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Artemisia filifolia

Botanical Name : Artemisia filifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. filifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Sand Sage, Sand sagebrush and sandhill sage

Habitat : Artemisia filifolia is native to North America, where it occurs from Nevada east to South Dakota and from there south to Arizona, Chihuahua, and Texas. It grows on sandy soils in deserts and dry plains. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Description:
Artemisia filifolia is a deciduous and branching woody semi-evergreen shrub growing up to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) tall.   It has feathery, silver-blue foliage.

The stems are covered narrow, threadlike leaves up to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long and no more than half a millimeter wide. The leaves are sometimes split into segments. They are solitary or arranged in fascicles. The inflorescence is a panicle of hanging flower heads. Each head contains sterile disc florets and 2 to 3 fertile ray florets. The fruit is a tiny achene. The achenes do not tend to disperse far from the parent plant.
The graceful, windswept form is compact and the whole plant is sweetly pungent. Flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When 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 in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.
Medicinal Uses:
Carminative; Miscellany; Stomachic.
The plant is carminative and stomachic. A tea is used in the treatment of indigestion. An infusion of the plant and juniper branches is used in the treatment of indigestion. A strong infusion of the plant is used as a lotion on snakebites. The plant is also used to treat boils. It is a hayfever plant.

Other Uses:
Sand sagebrush seed is sold commercially. It is sometimes used for revegetation efforts on rangeland and coal fields. The Navajo had several uses for the plant. It was used for ritual purposes. Being quite soft, it was used as toilet paper.Good for erosion control.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

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/Artemisia_filifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+filifolia
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFI2

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Allium bisceptrum

Botanical Name : Allium bisceptrum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species:A. bisceptrum
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms:
*Allium bisceptrum var. palmeri (S. Watson) Cronquist
*Allium bisceptrum var. utahense M.E. Jones
*Allium palmeri S. Watson

Common Names: Twincrest onion,Aspen Onion

Habitat:Allium bisceptrum is native to Western N. America – Oregon to California (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Utah. ) It grows on the meadows and aspen groves, occasionally on open slopes.
Description:
Allium bisceptrum is twincrest onion which is a perennial herb at altitudes ranging from 2000 to 2900 meters.It is a is a bulb growing to 0.3 m (1ft). They grow up to anywhere between ten to forty cm high. The onion bulbs are round and egg-shaped. The bulbs have a light tint and when cut, has a powerful odor. Their flower heads are about 10–15 mm in length. The flowers are a lightly tinted purple. Each flower head contains usually six petals with pointed tips. Their flat leaves usually come in pairs of two or three and give off an odor when scratched.

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It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed.
Bulb – raw or cooked. They were usually harvested in spring or early summer. The bulbs are 10 – 15mm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a relish. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The seed heads can be placed in hot ashes for a few minutes, then the seeds extracted and eaten.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant juice has been used as an appetite restorer. Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. Wild animals in the area such as elk, black bears, white-tailed prairie dogs, and mantled ground squirrels eat the bulbs of the wild onions. Some cattle and sheep also graze these plants.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_bisceptrum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+bisceptrum

Populus deltoides

Botanical Name : Populus deltoides
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Section: Aigeiros
Species: P. deltoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names : Eastern Cottonwood, Plains cottonwood, Rio Grande cottonwood, Necklace Poplar

Habitat : Populus deltoides is native to North America, growing throughout the eastern, central, and southwestern United States.Itis found on rich moist soils, mainly along riverbanks, bottoms and rich woods.

Description:
Populus deltoides is a large tree growing to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) tall and with a trunk up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) diameter, one of the largest North American hardwood trees. The bark is silvery-white, smooth or lightly fissured when young, becoming dark gray and deeply fissured on old trees. The twigs are grayish-yellow and stout, with large triangular leaf scars. The winter buds are slender, pointed, 1–2 cm long (.039–0.79 inches), yellowish brown, and resinous. It is one of the fastest growing trees in North America. In Mississippi River bottoms, height growth of 10–15 ft per year for a few years have been seen. Sustained height growth of 5 foot height growth and 1 inch diameter growth per year for 25 years is common.

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The leaves are large, deltoid (triangular), 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 4–11 cm (1.6–4.3 in) broad with a truncated (flattened) base and a petiole 3–12 cm (1.2–4.7 in) long. The leaf is very coarsely toothed, the teeth are curved and gland tipped, and the petiole is flat; they are dark green in the summer and turn yellow in the fall (but many cottonwoods in dry locations drop their leaves early from the combination of drought and leaf rust, making their fall color dull or absent). Due to the flat stem of the leaf, the leaf has the tendency to shake from even the slightest breeze. This is one of the identifying characteristics.

