Tag Archives: Althaea officinalis

Anchusa officinalis

Botanical Name: Anchusa officinalis
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Anchusa
Species: A. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Names: Common bugloss, Alkanet, Bugloss

Habitat : Anchusa officinalis is native to Europe to W. Asia. An introduced casual in Britain. It grows in roadsides, pastures and waste ground, preferring warmer areas.

Description:
Anchusa officinalis is a biennial/perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). . The plants bear a basal rosette of lanceolate leaves the first year. In the following years, a large number of erect stems appear. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers have red tinges before turning deep sapphire blue and retain their colour for a long time. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Noted for its deep sapphire-blue flowers that are extremely attractive to wildlife, Anchusa is a relative of borage. The flowers that bloom from late spring right through until first frosts, are rich in nectar and pollen and much loved by almost all bee species. In the garden it can be used as part of wildlife friendly planting scheme or can be added to wildlife or wildflower gardens to bring its own brand of natural diversity.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sunny position. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and are very attractive to bees. The dry leaves emit a rich musky fragrance, rather like wild strawberry leaves drying.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in pots of sandy soil. An overnight drop in temperature helps germination. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 4 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seed bed during July, transplanting the plants to their final positions during early autumn. These plants will grow larger and flower earlier than those sown in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring.

Leaves and young shoots – cooked. Used like spinach. Flowers – cooked or used as a garnish. The red dye obtained from the roots can be used to colour oils and fats.
Medicinal Uses:
Demulcent; Expectorant; Homeopathy.

All parts of the plant are demulcent and expectorant. They are used externally to treat cuts, bruises and phlebitis and internally to treat coughs and bronchial catarrh. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers.

Preparations made from roots and/or stems have been used in modern folk medicine primarily as an expectorant (to raise phlegm) or as an emollient (a salve to sooth and soften the skin).

Other Uses:.…..Dye……A red dye is obtained from the roots

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/Anchusa_officinalis
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anchusa+officinalis

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Malva meschata

Botanical Name :Malva meschata
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Genus: Malva
Species: M. moschata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names : Musk-mallow

Habitat :Malva meschata is native to Europe and southwestern Asia, from Spain north to the British Isles and Poland, and east to southern Russia and Turkey.It has been introduced to and become naturalised in several areas with temperate climates away from its native range, including Scandinavia, New Zealand, and North America.It occurs on dry, but fertile soils at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 m. Natural hybrids with the closely related Malva alcea are occasionally found.

Description:
Malva meschata is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall, with hairy stems and foliage. The leaves are alternate, 2–8 cm long and 2–8 cm broad, palmately lobed with five to seven lobes; basal leaves on the lower stem are very shallowly lobed, those higher on the stems are deeply divided, with narrow, acuminate lobes. The flowers are produced in clusters in the leaf axils, each flower 3.2–5 cm diameter, with five bright pink petals with a truncated to notched apex; they have a distinctive musky odour. The fruit is a disc-shaped schizocarp 3–6 mm diameter, containing 10–16 seeds, the seeds individually enclosed in a mericarp covered in whitish hairs. It has a chromosome count of 2n=42.The flowers are usually pollinated by bees. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:   
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, though it prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant. It is very variable in form, especially with regard to the degree of laciniation of the leaves. The crushed leaves have a musk-like smell. Plants are generally quite short-lived though they can self-sow freely when in a suitable position and usually more than maintain themselves. If the plant is pruned back to the main branches as it comes into flower, then it will produce a fresh flush of leaves in late summer for salad use. A good plant for the summer meadow. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Prone to infestation by rust fungus.

Propagation:                                            
Seed – best sown in early spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates quickly and easily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in their permanent positions in the early summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in the middle to late spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. 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. Cuttings of side shoots, July/August in a cold frame

Edible Uses:

Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild pleasant flavour. The leaves are mucilaginous and fairly bland, we use them in bulk in summer salads. They make a very good perennial substitute for lettuce in a salad, producing fresh leaves from spring until the middle of summer, or until the autumn from spring germinating plants. Flowers – raw. A very decorative addition to the salad bowl, they have a very mild flavour. Seed – raw. Best used before it is fully mature, the seed has a pleasant nutty taste but it is rather small and fiddly to harvest.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiphlogistic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Emollient;  Expectorant;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Salve.

All parts of the plant are antiphlogistic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, salve. The leaves and flowers can be eaten as part of the diet, or a tea can be made from the leaves, flowers or roots. The leaves and flowers are the main part used, their demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or taken internally in the treatment of respiratory system diseases or inflammation of the digestive or urinary systems. They have similar properties, but are considered to be inferior, to the common mallow (M. sylvestris) and the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) and are seldom used internally. The plant is an excellent laxative for young children.

Other Uses  :
Dye;  Fibre.

Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for cordage, textiles and paper making.

It is often grown as an ornamental plant for its attractive scented flowers, produced for a long period through the summer. Several cultivars have been selected for variation on flower colour, including ‘Rosea’ with dark pink flowers. The form ‘Alba’ (white flowered) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Known Hazards :When grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are used inorganically), the plant tends to concentrate high levels of nitrates in its leaves. The leaves are perfectly wholesome at all other times.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Malva+moschata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malva_moschata
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mallow07.html

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Malva sylvestris

 

Botanical NameMalva sylvestris
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Genus: Malva
Species: M. sylvestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonym: Common Mallow.Althaea godronii. Althaea mauritiana. Malva ambigua. Malva erecta. Malva mauritiana,   Malva ambigua. Malva erecta. Malva mauritiana.

Common names:  Mallow, High mallow, French Hollyhock, Common Mallow, Tree Mallow, Tall Mallow .
Albanian: Mëllaga
Bulgarian:Gorski slez
English: Blue Mallow, Tall mallow, common mallow, high mallow,  cheese-cake,
pick-cheese, round dock, country-mallow, wild mallow, wood mallow
Catalan: Malva, Vauma, malva de cementiri
Corsican: Malba
Welsh: Hocysen Gyffredin
Czech: sléz lesní
Danish: Almindelig Katost
German: Kultur-käsepappel
Esperanto: Malvo granda
Greek:Molocha
Spanish: Malva común, Malva silvestre
Basque: ziga, zigiña
Estonian: mets-kassinaeris
French: Grande mauve, mauve sylvestre, mauve des bois
Finnish: Kiiltomalva
Croatian: Sljez crni, Sljez divlji
Hungarian: Erdei mályva, mályva, Papsajt
– Georgian:Balba

Italian: Malva, méiba, nalba, riondella
Kashmiri: Sotsal
Malayalam: Hobbejza tar-raba
Dutch: Groot Kaasjeskruid
Norwegian: Apotekerkattost
Polish: Slaz dziki
Portuguese: Malva silvestre
Sardinian: mamarutza, marmaredda, marva, Narbedda
Slovak: slez lesný
Slovene: Gozdni slezenovec
Serbian: crni slez
Swedish: rödmalva
Romanian: Nalba de culturä, nalba de padure
Turkish: Büyük ebegümeci

Habitat ; Malva sylvestris is native to England, Wales and Channel Islands, Siberia and scattered elsewhere. It  spreads itself on waste and rough ground, by roads and railways throughout lowland of England. It has been introduced to and has become naturalised in eastern Australia, in the United States, Canada and Mexico probably escaped from cultivation.

Description:
Malva sylvestris is a spreading herb, which is an annual in North Africa, biennial in the Mediterranean and a perennial elsewhere Three feet (one meter) tall, (3 meters has been observed in a wild or escaped from cultivation setting, and several cultivated plants of 2 meter or more in height) with a growth habit which can be straight or decumbent, branched and covered with fine soft hairs or none at all, M. sylvestris is pleasing in appearance when it first starts to flower, but as the summer advances, “the leaves lose their deep green color and the stems assume a ragged appearance”.

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Stems and leaves:
A thick, round and strong stem.
The leaves are borne upon the stem, are roundish, and have three or five to seven  or five to nine[8] shallow  lobes, each 2 to 4 centimeters (1 to 2 inches) long, 2 to 5 centimeters wide (1 to 2 inches) and 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) in diameter. Downy, with hairs radiating from a common center and prominent veins on the underside.

Petiole either 2 to 6 centimeters (1 to 3 inches) or 2 to 13 centimeters (1 to 5 or 6 inches) long

Cattle do not appear to be fond of this plant, every part of which abounds with a mild mucilage.

Flowers:
Described as reddish-purple, bright pinkish-purple with dark stripes and bright mauve-purple, the flowers of Malva sylvestris appear in axillary clusters of 2 to 4 and form irregularly and elongated along the main stem with the flowers at the base opening first.

M. sylvestris has an epicalyx (or false calyx) with oblong segments, two-thirds as long as calyx or 2–3 millimeters long and 1.5 millimeters wide. Its calyx is free to the middle, 3–6 millimeters long, with broadly triangular lobes or ovate mostly 5–7 millimeters long.The flowers are 2–4 times as long as the calyx;

Petals are wrinkly to veined on the backs, more than 20 millimeters long or 15 to 25 millimeters long  and 1 centimeter wide, eggshaped, margin notched with a fringe of hairlike projections.

Slender flower stalks  that are either 2 centimeters long or 1 to 3 centimeters long.
Ten broad carpels in axillary clusters; stamen about 3 millimters long, radiating from the center with short soft hairs.

Fruits:
Nutlets strongly reticulate (10–12 mericarps, usually without hair, with sharp angle between dorsal and lateral surfaces, 5–6 millimters in diameter.
Seeds or ‘cheeses,’ are brown to brownish green when ripe, about 2.5 millimeters long and wide 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter and are shaped like a cheese wheel which is where several of its common names came from.

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil and in poor soils. It prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position, where it will produce a better crop of salad leaves. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. ‘Mauritiana’ is larger than the type with much more ornamental flowers. The flavour of the leaves and flowers is considered by many to be superior to the type species. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Prone to infestation by rust fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Mucilaginous with a mild pleasant flavour, they are nice in soups where they act as a thickener. The young leaves also make a very acceptable substitute for lettuce in a salad. Immature seed – raw. Used as a nibble, the seeds have a nice nutty flavour but are too fiddly for most people to want to gather in quantity. Flowers – raw. Added to salads or used as a garnish. A pleasant mild flavour, with a similar texture to the leaves, they make a pleasant and pretty addition to the salad bowl. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Flowers, leaves.

All parts of the plant are antiphlogistic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, salve. The leaves and flowers can be eaten as part of the diet, or a tea can be made from the leaves, flowers or roots. The leaves and flowers are the main part used, their demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or they can be taken internally in the treatment of respiratory system diseases and problems with the digestive tract. When combined with eucalyptus it makes a god remedy for coughs and other chest ailments. Mallow has similar properties, but is considered to be inferior to the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) and are seldom used internally. The plant is an excellent laxative for young children. The leaves can be used fresh whenever they are available or can be harvested in the spring and dried for later use. The flowers are harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Malva sylvestris for cough, bronchitis, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx.

Other Uses:
The species has long been used as a natural yellow dye, perhaps more recently, cream color, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seeds. A tincture of the flowers can make a very sensitive test for alkalis.

Decoration:
In the past, the flowers were spread on doorways and woven into garlands or chaplets for celebrating May Day.

Known Hazards : When grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are cultivated inorganically), the plant tends to concentrate high levels of nitrates in its leaves. The leaves are perfectly wholesome at all other times. Avoid with gallstones.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mallow07.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malva_sylvestris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Malva+sylvestris

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Malva neglecta

Botanical Name : Malva neglecta
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Malva
Species: M. neglecta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Name:Common mallow,  Buttonweed, Cheeseplant, Cheeseweed, Dwarf mallow and Roundleaf mallow.

Habitat :  Malva neglecta is native to the following Palearctic Countries:

Macaronesia: Canary Islands
Northern Africa: Algeria, Morocco
Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia
Western Asia: Afghanistan, Cyprus, Sinai, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Turkey
Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Soviet Middle Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Mongolia: Mongolia
China: Xinjiang
Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan
Northern Europe: Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom
Middle Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland
Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sardinia, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania,
Southwestern Europe: France, Portugal, Spain

This weed grows on waste and cultivated ground, usually on dry soils, frequently in coastal habitats, on dry walls or as a weed of cultivated ground

Description:
Malva neglecta is an annual plant  growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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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 dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:    
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, though it prefers a reasonably well-drained and moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. It also succeeds in dry soils. At one time this plant was often cultivated for its edible leaves. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Prone to infestation by rust fungus.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. The seed germinates in the autumn in the wild.

Edible Uses:
Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. A mild pleasant flavour, they are said to be highly nutritious. They can be added in quantity to salads, and make an excellent lettuce substitute, they can also be cooked as greens. The leaves are mucilaginous, when cooked in soups etc they tend to thicken it in much the same way as okra (Abelmoschatus esculenta). Some people find this mucilaginous texture unpleasant, especially if the leaves are cooked[K]. Immature seeds – raw or cooked. A pleasant nutty flavour, they are nice as a nibble but too small for most people to want to collect in quantity. A decoction of the roots is used as an egg-white substitute for making meringue. The roots are brought to the boil in water and then simmered until the water becomes quite thick. This liquid can then be whisked in much the same way as egg whites. A tea can be made from the dried leaves

Medicinal Uses:
Antiinflammatory;  Antiphlogistic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Emollient;  Expectorant;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Purgative;  Salve.

All parts of the plant are antiphlogistic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, salve. The leaves and flowers can be eaten as part of the diet, or a tea can be made from the leaves, flowers or roots. The leaves and flowers are the main part used, their demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or taken internally in the treatment of respiratory system diseases or inflammation of the digestive or urinary systems. They have similar properties, but are considered to be inferior to the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis), though they are stronger acting than the common mallow (M. sylvestris). They are seldom used internally.

Mallow root is highly regarded by herbalists as an effective demulcent and emollient.  Both of these actions are attributed to the plant’s mucilaginous qualities.  Roundleaf mallow is used as a lotion or internal medication for an injury or swelling (Navajo). All parts of the plant are astringent, laxative, urine-inducing, and have agents that counteract inflammation, that soften and soothe the skin when applied locally, and that induce the removal (coughing up) of mucous secretions from the lungs. The leaves and flowers are the main part used, their demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or taken internally in the treatment of respiratory system diseases or inflammation of the digestive or urinary systems. They have similar properties, but are considered to be inferior to the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis), though they are stronger acting than the common mallow (M. sylvestris). The plant is an excellent laxative for young children.

Other Uses  :
Dye;  Teeth.

Cream, yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the plant and the seed heads. The root is used as a toothbrush

Known Hazards :  When grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are inorganic), the plant tends to concentrate high levels of nitrates in its leaves. The leaves are perfectly wholesome at all other times.

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/Malva_neglecta
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Malva+neglecta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Dwarf Indigobush (Amorpha nana )

Botanical Name: Amorpha nana
Family : Leguminosae /Fabaceae
Genus :   Amorpha
Kingdom: Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Species: A. nana
Synonyms :  Amorpha microphylla – Pursh.
Common Names :Fragrant false indigo,Dwarf indigo, Dwarf indigobush, Dwarf false indigo, Fragrant indigo-bush, Fragrant false indigo, Dwarf wild indigo

Habitat : Western N. America – Minnesota to the Rocky Mountains.   Dry prairies in S. Manitoba

Description :
Dwarf wild indigo is a smooth, much-branched decidious perennial from a woody rootcrown. Plants are usually about 12-18 inches tall. Leaves are found on the upper half of the plant and are about two inches long. Each leaf is comprised of 8-15 pairs of small, oval leaflets arranged along a midrib. Leaves alternate, compound (odd-pinnate) to 5-8 cm long, 25-31 leaflets, each 7-11 mm long and 2-4 mm wide, narrow to broadly oblong, tip rounded, emarginate or mucronate (sharp pointed).  Flowers perfect, small, purplish, one petal, in terminal spike-like clusters (racemes), 3.5-4.5 cm long.  Fruit a small reddish-brown pod, 4-5 mm long, one seed.Several dozen violet-to-purple flowers are crowded into spikes about one half inch wide that form in the upper branches. The tiny pods (legumes) are smooth and glandular.

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Look for dwarf wild indigo during late June in native prairie on gentle slopes at middle or low elevations. Plants are usually more abundant where grazing is light or moderate.
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation :
Prefers a light well-drained sandy soil in sun or light shade. Fairly wind-resistant. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25c. Plants resent root disturbance, they should be planted out into their final positions whilst small. Plants are said to be immune to insect pests. Flowers are produced on the current season’s growth. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – presoak for 12 hours in warm water and sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. 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, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June/July in a frame. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, autumn, in a sheltered position outdoors. Takes 12 months. Suckers in spring just before new growth begins. Layering in spring .

Medicinal Uses:
Expectorant.
The plant has been used as a snuff in the treatment of catarrh.

Other Uses
Insecticide; Soil stabilization.

The resinous pustules on some species yield the insecticide ‘amorpha’. The plant has a strong spreading root system and this makes it useful for controlling soil erosion.

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/database/plants.php?Amorpha+nana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorpha_nana
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/amnana.htm
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/wildflwr/species/amornana.htm
http://www.keiriosity.com/gallery/main.php/v/plants/Fabaceae/Amorpha_nana/Amorpha_nana04.jpg.html

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