Tag Archives: Aquatic plant

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

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Nuphar lutea

Botanical Name: Nuphar lutea
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nuphar
Species: N. lutea
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales

Synonyms: Nuphar lutea advena. (Ait.)Kartesz.&Gandhi.

Common Names: Yellow Water-lily, Brandy-Bottle, Common Spatterdock, Yellow pond-lily, Varigated yellow pond-lily
Habitat:Nuphar lutea is native to Southeastern N. America – Labrador and Nova Scotia, south to Florida, Texas and Utah.It grows in ponds, lakes, sluggish streams and rivers, springs, marshes, ditches, canals, sloughs, and tidal waters from sea level to 450 metres.
Description:
Nuphar lutea is a perennial aqqatic plant. The plant grows with its roots in the sediment and its leaves floating on the water surface; it can grow in water up to 5 metres deep.It is usually found in shallower water than the white water lily, and often in beaver ponds
It is in flower from Jul to August.Since the flooded soils are deficient in oxygen, aerenchyma in the leaves and rhizome transport oxygen to the rhizome. Often there is mass flow from the young leaves into the rhizome, and out through the older leaves. The rhizomes are often consumed by muskrats. The flower is solitary, terminal, held above the water surface; it is hermaphrodite, 2–4 cm diameter, with five or six large bright yellow sepals and numerous small yellow petals largely concealed by the sepals. Flowering is from June to September, and pollination is entomophilous, by flies attracted to the alcoholic scent. The flower is followed by a green bottle-shaped fruit, containing numerous seeds which are dispersed by water currents. The species is less tolerant of water pollution than water-lilies in the genus Nymphaea.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles.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 can grow in water.
Cultivation:
A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position. It is best if grown in still water that is up to 60cm deep but it also tolerates slow moving water. Succeeds in light shade. A very ornamental plant. Nuphar advena is extremely variable and intergrades with N . orbiculata , N . ulvacea , and N . sagittifolia in areas where their ranges overlap.

Propagation:
Seed – sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring. The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears. Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established.
Edible Uses: 
Root – raw or cooked. The root can be soaked in water in order to remove a bitter taste. After long boiling, it has a taste like sheep’s liver. The root can also be dried and ground into a powder then used as a thickener in soups, or can be added to cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be roasted, then ground into a powder and eaten raw or used to thicken soups etc. The seed can also be toasted like popcorn.

Medicinal Uses:
The rhizomes are used medicinally. They are currently being investigated for their physiological effects. In small doses these constituents have a cardiotonic action and they are included in certain pharmaceutical preparations prescribed in Europe. They affect the central nervous system and in large amounts they may cause paralysis. Yellow Water lily is not used in herbal medicine but tinctures are used in homeopathy. It should be used only under medical supervision. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of ‘sexual irritability’, blood diseases, chills etc. The root is poulticed and applied to swellings, inflammations, cuts etc. The root contains steroids and is a folk remedy for infertility.

The pulverized dried rhizomes have been used to arrest bleeding. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea etc. A poultice made from the roots is used in the treatment of swellings, boils, tumours, inflamed skin etc.
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/Nuphar_lutea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Nuphar+lutea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Viburnum edule

Botanical Name : Viburnum edule
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species: V. edule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonym(s): Viburnum pauciflorum,V. opulus edule. V. opulus pauciflorum. V. pauciflorum.

Common Names: Mooseberry, Squashberry,  Pimbina, Highbush cranberry, Lowbush cranberr  Moosomin, Moosewood viburnum, Few-flowered cranberry bush

Habitat :Viburnum edule is native to E. Asia. Eastern N. America. It grows in woods, thickets and cool mountain slopes.

Description:
Viburnum edules is a perennial traggling to erect deciduous Shrub, 2-7 ft. tall, with smooth, leafy branches. Leaves are sometimes 3-lobed and always palmately veined. White flowers occur in dense, broad, flat-topped clusters on short branches. The fruit is yellow, becoming red or orange in late fall. Straggly shrub with opposite, 3-lobed leaves and sour, edible red berries...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Except in fall, when this plant adds a vivid splash of color to northern forests, Moosewood Viburnum is often overlooked, being rather straggly in appearance. There are more than 100 species of viburnum in the world, 15 of which occur in North America, primarily in the northern latitudes.
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 Insects.The plant is not self-fertile…..

