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Amelanchier lamarckii

Botanical Name : Amelanchier lamarckii
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species:A. lamarckii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : A. canadensis. non (L.)Medik. A. botryapium. A. grandiflora. Franco. non Rehd. Crataegus racemosa

Common Names: Juneberry, Serviceberry or Shadbush, Snowy mespilus or Snowy mespi

Habitat :Amelanchier lamarckii is native to North America. Naturalized in Britain. It is Possibly no longer found in its original wild habitat, it is naturalized in S. England on sandy heaths and damp acid woods.

Description:
Amelanchier lamarckii is a large erect deciduous shrub or small tree of open habit, growing to 6 m (19ft) by 4 m (13ft).
It is not frost tender. It’s bronze-tinged young leaves turn orange and red in autumn. White flowers in short lax racemes as the leaves unfurl. Fruit a red to dark purple-black berry, soon eaten by birds. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: Grow in moist, lime free, well-drained soil. The best autumn colour is achieved when grown in full sun

Propagation: Propagate by seed and semi-hardwood cuttings

Edible Uses:
Edible fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and succulent with a flavour of apples, they can also be dried for later use. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, they can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity. The fruit is rich in iron and copper. It is up to 10mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

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/Amelanchier_lamarckii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amelanchier+lamarckii
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=116

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Amelanchier laevis

Botanical Name: Amelanchier laevis
Family:
Rosaceae
Genus:
Amelanchier
Species:
A. laevis
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Rosales

Synonyms : Amelanchier canadensis. non (L.)Medik.Amelanchier confusa.

Common Name : Allegheny Shadberry, Allegheny serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry
Habitat: Amelanchier laevis is native to eastern Canada and the eastern United States, from Newfoundland west to Ontario, Minnesota, and Iowa, south as far as Georgia and Alabama.It grows on dry to moist thickets, woodland edges and edges of swamps in cool ravines and on hillsides. Naturalized in Britain on light acidic soils.
Description:
Amelanchier laevis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 9 m (29ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. It has stems of 1–15 metres (3 ft 3 in–49 ft 3 in) or 2–17 metres (6 ft 7 in–55 ft 9 in) which are growing in small clumps. Its petioles are 12–25 millimetres (0.47–0.98 in) with green blades which are elliptic and almost ovate. The leaves have 12–17 lateral veins and 6-8 teeth per cm. The fruit, which are pomes, are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit has a sweet flavor. The bark can be made into a herbal medicine for expectant mothers. It is a deciduous tree. It is cultivated as an ornamental shrub.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The leaves are simple, alternate and regularly toothed and are often bronze in color, especially when young. They may be somewhat pubescent beneath when young, but become glabrous at maturity. The buds are relatively large (up to 10-12 mm) and long tapering to a sharp tip and each bud has more than 2 visible outer scales, often at least partly reddish. The plants may develop a single trunk, but they are almost always multiply-stemmed from the base, with well-developed plants reaching 20-30 feet in height or more, therefore appearing as a small tree or a very tall shrub. The bark is smooth and gray, and the trunks are often less than 10 cm in diameter. The flowers are showy with bright white petals opening in May or early June and producing numerous red or purple fleshy fruits.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200] but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Found in the wild on light acidic soils. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals, this species is worthy of especial attention because of the quality of its fruit. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. Trees come into bearing in about 12 years from seed. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. canadensis and A. lamarckii, see for the latest (1991) classification. It hybridizes with A. sanguinea, A. huronensis, A. wiegandii, A. stolonifera, A. canadensis, A. arborea and A. bartramiana. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation:
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required
Edible Uses:
Edible fruit – raw or cooked. Succulent and sweet. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, it can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[K]. The fruit can also be dried for winter use. Up to 18mm in diameter. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.
Medicinal Uses:.…..Miscellany…….An infusion of the bark was used by expectant mothers.

Other Uses:
 Landscape Uses:Firewood, Specimen, Woodland gardenWood – is heavy, exceedingly hard, strong, close grained. Used for tool handles etc

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/Amelanchier_laevis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amelanchier+laevis
http://www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity/herbarium/trees/amelae01.htm

Polyganum aviculare

Botanical Name: Polyganum aviculare
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Species: P. aviculare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Knotgrass. Centinode. Ninety-knot. Nine-joints. Allseed. Bird’s Tongue. Sparrow Tongue. Red Robin. Armstrong. Cowgrass. Hogweed. Pigweed. Pigrush. Swynel Grass. Swine’s Grass.

Common Names :  Knotweed, Prostrate knotweed, Birdweed, Pigweed and lowgrass.

Part Used: Whole herb.

Habitat: Polyganum aviculare occurs throughout the world. It is mostly found in fields and wasteland.

Description:
Common knotgrass is an annual herb with a semi-erect stem that may grow to 10 to 40 cm (4 to 16 in) high. The leaves are hairless and short-stalked. They are longish-elliptical with short stalks and rounded bases; the upper ones are few and are linear and stalkless. The stipules are fused into a stem-enclosing, translucent sheath known as an ochrea that is membranous and silvery. The flowers are regular, green with white or pink margins. Each has five perianth segments, overlapping at the base, five to eight stamens and three fused carpels. The fruit is a dark brown, three-edged nut. The seeds need light to germinate which is why this plant appears in disturbed soil in locations where its seeds may have lain dormant for years. It is noted for attracting wildlife……..CLICK  & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation :
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment, in good soils the plant will cover an area up to a metre in diameter. Prefers an acid soil. Dislikes shade. Knotweed is a common and invasive weed of cultivated ground. It is an important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies. It also produces an abundance of seeds and these are a favourite food for many species of birds. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. The flowers have little or no scent or honey and are rarely visited by pollinating insects. Self-fertilization is the usual method of reproduction, though cross-fertilization by insects does sometimes occur. The plant also produces cleistogomous flowers – these never open and therefore are always self-fertilized. The plant is very variable and is seen by most botanists as an aggregate species of 4 very variable species, viz. – P. aviculare. L.; P. boreale. (Lange.)Small.; P. rurivacum. Jord. ex Box.; and P. arenastrum. Box.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Young leaves and plants – raw or cooked. Used as a potherb, they are very rich in zinc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. Rather small and fiddly to utilize, they can be used in all the ways that buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is used, either whole or dried and ground into a powder for use in pancakes, biscuits and piñole. The leaves are a tea substitute
Chemical Compositions: Polyganum aviculare contains the flavonols avicularin, myricitrin, juglanin, astragalin, betmidin and the lignan aviculin.
*Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
*Leaves (Fresh weight)
*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 81.6%
*Protein: 1.9g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 10.2g; Fibre: 3.5g; Ash: 3.5g;
*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:
Anthelmintic; Antiphlogistic; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Emetic; Emollient; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Haemostatic;
Lithontripic; Purgative; TB; Vasoconstrictor; Vulnerary.

Polyganum aviculare is a safe and effective astringent and diuretic herb that is used mainly in the treatment of complaints such as dysentery and haemorrhoids. It is also taken in the treatment of pulmonary complaints because the silicic acid it contains strengthens connective tissue in the lungs. The whole plant is anthelmintic, astringent, cardiotonic, cholagogue, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, lithontripic and vulnerary. It was formerly widely used as an astringent both internally and externally in the treatment of wounds, bleeding, piles and diarrhoea. Its diuretic properties make it useful in removing stones. An alcohol-based preparation has been used with success to treat varicose veins of recent origin. The plant is harvested in the summer and early autumn and is dried for later use. The leaves are anthelmintic, diuretic and emollient. The whole plant is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic and diuretic. The juice of the plant is weakly diuretic, expectorant and vasoconstrictor. Applied externally, it is an excellent remedy to stay bleeding of the nose and to treat sores. The seeds are emetic and purgative. Recent research has shown that the plant is a useful medicine for bacterial dysentery. Of 108 people with this disease, 104 recovered within 5 days when treated internally with a paste of knotweed
The plant has astringent properties, rendering an infusion of it useful in diarrhoea, bleeding piles and all haemorrhages; it was formerly employed considerably as a vulnerary and styptic.

It has also diuretic properties, for which it has found employment in strangury and as an expellant of stone, the dose recommended in old herbals being 1 drachm of the herb, powdered in wine, taken twice a day.

The decoction was also administered to kill worms.

The fresh juice has been found effectual to stay bleeding of the nose, squirted up the nose and applied to the temples, and made into an ointment it has proved an excellent remedy for sores.

Salmon stated:
‘Knotgrass is peculiar against spilling of blood, strangury and other kidney affections, cools inflammations, heals wounds and cleanses and heals old filthy ulcers. The Essence for tertians and quartan. The decoction for colick; the Balsam strengthens weak joints, comforts the nerves and tendons, and is prevalent against the gout, being duly and rightly applied morning and evening.’

The fruit is emetic and purgative.

Other Uses:..Dye…….Yields a blue dye that is not much inferior to indigo. The part used is not specified, but it is likely to be the leaves. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the whole plant. The roots contain tannins, but the quantity was not given

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their 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 condition

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/Polygonum_aviculare
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/k/knogra08.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+aviculare

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Storm in a teacup

Q: I have a ceramic mug that I bought from a street vendor. When I drink tea out of it I get a taste of clay

. ….

A: Try drinking the beverage through a straw. If you can still taste the ceramic, discard the mug. Hot liquids can dissolve some of the clay and glaze. Some of these may be contaminated with dangerous heavy metals like lead. This is particularly true of poor quality stuff.

Breast-feeding & contraception

Q: I am breast feeding my four-month baby and want to use some safe and reliable form of contraception. I do not like the idea of an intrauterine contraceptive device.

A: You could ask your husband to use condoms from the beginning to the end of intercourse. If this does not appeal to both of you, or is not feasible, you can opt for progesterone injections. They are sold under the trade name Depo Provera. The injection has to be given every 12 weeks under medical supervision. Another option is “progesterone only” pills, the trade name of which is Cerazette. Unlike conventional oral contraceptive pills, these have to be taken every day. Both the injections and tablets can cause irregular menstruation. After one year (when you stop breast-feeding), you can switch to oral contraceptive pills.

Frequent itching

Q: I have recurrent itching in my vagina and it has been diagnosed as a yeast infection. Despite repeated treatment it comes back

A: Recurrent infection is likely to occur if the normal vaginal Ph changes. This occurs if the normal bacterial flora of the vagina changes. This can occur during pregnancy, diabetes, urinary tract infection, with the use of oral contraceptive pills or antibiotics. Vaginal douching or washing with too much soap can also cause a similar problem. Treatment is with medications like fluconazole (tablet) or clotrimazole (vaginal pessaries and creams).

Relapses are common as the organism is now becoming increasingly resistant to the common medication. Unless the underlying cause is treated, relapses will occur. Relapses can also occur if your partner has diabetes which is not very well controlled.

Sleepless nights

Q: I am 64 years old and have difficulty sleeping at night. I started taking alprazolam 0.25 mg at night. Now I find that even with 0.5 mg I do not get any sleep.

A: Alprazolam can be addictive if used as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug without medical supervision. Eventually higher doses may be needed for the same quality of sleep. It can also cause dizziness and loss of balance, particularly if you suddenly get up in the night. Other less addictive prescription medicines are available. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication to help you sleep that will not react with any of the other medication that you might be taking for other illnesses like diabetes or hypertension. It is better to avoid “sleeping pills” altogether as far as possible. Try —

· Not sleeping in the daytime

· Exercising in the morning and evening

· Drinking a glass of warm milk at night.

Heat boils

Q: I have developed boils on my legs. They are painful and pus comes out if I squeeze them. I have this problem every summer. I am not diabetic.

