10 m tall, rarely 15 m, and provides erosion control and year-round shade for wildlife and livestock.

click to see the pictures….….....()...

The feathery foliage grows in dense sprays, bright green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. It is a dioecious species, with separate male and female plants. The seed cones are globose to oblong, 3-6 mm long, and soft, pulpy and berry-like, green at first, maturing purple about 8 months after pollination. They contain 1-2 seeds, which are dispersed when birds eat the cones and pass the seeds in their droppings. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, yellow, turning brown after pollen release in December to February.

Medicinal Uses:
In New Mexico the Native Americans use cedarwood oil for skin rashes.  It is also used for arthritis and rheumatism

Other Uses:
The wood is naturally rot resistant and provides raw material for fence posts. Posts cut from old-growth Ashe junipers have been known to last in the ground for more than 50 years. Over one hundred years ago, most old-growth Ashe junipers were cut and used not only for fence posts, but also for telegraph poles and railroad ties.

Although Ashe juniper is native to central Texas, it is considered a weed by many landowners and developers in that area, especially by ranchers because overgrazing by cattle selectively removes competition when they avoid the bitter-tasting juniper seedlings. This allows for a high rate of juniper establishment and reduces ranch yields. Ashe juniper does not resprout when cut, like its cousin the redberry juniper.

The junipers that establish in overgrazed lands are young and vigorous, dense and multi-trunked, and shallow rooted. This makes it difficult for remaining grasses to compete for water, especially if they are still being grazed and the soils are impoverished. The presence of these dense, shallow-rooted shrubs also means less water reaches the soil, subsurface flows and deep drainage. However, their dense canopies and thick litter do reduce overland flows compared to grazed grasses. Old-growth Ashe junipers are different in that they have true trunks, use less water, are slow growing, less foliated and have very deep roots. Wilcox (Texas A&M University) and Keith Owens (Texas Ag. Ext. researcher at Uvalde) are currently studying how these deeper roots may facilitate the deep drainage of water down trunk stemflows. Dr. Owens reports that for every one inch of rain, about 6 gallons of previously undocumented water is funneled down the trunks

Known Hazards:
The pollen causes a severe allergic reaction for some people in the winter, and people who are allergic to Ashe juniper are also often allergic to the related Juniperus virginiana. Consequently, what begins as an allergy in the winter, may extend into spring since the pollination of J. virginiana follows after that of J. ashei. Ashe juniper is sometimes known in the area as “mountain cedar” (although neither it nor J. virginiana are cedars), and some locals refer to the allergy as cedar fever.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

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Typha angustifolia

Botanical Name : Typha angustifolia
Family: Typhaceae
Genus: Typha
Species: T. angustifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names:Lesser Bulrush , Narrowleaf Cattail , Lesser Reedmace,Small Reed Mace

Habitat : Typha angustifolia  grows  throughout the world from the Arctic to latitude 30° S, including Britain but absent from Africa.This is found in  water up to 15cm deep, avoiding acid conditions. Often somewhat brackish or subsaline water or wet soil in America, growing from sea level to elevations of 1900 metres.

Description:
Typha angustifolia is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). The plant’s leaves are flat, very narrow (¼”-½” wide), and 3′-6′ tall when mature; 12-16 leaves arise from each vegetative shoot. At maturity, they have distinctive stalks that are about as tall as the leaves; the stalks are topped with brown, fluffy, sausage-shaped flowering heads. The plants have sturdy, rhizomatous roots that can extend 27″ and are typically ¾”-1½” in diameter.

It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from Jun to July. 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 noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation :
A very easily grown plant, it grows in boggy pond margins or in shallow water up to 15cm deep. It requires a rich soil if it is to do well. Succeeds in sun or part shade. A very invasive plant spreading freely at the roots when in a suitable site, it is not suitable for growing in small areas. Unless restrained by some means, such as a large bottomless container, the plant will soon completely take over a site and will grow into the pond, gradually filling it in. This species will often form an almost complete monoculture in boggy soil. The dense growth provides excellent cover for water fowl.

Propagation : 
Seed – surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop, increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer. Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached, and plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses  :    
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  PollenRoot;  Seed;  Stem.

Roots – raw or cooked. They can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The roots can also be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein, this powder is used to make biscuits etc. Young shoots in spring – raw or cooked. An asparagus substitute. Base of mature stem – raw or cooked. It is best to remove the outer part of the stem. Young flowering stem – raw, cooked or made into a soup. It tastes like sweet corn. Seed – cooked. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, but it has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop. Pollen – raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making bread, porridge etc. It can also be eaten with the young flowers, which makes it considerably easier to utilize. The pollen can be harvested by placing the flowering stem over a wide but shallow container and then gently tapping the stem and brushing the pollen off with a fine brush. This will help to pollinate the plant and thereby ensure that both pollen and seeds can be harvested.

