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Rhus ovata

Botanical Name : Rhus ovata
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. ovata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names: Sugar Bush, Sugar sumac

Habitat : Rhus ovata is native to South-western N. America – California, Arizona and Mexico. It grows on dry rocky slopes below 800 metres, usually away from the coast, in California. Grows in oak woodlands and chaparral.

Description:
Rhus ovata is an evergreen Shrub ranging from 2–10 m (6.6–32.8 ft), tall and it has a rounded appearance. The twigs are thick and reddish in color. Its foliage consists of dark green, leathery, ovate leaves that are folded along the midrib. The leaf arrangement is alternate.

Its inflorescences which occur at the ends of branches consist of small, 5-petaled, flowers that appear to be pink, but upon closer examination actually have white to pink petals with red sepals. Additionally, the flowers may be either bisexual or pistillate. The fruit is a reddish, sticky drupe, and is small, about 6 – 8 mm in diameter.

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It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. 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 Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

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.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Plants are usually found in poor dry soils in the wild. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it may not succeed outdoors even in the mildest areas of the country. One report says that it can tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
Fruit is eaten raw or cooked. Slightly acid to sweet tasting. The fruit is only 6 – 8mm in diameter with very little flesh, but it is produced in dense racemes and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The fruit can also be sucked for the tart juice that forms on its surface. A sweetish white sap exudes from the fruit and can be used as an acid flavouring or a sugar substitute. The leaves are boiled to make a tea.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of chest pains, coughs and colds. An infusion has also been taken just before giving birth to facilitate an easy delivery. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses :
Dye; Mordant; Oil; Soil stabilization.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. Often planted in poor dry soils in America, where its extensive root system helps to prevent erosion.

Known Hazards : There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.
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/Rhus_ovata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+ovata

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Crataegus douglasii

Botanical Name : Crataegus douglasii
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Section:Douglasia
Series: Douglasianae
Species:C. douglasii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Crataegus rivularis. Nutt.

Common Names: Black Hawthorn

Habitat :Crataegus douglasii is native to Western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to Michigan, south to California. It grows on open woods, banks of mountain streams and on rocky banks.
Description:
Crataegus douglasii is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft 6in). It is a compact erect bushy shrub covered in fan-shaped green leaves with teeth along the distal margin. Thorns along the branches are one to two centimeters long.

White flowers with greenish centers grow in bunches at the ends of each thin branch. The fruit is a very dark purple pome up to about a centimeter across. The fruits were a good food source for Native American peoples such as the Cheyenne and Nlaka’pamux.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. A very pleasant flavour with a sweet and juicy succulent flesh, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity. The fruit can also be used for making pies, preserves etc, and can be dried for later use. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in small clusters. The fruits I have eaten have been considerably larger than this. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed

Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Hypotensive; Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the shoots has been used to treat diarrhoea in children and sores in babies mouths. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied to swellings. An infusion of the bark has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. An infusion of the sapwood, bark and roots has been used as a stomach medicine. The thorns have been used as a treatment for arthritis.The point of the thorn was used to pierce an area affected by arthritic pain. The other end of the thorn was ignited and burned down to the point buried into the skin. This treatment was very painful but it was said that after a scab had formed and disappeared, the arthritic pain had also disappeared. The thorns have been used as probes for boils and ulcers. Although no other specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses:
Needles; Wood.

The spines on the branches are used as needles for lancing boils, removing splinters etc. Wood – close-grained, heavy, hard and tough. Used for tool handles 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/Crataegus_douglasii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+douglasii

Crataegus azarolus

Botanical Name : Crataegus azarolus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Orientales
Species:C. azarolus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonym(s):
*Crataegus aronia (L.) DC.
*Crataegus aronia (L.) Bosc. variety aronia (L.) Bosc. ex DC.
*Crataegus azarolus subsp. aronia H. Riedl
*Mespilus azarolus (L.) All

Common Names: Mediterranean Hawthorn, Mediterranian Medler, Azarole, Crete Hawthorn, Mosfilia, Oriental Hawthorn

Habitat : Crataegus azarolus is native to S. Europe to W. Asia. It grows on dry hillsides and mountains in woods and hedges.

Description:
Crataegus azarolus is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a medium rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

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It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc. The fruit can be used fresh or dried for later use. A pleasant acid taste. In warm temperate areas the fruit develops more fruit sugars and has a fragrant sugary pulp with a slightly acid flavour. It can be eaten out of hand. In cooler zones, however, the fruit does not develop so well and is best cooked or used in preserves. The fruit is very variable in size and colour, it is up to 25mm in diameter. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic; Hypotensive.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses : Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items.

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/Crataegus_azarolus
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/33987/0
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+azarolus

Crataegus cuneata

Botanical Name : Crataegus cuneata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Cuneatae
Species:C. cuneata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:Sanzashi, Chinese hawthorn or Japanese hawthorn.

Habitat :Crataegus cuneata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on the sunny places in upland wilds. Valleys, thickets and hills at elevations of 200 – 2000 metres.
Description:
Crataegus cuneata is a deciduous Shrub growing to 15 m (49ft 3in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Although perfectly cold-hardy in most of Britain when dormant, the young growth of this species might be susceptible to spring frosts. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked and used in pies, preserves etc. It can also be dried for later use. A pleasant flavour, it is sold in local markets in China and Japan. The fruit contains about 0.44% protein, 1% fat, 22.1% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash, it is rich in vitamin C, fruit acids and pectin[179]. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.
Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Anticholesterolemic; Astringent; Blood tonic; Cardiotonic; Haemostatic; Hypotensive; Stomachic.

The fruits and flowers of hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture. The fruit is anodyne, anticholesterolemic, antidiarrhetic, antidysenteric, astringent, blood tonic, cardiotonic, haemostatic and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, stagnation of fatty food, abdominal fullness, retention of lochia, amenorrhoea, postpartum abdominal pain, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Other Uses: ….Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items.

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/Crataegus_cuneata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+cuneata

Fritillaria Meleagris

Botanical Name: Fritillaria Meleagris
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. meleagris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonyms-: Lilium variegatum. Chequered Daffodil. Narcissus Caparonius. Turkey Hen. Ginny Flower.

Common Names: Snake’s head fritillary, Snake’s head (the original English name), Chess flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen flower, Guinea flower, Leper lily (because its shape resembled the bell once carried by lepers), Lazarus bell, Chequered lily, Chequered daffodil, Drooping tulip or, in northern Europe, simply Fritillary.

Habitat : Fritillaria meleagris is native to Europe and western Asia but in many places it is an endangered species that is rarely found in the wild but is commonly grown in gardens. In Croatia, the flower is known as kockavica and is associated by some with the country’s national symbol. It is the official flower of the Swedish province of Uppland, where it grows in large quantities every spring at the meadows in Kungsängen (Kings meadow), just outside Uppsala, which gives the flower its Swedish name, kungsängslilja (Lily of Kings meadow). It is also found for example in Sandemar Nature Reserve, a nature reserve west of Dalarö in Stockholm Archipelago. It grows on  damp meadows and pastures, especially on alkaline soils.

Description:

Fritillaria meleagris is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a medium rate.
It  is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flower has a chequered pattern in shades of purple, or is sometimes pure white. It flowers from March to May and grows between 15–40 cm (6–16 in) in height Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet,  The flowers are checkered reddish-brown, purple, white, gray. The plant has a button-shaped bulb, about 2 cm in diameter, containing poisonous alkaloids. It grows in grasslands in damp soils and river meadows at altitudes up to 800 m (2,625 ft)....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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:
Now easily available as an ornamental spring bulb for the garden, it is commonly sold as a mixture of different coloured cultivars. The pure white-flowered variety F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. alba has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Medicinal Uses:
It is said that Fritillaria Meleagris have no medicinal value, though from its presence on the elaborate allegorical frontispiece of the old Herbal of Clusius, Rariorum Plantarum Historia, published in 1601, it bore at that time a reputation as a herb of healing.

Known Hazards:  The bulb is poisonous.

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/Fritillaria_meleagris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fritil33.html
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=q720Related articles

http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+meleagris