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Achillea millefolium

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. millefolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Achillea albida Willd.
*Achillea alpicola (Rydb.) Rydb.
*Achillea ambigua Boiss.
*Achillea ambigua Pollini
*Achillea anethifolia Fisch. ex Herder

Common Names: Yarrow, Boreal yarrow, California yarrow, Giant yarrow, Coast yarrow, Western yarrow, Pacific yarrow . Also known as Bloodwort, Carpenter’s weed, Common yarrow, Hierba de las cortaduras, Milfoil, Plumajillo.

Habitat : Achillea millefolium is native to Europe, including Britain, north to 71°, and east to western Asia. It grows on meadows, pastures, lawns etc. on all but the poorest soils.

Description:
Achillea millefolium is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant that produces one to several stems 0.2–1 m (0.66–3.28 ft) in height, and has a spreading rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness (pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. The leaves are cauline, and more or less clasping.

The inflorescence has 4 to 9 phyllaries and contains ray and disk flowers which are white to pink. The generally 3 to 8 ray flowers are ovate to round. Disk flowers range from 15 to 40. The inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped capitulum cluster and the inflorescences are visited by many insects, featuring a generalized pollination system. The small achene-like fruits are called cypsela.

Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer.

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The plant has a strong, sweet scent, similar to that of chrysanthemums.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Massing, Seashore, Woodland garden. Succeeds in most soils and situations but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Shade tolerant. Plants live longer when grown in a poor soil and also do well on lime. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover. It remains green after grass has turned brown in a drought. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. The plant has a very spreading root system and is usually quite invasive. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c. Yarrow is an excellent plant for growing in lawns, meadows, orchards etc., it is tolerant of repeated close cutting and of being walked on. It works to improve the soil fertility. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect predations. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. ‘Pink’ (syn. ‘Rosea’) has very aromatic foliage and deep pink flowers. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good bee plant, it is an important nectar source for many insects. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Divisions succeed at any time of the year. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A rather bitter flavour, they make an acceptable addition to mixed salads and are best used when young. The leaves are also used as a hop-substitute for flavouring and as a preservative for beer etc. Although in general yarrow is a very nutritious and beneficial plant to add to the diet, some caution should be exercised. See the notes above on possible toxicity. An aromatic tea is made from the flowers and leaves. An essential oil from the flowering heads is used as a flavouring for soft drinks

Medicinal Uses:
Yarrow has a high reputation and is widely employed in herbal medicine, administered both internally and externally. It is used in the treatment of a very wide range of disorders but is particularly valuable for treating wounds, stopping the flow of blood, treating colds, fevers, kidney diseases, menstrual pain etc. The whole plant is used, both fresh and dried, and is best harvested when in flower. Some caution should be exercised in the use of this herb since large or frequent doses taken over a long period may be potentially harmful, causing allergic rashes and making the skin more sensitive to sunlight. The herb combines well with Sambucus nigra flowers (Elder) and Mentha x piperita vulgaris (Peppermint) for treating colds and influenza. The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, mildly aromatic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, odontalgic, stimulant, bitter tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. It also contains the anti-inflammatory agent azulene, though the content of this varies even between plants in the same habitat. The herb is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be dried for later use. The fresh leaf can be applied direct to an aching tooth in order to relieve the pain.

Due to the flavonoids they contain, yarrow flowers encourage circulation, lower blood pressure and help stop bleeding anywhere in the body. A couple of cups of hot yarrow, peppermint and elder flower tea is an old remedy for reducing fevers and treating colds, measles, and eruptive diseases. It also helps relieve urinary tract infections and stones. The tea benefits the kidneys. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia and hyperacidity. In China, yarrow is used in poultices and to ease stomach ulcers. It is said to stop excessive blood flower especially well in the pelvic region, so is used to decrease excessive menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and hemorrhoids. Chewing the fresh leaves relieves toothache. Yarrow contains a chemical also present in chamomile and chamazulene, that helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic.

Other Uses:
Compost; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential; Hair; Liquid feed; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles, ants and flies. The plant has been burnt in order to ward off mosquitoes. A liquid plant feed can be made from the leaves. You fill a container with the leaves and then add some water. Leave it to soak for a week or two and then dilute the rather smelly dark liquid, perhaps 10 – 1 with water though this figure is not crucial. This plant is an essential ingredient of ‘Quick Return’ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The fragrant seeds have been used to impart a pleasant smell indoors. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used medicinally. The leaves contain from 0.6 to 0.85% essential oil. The leaves have been used as a cosmetic cleanser for greasy skin. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowers. A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by its roots.

Known Hazards:  Extended use of this plant, either medicinally or in the diet, can cause allergic skin rashes or lead to photosensitivity in some people. Theoretically yarrow can enhance the sedative effects of other herbs (e.g. valerian, kava, German chamomile, hops) & sedative drugs. Possible sedative & diuretic effects from ingesting large amounts.

