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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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Taxus cuspidata

Botanical Name: Taxus cuspidata
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus
Species: T. cuspidata
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names: Japanese yew or Spreading yew

Habitat :Taxus cuspidata is native to Japan, Korea, northeast China and the extreme southeast of Russia. It grows on mountains throughout Japan. Acid soils in cold, humid places at elevations of 500 – 1000 metres in Heilongjiang, E Jilin, Liaoning and Shaanxi provinces, China.
Description:
It is an evergreen tree or large shrub growing at a slow rate to 10–18 m tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm diameter. The leaves are lanceolate, flat, dark green, 1–3 cm long and 2–3 mm broad, arranged spirally on the stem, but with the leaf bases twisted to align the leaves in two flattish rows either side of the stem except on erect leading shoots where the spiral arrangement is more obvious.

The seed cones are highly modified, each cone containing a single seed 4–8 mm long partly surrounded by a modified scale which develops into a soft, bright red berry-like structure called an aril, 8–12 mm long and wide and open at the end. The arils are mature 6–9 months after pollination. Individual trees from Sikhote-Alin are known to have been 1,000 years old.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained[1, 200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Very shade tolerant. The dormant plant is hardy to about -35°c but it requires more summer heat and humidity than T. baccata and is rarely more than a shrub in Britain. Young shoots can be damaged by late spring frosts. The foliage may turn reddish-brown in cold winters[81]. There are several named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required. Female plants fruit freely in Britain if they are pollinated. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time. Harvesting the seed ‘green’ (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early[80]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or made into jam. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 8mm in diameter and containing a single seed. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit’s centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.
Medicinal Uses:
Modern research has shown that yew trees contain the substance ‘taxol’ in their shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes below on toxicity. A compound used to treat diabetes is extracted from the wood, bark, leaves, and roots.

Other Uses :
A brown dye is obtained from the heartwood. Red according to another report. An oil is extracted from the seeds. Wood – hard, strong, elastic, fine grained, takes a beautiful polish. Used for furniture, bows etc. The wood is used in building construction, furniture manufacture and as a carving material.

Landscape Uses:Hedge, Screen, Superior hedge, Specimen. It is widely grown in eastern Asia and eastern North America as an ornamental plant.
Known Hazards: All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous. The entire yew bush is toxic enough to kill a horse, except for the fleshy berry surrounding the seed. For dogs, 2/5ths of an oz per 10 pounds of body weight is lethal. It is therefore advisable to keep domestic animals away from the 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/Taxus_cuspidata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taxus+cuspidata

Taxus x media

Botanical Name: Taxus x media
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus
Species: (hybrid of T. baccata and T. cuspidata)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names: Anglojapanese Yew

Habitat : Taxus x media is native to Japan. It is a hybrid species of garden origin, T. baccata x T. cuspidata. It is grown on woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade.
Description:
Taxus x media is an evergreen Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.It is not frost tender. Immature shrubs are very small and achieve (over the time span of ten to twenty years) heights of at most 20 feet and diameters of at most 8 feet, depending on the cultivar. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile. Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.

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Furthermore, T. media  is not injured by frequent pruning, making this hybrid a very desirable as a hedge in low-maintenance landscaping and also a good candidate for bonsai.click & see

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Hedge, Massing, Screen, Superior hedge. Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained[200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are very shade tolerant. Dormant plants are very cold-hardy in Britain, though the new growth in spring can be damaged by light frosts. Leaves have a reddish tinge when the plants are grown in a sunny position. Plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. The cultivar ‘Sargentii’ was 3 metres tall and 1 metre wide at the Hillier Arboretum in September 1993. It was growing well and carrying a good crop of tasty fruit though the harvest time seemed to be somewhat later than that of T. baccata. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time. Harvesting the seed ‘green’ (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This is a hybrid species, it will not breed true from seed. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring.  High percentage. Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 10mm in diameter and containing a single seed. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit’s centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.
Medicinal Uses:
Modern research has shown that yew trees contain the substance ‘taxol’ in their shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses : Wood is strong, hard, heavy. Used for paddles, fence posts etc

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous.

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/Taxus_%C3%97_media
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taxus+x+media

Betula populifolia

Botanical Name: Betula populifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. populifolia

Synonyms: Betula acuminata, Betula cuspidata Schrad. ex Regel

Common Name: Gray Birch

Habitat: Betula populifolia is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Virginia and west to Indiana. It is found on the margins of swamps and ponds, it also commonly grows in dry sandy or gravelly barren soils, growing well in poor almost sterile soils.

Description:
Betula populifolia is a deciduous Tree growing quickly to 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 inch trunk diameter, with an irregular open crown of slender branches. The tree often has multiple trunks branching off of an old stump. The leaves are 5-7.5 cm long by 4–6 cm wide, alternately arranged, ovate, and tapering to an elongated tip. They are dark green and glabrous above and paler below, with a coarsely serrated margin. The bark is chalky to grayish white with black triangular patches where branch meets trunk. It is most easily confused for the paper birch (Betula papyrifera) by means of its bark; it is smooth and thin but does not readily exfoliate like paper birch does.It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. Bloom Color is brown. It’s form is Pyramidal, Upright or erect. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 5–8 cm long, the male catkins pendulous and the female catkins erect. The fruit, maturing in autumn, is composed of many tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Specimen. Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils doing well on poor ones and on heavy clays. A fast growing tree, though it rarely lives longer than 50 years. It is a pioneer species of abandoned fields, burnt-over lands, cleared woodlands etc. A fairly wind-tolerant plant, but it is shallow-rooted and older trees are often uprooted by winds and heavy snow in the wild. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, especially with B. papyrifera. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.

Edible Uses:
Inner bark – cooked or dried and ground into a meal. The meal can be used as a thickener in soups etc, or be added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – sweet. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on warm days that follow frosty nights. The sap is drunk as a sweet beverage or it can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is astringent. a decoction has been used to treat bleeding piles. Scrapings of the inner bark have been used to treat swellings in infected cuts. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism .

Other Uses:
Charcoal; Pioneer; Wood.
A pioneer species, readily invading old fields, burnt-over or cleared land and providing suitable conditions for other woodland trees to become established. It is an excellent crop for very poor soils, where it grows rapidly and affords protection to the seedlings of more valuable and slower-growing trees. Since this species is short-lived and not very shade tolerant, it is eventually out-competed by these other trees. Wood – close-grained, soft, light, weak, not durable. It weighs 36lb per cubic foot. Unimportant commercially, the wood is used locally for making clothes pegs, spools, pulp, charcoal and quite commonly as a fuel.

Known Hazards: The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.

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/Betula_populifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+populifolia

Gentiana thunbergii

Botanical Name :Gentiana thunbergii
Family: Gentianaceae
Order: Gentianales
Tribes: Gentianeae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: Gentiana thunbergii (G.Don) Griseb.

Synonyms : G. japonica. Maxim. G. trinervis.

Common Names: Guangdong, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shanxi [Japan, Korea]

Habitat :Gentiana thunbergii is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea and Manchuria. It grows on sunny places in lowland and mountains, C. and N. Japan. (1300-1800 m.)

Description:
Gentiana thunbergii is an annuals or biennial plant , growing 5-15 cm tall. Stems ascending to erect, few branched from base, glabrous. Basal leaves withered at anthesis; petiole 1-2 mm, glabrous; leaf blade involucriform, ovate-elliptic, ovate, or rarely obovate-oblong, 1-3 × 0.7-2.2 cm, margin cartilaginous and smooth, apex acuminate to rarely rounded, midvein distinct. Stem leaves 3-5 pairs, widely spaced; petiole 1.5-2 mm, entirely connate, glabrous; leaf blade lanceolate to oblong, 6-8 × 1-4.5 mm, shorter than internodes, margin of lower stem leaves narrowly cartilaginous, that of upper stem leaves broadly membranous, apex obtuse, vein 1. Flowers few. Pedicel 2-4 mm, sometimes to 1.2 cm in fruit, glabrous. Calyx narrowly obconic, (6-)8-9 mm; lobes narrowly triangular, 2.5-3 mm, margin membranous, apex acuminate, midvein distinct. Corolla blue, funnelform, (1.2-)1.5-2 cm; lobes ovate, 2-3 mm, margin entire, apex obtuse; plicae broadly oblong, 1-1.5 mm, margin entire or denticulate, apex rounded. Stamens inserted at middle of corolla tube, equal; filaments 2-2.5 mm; anthers ellipsoid, 1.2-1.5 mm. Style 2-2.5 mm; stigma lobes linear-oblong. Capsules narrowly obovoid, 6-8 mm; gynophore to 2.8 cm. Seeds brown, ellipsoid, 1-1.2 mm. 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 Bumblebees, butterflies.
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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. Iial/biennial t prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Edible Uses: Young plants and flower buds – cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
The root probably contains various bitter compounds and can be used as a general tonic for the digestive system.

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://war.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_thunbergii
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018111
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+thunbergii