Tag Archives: Acacia

Osmunda japonica

 

Bmily:otanical Name : Osmunda japonica
Family:  Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section:Euosmunda
Species:O. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda nipponica Makino

Common Name : Japanese royal fern or Japanese flowering fern ,Zenmai (In some parts of China it is called juecai in Mandarin), Tibet and Japan it is called zenmai in Japanese.

Habitat :Osmunda japonica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in moist places all over Japan.

Description:
Osmunda japonica is a deciduous herbaceous plant which produces separate fertile and sterile fronds. The sterile fronds are spreading, up to 80-100 cm tall, bipinnate, with pinnae 20-30 cm long and pinnules 4-6 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad; the fertile fronds are erect and shorter, 20-50 cm tall.

It grows in moist woodlands and can tolerate open sunlight only if in very wet soil. Like other ferns, it has no flowers, but rather elaborate sporangia, that very superficially might suggest a flower, from which the alternative name derives.

Like its relative Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (Cinnamon fern), the fertile fronds become brown-colored and contain spores. The sterile (vegetative) fronds resemble in form, another relative, Osmunda regalis (Royal fern).

CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Rhizome: erect, massive, forming a trunk, occasionally branching, hairs and old stipe bases woven together with black, fibrous roots.

Frond: 50 cm high by 40 cm wide, deciduous, dimorphic, fertile fronds earlier, erect, sterile later, arching, blade/stipe ratio: 5:4 for sterile fronds, 1:1 for fertile fronds.

Stipe: stipules (flared leaf base), unique to the family/genus, pale reddish brown, long lax hairs, but soon glabrous, vascular bundles: 1 in a U-shape where the top of the arms continue to curl.

Blade: 2-pinnate, sterile oblong, widest at the bottom, fertile consisting entirely of sporagia, papery, reddish to light brown hairs, soon falling.

Pinnae: 4 to 6 pair, catadromous; pinnules oblong, to 10 cm; margins minutely dentate; veins free, forked.

Sori: none, indusium: absent, sporangia: large, globose, tan or black when mature, spores green.
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Closely related to O. regalis.

Propagation :
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type[200]. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots

Edible Uses: the young frond of Osmunda japonica is used as a vegetable.

Medicinal  Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity is yet found for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.
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/Osmunda_japonica
http://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=117
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+japonica

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Inula dysenterica

Botanical Name: Inula dysenterica
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Inula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Pulicaria dysenterica (Gaertn.). Middle Fleabane.
(Arabian) Rarajeub.

Common Name: Fleabane, Meadow false fleabane

Habitat: Inula dysenterica is a native of most parts of Europe, in moist meadows, watery places, by the sides of ditches, brooks and rivers, growing in masses and frequently overrunning large tracts of land on account of its creeping underground stems. In Scotland, however, it is rare, though common in Ireland. It grows on
Marshes, wet meadows, ditches etc, avoiding calcareous soils.

Description:
Inula dysenterica is a rough-looking plant, well marked by its soft, hoary foliage, and large terminal flat heads of bright yellow flowers, single, or one or two together, about an inch across, large in proportion to the size of the plant, the ray florets very numerous, long and narrow, somewhat paler than the florets in the centre or disk.

The creeping rootstock is perennial, and sends up at intervals stems reaching a height of 1 to 2 feet. These stems are woolly, branched above and very leafy, the leaves oblong, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, heart or arrowshaped at the base, embracing the stem, irregularly waved and toothed. Like the stem, the leaves are more or less covered with a woolly substance, varying a good deal in different plants. The under surface is ordinarily more woolly than the upper, and though the general effect of the foliage varies according to its degree of woolliness, it is at best a somewhat dull and greyish green....CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant is in bloom from the latter part of July to September. The fruit is silky and crowned by a few short, unequal hairs of a dirty-white, with an outer ring of very short bristles or scales, a characteristic which distinguishes it from Elecampane and other members of the genus Inula, whose pappus consists of a single row of hairs this being the differing point which has led to its being assigned to a distinct genus, Pulicaria.

Another English plant bears the name of Fleabane (Erigeron acris), a member of the same order. For the sake of distinction, it is commonly known as the Blue Fleabane, its flowerheads having a yellow centre, and being surrounded by purplish rays. It is a smaller, far less striking plant, growing in dry situations.

Parts Used in medicines: Herb, root.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves when bruised have a somewhat soap-like smell. The sap that lies in the tissues is bitter, astringent and saltish, so that animals will not eat the plant, and this astringent character, to which no doubt the medicinal properties are to be ascribed, is imparted to decoctions and infusions of the dried herb.

Other Uses:
Repellent……..The plant is burnt to repel parasites.