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/Achillea_millefolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+millefolium

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Celtis tetrandra

Botanical Name : Celtis tetrandra
Familia: Cannabaceae
Genus: Celtis
Species: Celtis tetrandra

Common Names:

Habitat :.…Celtis tetrandra Along the edges of terraced fields to elevations of 2500 metres in Nepal. Mesophytic mixed forests, valleys and slopes at elevations of 700 – 1500 metres.
Description:
Celtis tetrandra is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in).
The bark is grey, smooth, lenticellate; blaze whitish with purplish speckles.Young branchlets are terete, tawny pubescent.Leaves are simple, alternate, distichous; stipules lateral, caducous and leaving scar; petiole up to 0.8 cm long, canaliculate above, pubescent; lamina 3.5-10 x 1.2-4 cm, ovate -lanceolate, apex acuminate, base asymmetric, margin serrate, membranous, pubescent beneath; 3-nerved at base; midrib flat or slightly raised above; secondary_nerves ca. 4 pairs; tertiary_nerves distantly horizontally percurrent.

Flowers are inflorescence axillary cymes; flowers polygamous; pedicels up to 1 cm long they bloom in April.
Fruits & seeds are drupe with one seed and the fruit ripens in october….CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Edible Uses:.Fruit – raw. A mealy pleasant taste. The fruit is up to 8mm in diameter, containing a single large seed about 5mm in diameter. We have no further information, but the fruit is liable to consist of a thin, sweet, though dry and mealy flesh around a large seed.
Medicinal Uses:…The juice from the seeds is used in the treatment of indigestion.

Other Uses: …Fuel; Wood…..Wood – very tough, pliable, strong, durable. Used for oars, toolhandles etc. An excellent fuel.
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/Celtis_tetrandra
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Celtis+tetrandra
http://www.biotik.org/india/species/c/celttetr/celttetr_en.html

Myrtus communis

Botanical Name : Myrtus communis
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Myrtus
Common Names: Myrtle
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Parts Used: Leaf and berries

Common Names:   Myrtle, Foxtail Myrtle

Habitat :Myrtus communis   is native to  S. Europe to W. Asia. Woodland Garden It grows on the  sunny Edge; Hedge;  Scrub, avoiding calcareous soils


Description:

Myrtus communis an evergreen  shrub growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.Myrtus (myrtle) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants  The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 m tall. The leaf is entire, 3–5 cm long, with a fragrant essential oil. The star-like flower has five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals usually are white. The fruit is a round blue-black berry containing several seeds. The flower is pollinated by insects, and the seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.

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Myrtle is cultivated as an ornamental garden shrub, particularly for its numerous flowers in later summer. It may be clipped to form a hedge.

It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil so long as it is well-drained. Prefers a moderately fertile well-drained neutral to alkaline loam in a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils. A very ornamental plant, when fully dormant it is hardy to between -10 and -15°c, so long as it is sheltered from cold drying winds, though it does withstand quite considerable maritime exposure. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. This species does not succeed outdoors in the colder parts of Britain. A moderately fast-growing plant when young but soon slowing with age. There are a number of named varieties. ‘Tarentina’ with narrow small leaves is hardier than the type and is especially wind-resistant, ‘Microphylla’ is a dwarf form and ‘Leucocarpa‘ has white berries. Myrtle is often cultivated in the Mediterranean, where the plant is regarded as a symbol of love and peace and is much prized for use in wedding bouquets. The foliage is strongly aromatic.  Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.


Propagation:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow it in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn and overwinter in a cold frame. Plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, 7 – 12cm with a heel, November in a shaded and frost free frame. Plant out in late spring or early autumn. High percentage. Layering.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit has an aromatic flavour, it can be eaten fresh when ripe or can be dried and is then used as an aromatic food flavouring, especially in the Middle East. It can also be made into an acid drink. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter. The leaves are used as a flavouring in cooked savoury dishes. The dried fruits and flower buds are used to flavour sauces, syrups etc. An essential oil from the leaves and twigs is used as a condiment, especially when mixed with other spices. In Italy the flower buds are eaten. The flowers have a sweet flavour and are used in salads.

Medicinal Uses  :

Antibiotic;  Antiseptic;  Aromatic;  Astringent;  Balsamic;  Carminative;  Haemostatic;  Tonic.

Common Uses: Bladder Infection (UTI) Cystitis * Bronchitis *
Properties:  AntiViral* Astringent* Antibacterial* Astringent* Cardic tonic Cordial* Carminative* Antirheumatic* Rubefacient* Stimulant* Stomachic* Aromatic*

The leaves are aromatic, balsamic, haemostatic and tonic. Recent research has revealed a substance in the plant that has an antibiotic action. The active ingredients in myrtle are rapidly absorbed and give a violet-like scent to the urine within 15 minutes. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of urinary infections, digestive problems, vaginal discharge, bronchial congestion, sinusitis and dry coughs. In India it is considered to be useful in the treatment of cerebral affections, especially epilepsy. Externally, it is used in the treatment of acne (the essential oil is normally used here), wounds, gum infections and haemorrhoids. The leaves are picked as required and used fresh or dried. An essential oil obtained from the plant is antiseptic. It contains the substance myrtol – this is used as a remedy for gingivitis. The oil is used as a local application in the treatment of rheumatism. The fruit is carminative. It is used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, internal ulceration and rheumatism.

The plant is powerfully antiseptic owing to the myrtol it contains and it has good astringent properties.  In medicine the leaves were used for their stimulating effect on the mucous membranes, and for the chest pains and dry coughs of consumptive people.

Modern uses
:
It is used in the islands of Sardinia and Corsica to produce an aromatic liqueur called “Mirto” by macerating it in alcohol. Mirto is known as one of the most typical drinks of Sardinia and comes in two varieties: “Mirto Rosso” (red) produced by macerating the berries, and “Mirto Bianco” (white) produced from the leaves.

Ancient medicinal uses
Myrtle occupies a prominent place in the writings of Hippocrates, Pliny, Dioscorides, Galen, and the Arabian writers.

In numerous Mediterranean countries, the extract of the myrtle herb is used to make the hair grow longer in a short period of time.

Although this plant is mentioned regularly in European mythology, there are few traditional medicinal uses recorded. However, anyone who has ever used it to improve a respiratory condition will sing its praises and never overlook it again. The fresh, clear aroma of this oil is excellent at clearing the airways, and as it is considered safe for young and old alike has many uses for the working aromatherapist.

Uses in myth and ritual :
In Greek mythology and ritual the myrtle was sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite  and also Demeter: Artemidorus asserts that in interpreting dreams “a myrtle garland signifies the same as an olive garland, except that it is especially auspicious for farmers because of Demeter and for women because of Aphrodite. For the plant is sacred to both goddesses.” Pausanias explains that one of the Graces in the sanctuary at Elis holds a myrtle branch because “the rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the story of Adonis, while the Graces are of all deities the nearest related to Aphrodite.” Myrtle is the garland of Iacchus, according to Aristophanes, and of the victors at the Theban Iolaea, held in honour of the Theban hero Iolaus.

In Rome, Virgil explains that “the poplar is most dear to Alcides, the vine to Bacchus, the myrtle to lovely Venus, and his own laurel to Phoebus.”  At the Veneralia, women bathed wearing crowns woven of myrtle branches, and myrtle was used in wedding rituals.

In the Mediterranean, myrtle was symbolic of love and immortality. In their culture the plant was used extensively and was considered an essential plant.

In pagan and wicca rituals, myrtle is commonly associated with and sacred to Beltane (May Day).

In Jewish liturgy, it is one of the four sacred plants of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles representing the different types of personality making up the community – the myrtle having fragrance but not pleasant taste, represents those who have good deeds to their credit despite not having knowledge from Torah study. Three branches are held by the worshippers along with a citron, a palm leaf, and two willow branches. In Jewish mysticism, the myrtle represents the phallic, masculine force at work in the universe. For this reason myrtle branches were sometimes given the bridegroom as he entered the nuptial chamber after a wedding (Tos. Sotah 15:8; Ketubot 17a). Myrtles are both the symbol and scent of Eden (BhM II: 52; Sefer ha-Hezyonot 17). The Hechalot text Merkavah Rabbah requires one to suck on a myrtle leaves as an element of a theurgic ritual. Kabbalists link myrtle to the sefirah of Tiferet and use sprigs in their Shabbat (especially Havdalah) rites to draw down its harmonizing power as the week is initiated (Shab. 33a; Zohar Chadash, SoS, 64d; Sha’ar ha-Kavvanot, 2, pp. 73–76)

Other Uses
Charcoal;  Essential;  Hedge;  Hedge.

The plant is very tolerant of regular clipping[200] and can be grown as a hedge in the milder parts of Britain. An essential oil from the bark, leaves and flowers is used in perfumery, soaps and skin-care products. An average yield of 10g of oil is obtained from 100 kilos of leaves. A perfumed water, known as “eau d’ange”, is obtained from the flowers. A high quality charcoal is made from the wood. Wood – hard, elastic, very fine grained. Used for walking sticks, tool handles, furniture etc.

Related plants

Many other related species native to South America, New Zealand and elsewhere, previously classified in a wider interpretation of the genus Myrtus, are now treated in other genera, Eugenia, Lophomyrtus, Luma, Rhodomyrtus, Syzygium, Ugni, and at least a dozen other genera. The name “myrtle” is also used to refer to unrelated plants in several other genera: “Crape myrtle” (Lagerstroemia, Lythraceae), “Wax myrtle” (Morella, Myricaceae), and “Myrtle” or “Creeping myrtle” (Vinca, Apocynaceae).

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrtus+communis
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail39.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrtus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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