Tag Archives: Alliaria petiolata

Pyrola asarifolia

Botanical Name : Pyrola asarifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Genus: Pyrola
Species: P. asarifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Bog Wintergreen, Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Habitat : Pyrola asarifolia is native to N. America – Alaska to Newfoundland, south to New York, California and New Mexico.It grows on wet soils of bogs, stream courses and around springs, mostly in shady areas and especially in coniferous woodlands, from the plains to around 2,700 metres in the mountains.

Description:
Pyrola asarifolia is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Flowers: Raceme of 7 to 15 flowers on slender stalks at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 5 round petals, pink or white with pink to pinkish purple edging, the edges often curled down. A cluster of stamens with dark pink to red tips is hidden under the upper petals. The style is light green, curved down and out below the lower petals like an elephant’s trunk.

Leaves and stem:
Leaves are basal, 1 to 1½ inches long, round to kidney shaped, often wider than long, the blade typically shorter than the leaf stalk. The tip may have slight point. The upper surface is very shiny. A few scale like leaves may be present on lower part of the flowering stem.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer.  This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is extremely rare and endangered in the wild.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously.
Medicinal Uses:
This plant was considered to be an effective remedy in the treatment of rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves, or the leaves and roots, has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. A decoction of the plant has been used to treat the coughing up of blood. A decoction of the root has been used to treat liver complaints.

Other Uses:
Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.

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/Pyrola_asarifolia
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/pink-pyrola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pyrola+asarifolia

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Cyperus esculentus

Botanical Name ; Cyperus esculentus
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Cyperus
Species: C. esculentus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names ;Chufa, Chufa sedge, Nut grass, Yellow nutsedge, Tiger nut sedge, or Earth almond

Habitat :Cyperus esculentus is native to most of the Western Hemisphere as well as southern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. It has become naturalized in many other regions, including Ukraine, China, Hawaii, Indochina, New Guinea, Java, New South Wales and various oceanic islands. It can be found wild, as a weed, or as a crop. There is evidence for its cultivation in Egypt since the sixth millennium BC, and for several centuries in Southern Europe. In Spain, C. esculentus is cultivated for its edible tubers, called earth almonds or tiger nuts, for the preparation of “horchata de chufa”, a sweet, milk-like beverage. However, in most other countries, C. esculentus is considered a weed.
Description:
Cyperus esculentus is an annual or perennial plant, growing to 90 cm (3 feet) tall, with solitary stems growing from a tuber. The plant is reproduced by seeds, creeping rhizomes, and tubers. The stems are triangular in section and bear slender leaves 3–10 mm (1/8 to 1/2 inches) wide. The spikelets of the plant are distinctive, with a cluster of flat, oval seeds surrounded by four hanging, leaf-like bracts positioned 90 degrees from each other. They are 5 to 30 mm (about 3/8 to 1 1/8 inches) long and linear to narrowly elliptic with pointed tips and 8 to 35 florets. The color varies from straw-colored to gold-brown. They can produce up to 2420 seeds per plant. The plant foliage is very tough and fibrous and is often mistaken for a grass. The roots are an extensive and complex system of fine, fibrous roots and scaly rhizomes with small, hard, spherical tubers and basal bulbs attached. The tubers are 0.3 – 1.9 cm (1/8 to 1/2 inches) in diameter and the colors vary between yellow, brown, and black. One plant can produce several hundred to several thousand tubers during a single growing season. With cool temperatures, the foliage, roots, rhizomes, and basal bulbs die, but the tubers survive and resprout the following spring when soil temperatures remain above 6 °C (42.8 °F). They can resprout up to several years later. When the tubers germinate, many rhizomes are initiated and end in a basal bulb near the soil surface. These basal bulbs initiate the stems and leaves above ground, and fibrous roots underground. C. esculentus is wind pollinated and requires cross pollination as it is self–incompatible.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy loam. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. The chufa, or tiger nut, is often cultivated for its edible tuber in warm temperate and tropical zones, there is a cultivated variety, var. sativus, that produces larger tubers. We have had lots of problems with growing this cultivated form. Once the tubers come into growth then they normally grow vigorously, but the difficulty is getting them to come into growth. We harvest the tubers in the autumn and store them in moist sand, replanting them in the spring. However, they rarely come into new growth until mid to late summer which gives them too short a growing season to produce much of a crop. We need to find a satisfactory way of storing the tubers and exciting them back into growth. In warmer climates this plant is a serious weed of cultivation. It is much hardier than was once imagined and is becoming a weed in N. America where it is found as far north as Alaska. The tubers are often formed a metre or more away from the plant, especially if it is growing in a heavy clay soil. The tubers are extremely attractive to mice and require protection from them in the winter.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 18°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. This is more a matter of harvesting the tubers and replanting them. If this is done in the autumn, then it is best to store the tubers in a cool frost-free place overwinter and plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil; Oil.

Tuber – raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder. They are also used in confectionery. A delicious nut-like flavour but rather chewy and with a tough skin. They taste best when dried. They can be cooked in barley water to give them a sweet flavour and then be used as a dessert nut. A refreshing beverage is made by mixing the ground tubers with water, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and ice. The ground up tuber can also be made into a plant milk with water, wheat and sugar. An edible oil is obtained from the tuber. It is considered to be a superior oil that compares favourably with olive oil. The roasted tubers are a coffee substitute. The base of the plant can be used in salads. (This probably means the base of the leaf stems.)

Medicinal Uses:

Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Digestive; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Stimulant; Tonic.

Tiger nuts are regarded as a digestive tonic, having a heating and drying effect on the digestive system and alleviating flatulence. They also promote urine production and menstruation. The tubers are said to be aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant and tonic. In Ayurvedic medicine they are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, debility and excessive thirst.

As a source of oils, the tubers were used in pharmacy under the Latin name bulbuli thrasi beginning no later than the end of 18th century. In ayurvedic medicine tiger nuts are used in the treatment of flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, debility and indigestion. Tiger nut oil can be used in the cosmetic industry. As it is antidioxide (because of its high content in vitamin E) it helps slow down the ageing of the body cells. It favours the elasticity of the skin and reduces skin wrinkles.

Other Uses:
Oil; Oil; Weaving:

The tubers contain up to 30% of a non-drying oil, it is used in cooking and in making soap. It does not solidify at 0°c and stores well without going rancid. The leaves can be used for weaving hats and matting etc.

Use as fishing bait:
The boiled nuts are used in the UK as a bait for carp. The nuts have to be prepared in a prescribed manner to prevent harm to the fish. The nuts are soaked in water for 24 hours and then boiled for 20 minutes or longer until fully expanded. Some anglers then leave the boiled nuts to ferment for 24–48 hours, which can enhance their effectiveness. If the nuts are not properly prepared, however, they can be extremely toxic to the carp. This was originally thought to have been the cause of death of Benson, a very large and very famous carp. The 54-lb. fish was found floating dead in a fishing lake, with a bag of unprepared tiger nuts lying nearby, empty, on the shore. An examination of the fish by a taxidermist concluded tiger nut poisoning was not, in the end, the cause of 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/Cyperus_esculentus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cyperus+esculentus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Veronica officinalis

Botanical Name: Veronica officinalis
Family: Plantaginaceae/Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Heath speedwell, Common gypsyweed, Common speedwell, or Paul’s betony

Habitat: Veronica officinalis is native to Europe, Eastern North America (Maryland) , and western Asia. It grows in heaths, moors, grassland, dry hedgebanks and coppices, often on dry soils

Description:
Veronica officinalis is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long that cover the ground in mats and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and they are opposite, shortly stalked, generally about an inch long, oval and attenuated into their foot-stalks, their margins finely toothed. It flowers from May until August.The flowers are in dense, axillary, manyflowered racemes, 1 1/2 to 6 inches long, the individual flowers nearly stalkless on the main flower-stalk, their corollas only 1/6 inch across, pale blue with dark blue stripes and bearing two stamens with a very long style. The capsule is inversely heart-shaped and notched, longer than the oblong, narrow sepals. The plant is of a dull green and is generally slightly hairy, having short hairs, sometimes smooth.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moderately fertile moisture retentive well drained soil. Prefers cool summers. Thrives in light shade or in open sunny positions.

Propagation :
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient quantity, the seed can be sown in situ in the autumn or the spring. Division in autumn or spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

The fresh herb is faintly aromatic. After drying, it is inodorous. It has a bitterish, warm, and somewhat astringent taste.

Constituents: Enz found a bitter principle, soluble in water and alcohol, but scarcely so in ether, and precipitated by the salts of lead, but not by tannic acid; an acrid principle; red colouring matter, a variety of tannic acid, producing a green colour with ferric salts; a crystallizable, fatty acid, with malic, tartaric, citric, acetic and lactic acids; mannite; a soft, dark green bitter resin.

Mayer, of New York (in 1863), found evidences of an alkaloid and of a saponaceous principle. Vintilesco (1910) found a glucoside both in this species and in Veronica chamaedrys.

Edible Uses: A bitter tangy tea is made from the fresh flowering herb or the dried leaves. The dried leaves can be added to tea blends.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Antipruritic; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

This species of Veronica retained a place among our recognized remedies until a comparatively late period, and is still employed in herbal medicine.
Its leaves possess astringency and bitterness.

The leaves and roots are alterative, astringent, mildly diuretic, mildly expectorant, stomachic and tonic. They have been employed in the treatment of pectoral and nephritic complaints, haemorrhages, skin diseases and the treatment of wounds, though the plant is considered to be obsolete in modern herbalism. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use .

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/Veronica_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/specom75.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Veronica+officinalis

Thlaspi arvense

Botanical Name: Thlaspi arvense
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Thlaspi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonym: Pennycress.

Common Names: Field penny-cress,Pennycress

Habitat : Thlaspi arvense occurs in Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa, W. Asia, Siberia and Japan. It grows in waste places and a weed of cultivated ground where it can be a serious pest.

Description:
Thlaspi arvense is an annual plant , it grows to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The leaves are small and narrower, smooth, toothed, arrow-shaped at the base. The flowers are small and white, growing on long branches, the seed-vessels form a round pouch, flat, with very broad wings, earning for the plant its other name of Pennycress. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile..…..CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES 
Cultivation: An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade.

Propagation : Seed – sow in situ in March or April.

Part Used: Seeds.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Oil; Seed.

Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They should always be harvested before the plant comes into flower or they will be very bitter. Even the young leaves have a somewhat bitter flavour and aroma, and are not to everyone’s taste. They can be added in small quantities to salads and other foods. They can also be cooked in soups or used as a potherb, they taste somewhat like mustard but with a hint of onion. For a leaf, it is very rich in protein. The seed is ground into a powder and used as a mustard substitute. The seed can be sprouted and added to salads.

It was formerly an ingredient in the Mithridate confection, an elaborate preparation used as an antidote to poison, but no longer used in medicine.

Constituents: Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 54.2g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 33.1g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 1900mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Antidote; Antiinflammatory; Antirheumatic; Blood tonic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Hepatic; Ophthalmic;
Tonic.

Antirheumatic, diuretic. The seed is a tonic. Both the seed and the young shoots are said to be good for the eyes. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine and are considered to have an acrid taste and a cooling potency. They are anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, being used in the treatment of pus in the lungs, renal inflammation, appendicitis, seminal and vaginal discharges. The entire plant is antidote, anti-inflammatory, blood tonic, depurative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge and hepatic. It is used in the treatment of carbuncles, acute appendicitis, intestinal abscess, post-partum pain, dysmenorrhoea and endometriosis. Use with caution since large doses can cause a decrease in white blood cells, nausea and dizziness. The plant has a broad antibacterial activity, effective against the growth of Staphylococci and streptococci.
Other Uses:…Oil…….The seed contains 20 – 30% of a semi-drying oil, it is used for lighting

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/Thlaspi_arvense
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mustar65.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thlaspi+arvense

Aristolochia longa

Botanical Name: Aristolochia longa
Family:    Aristolochiaceae
Genus:    Aristolochia
Species:    A. longa
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Piperales

Synonym:  Long-rooted Birthwort.

Habitat:  Aristolochia longa is native to  Southern Europe and Japan.

Common Names: Long Aristolochia, Sarrasine

Description:
Aristolochia is a genus of evergreen and deciduous woody vines and herbaceous perennials. The smooth stem is erect or somewhat twining. The simple leaves are alternate and cordate, membranous, growing on leaf stalks. There are no stipules.

The flowers grow in the leaf axils. They are inflated and globose at the base, continuing as a long perianth tube, ending in a tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There is no corolla. The calyx is one to three whorled, and three to six toothed. The sepals are united (gamosepalous). There are six to 40 stamens in one whorl. They are united with the style, forming a gynostemium. The ovary is inferior and is four to six locular.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent  attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen.

The fruit is dehiscent capsule with many endospermic seeds.

The root is spindle-shaped from 5 cm. to 3 dm. in length, about 2 cm. in thickness, fleshy, very brittle, greyish externally, brownish-yellow inside, bitter and of a strong disagreeable odour when fresh.

Part Used:  The root.

Constituent:  Aristolochine.

Medicinal Uses:  Said to be useful as an aromatic stimulant in rheumatism and gout and for removing obstructions, etc., after childbirth. Dose, 1/2 to 1 drachm of the powdered root.

Known Hazards:  The International Agency for Research on Cancer. Epidemiological and laboratory studies have identified Aristolochia to be a dangerous kidney toxin; Aristolochia has been shown associated with more than 100 cases of kidney failure. Furthermore, it appears as if contamination of grain with European birthwort (A. clematitis) is a cause of Balkan nephropathy, a severe renal disease occurring in parts of southeast Europe.

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/Aristolochia_longa
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/birthw44.html