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acidic soil. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. Plants are possibly self-incompatible and may need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. Closely allied to V. opulus, but this species has no sterile flowers in the inflorescence and is a superior fruiting form.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. The fully ripe fruits are mildly acid with a pleasant taste. The ovoid fruit is about 8mm long and contains a single large seed. The fruit can also be dried for winter use. It is highly valued for jam. It is best before a frost and with the skin removed. Another report says that the native Americans would often not harvest the fruit until it had been frosted. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers – used in fritters.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Astringent; Odontalgic; Salve.

The bark is antispasmodic and astringent. An infusion of the crushed inner bark has been used in the treatment of dysentery and has also been used as a purgative. The bark has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of whooping cough and ‘cold on the lungs’. A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of coughs. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a gargle in the treatment of sore throats. The twig tips have been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of sore throats. A poultice of the chewed, unopened flower buds has been applied to lip sores. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat sickness associated with teething.

Other Uses: Basket making…..The stems have been used to reinforce birch bark basket rims.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, it is closely related to V. opulus, the raw fruit of which can cause nausea in some people if it is eaten in large quantities, although the cooked fruit is perfectly alright.

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/Viburnum_edule
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=VIED
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+edule

Salvia Divinorum

Botanical Name : Salvia Divinorum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species:S. divinorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Sage of the diviners, Ska maría pastora, Seer’s sage, Yerba de la pastora and just Salvia

Habitat : Salvia divinorum is endemic to the Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, growing in the primary or secondary cloud forest and tropical evergreen forest at elevations from 300 to 1,830 metres (980 to 6,000 ft). Its most common habitat is black soil along stream banks where small trees and bushes provide an environment of low light and high humidity.

Description:
Salvia divinorum has large green ovate (often also dentate) leaves, with a yellow undertone that reach 10 to 30 cm (4 to 12 in) long. The leaves have no hairs on either surface, and little or no petiole. The plant grows to well over 1 metre (3 ft) in height, on hollow square stems which tend to break or trail on the ground, with the plant rooting quite readily at the nodes and internodes.

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The flowers, which bloom only rarely, grow in whorls on a 30-centimetre (12 in) inflorescence, with about six flowers to each whorl. The 3-centimetre (1.2 in) flowers are white, curved and covered with hairs, and held in a small violet calyx that is covered in hairs and glands. When it does bloom in its native habitat, it does so from September to May.

Blooms occur when the day length becomes shorter than 12 hours (beginning in mid-October in some places), necessitating a shade cloth in urban environments with exposure to light pollution (HPS)

Early authors erred in describing the flowers as having blue corollas, based on Epling and Játiva‘s description. The first plant material they received was dried, so they based the flower color on an erroneous description by Hofmann and Wasson, who didn’t realize that their “blue flowers, crowned with a white dome” were in fact violet calyces with unopened white corollas.

Seeds: Salvia seeds are very rare because the plant does not often produce them. This is because salvia wild genetics are scarce. Most of todays salvia divinorum plants are propogated in the wild. This is why over the past few decades they have stopped producing seeds. ..CLICK  & SEE 

Cultivation:
Propagation by cuttings:-
Salvia divinorum is usually propagated through vegetative reproduction. Small cuttings, between two and eight inches long, cut off of the mother plant just below a node, will usually root in plain tap water within two or three weeks

