Chenopodium

Botanical Name ; Chenopodium
Family:Rosaceae
Genus: Chenopodium
Species: C. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms:  Goosefoots. Wormseeds. Spinach. Glassworts. Sea Beets.

Common Names :  Lamb’s quarters, Melde, Goosefoot and fat-hen, Pigweed. It is often distinguished as white goosefoot

Habitat  :Native range of  chenopodium album  is obscure due to extensive cultivation, but includes most of Europe, from where Linnaeus described the species in 1753. Plants native in eastern Asia are included under C. album, but often differ from European specimens. It is widely introduced elsewhere, e.g. Africa, Australasia, North America, and Oceania, and now occurs almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland.

It is extensively cultivated and consumed in Northern India as a food crop, and in English texts it may be called by its Hindi name bathua or bathuwa, (Marathi:chakboth). It is called Pappukura in Telugu, Paruppukkirai in Tamil, Kaduoma in Kannada, Vastuccira in Malayalam, and Chakvit in Konkani.Bathu sag in hindi,Chandan betu in Bengali,Katu ayamoddakam in Malyalam.

Description:
Chenopodium album is an annual/perennial herb. It tends to grow upright at first, reaching heights of 10–150 cm (rarely to 3 m), but typically becomes recumbent after flowering (due to the weight of the foliage and seeds) unless supported by other plants. The leaves are alternate and can be varied in appearance. The first leaves, near the base of the plant, are toothed and roughly diamond-shaped, 3–7 cm long and 3–6 cm broad. The leaves on the upper part of the flowering stems are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, 1–5 cm long and 0.4–2 cm broad; they are waxy-coated, unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside. The small flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes on a dense branched inflorescence 10–40 cm long. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:    
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but disliking shade. It prefers a moderately fertile soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. Plants are annuals or short-lived perennials. They are not very hardy when grown outdoors in Britain and so are best grown as an annual. Plants have often self-sown freely in our Cornish trial grounds, but the seed often germinates in the autumn and then does not manage to survive the winter. This species is sometimes grown as a medicinal and culinary plant, especially in its native Mexico. The sub-species C. ambrosioides anthelminticum is more active medicinally and is the form most often cultivated for its vermicidal activity. The bruised leaves emit an unpleasant foetid odour.

Propagation:  
Seed – whilst it can be sown in situ in mid to late spring, we have had better results by sowing the seed in a cold frame in early spring. Put a few seeds in each pot and thin to the best plant if necessary. Germination rates are usually very good and the seedlings should appear within a few days of sowing the seed. Plant out in late spring, after the last expected frosts.

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Edible Uses:
The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a leaf vegetable, either steamed in its entirety, or cooked like spinach, but should be eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid. Each plant produces tens of thousands of black seeds. These are high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Quinoa, a closely related species, is grown specifically for its seeds. The Zuni people cook the young plants’ greens.

Archaeologists analysing carbonized plant remains found in storage pits and ovens at Iron Age, Viking Age, and Roman sites in Europe have found its seeds mixed with conventional grains and even inside the stomachs of Danish bog bodies.

In India, the plant is popularly called bathua and found abundantly in the winter season. The leaves and young shoots of this plant are used in dishes such as soups, curries, and paratha-stuffed breads, especially popular in Punjab. The seeds or grains are used in phambra or laafi, gruel-type dishes in Himachal Pradesh, and in mildly alcoholic fermented beverages such as soora and ghanti.

Medicinal Uses:
improves the appetite,acts as anthelmintic,laxitive,duretic  and tonic. It is used in bilousness, vata and kapha,abdominal pain and eye diseases.In piles it is used in form of pot herb.Finely powdered leaves are used as dusting powder on children external genitals. It is very effective against most parasites, including the amoeba that causes dysentery, but is less effective against tapeworm. Fasting should not precede its use and there have occasionally been cases of poisoning caused by this treatment. The oil is used externally to treat athlete’s foot and insect bites. One report says that it is an essential oil that is utilised. This is obtained from the seed or the flowering stems, it is at its highest concentration in the flowering stems before seed is set, these contain around 0.7% essential oil of which almost 50% is the active vermifuge ascaridol. The essential oil is of similar quality from plants cultivated in warm climates and those in cool climates. The leaves are added in small quantities as a flavouring for various cooked bean dishes because their carminative activity can reduce

Other Uses:
The plant is used as animal feed ,both the leaves and the seeds are used  for chickens and other poultry stuff feeds.

