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Prunus besseyi

Botanical Name : Prunus besseyi
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Species: P. pumila
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms:    Prunus pumila besseyi. (Bailey.)Gleason.

Common Names: Western Sand Cherry

Habitat : Prunus besseyi is native to Central N. America – Manitoba and Minnesota to Kansas and Utah. It grows on sandy hills, open plains, rocky slopes or shores.

Description:
Prunus besseyi is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) at a medium rate.
It is in flower in May. Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.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 moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Established plants are drought resistant. A very hardy plant, probably tolerating temperatures down to about -50°c when it is fully dormant. It is cultivated for its edible fruit in warmer climes than Britain, there are some named varieties. It flowers very well in this country but does not usually produce much fruit. Another report says that it sometimes fruits abundantly in Britain. The cultivar ‘Black Beauty’ crops well and has small black sweet fruits. ‘Hansens’ has large fruits with a good flavour. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants are inclined to sucker and can produce dense thickets. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. A sweetish flavour, the fruit can also be dried for later use. It makes a rather astringent but tasty jelly.The fruit is a reasonable size, up to 18mm in diameter, and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Rootstock.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. The plant can be used as a rootstock for plums. It produces mostly dwarf trees that are poorly anchored. Prone to severe suckering. Compatible with most prunes, it is incompatible with damsons and Victoria plums. Resistant to ‘Crown Gall’. Trees on this rootstock are productive and very cold hardy. Cuttings are often easy to root but seedlings vary widely
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Prunus_pumila
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+besseyi

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Ardisia crenata

Botanical Name: Ardisia crenata
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Ardisia
Species: A. crenata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Christmas berry, Australian holly, Coral ardisia, Coral bush, Coralberry, Coralberry tree, Hen’s-eyes, and Spiceberry

Habitat:Ardisia crenata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, India. It grows in woods in low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Forests, hillsides, valleys, shrubby areas, dark damp places at elevations of 100 – 2400 metres.
Description:
Ardisia crenata is an upright perennial shrub that grows 1.5–6 feet (0.46–1.83 m) tall. It maintains a caespitose growth pattern and is often multi-trunked. It prefers moist soil and germination can occur from pH 4 to pH 10. It does well in temperatures of 25°C and above. Germination rates are as high as 98% after 40 days. Its leaves are simple, alternate and measure up to 8 inches long. They are waxy and dark green with a crenate margin containing small calluses within the ridges. The leaf tips are acuminate and their petioles are 3–10 mm long. They have a central vein with up to 18 pairs of side veins. Flowers are white or pink with yellow anthers and grow in axillary clusters and are very often covered in multiple black spots. Plants begin to bear fruit two years after sprouting. It has an abundance of spherical, 1-seeded red berries of about 0.25 inches in diameter that remain on the plant throughout the year. The berry clusters often sag down below the glossy foliage. Berries are dispersed by birds and, when present, raccoons through consumption and subsequent excretion and also by water flow.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds. We are not sure if this plant is hardy outdoors in Britain. One report says that it is hardy in zone 7 (tolerating temperatures down to between -10 and -15°c) but then goes on to suggest that it needs an essentially frost-free climate and is often grown as an indoor pot plant in Britain. This species is closely related to A. pseudocrispa, from which it differs in having crenate leaves with a distinct marginal vein. There has been some confusion between this species and A. crispa, the name Ardisia crispa was misapplied by de Candolle to Ardisia crenata. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Fragrant flowers…...CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Propagation:
Seed – best harvested when it is ripe in the winter and sown immediately in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, once the plants are 20cm or more tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in summer. Grow on in cool, shaded humid conditions until well rooted.

Mechanical Uses:
The root is anodyne, depurative, febrifuge. It is used to stimulate blood circulation.

