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Allium stipitatum

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

Synonyms:
*Allium hirtifolium Boissier
*Allium atropurpureum var. hirtulum Regel

Common Name : Persian shallot

Habitat : Allium stipitatum is native to central and southwestern Asia. It grows on hot dry situations on lower mountain slopes.

Description:
Allium stipitatum grows from bulbs, 3 to 6 cm in diameter, which have blackish, paper-like tunics. The 4–6 basal leaves are broad, green to greyish green in colour, and variably hairy. The leaves are normally withered by the time the bulb flowers. Flowers are borne on stems which are 60 to 150 cm tall and are arranged in an umbel (a structure where the individual flowers are attached to a central point). The umbels are some 8 to 12 cm in diameter, relatively small compared to the tall stems, hence the description ‘drumstick allium’. Individual flowers, of which there are many, are a typical allium shape, with a superior ovary and six tepals of a lilac to purple colour, around 2.5 to 5 cm long; white forms are known.
Plants grow on rocky slopes and in fields at elevations between 1,500 and 2,500 m. It is a typical ‘drumstick allium’, with a more-or-less spherical umbel on a tall stipe, and as such has often been confused with other similar species.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.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 or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a hot sunny position in a light well-drained soil, growing well in the light shade of thinly clad shrubs that also thrive in hot dry conditions. The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage. One report says that this species is only hardy to zone 8, which only covers the mildest areas of Britain, whilst another says that it is much hardier and will succeed in zone 4. It is being grown successfully about 60 kilometres west of London, and so should be hardy at least in the south of Britain. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. Sold as an item of food in central Russia. The bulbs are 3 – 6cm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.   It has ornamental use  also..
Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_stipitatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+stipitatum

Allium scorodoprasum rotundum

Botanical Name : Allium scorodoprasum rotundum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Allium rotundum. L.

Habitat: Allium scorodoprasum rotundum is native to S. Europe to W. Asia. It grows on calcareous and disturbed clay slopes, grassy places, field borders, beaches on sand and loam in Turkey.

Description:
Allium scorodoprasum rotundum is a BULB growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
Description:
Allium scorodoprasum rotundum is a  bulb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). It is slender  in growth. It is in flower from Jul to August. It has tight oblong knobs of dark wine red-purple flowers. It is not frost tender.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation: Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This sub-species does not produce bulbils in the inflorescence. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is up to 2cm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_scorodoprasum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+scorodoprasum+rotundum

Solanum fendleri

 

Botanical Name: Solanum fendleri
Family :Solanaceae
Subfamilia : Solanoideae
Genus : Solanum
Tribes : Solaneae
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Species: Solanum fendleri A. Gray ex Torr. – Fendler’s horsenettle

Synonym: Solanum stoloniferum

Common Names: Wild Potato, Fendler’s horsenettle, Texan horsenettle

Habitat :Solanum fendleri is native to South-western N. America. It grows on rich soils in open pine woods, 1800 – 2700 metres in Arizona.

Description:
Solanum fendleri is a perennial herb, growing to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The flowers are flat, round, 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and have 5 pointed lobes and a yellow beak of stamens. It blooms in summer & early fall. The flowers are followed by small, green to white fruits. The leaves are green to tinged purple below, hairy, alternate, and pinnately compound with usually 5 or 7 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets. The terminal (end) leaflet is larger than the other leaflets. The plants have both stolons and small, rounded, white or purple tubers (potatoes)

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will succeed in Britain. This plant is a N. American species of potatoes and it can probably be grown in much the same way as potatoes are grown. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes wet or heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acid soil, the tubers are subject to scab on limy soils or those deficient in humus. Yields best on a fertile soil rich in organic matter.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into a fairly rich compost as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts. Division. Harvest the tubers in autumn after the top-growth has been cut back by frost. Store the tubers in a cool frost-free place overwinter and replant in April.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Root.

Tubers – raw or cooked. Rich in starch, the tubers can be dried and ground into a powder then used in making bread. A type of potato, it is said to be pleasant eating, tasting somewhat like a sweet chestnut. When eaten raw the potatoes are mixed with clay. One report says that, after every mouthful of raw potato, a person would take a bite f white clay to counteract the unpleasant astringent effect of the potato in the mouth. The roots are fairly small, averaging about 15mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:

Stomachic.