A: Our skin has a number of harmless commensal bacteria living on it. If small cuts and breaks occur in the skin as a result of scratching, these bacteria can enter the body and produce superficial boils. You need to keep your skin clean by bathing twice a day. Use a germicidal soap like Neko which is bactericidal. Apply the soap using a loofah or plastic scrubber. Avoid using talcum powder. Apply an antiseptic skin ointment (without steroids) like Neosporin or Soframycin on the boils after a bath. Do not break or squeeze the boils. If you develop fever consult a physician.

Lower testes

Q: My right testes appears to be larger than the left one.

A: The two halves of the body are not same. There may even be differences between your right hand and the left one. In most people the right testicle not only hangs lower but may also be larger. As long as there are no lumps or pain, you can leave it alone. If you are really worried, do an ultrasound scan to make sure there is no hernia or hydrocoele.

Nan or Lactogen?

Q: My son is nine months old. Should I give him Nan or Lactogen?

A: Children should be weaned on to solid foods after six months. Substituting tinned milk for breast milk is not the answer. They can be started on soft home-cooked solids such as cooked rice, dal and vegetables like potato. Eventually, by the age of one, they should be on the same diet as the family. Tinned precooked cereals and biscuits should be avoided.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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Acaenia anserinifolia

Botanical Name: Acaenia anserinifolia
Family : Rosaceae
Subfamilia: Rosoideae:
Genus : Acaenia
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Ordo: Rosales
Tribus: Sanguisorbeae
Subtribus: Sanguisorbinae
Genus: Acaena
Species
: Acaena anserinifolia

Synonyms: Acaena novae-zelandiae Kirk
Common Name: Pirri-Pirri Bur,  Bidibid, hutiwai, piripiri
Habitat:Eastern Australia, New Zealand. Naturalized in Britain. Open positions from lowland to the montane zone in North, South and Stewart Islands of New Zealand.  Ground Cover;

Description:

Acaenia anserinifolia is a stoloniferous, prostrate, evergreen trailing and perennial herb, forming diffuse to dense patches up to 1 m diam. Prostrate stems 1-1.5 mm diam. and < 1 m long, erect stems 1-1.5 mm diam., < 150 mm long (unless scrambling up through surrounding vegetation, in which case taller). Leaves 10-75 mm long, stipules 3-8-fid, leaflets 9-13, oblong, 4-17 x 2-9 mm, 7-15-toothed to base, dull green to yellow-green, basal leaves often mottled brown, upper surface sparsely to densely hairy, undersides paler, glaucescent to silvery, and very silky hairy, teeth tipped with a tuft of brush-like hairs. Inflorescence scape 40-120 mm long, covered in long, appressed hairs. Capitulum 5-8 mm diam. at flowering, 10-20 mm diam. (including spines) at fruiting; florets c. 50-60; sepals 4; stamens 2; anthers white or rose; style 1; white; achene 1. Fruit obconic, 3 x 12 mm, hairy, spines 4, pale brown, 4-9 mm long, barbed.

It is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July. The flower colours are Red,Pink & White. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Fruiting time is December – April
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in ordinary well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Requires a warm position. Adaptable to poorly-drained soils in Australia. A very invasive plant, spreading freely by its procumbent rooting stems. It is low-growing, however, and so can be grown as a ground cover amongst taller plants.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Germination, which can be very poor, usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 10°c. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots, planting them out in the summer. Division in April or October. Very easy, the plants can be divided at any time of the year if required, though it will need to be done in a greenhouse during the winter months. Cuttings – August in a cold frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Tea.

The leaves are used as a substitute for tea.

Medicinal Uses.

Antiphlogistic; Diuretic; Vulnerary.

The leaves are antiphlogistic, carminative, diuretic and vulnerary.

Other Uses:-
Ground cover.

A good ground-cover plant, tolerating some treading. A carpeting plant, rooting as it spreads.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acaenia+anserinifolia
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Acaena_anserinifolia
http://luirig.altervista.org/photos/a/acaena_anserinifolia.htm
http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/plant%20portraits%20a/acaena%20anserinifolia.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACNO7

http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1436

 

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