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Potentilla discolor

Botanical Name: Potentilla discolor
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Potentilla
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Habitat ; Potentilla discolor is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in virgin wilds, mountain slopes and uplands in open ground. Valleys, ravines, meadows on mountain slopes, meadows and sparse forests in China.

Description:
Potentilla discolor is a perennial herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). Roots robust, lower parts often enlarged and fusiform. Flowering stems erect, ascending, or subspreading, 10–45 cm tall, together with petioles densely white lanate, sometimes also villous. Radical leaves 4–20 cm including petiole; stipules brown, membranous, white villous; leaf blade with 2–4 pairs of leaflets; leaflets opposite or alternate, at intervals of 0.8–1.5 cm, adaxially dark green, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1–5 cm × 5–8 mm, abaxially densely white or grayish white lanate, inconspicuously veined, adaxially sparsely white lanate or glabrescent, base cuneate, broadly cuneate, or obliquely rounded, margin obtusely serrate, rarely acutely so, apex obtuse, rarely acute; cauline leaves 1 or 2; stipules green, ovate or broadly so, herbaceous, abaxially densely white lanate, margin incised dentate, rarely entire; leaf blade palmately 3–5-foliolate. Inflorescence cymose, laxly several to many flowered. Flowers 1–2 cm in diam.; pedicel 1–2.5 cm, lanate. Sepals triangular-ovate; epicalyx segments lanceolate, shorter than sepals, abaxially white lanate. Petals yellow, obovate, longer than sepals, apex rounded or emarginate. Style subterminal, base thickened, papillate; stigma slightly dilated. Achenes subreniform, ca. 1 mm wide, smooth. Flowers and fruits inbetween May–Sep.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is 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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. 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. Division in spring. 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: Root – raw or cooked. It is preferred raw.

Medicinal Uses: The root is aphrodisiac, astringent, depurative, styptic.

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/Potentilla
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200011056
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Potentilla+discolor

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Myrica heterophylla

Botanical Name : Myrica heterophylla
Family: Myricaceae
Order: Fagales
Genus: Myrica
Species: Myrica heterophylla

Synonyms: Myrica caroliniensis

Common Name : Bayberry or Swamp bayberry

Habitat : Myrica heterophylla is native to Southeastern N. America – New Jersey to Florida, west to Louisiana. It grows on bogs, stream, pond and lake margins, moist regions of mixed deciduous forests, pine flatlands near pitcher-plant bogs, swamps from sea level to 250 metres.

Description:
Myrica heterophylla is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). It is often forming rhizomatous colonies of much-branched specimens, to 3 m. Branchlets appearing black, glabrous to densely pilose; glands sparse or dense, yellow-orange. Leaf blade aromatic when crushed, oblanceolate to elliptic, occasionally obovate, 3-12.4(-14.2) × 1-5.2 cm, sometimes membranous, more often leathery, base cuneate to attenuate, margins entire or serrate distal to middle, apex rounded to acute, apiculate; surfaces abaxially pilose (especially on major veins) or glabrate, densely glandular, adaxially pilose or glabrous, lacking glands or very sparsely glandular; glands yellow. Inflorescences: staminate 0.5-1.8 cm; pistillate 0.3-1.1 cm. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants. Staminate flowers: bract of flower shorter than staminal column, margins opaque, ciliate, especially at apex and laterally, abaxially glabrous or with few glands; stamens 3-5(-7). Pistillate flowers: bracteoles persistent in fruit, 4, not accrescent or adnate to fruit wall, abaxially pilose, usually along midrib, lacking glands; ovary glabrous or sparsely glandular, not pubescent. Fruits globose-ellipsoid, 3-4.5 mm; fruit wall glabrous or sparsely glandular, obscured by enlarged protuberances (± glandular) and thin to thick coat of gray to white wax.
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September.

