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Prunus campanulata

Botanical Name : Prunus campanulata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. campanulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Synonyms:
*Cerasus campanulata (Maxim.) A.Vassiliev
*Prunus cerasoides Koidz.
*Prunus cerasoides var. campanulata (Maxim.) Koidz.
*Prunus pendula hort.

Common Names: Taiwan cherry, Formosan cherry, or Bellflower cherry.

Habitat : Prunus campanulata is native to Japan, Vietnam, and China (including Taiwan), widely grown as an ornamental tree, and a symbol of Nago, Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. It grows on the hill forests below 600 metres. Forests in ravines, forest margins at elevations of 100 – 1300 metres.
Description:
Prunus campanulata is a small, deciduous tree that grows up to 10m high. It has characteristic deep red, bell shaped clusters of flowers (up to 2.2cm diameter), which appear in late winter to early spring. Flowers often appear on the bare branches before the leave emerge. Leaves are serrated, typically cherry-like and are up to 4-7cm long and 2-3.5cm wide. These are a bright green colour when they emerge in spring, changing to dark green in summer and finally turning bronze during autumn. The fruit of P. campanulata is small (10 x 6mm), shiny and scarlet and are very popular with birds.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.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 semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. This species is not very hardy in Britain, though it succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country. When fully dormant, it probably tolerates temperatures down to about -10 to -15°c. This species grows well in areas that are too warm for other species of flowering cherries. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. Closely related to P. cerasoides. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. A cherry, it is edible if the astringency is removed. The fruit is about 11mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses
Dye.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Prunus campanulata is a popular ornamental tree for both private gardens and public areas.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
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/Prunus_campanulata
http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1666
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+campanulata

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Asarum caudatum

Botanical Name : Asarum caudatum
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. caudatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Asarum hookeri Fielding & Gardner, Asarum rotundifolium Raf.

Common Names: British Columbia wild ginger, western wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger.

Habitat :Asarum caudatum is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to California. It grows on deep shade in moist pine woods and redwood forests. Understory of conifer forests, usually in mesic or wet places from sea level to 1200 metres and occasionally to 2200 metres.

Description:
Asarum caudatum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are distinct, hirsute (hairy), cup-shaped, and brown-purple to green-yellow which terminate in three, long, gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads, forming mats. The leaves emit a ginger aroma when rubbed.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
The root can be used as a ginger substitute. The root has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. It can be harvested all year round, but is best in the autumn. It can also be dried for later use. Leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is laxative, stomachic and tonic. A tea made from the root is used in the treatment of colds, colic, indigestion and stomach pains. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is analgesic, antirheumatic, appetizer and tonic. A decoction is used externally to treat headaches, intestinal pain and knee pains. A poultice made from the heated leaves is applied to boils, skin infections and toothaches, whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as a wash on sores.

Other Uses :
A useful ground-cover plant for deep shade, spreading by its roots.Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Woodland garden.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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/Asarum_caudatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Asarum+caudatum

Arum dioscoridis

Botanical Name : Arum dioscoridis
Family: Araceae
Genus: Arum
Species: A. dioscoridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : A. hygrophyllum. Boiss.

Habitat :Arum dioscoridis is native to forests in the east of the Mediterranean in southern Turkey, Cyprus, and the Middle East.It grows in hedges and rocky places, often on calcareous soils.
Description:
Arum dioscoridis is a perennial plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is not frost tender. In winter appear green, arrow-shaped leaves. In spring, the short-stalked inflorescence appears consisting of a black, rod-shaped spadix surrounded by a yellow-green, purple-mottled brown or even purple bract (spathe). The female flowers are located at the bottom of the spadix; above are the male flowers; and the top is a sterile area (appendix). The spadix emits a pungent smell that attracts flies as pollinators.