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/Inula
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/flecom27.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pulicaria+dysenterica

Sonajhuri (Acacia auriculiformis)

 

Botanical Name :Acacia auriculiformis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A.auriculiformis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:Auri, Earleaf acacia, Earpod wattle, Northern black wattle, Papuan wattle, Tan wattle,  In Bengal it is called Sonajhuri

Habitat :Acacia auriculiformis is native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. One can see these trees in Santinikatan in West Bengal, India

Description:
Acacia auriculiformis is an evergreen tree that grows between to 15-30 m tall, with a trunk up to 12 m long and 50 cm in diameter. It has dense foliage with an open, spreading crown. The trunk is crooked and the bark vertically fissured. Roots are shallow and spreading. Leaves 10-16 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide with 3-8 parallel nerves, thick, leathery and curved. Flowers are 8 cm long and in pairs, creamy yellow and sweet scented. Pods are about 6.5 x 1.5 cm, flat, cartilaginous, glaucous, transversely veined with undulate margins. They are initially straight but on maturity become twisted with irregular spirals. Seeds are transversely held in the pod, broadly ovate to elliptical, about 4-6 x 3-4 mm. The generic name acacia comes from the Greek word ‘akis’ meaning a point or a barb and the specific epithet comes from the Latin ‘auricula’- external ear of animals and ‘forma- form, figure or shape, in allusion to the shape of the pod.
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Medicinal Uses:
It was also reported that the oil from the seeds produced some medicinal properties such as spermicidal and anti-HIV properties along with the safe use on vaginal epithelium.

The tannin rich inner bark and gums of wattles have therapeutic effects, and this has been known to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. Bark can alleviate diarrhoea, gums can soothe inflamed skin. The Zulu of Africa use Acacia caffra as an emetic, and give the leaves to their children for tummy troubles.

In more recent times, Gum Arabic has been used as a major component of artificial blood serum. Sap from the phyllodes of the Hawaiin Acacia koa can inhibit Golden Staphylococcus bacteria, and there are recent reports that Acacia victoria in Australia can produce chemicals called triterpenoid saponins that inhibit tumour growth. More bioprospecting needs to be done!

Other Uses:
This plant is raised as an ornamental plant, as a shade tree and it is also raised on plantations for fuelwood throughout southeast Asia, Oceania and in Sudan. Its wood is good for making paper, furniture and tools. It contains tannin useful in animal hide tanning. In India, its wood and charcoal are widely used for fuel. Gum from the tree is sold commercially, but it is said not to be as useful as gum arabic. The tree is used to make an analgesic by indigenous Australians. Extracts of Acacia auriculiformis heartwood inhibit fungi that attack wood.

Fodder: Not widely used as fodder, but in India 1-year-old plantations are browsed by cattle. Apiculture: The flowers are a source of pollen for honey production. Fuel: A major source of firewood, its dense wood and high energy (calorific value of 4500-4900 kcal/kg) contribute to its popularity. It provides very good charcoal that glows well with little smoke and does not spark. Fibre: The wood is extensively used for paper pulp. Plantation-grown trees have been found promising for the production of unbleached kraft pulp and high-quality, neutral, sulphite semi-chemical pulp. Large-scale plantations have already been established, as in Kerala, India, for the production of pulp. Timber: The sapwood is yellow; the heartwood light brown to dark red, straight grained and reasonably durable. The wood has a high basic density (500-650 kg/m³), is fine-grained, often attractively figured and finishes well. It is excellent for turnery articles, toys, carom coins, chessmen and handicrafts. Also used for furniture, joinery, tool handles, and for construction if trees of suitable girth are available. Tannin or dyestuff: The bark contains sufficient tannin (13-25%) for commercial exploitation and contains 6-14% of a natural dye suitable for the soga-batik industry. In India, the bark is collected locally for use as tanning material. A natural dye, used in the batik textile industry in Indonesia, is also extracted from the bark. Other products: An edible mushroom, Tylopylus fellus, is common in plantations of A. auriculiformis in Thailand.

Usefullness of the plant:
Erosion control: Its spreading, superficial and densely matted root system makes A. auriculiformis suitable for stabilizing eroded land. Shade or shelter: The dense, dark-green foliage, which remains throughout the dry season, makes it an excellent shade tree. Planted to provide shelter on beaches and beachfronts.

Reclamation: The spreading, densely matted root system stabilizes eroding land. Its rapid early growth, even on infertile sites, and tolerance of both highly acidic and alkaline soils make it popular for stabilizing and revegetating mine spoils.

Soil improver: Plantations of A. auriculiformis improve soil physio-chemical properties such as water-holding capacity, organic carbon, nitrogen and potassium through litter fall. Its phyllodes provide a good, long-lasting mulch.

 Nitrogen fixing: Acacia auriculiformis can fix nitrogen after nodulating with a range of Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium strains. It also has associations with both ecto- and endo-mycorrhizal fungi.

 Ornamental: It is used for shade and ornamental purposes in cities where its hardiness, dense foliage and bright yellow flowers are positive attributes.

Intercropping: The effect of intercropping with annual crops varies. Increased tree growth has been found with kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), upland rice and groundnut in Thailand; reduced growth with maize in Cameroon.

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/Darwin_black_wattle
http://www.worldwidewattle.com/schools/uses.php

 

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Acacia cornigera

Botanical Name : Acacia cornigera
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. cornigera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names :Bullhorn Acacia ,Cockspur ,Bullhorn wattle

Habitat : Acacia cornigera is  native to Mexico and Central America.

Description:
The common name of “bullhorn” refers to the enlarged, hollowed-out, swollen thorns (technically called stipular spines) that occur in pairs at the base of leaves, and resemble the horns of a steer. In Yucatán (one region where the bullhorn acacia thrives) it is called “subín”, in Panamá the locals call them “cachito” (little horn). The tree grows to a height of 10 metres (33 ft).

You may click to see the pictures of Acacia cornigera

Bullhorn Acacia is best known for its symbiotic relationship with a species of Pseudomyrmex ant (Pseudomyrmex ferruginea) that lives in its hollowed-out thorns. Unlike other acacias, Bullhorn acacias are deficient in the bitter alkaloids usually located in the leaves that defend against ravaging insects and animals. Bullhorn acacia ants fulfill that role.

The ants act as a defense mechanism for the tree, protecting it against harmful insects, animals or humans that may come into contact with it. The ants live in the hollowed-out thorns for which the tree is named. In return, the tree supplies the ants with protein-lipid nodules called Beltian bodies from its leaflet tips and carbohydrate-rich nectar from glands on its leaf stalk. These Beltian bodies have no known function other than to provide food for the symbiotic ants. The aggressive ants release an alarm pheromone and rush out of their thorn “barracks” in great numbers.

According to Daniel Janzen, livestock can apparently smell the pheromone and avoid these acacias day and night.   Getting stung in the mouth and tongue is an effective deterrent to browsing on the tender foliage. In addition to protecting A. conigera from leaf-cutting ants and other unwanted herbivores, the ants also clear away invasive seedlings around the base of the tree that might overgrow it and block out vital sunlight.

Medicinal Uses:
Root and bark are used in snakebite remedy.  Bushmasters instruct that the snakebite victim should cut a piece of the bark equal to his forearm and chew this, swallowing the juices, and applying the leftover fibers as a poultice to the bite; the victim can then start walking home while chewing on the root and swallowing the juice.  The poultice is said to delay reaction time to the toxin, adding 6-8 hours of time to allow victim to get help. It has been used as traditional medicine for relief of mucous congestion for infants. Babies are given water containing the ants (once they’ve been squeezed and strained). Acne and other skin conditions can be bathed with water in which the thorns have been boiled.  For male impotency, boil a 2.5 x 15 cm strip of bark in 3 cups water for 10 minutes and take 1 cup before meals for 7 days.  If results are slow, double the strength of the tea for 3 more days.  For infantile catarrh, catch 9 of the small black ants that inhabit the thorns (they protect the tree from attack from harmful insects); squeeze these into ½ cup boiled water, strain and give to infant by teaspoon until consumed.  For onset of asthma attacks, cough, and lung congestion, boil 9 thorns (including their ants) in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.  Said to be useful also for treatment of poisoning and headaches.

Other Uses:
The thorns of A. cornigera, are often strung into unusual necklaces and belts. In El Salvador the horn-shaped thorns provide the legs for small ballerina seed dolls which are worn as decorative pins.

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/Acacia_cornigera
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.vlbanting.com/costaricageneralscenes.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acacia_cornigera_2.jpg

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Acacia tortilis

Botanical Name : Acacia tortilis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. tortilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names: Umbrella Thorn Acacia, Umbrella Thorn, Israeli Babool

*(Afrikaans) : Haak-en-steek
*(Arabic) : Samar, sammar, samor, samra, sayyal, seyal, seyyal
*(English) : Karamoja, umbrella thorn
*(Hebrew) : Shitat ha’sochech
*(Hindi) : Israeli babool
*(Ndebele) : Isanqawe, umsasane, umshishene, umtshatshatsha
*(Nyanja) : Mzunga, nsangu, nsangunsangu, nyoswa
*(Somali) : Abak, kura
*(Swahili) : Mgunga, mugumba, munga
*(Tigrigna) : Akba, akiba, alla, aqba
*(Tongan) : Mukoka, muzungu, ngoka
*(Tswana) : Mosu, mosunyana
*(Zulu) : UmSasane

Habitat : Acacia tortilis is native primarily to the savanna and Sahel of Africa (especially Sudan), but also occurring in the Middle East.

Description:
Acacia tortilis is a medium to large canopied tree.In extremely arid conditions, it may occur as a small, wiry bush. It grows up to 21 m (69 ft) in height. The tree carries leaves that grow to approx. 2.5 cm (1 in) in length with between 4 and 10 pair of pinnae each with up to 15 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are small and white,ball shaped , highly aromatic, and occur in tight clusters. Seeds are produced in pods which are flat and coiled into a springlike structure.

You may click to see the pictures of Acacia tortilis

The plant is known to tolerate high alkalinity, drought, high temperatures, sandy & stony soils, strongly sloped rooting surfaces, and sand blasting. Also, plants older than 2 years have been observed to be somewhat frost resistant.

Propagation:
A. tortilis is a pioneer species easily regenerated from seed. Pods are best collected by shaking them from the canopy. In East Africa, a mature tree can produce over 6000 pods in a good year, each with 8-16 seeds (10,000 – 50,000/kg depending on the subspecies).

Seeds are often extracted by pounding pods in a mortar followed by winnowing and cleaning. The hard-coated seeds remain viable for several years under cool, dry conditions. They require pretreatment for good germination.    Mechanical scarification works best for small seed lots. Soaking seeds either in sulfuric acid for 20-30 minutes, or in poured, boiled water allowed to cool, are both effective treatments (Fagg and Greaves 1990).

Seed are planted in the ground in 1 cm deep holes or in the nursery in 30 cm long tubes. Rapid tap root growth requires frequent root pruning. Seedlings are ready to be planted out after 3-8 months. On marginal sites, initial seedling growth is often slow but quickens once roots have reached a water source. For best growth, plants should be weeded and protected from browsing animals for the first three years. At Jodhpur, India (320 mm annual rainfall) average height of 20 selected 2.5-yr-old plants was 3.8 m.

Limited seed supplies are available from natural populations in a number of countries, primarily in Sahelian Africa, and from landraces in India. A broader range of germplasm is available From the Oxford Forestry Institute (South Parks Road, Oxford OXI 3RB, LTK) for establishment of field trials. Small quantities of seed from Kenyan provenances are also available from NFTA

Medicinal Uses:
Leaves, bark, seeds, and a red gum are used in many local medicines. Two pharmacologically active compounds for treating asthma have been isolated from the bark. The stem of the tree is also used to treat diarrhea.  The gum is used like that of gum arabics in folk remedies. The dried, powdered bark is used as a disinfectant in healing wounds; in Senegal it serves as an anthelmintic. In Somalia the stem is used to treat asthma. Seeds are taken to treat diarrhea. In French Guinea, the bark is used as a vermifuge and dusted onto skin ailments.

Other Uses: In semi-arid areas, Acacia tortilis provides a staple browse especially for camels and goats.This tree provides shade for animals. Some of the most palatable grass species grow beneath its canopy (Walker 1979). In Turkana, Kenya, soil nutrients and herbaceous plant productivity and diversity were significantly greater under than away from the tree canopy (Weltzin and Coughenour 1990).

Wood use :The dense, red wood of A. tortilis makes very good charcoal and fuelwood (4360 Cal/kg) (BOSTID). It burns slowly and produces little smoke when dry. Poles are commonly used in hut construction and for tools. The wood of
ssp. heteracantha is durable if water-seasoned. The tree resprouts vigorously when coppiced and is managed for fuelwood in natural woodlands in Sudan. In plantations in India, trees are planted at 3 x 3 m spacing and coppiced for fuelwood. After 10-12 years over 50 tons/ha wood can be harvested. In other areas the trees are not cut, to avoid reducing pod yields.

In traditional pastoral societies every part of Acacia tortilis is used. The high value held by local people for the tree is reflected in the detailed nomenclature given to its cycles of development. In Oman, for example, local people call A. tortilis by more than a dozen different names in Dhofari arabic.

Flowers provide a major source of good quality honey in some regions. Fruits are eaten in Kenya, the Turkana make porridge from pods after extracting the seed, and the Masai eat the immature seeds. The bark yields tannin and the inner bark cordage. Thorny branches are used for enclosures and livestock pens; roots are used for construction of nomad huts (Somali and Fulani). Leaves, bark, seeds, and a red gum are used in many local medicines. Two pharmacologically active compounds for treating asthma have been isolated from the bark (Hagos et al. 1987).

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/Acacia_tortilis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factpub/FACTSH/A_tortilis.html

http://www.calflora.net/losangelesarboretum/whatsbloomingmar07.html

http://beingplants.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2310

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