Lactuca sibirica

 

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

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

Common Names: Prickly lettuce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca

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

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

 

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Lactuca triangulata

 

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

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

Habitat : Lactuca triangulata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on grasslands on mountain slopes, mountain forests, forest margins, trailsides; 700-1900 m. Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shanxi [Japan, Korea, SE Russia].

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

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

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

Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked. They are sometimes eaten.

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

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

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

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

Avena ludoviciana

Botanical Name: Avena ludoviciana
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species:A. sterilis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms: Avena ludoviciana Durieu; Avena sterilis

Common Names: Animated oat, Sterile oat, Wild oat, Wild red oat, Winter wild oat
Common name in Hindi : Jangli Jai

Habitat :Avena ludoviciana is native to Europe – Mediterranean, to S.W. Asia. An introduced weed in Britain. It grows on dry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils. A spreading weed in the Mediterranean where it is becoming a pest.

Description:
Avena ludoviciana is an upright annual weed. It has long broad leaves having bright green colour. During early stage its plants resemble with wheat and cultivated oat, but at mature stage this weed is taller than wheat (120cm).

Roots: Fibrous root system.
Leaves: The leaves are linear and alternate, blade 60cm long and 0.5 to 1.5cm wide; ligule membranous; sheath on lower leaves.
Inflorescence:Panicles are composed of green spikelets and each spikelet has 2 to 5 pedicelled brownish green flowers; disarticulation above the glumes; glumes equal, two-toothed at the apex; awn twisted, about 3 to 8cm long, upper parts bent sharply at right angles to the twisted parts.
Seeds:Seeds are brown and black covered with black hairs.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
Biology :
Annual plant, it reproduces by seeds. The first seed on the panicle had almost no dormancy and, thereafter, the seeds of the second, third and fourth positions germinated in turn. Seeds from the third and fourth positions did not germinate until the second and third years after sowing.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun. Prefers a poor dry soil. This species is a weed of cultivated land, its seeds are somewhat smaller than the cultivated oats and the yields are rather lower. Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

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

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

Medicinal Uses: It is highly fibrous food, which is very good for constipation & some other forms of stomac disesses for regular bowel cleaning.
Other Uses:
Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.

The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avena_sterilis
http://idao.cirad.fr/content/oscar/especes/a/avest/avest.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Avena+ludoviciana

Orobanche ludoviciana

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

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

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

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

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

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It requires a well-drained soil and should succeed in sun or shade. A fully parasitic plant lacking in chlorophyll, it is entirely dependant upon its host plant for obtaining nutrient.

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

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

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

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

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

Vicia americana

Botanical Name: Vicia americana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus: Vicia
Species:V. americana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Lathyrus diffusus. Orobus diffusus

Common Names:American Vetch, Mat vetch, Purple vetch

Habitat : Vicia americana is native to N. America – Alaska to Ontario and New York, south to Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.It grows on damp or gravelly slopes, thickets and meadows.
Description:
Vicia americana is a single-stemmed, climbing perennial forb that measurers up to 16 inches tall. It grows from both taproot and rhizome. The leaves are each made up of oblong leaflets and have tendrils for climbing. It bears showy pea-like flowers in shades of lavender and fuchsia. The fruit is a hairless pod about 3 centimeters long that contains usually two light brown peas.

The 8 to 16 leaflets are broadly elliptical to linear measuring 0.4 to 1.5 inches in length. The lower stipules are deeply lacerated, often appearing star-like (Isley 1998). The inflorescence is a raceme with up to 10 purple flowers approximately 0.5 to 1.5 inches long. Flowering occurs from May to August with the seeds maturing around one month after pollination (Voss, 1985; Wasser, 1982). The fruit is a 1 to 1.5 inch long pod bearing two to several pea-like seeds. There are approximately 33,000 seeds/lb (USDANRCS, 2015). American vetch has a moderate to deeply-branched taproot which reaches a maximum depth of 40 inches. The deep tap root allows for the plant to exhibit characteristics of severe drought tolerance.
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It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile. It can fix Nitrogen.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best grown in semi-shade. A climbing plant, attaching itself to supports by means of tendrils. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation : Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in spring or autumn.
Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. The tender seeds are eaten by the N. American Indians. Both the mature seeds and the immature seedpods can be used. The pod is about 3cm long and contains 4 – 7 seeds.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have been rubbed in the hands and applied to spider bites. An infusion of the crushed leaves have been used as a bath for treating soreness. An infusion of the plant has been used as an eyewash. An infusion of the leaves has been used by women as a love medicine.

Other Uses : The stout roots have been used for tying

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_americana
https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_viam.pdf
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vicia+americana