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It is in leaf 7-Oct It is in flower in May. 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 Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:
Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Grows well in woodland conditions. Succeeds in sun or shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Because it comes into growth in the late autumn it is best grown by a warm wall or in a bulb frame A polymorphic species. The inflorescence is pollinated by flies and it smells of dung and carrion in order to attract the flies. It also has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. This probably protects the flowers from damage by frost, or allows it to penetrate frozen ground. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root…..Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable. It must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses : Abortifacient….The root is abortifacient.
Other Uses:
The plant can be grown as an ornamental plant in rock gardens Mediterranean regions. In the Benelux, the plant can be grown indoors as a pot plant. The plant can be propagated by seeding.

Known Hazards: The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arum+dioscoridis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arum_dioscoridis

Osmorhiza longistylis

Botanical Name; Osmorhiza longistylis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Osmorhiza
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names; Aniseroot, Longstyle sweetroot, American sweet cicely, Licorice root, Wild anise, or Simply sweet cicely

Habitat : Osmorhiza longistylis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Ontario, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas and Colorado. It grows in rich, often alluvial woods and thickets. Woods, often along the sides of streams in Texas.

Description:
Osmorhiza longistylis is a herbaceous perennial plant is about 1.2 m (4ft) ‘ tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green to reddish purple, terete, and glabrous (var. longistylis) to hairy (var. villicaulis). The alternate leaves are ternately compound; the lower compound leaves are up to 9″ long and 9″ across, while the upper compound leaves are much smaller in size. Each compound leaf is divided into 3 compound leaflets; the terminal compound leaflet is the largest. Each compound leaflet is further divided into 3 subleaflets; the terminal subleaflet is the largest, sometimes appearing to be divided into 3 even smaller subleaflets. The subleaflets are 1-4″ long, ½-1½” across, and lanceolate to oval-ovate shape in shape; their margins are coarsely serrated-crenate or shallowly cleft. The upper subleaflet surface is yellowish green to green and nearly glabrous (var. longistylis) to moderately covered with appressed hairs (var. villicaulis).

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The petioles of compound leaves are light green to reddish purple and up to 6″ in length. The petiolules of leaflets are light green to reddish green and up to 2″ long, while those of subleaflets are nearly sessile to ¼” (6 mm.) long. The foliage of this plant releases a mild anise fragrance when it is rubbed. The upper stems terminate in compound umbels of white flowers about 1½-3″ across. There are about 3-6 umbellets per compound umbel on rays (floral stalks) up to 2″ long. An umbellet has 7-16 flowers that are clustered together on rays (floral stalklets) up to ¼” (6 mm.) long. Each flower (about 3 mm. across) has 5 white petals with incurved tips, 5 white stamens, a pistil with a divided white style (stylopodium), and an insignificant calyx that is light green. At the base of each compound umbel, there are several linear-lanceolate bracts with ciliate margins; they are up to 8 mm. in length. At the base of each umbellet, there are several linear-lanceolate bractlets with ciliate margins; they are also up to 8 mm. in length.

The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer, lasting about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 2-seeded fruits (schizocarps). While these fruits are still immature, the persistent divided style is 2.0-3.5 mm. in length (it is smaller than this when the flowers are still in bloom). The small seeds are narrowly ellipsoid-oblanceoloid, 5-ribbed, and slightly bristly along their ribs. The root system consists of a cluster of fleshy roots with a strong anise fragrance.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in any deep moisture-retentive soil in sun or dappled shade. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Well suited to naturalistic plantings in a woodland or wild garden. A sweetly aromatic plant.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise sow it 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 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; Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Root – raw or cooked. Very sweet, aromatic and fleshy. A spicy flavour similar to anise, the roots are chewed, made into a tea or used as a flavouring. Leaves and young shoots – raw. An anise flavour, they are added to salads. The green seeds have an anise flavour and are used as a flavouring in salads, the dry seeds are added to cakes etc.
Medicinal Uses:

Osmorhiza longistylis  was used extensively by Native American Indian tribes to treat digestive disorders and as an antiseptic wash for a range of problems. Sweet Cicely is medicinal and edible, the root being the strongest for use in alternative medicine it is antiseptic, aromatic, febrifuge, oxytocic, pectoral, stomachic, carminative, tonic, ophthalmic, and expectorant. Medicinal tea made from the root is a very good digestive aid and is a gentle stimulant for debilitated stomachs. A weak herb tea is used to bath sore eyes. A strong infusion has been used to induce labor in a pregnant woman and to treat fevers, indigestion, flatulence, stomach aches. The crushed root is an effective antiseptic poultice for the treatment of boils and wounds. A medicinal cough syrup can be made of the fresh juice and honey, it is very effective and quite tasty, children take it readily.


Folklore:
 A decoction of the herb was used as nostril wash to increase dog’s sense of smell. A valuable tonic for girls from 15 to 18 years of age, according to an old herbal. The aromatic scent is said to be an aphrodisiac, used as a love medicine.

In use it should not be confused with species of poison hemlock, water hemlock, or baneberry.

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/Osmorhiza_longistylis
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/aniseroot.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmorhiza+longistylis

http://altnature.com/gallery/sweetcicely.htm

Chinese Kale

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea alboglabra
Family : Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Species: Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group: Alboglabra Group

Common Name : Chinese Kale , Chinese broccol, Kai-lan, Gai-lan

Habitat : Not known in the wild, it probably originated in the Mediterranean and is very close to B. oleracea costata, the Couve tronchuda.

Description:
Brassica oleracea alboglabra is a perennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
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Chinese kale is recognized as an interesting and a delicious vegetable in China. This vegetable is similar to western broccoli in appearance, so it is also known as Chinese broccoli. Two varieties of Chinese kale can be found in the present world. However, both these varieties are heat resistant and they will grow through winter in most areas. Therefore people can grow them with less hassle at any part of the world.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in full sun in a well-drained but moisture-retentive fertile preferably alkaline soil. Prefers a heavy soil. Plants prefer a pH in the range 5.5 – 6.5. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Plants tolerate several degrees of frost once they are past the seedling stage. They also tolerate higher summer temperatures than most members of this genus. Closely related to broccoli (B. oleracea italica), this species is often cultivated in the Orient for its edible leaves and flowering stems. There are several named forms. A perennial plant, it is usually cultivated as an annual . It is fairly slow-growing, but it provides a crop over a long period in the summer and autumn. In a suitable climate they can crop for a period of six months. Most cultivars have been developed in the warmer parts of China and are best suited to warmer conditions than usually occur in Britain, though some forms have been developed that are more suitable for cooler conditions. Plants can be transplanted, if moved under cover in the autumn they will continue to grow slowly and provide a crop all winter.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in succession from late spring to late summer or even early autumn in favoured areas. The heaviest yields are from the mid to late summer sowings. Early sowings may bolt if there is a period of cold weather. Cuttings of lateral shoots root easily and can be used to produce more plants
Edible Uses: ….Young flowering shoots and small leaves- raw or cooked. Delicious if used when fairly young though they can become tough with age. Older stems should be peeled. All parts of the growing plant are used, including the developing inflorescence. Plants take about 3 months from sowing to their first harvest. Either the whole plant can be harvested, or, if a further harvest is required, just the terminal shoot is harvested which encourages the development of lateral shoots. Yields of 2 kg per square metre can be obtained

Medicinal Uses:
Chinese Kale has high iron content with low calories & high fiber content . It is filled with high nutrients, vitamins & magnesium .It is a great food which helps digestion. It is filled with antixodients like carotenoids and flavonoids which helps to protect against various types of cancers.Kale is a great cardiovascular support, eating this vegetable regularly reduces cholesterol.

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/Kai-lan
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brassica+oleracea+alboglabra
http://www.examiner.com/list/10-health-benefits-of-kale