Tag Archives: Arecaceae

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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Nymphaea alba

Botanical Name: Nymphaea alba
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. alba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Nymphaeales

Synonyms : N. occidentalis. Castalia alba. C. speciosa.
Common Names: White Water Lily, European white waterlily, White water rose or White nenuphar

Habitat: Nymphaea alba is native to most of Europe, including Britain. It grows in marshes, ponds, slow moving streams, lakes and canals up to 1.2m deep.

Description:
Nymphaea alba is a perennial water plant. It grows in water that is 30–150 cm (12–59 in) deep and likes large ponds and lakes. The leaves can be up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and they take up a spread of 150 cm (59 in) per plant. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are white and they have many small stamens inside. It is found all over Europe and in parts of North Africa and the Middle East in freshwater.

The red variety (Nymphaea alba f. rosea) which is in cultivation came from lake Fagertärn (“Fair tarn”) in the forest of Tiveden, Sweden, where they were discovered in the early 19th century. The discovery led to a large scale exploitation which nearly made it extinct in the wild before it was protected.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

Cultivation:
A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position in still or slowly moving water. Best grown in 2 – 2.5 metres of water[200]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7. Dislikes acid conditions according to another report. This species is hardy to about -20°c. There are two basic types of plant in this genus:- ‘crawlers’ are species with horizontal roots that often spread freely, with new plants being formed at intervals along the root. These species are useful for naturalising, but they do not flower very freely in the cool summers of Britain. ‘clumpers’ have vertical roots and form slowly spreading clumps and produce offsets around the crown. These forms flower much more freely in Britain. A very ornamental plant. The flowers, which only open in bright sunshine, have a soft delicate scent.

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 – cooked. Eaten when several years old. It contains up to 40% starch, 6% protein. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Seed – cooked. It contains about 47% starch.
Medicinal Uses:
The rhizome is anodyne, antiscrofulatic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent and sedative. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery or diarrhoea caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used to treat bronchial catarrh and kidney pain and can be taken as a gargle for sore throats. Externally it can be used to make a douche to treat vaginal soreness or discharges. In combination with slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) or flax (Linum usitatissimum) it is used as a poultice to treat boils and abscesses. The rhizome is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded. According to one report the plant is not used in modern herbal practice, though it has been quoted as a remedy for dysentery.

The rhizome may be used to make a douche for vaginal soreness and discharge, or to make a poultice, often in combination with slippery elm or linseed, for boils and abscesses. The plant has been found to lower blood pressure in animals. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded.

Known Hazards: One report suggests that the plant is poisonous but gives no further details. The plant contains the toxic alkaloids nupharine and nymphaeine, these substances have an effect on the nervous system.
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/Nymphaea_alba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Nymphaea+alba

Orchis ustulata

Botanical Name : Orchis ustulata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily:Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
Subtribe:Orchidinae
Genus: Neotinea
Species:N. ustulata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names:Dark-Winged Orchis , Burnt orchid or Burnt-tip orchid

Habitat :Orchis ustulata is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, the Caucasus and Siberia. It grows on chalk downs and limestone pastures, it is also found in marshy places.

Description:
Orchis ustulata is a bulb. It grows from two spherical tubers with thick roots. It is believed that the plant can grow underground for 10-15 years before the first stem appears. Plants have 3 to 9 cm (1.2 to 3.5 in) leaves with prominent veins, along with a couple of leaves typically around the flower stem, which can reach 28 cm (11 in), though typically less than 13 cm (5.1 in) tall.

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Flowers are born in a dense cylindrical pattern, with individual plants capable of producing up to 70 flowers. The sepals and petals form a 3 mm (0.12 in) hood that is reddish-brown, over a white crimson-spotted lower lip that is 4 mm (0.16 in). Flowers have a strong fragrance that is described as similar to honey. N. ustulata flowers from May through June, with the subspecies, Neotinea ustulata subsp. aestivalis blooming in July in England. The common name comes from the tips of the flower buds having a burnt appearance.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position and a good limey loam soil. Requires a deep rich soil. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. Plants can succeed in a lawn in various parts of the country. The lawn should not be mown early in the year before or immediately after flowering. Plant out bulbs whilst the plant is dormant, preferably in the autumn. Bulbs can also be transplanted with a large ball of soil around the roots when they are in leaf, they are impatient of root disturbance. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. The flowers diffuse a powerful almond-like scent. Cultivated plants are very susceptible to the predation of slugs and snails.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

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

Antiflatulent; Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep (see above for more details) is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neotinea_ustulata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Orchis+ustulata

Orchis laxiflora

 

Botanical Name : Orchis laxiflora
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
Subtribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Anacamptis
Species: A. laxiflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Anacamptis laxiflora, Orchis palustris ssp.

Common Names: Marsh Orchis, Loose-flowered orchid, or Green-winged meadow orchid
Habitat :Orchis laxiflora is native to Southern Europe, including Britain, from Belgium south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.It grows on the wet marshes and wet meadows in the Channel Islands.

Description:
Orchis laxiflora is a BULB growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in). There are 3-8 narrow, pointed leaves arranged along the stem which is flushed deep purple. The inflorescence is lax and carries between 9-22 large dark pink flowers. The erect lateral sepals are bent backwards and are often so close that they touch each other. A hood is formed by the dorsal sepal and the two upper petals. The flower lip is sharply folded length-wise and has a pale (almost white) centre which is usually unmarked or occasionally lightly marked with pink.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. 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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a deep rich soil. Plants can succeed in drier areas of bog gardens. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. Plants can succeed in a lawn in various parts of the country. The lawn should not be mown early in the year before or immediately after flowering. Plant out bulbs whilst the plant is dormant, preferably in the autumn[200]. Bulbs can also be transplanted with a large ball of soil around the roots when they are in leaf, they are impatient of root disturbance. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Cultivated plants are very susceptible to the predation of slugs and snails.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade[230]. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

Edible Uses: ...Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell[4]. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiflatulent; Astringent; Cancer; Demulcent; Expectorant; Nutritive.

Used in the treatment of cancer. Salep (see above for more details) is very nutritive, astringent, expectorant and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provide

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacamptis_laxiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Orchis+laxiflora
http://www.first-nature.com/flowers/orchis-laxiflora.php

Gentiana straminea

Botanical Name : Gentiana straminea
Family: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Sectio: G. sect. Cruciata
Species: Gentiana straminea

Common Names:

Habitat : Gentiana straminea is native to E. Asia – W. China. It grows on grassy slopes and alpine meadows to 3,500 metres.

Description:
Gentiana straminea is a perennial plant ,  growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8

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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 is an easily grown species. 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. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame[200]. 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 in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Medicinal Uses:
The roots of gentian species contain some of the most bitter compounds known and make an excellent tonic for the whole digestive system, working especially on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. The root is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antirheumatic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. The root is used internally in the treatment of arthritis, allergic inflammations, low-grade fever in chronic diseases, jaundice and hepatitis. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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_straminea
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/g/gentiana-straminea.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+straminea