Tag Archives: Asia-Pacific

Iris kemaonensis


Btanical Name :  Iris kemaonensis
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Section: Pseudoregelia
Species: Iris kemaonensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Iris duthiei Foster
*Iris kamaonensis Wall.
*Iris kingiana Foster
*Iris tigrina Jacquem. ex Baker

Common Name: Kumaon iris

Habitat : Iris kemaonensis is native to East Asia – Himalayas from India to Bhutan and western China. It grows on alpine pastures at elevations of 3500 – 4200 metres.
Description:
Iris kemaonensis is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The leaves are variable in size, they can grow up to between 6–20 cm (2–8 in) long, and between 0.2 and 1 cm wide, at blooming time. Before the plant produces fruit or seed capsules, they extend up to between 34–45 cm (13–18 in) long, taller than the flowers. They are light green, greyish green or yellowish green. They are glaucous, and linear, with a rounded apex. In mild areas, it is semi-evergreen, but generally they are deciduous.
It has a slender short stem, that can grow up to between 5–12 cm (2–5 in) tall.
The stem has 2 to 3 green, lanceolate, (scarious) membranous, spathes (leaves of the flower bud). They can be between 5–6 cm (2–2 in) long and between 1 and 1.8 cm wide. They are scarious (membranous) and acuminate (pointed) at the tips. They can sheath or cover the base of the stem.
It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
The stems hold 1 or 2 terminal (top of stem) flowers, which bloom in late spring, between May and June, (in UK and Europe) and between April and July, (in India).

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The scented flowers, are 4–8 cm (2–3 in) in diameter, they come in shades of purple, from lilac, to lilac-purple, to pale purple. The flowers are spotted, or blotched with a dark colour. They are mottled like the skin of a reptile. The flowers are very similar in form to Iris hookeriana, but similar in shade to Iris kashmiriana.
It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals), known as the ‘standards’.[17] The falls are spatulate (spoon shaped), or obovate, between 3.5–5 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5 cm wide. They have ovate blades.[3][16] In the centre of the petal is a dense beard of white hairs, with yellow, or orange tips. The upright standards are oblanceolate, elliptic,[8] or obovate shaped, are between 4–5 cm (2–2 in) long and 1 cm wide. The standards are paler than the falls.

It has pedicels that are between 1 and 1.5 cm long trumpet shaped perianth tube that 5–7.5 cm (2–3 in) long, which is longer than spathe.[8] It has 2.5-3.2 cm long and 5-6mm wide, style branches, it is dark in the centre and paler at the edges. It has small triangular crests.[3] It has 2-2.3 cm long stamens, 6 cm long ovary, blue filaments, lavender anthers and white pollen.

After the iris has flowered, it produces an globose seed capsule, that is 2–2.5 cm (1–1 in) long, and 1.5 – 1.8 cm wide. They have short beak, taper to a pointed apex and dehisce (split open) laterally. Inside the capsule, are pyriform seeds, which are reddish brown, which have a milky yellow or cream aril (appendage). The seed capsule grows on stems, that are about 45 cm long, above the height of the leaves. This habit is similar to Algerian Iris (Iris unguicularis).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil containing lime. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7.5 or higher. The rhizome is compact and non-stoloniferous. Closely related to Iris dolichosiphon. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering, though it can be done at almost any time. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The flowers of Iris kemaonensis are used in Tibetan herbal medicine. They are described as having an acrid taste. They are analgesic and ophthalmic, and are used in the treatment of tinnitus (pain in the ears) and to treat weakening of the eyesight.

The seeds of the iris are also used in herbal medicine in Tibet, they also have an acrid taste, are analgesic and are anthelmintic and vermifuge. They are used in the treatment of colic pains, when due to intestinal worms. They are also used to treat hot and cold disorders of the stomach and intestines, and also the pain, below the neck and shoulders.

The roots and the whole of the iris is a stomachic, which can be used on scabies and urticaria.  The roots and leaves of the plant are diuretic, and used to treat bronchitis, dropsy and various liver complaints. When broken down into a powder, they are used to treat sores and pimples. The roots of the plant, are used to treat urinary disorders and kidney troubles. The seeds are used to treat coughs and colds.  In India, they are also used as spasmolytic, febrifuge and antidote for opium addiction.
Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised[65]. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.
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/Iris_kemaonensis
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+kemaonensis

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Mentha x smithiana

Botanical Name : Mentha x smithiana
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Red Raripila Mint