Medicinal uses:
Traditional Mazatec healers have used Salvia divinorum to treat medical and psychiatric conditions conceptualized according to their traditional framework. Some of the conditions for which they use the herb are easily recognizable to Western medical practitioners (e.g colds, sore throats, constipation and diarrhea) and some are not, e.g. ‘fat lambs belly’ which is said to be due to a ‘stone’ put in the victims belly by means of evil witchcraft. Some alternative healers and herbalists are exploring possible uses for Salvia. The problems in objectively evaluating such efforts and ‘sorting the wheat from the chaff’ are considerable. There are no accepted uses for Salvia divinorum in standard medical practice at this time. A medical exploration of some possible uses suggested by Mazatec healing practice is in order in such areas as cough suppression (use to treat colds), and treatment of congestive heart failure and ascites (is ‘fat lamb’s belly’ ascites?). Some other areas for exploration include Salvia aided psychotherapy (there is anecdotal material supporting its usefulness in resolving pathological grief), use of salvinorin as a brief acting general or dissociative anesthetic agent, use to provide pain relief, use in easing both the physical and mental suffering of terminal patients as part of hospice care, and a possible antidepressant effect.

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/Salvia_divinorum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.bcseeds.com/salvia-seeds-salvia-divinorum-seeds-p-158.html

Atriplex canescens

 

Botanical Name: Atriplex canescens
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: A. canescens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names :Saltbush, Grey Sage Brush, Chamiso, Chamiza, Four wing saltbush, Four-wing saltbush, and Fourwing saltbush

Habitat : Atriplex canescens is native to Central and southwestern N. America – South Dakota to Kansas, Texas, California and Mexico. ISandy or gravelly, commonly non-saline but in other situations obviously saline, sites in Joshua tree, blackbrush, greasewood, salt desert shrub, sagebrush, mountain brush communitiest grows on the
Descrition:
Atriplex canescens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 1.8 m (6ft). It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. It blooms in July and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Atriplex canescens has a highly variable form, and readily hybridizes with several other species in the Atriplex genus. The degree of polyploidy also results in variations in form. Its height can vary from 1 foot to 10 feet, but 2 to 4 feet is most common. The leaves are thin and 0.5 to 2 inches long.

It is most readily identified by its fruits, which have four wings at roughly 90 degree angles and are densely packed on long stems.

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 and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Requires a position in full sun in any well-drained but not too fertile soil. Tolerates saline and very alkaline soils. Plants are very tolerant of maritime exposure, though they dislike wet climates. Resents root disturbance when large. Succeeds in a hot dry position. A very ornamental plan, though it is liable to succumb to winter wet when grown on heavy or rich soils. This species forms hybrids with Atriplex confertifolia and A. gardneri. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Occasional monoecious plants are found. Individual plants can change sex. The change is more generally from female to male and is apparently associated with stress such as cold or drought. It would appear that the change confers a survival advantage on the plant.
Propagation:
Seed – sow April/May in a cold frame in a compost of peat and sand. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 weeks at 13°c. Pot up the seedlings when still small into individual pots, grow on in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a very sandy compost in a frame. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November/December in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer

Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked or raw. A very acceptable taste with a salty tang. The leaves can be used at any time of the year though winter harvesting must be light because the plant is not growing much at this time of year. Seed – cooked. Ground into a powder, mixed with cereals and used in making cakes etc or used as a piñole. It is small and very fiddly to utilize. The ground up seed can also be mixed with water and drunk as a refreshing beverage. The burnt green herb yields culinary ashes high in minerals and these are used by the Hopi Indians to enhance the colour of blue corn products. The ashes can be used like baking soda.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a wash on itches and rashes such as chickenpox. A poultice of the crushed leaves can be applied to ant bites to reduce the pain and swelling. The dried tops as a lukewarm tea for nausea and vomiting from the flu; taken hot for breaking fevers. The cold tea is used for simple stomachache.Among the Zuni people, an infusion of dried root and blossoms or a poultice of blossoms is used for ant bites.

Other Uses:
A good hedge in maritime areas, it responds well to trimming. The leaves and stems were burnt by the Hopi Indians and the alkaline ash used to maintain the blue colour when cooking blue corn. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves and stems. The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a hair wash. The plant has fire-retardant properties and can be used for barrier plantings to control bush fires. Twigs are also attached to prayer plumes and sacrificed to the cottontail rabbit to ensure good hunting.

Known Hazards : No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves.
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/Atriplex_canescens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Atriplex+canescens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm