Tag Archives: Agastache

Helianthus annuus

Botanical Name:Helianthus annuus
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:
Helianthoideae
Tribe:
Heliantheae
Genus:
Helianthus
Species:
H. annuus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Synonyms:
*Helianthus aridus Rydb.
*Helianthus erythrocarpus Bartl.
*Helianthus indicus L.
*Helianthus jaegeri Heiser
*Helianthus lenticularis Douglas
*Helianthus macrocarpus DC. & A.DC.
*Helianthus multiflorus Hook.
*Helianthus ovatus Lehm.
*Helianthus platycephalus Cass.
*Helianthus tubaeformis Nutt.

Common Names: Sunflower, Common sunflower

Habitat :Helianthus annuus is native to Western N. America. An occasional garden escape in Britain. It grows on open dry or moderately moist soils on the plains.
Description:
Helianthus annuus is an annual plant.  It has an erect rough-hairy stem, reaching typical heights of 3 metres (9.8 ft). The tallest sunflower on record achieved 9.17 metres (30.1 ft). Sunflower leaves are broad, coarsely toothed, rough and mostly alternate. What is often called the “flower” of the sunflower is actually a “flower head” or pseudanthium of numerous small individual five-petaled flowers (“florets”). The outer flowers, which resemble petals, are called ray flowers. Each “petal” consists of a ligule composed of fused petals of an asymmetrical ray flower. They are sexually sterile and may be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The flowers in the center of the head are called disk flowers. These mature into fruit (sunflower “seeds”). The disk flowers are arranged spirally. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; however, in a very large sunflower head there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds mathematically possible within the flower head.. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Bloom Color: Orange, Red, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer.

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 and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, including poor soils provided they are deep and well-drained, but it grows best in a deep rich soil. Plants are intolerant of acid or waterlogged conditions. Especially when grown for its edible seed, the plant prefers a sunny position though it also tolerates light shade. Requires a neutral or preferably calcareous soil. As sunflowers have highly efficient root systems, they can be grown in areas which are too dry for many other crops. Established plants are quite drought-resistant except during flowering. The sunflower tolerates an annual precipitation of 20 – 400cm, an average annual temperature in the range of 6 – 28°C and a pH in the range of 4.5 – 8.7. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. The sunflower is a very ornamental plant that is widely grown in gardens and is also a major commercial crop for its edible seed and many other uses. It grows well in Britain, but it does not ripen its seed reliably in this country and so is not suitable for commercial cultivation at the present. It is the state flower of Kansas. Three distinct groups of sunflowers are cultivated:- Giant types grow from 1.8 – 4.2 metres tall with flower heads 30 – 50cm in diameter. The seeds are large, white or gray in colour, sometimes with black stripes, and are the best for culinary purposes, though the oil content is lower than for other types. ‘Grey Stripe’, ‘Hopi Black Dye’, ‘Mammoth Russian’ and ‘Sundak’ are examples of this type. Semi-dwarf types grow from 1.3 – 1.8 m tall, are early maturing and have heads 17 – 23 cm diameter. The seeds are smaller, black, gray or striped, the oil content is also higher. Examples include ‘Pole Star’ and ‘Jupiter’ Dwarf types grow from 0.6 – 1.4 m tall, are early maturing and have heads 14 – 16 cm in diameter.
The seeds are small but the oil content is the highest. Examples include ‘Advance’ and ‘Sunset’. Some forms are being bred for greater cold tolerance and should be more reliable in Britain. Plants tend to grow better in the south and south-west of England. Most forms require a four month frost-free growing season, though some Russian cultivars can mature a crop in 70 days. When plants are grown in cooler latitudes the seed contains higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty oils. The plant has a strong taproot that can penetrate the soil to depth of 3 metres, it also has a large lateral spread of surface roots. Sunflowers grow badly with potatoes but they do well with cucumbers and corn. A very greedy and vigorous plant, it can inhibit the growth of nearby plants. Plants tend to impoverish the soil if they are grown too often in the same place. A good bee plant, providing large quantities of nectar. The flowers attract beneficial insects such as lacewings and parasitic wasps. These prey on various insect pests, especially aphis. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Edible, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation :
Seed – sow in mid spring in situ. An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 – 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring. Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Seed, harvested at 12% moisture content and stored, will retain its viability for several years

Edible Uses:
Seed – raw or cooked. A delicious nut-like flavour, but very fiddly to extract due to the small size of the seed. Commercially there are machines designed to do this. Rich in fats, the seed can be ground into a powder, made into sunflower butter or used to make seed yoghurt. When mixed with cereal flours, it makes a nutritious bread. Cultivars with up to 50% oil have been developed in Russia. The oil contains between 44 – 72% linoleic acid. The germinated seed is said to be best for seed yoghurt, it is blended with water and left to ferment. The sprouted seed can be eaten raw. A nutritional analysis of the seed is available. Young flower buds – steamed and served like globe artichokes. A mild and pleasant enough flavour, but rather fiddly. Average yields range from 900 – 1,575 kg/ha of seed, however yields of over 3,375 kg/ha have been reported. A high quality edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is low in cholesterol, and is said to be equal in quality to olive oil. Used in salads, margarines, or in cooking. The roasted seed is a coffee and drinking chocolate substitute. Another report says the roasted hulls are used. The leaf petioles are boiled and mixed in with other foodstuffs.
Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The flowering head and seeds are febrifuge, nutritive and stomachic. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. It has been used with success in the treatment of many pulmonary complaints. A decoction of the roots has been used as a warm wash on rheumatic aches and pains.
Powdered leaves of the prairie sunflower are said to work well with the healing of sores and swellings.

Other Uses:
Blotting paper; Dye; Fibre; Fuel; Green manure; Herbicide; Kindling; Microscope; Oil; Paper.

An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Some varieties contain up to 45% oil. The oil is also used, often mixed with a drying oil such as linseed (Linum usitatissimum) to make soap, candles, varnishes, paint etc, as well as for lighting. The oil is said to be unrivalled as a lubricant. A blotting paper is made from the seed receptacles. A high quality writing paper is made from the inner stalk. The pith of the stems is one of the lightest substances known, having a specific gravity of 0.028. It has a wide range of applications, being used for purposes such as making life-saving appliances and slides for microscopes. The dried stems make an excellent fuel, the ash is rich in potassium. Both the dried stems and the empty seed receptacles are an excellent kindling. A fibre from the stem is used to make paper and a fine quality cloth. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A purple-black dye is obtained from the seed of certain varieties that were grown by the Hopi Indians of S.W. North America. Sunflowers can be grown as a spring-sown green manure, they produce a good bulk of material. Root secretions from the plant can inhibit the growth of nearby plants[

Known Hazards: The growing plant can accumulate nitrates, especially when fed on artificial fertilizers. The pollen or plant extracts may cause allergic reactions.

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/Helianthus_annuus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+annuus

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Digitalis lutea

Botanical Name : Digitalis lutea
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis
Species: D. lutea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonym: Digitalis aurea, Digitalis guellii, Digitalis intermedia, Digitalis nutans

Common Names: Digitalis lutea, Straw foxglove or (small) Yellow foxglove

Habitat: Digitalis lutea is native to Europe. It grows in woodlands, hedgerows and uncultivated fields on siliceous soils.

Description:
Digitalis lutea is a short-lived perennial plant. It grows 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). The leaves are oblong to inversely lance-shaped, veined, glossy, dark green and, in early to midsummer, upright stems bearing slender racemes of narrow, tubular, pale yellow flowers, hairy inside.The flowers are yellow, with brown dots on the inside of the corolla. Flowers are borne beginning in late spring, then sporadically throughout the summer and fall. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Like many foxgloves, this plant is often grown in gardens, where it readily self-sows and can become weedy.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter. It also succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant. It prefers semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. The yellow foxglove is a good companion plant, stimulating the growth of nearby plants. Root crops grown near to this plant will store better.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:
Cardiac; Diuretic; Stimulant; Tonic.

Yellow foxglove is little used in herbal medicine but is in fact a less toxic alternative to the purple and woolly foxgloves (D. purpurea and D. lanata) which are widely used in the treatment of heart complaints. The yellow foxglove has similar medical actions, but its alkaloids are more readily metabolized and flushed out of the body. The leaves are cardiac, strongly diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are used in the treatment of a weakened or failing heart, increasing the strength of contraction, slowing and steadying the heart rate and lowering blood pressure by strongly stimulating the flow of urine – which reduces overall blood volume. The leaves of plants in their second year of growth are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can prove fatal. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses: Preservative……..An infusion of the plant added to the water in the vase will prolong the life of cut flowers. When grown near root crops the roots will store better.
Known Hazards :All parts of the plant are poisonous. The plant is less dangerous that the common foxglove (D. purpurea) since its effects are not cumulative.

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/Digitalis_lutea
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/747/
http://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/digitalis-lutea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Digitalis+lutea

Agastache mexicana

Botanical Name : Agastache mexicana
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Agastache
Species: A. mexicana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Habitat : Agastache mexicana is native to southern North America . The leaves are lanceolate or oval-lanceolate

Description:
Agastache mexicana    is a nice bushy perennial  plant 2’-3’ tall & only 1’ wide .
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils. Although given a hardiness rating of 9 in  (which means that a plant is not very frost-tolerant), this species is thriving in a sunny bed at Kew Botanical Gardens and so should be hardy to at least zone 7[K]. Another report says that it withstands temperatures down to about -40°c when dormant. Yet another report says that it should succeed outdoors in the milder and drier counties, but that it is not very long-lived. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c[133]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.

