Nectandra rodioei

Botanical Name :Nectandra rodioei

Common Names : Bebeeru, Bebeeru-bark, Greenheart-bark, Bibiru, Sipiri (Cortex beberu, or bibiru, Nectandra cortex

Habitat :Nectandra rodioei is a native of British Guiana.

Description:
Nectandra rodioei is a magnificent forest tree, growing from 60 to 80 feet in height, branching near the summit, and covered with a smooth, ash-gray bark. The leaves are nearly opposite, smooth, shining, coriaceous, 5 or 6 inches long, and 2 or 3 broad. The flowers are obscure, whitish-yellow, cordate, and disposed in axillary panicles. The fruit is a globular berry, about 6 inches in circumference, having a woody, grayish-brown, speckled pericarp, and a seed with 2 large, plano-convex cotyledons, which is yellow when freshly cut, and possesses an acid reaction and an intensely bitter taste. The fruit abounds in bitter starch (Schomburgk).

Its bark was introduced by Dr. Rodie as an energetic tonic and febrifuge. It is in flat pieces of 1 or 2 feet in length, from 2 to 6 inches broad, and about 4 lines in thickness, dark, heavy, brittle, with a rough, fibrous fracture, dark cinnamon-brown, and rather smooth internally, and covered externally with a brittle, grayish-brown epidermis. It has little or no odor, but a strong, persistent, bitter taste, with considerable astringency. The fruit is about the size of a small peach, somewhat heart-shaped, or inversely ovate, slightly flattened, the outside coat being frangible, and the kernel pulpy. It is exceedingly bitter. The sulphate of beberine is obtained from the bark and seeds.

Chemical Constituents:
.—The bark of nectandra contains starch, iron-greening tannin, deliquescent bebiric acid, melting at 150° C. (302° F.), subliming at 200° C. (392° F.), and has two alkaloids—bebeerine (bibirine or beberine) and nectandrine (sipeerine or sipirine of Maclagan, 1845). The British Pharmacopoeias of 1867 and 1885, indicate an elaborate process for the preparation of beberine sulphate from nectandra bark. The product is probably a mixture of sulphates of beberine (C36H42N2O6), nectandrine (C40H46N2O8), and other alkaloids (Maclagan and Gamgee, Pharm. Jour. Trans., 1869, Vol. XI, p. 19).

Medicinal Uses:
The alkaloids are strong tonics, promoting digestion, sustaining the circulation, and mildly stimulating the nervous system. Many persons compare it to quinine; but it is not such an intense nerve stimulant as that article, and is more distinctly favorable to digestion, and to the improvement of the general tone of the system. It has been used in agues.  In cases where the nervous system is sensitive, and quinine is likely to cause excitement, bebeerin is a preferable agent. As a tonic in periodical neuralgia, atonic prolapsus and dyspepsia, and low forms of periodical hysteria, it can be used to much advantage. It relieves passive menorrhagia and has been used in some cases of exhaustive discharges, as colliquative diarrhea, and hectic from excessive suppuration. Rarely used now.

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.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/nectandra.html

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

Botanical Name : Fagus grandifolia
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Fagus
Species: F. grandifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names : American Beech or North american beech

Habitat: Fagus grandifolia is native to Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to Florida, west to Texas and Ontario. Grows in  Rich uplands and mountain slopes, often forming nearly pure forests. In the south of its range it is also found on the margins of streams and swamps

Description:
It is a deciduous tree growing at a slow rate to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall, with smooth, silver-gray bark. The leaves are dark green, simple and sparsely-toothed with small teeth, 6–12 cm (2.4–4.7 in) long (rarely 15 centimetres (5.9 in)), with a short petiole. The winter twigs are distinctive among North American trees, being long and slender (15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) by 2–3 mm (0.079–0.12 in)) with two rows of overlapping scales on the buds. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from October to November. 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.The fruit is a small, sharply-angled nut, borne in pairs in a soft-spined, four-lobed husk….

click to see the picture.>…..(1)……(2)………….(3)..……………..
It is hardy to zone 4 and is frost tender and shade-tolerant species, favoring shade more than other trees, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession. Although sometimes found in pure stands, it is more often associated with Sugar Maple (forming the Beech-Maple climax community), Yellow Birch, and Eastern Hemlock, typically on moist well drained slopes and rich bottomlands. Near its southern limit, it often shares canopy dominance with Southern Magnolia.

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

Cultivation:
Thrives on a light or medium soil, doing well on chalk, but ill-adapted for heavy wet soils. Young trees are very shade tolerant, but are subject to frost damage so are best grown in a woodland position which will protect them. Although very cold hardy, this species requires hotter summers than are normally experienced in Britain so is not usually a success here and is very slow growing. The seeds are dispersed after the first frosts, they are sometimes gathered and sold in local markets in N. America. Good crops are produced every 2 – 3 years in the wild. This species produces suckers and often forms thickets in the wild. Trees have surface-feeding roots and also cast a dense shade, this greatly inhibits the growth of other plants and, especially where a number of the trees are growing together, the ground beneath them is often almost devoid of vegetation.

Propagation:
Seed – the seed has a short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Protect the seed from mice. Germination takes place in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are slow growing for the first few years and are very susceptible to damage by late frosts. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in the autumn. The seedlings can be left in the open ground for three years before transplanting, but do best if put into their final positions as soon as possible and given some protection from spring frosts.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil.

Young leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb. A very nice mild flavour but the leaves quickly become tough so only the youngest should be used. New growth is usually produced for 2 periods of 3 weeks each year, one in spring and one in mid-summer. Seed – raw or cooked. Small but very sweet and nutritious, it is sold in local markets in Canada and some parts of America. Rich in oil, the seed also contains up to 22% protein. The raw seed should not be eaten in large quantities since it is believed to cause enteritis. It can be dried and ground into a powder, then used with cereal flours in making bread, cakes etc. The germinating seeds can be eaten raw, they are tender, crisp, sweet and nutty. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Inner bark. Dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread

Medicinal Uses:
Pectoral; Skin; Vermifuge.

A decoction of the boiled leaves has been used as a wash and poultice to treat frostbite, burns, poison ivy rash etc. The nuts have been eaten as a vermifuge. A tea made from the bark has been used in the treatment of lung ailments. It has also been used to procure an abortion when the mother was suffering.

A concoction made of fresh or dried leaves was applied by the pioneers to burns, scalds, and frostbite, Indians steeped a handful of fresh bark in a cup or two of water and used it for skin rashes, particularly those caused by poison ivy.  In Kentucky, beech sap was one ingredient of a syrup compounded to treat tuberculosis.  Decoctions of either the leaves or the bark were administered internally, as a treatment for bladder, kidney, and liver ailments..  A decoction of the root or leaves was believed to cure intermittent fevers, dysentery, and diabetes, while the oil from the nut was given for intestinal worms.

Other Uses:
American Beech is an important tree in forestry.The oil obtained from the seed has been used as a fuel in oil lamps. Wood – strong, hard, heavy, very close grained, not durable, difficult to cure. It weighs 43lb per cubic foot.The wood is heavy, hard, tough and strong, and, until the advent of the modern chainsaw, during lumbering beech trees were often left uncut to grow. As a result, many areas today still have extensive groves of old beeches that would not otherwise occur. Today, the wood is harvested for uses such as flooring, containers, furniture, handles and woodenware.  It makes an excellent charcoal and is used in artwork

Like the European Beech bark, the American Beech bark is an attraction for vandals who carve names, dates, gang symbols, and other material into it. One such tree in Louisville, Kentucky, in what is now the southern part of Iroquois Park, bore the legend “D. Boone kilt a bar” and the year in the late 18th century. This carving was authenticated as early as the mid-19th century, and the tree trunk section is now in the possession of The Filson Historical Society in Louisville.

It is sometimes planted as an ornamental tree, but (even within its native area) much less often than the European Beech; the latter species is faster-growing and somewhat more tolerant of difficult urban sites.

The mast (crop of nuts) from American Beech provides food for numerous species of animals. Among vertebrates alone, these include ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, raccoons, red/gray foxes, white tail deer, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, pheasants, black bears, porcupines, and man. For lepidopteran caterpillars feeding on American Beech, see List of Lepidoptera that feed on beeches. Beech nuts were one of the primary foods of the now-extinct passenger pigeon, and the clearing of beech and oak forests are pointed to as one of the major factors that may have contributed to the bird’s extinction

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the raw seed may 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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Fagus+grandifolia

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

http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_American_Beech.htm

http://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/beech.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Opuntia basilaris

Botanical Name : Opuntia basilaris
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: O. basilaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names :Beavertail,Beavertail Cactus

Habitat : Opuntia basilaris  is found in southwest USA, mostly in the Mojave Desert, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Colorado Deserts, and also in the Colorado Plateau and northwest Mexico; it ranges through the Grand Canyon and Colorado River region to southern Utah, and in western Arizona, regions along the Lower Colorado River Valley.

Description:
The Opuntia basilaris is a medium sized to small prickly pear cactus, depending on variety, growing to about 60 cm tall. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads. These are more or less blue-gray, depending on variety, growing to a length of 14 cm and are maximum 10 cm wide and 1 to 1.5 cm thick. They are typically spineless, but have instead many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin. The pink to rose colored flowers are most common; however, a rare variety of white and even yellow flowers also exist. Opuntia basilaris bloom from spring to early summer.

Chemical constituents: Opuntia basilaris is a psychedelic plant containing 0.01% mescaline and  4-hydroxy-3-5-dimethoxyphenethylamine.

Medicinal Uses:
The older pads served as medicine.  Their pulp provided a wet dressing for bruises and sores, bites and lacerations, an application said to deaden pain and hasten healing.

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/Opuntia_basilaris

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/opuntia-basilaris

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Veronicastrum virginicum

Botanical Name : Veronicastrum virginicum
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Veronicastrum
Species: V. virginicum
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms : Leptandra virginica (L.) Nutt., Veronica virginica L

Common Names : Culver’s root, Culver’s-root, Culverpsyic, Culver’s physic,Bowman’s root,Blackroot;

Habitat :Veronicastrum virginicum is  native to the United States.It grows in  Eastern N. America – Ontario to Manitoba, south to Massachusetts, Alabama and Texas. It is frequently found in wet to wet-mesic prairies and sometimes moist upland sites  on Meadows, rich woods, thickets and prairies

Description;
Veronicastrum virginicum is an erect perennial herb that grows 80-200 cm in height. The leaves are serrated and arranged in whorls of 3-7 around the stem. The inflorescence is erect with slender and spike-like racemes. The stamens are crowded and protrude in a brush-like fashion perpendicular to the raceme . The corollas are white and are roughly 2 mm. in length. These plants flower from mid-summer to early fall.

You may click to see more pictures of  Veronicastrum virginicum

It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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 cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moderately fertile moisture retentive well drained soil. Prefers cool summers. Prefers a sunny position[188]. Hardy to at least -20°c. Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient quantity the seed can be sown outdoors in situ in the autumn or the spring. Division in autumn or spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Cholagogue; Emetic; Hepatic; Laxative; Tonic.

Native Americans used this plant as a remedy for several ailments including as a laxative,(A tea made from the roots is strongly laxative. The roots are harvested in the autumn and should be stored for at least a year before use.) treatment for fainting and treating kidney stones.  The root was used as a blood cleanser. It was used for ceremonial purification to cleanse the body by inducing vomiting by drinking tea made from the plant’s dried root.  The fresh root is a violent cathartic and possibly emetic, the dried root is milder in its action, but less certain. The root also gently excites the liver and increases the flow of bile. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhea, coughs, chills and fevers, and also to ease the pain of backaches. A tea made from the roots is strongly laxative.

Other Uses: It is cultivated as a garden flower in the Eastern United States.
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/Veronicastrum_virginicum

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Veronicastrum+virginicum

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Xerophyllum tenax

Botanical Name :Xerophyllum tenax
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Xerophyllum
Species: X. tenax
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonyms: Helonias tenax – Pursh, Xerophyllum douglasii – S.Wats.

Common Names :Bear grass, Squaw grass, Soap grass, Quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.

Habitat:Xerophyllum tenax is native to  Western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California.  Grows on  Dry sunny hills and open woods. Moist places in open woods and clearings, from sea level to 2100 metres

Description:
Xerophyllum tenax is an evergreen grasslike Perennial growing to 1.2m by 2m at a slow rate. It grows in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level. The leaves are 30-100 cm long and 2-6 mm wide, dull olive green with toothed edges. The slightly fragrant white flowers emerge from a tall stalk that bolts from the base. When the flowers are in bloom they are tightly packed at the tip of the stalk like an upright club.

It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation :
Requires a well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers a fairly moisture-retentive sandy peaty soil. Requires a damp peaty soil. Plants can be difficult to cultivate. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, especially if the roots are given a good mulch in the winter. If left undisturbed, plants can form quite large colonies, spreading by means of their tough rhizomes. Plants do not flower every year, there are often gaps of 5 – 7 years between flowering.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – baked.

Medicinal Uses:
Ophthalmic; Styptic.

The roots are styptic. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to wounds. A decoction of the grated root has been used as a wash on bleeding wounds, sprains and broken limbs. The washed roots have been rubbed to make a lather and then used to wash sore eyes.

Other Uses
Basketry; Fibre; Weaving.

A watertight basket can be made from the leaves. This basket has been used for cooking food in. The fibres are split from the leaves and then used. The plant is also used to decorate baskets. The small leaves have been used to make dresses. The plants were burnt every year. The leaves were harvested in the spring when they first started to grow out of the charred rhizome. Prior to using, the leaves were soaked in water to make them pliable, but if left too long they turned green. The dried and bleached leaves are used for weaving into hats and capes.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Xerophyllum+tenax

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Persia borbonia

Botanical Name : Persia borbonia
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Persea
Species: P. borbonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Laurales

Common Names :Redbay, Scrubbay, Shorebay and Swampbay

Habitat : Persia borbonia  is native to North America, north of Mexico. It grows in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. It also grows in the Bahamas and is cultivated in Hawaii. It usually grows on the borders of swamp land.

Unfortunately, due to an invasion of redbay ambrosia beetles in the Southern United States the tree is slowly dying out. The beetle was discovered in 2002 near Savannah, Georgia and it carries a fungal disease that is responsible for killing Redbay. This is bad because Redbay is a relative of the Avocado tree so if this disease is capable of killing off  Persia borbonia it could probably affect Persia americana.

Description:
Persia borbonia is a tall, evergreen shrub or short-trunked tree, reaching a maximum height of 65 ft. Form is dense and well-rounded. Handsome, aromatic, evergreen tree, with dense crown. The ascending branches are covered with a dense, rusty pubuscence and its aromatic leaves are leathery and narrowly oval. Pale-yellow flowers occur in small panicles from leaf axils and are followed by dark-blue to black fruit.

It has evergreen leaves that are about 3 to 7 inches long with a lance shape. The leaves are arranged alternately and emit a spicy smell when crushed. The leaves vary in color from bright green to dark green.  Redbay is a perennial, with a non-herbaceous stem that is lignified.

Propagation:
Sow seeds directly after collection of stratify and sow in spring.

Seed Collection: Gather fruits in the fall when they are dark blue to black. Remove pulp before storing. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to one year.

Medicinal Uses:
Red bay was widely employed medicinally by the Seminole Indians who used it to treat a variety of complaints, but especially as an emetic and body cleanser. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.  An infusion  of the leaves can be used to abort a fetus up to the age of four months. An infusion is also used in treating fevers, headaches, diarrhea, thirst, constipation, appetite loss and blocked urination. A strong decoction is emetic and was used as a body purification when treating a wide range of complaints. A decoction of the leaves is used externally as a wash on rheumatic joints and painful limbs.

Other Uses:
*The wood is hard and strong, which can be used to build boats, cabinets and lining interiors of structures.It takes a beautiful polish
*It can also be used as an ornamental tree due to its evergreen leaves.
*The dried up leaves can used as a condiment but not much else.
*Deer and some reports of bears also eat the leaves and fruits of redbay. Birds and turkey only eat the fruit of the redbay

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/Persea_borbonia

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PEBO

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Echinochloa crus-galli

Botanical Name : Echinochloa crus-galli
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Genus: Echinochloa
Species: E. crus-galli
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms : Panicum crus-galli

Common Names :Cockspur (or Cockspur Grass), Common Barnyard Grass, or simply “barnyard grass”

Habitat : Barnyard grass commonly occurs throughout tropical Asia and Africa in fields and along roadsides, ditches, along railway lines, and in disturbed areas such as gravel pits and dumps. It also invades riverbanks and the shores of lakes and ponds. It occurs in all agricultural regions. This species is considered an invasive species in North America where it occurs throughout the continental United States. It is also found in southern Canada from British Columbia east to Newfoundland. It was first spotted in the Great Lakes region in 1843

Description:
Echinochloa crus-galli is tufted annual, tall and often weedy, growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) rather thick, branching at base.Leaves flat, glabrous, elongate, 30–50 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, scabrous, slightly thickened at margin; ligules absent; sheaths smooth, lower ones often reddish; panicle 8–30 cm long, green or purple, exerted, somewhat nodding, densely branched, the branches to 5 cm long, erect or ascending sessile;

Spikelets 3–4 mm long, densely arranged on branches, ovoid, awnless, but move often long-awned, pale green to dull purple, short-bristly along veins; racemes spreading, ascending or appressed, the lower somewhat distant, as much as 10 cm long, sometimes branched; glumes and lower lemma minutely hairy on surface with longer more rigid hairs on veins; first glume about two-fifths as long as spikelet, deltoid, the second as long as the spikelet, short-awned; sterile lemma membranous, with a straight scabrous awn, 2–4 cm long or awnless; fertile lemma ovate-elliptic, acute, pale yellow, lustrous, smooth, 3-3.5 mm long. Fl.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

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. and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it is adapted to nearly all types of wet places, and is often a common weed in paddy fields, roadsides, cultivated areas, and fallow fields. It succeeds on a variety of wet sites such as ditches, low areas in fertile croplands and wet wastes, often growing in water. It succeeds in cool regions, but is better adapted to areas where the average annual temperature is 14-16°C. Tolerant of most soil types, including saline conditions, plants are not restricted by soil pH. Prefers a rich moist soil but succeeds in ordinary garden soil. The sub-species E. crus-galli zelayensis (HBK)Hitchc. is often found growing wild in alkaline soils. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 31 to 250cm, an annual temperature range of 5.7 to 27.8°C and a pH in the range of 4.8 to 8.2. Barnyard millet is sometimes cultivated for its edible seed in India. It has a relatively long growing season and does not always ripen its seed in Britain, though it should do better in the eastern half of the country. The plant is considered to be a very serious weed of many cultivated crops.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. A sowing in situ in late spring might also succeed but is unlikely to ripen a crop of seed if the summer is cool and wet.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed – cooked. Used as a millet, it can be cooked whole or be ground into a flour before use. It has a good flavour and can be used in porridges, macaroni, dumplings etc. The seed is rather small, though fairly easy to harvest. It has a somewhat bitter flavour. Young shoots, stem tips and the heart of the culm – raw or cooked. A nutritional analysis is available. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
•0 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 7.4g; Fat: 2.9g; Carbohydrate: 81.1g; Fibre: 31.3g; Ash: 8.6g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Styptic;  Tonic.

Reported to be preventative and tonic, barnyard grass is a folk remedy for treating carbuncles, haemorrhages, sores, spleen trouble, cancer and wounds. The shoots and/or the roots are applied as a styptic to wounds. The plant is a tonic, acting on the spleen.

Other Uses:
Soil reclamation.

The plant is sometimes used, especially in Egypt, for the reclamation of saline and alkaline areas.

 

Known Hazards : This grass has been reported to accumulate levels of nitrate in its tissues high enough to be toxic to farm animals. This problem is most likely to occur when plants are fed with inorganic fertilizers

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/Echinochloa_crus-galli

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Echinochloa+crus-galli

Enhanced by Zemanta

Foxtail barley

Botanical Name ; Hordeum jubatum
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Hordeum
Species: H.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names :Foxtail barley

Habitat :Hordeum jubatum is found in   most areas of N. America to Siberia. An occasional casual in Britain. Grows on grassy bushy places below 2500 metres in California. However, as it escaped often from gardens it can be found worldwide in areas with temperate to warm climates, and is considered a weed in many countries.