Chenopodium album is vulnerable to leaf miners, making it a useful trap crop as a companion plant. Growing near other plants, it attracts leaf miners which might otherwise have attacked the crop to be protected. It is a host plant for the beet leafhopper, an insect which transmits curly top virus to beet crops.

Known Hazards:  The essential oil in the seed and flowering plant is highly toxic. In excess it can cause dizziness, vomiting, convulsions and even death. The plant can also cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions. The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plant will reduce its content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their conditio.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chenop53.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Chenopodium+ambrosioides

Chaenomeles

Botanical Name: Pyrus japonica
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Amygdaloideae
Tribe: Maleae
Subtribe: Malinae
Genus: Chaenomeles
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Chaenomeles laganaria, Cydonia lagenaria, Cydonia speciosa,  Cydonia japonica

Common Names : Chaenomeles

Habitat : Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall, They are native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. These plants are related to the quince (Cydonia oblonga) and the Chinese quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis), differing in the serrated leaves, and in the flowers having deciduous sepals and styles that are connate at the base.

Description:
Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall,The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and have a serrated margin. The flowers are 3–4.5 cm diameter, with five petals, and are usually bright orange-red, but can be white or pink; flowering is in late winter or early spring. The fruit is a pome with five carpels; it ripens in late autumn.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES……...THE PLANT………….…FLOWER & FRUIT.………….………………

Edible Uses:
The fruits are very hard and astringent and very unpleasant to eat raw, though they do soften and become less astringent after frost (when they are said to be “bletted”). They are, however, suitable for making liqueurs, as well as marmalade and preserves, as they contain more pectin than apples and true quinces. The fruit also contains more vitamin C than lemons (up to 150 mg/100 g).

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and digestive. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of nausea, joint pains, cholera and associated cramps.

Other Uses: Chaenomeles is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Brown-tail and the leaf-miner Bucculatrix pomifoliella.

The species have become popular ornamental shrubs in parts of Europe and North America, grown in gardens both for their bright flowers and as a spiny barrier. Some cultivars grow up to 2 m tall, but others are much smaller and creeping.

They are also suitable for cultivation as a bonsai.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/q/quinja05.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaenomeles
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/chaenomeles-speciosa=japanese-quince.php

Quince

Botanical Name : Pyrus cydonia
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Amygdaloideae
Tribe: Maleae
Subtribe: Malinae
Genus: Cydonia
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonym: Cydonia vulgaris (PERS.).

Common Names: Quince

Habitat :. The quince tree is native to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan and was introduced to Poland, Syria, Lebanon, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Turkey, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria.

It grows on  rocky slopes and woodland margins in South-west Asia, Turkey and Iran  although it can be grown successfully at latitudes as far north as Scotland. It should not be confused with its relative, the Flowering Quince, (Chaenomeles).

Description:
Quince  is a small deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossom and other ornamental qualities.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES……..TREE.…..BUSH…...RED FLOWERS..…...BlOOMING  QUINCE…….QUINCE FRUIT
The tree grows 5 to 8 metres (16 and a half feet to 26 feet) high and 4 to 6 metres (13 feet to 19 and a half feet) wide. The fruit is 7 to 12 centimetres (3 to 5 inches) long and 6 to 9 centimetres (2 to 3 and a half inches) across.

Edible Uses:
Most varieties of quince are too hard, astringent and sour to eat raw unless ‘bletted’ (softened by frost and subsequent decay). High in pectin, they are used to make jam, jelly and quince pudding, or they may be peeled, then roasted, baked or stewed. The Pectin level diminishes as they ripen. The flesh of the fruit turns red after a long cooking time. The very strong perfume means they can be added in small quantities to apple pies and jam to enhance the flavour. Adding a diced quince to apple sauce will enhance the taste of the apple sauce with the chunks of relatively firm, tart quince. The term “marmalade”, originally meaning a quince jam, derives from “marmelo,” the Portuguese word for this fruit.

The fruit, like so many others, can be used to make a type of wine. Because of its often high acidity, which is mainly due to its malic acid content, these wines are usually sweet dessert wines that are high in alcohol. In the Balkans and elsewhere, quince brandy and quince liqueur are made. In Carolina in 1709, John Lawson allowed that he was “not a fair judge of the different sorts of Quinces, which they call Brunswick, Portugal and Barbary”, but he noted “of this fruit they make a wine or liquor which they call Quince-Drink, and which I approve of beyond any that their country affords, though a great deal of cider and perry is there made, The Quince-Drink most commonly purges.

Varieties of quince, such as ‘Kuganskaya,’ have been developed that do not require cooking and are eaten raw.