It is dioecious, with the flowers (catkins) produced on single-sex trees in early spring. The male (pollen) catkins are reddish-purple and 8–10 cm (3.1–3.9 in) long; the female catkins are green, 7–13 cm (2.8–5.1 in) long at pollination, maturing 15–20 cm (5.9–7.9 in) long with several 6–15 mm (0.24–0.59 in) seed capsules in early summer, which split open to release the numerous small seeds attached to cotton-like strands.

Cultivation :
Landscape Uses: Erosion control, Aggressive surface roots possible. An easily grown plant, it does well in a heavy cold damp soil but thrives best on moist well-drained, fine sandy loams or silts close to streams. Prefers a deep rich well-drained circumneutral soil, growing best in the south and east of Britain. Growth is much less on wet soils, on poor acid soils and on thin dry soils]. It does not do well in exposed upland sites. It dislikes shade and is intolerant of root or branch competition. Tolerates both hot and cool summers. Fairly wind-tolerant. The tree is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 60 to 150cm, an annual temperature in the range of 8 to 14°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 8. A fast-growing but short-lived tree. It can make new shoots up to 1.5 metres long each year and is often planted for timber in Europe. It does have drawbacks, though, since it is easily storm-damaged, is easily damaged by fire when young and is much attacked by fungi. Like the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) the leaves of this species rustle even in light breezes. The trees can be coppiced, sprouting freely from the base of the trunk and the roots if they are cut down. Poplars have very extensive and aggressive root systems that can invade and damage drainage systems. Especially when grown on clay soils, they should not be planted within 12 metres of buildings since the root system can damage the building’s foundations by drying out the soil. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – must be sown as soon as it is ripe in spring. Poplar seed has an extremely short period of viability and needs to be sown within a few days of ripening. Surface sow or just lightly cover the seed in trays in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the old frame. If sufficient growth is made, it might be possible to plant them out in late summer into their permanent positions, otherwise keep them in the cold frame until the following late spring and then plant them out. Most poplar species hybridize freely with each other, so the seed may not come true unless it is collected from the wild in areas with no other poplar species growing. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 20 – 40cm long, November/December in a sheltered outdoor bed or direct into their permanent positions. Very easy. Suckers in early spring.
Edible Uses:……Inner bark .….. A mucilaginous texture, it is usually harvested in the spring. The inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. Seeds. No more details are given but they are very small and would be exceedingly fiddly to collect and use. Sap – used for food. Buds. The leaves are rich in protein and have a greater amino-acid content than wheat, corn, rice and barley. A concentrate made from them is as nourishing as meat, but can be produced faster and more cheaply. Some people believe that this will become a major food source for humans.
Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Anthelmintic; Antiinflammatory; Antiscorbutic; Blood purifier; Febrifuge; Poultice; Tonic.

The bark contains salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The bark is therefore anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. An infusion of the bark has been used in the treatment of whooping cough and tuberculosis. A decoction of the bark has been used to rid the body of intestinal worms. The bark has been eaten as a treatment for colds. A tea made from the inner bark is used in the treatment of scurvy. The inner bark, combined with black haw bark (Crataegus douglasii) and wild plum bark (Prunus spp) has been used as a female tonic. A poultice of the leaves has been used as a treatment for rheumatism, bruises, sores and boils.
Other Uses:
Biomass; Dye; Pioneer; Rooting hormone; Shelterbelt; Soil stabilization; Wood.

An extract of the shoots can be used as a rooting hormone for all types of cuttings. It is extracted by soaking the chopped up shoots in cold water for a day. Various dyes can be obtained from the leaf buds in the spring – green, white, yellow, purple and red have been mentioned. Trees are planted for dune fixing in erosion control programmes. They are also good pioneer species, growing quickly to provide a good habitat for other woodland trees and eventually being out-competed by those trees. A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting. Another report says that it is easily storm-damaged. The wood has been used as a bio-mass for producing methanol, which can be used to power internal combustion engines. Annual yields of 7 tonnes of oven-dry material per year have been achieved. Wood – weak, soft, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion but warps and shrinks badly. It weighs 24lb per cubic foot. The wood takes paint well, is easy to glue and nail. It is used principally for lumber, pulp, crates, veneer etc.

