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Gentiana tubiflora

Botanical Name : Gentiana tubiflora
Family: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Sectio: G. sect. Isomeria
Series: G. ser. Uniflorae
Species: Gentiana tubiflora

Common Names: Tong hua long dan, Ericala tubiflora Wallich, Gentiana longistyla T. N. Ho, Gentiana longistyla T. N. Ho; G. tubiflora var. longiflora Turrill; G. tubiflora var. namlaensis C. Marquand.

Habitat ; Gentiana tubiflora is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from Himachel Pradesh to south-east Tibet. It grows on grassy hillsides, dry hillsides and alpine meadows at elevations of 4200 – 5300 metres. [Bhutan, NW India, Nepal, Sikkim].

Description:
Gentiana tubiflora is a perennial plant 4-5 cm tall. Stolons 2-5 cm, simple to 3branched. Stems erect, simple. Leaves crowded; petiole 3-5 mm; leaf blade oblong to elliptic, 6-9 × 2-3 mm, base narrowed, margin cartilaginous and ± ciliate, apex acute to obtuse and sometimes caudate; vein 1, abaxially indistinct. Flowers solitary. Calyx tubular to narrowly obconic, tube (0.8-)1.2-1.5 cm; lobes ovate to triangular, 4-7 mm, margin usually ± ciliate, apex acute and sometimes caudate, midvein indistinct. Corolla dark blue, unspotted, tubular, (2.5-)3.2-4.2 cm; lobes 4-6 mm, ovate, margin entire, apex obtuse; plicae obliquely truncate, 1-1.5 mm, margin erose. Stamens inserted at middle of corolla tube; filaments (4-)6-10 mm; anthers linear, 1.5-2.5 mm. Style filiform, 1.2-1.4 cm, longer than ovary; stigma lobes oblong. Capsules ellipsoid to ovoid-ellipsoid, 0.9-1.3 cm; gynophore to 4 cm. Seeds brown, ellipsoid, 0.7-1 mm; seed coat with simple pits.

It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Antidote, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of headaches and redness of the eyes, inflammation of the throat and inflammation of the gall bladder giving rise to yellowish skin.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_tubiflora
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018119
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+tubiflora

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Gentiana pannonica

Botanical Name: Gentiana pannonica
FamilY: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: Gentiana pannonica

Synonym(s):
*Coilantha pannonica G.Don
*Gentiana semifida Hoffmanns. ex Rchb.

Common Name : Hungarian Gentian

Habitat : Gentiana pannonica is native to central Europe. It grows on meadows and pastures, screes and grassy bottoms of alpine corries, amongst dwarf pine and in forests. It is found on both limestone and acid rocks.

The centre of its distribution is in the Eastern Alps in Austria, Germany and Slovenia; it also occurs sporadically in the southern and central Alps (Italy and Switzerland) at elevations over 1,000 metres. In Germany it is found in two small, distinct areas: on the southern border with Austria in the Alps, and a smaller area on the eastern border with the Czech Republic (Bundesamt für Naturschutz 2012). In Italy it is known from one locality, and in Slovenia it is found in several localities. Outside the Alps, it is scattered in the Bohemian Forest in the border region of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria (though most localities are situated in the Czech part of the mountains), and is rare in the Giant Mountains and the Jesen?ky Mountains (Hofhanzlová and K?enová 2007, Ekrtová and Košnar 2012). The latter two occurrences are sometimes considered to be remnants of former cultivations and thus introduced, but it may indeed be native to the Giant Mountains (Ekrtová and Košnar 2012).

Description:
Gentiana pannonica is a perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8

CLICK & SEE  THE   PICTURES

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.

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species is not particular about soil type, so long as it is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. Although sometimes found wild on alkaline soils, it prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil in cultivation. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. This species is closely related to G. punctata and G. purpurea. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance. The flowers have the scent of the old tea rose.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division of older plants in March. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Edible Uses : The root is sometimes used in the manufacture of gentian bitters

Medicinal Uses:
This species is one of several that are the source of the medicinal gentian root, the following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal 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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_pannonica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+pannonica
http://eol.org/pages/6855040/overview
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/203220/0

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

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