In Iran, quince, called beh , is used raw or in stews and some regional soups. It is also made into jam or preserve. The extra syrup in the jam-making process is saved and made into a refreshing Summer drink by adding cold water and a few drops of lime to it. It can also be found pickled.

In Italy it is used as the main ingredient of some local variants of a traditional food called mostarda (not to be confused with mustard), in which quince fruit jam is mixed with candied fruit, spices and flavorings to produce a spread that is used on boiled meat, mixed with cheese etc. Examples are “mostarda vicentina” or “mostarda di Vicenza” and “mostarda veneta.” Quinces are also used in Parma to produce a typical liqueur called sburlone, word coming from the local dialect and meaning the necessary high stress to squeeze those hard fruits to obtain their juice.

In Albania, Kosovo and Bulgaria quince are eaten raw during the winter.

In Lebanon and Syria, it is called sfarjel and also used to make jam- Mrabba sfarjal. In Syria, quince is cooked in pomegranate paste (dibs rouman) with shank meat and kibbeh (a Middle Eastern meat pie with burghul and mince meat) and is called kibbeh safarjalieh. In Pakistan, quinces are stewed with sugar until they turn bright red. The resulting stewed quince, called muraba is then preserved in jars and eaten like jam. In Morocco, when the fruit is available, it is a popular ingredient in a seasonal lamb tajine and is cooked together with the meat and flavoured with cinnamon and other herbs and spices.

In Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela the membrillo, as the quince is called in Spanish, is cooked into a reddish, jelly-like block or firm, reddish paste known as dulce de membrillo. It is then eaten in sandwiches and with cheese, traditionally manchego cheese, or accompanying fresh curds. In Portugal, a similar sweet is called marmelada, hence marmalade in English. It is also produced and consumed in Hungary, where it is called birsalmasajt, “quince cheese”. The sweet and floral notes of carne de membrillo (quince meat) contrast nicely with the tanginess of the cheese.   Boiled quince is also popular in desserts such as the murta con membrillo that combines Ugni molinae with quince. Similar dishes exist in Dalmatia and other parts of Croatia.

In the Alsace region of France and the Valais region of Switzerland, liqueur de coing made from quince is used as a digestif.

In Morocco green quince is cooked in a tajine with beef or lamb,sweetened slightly with sugar and flavored with cinnamon.

Quince can also be used as a tea additive to mainly green tea, giving it a rather sweetish taste.

In Kashmir quince is cooked with lamb and served in weddings to guests.

In Taiwan yellow quinces are often confused with pomelos

In Tajikistan, quince is used in cooking oshi palov. Quince jam is known as murabboi bihigi and also made in many parts of the country.

Medicinal Uses:

Chemical Constituents: The cotyledons contain about 15 per cent fixed oil and protein, together with small proportions of amygdalin and emulsion or some allied ferment. The chief constituent of the seed is about 10 per cent mucilage, contained in the seed-coat. The pulp of the fruit contains 3 to 3.5 per cent of malic acid.

The phytochemistry of quince is under study for several possible medical uses.

A syrup prepared from the fruit may be used as agrateful addition to drinks in sickness, especially in looseness of the bowels, which it is said to restrain by its astringency.

The seeds may be used medicinally for the sake of the mucilage they yield. When soaked in water they swell up and form a mucilaginous mass. This mucilage is analogous to, and has the same properties as, that which is formed from the seeds of the flax – linseed.

The seeds somewhat resemble apple-pips in size and appearance. They are of a dark brown colour, flattened on two sides, owing to mutual pressure and frequently adhere to one another by a white mucilage, which is derived from the epidermal cells of the seedcoats. The seed contains two firm, yellowishwhite cotyledons, which have a faintly bitter taste resembling that of bitter almonds.

In subcontinental Indo-Pakistan, quince seeds are known as Bihi Dana. They are used by herbalists for mucus rashes and ulcerations. A gel prepared from the seeds soaked in water is used for throat and vocal cord inflammation as well as for skin rashes and allergies.

In Malta, a jam is made from the fruit. According to local tradition, a teaspoon of the jam dissolved in a cup of boiling water relieves intestinal discomfort.

In Iran and parts of Afghanistan, the quince seeds are collected and boiled and then ingested to combat pneumonia.

Other Uses:
Quince is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail, Bucculatrix bechsteinella, Bucculatrix pomifoliella, Coleophora cerasivorella, Coleophora malivorella, green pug and winter moth.