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/Populus_deltoides
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Populus+deltoides

Liatris chapmanii

 

 Botanical Name: Liatris chapmanii
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. chapmanii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Chapman’s Blazing Star or Chapman’s gayfeather (It is named for one of the Southeast’s best known early botanists, A.W. Chapman)

Habitat: Liatris chapmanii is native to North America ( Alabama, Florida and Georgia ) where it is found in habitats such as dunes, beach strands, sand ridges, fields and roadsides, it also grows in longleaf pine savannas and other scrub habitats.
Description:
Liatris chapmanii is a perennial plant.It grows from rounded to elongated corms that produce stems 35 to 75 centimeters tall, sometimes to 150 centimeters. The stems have short often ridged hairs. Plants have flowers in dense heads that are appressed against the stems, the heads have no stalks and are arranged in a dense spike-like collection. The basal and cauline leaves have one nerve and are spatulate-oblance-olate to narrowly oblanceolate in shape, they are also dotted with glands and hairless or have short stiff hairs. It flowers in August and October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It is noted for attracting wildlife. The seed are produced in cypselae fruits that are 4 to 6 millimeters long with feathery bristle-like pappi that have minute barbs. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
We have virtually no information on this plant and are not sure if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Grows well in a moderately good light soil.Tolerates poor soils. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils. A good bee plant. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:..….Cancer……..The plant contains the substance ‘liatrin’, which has anticancer propertie.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Liatris+chapmanii
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liatris_chapmanii

Acer circinatum

Botanical Name ; Acer circinatum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. circinatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name :Vine Maple

Habitat :Acer circinatum is native to  western N. America – British Columbia to California.It grows in forests, along banks of streams and in rich alluvial soils of bottomlands up to 1200 metres

Description:
Acer circinatum is a deciduous Tree. It is most commonly grows as a large shrub growing to around 5-8 m tall, but it will occasionally form a small to medium-sized tree, exceptionally to 18 m tall. The shoots are slender and hairless. It typically grows in the understory below much taller forest trees, but can sometimes be found in open ground, and occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 m.

You may click to see the pictures of  Acer circinatum
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The leaves are opposite, and palmately lobed with 7-11 lobes, almost circular in outline, 3-14 cm long and broad, and thinly hairy on the underside; the lobes are pointed and with coarsely toothed margins. The leaves turn bright yellow to orange-red in fall. The flowers are small, 6–9 mm diameter, with a dark red calyx and five short greenish-yellow petals; they are produced in open corymbs of 4-20 together in spring. The fruit is a two-seeded samara, each seed 8-10 mm diameter, with a spreading wing 2–4 cm long.

Vine Maple trees can bend over easily. Sometimes, this can cause the top of the tree to grow into the ground and send out a new root system, creating a natural arch.

It is occasionally cultivated outside its native range as an ornamental tree, from Juneau, Alaska   and Ottawa, Ontario  to Huntsville, Alabama, and also in northwestern Europe.

Cultivation:   
Of easy cultivation, it succeeds in most good soils, preferring a good moist well-drained soil on the acid side. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH. A very ornamental tree, a number of varieties are in cultivation. The branches tend to coil around other trees in much the same way as vines. (A strange report because vines do not coil but climb by means of tendrils formed in the leaf axils.) The tree sends out long slender arching branches in the wild. These form roots when they touch the ground and the plant thereby forms large impenetrable thickets often several hectares in extent. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

Propagation:          
Seed is usually of good quality when produced in gardens. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow or very poor to germinate, especially if it has been dried. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. This tree often self-layers and can be propagated by this means. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. Cultivars of this species can be grafted onto A. palmatum, which makes a better rootstock than this species.

Edible Uses:   
Edible Parts: Sap.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The sap contains a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as a drink, or can be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the sugar maples (A. saccharum). The tree trunk is tapped in the early spring, the sap flowing better on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.

The wood was burnt to charcoal and mixed with water and brown sugar then used in the treatment of dysentery and polio.
Coastal Aboriginal peoples have boiled the bark of the roots to make a tea for colds

Other Uses  :
Basketry;  Fuel;  Paint;  Preservative;  Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The young shoots are quite pliable and are used in basket making. Straight shoots can be used to make open-work baskets. A charcoal made from the wood can be mixed with oil and used as a black paint. Wood – hard, heavy, durable, close-grained, strong according to some reports, but not strong according to others. Too small to be commercially important, the wood is used for cart shafts, tool handles, small boxes etc. One report says that the wood is quite pliable and was used for making bows, snowshoe frames etc, whilst young saplings could be used as swings for baby cradles. The wood is almost impossible to burn when green and has served as a cauldron hook over the fire.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_circinatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+circinatum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.nsci.plu.edu/~jmain/Herbarium/images/acer_circinatum_habitat.jpg

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