Description:
Hordeum jubatum is a short-lived, perennial bunchgrass without rhizomes, growing 1 to 2 feet tall. It starts growth in late April to May, matures June to August, and reproduces from seeds and tillers.It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
..You may click to see the picture.
Seedhead:Nodding, bristly spike up to four inches long; readily breaks apart when mature; three spikelets per rachis node; center spikelet has a single, fertile floret and outside spikelets are small, empty, pedicelled; glumes and lemmas with rough awns up to two inches long, thus the bristly appearance.

Leaves: Glabrous or lower sheaths sometimes pubescent; blades flat, up to 3/8 inches wide and 5 inches long with raised veins on the upper surface; leaves rolled in the bud; ligules short, membranous and collar-shaped; auricles absent.

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 cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation :
Prefers a rather dry soil and a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils and in climates ranging from sub-arctic to sub-tropical. Easily grown in light soils. Established plants are drought resistant. A very short-lived plant, it is often only an annual, though it often self sows a little.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in March or October and only just cover the seed. Make sure the soil surface does not dry out if the weather is dry. Germination takes place within 2 weeks. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed – raw or cooked. The seed can be ground into a flour and used as a cereal in making bread, porridge etc. Native North Americans would eat the dry flour raw. The seed is exceedingly small and fiddly to use. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The dry root can be wrapped, then moistened and used as a compress for styes in the eyes or on swollen eyelids.

Known Hazards : The barbed awns around the seeds can work their way into the gums and digestive tract of animals when the seed is eaten, causing irritation and inflammation. They can also work their way into the ears and eyes, sometimes causing blindness and even death.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Hordeum+jubatum

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

http://extension.usu.edu/range/Grasses/foxtailbarley.htm

http://www.growsonyou.com/plant/slideshow/Hordeum_jubatum/31650

Cardiospermum halicacabum

Botanical Name : Cardiospermum halicacabum
Family: Sapindaceae
Subfamily: Sapindoideae
Genus: Cardiospermum
Species: C. halicacabum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names :Balloon plant or Love in a puff

Habitat :Cardiospermum halicacabum is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia.India. N. America.Locally naturalized in S. Europe.Moist thickets and waste ground in Eastern N. America

Description:
Cardiospermum halicacabum is a decidious Climber growing to 3m.with twice 3-parted leaves that will reach 4 inches (10 cm) long. The plants climb with tendrils and need some form of support.with twice 3-parted leaves that will reach 4 inches (10 cm) long. The plants climb with tendrils and need some form of support.They are used as annuals in USDA zones 5-8 and are perennial in zones 9-11. and is frost tender.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The fruit from which the plant gets its common name is a brown, thin-shelled, inflated angled capsule up to 1 1/8 inch (3 cm) in diameter containing 3 black seeds each, with a white heart-shaped scar.

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 cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil and a sunny sheltered position, but succeeds in most soils. A frost-tender deciduous climber, it is grown as an annual in Britain.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves and young shoots – cooked. Used as a spinach

Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Emmenagogue; Laxative; Refrigerant; Rubefacient; Stomachic.

The whole plant is diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, refrigerant, rubefacient, stomachic and sudorific. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite. The leaves are rubefacient, they are applied as a poultice in the treatment of rheumatism. A tea made from them is used in the treatment of itchy skin. Salted leaves are used as a poultice on swellings.The leaf juice has been used as a treatment for earache. The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative and rubefacient. It is occasionally used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago and nervous diseases.

In Indian herbal medicine, balloon vine root is used to bring on delayed menstruation and to relieve backache and arthritis.  The leaves stimulate local circulation and are applied to painful joints to help speed the cleaning of toxins.  The seeds are also thought to help in the treatment of arthritis.  The plant as a whole has sedative properties.  It has been prescribed for years by European skin specialists and family doctors. In a study of 833 patients with eczema, better than 4 out of 5 subjects reported improvement or remission of symptoms (inflammation, swelling, scaling, blisters/vesicles, dry skin, itching, burning and pain).  This small and delicate wiry climber can be used to treat piles, rheumatism, nervous disorders and chronic bronchitis. A paste of the leaves is a dressing for sores and wounds. Crushed leaves can also be inhaled to relieve headaches and the seeds used to relieve fever and body aches.  A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of itchy skin. Salted leaves are used as a poultice on swellings.  The leaf juice has been used as a treatment for earache.

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/Cardiospermum_halicacabum

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Cardiospermum+halicacabum

http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week256.shtml

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

 

 

Hydrangea macrophylla

Botanical Name :Hydrangea macrophylla
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Genus: Hydrangea
Species: H. macrophylla
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cornales

Synonyms : Hydrangea maritima – Haw-Booth.

Common Names :Azisai,Bigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, Mophead Hydrangea, Penny Mac and Hortensia.

Habitat : Native to E. Asia – Japan. Grows in sunny places near the coast of E. Japan. It is also widely cultivated in many parts of the world in many climates.

Description:
Hydrangea is a rounded shrub with huge, deciduous, opposite, serrated, medium to dark green leaves. It is usually seen at 3-6 ft (0.9-1.8 m) with an equal spread, but older specimens can exceed 8 ft (2.4 m)! Flowers are arranged in huge, ball shaped clusters on the most common varieties. There are many selected varieties (and many hybrids), the most striking of which is a variegated-leaf form that bears flat, or lace-capped inflorescences.  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Hydrangea macrophylla blossoms can be either pink, blue, or purple shades, depending on a pH-dependent mobilization and uptake of soil aluminium into the plants.  Flowers on most hydrangeas are pH-sensitive, with dark purple or blue flowers in acidic soil, white or dull green in neutral earth, and pink in alkaline soil.


Hydrangeas make beautiful foliage in warm months. Flowering is best in areas with mild winters, since the plant blooms on previous year’s growth. French hydrangea may be evergreen in very mild winter areas. In its northernmost range, hydrangea is a foliage shrub, since flower buds are killed in hard winters.

It is hardy to zone 5 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September.

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 and can grow in very acid soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Hydrangea macrophylla blossoms can be either pink, blue, or purple shades, depending on a pH-dependent mobilization and uptake of soil aluminium into the plants.

Cultivation:
Tolerates most soil, thriving in a well-drained loamy soil, but resenting dryness at the roots. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[200], but if it is grown in a low rainfall area then it requires shade at the hottest part of the day. Prefers a shady position[1]. Does well on very acid soils with a pH around 4.5. Plants also tolerate alkaline soils, though they become chlorotic on shallow soils over chalk. The colour of the flowers reflects the pH of the soil the plant is growing in, the flowers are pink in a neutral to alkaline soil and blue in an acid soil. A very wind resistant plant when grown in mild areas[166]. Dormant plants are hardy to about -10°c, though the young growth in spring is frost-tender. A very ornamental plant and polymorphic species, there are many named varieties. This species was named for a sterile (or ‘mop head’) cultivar so that the true species should really be referred to as H. macrophylla normalis. Plants are cultivated for their leaves in China and Japan. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back into old wood if required[188]. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a greenhouse in spring. Cover the pot with paper until the seed germinates. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 8cm long, July/August in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of mature wood in late autumn in a frame. Mound layering in spring. Takes 12 months. Leaf-bud cuttings of the current seasons growth in a frame

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The young leaves, when dried and rubbed between the hands, become very sweet and are used to make a sweet tea called ‘tea of heaven’, it is used in Buddhist ceremonies. The leaves contain phellodulcin (its chemical formula is C16 H14 O), a very sweet substance that can be used as a sugar substitute. One small leaf is sufficient to sweeten a cup of tea. The older leaves can be dried, powdered and used as a flavouring on foods. The young leaves and shoots are also eaten cooked. Young leaves contain the toxin hydrocyanic acid, this reduces as the leaves grow older, often to zero levels.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiperiodic; Antitussive; Diuretic.
An extract of the leaves, roots and flowers are said to be a more potent antimalarial than quinine, due to one of its alkaloids.

Other Uses
Hedge.

A useful hedging plant because of its vigorous growth. The Hortensias or mop-head cultivars are recommended

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/Hydrangea_macrophylla

http://www.floridata.com/ref/h/hydran_m.cfm

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

Enhanced by Zemanta