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Taraxacum tibetanum

Botanical Name: Taraxacum tibetanum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Taraxacum tibeticum

Common Name: Tibetan dandelion

Habitat : Taraxacum tibetanum is native to E. Asia – Tibet.It grows on the alpine grasslands and pastures; 3800-5000 m. Sichuan, Xizang [India (Sikkim)].

Description:
Taraxacum tibetanum is a perennial herb, 5-15(-20) cm tall. Petiole ± green or purplish, base sparsely arachnoid; leaf blade mid-green to deep green, narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, 4-10(-13) × 0.8-1.2(-1.6) cm, glabrous, pinnatilobed to pinnatisect; lateral lobes 2-4 pairs, broadly triangular with base convex on distal side, approximate, ± recurved, distal margin entire, dentate, or sparsely lobulate, apex narrowed into a ± subpatent to strongly recurved lobulelike segment; interlobes short, broad; terminal lobe ± narrowly triangular-sagittate, margin entire or sparsely denticulate, apex subobtuse. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, subglabrous and only sparsely arachnoid below capitulum. Capitulum ca. 4 cm wide. Involucre 1.1-1.4 cm wide, base broadly rounded. Outer phyllaries 10-13, ± black, subimbricate, oblong-ovate (often widest above middle), outermost ones (4-)7-9 × 2.7-3.1 mm and 1/2-3/4 as long as inner ones, venation not distinct, unbordered, ± glabrous to sparsely ciliate, ± flat to minutely corniculate below apex; inner phyllaries blackish green, 13-16 × 2-2.5 mm, apex ± flat or callose. Ligules yellow, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with blackish apical teeth. Stigmas ± black. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene dark grayish brown, 4.1-4.4 × 1.1-1.4 mm; body distally subsparsely spinulose, ± smooth below, ± subabruptly narrowing into a 0.6-0.9 mm cone broadly conic at base and subconic distally, spinules small, suberect, and acute; beak ca. 6 mm. Pappus yellowish white, 7-8 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.

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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 many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. This species is not in the IOPI list of accepted plant names. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it has a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of stomach disorders and pain in the stomach/intestines due to intestinal worms.

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:

Taraxacum mongolicum


http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242425880
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+tibetanum

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Prunus americana

Botanical Name: Prunus americana
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus:Prunus
Section: Prunocerasus
Species: P. americana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: American Plum, American Wild Plum, Wild Plum, Large yellow sweet plum

Habitat : Prunus americana is native to North America from Saskatchewan and Idaho south to New Mexico and east to Québec, Maine and Florida.It grows on rich soils in mixed deciduous woodland, by streams, on the borders of swamps and in hedgerows.

Description:
Prunus americana grows as a large shrub or small tree, reaching up to 15 feet (4.6 m). It is adapted to coarse- and medium-textured soils, but not to fine soils. The shrub is winter-hardy, but has little tolerance for shade, drought, or fire. Its growth is most active in spring and summer, and it blooms in midspring. It propagates by seed, but the rate of spread by seed is slow.

The roots are shallow, widely spread, and send up suckers. The numerous stems per plant become scaly with age. The tree has a broad crown. The branches are thorny. The leaves are alternately arranged, with an oval shape. The leaf length is usually 2–4 in (5.1–10.2 cm) long. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green and under side is smooth and pale. The small white flowers with five petals occur singly or in clusters in the leaf axils. The globular fruits are about 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter.

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It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in August. 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:
Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Pest tolerant, Specimen. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. 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. Trees are probably hardy to as low as -50°c when fully dormant. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild, it is cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America, where there are many named varieties. It flowers well in Britain but rarely fruits well here. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants often produce suckers at the roots and form thickets. The branches are brittle. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, Edible, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, 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. Difficult, if not impossible. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Difficult, it not impossible. Suckers in late winter.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw, cooked in pies etc or used in preserves. The flesh is succulent and juicy, though it is rather acid with a tough skin. The best forms are pulpy and pleasant tasting. The fruit is best cooked, and it can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:

Antiasthmatic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Diuretic; Miscellany; Poultice.