Medicinal Uses:

Anticoagulant;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Haemostatic;  Lithontripic;  Miscellany.

The pollen is diuretic, emmenagogue and haemostatic. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, internal haemorrhage of almost any kind, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel.

In Chinese herbal medicine, the astringent pu huang pollen has been employed chiefly to stop internal or external bleeding.  The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes hemostatic. The pollen may be mixed with honey and applied to wounds and sores, or taken orally to reduce internal bleeding of almost any kind—for example, nosebleeds, uterine bleeding, or blood in the urine.  The pollen is now also used in the treatment of angina.  Pu huang does not appear to have been used as a medicine in the European herbal tradition.  The dregs remaining after the pollen has been sifted from the stamens and sepals can be browned in an oven or hot skillet and then used as an internal or external astringent in dysentery and other forms of bowel hemorrhage.  It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, internal hemorrhage of almost any kind, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries.  An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel.

Other Uses  :
Biomass;  Insulation;  Miscellany;  Oil;  Paper;  Soil stabilization;  Stuffing;  Thatching;  Tinder;  Weaving.

The stems and leaves have many uses, they make a good thatch, can be used in making paper, can be woven into mats, chairs, hats etc. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent addition to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc. The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have good insulating and buoyancy properties. The female flowers make an excellent tinder and can be lit from the spark of a flint. The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks. This plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing wet banks of rivers, lakes etc.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Typha+angustifolia

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

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Cassia fistula

Botanical Name : Cassia fistula
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cassia
Species: C. fistula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names :Cassia Poda,Golden shower tree

Habitat :Cassia fistula is native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar and south to Sri Lanka. It is associated with the Mullai region of Sangam landscape. It is the national tree of Thailand, and its flower is Thailand’s national flower. It is also state flower of Kerala in India and of immense importance amongst Malayali population.

Description:
The golden shower tree is a medium-sized tree, growing to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) tall with fast growth. The leaves are deciduous, 15–60 cm (6–24 in) long, pinnate with 3–8 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet 7–21 cm (3–8 inches) long and 4–9 cm (1.5–3.5 in) broad. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 20–40 cm (8–15 in) long, each flower 4–7 cm diameter with five yellow petals of equal size and shape. The fruit is a legume, 30–60 cm (12–23 in) long and 1.5–2.5 cm (0.5–1 in) broad, with a pungent odor and containing several seeds. The seeds are poisonous.  The tree has strong and very durable wood, and has been used to construct “Ahala Kanuwa”, a place at Adams Peak, Sri Lanka, which is made of Cassia fistula (“ahala”, “Ehela” or aehaela,  in Sinhala ) heartwood.

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Cultivation:
A flower in Chandigarh, IndiaCassia fistula is widely grown as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas. It blooms in late spring. Flowering is profuse, with trees being covered with yellow flowers, many times with almost no leaf being seen. It will grow well in dry climates. Growth for this tree is best in full sun on well-drained soil; it is relatively drought tolerant and slightly salt tolerant. It will tolerate light brief frost, but can get damaged if frost persists. It can be subject to mildew or leaf spot, especially during the second half of the growing season. The tree will bloom better where there is pronounced difference between summer and winter temperatures

Medicinal Uses:
In Ayurvedic medicine, golden shower tree is known as aragvadha, meaning “disease killer”. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.

Though its use in herbalism has been attested to for millennia, there has been rather little research in modern times. The purgative action is probably due to abundant 1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone and derivatives thereof. Many Fabaceae are a source of potent entheogens and other psychoactive compounds, e.g. tryptamines; such plants are rarely found among the Caesalpinioideae. There is also a rare case of it being used for anal autoeroticism.

