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Garrya elliptica

 

Botanical Name: Garrya elliptica
Family: Garryaceae
Genus: Garrya
Species: G. elliptica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Garryales

Common Names: Coast silk-tassel, Silk tassel bush or Wavyleaf silktassel

Habitat : Garrya elliptica is native to South-western N. America – California to Oregon. It grows in chaparral and forest on dry slopes and ridges below 600 metres.

Description:
Garrya elliptica is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate. It has a multi-furcate branching structure yielding an almost spherical form. Like others of its genus, G. elliptica has opposite leaves with a tough leathery feel, glossy green on top, but paler and duller on the underside. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Nov to February.

The dioecious flowers are concentrated in inflorescences which cascade downward as aments of 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in length. While it manifests separate male and female plants, the pendant male catkins are much more showy and are grey-green and up to 30 cm (12 in) long; the female ones are shorter and silver-grey. Although the flowers bloom in late winter and early spring, dried bracts remain on the plant well into summer as light gray decorations. The plant has smooth bark, dark-greenish when young, but roughening with age. New twigs are green and moderately stout.

For pistillate flowers, above each small bract there is a solitary flower inside the inflorescence. This plant produces tiny dark seeds. The ripened purplish black fruit of about 1 cm in diameter has a hard desiccated coating, but is rather fleshy on the interior. In the case of stamenate infloresences, there are a total of four stamens per flower; moreover, above each bract pair there is a triplet of flowers. The cultivar ‘James Roof’ has catkins up to 30 cm (12 in) in length.

The unique characteristics of Garrya elliptica are its waxy convex leaves with wavy leaf margins, coupled with dense individual hairs on the leaf undersides that are scarcely distinguishable with a hand lens. Its leaf blades are six to eight centimeters in length, and has petioles which range in length from six to twelve millimeters. For identification purposes Congdon silk-tassel (Garrya congdonii) is most closely related. Congdon silk-tassel has the same leaf appearance, but leaf hairs are distinguishable with a hand lens and both leaf blades and petioles are about two thirds the size of Coast silk-tassel. Both Fremont silk-tassel (Garrya fremontii) and Ashy silk-tassel (Garrya flavescens) have similar fruit characteristics, but have a flat leaf margin.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position succeeding in most well-drained fertile soils. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in light shade, the plants are also tolerant of quite deep shade. Does not require a rich soil or abundant moisture, if the soil is too fertile the flowering will be delayed. Plants are resistant to urban pollution and maritime exposure, but they are subject to wind scorch from cold drying winds in colder areas. This species is hardy to about -15°c, it is best on a sunny wall in most parts of the country but does very well as a free standing shrub in Devon and Cornwall. In cold winters and springs the previous year’s leaves may fall before the new leaves are produced. A hedge in a relatively open area at Wisley in Surrey is growing well (1991), as is a plant in a friend’s garden in Stockton on Teesside(1998). All pruning should be carried out in spring before new growth starts but after flowering has ended. Plants are strongly resentful of root disturbance, they should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Very slow, the seed can take 2 or more years to germinate. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10cm with a heel, August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood 10 – 12 cm with a heel, December/January in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient; Antiperiodic; Febrifuge.

The leaves are intensely bitter and are used as an antiperiodic and febrifuge. They can be used as a quinine substitute. An infusion has been used to induce menstruation, probably acting as an abortifacient.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Repellent; Wood.

A hedge in a sheltered position at Wisley in 1991 was very healthy. Makes a good wind shelter. Grey to black dyes are obtained from the berries. The colour varies according to the ripeness of the fruit, green fruits are the best. The bark and leaves are very bitter, a possible insect repellent?. Wood – hard, close-grained. It has been used for fine cabinet work, though its small size and rarity limits its commercial usefulness.

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/Garrya_elliptica
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Garrya+elliptica

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Arbutus arizonica

Botanical Name: Arbutus arizonica
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Arbutus
Species: A. arizonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Arbutus xalapensis var. arizonica Arbutus Gray 1886

Common Names: Arizona Maderone

Habitat :Arbutus arizonica is native to South-western N. America – S. Arizona to New Mexico. It grows on dry gravelly benches, 1800 – 2400 metres.

Description:
Arbutus arizonica is an evergreen tree that grows up to 45 ft (14 m) at a slow rate, and has pinkish-brown bark. The trunks of the tree are gray and checkered, and the branches are reddish with smooth bark. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 1.5 to 3 inches long, 0.5 to 1 inches wide; blades light green, glossy above, pale green below, and smooth. The flowers are urn-shaped, white, and clustered at the branch tips from April to September.The fruit is an orange-red berry. The fruits are edible by humans and used by some indigenous peoples.

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It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a lime-free nutrient-rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil in sun or semi-shade and shelter from cold drying winds, especially when young. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A slow-growing tree.

