Tag Archives: Asclepias incarnata

Asclepius incarnata


Botanical Name:
Asclepius incarnata
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. incarnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Swamp milkweed, Rose milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Swamp silkweed, and White Indian hemp

Habitat :Asclepius incarnata is native to North America.(N. America – Quebec to Manitoba and Wyoming, south to Texas and New Mexico.) It grows in damp to wet soils .(Swamps, wet thickets and shores) .Butterfly Weed

Description:
Asclepius incarnata is a herbaceous perennial upright plant. It is 100- to 150-centimeter (39- to 59-inches) tall plant, growing from thick, fleshy, white roots. Typically, its stems are branched and the clump forming plants emerge in late spring after most other plants have begun growth for the year. The oppositely arranged leaves are 7 to 15 centimeters (2.75 to 6 inches) long and are narrow and lance-shaped, with the ends tapering to a sharp point.

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The plants bloom in early to mid-summer, producing small, fragrant, pink to mauve (sometimes white) colored flowers in rounded umbels. The flower color may vary from darker shades of purple to soft, pinkish purple and a white flowering form exists as well. The flowers have five reflexed petals and an elevated central crown. After blooming, green seed pods, approximately 12 centimeters (4.5 inches) long, are produced that when ripe, split open. They then release light to dark brown, flat seeds that are attached to silver-white silky-hairs ideal for catching the wind. This natural mechanism for seed dispersal is similar to that used by other milkweed plants

It is cultivated as a garden plant for its flowers, which attract butterflies and other pollinators with nectar.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Massing. Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil. Requires a moist soil and a sunny position, doing well by water. Succeeds on dry soils and on all soil types. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are very attractive to butterflies. The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring[K], though stored seed might need 2 – 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Oil; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Oil; Sweetener.

Unopened flower buds – cooked. Tasting somewhat like peas. They can also be dried and stored for later use. Young shoots – cooked. An asparagus substitute. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach. Young seed pods, harvested when 3 – 4 cm long – cooked. A pea-like flavour, they are very appetizing. The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup.
Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Carminative; Diuretic; Emetic; Laxative; Stomachic.

It is used primarily in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Its uses are very similar to those of Asclepias tuberosa.

A tea made from the roots is anthelmintic, carminative, diuretic, emetic, strongly laxative and stomachic. The tea is said to remove tapeworms from the body in one hour. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma, rheumatism, syphilis, worms and as a heart tonic. An infusion of the roots is used as a strengthening bath for children and adults.

Other Uses:
Fibre; Latex; Oil; Pollution; Stuffing; Wax.

A good quality fibre is obtained from the bark. It is used in twine, cloth etc. It is easily harvested in late autumn, after the plants have died down, by simply pulling it off the dead stems. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth. It is a Kapok substitute, it is used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material. It is very water repellent. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and stems. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance
Known Hazards: Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. They are usually avoided by grazing animals. The leaves and the stems might be poisonous.

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.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_incarnata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asclepias+incarnata

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Asclepias

Botanical Name :Asclepias
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Asclepiadeae
Subtribe: Asclepiadinae
Genus: Asclepias
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name:Milkweed

Habitat :Asclepias contains over 140 known species and most of the species  are native to America  but may be this one is a native of the West Indies, abounding especially in Nevis and St. Kitts.

Description:
Asclepias, the milkweeds, is a genus of herbaceous perennial, dicotyledonous plants.
This genus consists of herbaceous plants with a milky juice, which are for the most part natives of America. Several species are cultivated for the sake of their showy flowers. All of them are more or less poisonous. Asclepias curassavica is employed in the West Indies as an emetic, and goes by the name of Ipecacuanha: the drug known in medicine by that name is derived from quite a different plant and must not be confused with it. A. tuberosa, the Butterfly-weed, has mild purgative properties, and promotes perspiration and expectoration. A. syriaca, a plant misnamed, as it is a native of America and Canada, is frequently to be met with in gardens; its dull red flowers are very fragrant, and the young shoots are eaten as asparagus in Canada, where a sort of sugar is also prepared from the flowers, while the silk-like down of the seeds is employed to stuff pillows. Some of the species furnish excellent fibre, which is woven into muslins, and in certain parts of India is made into paper.

click to see the pictures of  some popular species :

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In Hindu mythology, Soma – the Indian Bacchus- and one of the most important of the Vedic gods, is a personification of the Soma plant, A. acida, from which an intoxicating milky juice is squeezed. All the 114 hymns of the ninth book of the Rig Veda are in his praise. The preparation of the Soma juice was a very sacred ceremony and the worship of the god is very old. The true home of the plant was fabled to be in heaven, Soma being drunk by gods as well as men, and it is under its influence that Indra is related to have created the universe and fixed the earth and sky in their place. In postVedic literature, Soma is a regular name for the moon, which is regarded as being drunk by the gods and so waning, till it is filled up again by the Sun. In both the Rig Veda and Zend Avesta, Soma is the king of plants; in both, it is a medicine which gives health, long life and removes death.

The three species of Asclepias most used in medicine are the Calotropis procera, A. tuberosa (Pleurisy root) and A. Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed).

It is a very common roadside weed in the eastern and central states of North America, where it is called ‘Silkweed,’ from the silky down which surmounts the seed, being an inch or two in length, and which has been used for making hats and for stuffing beds and pillows. Attempts have been made to use it as a cotton substitute. Both in France and Russia it has had textile use. The fibres of the stem, prepared in the same manner as those of hemp and flax, furnish a very long, fine thread, of a glossy whiteness.

Constituents & Medicinal Action and Uses:  . : It has a very milky juice, which is used as a domestic application to warts. The juice has a faint smell and subacid taste and an acid reaction. It contains a crystalline substance of a resinous character, closely allied to lactucone and called Asclepione; also wax-like, fatty matter, caoutchouc, gum, sugar, salts of acetic acid and other salts.

Besides the above-named species, various other species of the genus have been used medicinally.

An indigenous North American species A. verticillata (Linn.), is used in the Southern States as a remedy in snake bites and the bites of venomous insects. Twelve fluid ounces of a saturated decoction are said to cause an anodyne and sudorific effect, followed by gentle sleep.

From A. vincetoxicum (Linn.), ‘TamePoison,’ besides the glucoside Asclepiadin said closely to resemble emetine in its physiological properties, the glucoside Vincetoxir has been isolated. The root of this species sometimes occurs in commercial Senega Root (Polygala Senega).

An infusion of its root was formerly recommended in dropsical cases and disorders peculiar to women, as well as for promoting perspiration in fevers, measles and other eruptive complaints, but is now much less used.

A. curas-savica (Blood-weed and Redhead) is also called in the West Indies ‘Bastard Ipecacuanha.’

Both root and expressed juice are emetic, the former in the dose of 20 to 40 grains, the latter in that of a fluid ounce.

  The plant is used medicinally in the United States for the anodyne properties of its root and its rhizome and root have been employed successfully, like those of A. tuberosa, both in powder and infusion, in cases of asthma and typhus fever attended with catarrh, producing expectoration and relieving cough and pain. It has also been used in scrofula with great success.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ascle072.html

Asclepias physocarpa

 

Botanical Name: Asclepias physocarpa
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. physocarpa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name:Balloonplant, Balloon cotton-bush or Swan plant or South African Milkweed

Habitat : Asclepias physocarpa is native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized.

Description:
Asclepias physocarpa is an undershrub perennial herb, that can grow to over six feet. The plant blooms in warm months. It grows on roadside banks, at elevations of 2800 to 5000 feet above sea level. The plant prefers moderate moisture, as well as sandy and well-drained soil and full sun.

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You may click to see more pictures:

The flowers are small, with white hoods and about 1 cm across. The capsule is a pale green, and in shape an inflated sphere. It is covered with rough hairs. It reaches three inches in diameter. The leaves are light green, linear to lanceolate and 3 to 4 inches long, 1.2 cm broad. The seeds have silky tufts.

This plant will readily hybridize with Asclepias fruticosa creating intermediate forms

Medicinal Uses:
Asclepias physocarpa is used for intestinal troubles in children or as a remedy for colds.  The powdered leaves were dried for snuff.

Other Usees:
Asclepias physocarpa plant  is often used as an ornamental plant. The name “balloonplant” is an allusion to the swelling bladder-like pods which are full of seeds.

The plant is a food source for the caterpillars of Danaus butterflies, and is a specific Monarch butterfly food and habitat plant. It is also popular in traditional medicine to cure various ailments.

All of the milkweeds are named for a milky sap in the plant’s stem and leaves. After the Monarch caterpillar has metamorphosed into a butterfly, the alkaloids from the sap they ingested from the plant are retained in the butterfly, making it unpalatable to predators

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

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_physocarpa

Flor-borboleta – Asclepias physocarpa

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Asclepias incarnata

Botanical Name ; Asclepias incarnata
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. incarnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names :
Swamp Milkweed, Swamp Butterfly Weed, Marsh Milkweed, Rose Milkweed, Swamp Silkweed, and White Indian Hemp

Habitat :Asclepias incarnata is native to North America. It is found growing in damp to wet soils and also is cultivated as a garden plant for its attractive flowers, which are visited by butterflies and other pollinators due to its copious production of nectar

Swamp milkweed prefers moisture retentive to damp soils in full sun to partial shade and typically, is found growing wild near the edges of ponds, lakes, streams, and low areas—or along ditches. It is one of the best attractors of the Monarch Butterfly, which feeds on the flowers and lays her eggs on the plants. The emerging caterpillars feed on the leaves.

The plants have specialized roots for living in heavy wet soils. The scented, thick, white roots are adapted to live in environments low in oxygen. Blooming occurs in mid to late summer and after blooming; long, relatively thin, rounded, pods are produced that grow uprightly. The pods split open in late summer to late fall, releasing seeds that are attached to silky hairs, which act as parachutes that carry the seeds on the currents of the wind.

Description:
Swamp milkweed is an upright, 100- to 150-centimeter (39- to 59-inches) tall plant, growing from thick, fleshy, white roots. Typically, its stems are branched and the clump forming plants emerge in late spring after most other plants have begun growth for the year. The oppositely arranged leaves are 7 to 15 centimeters (2.75 to 6 inches) long and are narrow and lance-shaped, with the ends tapering to a sharp point.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plants bloom in early to mid-summer, producing small, fragrant, pink to mauve (sometimes white) colored flowers in rounded umbels. The flower color may vary from darker shades of purple to soft, pinkish purple and a white flowering form exists as well. The flowers have five reflexed petals and an elevated central crown. After blooming, green seed pods, approximately 12 centimeters (4.5 inches) long, are produced that when ripe, split open. They then release light to dark brown, flat seeds that are attached to silver-white silky-hairs ideal for catching the wind. This natural mechanism for seed dispersal is similar to that used by other milkweed plants
Cultivation:
Requires a moist soil and a sunny position, doing well by water. Succeeds on dry soils and on all soil types. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are very attractive to butterflies. The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, though stored seed might need 2 – 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Edible Uses: .

Unopened flower buds – cooked. Tasting somewhat like peas. They can also be dried and stored for later use. Young shoots – cooked. An asparagus substitute. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach. Young seed pods, harvested when 3 – 4 cm long – cooked. A pea-like flavour, they are very appetizing. The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup

Medicinal Uses:
The tea made from the roots is said to remove tapeworms from the body in one hour. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma, rheumatism, syphilis, worms and as a heart tonic.  An infusion of the roots is used as a strengthening bath for children and adults. It is a cathartic and is beneficial in the treatment of arthritis and stomach disorders.  Can also be used as an emetic.
Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Massing. Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil.
Known Hazards : Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. They are usually avoided by grazing animals. The leaves and the stems might be poisonous.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_incarnata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.robsplants.com/plants/AscleIncar

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asclepias+incarnata

American Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum)

Botanical Name : Geranium maculatum
Family:    Geraniaceae
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Geraniales
Genus:    Geranium
Species:    G. maculatum

Popular Name(s): Alumroot, Storksbill, Wild Geranium

Common Names: Spotted Cranesbill, Spotted geranium, Crowfoot, Wild Geranium, Cranesbill

Other Names: Alumroot, storksbill, spotted geranium, wild geranium, wild cranesbill, spotted cranesbill, alum bloom, crowfoot, dove’s foot, old maid’s nightcap, shameface, tormentil.
Flowers: April – June
Parts Used: Root & rhizome
Habitat: Geranium maculatum  is native to Canada and Eastern United States; Maine to Georgia; Arkansas and Kansas to Manitoba. It grows  on  wet places in woods, wet rocks and in swamps. Woodlands, thickets and meadows.

Description & Identification:: American Cranesbill is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 60 cm tall, producing upright usually unbranched stems and flowers in spring to early summer. The leaves are palmately lobed with five or seven deeply cut lobes, 10–12.5 cm broad, with a petiole up to 30 cm long arising from the rootstock. They are deeply parted into three or five divisions, each of which is again cleft and toothed. The flowers are 2.5–4 cm diameter, with five rose-purple, pale or violet-purple (rarely white) petals and ten stamens; they appear from April to June in loose clusters of two to five at the top of the stems. The fruit capsule, which springs open when ripe, consists of five cells each containing one seed joined to a long beak-like column 2–3 cm long (resembling a crane’s bill) produced from the center of the old flower. The rhizome is long, and 5 to 10 cm thick, with numerous branches. The rhizomes are covered with scars, showing the remains of stems of previous years growth. When dry it has a somewhat purplish color internally. Plants go dormant in early summer after seed is ripe and dispersed.

click to see the pictures

The stem is erect and unbranched, the leaves 5-parted, deeply divided, and toothed.
The 5-petaled pink to purple flowers grow in pairs on axillary peduncles. Distinct “crane’s bill” in center of flower enlarges into seedpod, divided into five cells with a seed in each cell.

History: Native Americans used a decoction of Wild Grape and Cranesbill as a mouthwash for children with thrush. Once used to stop bleeding, diarrhea, dysentery, relieve piles, hum diseases, kidney and stomach ailments. Powdered root applied to canker sores. Externally, used as a folk remedy for cancer.

Constituents: 12-25% tannins including gallic acid, with the level being highest just before flowering.

Medicinal Properties & Uses:

Astringent, antihaemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, styptic, tonic, vulnerary.Cranesbill reduces inflammation in peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers, enteritis, and bowel disease and is gentle enough for children and the elderly. It is also used to treat melaena, menorrhagia (blood loss during menstruation), and metrorrhagia (uterine hemorrhage). As a douche, it can be used in leucorrhoea.

An effective astringent used in diarrhea, dysentery, and hemorrhoids. When bleeding accompanies duodenal or gastric ulceration, this remedy is used in combination with other relevent herbs.
The powdered root is an effective blood coagulant and can be used to stem external bleeding.
Combinations: In peptic ulcers it may be used with Meadowsweet, Comfrey, Marshmallow, or Agrimony. In leucorrhoea it can be combined with Trillium.

Preparation & Dosages:
Decoction – Put 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of the root in a cup of cold water and bring to boiling. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Root Tincture – [1:5, 45% alcohol], 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, up to 3 times a day.
Liquid Extract – [1:1, 45% alcohol], 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, up to 3 times a day.

The herb is often prescribed for irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids, and it is used to staunch wounds.  It may also be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding and excessive vaginal discharge.  As a douche it can be used in leucorrhea.  Its powerful astringent action is used in secondary dysentery, diarrhea, and infantile cholera (Boil with milk to which a little cinnamon has been added and the milk cooked down to half its liquid volume.).  Troublesome bleeding from the nose, wounds or small vessels, and from the extraction of teeth may be checked effectively by applying the powder to the bleeding orifice and, if possible, covering with a compress of cotton.  For Diabetes and Brights disease a decoction taken internally has proven effective of Unicorn root and Cranesbill.   One of the safest and most effective astringent herbs for gastrointestinal problems.

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

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geranium_maculatum

http://www.indianspringherbs.com/American_Cranesbill.htm
http://www.herbsguide.net/american-cranesbill.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Geranium+maculatum

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