Tag Archives: Aloe Vera

Iris decora

Botanical Name: Iris decora
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Synonyms: Evansia nepalensis (Klatt), Iris nepalensis (D.Don), Iris nepalensis var. khasiana (Baker), Iris sulcata (Wall.), Iris yunnanensis (H.Lév.), Junopsis decora (Wall.) Wern.Schulze, Neubeckia decora (Wall.) Klatt and Neubeckia sulcata (Klatt).
Habitat :Iris decora is native to E. AsiaHimalayasPakistan to S.W. China. It grows in the drier inner valleys, 1800 – 4000 metres. Grassy hillsides on plateaux, open stony pastures and cliffs at elevations of 2800 – 3100 metres.
Description:
Iris decora is a perennial plant. It has a rhizome covered in bristly fibres. It is similar in form to the roots of Hemerocallis. It reaches a height of 10–30 cm tall. It has 3–7 flowers per stem, in the summer, June -July, which are approximately 4–5 cm in diameter. They come in a range of colours between pale bluish lavender and deep reddish purple. The perianth tube measures 3.5–5 cm. The falls are up to 3.5 cm long. The blade has an orange-yellow central ridge that becomes white or purple at the apex. It has a whitish claw with purple veins.
The leaves reach up to 30 cm at flowering time and then grow up to 45–60 cm tall later, growing to longer than the flowering stem. The strongly ribbed leaves can be 2–8 mm wide.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained rich soil in a sunny position. Plants are best lifted in October, stores in dry sand in a cool frost-free place over the winter and planted out in March. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. There has been some confusion over the name of this species. Iris decora Wall. should apply to a beardless species with the synonym of Iris nepalensis D.Don., whilst Iris nepalensis Wall. applies to a bearded species with the synonym Iris deflexa Knowle.&Wetc.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It does not require cold stratification. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering in late summer. Very easy, 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.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is aperient, deobstruent, diuretic and purgative. It is useful in the treatment of bilious obstructions and is also applied externally to small sores and pimples.

Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies 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/Iris_subg._Nepalensis
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+decora

Advertisements

Inula japnoica

Botanical Name : Inula japnoicaI

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Inula
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Asterales

Synonyms: I. Britannica var. chinensis

Common Names: Xuan Fu Hua, Inula flower

Habitat: Inula japnoica is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia. It grows on Montane slopes, grasslands, riverbanks, fields, broad-leaved forests, streamsides; 100-2400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang.
Description:
Inula japonica is one of over 90 species in the Inula genus. Several species are popular in Western gardens, such as Inula helenium, commonly called elecampagne, but the Inula used in Chinese medicine is relatively uncommon in the West. Acceptable species for medicinal used are Inula japonica, I. hupehensis, and I. helianthus-aquatica. The root is not used in Chinese medicine but contains up to 44% inulin, hence the genus name. Inulin is a starch that humans are unable to digest therefore consumption can cause digestive distress and gas due to its fermentation.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Herbs, perennial, from short rhizomes. Stems 15-100 cm tall, striate, appressed pilose, sometimes glabrescent, simple, branched up to synflorescence. Leaves radical and cauline; radical and lower cauline leaves smaller than median leaves, withering before flowering; median leaves lanceolate, oblong, or ovate, appressed pilose or subglabrous on both surfaces, base abruptly narrowed, sessile or semiclasping, apex subacute; upper leaves gradually smaller, 10-25 mm. Capitula usually few or solitary, radiate, ca. 3.5 cm in diam., sometimes with subtending bracteal leaves. Involucre subglobose, 7-8 mm tall; phyllaries in 5 series, subequal, outer ones lanceolate, apex acuminate, inner narrow, scarious, ciliolate. Marginal florets in 1 series; lamina yellow, 16-19 × 1.5-2 mm. Disk 1.5-1.7 cm in diam.; corollas ca. 3 mm. Achenes cylindric, ca. 1 mm, 10-ribbed, pilose. Pappus of capillary bristles, sordid, ca. 5 mm, bristles minutely scabrid. It is in flower during Jun-Oct.

Cultivation & propagation:
Inula japonica is easy to grow in almost any soil and sun conditions but it prefers part shade, good loamy soil and adequate moisture. It will survive with considerable neglect. The plant flowers from July to August and seeds ripen from August to September. Propagation is relatively easy from seed, which can be sown directly into the garden in the spring or in a cold frame in autumn.

Plants may also be divided in the spring or autumn. Large clumps can be immediately replanted in the ground though small clumps should be potted and protected in a cold frame until they are rooted sufficiently, and then planted in the garden in spring. The plant may also be propagated by root cuttings taken in winter. Taking about a 3-inch section of root, it should be planted in a pot, grown in a cold frame, and planted in the garden in spring.
Medicinal Uses:
Inula japnoica  used in traditional Chinese medicine as a mildly warming expectorant remedy, it is especially suitable when phlegm has accumulated in the chest. The herb is often prescribed for bronchitis, wheezing, chronic coughing, and other chest complaints brought on by cold conditions (profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. Xuan fu hua also has a bitter action, and it helps to strengthen digestive function. The flowers are normally used in medicinal preparations, but the aerial parts are also taken, generally for les serious conditions. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the esophagus.

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/Inula
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024058
https://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/herbal-detail-page.php?show=73&order=common_name

Asplenium rhizohyllum

Products from Amazon.com

Botanical Name: Asplenium rhizohyllum
Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus: Asplenium
Species: A. rhizophyllum
Kingdom:Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales

Synonyms: Camptosorus sibiricus, Antigramma rhizophylla (L.) J.Sm., Camptosorus rhizophyllus (L.) Link

Common Name: American Walking Fern

Habitat : Asplenium rhizohyllum is native to North America. It is a close relative of Asplenium ruprechtii which is found in East Asia and also goes by the common name of “walking fern

Description:
Asplenium rhizophyllum is a small fern whose undivided, evergreen leaves and long, narrow leaf tips, sometimes curving back and rooting, give it a highly distinctive appearance. It grows in tufts, often surrounded by child plants formed from the leaf tips. The leaves of younger plants tend to lie flat to the ground, while older plants have leaves more erect or arching.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Roots and stipes:
It does not spread and form new plants via the roots. Its rhizomes (underground stems) are upright or nearly so, short, about 1 millimetre (0.04 in) in diameter, and generally unbranched. They bear dark brown or blackish, narrowly triangular or lance-shaped scales which are strongly clathrate (bearing a lattice-like pattern). The scales are 2 to 3 millimetres (0.08 to 0.1 in) long and 0.5 to 1 millimetre (0.02 to 0.04 in) wide (occasionally as narrow as 0.2 millimetres (0.008 in)) with untoothed margins. The stipe (the part of the stem below the leaf blade) is 0.5 to 12 centimetres (0.20 to 4.7 in) long (occasionally up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long), and ranges from one-tenth to one and one-half times the length of the blade. The stipe is reddish-brown and sometimes shiny at the base, becoming green above, and narrowly winged. Scales like those of the rhizome are present at the stipe base, changing to tiny club-shaped hairs above.

Leaves:
The leaf blades are not subdivided, as in most other ferns, but are narrowly triangular to linear or lance-shaped. Their shape can be quite variable, even on the same plant. They measure from 1 to 30 centimetres (0.4 to 10 in) long and from 0.5 to 5 centimetres (0.2 to 2 in) across and have a leathery texture with sparse hairs, more abundant below than above. The rachis (leaf axis) is dull green in color and almost devoid of hairs. On the underside of the blade, the veins are difficult to see and anastomose (split and rejoin each other), forming a series of areoles (the small areas enclosed by the veins) near the rachis. Fertile fronds are usually larger than sterile fronds, but their shape is otherwise the same. The base of the blade is typically heart-shaped (with the stipe protruding from the cleft); the bulges on either side of the cleft are frequently enlarged into auricles (rounded lobes), or occasionally into sharply-pointed, tapering lobes. The leaf tips may be rounded but are typically very long and attenuate (drawn out); the attenuate tips are capable of sprouting roots and growing into a new plant when the tip touches a surface suitable for growth. On rare occasions, the auricles at the leaf base will also take on an attenuate shape and form roots at the tip. The ability of the leaf tips to root and form a new plant at some distance from the parent gives the species its common name. The young leaves forming from a bud at the leaf tip are round to pointed at their apex, not yet having developed the long-attenuate shape.

Specimens of A. rhizophyllum with forked blades have been found in Arkansas and Missouri. The fork usually occurs in the tip, perhaps due to growth after insect damage, but one specimen was found forking from the upper part of the stipe.

Sori and spores:
Fertile fronds bear a large number of sori underneath, 1 to 4 millimetres (0.04 to 0.2 in) long, which are not arranged in any particular order. The sori are often fused where veins join, and may curve to follow the vein to which they are attached. The sori are covered by inconspicuous thin, white indusia with untoothed edges. Each sporangium in a sorus carries 64 spores. The diploid sporophyte has a chromosome number of 72.
Cultivation: This fern prefers light to dense shade, moist humid conditions, and thin rocky soil. It requires a sheltered location where there is protection from the wind.
Medicinal Uses:
Used medicinally by the Cherokee Indians. Those that dreamt of snakes drank a decoction of liverwort (Hepatica acutiloba) and walking fern to produce vomiting, after which dreams do not return.

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/Asplenium_rhizophyllum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/grasses/plants/walking_fern.htm

Lactuca sibirica

 

Botanical Name: Lactuca sibirica
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Lactuca sibirica (L.) Benth., Lagedium sibiricum (L.) Sojak., Sonchus sibiricus L., Mulgedium sibiricum Less., Agathyrsus sibiricus D.Don.

Common Names: Prickly lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca sibirica is native to N. Europe to E. Asia. It grows on woods and scrub, also on river sands and gravels.

Description:
Lactuca sibirica is a perennial herb . Stalks are 25-100 (to 140) cm in height, straight, simple, non-pubescent, frequently red. The main root is erect, sometimes branchy. The root system consists of numerous roots and rhizomes. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate, elongate-acuminate, 1-5 cm in width, 6-18 cm in length, full, less often runcinate or pinnatilobate. Leaves are naked or weakly pubescent, amplexicaul cordate or sagittate at base; upper side green, underside glaucous. Phyllotaxy alternate. Corymbose-paniculate inflorescence consists of rather large calathidia 2.5-3 cm in diameter. Flowers are dark blue or violet, with ligules. Ligules are 10-15 mm in length and 2-3-mm in width. Involucre is cylindrical in form, 3-4-seriate, 9-14 mm in length, 4-8 mm in width. Leaflets lanceolate, bare with the pubescent top. Fruits are hemicarps, slightly compressed and ribbed, up to 5 mm in length, densely pubescent. Rostellum is usually a quarter the size of the hemicarp. Pappus is yellowish, up to 10 mm in length. It is in flower during July -and in fruit during August-September.

Flower color is blue, rarely white. Achene brown to olive green, narrowly ellipsoid, ca. 4 mm, subcompressed, either marginal rib almost as thick as ca. 1/3 of achene diam., middle third with 4 or 5 narrow ribs on either side, apically attenuate or with a ca. 1 mm beak. Pappus 5-7 mm.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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. But light sandy loam in a sunny position is prefered.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick. Division in spring. Make sure that each portion of root has at least one leaf bud.

Edible Uses: Young plants are eaten – raw or cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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/Lactuca

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200024118

http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/weeds/Lactuca_sibirica/http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sibirica

 

Betula populifolia

Botanical Name: Betula populifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. populifolia

Synonyms: Betula acuminata, Betula cuspidata Schrad. ex Regel

Common Name: Gray Birch

Habitat: Betula populifolia is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Virginia and west to Indiana. It is found on the margins of swamps and ponds, it also commonly grows in dry sandy or gravelly barren soils, growing well in poor almost sterile soils.

Description:
Betula populifolia is a deciduous Tree growing quickly to 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 inch trunk diameter, with an irregular open crown of slender branches. The tree often has multiple trunks branching off of an old stump. The leaves are 5-7.5 cm long by 4–6 cm wide, alternately arranged, ovate, and tapering to an elongated tip. They are dark green and glabrous above and paler below, with a coarsely serrated margin. The bark is chalky to grayish white with black triangular patches where branch meets trunk. It is most easily confused for the paper birch (Betula papyrifera) by means of its bark; it is smooth and thin but does not readily exfoliate like paper birch does.It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. Bloom Color is brown. It’s form is Pyramidal, Upright or erect. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 5–8 cm long, the male catkins pendulous and the female catkins erect. The fruit, maturing in autumn, is composed of many tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Specimen. Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils doing well on poor ones and on heavy clays. A fast growing tree, though it rarely lives longer than 50 years. It is a pioneer species of abandoned fields, burnt-over lands, cleared woodlands etc. A fairly wind-tolerant plant, but it is shallow-rooted and older trees are often uprooted by winds and heavy snow in the wild. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, especially with B. papyrifera. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.

Edible Uses:
Inner bark – cooked or dried and ground into a meal. The meal can be used as a thickener in soups etc, or be added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – sweet. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on warm days that follow frosty nights. The sap is drunk as a sweet beverage or it can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is astringent. a decoction has been used to treat bleeding piles. Scrapings of the inner bark have been used to treat swellings in infected cuts. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism .

Other Uses:
Charcoal; Pioneer; Wood.
A pioneer species, readily invading old fields, burnt-over or cleared land and providing suitable conditions for other woodland trees to become established. It is an excellent crop for very poor soils, where it grows rapidly and affords protection to the seedlings of more valuable and slower-growing trees. Since this species is short-lived and not very shade tolerant, it is eventually out-competed by these other trees. Wood – close-grained, soft, light, weak, not durable. It weighs 36lb per cubic foot. Unimportant commercially, the wood is used locally for making clothes pegs, spools, pulp, charcoal and quite commonly as a fuel.

Known Hazards: The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.

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/Betula_populifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+populifolia