Propagation:
Seed – best surface sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be soaked for 5 – 6 days in warm water and then surface sown in a shady position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to become dry. 6 weeks cold stratification helps. The seed usually germinates well in 2 – 3 months at 20°c. Seedlings are prone to damp off, they are best transplanted to individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and should be kept well ventilated. Grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in late winter. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November/December in a frame. Poor percentage. Layering of young wood – can take 2 years.
Edible Uses: ....Fruit – raw. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter with a thin sweetish flesh.
Medicinal Uses:….The bitter principles in the bark and leaves can be used as an astringent.

Other Uses:
Charcoal; Wood.

Wood – heavy, soft, close-grained, brittle. It produces a fine grade of charcoal

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/Arbutus_arizonica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arbutus+arizonica

Astragalus crassicarpus

Botanical Name : Astragalus crassicarpus
Family:Fabaceae
Kind:Astragalus
Reign:Plantae
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Subclass:Rosidae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms : A. caryocarpus. Ker-Gawl. A. mexicanus. A. succulentus. Geoprumnon succulentum.

Common Names: Ground Plum, Groundplum milkvetch

Habitat :Astragalus crassicarpus is native Western N. AmericaEastern Rocky mountains and eastward to Nebraska.It grows on prairies and plains.
Description:
Astragalus crassicarpus is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It’s leaves are compound in groups of 15 to 29. Leaflets are about 1/3 to ½ inch long, less than ¼ inch wide, generally elliptic with a pointed or blunt tip, hairy to varying degrees on both sides. Stems are hairy, sprawling along the ground and rising at the tip end (decumbent).

Racemes of 5 to 15 pea-shaped flowers. Flowers are about ¾ inch long with an erect broad egg-shaped upper petal, notched at the tip, and 2 small lower petals that are mostly horizontal. The tubular calyx holding the flower is purple tinged with several prong-like appendages at the tip end. Flower color ranges from pinkish purple to lavender to blue-violet. A plant has several to many clusters on stalks up to 4 inches long arising from the leaf axils.

The fruit is a smooth round pod ½ to 1 inch across that ripens to purple, and resembles a plum. Inside are 1/8-inch, somewhat kidney shaped black seeds.

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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. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. The stems are sometimes prostrate. This species is somewhat polymorphic and is separated into a number of distinct species by some botanists. The form sometimes known as A. mexicanus has larger seedpods than the type, up to 35mm in diameter. 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:
The thick fleshy unripe seedpods, which resemble green plums, are eaten raw or cooked. They are highly esteemed. The pods are about 25mm in diameter.
Medicinal Uses:
A compound decoction or infusion of the root has been used to treat fits and convulsions and has been used on bleeding wounds. It has also been taken or used externally as a stimulant.

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://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus_crassicarpus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+crassicarpus
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/ground-plum

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

Ferula narthex

Botanical Name: Ferula narthex
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ferula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Ferula jaeschkeana. Vatke

Comon Name: Ferula
Sanskrit Name: Jatucom or Sahasrabathi or Hingu
Vernacular Names:
English – Asafotida

Hindi – Hingu

Kannada – Ingu

MalayalamKayam , Perukayam

Gujurati – Bagharani

Tamil – Perukayam

Telugu – Inguva

Punjabi – Hing

Marathi – Hing

Persian – Angoj

Arabic – Hillatil

Burma Shinka Sindh Vagharni

French – Ferula Asafoetida

Germany – Stinkendes

Bengali – Hingu
Habitat: Ferula narthex is native to W. Asia – Afghanistan to Pakistan. It grows on grassy slopes at elevations around 3600 metres in Tibet.
Description:
Ferula narthex is a perennial herb growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in) with robust carrot-shaped roots. Leaves of two kinds; lower simple, 30-60 cm long, ovate; upper much divided into numerous segments. Young leaves densely hairy. Flowers small, yellow, in large terminal clusters. Fruit 8 mm long, about half as broad or broader.

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It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Requires a deep fertile soil in a sunny position. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The whole plant is very strong-smelling. Plants have a long taproot and are intolerant of root disturbance. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.

Edible Uses: ….Leaves and young shoots are eaten. Used as a pot-herb. The gum obtained from the roots is used as a condiment.
Medicinal Uses:
The gum resin obtained from the root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, expectorant and nervine. It is used in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, flatulent colic, and in pneumonia and bronchitis in children. It is applied externally on stomach to stimulate the intestines, even its enema is recommended in intestinal flatulence.The leaves are carminative and diaphoretic. The plant has recently been investigated as a potential contraceptive.

Other Uses: …..The root is a source of the gum ‘asafoetida’, it is used as a condiment and as a medicine. It is obtained by incision of the roots.

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/Ferula
http://www.indianmedicinalplants.info/herbs/index.php/sanskrit-names-of-plants/49-2012-03-14-06-48-48/636-ferula-narthex

Hingu – Ferula narthex Boiss – Ayurvedic Herb


http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ferula+narthex