The raw tubers have been used in the treatment of gastric distress due to hyperacidity.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many if not all the members have poisonous leaves and sometimes also the unripe fruits.

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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Solanum_fendleri

Solanum fendleri – Fendler's Horsenettle


http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solanum+fendleri

Helianthus annuus

Botanical Name:Helianthus annuus
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:
Helianthoideae
Tribe:
Heliantheae
Genus:
Helianthus
Species:
H. annuus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Synonyms:
*Helianthus aridus Rydb.
*Helianthus erythrocarpus Bartl.
*Helianthus indicus L.
*Helianthus jaegeri Heiser
*Helianthus lenticularis Douglas
*Helianthus macrocarpus DC. & A.DC.
*Helianthus multiflorus Hook.
*Helianthus ovatus Lehm.
*Helianthus platycephalus Cass.
*Helianthus tubaeformis Nutt.

Common Names: Sunflower, Common sunflower

Habitat :Helianthus annuus is native to Western N. America. An occasional garden escape in Britain. It grows on open dry or moderately moist soils on the plains.
Description:
Helianthus annuus is an annual plant.  It has an erect rough-hairy stem, reaching typical heights of 3 metres (9.8 ft). The tallest sunflower on record achieved 9.17 metres (30.1 ft). Sunflower leaves are broad, coarsely toothed, rough and mostly alternate. What is often called the “flower” of the sunflower is actually a “flower head” or pseudanthium of numerous small individual five-petaled flowers (“florets”). The outer flowers, which resemble petals, are called ray flowers. Each “petal” consists of a ligule composed of fused petals of an asymmetrical ray flower. They are sexually sterile and may be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The flowers in the center of the head are called disk flowers. These mature into fruit (sunflower “seeds”). The disk flowers are arranged spirally. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; however, in a very large sunflower head there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds mathematically possible within the flower head.. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Bloom Color: Orange, Red, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer.

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 dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, including poor soils provided they are deep and well-drained, but it grows best in a deep rich soil. Plants are intolerant of acid or waterlogged conditions. Especially when grown for its edible seed, the plant prefers a sunny position though it also tolerates light shade. Requires a neutral or preferably calcareous soil. As sunflowers have highly efficient root systems, they can be grown in areas which are too dry for many other crops. Established plants are quite drought-resistant except during flowering. The sunflower tolerates an annual precipitation of 20 – 400cm, an average annual temperature in the range of 6 – 28°C and a pH in the range of 4.5 – 8.7. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. The sunflower is a very ornamental plant that is widely grown in gardens and is also a major commercial crop for its edible seed and many other uses. It grows well in Britain, but it does not ripen its seed reliably in this country and so is not suitable for commercial cultivation at the present. It is the state flower of Kansas. Three distinct groups of sunflowers are cultivated:- Giant types grow from 1.8 – 4.2 metres tall with flower heads 30 – 50cm in diameter. The seeds are large, white or gray in colour, sometimes with black stripes, and are the best for culinary purposes, though the oil content is lower than for other types. ‘Grey Stripe’, ‘Hopi Black Dye’, ‘Mammoth Russian’ and ‘Sundak’ are examples of this type. Semi-dwarf types grow from 1.3 – 1.8 m tall, are early maturing and have heads 17 – 23 cm diameter. The seeds are smaller, black, gray or striped, the oil content is also higher. Examples include ‘Pole Star’ and ‘Jupiter’ Dwarf types grow from 0.6 – 1.4 m tall, are early maturing and have heads 14 – 16 cm in diameter.
The seeds are small but the oil content is the highest. Examples include ‘Advance’ and ‘Sunset’. Some forms are being bred for greater cold tolerance and should be more reliable in Britain. Plants tend to grow better in the south and south-west of England. Most forms require a four month frost-free growing season, though some Russian cultivars can mature a crop in 70 days. When plants are grown in cooler latitudes the seed contains higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty oils. The plant has a strong taproot that can penetrate the soil to depth of 3 metres, it also has a large lateral spread of surface roots. Sunflowers grow badly with potatoes but they do well with cucumbers and corn. A very greedy and vigorous plant, it can inhibit the growth of nearby plants. Plants tend to impoverish the soil if they are grown too often in the same place. A good bee plant, providing large quantities of nectar. The flowers attract beneficial insects such as lacewings and parasitic wasps. These prey on various insect pests, especially aphis. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Edible, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation :
Seed – sow in mid spring in situ. An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 – 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring. Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Seed, harvested at 12% moisture content and stored, will retain its viability for several years