Cultural associations:

*In Turkey, the expression  yemek (literally “to eat the quince”) is used as a derogatory term indicating any unpleasant situation or a malevolent incident to avoid. This usage is likened to the rather bitter aftertaste of a quince fruit inside the mouth.

*When a baby is born in Slavonia (Croatia), a quince tree is planted as a symbol of fertility, love and life.

*Ancient Greek poets (Ibycus, Aristophanes, e.g.) used quinces (kydonia) as a mildly ribald term for teenage breasts.

*Although the book of Genesis does not name the specific type of the fruit that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, some ancient texts suggest Eve’s fruit of temptation might have been a quince.

*In Plutarch’s Lives, Solon is said to have decreed that “bride and bridegroom shall be shut into a chamber, and eat a quince together.

Known Hazards:
The seeds contain nitriles, which are common in seeds of the rose family. In the stomach, enzymes or stomach acid or both cause some of the nitriles to be hydrolyzed and produce hydrogen cyanide, which is a volatile gas. The seeds are only likely to be toxic if a large quantity is eaten.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/q/quince04.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cydonia_%28plant%29

Stillingia sylvatica

Botanical Name : Stillingia sylvatica
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Hippomaneae
Subtribe: Hippomaninae
Genus: Stillingia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: Queen’s Root. Silver Leaf. Also Sapium Sylvaticum Yaw Root. S. linearifolia, S. spinulosa, S. texana

Common Names:  Stillingia, Queens Root, Yaw Root, Queen’s Delight

Habitat:Stillingia sylvatica is native to southern United States of America from Virginia to Florida and westward to Texas. It grows on Sandy prairies, open woods, and open ground.

Description:
Stillingia sylvatica is a perennial herb, with an angled glabrous stem, growing to 4 feet high, with a milky sap. The leaves are sessile, leathery and tapering at the base. Flowers yellow on terminal spike. Fruit a three-grained capsule. The plant was named after Dr. B. Stillingfleet. It flowers from April to July; a milky juice exudes from the plant or root when cut or broken. This should be used when fresh as it deteriorates if kept. As found in commerce, the root is 1 to 4 inches long and 1 inch or more thick, covered with a bark wrinkled longitudinally, greyish brown externally, and reddish-brown or rose-coloured internally, odour peculiar, oleaginous, taste bitter and unpleasant, followed by a persistent pungent acridity in mouth and throat. Fracture fibrous, short, irregular, and shows a pithy soft, yellowish-pink interior porous woody portion. The inner bark and medullary rays with brown resin cells, its best solvent is alcohol.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Root.
Constituents: Its resinous acrid constituent is Sylvacrol, an acrid fixed oil, volatile oil, tannin, starch, calcium oxalate. Woody fibre, colouring matter extractive.

The root is antiemetic, astringent. A decoction has been used to treat bird sickness, diarrhoea, vomiting and appetite loss in children and in adults. It has also been used to treat menstruation sickness, yellow eyes and skin weakness. A decoction or tincture of the root has been used to treat the worst forms of venereal disease.

In large doses it is emetic and purgative causing a disagreeable, peculiar, burning sensation in the stomach or alimentary canal with considerable prostration of the system; in smaller doses it is an excellent alterative, and influences the secretory functions; it has almost a specific action in the different forms of primary and secondary syphilis, also in skin diseases, scrofula and hepatic affections, acting with most successful results. The fluid extract combined with oils of anise or caraway, proves very beneficial in chronic bronchitis and laryngitis. Some pieces of fresh root chewed daily have permanently and effectually cured these troubles, it is also useful for leucorrhoea. The oil is too acrid for internal use uncombined with saccharine or mucilaginous substance, for internal use the fluid extract or syrup is sufficiently efficacious. As an external stimulating application in most cases the oil will be found very valuable. For croup 1 drop on the tongue three or four times daily, has been found successful for severe attacks. The dried root is said to be inferior in strength to the fresh one, but some chemists consider it more powerful. It may be given either alone or combined with sarsaparilla and other alteratives. It acts reflexly as a sialagogue and expectorant. It is often given for syphilitic complaints in place of mercury.

Known Hazards :   The latex in the sap can cause blistering on the skin. Large doses of the plant are said to be toxic.

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/Stillingia
http://keys2liberty.wordpress.com/tag/stillingia-sylvatica/
http://www.bing.com/search?q=Stillingia+sylvatica&src=IE-SearchBox&Form=IE8SRC
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Stillingia+sylvatica

Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco

Botanical Name : Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus:     Aspidosperma
Species: A. quebracho-blanco
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Gentianales

Synonyms: Quebracho Bark. Quebracho-blanco.