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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.
It can fix Nitrogen.
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 dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil. Grows well in an open position in a well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Thrives in any ordinary garden soil according to one report whilst another says that it thrives in an acid soil. Prefers a lime-free loamy or peaty soil. Succeeds in dry and maritime climates. Closely related to M. pensylvanica and M. cerifera. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many species in this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed germinates more freely if given a 3 month cold stratification and then sown in a cold frame. Germination is usually good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up and overwinter in a cold frame then plant out in late spring or early summer. Fair to good percentage. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
The following notes are for the closely related M. cerifera. It is assumed that they also apply to this species. Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is about 2 – 4mm in diameter with a single large seed. There is very little edible flesh and this is of poor quality. Leaves and berries are used as a food flavouring. An attractive and agreeable substitute for bay leaves, used in flavouring soups, stews etc. The dried leaves are brewed into a robust tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related M. cerifera. It is assumed that they also apply to this species. The root bark is astringent, emetic (in large doses), sternutatory, stimulant and tonic. It is harvested in the autumn, thoroughly dried then powdered and kept in a dark place in an airtight container. It is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, jaundice, fevers, colds, influenza, catarrh, excessive menstruation, vaginal discharge etc. Externally, it is applied to indolent ulcers, sore throats, sores, itching skin conditions, dandruff etc. The wax is astringent and slightly narcotic. It is regarded as a sure cure for dysentery and is also used to treat internal ulcers. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers and externally as a wash for itchy skin.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Wax; Wood.

The following notes are for the closely related M. cerifera. It is assumed that they also apply to this species. A wax covering on the fruit is extracted by scalding the fruit with boiling water and immersing them for a few minutes, the wax floats to the surface and is then skimmed off. The fruit is then boiled in water to extract the wax from the pulp and once more the wax is skimmed off. It is then strained through a muslin cloth and can be used to make aromatic candles, sealing wax etc. Candles made from this wax are quite brittle but are less greasy in warm weather. They are slightly aromatic, with a pleasant balsamic odour, and do not smoke when put out, making them much more pleasant to use that wax or tallow candles. The wax is also used in making soaps. About 1 kilo of wax can be obtained from 4 kilos of berries. A blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The plant can be grown as an informal hedge, succeeding in windy sites. Wood – light, soft, brittle, fine-grained. The wood weighs 35lb per cubic foot. It is of no commercial value

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a report for some members of this genus that some of the constituents of the wax might be carcinogenic.

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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Myrica_heterophylla
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500792
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrica+heterophylla

Solanum lyratum

Botanical Name : Solanum lyratum
Familia: Solanaceae
Subfamilia: Solanoideae
Tribus: Solaneae
Genus: Solanum
Species: Solanum lyratum

Habitat: Solanum lyratum is native toE. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. It grows on thickets in hills and low mountains all over Japan. Grasslands in valleys, near roads and fields, 100 – 2900 metres

Description:
Solanum lyratum is a perennial climber growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). The plant producing much-branched, annual stems 50 – 300cm long from a perennial rootstock. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. Vines herbaceous, much branched, 0.5-3 m tall, villous overall with elongate, many-celled hairs more than 2 mm. Petiole 1-3 cm; leaf blade elliptic or lyrate, 3-11 × 2-6 cm, base cordate or hastate, margin entire or 3-5-parted, apex acuminate. Inflorescences axillary, extra-axillary, or appearing terminal, few- to many-flowered panicles; peduncle 2-4 cm, villous. Pedicel 0.8-1.5 cm, villous. Calyx 1.5-2.5 × 3-4 mm in diam., sparsely pubescent; lobes rounded. Corolla blue-purple or white, 5-8 × 10 mm; lobes elliptic-lanceolate, ca. 4 × 2 mm, usually reflexed, puberulent at apex. Filaments ca. 0.8-1 mm; anthers free, oblong, 2.8-3.2 mm. Style glabrous, 6-8 mm. Fruiting pedicel sparsely pubescent, usually curved. Berry red or red-black, globose, 7-9 mm in diam. Seeds discoid, ca. 1.5 mm in diam., reticulate.

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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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will succeed in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves – cooked. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:

Cancer; Depurative; Febrifuge.

The whole plant is depurative and febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of leucorrhoea, abscesses, cancer of the oesophagus and stomach, enlarged thyroid glands etc. The leaves are boiled with the mother’s milk in order to treat babies nausea. The stems can be used as a medicine for treating convulsions in infants, whilst the branches and leaves are used for clearing away heat and cooling the blood.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many if not all the members have poisonous leaves and sometimes also the unripe fruits.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Solanum_lyratum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200020591
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Solanum+lyratum
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solanum+lyratum

Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Anthoxanthum odoratum

Botanical Name: Anthoxanthum odoratum
Family
Poaceae
Genus:
Anthoxanthum
Species:
A. odoratum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Poales

Common Names: Sweet vernal grass, Holy grass, Vanilla grass or Buffalo grass

Habitat : Anthoxanthum odoratum grass found wild in acidic grasslands in Eurasia.  It is also grown as a lawn grass and a house plant, due to its sweet scent, and can also be found on unimproved pastures and meadows. Odoratum is Latin for “smell as well”. It does not grow well in very dry or waterlogged soil

Description:
Anthoxanthum odoratum  is a perennial  grass plant. It can grow up to 100 cm.  The stems are 25–40 centimetres (9.8–15.7 in) tall, with short but broad green leaves 3–5 millimetres (0.12–0.20 in) wide, which are slightly hairy. It flowers from April until June, i.e. quite early in the season, with flower spikes of 4–6 centimetres (1.6–2.4 in) long and crowded spikelets of 6–10 millimetres (0.24–0.39 in), oblong shaped, which can be quite dark when young. The lower lemmas have projecting awns.

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The ligules are quite long, up to 5mm, blunt, with hairy fringes around the side.

The scent is particularly strong when dried, and is due to coumarin, a glycoside, and benzoic acid – it smells like fresh hay with a hint of vanilla. The seed head is bright yellow in colour.
The Sweet-scented Vernal Grass – with yellow anthers, not purple, as so many other grasses – gives its characteristic odour to newly-mown meadow hay, and has a pleasant aroma of Woodruff. It is, however, specially provocative of hay fever and hay asthma. The flowers contain Coumarin, the same substance that is present in the Melilot flowers, and the volatile pollen impregnates the atmosphere in early summer, causing much distress to hay-fever subjects. The sweet perfume is due chiefly to benzoic acid.

Cultivation:
It is grown by scattering seed on tilled ground in the spring through fall, germinating in 4 to 5 days. It prefers sandy loam and acidic conditions (a low pH).
Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade. This is one of the earliest grasses to flower in the year, it produces a lot of pollen and is a major irritant to people who suffer from hay fever. The dried plant releases a strong and persistent fragrance with a refreshing pungent smell that is difficult to describe but is somewhat like newly-mown hay.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in situ, only just covering the seed. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks. Division in spring. Very easy, it can be done successfully at almost any time of the year, though it is best to pot up the divisions in a cold frame if you are doing it outside the growing season.

Edible Uses:
Seed. The seed is very small and its use would be fiddly. A tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. A sweet pleasant fragrance. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page.

Parts uses in medicine: The flower.
Medicinal Uses:

The whole plant, and especially the flowering stems, is anticoagulant, antispasmodic and stimulant.   It is normally only applied externally, where it is used in the treatment of rheumatic pain, chilblains, nervous insomnia etc. It is said that a tincture made from this grass with spirit of wine is an effective and immediate cure for hay fever.

A medicinal tincture is made from this grass with spirit of wine, and it said that if poured into the open hand and sniffed well into the nose, almost immediate relief is afforded during an attack of hay fever. It is recommended that 3 or 4 drops of the tincture be at the same time taken as a dose with water, repeated if required, at intervals of twenty to thirty minutes.
Other Uses:
Basketry; Pot-pourri; Strewing.

The aromatic leaves and dried flowers are used as a strewing herb, they are also woven into baskets and used in pot-pourri. The plant contains coumarin – this is used medicinally and also in rat poisons where it prevents the blood from co-aggulating and thus means that the slightest cut can kill the rat.
Known Hazards : The plant contains coumarins, this is what gives it the scent of newly mown hay. When used internally, especially from dried plants, it can act to prevent the blood from co-aggulating.
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/Anthoxanthum_odoratum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/grasse34.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anthoxanthum+odoratum