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Helianthus strumosus

Botanical Name : Helianthus strumosus
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus
Species:H. hirsutus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower

Habitat :Helianthus strumosus is native to N. America – Quebec to N. Dakota, south to Arkansas and Oklahoma It grows on dry woods and banks.

Description:
Helianthus hirsutus is a perennial sometimes as much as 200 cm (almost 7 feet) tall, spreading by means of underground rhizomes. Leaves and stems are covered with stiff hairs. One plant can produce 1-7 flower heads, each with 10–15 yellow ray florets surrounding 40 or more yellow disc florets. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The species grows in sunny locations in open forests or along the edges of forests.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Requires a rich soil. Dislikes shade. Prefers a moist soil[200]. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. Plants have a running root system and can be invasive.

Propagation:
Seed – sow 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. Division in spring or autumn. 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.

Edible Uses: Root. No more details but it is probably used raw or cooked like the Jerusalem artichoke.
Medicinal Uses:A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems. The sunflower has many common uses.  Indians applied the crushed root to bruises.  The seeds have been used to increase urine flow and to clear phlegm.  A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems

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/Helianthus_hirsutus

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+strumosus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Polygonatum multiflorum

Botanical Name : Polygonatum multiflorum
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Polygonatum
Species: P. multiflorum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Convallaria ambigua. Convallaria bracteata. Convallaria broteroi

Common Names: Solomon’s seal, David’s harp, Ladder-to-heaven, Eurasian Solomon’s seal

Habitat: Polygonatum multiflorum is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, and temperate Asia to Japan. It grows in woodland, usually on limestone.

Description:
Polygonatum multiflorum is a rhizomatous perennial plant, growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) broad, with arching stems of alternate leaves, and slightly necked, pendent tubular white flowers with green tips, hanging from the undersides of the stems. It is valued in cultivation for its ability to colonise shady areas, and is suitable for a woodland style planting. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade. Succeeds in dry shade if the soil is rich in humus[190]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but tolerate most other conditions[200]. Another report suggests that they tolerate drought so long as the soil is rich in humus. A very ornamental plant, growing well on the woodland edge. There are some named forms. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. The young shoots of most members of this genus are very attractive to slugs. Hybridizes with other members of this genus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a shady part of a cold greenhouse. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Germination can be slow, they may not come true to type and it takes a few years for them to reach a good size. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March or October. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. Boiled and used as an asparagus substitute, they make an excellent vegetable and are widely used in Turkey. Root – cooked. Rich in starch. The root should be macerated for some time in water in order to remove bitter substances. Normally only used in times of famine, the root was powdered and then made into a bread by the North American Indians.

The roots macerated for some time in water yield a substance capable of being used as food and consisting principally of starch. The young shoots form an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like Asparagus, and are largely consumed in Turkey. The roots of another species have been made into bread in times of scarcity, but they require boiling or baking before use.

Constituents: The rhizome and herb contain Convallarin, one of the active constituents of Lily-of-the-Valley, also Asparagin, gum, sugar, starch and pectin.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Demulcent; Emetic; Poultice; Tonic.

Solomon’s seal has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. It is used mainly in the form of a poultice and is believed to prevent excessive bruising and to stimulate tissue repair. The root is astringent, demulcent, emetic and tonic. An infusion is healing and restorative, it is good in the treatment of stomach inflammations, chronic dysentery etc. It is used with other herbs in the treatment of pulmonary problems, including tuberculosis, and women’s complaints. The powdered roots make an excellent poultice for bruises, piles, inflammation etc. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The plant should not be used internally except under professional supervision. A distilled water made from the whole plant has been used as a skin tonic and is an ingredient of expensive cosmetics. The dried powdered roots and flowers have been used as a snuff to promote sneezing and thus clear the bronchial passages.

Solomon’s Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is useful also in female complaints. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery.

The flowers and roots used as snuff are celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions.

The berries are stated to excite vomiting, and even the leaves, nausea, if chewed.

The properties of these roots have not been very fully investigated. It is stated that a decoction will afford not only relief but ultimate cure in skin troubles caused by the poison vine, or poisonous exalations of other plants.

Other Uses: Can be used as Cosmetic………..Plants can be grown for ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. A distilled water made from the whole plant is used as a cosmetic to improve the complexion.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the fruits are poisonous. It has laxative properties and can increase the laxative effects of aloe, rhamnus, senna & yellow dock. May lead to gastrointestinal irritation with prolonged use. Overdose leads to nausea,

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/Polygonatum_multiflorum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/solsea63.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonatum+multiflorum

Cotinus coggygria

Botanical Name : Cotinus coggygria
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
Species:C. coggygria
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Rhus cotinus, the European smoketree, Eurasian smoketree

Common Names: Smoke tree, Smoke bush, or Dyer’s sumach

Habitat :  Cotinus coggygria is native to a large area from southern Europe, east across central Asia and the Himalaya to northern China. It grows on dry hillsides, rocky places and open woods, usually on limestone, to 1300 metres.

Description:
Cotinus coggygria is a multiple-branching shrub growing to 5-7 m tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3-8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn colour can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15-30 cm long; each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy ‘smoke-like’ appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2-3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.

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Cultivation:
Tolerates most soils.Prefers a well-drained dry or moist soil in a sunny position, doing better in a soil that is not very rich. Prefers a fertile but not over-rich soil. Tolerates light shade. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though die-back often occurs at the tips of shoots during the winter. Plants are slow to establish but are then quite fast growing when young though they slow down with age. Hybridizes with C. obovatus. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value. The purple-leafed cultivars are susceptible to mildew. Plants flower on wood that is at least 3 years old. Any pruning is best done in the spring. Branches sometimes wilt, especially after hard pruning, and these should be removed. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in the spring. Slightly immature or ‘green’ seed, harvested when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant, gives the best results. Warm stratify stored seed for 2 – 3 months at 15°c, then cold stratify for 2 – 3 months[164]. Germination can be very slow, often taking 12 months or more at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the 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. The seed has a long viability and should store for several years. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Trench layering in spring.

Edible Uses: 
Leaves are possibly edible. Some caution is advised. A volatile oil in the leaves contains pinene and camphene. One report suggests that the essential oil contained in the flowers and leaves has a mango-like odour. We have tried these leaves and really would not recommend them to anyone.

Medicinal Uses:
The yellow wood of Cotinus coggygria is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye ailments.   Recent research shows that  the Cotinus coggygria syrup has the effect of protecting the liver from chemical damages, reducing tension of the choledochal sphincter, increasing the bile flow and raising the body immunity. The anti-hepatitis effect may be carried out through decreasing transaminase, normalizing functioning of the gallbladder, reducing icterus and enhancing the immunity of the body.

Other Uses:
The wood was formerly used to make the yellow dye called young fustic. Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Pollard, Screen, Standard, Specimen. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers. It has a mango-like smell. Is it edible? A yellow to orange dye is obtained from the root and stem. It is somewhat fugitive though. The leaves and bark are a good source of tannins. Wood – ornamental. Used for cabinet making, picture frames. The twigs are used in basketry.

Known Hazards :  Skin contact with this plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. Though related to several poisonous species, this species is definitely not poisonous.

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/Eurasian_smoketree
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cotinus+coggygria

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