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Crataegus chrysocarpa

Botanical Name : Crataegus chrysocarpa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Rotundifoliae
Species:C. chrysocarpa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Goldenberry hawthorn, Fireberry Hawthorn, Red haw, Piper’s hawthorn

Habitat :Crataegus chrysocarpa is native to North-eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Pennsylvania, west to the Rocky Mountains. It grows in the thickets and rocky ground along streams.

Description:
Crataegus chrysocarpa is a deciduous Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.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 and can grow in very alkaline soils.

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It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. A ten year old tree was seen at Kew Gardens in 2002. It was about 2.5 metres tall and was bearing a very good crop of fruit. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years

 

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Used mainly as a famine food. A very pleasant flavour when ripe, with the added bonus of ripening in late summer before most other members of the genus. The fruit can be used in making pies, preserves, etc, and can also be dried for later use. It is about 1cm in diameter and borne in small clusters. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed. A tea can be made from the twigs. (This probably means the young shoots with leaves.)
Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic; Hypotensive; Laxative.

A decoction of the dried berries has been used as a mild laxative. A compound decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Although no other specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses:
Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handlesses , mallets and other small items.

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/Crataegus_chrysocarpa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+chrysocarpa

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Populus trichocarpa

Botanical Name :Populus trichocarpa
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Section: Tacamahaca
Species: P. trichocarpa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Name :Black cottonwood; Western balsam poplar or California poplar

Habitat : Populus trichocarpa is native to western North America.

Description:
Populus trichocarpa is a deciduous broadleaf  large tree, growing to a height of 30-50 m and a trunk diameter of over 2 m, which makes it the largest poplar species in the Americas. It is normally fairly short-lived, but some trees may live for up to 400 years (Forbes 2006). A cottonwood discovered in Haines, Alaska set the national record at 101 ft (31 m) tall and 32.5 ft (9.9 m) around.

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The bark is grey and covered with lenticels, becoming thick and deeply fissured on old trees. The bark can become hard enough to cause sparks when cut with a chainsaw. The stem is grey in the older parts and light brown in younger parts. The crown is usually roughly conical and quite dense. In large trees the lower branches droop downwards. Spur shoots are common. The wood has a light coloring and a straight grain.

The leaves are 7-20 cm long with a glossy dark green upper side and glaucous light grey-green underside; larger leaves, up to 30 cm long, may be produced on stump sprouts and very vigorous young trees. The leaves are alternate, elliptic with a crenate margin and an acute tip, and reticulate venation (see leaf terminology). The petiole is reddish. The buds are conical, long, narrow and sticky, with a strong balsam scent in spring when they open.

Populus  trichocarpa has an extensive and aggressive root system, which can invade and damage drainage systems. Sometimes the roots can even damage the foundations of buildings by drying out the soil.

Cultivation:
It is also grown as an ornamental tree, valued for its fast growth and scented foliage in spring, detectable from over 100 m distance. The roots are however invasive, and it can damage the foundations of buildings on shrinkable clay soils if planted nearby (Mitchel 1996).

Branches can be added to potted plants to stimulate rooting

Medicinal Uses:
The gum from the buds was used in preparations for baldness, sore throats, whooping cough and tuberculosis. Some tribes placed the gum that exudes from the burls of cottonwood directly on cuts and wounds. Western balsam poplar has a long history of herbal use. It was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its antiseptic and expectorant properties, using it to treat lung complaints, wounds, skin conditions etc. It is still commonly employed in modern herbalism with much the same uses.

The leaf buds are covered with a resinous sap that has a strong turpentine odor and a bitter taste. They also contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The buds are antiscorbutic, antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. They are taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. They should not be prescribed to patients who are sensitive to aspirin. Externally, the buds are used to treat colds, sinusitis, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain and dry skin conditions. They can be put in hot water and used as an inhalant to relieve congested nasal passages. The buds are harvested in the spring before they open and are dried for later use.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the bark of most, if not all members of the genus contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The bark is therefore anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.

Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest used P. trichocarpa for a variety of purposes. The inner bark was sometimes eaten but most of its uses were medicinal or practical. Because of its salicin content it was often used raw or in salves to treat a number of ailments including baldness, tuberculosis, rheumatism, and treating wounds. The wood, roots and bark were used for firewood, canoe making, rope, fish traps, baskets and structures. The gum-like sap was even used as a glue or as waterproofing.

Commercial extracts are produced from the fragrant buds for use as a perfume in medicines and cosmetics.

‘P. trichocarpa contains salicin, and has been used medicinally as an antipyretic, analgesic and to control inflammation.

Other Uses: It is used for timber, and is notable as a model organism in plant biology. Its full genome sequence was published in 2006.

P. trichocarpa wood is light-weight and although not particularly strong, is strong for its weight. The wood material has short, fine cellulose fibres which are used in the production of high-quality book and magazine paper. The wood is also excellent for production of plywood. Living trees are used as windbreaks.

Populus trichocarpa grows very quickly; trees in plantations in Great Britain have reached 18 m (59 ft) tall in 11 years, and 34 m (112 ft) tall in 28 years (Mitchell 1996). It can reach suitable size for pulp production in 10–15 years and about 25 years for timber production.

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/Populus_trichocarpa
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/populus-trichocarpa
http://www.nazflora.org/Populus_trichocarpa.htm