Edible Uses:
Seed – raw or cooked. A delicious nut-like flavour, but very fiddly to extract due to the small size of the seed. Commercially there are machines designed to do this. Rich in fats, the seed can be ground into a powder, made into sunflower butter or used to make seed yoghurt. When mixed with cereal flours, it makes a nutritious bread. Cultivars with up to 50% oil have been developed in Russia. The oil contains between 44 – 72% linoleic acid. The germinated seed is said to be best for seed yoghurt, it is blended with water and left to ferment. The sprouted seed can be eaten raw. A nutritional analysis of the seed is available. Young flower buds – steamed and served like globe artichokes. A mild and pleasant enough flavour, but rather fiddly. Average yields range from 900 – 1,575 kg/ha of seed, however yields of over 3,375 kg/ha have been reported. A high quality edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is low in cholesterol, and is said to be equal in quality to olive oil. Used in salads, margarines, or in cooking. The roasted seed is a coffee and drinking chocolate substitute. Another report says the roasted hulls are used. The leaf petioles are boiled and mixed in with other foodstuffs.
Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The flowering head and seeds are febrifuge, nutritive and stomachic. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. It has been used with success in the treatment of many pulmonary complaints. A decoction of the roots has been used as a warm wash on rheumatic aches and pains.
Powdered leaves of the prairie sunflower are said to work well with the healing of sores and swellings.

Other Uses:
Blotting paper; Dye; Fibre; Fuel; Green manure; Herbicide; Kindling; Microscope; Oil; Paper.

An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Some varieties contain up to 45% oil. The oil is also used, often mixed with a drying oil such as linseed (Linum usitatissimum) to make soap, candles, varnishes, paint etc, as well as for lighting. The oil is said to be unrivalled as a lubricant. A blotting paper is made from the seed receptacles. A high quality writing paper is made from the inner stalk. The pith of the stems is one of the lightest substances known, having a specific gravity of 0.028. It has a wide range of applications, being used for purposes such as making life-saving appliances and slides for microscopes. The dried stems make an excellent fuel, the ash is rich in potassium. Both the dried stems and the empty seed receptacles are an excellent kindling. A fibre from the stem is used to make paper and a fine quality cloth. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A purple-black dye is obtained from the seed of certain varieties that were grown by the Hopi Indians of S.W. North America. Sunflowers can be grown as a spring-sown green manure, they produce a good bulk of material. Root secretions from the plant can inhibit the growth of nearby plants[

Known Hazards: The growing plant can accumulate nitrates, especially when fed on artificial fertilizers. The pollen or plant extracts may cause allergic reactions.

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/Helianthus_annuus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+annuus

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.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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

Aloe vaera

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Botanical NameAloe Perryi, Aloe vaera (LINN)

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. perryi
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name: Socotrine aloe.

Habitat: –Aloes are indigenous to East and South Africa, but have been introduced into the West Indies (where they are extensively cultivated) and into tropical countries, and will even flourish in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. These plants are mainly found in dry areas; on flat or gentle slopes, primarily on limestone pavement but occasionally on sandy plains or granite mountains; at elevations from sea-level to 900 metres.

Description:
Aloe Perryi or Aloveras are succulent plants belonging to the Lily family, with perennial, strong and fibrous roots and numerous, persistent, fleshy leaves, proceeding from the upper part of the root, narrow, tapering, thick and fleshy, usually beset at the edges with spiney teeth. Many of the species are woody and branching. In the remote districts of S.W. Africa and in Natal, Aloes have been discovered 30 to 60 feet in height, with stems as much as 10 feet in circumference.

The flowers are produced in erect, terminal spikes. There is no calyx, the corolla is tubular, divided into six narrow segments at the mouth and of a red, yellow or purplish colour. The capsules contain numerous angular seeds.

The true Aloe is in flower during the greater part of the year and is not to be confounded with another plant, the Agave or American Aloe (Agave Americana), which is remarkable for the long interval between its periods of flowering. This is a succulent plant, without stem, the leaves being radical, spiney, and toothed. There is a variety with variegated foliage. The flower-stalk rises to many feet in height, bearing a number of large and handsome flowers. In cold climates there is usually a very long interval between the times of its flowering, though it is a popular error to suppose that it happens only once in a hundred years for when it obtains sufficient heat and receives a culture similar to that of the pineapple, it is found to flower much more frequently. Various species of Agave, all of which closely resemble each other, have been largely grown as ornamental plants since the first half of the sixteenth century in the south of Europe, and are completely acclimatized in Spain, Portugal and Southern Italy, but though often popularly called Aloes all of them are plants of the New World whereas the true Aloes are natives of the Old World. From a chemical point of view there is also no analogy at all between Aloes and Agaves.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Although the Agave is not employed medicinally, the leaves have been used in Jamaica as a substitute for soap, the expressed juice (a gallon of the juice yields about 1 lb. of the soft extract), dried in the sun, being made into balls with wood ash. This soap lathers with salt water as well as fresh. The leaves have also been used for scouring pewter and kitchen utensils. The inner spongy substance of the leaves in a decayed state has been employed as tinder and the fibres may be spun into a strong, useful thread.

The fleshy leaves of the true Aloe contain near the epidermis or outer skin, a row of fibrovascular bundles, the cells of which are much enlarged and filled with a yellow juice which exudes when the leaf is cut. When it is desired to collect the juice, the leaves are cut off close to the stem and so placed that the juice is drained off into tubs. This juice thus collected is concentrated either by spontaneous evaporation, or more generally by boiling until it becomes of the consistency of thick honey. On cooling, it is then poured into gourds, boxes, or other convenient receptacles, and solidifies.

Aloes require two or three years’ standing before they yield their juice. In the West Indian Aloe plantations they are set out in rows like cabbages and cutting takes place in March or April, but in Africa the drug is collected from the wild plants.

Cultivation:
A plant of mainly arid and semi-arid lowland areas in the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 27°c, but can tolerate 12 – 31°c. It can be killed by temperatures of 5°c or lower It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 400 – 700mm, but tolerates 250 – 1,400mm. Tolerant of poor soils. Requires a well-drained, light to medium soil and a position in full sun. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 – 7, tolerating 6 – 7.5.

Aloe species follow the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). CAM plants can fix carbon dioxide at night and photosynthesize with closed stomata during the day, thus minimizing water loss. This, plus their succulent leaves and stems, and the presence of a thick cuticle, makes them well adapted to dry conditions.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no specific information on this species – in general Aloes are sown in a sandy, well-drained potting soil in a warm, shady position in standard seed trays. Germination takes about three weeks. Cover the seed with a thin layer of sand (1 – 2mm), keep moist. The seedlings can be planted out in individual bags or containers as soon as they are large enough to handle.

Constituents:
The most important constituents of Aloes are the two Aloins, Barbaloin and Isobarbaloin, which constitute the so-called ‘crystalline’ Aloin, present in the drug at from 10 to 30 per cent. Other constituents are amorphous Aloin, resin and Aloe-emodin. The proportion in which the Aloins are present in the respective Aloes is not accurately known.

The manner in which the evaporation is conducted has a marked effect on the appearance of the Aloes, slow and moderate concentration tending to induce crystallization of the Aloin, thus causing the drug to appear opaque. Such Aloes is termed ‘livery’ or hepatic, and splinters of it exhibit minute crystals of Aloin when examined under the microscope. If, on the other hand, the evaporation is carried as far as possible, the Aloin does not crystallize and small fragments of the drug appear transparent; it is then termed ‘glassy,’ ‘vitreous,’ or ‘lucid’ Aloes and exhibits no crystals of Aloin under the microscope.

Medicinal Uses:
Used medicinally in the same ways as Aloe vera Aloe vera is used in the following ways:-

The clear gel contained within the leaf makes an excellent treatment for wounds, burns and a host of other skin disorders, placing a protective coat over the affected area, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. The gel is also applied externally to cure haemorrhoids. These actions are in part due to the presence of aloectin B, which stimulates the immune system. To obtain this gel, the leaves can be cut in half along their length and the inner pulp rubbed over the affected area of skin. This has an immediate soothing effect on all sorts of burns and other skin problems.
The use of the gel has been approved in the United States for the treatment of leukaemia in cats, of fibrosarcoma in dogs, for wound healing in humans and to prevent dry socket (‘alveolar osteitis’) in humans.
The peeled leaves are eaten to relieve sore throat and coughs and as a mild laxative. As a food supplement, the leaf gel is said to facilitate digestion, and to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. There are claims of beneficial activity of Aloe vera products in cases of AIDS, arthritis, or other chronic and debilitating conditions. However, these claims have not been substantiated by scientific studies. There is also no evidence that topical Aloe vera gel is effective in preventing or minimizing radiation-induced skin reactions in cancer patients. In large amounts, the gel has anti-irritant properties.

A bitter substance is obtained from the yellow sap at the base of the leaf. Known as ‘bitter aloes’, it contains anthraquinones which are a useful digestive stimulant and a strong laxative. It also has vermicidal properties. It is taken internally in the treatment of chronic constipation, poor appetite, digestive problems etc. Mixed with other ingredients to mask its bitter taste, it is taken against asthma and to treat coughs. Similar mixtures are taken to cure dysentery, kidney problems or against dyspepsia. It should be administered preferably in combination with an antispasmodic to moderate its griping action.

It is applied externally as a refrigerant to treat acne or cuts.
‘Curaçao aloe’ should contain at least 28% hydroxy-anthraquinone derivatives; it is almost entirely soluble in 60% alcohol and for more than 70% in water. It should not contain more than 12% moisture and 3% ash.The plant is strongly purgative so great care should be taken over the dosage.
Anthraquinone-based laxatives, such as bitter aloes, should not be used longer than 8 – 10 days, nor by children younger than 12 years. Contra-indications include pregnancy, breastfeeding, intestinal inflammations and haemorrhoids.
When plants are grown in pots the anthraquinone content is greatly reduced.

The word Aloes, in Latin Lignum Aloes, is used in the Bible and in many ancient writings to designate a substance totally distinct from the modern Aloes, namely the resinous wood of Aquilaria agallocha, a large tree growing in the Malayan Peninsula. Its wood constituted a drug which was, down to the beginning of the present century, generally valued for use as incense, but now is esteemed only in the East.

A beautiful violet colour is afforded by the leaves of the Socotrine Aloe, and it does not require a mordant to fix it.
Known Hazards: The sap of Aloe species contains anthraquinones. These compounds have several beneficial medicinal actions, particularly as a laxative, and many species of Aloe are thus employed in traditional medicine. Whilst safe in small doses and for short periods of time, anthraquinones do have potential problems if used in excess. These include congestion and irritation of the pelvic organs.

Long term use of anthraquinone laxatives may also play a role in development of colorectal cancer as they have genotoxic potential, and tumorigenic potential.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/aloes027.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_perryi
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Aloe+perryi

Rubus spectabilis

Botanical Name : Rubus spectabilis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species:R. spectabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Salmonberry

Habitat:Rubus spectabilis is native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California, inland as far as Idaho. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on Moist spots in and about woods below 300 metres in California.

