Tag Archives: Ambrosia beetle

Ajuga chamaepitys

Botanical Name :Ajuga chamaepitys
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:Ajuga
Species: A. chamaepitys
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

 Common Names:  Ground Pine, Yellow bugle

Habitat: Ajuga chamaepitys is native to CentraL and souther Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa and E. Asia. It grows in very local in sandy and chalky arable fields and in open habitats in chalky grassland in southeastern England.

Description: A. chamaepitys is a small herbaceous perennial that reaches 10–40 cm in height. The leaves have an opposite arrangement. It’s flowering season is generally in late spring. Ground pine is a plant whose richness has been severely reduced by changes to downland farming. At first sight, A. chamaepitys looks like a tiny pine tree with a reddish purple four-cornered hairy stem. The leaves can get up to 4 cm long, and the leaves are divided into three linear lobes which, when crushed, has a smell similar to pine needles. Ground pine sheds its shiny black seeds close to the parent plant and the seeds can remain alive in the soil for up to 50 years. click to see…………..(01)………...(1).……..(2)...

Both in foliage and blossom it is very unlike its near relative, the Common Bugle, forming a bushy, herbaceous plant, 3 to 6 inches high, the four-cornered stem, hairy and viscid, generally purplish red, being much branched and densely leafy. Except the lowermost leaves, which are lanceshaped and almost undivided, each leaf is divided almost to its base into three very long, narrow segments, and the leaves being so closely packed together, the general appearance is not altogether unlike the long, needle-like foliage of the pine, hence the plant has received a second name- Ground Pine. The flowers are placed singly in the axils of leaf-like bracts and have bright yellow corollas, the lower lip spotted with red. They are in bloom during May and June. The whole plant is very hairy, with stiff hairs, which consist of a few long joints. It has a highly aromatic and turpentiny odour and taste.

Cultivation:
Thrives in a poor dry soil in full sun. Prefers a humus-rich moisture-retentive soil. Plants are usually annual, but are sometimes short-lived perennials. The whole plant smells of pine trees when crushed.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination can be erratic

Medicinal Uses: A. chamaepitys has stimulant, diuretic and emmenagogue action and is considered by herbalists to form a good remedy for gout and rheumatism and also to be useful in female disorders. Ground pine is a plant well known to Tudor herbalists who exploited the resins contained within the leaves. The herb was formerly regarded almost as a specific in gouty and rheumatic affections. The plant leaves were dried and reduced to powder. It formed an ingredient of the once famous gout remedy, Portland Powder. It was composed of the leaves of A. Chamaepitys, which has a slightly turpentine-like smell and a rough taste, with properties described as being similar to diluted alcohol.

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/Ajuga_chamaepitys http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bugley83.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ajuga+chamaepitys

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Yellow Rattle

Rhinanthus minor

Rhinanthus minor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Botanical Name : Rhinanthus minor
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Rhinanthus
Species: R. minor
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names ;Yellow Rattle or Cockscomb, Rhinanthus minor

Habitat : Rhinanthus minor is  native to Europe and Western Asia.Its preferred habitat is dry fields or meadows.In Ireland and Scotland, this species is often associated with Machair habitat.

Description:
Rhinanthus minor is a hemi-parasitic herbaceous annual plant that gains some of its nutrients from the roots of neighbouring plants. It grows to 25-50 cm tall, with opposite, simple leaves, with a serrated margin. The flowers are yellow, produced on a terminal raceme. The fruit is a dry capsule, which contain loose, rattling seeds when ripe; the plant’s name refers to these. Its flowering period is between June and September.

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Research at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has shown that encouraging Yellow Rattle to grow in hay meadows greatly increases biodiversity by restricting grass growth and thereby allowing other species to thrive. The seeds are spread very effectively by traditional hay-making practices.

It can be cultivated by scarifying the surface of the ground with a fork or similar, then sowing onto short grass, 0.5 to 1 gram of seed per square metre. Yellow Rattle seed is short-lived and should always be sown in the autumn, using seed harvested that year. Then, keep grass short for beginning of March when seedlings establish. Thereafter, the grass should not be cut until the end of July to allow the Yellow Rattle to flower and go to seed, then cut short.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is ophthalmic.  Rhianthus has been reported to be an effective substitute for eyebright.  Used as an internal tea for colds and an external wash for the eyes.

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/Rhinanthus_minor
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Aspidistra

Botanical Name :Aspidistra elatior
Family: Convallariaceae/Ruscaceae
Genus : Aspidistra
Synonyms : Aspidistra lurida – Ker-Gawl.
Common Name :
Cast-iron Plant
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. elatior

Habitat :Although sometimes thought to be of Chinese origin, the species is in fact native to islands in southern Japan including Kuroshima, Suwanosejima and the Uji Islands. It occurs in association with overstorey species such as Ardisia sieboldii and Castanopsis sieboldii  E. Asia – Japan – Kuroshima, Suwanose, and Uji Islands. An understory plant, found growing in forests beneath Ardisia crenata and Castanopsis sieboldii. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Description:
Aspidistra elatior  is a rhizomatous perennial. It is a stemless plant to 1 metre in height with dark green leaves. Small, solitary purplish flowers may appear at the base of the plant in spring.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from January to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Slugs, snails.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Aspidistra elatior is a staple of the shade garden. It has wide, evergreen leaves that rise up from tough, rhizomatous roots. The lance shaped leaves are dark green and leathery, and around 12-20 in (30-50 cm) long. The aspect of cast-iron plant is decidedly vertical. Some types of aspidistra are variegated with creamy streaks or dots; some are shorter than the species. The plants spread in clumps, vigorously but at a moderate enough rate not to be invasive or even troublesome. The flowers are borne close to the ground and never even seen unless one deliberately searches for them.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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 full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Medicinal Uses
Febrifuge; Styptic; Tonic.

The roots, stems and leaves are febrifuge, styptic and tonic. Strengthens bones and muscles. A decoction of the root, stems or leaves is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, amenorrhoea, diarrhoea, myalgia, traumatic injuries and urinary stones.

Other Uses:
Ground cover.
Aspidistras can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position.

Aspidistra is often grown in a container as a porch or patio plant, or as a house plant. In landscapes, it can be used as a border or be planted in a drift around trees, or to fill a planter under an overhang. In his North Florida garden, Steve has a stand of them growing in almost total shade at the base of a large live oak tree. Florists use the leaves in arrangements, where they lend drama and provide an excellent background for flowers. The leaves of cast-iron plant are especially long lasting in arrangements.

Cultivation :
Prefers a shady position in a rich well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils and drought. Almost hardy in Britain[1], plants can withstand temperatures down to about -15°c if they are well sited. A plant growing under shrubs in Worcestershire has survived in the garden for over 30 years. This plant used to be commonly grown as a house plant, it tolerates considerable neglect.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring. Suckers. Best removed in the autumn and grown on in the greenhouse for the first winter.

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/database/plants.php?Aspidistra+elatior
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspidistra_elatior
http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/aspi_ela.cfm
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml

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Allium acuminatum

Botanical Name : Allium acuminatum
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. acuminatum

Common Name: Tapertip onion or Hooker’s onion


Habitat
: Allium acuminatum is native to  Western N. America – Washington to N. California.It grows in amongst dry sunny rocks on hills and plains.

Description:
Plant:  perennial
; scape terete full length, 10-35 cm. Traditionally, bulbs were dug in the spring and eaten by the Thompson.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from May to June. Its bulbs are small and spherical and smell like onions. The flowers are pink to purple on a long stem which appear after the leaves have died.

Flowers: 10-20 flowers per scape; outer tepals commonly purple-rose, lanceolate, 8-15 mm, becoming involute margined and keeled, tips spreading to recurved; inner tepals smaller than outer series

Bulb: Bulb growing to 0.3m by 0.08m.    New bulb is formed inside of the bulb coat of the parent bulb, bulb coat maked with squarish reticulations

The long, narrow basal leaves typical of the Onion Family can be seen dried in the lower part of the picture at left.  Many wild animals eat the bulbs and the onion-flavored leaves of this and other Alliaceae.

Leaves: slightly channeled or V-shaped in cross section

CLICK & SEE

The onions were eaten by first peoples in southern British Columbia. They were harvested in either early spring or late fall and usually cooked in pits.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil.  The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage. This species is best in a cold frame and given a dry summer rest.  The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed.

Bulb – raw or cooked.   Eaten in spring and early summer. A strong flavour . The bulb is 10 – 15mm wide .  Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a relish. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The seed heads can be placed in hot ashes for a few minutes, then the seeds extracted and eaten.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses : …Repellent.....The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards :  Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.

Other Uses
Repellent.

The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles . The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible .

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+acuminatum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_acuminatum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ALAC4&photoID=alac4_005_ahp.jpg
http://www.cwnp.org/photopgs/adoc/alacuminatum.html
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Pink%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/allium.htm
http://www.penstemon.org/Idaho07PreviewPartTwo.htm

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Wolf’s bane (Indian aconite)

Botanical Name: Aconitum ferox Wall
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species:A. ferox
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Syn: Aconitum virosum Don., A. napellus var. rigidum Hook, f & T.

English names: Wolf’s bane, Indian aconite.

Sanskrit names: Vatsanabha, Visa.

Vernacular names: Hin: Bish, Mahoor; Guj and Mar: Vachang; Kas: Mohra; Tam: Vasnumbi; Tel: Vasnabhi.

Trade name: Bish.

Habitat : Wolf’s bane  is  abundant at Sandakphu, which is the highest point of the Darjeeling Hills in the Indian State of West Bengal.
Alpine Himalaya including Nepal; endemic.

Descriptions: 

Wolf’s bane is  a deciduous perennial plant  . It is an erect herb growing up to 2 m in height; roots look like the navel of children; leaves alternate, simple, rounded or oval, may be palmately 5-lobed; flowers borne on branched racemes, bracts and bracteoles present, large helmet-type, helmet vaulted with short sharp beak, pale dirty blue in colour, zygomorphic, floral parts arranged spirally on an elongated receptacle; follicles erect, usually densely villose-sometimes glabrous.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: July-November.
Ecology and cultivation: Temperate to alpine regions of the Himalaya in the altitude of 3300-5000 m…..CLICK & SEE

Cultivation:-
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. If the flower stems are removed after flowering the plant will normally flower again later in the season. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. A polymorphic species. The nomenclature is very confused for this species, A. lycoctonum. L. is treated as A. septentrionale by many botanists whilst A. lycoctonum. Auct. is A. vulparia.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year

Chemical contents: Root: pseudoaconitine (a toxic alkaloid), indactonitine, chasmaconitine, bikhaconitine.
Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Alterative; Anaesthetic; Antiarthritic; Antitussive; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Stimulant.

The root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, antitussive, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and stimulant. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner

Traditional use: AYURVEDA : Root: used in the mrityunjaya rasa (used to treat the fever supposed to be caused by deranged vayu, i.e., wind, sannipatika jvara, i.e., remittent fever, hingulesware-rasa, anandabhairav agnitundi vati, etc.

Vatsanabha has been used in medicine from a very remote period. It is regarded as healing and stimulant. It is used in a great variety of affections, but is specially recommended in fever, cephalagia, affections of throat, dyspepsia and rheumatism. HOMOEOPATHY: remedy for clotting of blood in heart or in lungs, pneumonia, Iymptisis, pleurisy, eye trouble, earache, toothache and urinary trouble.

Modern use: Extremely poisonous; used in leprosy, fever, cholera, nasal catarrah, tonsillitis, sore throat, gastric disorders, debility, etc., also used as a sedative and diaphoretic; applied in the form of paste in cases of neuralgia and rheumatism.

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Adulterants: Indian aconite root is known as ‘bikh’ or ‘bish’, the name which is applied to aconite from more than one species, and different authors have ascribed it to different species.

Remarks: Vulnerable due to excessive collection for medicinal uses. Collection in wild state should be banned and measures for cultivation should be initiated.

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

Reources:

http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Aconitum%20ferox

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum_ferox

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aconitum+lycoctonum

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