Tag Archives: American Society of Plant Biologists

Astragalus floridus

Botanical Name : Astragalus floridus
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Astragalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name : Duo Hua Huang Qi

Habitat : Astragalus floridus is native to East AsiaHimalayas. It grows in the forests and alpine meadows at elevations of 3800-4400 metres in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim and western China.

Description:
Astragalus floridus is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.   CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. Whilst it is likely to tolerate low temperatures it may not be so happy with a wet winter. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. This plant is a sub-shrub and although it produces woody stems these tend to die back almost to the base each winter. 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. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sweet taste and a heating potency. Antihydrotic, diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic, it is used in the treatment of body weakness from prolonged illness, renal inflammation from lack of exercise, lack of appetite, excessive perspiration (especially when asleep), diabetes, boils/sores, diarrhoea, irregular menses and vaginal/seminal discharge.
Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+floridus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus

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Astragalus canadensis

Botanical Name: Astragalus canadensis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Astragalus
Species: A. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Astragalus carolinianus. L.
Common Names : Canadian Milkvetch, Shorttooth Canadian milkvetch, Morton’s Canadian milkvetch
Habitat: Astragalus canadensis is native to Central and eastern N. America – Quebec to Saskatchewan, New York, Louisiana, Nebraska and Utah. IIt grows on shores and rich thickets. Rocky and sandy thickets in Texas.

Description:
Astragalus canadensis is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It sends out several thin, erect, green stems, bearing leaves that are actually made up of pairs of leaflets, each leaflet up to 3 centimeters in length. It has inflorescences of tubular, greenish-white flowers which yield beanlike fruits within pods that rattle when dry.

Pagoda-like towers of creamy yellow flowers rise above the dark green leaves in mid-summer, followed by scepters of bead-like seed pods in August. This striking member of the Pea family is an important food for birds, as it retains its seed late into the fall and early winter.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. 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. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:

Root – raw or boiled. They were often used in a broth. The roots are gathered in spring or autumn. Some caution is advised, if the root is bitter it could be due to the presence of toxic alkaloids.
Medicinal Uses:
The root is analgesic and antihaemorrhagic. It can be chewed or used as a tea to treat chest and back pains, coughs and the spitting up of blood. A decoction of the root is used as a febrifuge for children. A poultice made from the chewed root has been used to treat cuts

Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.

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/Astragalus_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+canadensis
http://www.prairienursery.com/store/native-wildflowers/canada-milk-vetch-seed-astragalus-canadensis#.V-3m8ySvE2w

Artemisia dracunculoides

Botanical Name : Artemisia dracunculoides
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. dracunculus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Achillea dracunculus Hort. ex Steud.
*Artemisia aromatica A.Nelson
*Artemisia cernua Nutt.
*Artemisia changaica Krasch.
*Artemisia dracunculoides Pursh
*Artemisia glauca Pall. ex Willd.
*Artemisia inodora Hook. & Arn.
*Artemisia inodora Willd.
*Artemisia nutans Pursh
*Artemisia nuttalliana Besser
*Artemisia redowskyi Ledeb.
*Draconia dracunculus (L.) Soják
*Dracunculus esculentus Garsault
*Oligosporus dracunculiformis (Krasch.) Poljakov
*Oligosporus dracunculus (L.) Poljakov
*Oligosporus glaucus (Pall. ex Willd.) Poljakov
*Artemisia dracunculina S.Watson

Common Names: Russian Tarragon, Tarragon, French Tarragon

Habitat : Artemisia dracunculoides is native to N. America. N. Europe. N. Asia – Siberia. It grows on prairies, plains and dry slopes.