Description:
Rubus spectabilis is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–4 m (40-160 inches or 1.3-13.3 feet) tall, with perennial, not biennial woody stems that are covered with fine prickles. The leaves are trifoliate (with three leaflets), 7–22 cm (2.8-8.8 inches) long, the terminal leaflet larger than the two side leaflets. The leaf margins are toothed. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are 2–3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) in diameter, with five pinkish-purple petals; they are produced from early spring to early summer. The fruit matures in late summer to early autumn, and resembles a large yellow to orange-red raspberry 1.5–2 cm (0.6-0.8 inches) long with many drupelets.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in the shade of trees though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is invasiv. It does not fruit well in Britain, but has become naturalized in Surrey and Cumbria in cool acid woodland soils. This species is a raspberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungu.
Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn
Edible Uses:
Fruit raw, cooked or dried for later use. Juicy with a very good flavour. The fruit can be made into jams and jellies. This species is not of much value in Britain, it does not fruit freely in the cooler summers of this country and the fruits do not always develop their full flavour. The fruit can range in colour from yellow, through orange to red, it is about the size of a cultivated raspberry but is rather inferior in flavour and often has a distinctive bitterness, especially in cooler summers. Another report says that it fruits freely in Britain. Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. They are harvested in the spring as they grow above the soil and whilst they are still tender. Flowers – raw. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Odontalgic; Poultice; Stomachic.

The leaves and the root are astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used as a dressing on burns. The root bark is analgesic, astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction has been used to lessen the pains of labour. The powdered bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores. A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean burns and wounds.

Other Uses:
Disinfectant; Dye; Pipes.
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The hollowed stems are used as pipes. (The report does not specify what type of pipes)

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

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+spectabilis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_spectabilis

Osmorhiza longistylis

Botanical Name; Osmorhiza longistylis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Osmorhiza
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names; Aniseroot, Longstyle sweetroot, American sweet cicely, Licorice root, Wild anise, or Simply sweet cicely

Habitat : Osmorhiza longistylis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Ontario, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas and Colorado. It grows in rich, often alluvial woods and thickets. Woods, often along the sides of streams in Texas.

Description:
Osmorhiza longistylis is a herbaceous perennial plant is about 1.2 m (4ft) ‘ tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green to reddish purple, terete, and glabrous (var. longistylis) to hairy (var. villicaulis). The alternate leaves are ternately compound; the lower compound leaves are up to 9″ long and 9″ across, while the upper compound leaves are much smaller in size. Each compound leaf is divided into 3 compound leaflets; the terminal compound leaflet is the largest. Each compound leaflet is further divided into 3 subleaflets; the terminal subleaflet is the largest, sometimes appearing to be divided into 3 even smaller subleaflets. The subleaflets are 1-4″ long, ½-1½” across, and lanceolate to oval-ovate shape in shape; their margins are coarsely serrated-crenate or shallowly cleft. The upper subleaflet surface is yellowish green to green and nearly glabrous (var. longistylis) to moderately covered with appressed hairs (var. villicaulis).

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The petioles of compound leaves are light green to reddish purple and up to 6″ in length. The petiolules of leaflets are light green to reddish green and up to 2″ long, while those of subleaflets are nearly sessile to ¼” (6 mm.) long. The foliage of this plant releases a mild anise fragrance when it is rubbed. The upper stems terminate in compound umbels of white flowers about 1½-3″ across. There are about 3-6 umbellets per compound umbel on rays (floral stalks) up to 2″ long. An umbellet has 7-16 flowers that are clustered together on rays (floral stalklets) up to ¼” (6 mm.) long. Each flower (about 3 mm. across) has 5 white petals with incurved tips, 5 white stamens, a pistil with a divided white style (stylopodium), and an insignificant calyx that is light green. At the base of each compound umbel, there are several linear-lanceolate bracts with ciliate margins; they are up to 8 mm. in length. At the base of each umbellet, there are several linear-lanceolate bractlets with ciliate margins; they are also up to 8 mm. in length.

The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer, lasting about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 2-seeded fruits (schizocarps). While these fruits are still immature, the persistent divided style is 2.0-3.5 mm. in length (it is smaller than this when the flowers are still in bloom). The small seeds are narrowly ellipsoid-oblanceoloid, 5-ribbed, and slightly bristly along their ribs. The root system consists of a cluster of fleshy roots with a strong anise fragrance.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in any deep moisture-retentive soil in sun or dappled shade. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Well suited to naturalistic plantings in a woodland or wild garden. A sweetly aromatic plant.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise sow it in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Root – raw or cooked. Very sweet, aromatic and fleshy. A spicy flavour similar to anise, the roots are chewed, made into a tea or used as a flavouring. Leaves and young shoots – raw. An anise flavour, they are added to salads. The green seeds have an anise flavour and are used as a flavouring in salads, the dry seeds are added to cakes etc.
Medicinal Uses:

Osmorhiza longistylis  was used extensively by Native American Indian tribes to treat digestive disorders and as an antiseptic wash for a range of problems. Sweet Cicely is medicinal and edible, the root being the strongest for use in alternative medicine it is antiseptic, aromatic, febrifuge, oxytocic, pectoral, stomachic, carminative, tonic, ophthalmic, and expectorant. Medicinal tea made from the root is a very good digestive aid and is a gentle stimulant for debilitated stomachs. A weak herb tea is used to bath sore eyes. A strong infusion has been used to induce labor in a pregnant woman and to treat fevers, indigestion, flatulence, stomach aches. The crushed root is an effective antiseptic poultice for the treatment of boils and wounds. A medicinal cough syrup can be made of the fresh juice and honey, it is very effective and quite tasty, children take it readily.


Folklore:
 A decoction of the herb was used as nostril wash to increase dog’s sense of smell. A valuable tonic for girls from 15 to 18 years of age, according to an old herbal. The aromatic scent is said to be an aphrodisiac, used as a love medicine.

In use it should not be confused with species of poison hemlock, water hemlock, or baneberry.

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/Osmorhiza_longistylis
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/aniseroot.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmorhiza+longistylis

http://altnature.com/gallery/sweetcicely.htm

Cinnamodendron corticosum

 Botanical Name : Cinnamodendron corticosum
Family: Canellaceae
Genus: Cinnamodendron
Species: C. corticosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Canellales

Synonyms: Red Canella. Mountain Cinnamon.

Part Used: Dried bark. 

Habitat: Cinnamodendron corticosum is native to Jamaica.

Description:
Cinnamodendron corticosum is a species of flowering plant.The bark is pungent like Winter’s Bark, but a much paler brown colour, resembling canella bark, but without its chalky white inner surface. It has a ferruginous grey-brown colour, darker externally, with scars of the nearly circular subereous warts smooth and finely striated on the inner surface. Like canella bark in odour and pungent taste but is not bitter.

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Constituents & Medicinal Uses :
Volatile oil and tannic acid, it may be distinguished from canella bark by its decoction becoming blackened by a persalt of iron, can be used for the same diseases as Winter’s Bark. In South America it is much used for diarrhoea, 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/Cinnamodendron_corticosum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/winfal26.html

Euonymus americanus

Botanical Name : Euonymus americanus
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus
Species: E. americanus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Celastrales

Common Names: Strawberry bush, American strawberry bush,700 Series, Bursting-heart, and hearts-bustin’-with-love
Habitat : Euonymus americanus is native to the eastern United States, its distribution extending as far west as Texas. It has also been recorded in Ontario. It grows in the Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge.

Description:
Euonymus americanus is a deciduous Shrub growing up to 2 meters tall. The oppositely arranged leaves are leathery or papery in texture and measure up to 10 centimeters long. Flowers are borne in the leaf axils on peduncles up to 2.2 centimeters long. The yellow-green sepals are 1 or 2 centimeters long and the greenish or reddish petals above are smaller. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The fruit capsule is about 1.5 centimeters wide with a red warty or spiny covering. The capsule splits into five sections, revealing seeds covered in bright red arils.

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Cultivation:
Thrives in almost any soil, including chalk, it is particularly suited to dry shaded areas. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil. Requires shade from the midday sun.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 8 – 12 weeks warm followed by 8 – 16 weeks cold stratification and can then be sown in a cold frame. 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, 5 – 8cm long taken at a node or with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy

Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Laxative; Tonic.

The seed is strongly laxative. A tea made from the roots is used in cases of uterine prolapse, vomiting of blood, painful urination and stomach aches. The bark is diuretic, expectorant, laxative and tonic. It was used as a tea in the treatment of malaria, liver congestion, constipation etc. The powdered bark, applied to the scalp, was believed to eliminate dandruff. An infusion of the plant has been used to stimulate menstruation and so should not be used by pregnant women.

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/Euonymus_americanus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Euonymus+americanus