The plants are used in folk remedies for tumors of the abdomen, glands, liver, stomach, and throat, cancer, carcinomata, and impostumes of the uterus. Reported to be aperient, astringent, laxative, purgative, and vermifuge, Indian laburnum is a folk remedy for burns, cancer, constipation, convulsions, delirium, diarrhea, dysuria, epilepsy, gravel, hematuria, pimples, and glandular tumors. Yunani use the leaves for inflammation, the flowers for a purgative, the fruit as antiinflammatory, antipyretic, abortifacient, demulcent, purgative, refrigerant, good for chest complaints, eye ailments, flu, heart and liver ailments, and rheumatism, though suspected of inducing asthma. Seeds are considered emetic. Konkanese use the juice to alleviate ringworm and blisters caused by the marking nut, a relative of poison ivy. Leaf poultices are applied to chilblains and also used in facial massage for brain afflictions, and applied externally for paralysis and rheumatism, also for gout. Rhodesians use the pulp for anthrax, blood poisoning, blackwater fever, dysentery, and malaria. Gold Coast natives use the pulp from around the seed as a safe and useful purgative. Throughout the Far East, the uncooked pulp of the pods is a popular remedy for constipation, thought to be good for the kidneys “as those who use it much remain free of kidney stones.  A decoction of the root bark is recommended for cleansing wounds. In the West Indies, the pulp and/or leaves are poulticed onto inflamed viscera, e.g. the liver. The bark and leaves are used for skin diseases: flowers used for fever, root as a diuretic, febrifuge; for gout and rheumatism.

Ayurvedic medicine describes the fresh sweet pulp enclosing the labornum’s seed pods as an effective remedy for colic, while the matured pulp is used to make a gentle laxative, safe for children and pregnant women. The seed is recognized as antibilious, aperitif, carminative, and laxative.  Externally, the bark and leaves are ground into a paste for chronic skin infections.  Distillations from the flowers, and decoctions made from the powdered root are given for heart diseases to enlarge the capillaries in the circulatory system.  In clinical tests, its leaves, stem bark, and fruit pulp were all found to have antibacterial properties.  The root showed antifungal activity and used for adenopathy, burning sensations, leprosy, skin diseases, syphilis, and tubercular glands, The essential oils extracted from various parts of the tree showed antiviral properties.  The leaves were used for erysipelas, malaria, rheumatism, and ulcers, the buds for biliousness, constipation, fever, leprosy, and skin disease, the fruit for abdominal pain, constipation, fever, heart disease, and leprosy. It is used in a gentle, fruit-flavored laxative, usually put up with other laxatives as a compound

In 1998 researchers in India began to focus on the use of cassia pods to protect the liver.  In a study, rats given an extract of he leaf suffered less liver damage from a dose of carbon tetrachloride than rats that did not receive the extract.  The effect of cassia to reduce the damage was similar to what was observed I the use of commercially prepared drugs prescribed to treat liver problems, according to the study.

Other Uses:
It is a popular ornamental plant and is an herbal medicine.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

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Lychee

Botanical Name :Litchi chinensis
Family: Sapindaceae
Subfamily: Sapindoideae
Genus: Litchi
Species: L. chinensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names : Leechi, Litchi, Laichi, Lichu, Lizhi

Habitat :The lychee is native to low elevations of the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien in Southern China. Cultivation spread over the years through neighboring areas of southeastern Asia and offshore islands. It reached Hawaii in 1873, and Florida in 1883, and was conveyed from Florida to California in 1897

The lychee is cultivated in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Bangladesh and northern India (in particular Bihar, which accounts for 75% of total Indian production). South Africa and the United States (Hawaii and Florida) also have commercial lychee production.

The lychee has a history of cultivation going back as far as 2000 BC according to records in China. Cultivation began in the area of southern China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. There are many stories of the fruit’s use as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. It was first described and introduced to the west in 1782

Description:
Growth Habit: The lychee tree is handsome, dense, round-topped and slow-growing with smooth, gray, brittle trunk and limbs. Under ideal conditions they may reach 40 feet high, but they are usually much smaller The tree in full fruit is a stunning sight.
Foliage: The leathery, pinnate leaves are divided into four to eight leaflets. They are reddish when young, becoming shiny and bright green. Lychee trees have full foliage and branch to the ground.

 

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Flowers: The tiny petalless, yellowish-green flowers are borne in in terminal clusters to 30 inches. Lychees are eye-catching in spring when the huge sprays of flowers adorn the tree. Flowering precedes fruit maturity by approximately 140 days.

Fruits: The fruit is covered by a leathery rind or pedicarp which is pink to strawberry-red in color and rough in texture. A greenish-yellow variety is not grown in California at present. Fruit shape is oval, heart-shaped or nearly round, 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length. The edible portion or aril is white, translucent, firm and juicy. The flavor is sweet, fragrant and delicious. Inside the aril is a seed that varies considerably in size. The most desirable varieties contain atrophied seeds which are called “chicken tongue”. They are very small, up to 1/2 inch in length. Larger seeds vary between 1/2 to 1 inch in length and are plumper than the chicken tongues. There is also a distinction between the lychee that leaks juice when the skin is broken and the “dry and clean” varieties which are more desirable. In some areas lychees tend to be alternate bearers. Fruit splitting is usually caused by fluctuating soil moisture levels.

Health Benefits of Lychee:
Lychee health benefits are as follows:

•This fruit aids in enhancing the energy of the body.
•Lychee fruit improves fluid contents in the body that are essential for well being and good health of a person.
•This fruit boosts the feeling of well-being of a person.
•It has high amounts of vitamin C and also contains about 40% more vitamin C compared to orange.
•Lychee is also rich in beta carotene which is more than the amount of beta carotene present in carrots.
•This is also considered as a digestive and diuretic.
•Lychee consists of unsaturated fatty acids that aid in the absorbing beta carotene and various other fat soluble vitamins.
•Also it aids in preventing blood clots, serious damage to the cells ands also minimizes strokes to 50% in heart attack patients.
•Lychee is also a rich source of fiber and carbohydrates, that are very essential for the body

Medicinal Uses:
Ingested in moderate amounts, the lychee is said to relieve coughing and to have a beneficial effect on gastralgia, tumors and enlargements of the glands. One stomach-ulcer patient in Florida, has reported that, after eating several fresh lychees he was able to enjoy a large meal that, ordinarily, would have caused great discomfort. Chinese people believe that excessive consumption of raw lychees causes fever and nosebleed. According to legends, ancient devotees have consumed from 300 to 1,000 per day.

In China, the seeds are credited with an analgesic action and they are given in neuralgia and orchitis. A tea of the fruit peel is taken to overcome smallpox eruptions and diarrhea. In India, the seeds are powdered and, because of their astringency, administered in intestinal troubles, and they have the reputation there, as in China, of relieving neuralgic pains. Decoctions of the root, bark and flowers are gargled to alleviate ailments of the throat. Lychee roots have shown activity against one type of tumor in experimental animals in the United States Department of Agriculture/National Cancer Institute Cancer Chemotherapy Screening Program.

Other Uses:
In China, great quantities of honey are harvested from hives near lychee trees. Honey from bee colonies in lychee groves in Florida is light amber, of the highest quality, with a rich, delicious flavor like that of the juice which leaks when the fruit is peeled, and the honey does not granulate.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

http://www.drgranny.com/2011/03/15/health-benefits-of-lychee/

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/lychee.html

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lychee.html

http://pickmeyard.wordpress.com/tag/pruning-a-lychee-tree/

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Alpinia nutans

Botanical Name : Alpinia nutans
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Tribe: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: A. nutans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms :
*Alpinia speciosa K.Schum.
*Amomum compactum Roem. & Schult.
*Catimbium nutans Juss.
*Costus zerumbet Pers.
*Languas speciosa Small
*Renealmia nutans Andrews
*Zerumbet speciosum H.Wendl

Common Names: Shellflower, Dwarf cardamom,False cardamom

Habitat : Alpinia nutans is a Southeast Asian plant.

Description:
Alpinia Nutans is mostly  an evergreen rhizomatous soft-wooded perennial plant.It Can grow 5 to 6 feet tall and tolerate winter temperatures down to 20F. Grows best in some shade but can tolerate full sun in hardiness zone  10-13.   Its flowers have a porcelain look, are shell-like and bloom prolifically on a 30-cm stalk. The flower’s single fertile stamen has a massive anther. The globose white stigma of the pistil extends beyond the tip of the anther. The foliage of Alpinia nutans is evergreen in areas that do not have a hard freeze. It has a very distinctive cardamom fragrance when brushed or rubbed, but this is not the plant that produces the spice by that name.

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Chemical Constituents:
The rhizome oil of Alpinia speciosa K. Schum. contains some fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms, which are less common in nature than fatty acids with even numbers of carbon atoms. The major one is pentadecanoic acid (C-15, 21.9%) and others are tricosylic acid (C-23, 5.7%), tridecylic acid (C-13, 1.9%), undecylic acid (C-11, 3.1%) and pelargonic acid (C-9, 0.1%). Among the fatty acids containing even number of carbon atoms, the main constituents are linolenic acid (C-18:3, 27.4%) and arachidic acid (C-20, 22.4%). The total saturated fatty acids constitute 65.7% and unsaturated 34.3%

Medicinal Uses:
In Asian medicinal practices, the alpinia nutans fruit are used to expel gas, prevent vomiting and stimulate stomach secretions.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

http://www.floridahillnursery.com/ginger-alipinia-c-5/alpinia-nutans-narrow-leaf-live-plant-p-238

http://www.plantthis.com.au/plant-information.asp?gardener=8702&tabview=photos&plantSpot=

http://www.floridahillnursery.com/popup_image/pID/238

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/81600/81619/81619_alpinia_nuta.htm

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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