Description:
Artemisia dracunculoides is a perennial herb, growing to 120–150 cm (47–59 in) tall, with slender branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) long and 2–10 mm broad, glossy green, with an entire margin.It is in flower in September. The flowers are produced in small capitulae 2–4 mm diameter, each capitulum containing up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets. French tarragon, however, seldom produces any flowers (or seeds). Some tarragon plants produce seeds that are generally only sterile. Others produce viable seeds. The plant has rhizomatous roots and it readily reproduces from the rhizomes.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Nomenclature is somewhat confused for this species. It is considered by some botanists to be a hardier form of A. dracunculus but with an inferior flavour, whilst some consider it to be part of A. glauca. It is very similar to A. dracunculus, but is more vigorous and hardier, Its leaves have a pungent and less pleasant flavour than that species. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions f required. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots when 10 – 15cm long, pot them up in a greenhouse and plant out when well rooted. Very easy.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The N. American Indians would bake the leaves between hot stones and then eat them with salt water. The leaves can also be eaten raw in salads but are inferior to A. dracunculus (Tarragon). The flavour is said to improve as the plant matures. Seed – raw or cooked. An oily texture. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.

Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and is particularly suitable for chicken, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is the main flavoring component of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon are steeped in vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar.

Tarragon is used to flavor a popular carbonated soft drink in the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and, by extension, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The drink, named Tarhun (Armenian pronunciation)  is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.

In Iran, tarragon is used as a side dish in sabzi khordan (fresh herbs), or in stews and in Persian style pickles, particularly ‘khiar shoor’.

In Slovenia, tarragon is used in a variation of the traditional nut roll sweet cake, called potica. In Hungary a popular kind of chicken soup is flavored with tarragon.

cis-Pellitorin, an isobutyramide eliciting a pungent taste, has been isolated from the tarragon plant.

Chemical Constituents:  A. dracunculus oil contained predominantly phenylpropanoids such as methyl chavicol (16.2%) and methyl eugenol (35.8%). Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of the essential oil revealed the presence of trans-anethole (21.1%), alfa-trans-ocimene (20.6%), limonene (12.4%), alfa-pinene (5.1%), allo-ocimene (4.8%), methyl eugenol (2.2%), bita-pinene (0.8%), alfa-terpinolene (0.5%), bornyl acetate (0.5%) and bicyclogermacrene (0.5%) as the main components

Medicinal Uses:
Antiscorbutic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Hypnotic; Stomachic.

The herb is antiscorbutic, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic and stomachic. The fresh herb is eaten to promote the appetite.

Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. The European Union investigation revealed that the danger of estragole is minimal even at 100–1,000 times the typical consumption seen in humans. Estragole concentration in fresh tarragon leaves is about 2900 mg/kg

Other Uses: ...Repellent….Both the growing and the dried plant repels insects. Landscape Uses:Container, Seashore.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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/Tarragon
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+dracunculoides

Artemisia abrotanum

Botanical Name : Artemisia abrotanum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. abrotanum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Southernwood, Lad’s love, Southern wormwood

Other common names include: old man, boy’s love, oldman wormwood, lover’s plant, appleringie, garderobe, Our Lord’s wood, maid’s ruin, garden sagebrush, European sage, sitherwood and lemon plant.

Habitat: Artemisia abrotanum is native to Eurasia and Africa but naturalized in scattered locations in North America.

Description:
Artemisia abrotanum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It has has very fine bipinnate leaves with linear pointed segments and a strong characteristic fragrance. The flowers are yellowish-white. It is indigenous to Spain and Italy but widely cultivated as a garden plant elsewhere.  It  is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-Mar It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor 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 and can tolerate drought……

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a well-drained one that is not too rich. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 7.6. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Southernwood is often grown in the herb garden, the leaves are very aromatic. It is best to cut the plant back fairly hard every spring in order to keep it compact and encourage plenty of new growth. The plant rarely produces flowers in British gardens. A good companion plant for cabbages. It is also a good plant to grow in the orchard, where it can help to reduce insect pests. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Once the seedlings are more than 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or summer. Cuttings of young wood 8cm long, May in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame
Edible Uses:.. Condiment; Tea….The young shoots have a bitter, lemony flavour and are used in small quantities as a flavouring in cakes, salads and vinegars. A tea is made from the young bitter shoots. The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas. Young shoots were used to flavor pastries and puddings. In Italy, it is used as a culinary herb.
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiseptic; Cholagogue; Deobstruent; Emmenagogue; Stomachic; Tonic.

Southernwood has a long history of domestic herbal use, though it is now used infrequently in herbal medicine. It is a strongly aromatic bitter herb that improves digestion and liver function by increasing secretions in the stomach and intestines, it stimulates the uterus and encourages menstrual flow, lowers fevers, relaxes spasms and destroys intestinal worms. The herb, and especially the young flowering shoots, is anthelmintic, antiseptic, cholagogue, deobstruent, emmenagogue, stomachic and tonic. The main use of this herb is as an emmenagogue, though it is also a good stimulant tonic and has some nervine principle. It is sometimes given to young children in order to expel parasitic worms and externally it is applied to small wounds in order to stop them bleeding and help them to heal. The herb is also used externally in aromatic bathes and as a poultice to treat skin conditions. Southernwood should be used internally with caution, see the notes above on toxicity. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, since it can encourage menstrual flow.

Other Uses:
Dye; Essential; Hair; Hedge; Hedge; Incense; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

Insect repellent. The growing plant repels fruit tree moths when growing in an orchard. The fresh plant can also be rubbed onto the skin to deter insects. The shoots can be dried for indoor use, they remain effective for 6 – 12 months. They are also said to repel ants. Shoots can be burnt in the fireplace to remove cooking odours from the house. The leaves have a refreshing lemon-like fragrance and are used in pot-pourri. An essential oil from the leaves and flowering shoots is used in perfumery in order to add certain subtle tones. A yellow dye is obtained from the branches. Plants can be grown as a low hedge, they tolerate quite hard clipping. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair tonic or conditioner

A yellow dye can be extracted from the branches of the plant, for use with wool. Its dried leaves are used to keep moths away from wardrobes. The volatile oil in the leaves is responsible for the strong, sharp, scent which repels moths and other insects. It was customary to lay sprays of the herb amongst clothes, or hang them in closets, and this is the origin of southernwood’s French name, “garderobe” (“clothes-preserver”). Judges carried posies of southernwood and rue to protect themselves from prisoners’ contagious diseases, and some church-goers relied on the herb’s sharp scent to keep them awake during long sermons.
A poem by Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917) concerns the herb: | Old Man or Lad’s Love

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people. Safety during pregnancy is not known.

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/Artemisia_abrotanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+abrotanum

http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/southernwood.htm

Artemisia tridentate

Botanical Name : Artemisia tridentate
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. tridentata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush

Habitat :Artemisia tridentate is native to western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska. It grows on dry plains and hills on calcareous soils. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils.

Description:
Artemisia tridentata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. It may have a short trunk or be branched from the base. Small, velvety, silvery leaves have a sweet, pungent aroma and, en masse, give a bluish-gray effect. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

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Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Established plants are very drought tolerant. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 – 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root Division in spring or autumn. Layering
Edible Uses:
Leaves are cooked and eaten. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seeds are eaten raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Digestive; Disinfectant; Febrifuge; Miscellany; Ophthalmic; Poultice; Sedative; Skin.

Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.

A tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an antidote for poisoning. Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach gas. A wash made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as a hot poultice in treating rheumatism. A poultice was also placed on the stomach to induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms. The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as a decongestant. Warm leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat. The leaves are pungent and have been preferred for making medicine among other sagebrushes.

Other Uses
Basketry; Disinfectant; Dye; Fibre; Friction sticks; Fuel; Hair; Miscellany; Paper; Repellent; Stuffing; Tinder.

An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair. An infusion of the plant repels insects, it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper. The fibres are about 1.3mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers. Wood – hard, dense. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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/Artemisia_tridentata
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARTR2
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+tridentata