Edible Uses : The highly aromatic young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. The young leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

Medicinal Uses
Intensely lemon-scented leaves; used in tea and as medicine in Mexico where it is considered an important aid to digestion.  It relieves flatulence, indigestion and dyspepsia, and improves appetite, and is often recommended for children. It is popular for weight control, anorexia, and central nervous system disorders.  Taken with cognac, it is an excellent sudorific, and helps to lower a fever.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agastache+mexicana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agastache_mexicana
http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/general/lst.gen.asp?prodid=2775

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Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop (Agastache Urticifolia)

Botanical Name : Agastache urticifolia
Family  : Labiatae /Lamiaceae
Genus   : Agastache
Synonyms: Agastache glaucifolia – A.Heller. ,Lophanthus urticifolius – Benth.
Common names: Nettle-leaf giant hyssop. Horse mint, horsemint giant hyssop.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: A. urticifolia

Habitat :It is native to the U.S. (United States). Western N. America – Montana to British Columbia, south to California and Colorado.   Moist soils of open hillsides, canyons and mountain valleys, from the foothills to about 2,500 metres.Cultivated Beds;

Description:

This is an aromatic perennial herb growing an erect stem with widely spaced leaves, each lance-shaped to nearly triangular and toothed. The leaves are up to 8 centimeters long and 7 wide. The inflorescence is a dense spike of many flowers. Each flower has long sepals tipped with bright purple and tubular corollas in shades of pink and purple. The fruit is a light brown, fuzzy nutlet about 2 millimeters long. The plant was used medicinally by several Native American groups, especially the leaves.

click to see the pictures….>…..…(1)....(2).…..

This dicot (dicotyledon)  has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop has dark green foliage and inconspicuous red flowers, with a smattering of conspicuous green fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop will reach up to 5 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. A plant is growing in a sunny bed at Kew Botanical gardens and appears fully hardy there[K]. This species withstands temperatures down to about -40°c when fully dormant. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Leaves. No further details are given, but they are most likely to be used as an aromatic flavouring in salads and cooked foods. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and fiddly to use. The dried flowers and leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Analgesic; Antirheumatic; Stomachic.

The leaves are analgesic and antirheumatic. A decoction is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, measles, stomach pains and colds. Externally, a poultice of the mashed leaves is applied to swellings.

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/database/plants.php?Agastache+urticifolia
http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/nettleleaf-giant-hyssop-agastache-urticifolia/
http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=aguru_001_ahp.tif
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AGUR&photoID=agur_007_avp.tif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agastache_urticifolia
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=113

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Korean Mint

Botanical Name : Agastache rugosa
Family: Lamiaceae
Synonyms :  Lophanthus rugosus – Fisch.&C.A.Mey.
Common Names: Korean Mint, Blue Licorice, Purple Giant Hyssop, Huo xiang, Indian Mint, Patchouli Herb, Wrinkled Giant Hyssop
Genus: Agastache
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: A. rugosa

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Siberia .  Grassy places in mountains, especially by streams, and in valleys all over Japan. Sunny, more or less stony meadows from the lowlands to elevations of 1500 metres.Cultivated Beds;

Description :

It is  a herbaceous perennial plant growing 2to 3 feet, spread 1.5 to 2 feet
It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen in September. Colour of the flower is blue. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
click for photos..>..(01).....(1).…..…(2)..…...(3).…………
Highly attractive to butterflies, bees & birds, this licorice-scented flowering herb is lovely, too! Intense, violet to blue flowering clusters are held in dense, short spikes on multi-branching stems, 3’ to 4’ tall. Excellent in mid-to-back border or garden bed, it blooms in mid-Summer above scented, crinkled & toothed foliage. “Korean Mint” is native to China, Japan & Korea and prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Makes a nice, scented, cut flower fresh or dried. Long used medicinally. Feed once in awhile.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation :
Prefers a sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.

Chemical constituents:-
Chemical compounds found in the plant include:

*Estragole, Plant
*P-Anisaldehyde, Plant
*P-Methoxy-cinnamaldehyde, Shoot
*Pachypodol, Leaf

The plant has antibacterial, antifungal, antipyretic, aromatic, anticancer, carminative, diaphoretic, febrifuge, refrigerant, and stomachic properties, among others

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

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A strong anise-like fragrance, they are normally used as a flavouring or as an addition to the salad bowl. We find them a bit coarse and too strong for use as a salad. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute. A pleasant flavour. The seed is possibly edible. No further details. The seed certainly should not be poisonous, but it is very small and its use would be very fiddly.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antipyretic; Aromatic; Cancer; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Febrifuge; Refrigerant; Stomachic.

Korean mint is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Considered to be a “warming” herb, it is used in situations where there is “dampness” within the digestive system, resulting in poor digestion and reduced vitality. The leaves and stems are antibacterial, antifungal, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, febrifuge and stomachic. They are used internally to improve the appetite and strengthen the digestive system, they relieve symptoms such as abdominal bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. They are also used to treat morning sickness. The leaves are also used in the treatment of chest congestion, diarrhoea and headaches. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of angina pains. The plant is used as a folk remedy for cancer, extracts of the plant have shown anticancer activity.

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/database/plants.php?Agastache+rugosa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agastache_rugosa
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=B218
http://www.anniesannuals.com/signs/a/Agastache_rugosa_KM.htm

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