Common Names :Kebrako or White quebracho,  (It must not be confused with other species also known as quebracho, but belonging to the genus Schinopsis.)

Habita: Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco is native to  Chile and Argentina, Bolivia, Southern Brazil.

Description:
Tree growing to 30m, with thick corky bark, leathery leaves and tubular white flowers.  Fools moths into pollinating it by looking like plants that reward pollinators, but not itself offering any reward.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
click to  see the pictures
Quebracho blanco wood is uniformly yellow-ochre, without differences between hardwood and sapwood. It is quite heavy (relative density = 0.885 g/cm³) and hard, and responds well to bending and shock. Upon drying it tends to collapse, producing deformations and cracks, so the drying process is slow; the wood must be treated with fungicides. It is easy to work and has many uses in carpentry (carts, wheels, floors, shoes, tool handles, furniture); it is also good for chess pieces, skis, etc. Preserved with creosote it can be used outdoors. In some places it is widely used as coal, since it does not produce sparks or large amounts of ash, and it burns strong and slowly.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The Bark.

Constituents: Contains six alkaloids: Aspidospermine, Aspidospermatine, Aspidosamine, Quebrachine, Hypoquebrachine and Quebrachamine. All agree that quebrachine is the most active.

Two new sugars, quebrachite and laevogyrate inosite, tannin and starch have also been extracted.

Used as Tonic, febrifuge and anti-asthmatic.
Antispasmodic. Treats asthma and emphysema. Tonic. Reduces fever. Astringent – it has been used on burns and cuts. Contains yohimbine.

When a preparation of Quebracho or Aspidosperma is injected into the circulation, the rate and depth of the respiration increases largely, apparently due to direct action on the respiratory centre, and the blood-pressure falls.

Aspidosperma is used in medicine for the relief of various types of dyspnoea, especially in emphysema and in asthma. It is not generally useful to interrupt the paroxysm, but, as a rule, if used continuously, it will reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.

Under the name of amorphous aspidospermine, a mixture of the various alkaloids has become known in commerce.

Other Uses:Wood is very hard and is used for various purposes.

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/Aspidosperma_quebracho-blanco
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aspidosperma+quebracho-blanco
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/q/quebra02.html

Anemone nemorosa

Botanical Name : Anemone nemorosa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus:     Anemone
Species: A. nemorosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Ranunculales

Synonyms:  Crowfoot. Windflower. Smell Fox.,  Anemanthus nemorosus Fourr. Pulsatilla nemorosa Schrank.

Common Names :  Wood anemone, Windflower, Thimbleweed, and Smell fox

Habitat : Anemone nemorosa is native to Europe. It  occurs  throughout the northern temperate zone of C. Europe, including Britain, and W. Asia. It grows in  woodland and shady hillsides in all but the most base deficient or water-logged soils.

Description:
Anemone nemorosa  is a perennial herbaceous plant growing 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) tall.It is an early-spring flowering plant.The plants start blooming soon after the foliage emerges from the ground. The leaves are divided into three segments and the flowers, produced on short stems, are held above the foliage with one flower per stem. They grow from underground root-like stems called rhizomes and the foliage dies back down by mid summer (summer dormant). The rhizomes spread just below th e soil surface, forming long spreading clumps that grow quickly, contributing to its rapid spread in woodland conditions, where they often carpet large areas.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flower is 2 centimetres (0.79 in) diameter, with six or seven (and on rare occasions eight to ten) tepals (petal-like segments) with many stamens. In the wild the flowers are usually white but may be pinkish, lilac or blue, and often have a darker tint on the backs of the tepals. The flowers are pollinated by insects, especially hoverflies.

The yellow wood anemone (Anemone ranunculoides) is a similar plant with slightly smaller, yellow flowers.

It has a long, tough, creeping root-stock, running just below the surface; it is the quick growth of this root-stock that causes the plant to spread so rapidly, forming large colonies in the moist soil of wood and thicket. The deeply-cut leaves and star-like flowers rise directly from it on separate unbranched stems. Some distance below the flower are the three leaflets, often so deeply divided as to appear more than three in number and very similar to the true leaves. They wrap round and protect the flower-bud before it unfolds, but as it opens, its stalk lengthens and it is carried far above them.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil but tolerates dry conditions during its summer dormancy. Plants tolerate dry conditions and drought so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil. Dislikes very acid soils. Prefers a shady position, growing well on woodland edges, but plants can also be naturalized in thin turf. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. The plant has a running rootstock and can spread rapidly when well-sited. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Surface sow or only just cover the seed and keep the soil moist. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in late winter or early spring. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°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 year. When the plants are large enough, plant them out in the spring. Division in late summer after the plant dies down.

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Homeopathy; Rubefacient; Tonic.

The leaves are antirheumatic, rubefacient and tonic. The plant is sometimes used externally as a counter-irritant in the treatment of rheumatism. The herb is gathered in spring before the plant comes into flower. Various parts of this herb used to be recommended for a variety of complaints such as headaches and gout, though the plant is virtually not used nowadays. A homeopathic remedy has been made from the leaves.

Though this species of Anemone has practically fallen out of use, the older herbalists recommended application of various parts of the plant for headaches, tertian agues and rheumatic gout.’The body being bathed with the decoction of the leaves cures the leprosy: the leaves being stamped and the juice snuffed up the nose purgeth the head mightily; so doth the root, being chewed in the mouth, for it procureth much spitting and bringeth away many watery and phlegmatic humours, and is therefore excellent for the lethargy…. Being made into an ointment and the eyelids annointed with it, it helps inflammation of the eyes. The same ointment is excellent good to cleanse malignant and corroding ulcers.’

Known Hazards:The plant contains poisonous chemicals that are toxic to animals including humans. The plant contains poisonous chemicals that are toxic to animals including humans, but it has also been used as a medicine. All parts of the plant contain protoanemonin, which can cause severe skin and gastrointestinal irritation, bitter taste and burning in the mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hematemesi All parts of the plant contain protoanemonin, which can cause severe skin and gastrointestinal irritation, bitter taste and burning in the mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hematemesis.

Other Uses:
Anemone nemorosa is grown as an ornamental plant for use in gardens and parks.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anemo036.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemone_nemorosa

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anemone+nemorosa

Oenothera biennis

Botanical Name : Oenothera biennis
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. biennis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonym: Tree Primrose.  It is also known as Weedy evening-primrose, German rampion, hog weed, King’s cure-all, and fever-plant

Common Names : Tree Primrose, Common evening primrose, Evening star, or Sun drop

Habitat: Oenothera biennis though originally a native of North Arnerica, was imported first into Italy and has been carried all over Europe, being often naturalized on river-banks and other sandy places in Western Europe. It is often cultivated in English gardens, and is apparently fully naturalized in Lancashire and some other counties of England, having been first a garden escape.

Dscription:
The root is biennial, fusiform and fibrous, yellowish on the outside and white within. The first year, many obtuse leaves are produced, which spread flat on the ground. From among these in the second year, the more or less hairy stems arise and grow to a height of 3 or 4 feet. The later leaves are 3 to 5 inches long, 1 inch or more wide, pointed, with nearly entire margins and covered with short hairs. The flowers are produced all along the stalks, on axillary branches and in a terminating spike, often leafy at the base. The uppermost flowers come out first in June. The stalks keep continually advancing in height, and there is a constant succession of flowers till late in the autumn, making this one of the showiest of our hardy garden plants, if placed in large masses. The flowers are of a fine, yellow colour, large and delicately fragrant, and usually open between six and seven o’clock in the evening, hence the name of Evening Primrose. From a horticultural point of view, the variety grandiflora or Lamarkiana should always be preferred to the ordinary kind, as the flowers are larger and of a finer colour, having a fine effect in large masses, and being well suited for the wild garden.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Oenothera biennis has a life span of two years (biennial) growing to 30–150 cm (12–59 in) tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and 1–2.5 cm (0.39–0.98 in) broad, produced in a tight rosette the first year, and spirally on a stem the second year.

Blooming lasts from late spring to late summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite, produced on a tall spike and only last until the following noon. They open visibly fast every evening producing an interesting spectacle, hence the name “evening primrose.”

The blooms are yellow, 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) diameter, with four bilobed petals. The flower structure has an invisible to the naked eye bright nectar guide pattern. This pattern is apparent under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, moths, butterflies, and bees.

The fruit is a capsule 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) broad, containing numerous 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) long seeds, released when the capsule splits into four sections at maturity.

Cultivation: The Evening Primrose will thrive in almost any soil or situation, being perfectly hardy. It flourishes best in fairly good sandy soil and in a warm sunny position.

Sow the seeds an inch deep in a shady position out-doors in April, transplanting the seedlings when 1 inch high, 3 inches apart each way in sunny borders. Keep them free from weeds, and in September or the following March, transplant them again into the flowering positions. As the roots strike deep into the ground, care should be taken not to break them in removing.

Seeds may also be sown in cold frames in autumn for blooming the following year.