Habitat : Mentha x smithiana is native to Northern and Central Europe. It grows on moist soil in Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Cultivated Beds
Description:
Mentha x smithiana is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) with red tinged leaves and stems and lilac flowers.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Prefers partial shade and a slightly acid soil. This species is a hybrid involving M. aquatica x M. arvensis x M. spicata. It has sweetly mint-scented leaves with similar culinary uses to M. spicata. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – this hybrid is usually sterile, and even if seed is produced it will not breed true. If you do obtain seed, then it can be sown in spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. The sweetly scented leaves can be used in the same ways as spearmint. A good culinary mint, the leaves have an attractive red tinge. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. It has a very pleasant and refreshing taste of spearmint, leaving the mouth and digestive system feeling clean. An essential oil from the leaves and flowers is used as a flavouring in sweets, ice cream, drinks etc.
Medicinal Uses:
Red raripila mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses:
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.
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=Mentha+x+smithiana
http://www.herbcentre.co.uk/index.php/default/shop/herb-plants/mints/mint-red.html

Mentha suaveolens

Botanical Name: Mentha suaveolens
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. suaveolens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: M. rotundifolia, Mentha macrostachya, Mentha insularis

Common Names: Mentha suaveolens, Apple mint, Pineapple mint, Woolly mint or Round-leafed mint

Habitat :Mentha suaveolens is native to S. and W. Europe, north to the Netherlands and east into W. Asia. It grows on damp ground that often dries out in summer, from sea level to 400 metres in Turkey.
Description:
Mentha suaveolens is a perennial herb. It typically grows to a height of from 40 to 100 centimetres (16 to 39 in) tall and spreads by stolons to form clonal colonies. The foliage is light green, with the opposite, wrinkled, sessile leaves being oblong to nearly ovate, 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long and 2 to 4 cm (0.8 to 1.6 in) broad. They are somewhat hairy on top and downy underneath with serrated edges. The flowers develop in terminal spikes 4 to 9 cm (1.6 to 3.5 in) long and consisting of a number of whorls of white or pinkish flowers. Apple mint flowers in mid to late summer. The plant is aromatic with a fruity, minty flavour.

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It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation :
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but plants also succeed in partial shade. Often cultivated as a pot herb. There are some named varieties. The flowers have a sickly sweet smell. A very invasive plant, spreading freely at the roots. Unless you have the space to let it roam, it needs to be restrained by some means such as planting it in a container that is buried in the soil. It is said to be a good companion for cabbages and tomatoes, its aromatic leaves repelling insect pests, though its aggressive root system also needs to be taken into account here. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – eaten raw or cooked as a potherb. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. The leaves have a similar flavour to spearmint, and are considered to be superior in flavour to that species but are also hairy, which makes them less suitable for garnishing. A herb tea is made from the leaves. The leaves can be used to make apple mint jelly, as well as a flavoring in dishes such as apple mint couscous. It is also often used to make a mint tea, as a garnish, or in salads
Medicinal Uses:
Mentha suaveolens or apple mint is called hierbabuena in Spain and most South American countries, literally meaning “good herb”. Apple mint has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years in many parts of the world, including Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

It is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses:  An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Landscape Uses:Border, Ground cover, Specimen.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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/Mentha_suaveolens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+suaveolens

Mentha cunninghamia

 

Botanical Name: Mentha cunninghamia
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Mentha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Mentha consimilis

Common Names: Mint or Mentha

Habitat: Mentha cunninghamia is native to New Zealand. It grows on lowland to higher montane grassland and rather open places throughout North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.

Description:
Mentha cunninghamia is aperennial plant.
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but succeeds in partial shade. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like smell. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses:
Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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/Mentha
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+cunninghamia

Rhus coriaria

Botanical Name : Rhus coriaria
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species:R. coriaria
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names: Sicilian sumac, Tanner’s sumach, or Elm-leaved sumach

Habitat :Rhus coriaria is native to southern Europe. It grows on rocky places and waysides, mainly on limestone.

Description:
Rhus coriaria is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. This species is not very hardy in Britain and is unlikely to succeed outdoors in any but the mildest parts of the countr. Another report says that the plant is quite hardy and is often grown in British gardens. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Unlike most members of this genus, this species is hermaphrodite. The form ‘Humilior’ from Italy is smaller growing. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring 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 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, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
The immature fruits are used as caper substitutes. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The crushed fruit, mixed with Origanum syriacum, is a principal ingredient of ‘Zatar‘, a popular spice mixture used in the Middle East. The seed is used as an appetizer in a similar manner to mustard.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and the seeds are astringent, diuretic, styptic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of dysentery, haemoptysis and conjunctivitis. The seeds are eaten before a meal in order to provoke an appetite. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes below on toxicity.

Other Uses:
The leaves and bark are rich in tannin. The leaves can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. The fruit and bark are also used. The leaves contain 20 – 35% tannin and yield a yellow dye. The finely ground leaves and stems provide the dyeing and tanning agent ‘sumac’. The shoots are cut down annually, near to the root, for this purpose. A fawn colour, bordering on green, is obtained and this can be improved with the judicious use of mordants. The cultivar ‘Mesculino’ is very rich in tannin, containing up to 35%. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. A black dye is obtained from the fruit. A yellow and a red dye are obtained from the bark.

Known Hazards : The plant contains toxic substances which can cause severe irritation to some people. Both the sap and the fruit are poisonous

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_coriaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+coriaria