A tea made from the scraped inner bark is used as a wash to treat various skin problems and as a mouth wash to treat sores. A poultice of the inner bark is disinfectant and is used as a treatment on cuts and wounds. The bark is astringent, diuretic and pectoral. It has been used to make a cough syrup. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, kidney and bladder complaints. An infusion of the twigs has been used in the treatment of asthma. 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:Broom; Disinfectant; Dye; Miscellany; Rootstock; Soil stabilization; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. A red dye can be obtained from the roots. This species is widely used as a rootstock for cultivated plums in North America. The tough, elastic twigs can be bound into bundles and used as brooms for sweeping the floor. Trees often grow wild along streams, where their roots tend to prevent soil erosion. Wood – heavy, hard, close-grained, strong. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot. Of no commercial value because the trunk is too small.

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_americana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana

Limonium carolinianum

Botanical Name ;Limonium carolinianum
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus:    Limonium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms :Statice caroliniana.

Common Names :Statice Limonium. Ink Root. Sea Lavender. Marsh Rosemary.(Despite their common names, species are not related to the lavenders or to rosemary.)

Habitat :Limonium carolinianum  is native to Eastern N. America – Labrador to Florida and Texas.(The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. By far the greatest diversity (over 100 species) is in the area stretching from Canary Islands east through the Mediterranean region to central Asia; for comparison, North America only has 3 native species.)It grows near coasts and in salt marshes, and also on saline, gypsum and alkaline soils in continental interiors.

Description:
Limonium carolinianum  is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
The leaves are simple, entire to lobed, and from 1–30 cm long and 0.5–10 cm broad; most of the leaves are produced in a dense basal rosette, with the flowering stems bearing only small brown scale-leaves (bracts). It is in flower from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile. The flowers are produced on a branched panicle or corymb, the individual flowers small (4–10 mm long) with a five-lobed calyx and corolla, and five stamens; the flower colour is pink, violet to purple in most species, white or yellow in a few. Many of the species are apomictic. The fruit is a small capsule containing a single seed, partly enclosed by the persistent calyx.
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Several species are popular garden flowers; they are generally known to gardeners as statices. They are grown both for their flowers, and for the appearance of the calyx, which remains on the plant after the true flowers have fallen, and are known as “everlasting flowers”.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:…is the root. This is large, heavy, blackish, inodorous, with a bitter, saltish and very astringent taste.

Constituents: Volatile oil, resin, gum, albumen, tannic acid, caoutchouc, extractive and colouring matter, woody fibre, and various salts.
It has long been in use as a domestic remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, etc., but is only used as an astringent tonic after the acute stage has passed. It is also very useful as a gargle or wash in ulcerations of mouth and throat, scarlatina, anguinosa, etc. The powdered root is applied to old ulcers, or made with a soothing ointment for piles. As an injection the decoction is very useful in chronic gonorrhoea, gleet, leucorrhoea, prolapsus of womb and anus, and in some ophthalmic affections. It can otherwise be used where astringents are indicated and may be applicable to all cases where kino and catechu are given. It is said to be a valuable remedy for internal and local use in cynanche maligna. Decoction is 1 ounce of powdered root to 1 pint, in wineglassful doses.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lavsea15.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Limonium+carolinianum

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Flying Home

As earthbound beings, humans have always had a fascination with winged creatures of all kinds. The idea of being able to spontaneously lift off from the earth and fly is so compelling to us that we invented airplanes and helicopters and myriad other flying machines in order to provide ourselves with the many gifts of being airborne. Flying high in the sky, we look down on the earth that is our home and see things from an entirely different perspective. We can see more, and we can see farther than we can when we’re on the ground. As if all this weren’t enough, the out-of-this-world feeling of freedom that comes with groundlessness inspires us to want to take flight again and again.

Metaphorically, we take flight whenever we break free of the gravity that holds us to a particular way of thinking or feeling or being. We take flight mentally when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights. This is what it means to open our minds. Emotionally, we take flight when the strength of our passion exceeds the strength of our blockages; the floodgates open and we are free to feel fully. Spiritually we take flight when we locate that part of ourselves that is beyond the constraint of linear time and the world of form. It is in this place that we experience the essential boundlessness that defines the experience of flight.

Taking flight is always about freeing ourselves from form, if only temporarily. When we literally fly, in a plane or on a hang glider, we free ourselves from the strength of gravity’s pull. As we open our minds and our hearts, we free ourselves from habitual patterns of thought and emotional blockages. As we remember our true nature, we free ourselves from identification with the temporary state of our physical forms. The more we stretch our wings, the clearer it becomes that taking flight is a state of grace that simply reminds us of who we really are.

Source:Daily Om