If the plants are once introduced and the seeds permitted to scatter, there will be a supply of plants without any special care.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Bark and leaves. The bark is peeled from the flower-stems and dried in the same manner as the leaves, which are collected in the second year, when the flowerstalk has made its appearance.

Astringent and sedative. The drug extracted from this plant, though not in very general use, has been tested in various directions, and has been employed with success in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders of a functional origin, asthma and whooping cough.

It has proved of service in dyspepsia, torpor of the liver, and in certain female complaints, such as pelvic fullness.

Its leaves are edible and traditionally were used as a leaf vegetable.

Evening primrose is sometimes used to treat eczema. Natural Standard has given evening primrose oil a “B” score for the treatment of eczema; meaning there is good scientific evidence supporting its use Template:Http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/primrose.asp. The symptoms of eczema can be exacerbated due to scratching and drying out the skin. Evening primrose oil contains linoleic acid, which is the primary oil found in the stratum corneum.{{Citation Angelo, Giana. “Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health.” Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Oregon State University, Feb. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. .}}. Supplementation with EPO may help rehydrate skin that has been scratched due to eczema. Furthermore, gamma-linoleic acid is metabolized into anti-inflammatory compounds, which may contribute to its ability to provide symptomatic relief in eczema. Most studies evaluating the effectiveness of EPO used 4 capsules of standardized extract (~1600 mg of evening primrose oil TOTAL) dosed by mouth twice daily for up to 12 weeks.

Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to slightly reduce blood pressure, can increase clotting time (use with caution if you take warfarin or aspirin), and should not be used by epileptics as it lowers the seizure threshold. Safety has not been evaluated in pregnant or nursing women.

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/Oenothera_biennis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/primro70.html

Primrose

Botanical Name : Primula vulgaris
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Primula
Species: P. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

synonyms:    Primula   acaulis (L.) Hill

Common Names : Primrose, or occasionally Common primrose or English primrose

Habitat :Primrose is native to western and southern Europe (from the Faroe Island and Norway south to Portugal, and east to Germany, Ukraine, the Crimea, and the Balkans), northwest Africa (Algeria), and southwest Asia (Turkey east to Iran).The plant grows abundant in woods, hedgerows, pastures and on railway embankments.

Description:
Primrose is a perennial growing 10–30 cm (4–12 in) tall, with a basal rosette of leaves which are more-or-less evergreen in favoured habitats. The leaves are 5–25 cm long and 2–6 cm broad, often heavily wrinkled, with an irregularly crenate to dentate margin, and a usually short leaf stem. The delicately scented flowers are 2–4 cm in diameter, borne singly on short slender stems. The flowers are typically pale yellow, though white or pink forms are often seen in nature. The flowers are actinomorphic with a superior ovary which later forms a capsule opening by valves to release the small black seeds. The flowers are hermaphrodite but heterostylous; individual plants bear either pin flowers (longuistylous flower: with the capita of the style prominent) or thrum flowers (brevistylous flower: with the stamens prominent). Fertilisation can only take place between pin and thrum flowers. Pin-to-pin and thrum-to-thrum pollination is ineffective.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The primrose is one of the earliest spring flowers in much of Europe.  “Primrose” is ultimately from Old French primerose or medieval Latin prima rosa, meaning “first rose”, though it is not closely related to the rose family Rosaceae.

There are three subspecies:

*Primula vulgaris subspecies vulgaris……. Western and southern Europe. As described above; flowers pale yellow.

*Primula vulgaris subsp. balearica (Willk.) W.W.Sm. & Forrest………Balearic Islands (endemic). Flowers white. Leaf stem longer than leaf blade.

*Primula vulgaris subsp. sibthorpii (Hoffmanns.) W.W.Sm. & Forrest Balkans,…. southwest Asia. Flowers pink to red or purple.

Cultivation:
Prefers a medium to heavy moisture retentive humus rich loam in a cool position with light to medium shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties. The blooms have a characteristic fragrance of a mossy bank or a deciduous woodland. This species hybridizes readily with P. elatior.

Propagation:     
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Germination is inhibited by temperatures above 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in autumn. This is best done every other year.

Edible Uses:
Both flowers and leaves are edible, the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. The leaves can also be used for tea, and the young flowers can be made into primrose wine.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: The whole herb, used fresh, and in bloom, and the root-stock (the so-called root) dried.

The roots of two- or three-year-old plants are used, dug in autumn. The roots must be thoroughly cleansed in cold water, with a brush, allowing them to remain in water as short a time as possible. All smaller fibres are trimmed off. Large roots may be split lengthwise to facilitate drying, but as a rule this will not be necessary with Primrose roots.

