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Drosera rotundifolia

Botanical Name: Drosera rotundifolia
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Drosera
Species: D. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Dew Plant. Round-leaved Sundew. Red Rot. Herba rosellae. Sonnenthau rosollis. Rosée du Soleil.

Common Names: Round-leaved sundew or Common sundew

Part Used: The flowering plant dried in the air, not artificially.

Habitat: Drosera rotundifolia is found in all of northern Europe, much of Siberia, large parts of northern North America, Korea, Japan and is also found on New Guinea. It grows in muddy edges of ponds, bogs and rivers, where the soil is peaty.

Description:
Drosera rotundifolia is a small herbaceous, perennial, aquatic plant, with short and slender fibrous root, from which grow the leaves. These are remarkable for their covering of red glandular hairs, by which they are readily recognized, apart from their flowers which only open in the sunshine. Their leaves are orbicular on long stalks, depressed, Iying flat on ground and have on upper surface long red viscid hairs, each having a small gland at top, containing a fluid, which looks like a dewdrop, hence its name. This secretion is most abundant when the sun is at its height. Flower-stems erect, slender, 2 to 6 inches high, at first coiled inward bearing a simple raceme, which straightens out as flowers expand; these are very small and white, appearing in summer and early autumn. Seeds numerous, spindleshaped in a loose chaffy covering contained in a capsule. These hairs are very sensitive, they curve inward slowly and catch any insects which alight on them; the fluid on the points also retains them. After an insect has been caught, the glandular heads secrete a digestive fluid which dissolves all that can be absorbed from the insect. It has been noted that secretion does not take place when inorganic substances are imprisoned…..CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to its bright red colour and its glistening drops of mucilage, loaded with a sugary substance, covering its leaves. It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which is usually poor in nutrients or is so acidic, nutrient availability is severely decreased. The plant uses enzymes to dissolve the insects – which become stuck to the glandular tentacles – and extract ammonia (from proteins) and other nutrients from their bodies. The ammonia replaces the nitrogen that other plants absorb from the soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy peaty soil, succeeding in poor soils and bogs. Requires a sunny position. An insectivorous plant, it can survive in nitrogen poor soils because it gets the nutrients it needs from insects. The upper surfaces of leaves are covered with hairs that secrete a sweet sticky substance.This attracts insects, which become smeared with it and unable to escape – the plant then exudes a digestive fluid that enables it to absorb most of the insect into its system.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown thinly as soon as it is ripe into pots of a free-draining soil with some charcoal added and with a layer of finely chopped sphagnum moss on top. Surface sow and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. Grow the plants on in the pots for their first growing season, making sure that the soil does not become dry. Divide the plants in the autumn, grow them on in the greenhouse for the winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Edible Uses: The juice of the plant is used to curdle plant milks. You heat the milk and the leaves together in order to make the milk curdle

Constituents: The juice is bitter, acrid, caustic, odourless, yielding not more than 30 per cent ash, and contains citric and malic acids.

Medicinal Uses:
Drosera rotundifolia plant extracts show great efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, more so than Drosera madagascariensis, as a result of the flavonoids such as hyperoside, quercetin and isoquercetin, but not the naphthoquinones present in the extracts. The flavonoids are thought to affect the M3 muscarinic receptors in smooth muscle, causing the antispasmodic effects. Ellagic acid in D. rotundifolia extracts has also been shown to have antiangiogenic effects.

In America it has been advocated as a cure for old age; a vegetable extract is used together with colloidal silicates in cases of arterio sclerosis.

The sundew has a long history of herbal use, having been popular for its fortifying and aphrodisiac effects. It relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, easing breathing and relieving wheezing and so is of great value in the treatment of various chest complaints. The plant has become quite rare and so it should not be harvested from the wild. The flowering plant is antibacterial, antibiotic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, expectorant and hypoglycaemic. The plant is used with advantage in the treatment of whooping cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs. It is also used in the treatment of incipient phthisis, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Externally, it has been used to treat corns, warts and bunions.The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. Use with caution. Internal use of this herb causes a harmless colouring of the urine. An extract of the plant contains plumbagin, which is antibiotic against a wide range of pathogens. Because of their protein digesting enzymes, the leaf juice has been used in the treatment of warts and corns. The entire fresh plant, harvested when it is starting to flower, is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used mainly in the treatment of coughs and is specific for whooping cough.

Other Uses
Fungicide.

Substances in the plant are used to curb the growth of bacteria

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sundew99.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_rotundifolia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Drosera+rotundifolia

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Sonchus arvensis

Botanical Name: Sonchus arvensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Sonchus
Species: S. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Corn sow thistle, Dindle, Field sow thistle, Gutweed, Swine thistle, Tree sow thistle, Field sowthistle, Perennial sow-thistle or Field milk thistle

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Habitat : Sonchus arvensis is native to Europe, where it is widespread across most of the continent. It has also become naturalized in many other regions, and is considered an invasive noxious weed in some places.It grows in arable and waste land, ditches and on the drift line of salt and brackish margins, avoiding acid soils. A persistent weed of cultivation

Description:
Sonchus arvensis is a perennial plant. The plant has a large fleshy, creeping root. It is found in similar situations as the common species, though mainly in cornfields, where its large, bright golden flowers, externally tinged with red, showing above the corn, make it a conspicuous plant. It is readily distinguished from the Common Sow-Thistle by its stem, which is 3 to 4 feet high – being unbranched and by the much larger size of its flowers, the involucres and stalks of which are covered by numerous glandular hairs. The leaves, like those of the Common Sow-Thistle, applied outwardly by way of cataplasm, have been found serviceable in inflammatory swellings…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The plant produces conspicuous yellow flowers that are visited by various types of insects, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, beetles, self. The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
A common garden weed, see notes on its habitat if you want to encourage it. This species has been cultivated for its edible leaves by the Maoris of New Zealand, in Indonesia there are improved varieties selected for their edible leaves. A good companion for onions, tomatoes, corn as well as the cucumber and squash family.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in situ. A common garden weed, this species should not normally need any assistance.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A slightly bitter taste, they can be added to salads or cooked like spinach. The leaves are rich in mineral salts and vitamin C, they contain about 47mg of vitamin C per 100g and 2% protein (dry weight). It might be best, though it is not necessary, to remove the marginal prickles. Stems – cooked like asparagus or rhubarb. Young root – cooked. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

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Medicinal Uses :
Antiinflammatory; Pectoral; Sedative.

The leaves are used as a poultice and are said to have anti-inflammatory activity. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of caked breasts. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs and other chest complaints. A tea made from the leaves is said to calm the nerves.

Other Uses: :…..Insecticide…..The plant is said to have insecticidal properties

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/Sonchus_arvensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sowthi71.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sonchus+arvensis

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.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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

Inula crithmoides

Botanical Name : Inula crithmoides
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Limbarda
Species: L. crithmoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name :  Golden samphire

Habitat : Inula crithmoides occurs in the Coasts of Europe, including Britain, and western Asia. It grows in salt marshes, shingle banks and maritime cliffs and rocks on the south and west coasts of Britain.

Description:
Inula crithmoides is a perennial herb, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. It has narrow fleshy leaves and large flower heads, with six yellow ray florets which may be up to 15 cm across. The flowers are self-fertile (able to pollinate themselves) and may also be pollinated by bees, flies and beetles...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation :
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil in a sunny position. One report says that the plant dislikes shade whilst another says that it succeeds in a shady border. The plant needs to be watered frequently and given some salt occasionally.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying a sowing in situ in the spring or the autumn.

Edible Uses:
Young leaves are eaten raw or cooke as a leaf vegetable. . They are occasionally used as a potherb. The fleshy leaves and young shoots are pickled and used as a relish in salads etc. They are sometimes used as an adulterant of the true samphire, Crithmum maritimum

Medicinal Uses: Not known.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_samphire
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Inula+crithmoides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/samgol11.html

Gymnadenia conopsea

Botanical Name: Gymnadenia conopsea
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Gymnadenia
Species: G. conopsea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Orchis conopsea. L. Habenaria conopsea. non Rchb.f.

Common Name : Fragrant Orchid

Habitat: Gymnadenia conopsea is native to Europe, including Britain, to north and west Asia. This species habitat includes mountain meadows and pastures, grassland and fens. They grow on siliceous and calcareous substrate, mildly damp and with low nutritional value, at an altitude of 0–2,400 metres (0–7,874 ft) above sea level.

Description:
Gymnadenia conopsea is a is a herbaceous plant It grows to an avarage height of 20–60 centimetres (7.9–23.6 in), with a maximum of 80 centimetres (31 in). These plants are bulbous geophytes, as they bring their buds in underground tubers or bulbs, organs that annually produce new stems, leaves and flowers. Furthermore these orchids are “terrestrial”, because unlike “epiphyte” species do not live at the expense of other plants of major sizes.

The stem is leafy and robust, with a striated surface. The leaves are long, narrow and lanceolate and vary from 3 to 7. The leaf color is gray-green. Size of leaf: width 1 to 2 cm, length 10 – 25 cm.

These orchids have two ovoidal bulbs, deeply webbed and with many small and short lobes. Size of tubers: 1 to 3.5 cm.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The inflorescence is 5–25 centimetres (2.0–9.8 in) long and it is composed of flowers gathered in dense cylindrical spikes (up to 50 flowers per spike). These inflorescences are scented and genes underlying eugenol (a volatile scent compound) production have been identified in Gymnadenia conopsea, Gymnadenia odoratissima and Gymnadenia densiflora The flowers are petiolated, placed in the axils of long bracts and reach on average 8–14 centimetres (3.1–5.5 in). They have a distinctive three lobed lip and long spurs. Their light scent is similar to cloves. Their colors vary from white and pink to pink-purple, more rarely white. These flowers bloom in the Summer, from June to July. They are hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects (entomophily), including moths. The species is almost exclusively pollinated by moths (Lepidoptera). The most common pollinators are the small elephant hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus), hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), silver Y (Autographa gamma), burnished brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) and large yellow underwing (Noctua pronuba). Fruit set is high with an average of 73%. The seeds germination is conditioned by the presence of specific fungi.
Cultivation:
Very easily grown in any good moist soil. Requires a deep rich soil. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. A polymorphic species, it also hybridizes readily with other members of the genus. The flowers have a delicious perfume which is more pronounced at night in order to attract Night Hawk-moths for pollination. The sub-species G. conopsea densiflora has larger, more strongly scented flowers. This species is a colonizer of disturbed ground and bare soils, new colonies can spring up many kilometres from the plants nearest known locality. They have been known to colonize sites such as waste heaps of clinker at power stations. Plants are very impatient of root disturbance.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts:…..The Root.

Bulb – cooked. Very nutritious. It is a source of ‘salep’, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a flour. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell . It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.
Medicinal Uses:

Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep  is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting 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/Gymnadenia_conopsea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gymnadenia+conopsea