Mechanical control of Ardisia crenata is a challenge. Useful methods include hand-pulling in the case of small-scale invasions. This is not a very efficient method due to the difficulty of eliminating all the surrounding berries littering the ground that will soon replace the removed material. Another option is discing, which tills the soil up in hopes of destroying the rhizomes. This must be carefully administered to prevent harm of the surrounding local flora and ensuring that the rhizomes are subdued. Cutting as well as burning prove to be ineffective due to the strongly rhizomatous nature of the plant. If a mechanical method is used to control the plant, the site must be regularly monitored for at least a year in order to ensure elimination of Christma

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses: Container. Used as an ornamental plant in shady conditions.

Known Hazards: There are suspicions that the plant may be poisonous to pets, livestock, and/or humans, but there has been no scientific confirmation of this.

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=Ardisia+crenata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardisia_crenata

Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Botanical Name: Diplotaxis tenuifolia
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Diplotaxis
Species: D. tenuifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms : Brassica tenuifolia, Sisymbrium tenuifolium,

Common Names:Wall Mustard, Perennial wall-rocket, wild rocket, sand rocket, Lincoln weed, white rocket; seeds sometimes marketed as “wild Italian arugula” or “sylvetta arugula”

Habitat :Diplotaxis tenuifolia is native to Southern and central Europe, possibly including Britain. It grows on old walls and waste places in S. England, a casual further north. This plant is doubtfully native in Britain.
Description:
Diplotaxis tenuifolia is an erect mustard-like perennial plant with branching stems that may exceed half a meter in height. It grows in clumps on the ground in a variety of habitats and is a common weed of roadsides and disturbed areas. It has long leaves which may be lobed or not. The foliage is aromatic when crushed. Atop the branches of the stem are bright yellow flowers with four rounded petals each about a centimeter long. The fruit is a straight, flat silique up to five centimeters long.

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It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:
See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe, though it can also be sown in situ in the spring. The seed usually germinates in the autumn.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw. Used in salads, they are very strongly flavoured of cress. The leaves have a hot flavour, very similar to rocket (Eruca vesicaria sativa) but more strongly flavoured – they make an excellent addition to a mixed salad but are too strong to be used in quantity on their own. The plant is very productive, producing leaves from early spring until the autumn.

Medicinal Uses:
Like other members of the Cruciferae this plant contains sulphuraed glucosides, and the juice of the fresh plant may be drunk as an expectorant to aid catarrh. The leaves have stimulant, diuretic, antiscorbutic and revulsant properties.

One of Trotula‘s works, Treatments for Women mentions “wild rocket cooked in wine” in a remedy for sanious flux in women.

Cancer:
D. tenuifolia inhibited the growth of HT-29 colorectal cancer cells with a marked cytotoxicity. Isothiocyanates and indoles have, in fact, been linked to anticarcinogenicity in mammals.
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/Diplotaxis_tenuifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diplotaxis+tenuifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Kalmia angustifolia

 

Botanical  Name: Kalmia angustifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Kalmia
Species:K. angustifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: K. angustifolium, K. intermedia

Common Name: Sheep Laurel

Habitat :Kalmia angustifolia is native to Eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Hudson Bay, south to Georgia and Michigan. Nat in Britain. It grows on acidic bogs and swamps.

Description:
Kalmia angustifolia is an evergreen Shrub. The wild the plant may vary in height from 15–90 cm (6–35 in). The attractive small, deep crimson-pink flowers are produced in early summer. Each has five sepals, with a corolla of five fused petals, and ten stamens fused to the corolla. They are pollinated by bumble bees and solitary bees. Each mature capsule contains about 180 seeds.

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New shoots arise from dormant buds on buried rhizomes. This process is stimulated by fire. The narrow evergreen leaves, pale on the underside, have a tendency to emerge from the stem in groups of three. A peculiarity of the plant is that clusters of leaves usually terminate the woody stem, for the flowers grow in whorls or in clusters below the stem apex.

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use, of which K. angustifolia f. rubra has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Requires an acid humus-rich soil, succeeding in part shade or in full sun in cooler areas. Prefers almost full sun. Dislikes dry soils, requiring cool, permanently moist conditions at the roots. Succeeds in open woodland or along the woodland edge. Plants are very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. A very ornamental and variable plant, there are many named varieties. The flowers are produced at the end of the previous years growth. Plants spread slowly by means of suckers. Pruning is not normally necessary, though if older plants become bare at the centre they can be cut back hard and will regrow from the base.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in late winter in a cool greenhouse in light shade. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. The seedlings are rather sensitive to damping off, so water them with care, keep them well-ventilated and perhaps apply a fungicide such as garlic as a preventative. Grow the young plants on in light shade and overwinter them in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. The seed is dust-like and remains viable for many years. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Very poor results unless the cuttings are taken from very young plants. Layering in August/September. Takes 18 months. The plants can also be dug up and replanted about 30cm deeper in the soil to cover up some of the branches. The plant can then be dug up about 12 months later when the branches will have formed roots and can be separated to make new plants.

Medicinal Uses:
Sheep laurel is a very poisonous narcotic plant the leaves of which were at one time used by some native North American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The leaves are usually used externally as a poultice and wash in herbal medicine and are a good remedy for many skin diseases, sprains and inflammation. They can also be applied as a poultice to the head to treat headaches. The singed, crushed leaves can be used as a snuff in the treatment of colds. Used internally, the leaves are analgesic, astringent and sedative and have a splendid effect in the treatment of active haemorrhages, headaches, diarrhoea and flux. This species is said to be the best for medicinal use in the genus. The plant should be used with great caution however, see the notes below on toxicity.

Known Hazards : The foliage is poisonous to animals. The whole plant is highly toxic.

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/Kalmia_angustifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Kalmia+angustifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Allium brevistylum

Botanical Name : Allium brevistylum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. brevistylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Shortstyle Onion

Habitat :Allium brevistylum is native to the western United StatesRocky Mountains from Montana and Idaho to Utah and Colorado.
It grows on the swampy meadows and stream sides at medium to high elevations.
Description:
General: perennial herb with an onion- or garlic-like odor,
flowering stem 20-60 cm tall, flattened and narrowly winged
toward the top. Bulbs elongate, mostly less than 1 cm
thick, at the end of a thick rhizome.

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Leaves: 2 to several basal, plane, blunt-tipped, entire,
2-8 mm broad, much shorter than the stem, green at
flowering time, persistent at maturity.

Flowers: 7 to 15 in a flat-topped umbel-cluster, stalks
slender, about as long as the flowers at flowering time,
becoming longer, stout and curved in fruit. Tepals 6, 10-13
mm long, lanceolate, pointed, entire, pink, withering in fruit,
the midribs somewhat thickened. Bracts 2, united at base
and often along one side, ovate, pointed, 3- to 5-nerved.
Stamens about half the length of the tepals, the anthers
short-oblong, blunt, yellowish. Ovary crestless, the style
awl-shaped, rarely more than 3 mm long, stigma 3-cleft.
Flowering time: June-August.

Fruits: capsules broader than long, the valves heart-
shaped, distinctly notched. Seeds correspondingly short
and thick, dull black.

Bulb of Allium brevistylum is  growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species tolerates much wetter soils than most members of the genus but it dislikes winters with alternating periods of damp and cold and no snow cover, so it is best given a damp though well-drained soil. It requires plenty of moisture in the growing season.  The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Plants can be confused with A. validum. 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
The Bulb and leaves of short-styled onion are edible, raw or cooked. The plant has thick iris-like rhizomes. Indians used wild onions extensively. Their bulbs served as a staple and condiment to many different tribes. The crisp bulbs were gathered by Indians from Spring through early Fall. They were eaten raw and used as an ingredient in soups, stews and meat dishes. The bulbs also stored well for winter use The flowers can also be eaten raw, and used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
A few Indian tribes would crush the wild onion and apply it to bee and insect bites to reduce swelling and pain. Others used it to draw poison out of snakebites. A heavy syrup made from the juice of the wild onion was also used for coughs and other cold symptoms. A poultice of the ground root and stems, or an infusion of them, was used as a wash for carbuncles by the Cheyenne Indians. Onions in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavor) 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: The juice of the plant has been used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_brevistylum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101338
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/allium_brevi.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+brevistylum