Constituents: Both the root and flowers of the Primrose contain a fragrant oil and Primulin, which is identical with Mannite, whilst the somewhat acrid active principle is Saponin.

Primroses have a very long history of medicinal use and has been particularly employed in treating conditions involving spasms, cramps, paralysis and rheumatic pains. They are, however, considered to be less effective than the related P. veris. The plant contains saponins, which have an expectorant effect, and salicylates which are the main ingredient of aspirin and have anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge effects. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women, patients who are sensitive to aspirin, or those taking anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin. The roots and the flowering herb are anodyne, antispasmodic, astringent, emetic, sedative and vermifuge. An infusion of the roots is a good remedy against nervous headaches. The roots are harvested in the autumn when two or three years old and dried for later use. An ointment has been made from the plant and used for treating skin wounds.

Other Uses:  
Makes a good carpet in open woodland and on woodland edges. Plants are best spaced about 35cm apart each way.

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/Primula_vulgaris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/primro69.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Primula+vulgaris

Lady fern

Athyrium filix-femina - Athyriaceae
Athyrium filix-femina – Athyriaceae (Photo credit: Kerry D Woods)

Botanical Name : Asplenium Felix-foemina
Family :Dryopteridaceae/Athyriaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:     Polypodiopsida
Order:     Polypodiales
Genus:     Athyrium
Species: A. filix-femina

Synonym: Athyrium Filix-foemina.
Common NamesLady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer

Habitat :Lady fern is available throughout the N. Temperate zone, including Britain, to the mountains of India, tropical S. America.It grows in Moist sheltered woods, hedgebanks and ravines, usually on acidic soils but also found in drier and more open habitats.

Description:
The Lady Fern is a deciduous Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

It is similar in size and general appearance to the Male Fern. It grows abundantly in Britain, in masses, in moist, sheltered woods, on hedgebanks and in ravines. The rootstock is short and woody; the fronds 2 to 3 feet high, grow in circular tufts and are light, feathery and succulent, generally drooping, and while young and tender, not infrequently soon shrivelling up after being gathered. The leaf base – as already stated – has only two large bundles, and the stalks are less scaly than in the Male Fern. The pinnae are alternate, the lowest decreasing much in size at the bottom, and are divided into numerous long, narrow, deeply-divided and toothed pinnules, with abundant sori on their undersides, the indusium attached along one side, in shape rather like an elongated and rather straightened kidney. The Lady Fern is very variable in form, tint and flexibility: it is more graceful and somewhat more delicate than the Male Fern, and is early cut down by autumn frosts. It is easy of cultivation……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:                                             
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it is calcifuge and prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but it tolerates alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity. A very ornamental and polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation: 
Spores – surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year. Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea of the boiled stems has been used to relieve labour pains. The young unfurled fronds have been eaten to treat internal ailments such as cancer of the womb. The roots are anthelmintic and diuretic. A tea of the boiled roots has been used to treat general body pains, to stop breast pains caused by childbirth and to induce milk flow in caked breasts. The dried powdered root has been applied externally to heal sores. A liquid extract of the root is an effective anthelmintic, though it is less powerful than the male fern, Dryopteris felix-mas.
Other Uses.
Other Uses:

A good ground cover plant, forming a slowly spreading clump. The cultivar ‘Minor’ has a denser habit and spreads more freely, making a better cover.

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=Athyrium+filix-femina
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athyrium_filix-femina

Aspidium spinulosum

Botanical Name: :Aspidium spinulosum
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus:     Dryopteris
Family:  Filices
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:    Polypodiopsida /
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order:     Dryopteridales

Common Name : Wood fern, Male fern,Shield fern,Buckler fern

Habitat :Aspidium spinulosum is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia. Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.

Description:
The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is allied to the Male Shield Fern, but is not so tall, about 8 to 14 inches, and has very much broader leaves. The rootstock is similar to Male Fern, but there are differences in the number of wood bundles in the stems, also in the hairs on the margins of the leaf-stalk scales. The fronds are more divided – twice or thrice pinnate – and are spinous, the pinnae generally opposite and the lowest pair much shorter than the others. The sori are circular, with kidney-shaped indusium, much smaller than in Filix-mas.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is moderately erect and firm and grows in masses, being common in sheltered places on moist banks and in open woods.

Medicinal Uses:
Dryopteris filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
The medicinal uses are as in Male Fern, with the rhizome of which, as imported from the Continent, it has always been much mixed.

Other Uses:
Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

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/Dryopteris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi