Tag Archives: Asteraceae

Arnica diversifolia

Botanical Name : Arnica diversifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Arnica
Species: A. ovata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Arnica diversifolia Greene
*Arnica latifolia var. viscidula

Common Names: Rayless arnica

Other Names: Sticky leaf arnica,Arnica ovata

Habitat ; Arnica diversifolia is native to western Canada (Yukon, Alberta, British Columbia), and the western United States (Alaska, Washin

gton, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado). It grows on rocky places from moderate to high elevations in mountains

Description:
Arnica diversifolia is a perennial herb growing 6–24 inches. Erect. Stems 1 to several, unbranched, with sticky gland-bearing hairs. Leaves triangular, irregularly toothed; 3–4 pairs along stem, with largest pair 1–3 in. long and in the middle. Lower leaves on petioles; upper leaves sessile. Flower heads 1–5 in cluster, 8–13 ray flowers less than 1 in. long in head. Flower heads are yellow, with both ray florets and disc florets.
Flowering Time: All Summer

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

 Cultivation:
We have very little 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 in most parts of this country. This is a convenient name for a complex of apparent hybrids involving A. mollis or A. amplexicaulis with A. cordifolia or A. latifolia. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a moist, well-drained humus rich soil, preferably lime-free. Prefers a mixture of sand, loam and peat.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and make sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring

Medicinal Uses:
Antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine, sternutatory, vulnerary.

Other Uses : This plant is used as a hair conditioner. No further details are found.

Known Hazards: The whole plant is toxic and should only be used for external applications to unbroken skin[

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/Arnica_ovata
http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/arnica-diversifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arnica+diversifolia

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Lactuca ludoviciana

Botanical Name: Lactuca ludoviciana
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. ludoviciana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Galathenium ludovicianum (Nutt.) Nutt.
*Lactuca campestris Greene
*Sonchus ludovicianus Nutt.

Common Names: Western Wild Lettuce, Biannual lettuce(Biennials are herbaceous plants that live two years, flowering the second)

Habitat: Lactuca ludoviciana is native to Eastern N. America – Manitoba to Wisconsin and southwards. IT grows on prairies, low ground and roadsides. Usually found in calcareous soils.
Description:
Lactuca ludoviciana is an biennial herb in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family growing from a taproot a height of up to 150 cm (5 feet). The top of the stem bears a multibranched inflorescence with many flower heads. Each head contains 20-50 yellow ray florets but no disc florets. Leaves on proximal 1/2–3/4 of each stem; blades of undivided cauline leaves obovate or oblanceolate to spatulate, margins denticulate (piloso-ciliate), midribs usually piloso-setose. Heads in paniculiform arrays. Involucres 12–15+ mm. Phyllaries usually reflexed in fruit. Florets 20–50+; corollas usually yellow, sometimes bluish, usually deliquescent. Cypselae: bodies brown to blackish (usually mottled), ± flattened, elliptic, 4.5–5+ mm, beaks ± filiform, 2.5–4.5 mm, faces 1(–3)-nerved; pappi white, 5–7(–11) mm. 2n = 34.

Flowering time is Jun–Sep. Flower color is yellow.
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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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:
The plant grows well in light sandy loam. Hybridizes in the wild with L. canadensis and the two species can sometimes be difficult to separate.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: The leaves are eatet raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium’ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_ludoviciana
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242416716
http://www.kansasnativeplants.com/guide/plant_detail.php?plnt_id=725
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+ludoviciana

Lactuca canadensis

 

Botanical Name : Lactuca canadensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Cicerbita canadensis (L.) Wallr.
*Cicerbita elongata (Willd.) Wallr.
*Galathenium elongatum (Muhl. ex Willd.) Nutt.
*Galathenium salicifolium Nutt.
*Lactuca sagittifolia Elliott
*Lactuca steelei Britton
*Mulgedium canadense (L.) Farw.
*Mulgedium integrifolium Cass.
*Wiestia canadensis (L.) Sch.Bip.
*Wiestia elongata (Willd.) Sch.Bip.

Common Names: Canada lettuce, Canada wild lettuce, tall lettuce, and Florida blue lettuce.

Habitat: Lactuca canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Georgia and Colorado. It grows in thickets, woodland borders and clearings. Moist open places. Usually found in sandy soils.

Description:
Lactuca canadensis is a bienneial growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). The leaves are deeply lobed and occasionally toothed. The top of the stem bears an inflorescence with many flower heads, each up to 1 cm (0.5 in) wide when open. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The heads have many pale yellow ray florets but no disc florets. The fruit is a dark-colored achene about half a centimeter (0.2 inches) long with a white pappus.
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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 light sandy loam. Hybridizes in the wild with L. ludoviciana and the two species can sometimes be difficult to separate.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and stems – raw or cooked. Cooked and eaten as greens.

Medicinal Uses :
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+canadensis

Alnus nitida

Botanical Name: Alnus nitida
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : Clethropsis nitida.

Habitat :Alnus nitida is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows by rivers and streams, 600 – 1200 metres, occasionally to 2700 metres.

Description:
Alnus nitida is a deciduous Tree growing 20 m or more tall. Young shoots pubescent, becoming glabrescent when old. Leaves ovate to elliptic-ovate, 5-15 cm x 3-9 cm, acute or acuminate, remotely serrate to sub-serrate, pubescent to pilose, often villous at the angles of the veins on the under surface, base cuneate to rounded; petiole 1-4 cm long, glabrous to pubescent. Male flowers in catkins, up to 19 cm long; peduncle 5-6.5 mm long; bract c. 1.2 mm long, more or less ovate, bracteoles smaller, suborbiculate. Tepals oblong-obovate to spathulate, c. l mm long, apex and margin minutely toothed. Anthers c. 1 mm long, filament slightly shorter than the tepals, scarcely forked. Female flowers in erect ‘woody cones’, 3-3.5 cm x c. 1.2 cm; bract broadly ovate, bracteoles suborbiculate. Styles 2, linear. Fruiting scale 5-lobed, 5-6 mm long, apex obliquely truncate. Nut 2.5-4 mm long, fringed by the narrow and more or less leathery wings.

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It is in flower in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It can fix Nitrogen.

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

Cultivation:
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates drier soils than most members of this genus. Succeeds in very infertile sites. Trees probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and so will not succeed outdoors in the colder areas of the country. A very ornamental tree. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.

Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the bark is applied externally to treat swellings and body pains.

Other Uses: Tannin is obtained from the bark, it is used in dyeing. Wood – soft, even grained, hard to cut. Used for construction and furniture

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/Alder
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242420274
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+nitida

 

Rhus punjabensis

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

Synonyms :Rhus sinica.
Habitat :Rhus punjabensis is native to E. Asia – Himalayas and is distributed in NW India. It grows in moist situations in valleys and ravines. It grows in the thickets and forests at elevations of 460 – 3000 metres in Tibet and western China.

Description:
Rhus punjabensis sinica is a deciduous tree, 5-15 m tall; branchlets pubescent to minutely pubescent. Leaf blade imparipinnately compound; rachis narrowly winged or wingless distally; leaflets sessile or subsessile, 7-13; leaflet blade oblong-ovate or oblong, 5-12 × 2-4.5 cm, both sides glabrous to minutely pubescent along midrib or lower side pubescent, base rounded or subcordate, margin entire, apex acuminate or long acuminate, lateral veins ca. 20 pairs, prominent abaxially. Inflorescence 15-20 cm, densely minutely pubescent; floral subtending bracts 1-2 mm, subulate, minutely pubescent. Pedicel ca. 1 mm; flowers white. Calyx minutely pubescent, lobes narrowly triangular, ca. 1 mm, margins ciliate. Petals oblong, ca. 2 × 1 mm, minutely pubescent on both sides, margins ciliate, revolute at anthesis. Stamen filaments ca. 2 mm in male flowers, minutely pubescent proximally; anthers ovate; staminode filaments ca. 1 mm in female flowers. Disk purplish red. Ovary globose, ca. 1 mm in diam., white pubescent; male flower with sterile ovary. Drupe subglobose, ca. 4 mm in diam., purplish red at maturity, mixed pilose and glandular-pubescent.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. This species is closely allied to R. potaninii. This is the form of R. punjabensis that is most commonly grown in Britain. 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 are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one 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. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. 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:   Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is small with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.
Medicinal Uses:   An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic. It is used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is used applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth.

Other Uses:  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. The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant

Known Hazards: There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.

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/Rhus_coriaria
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200012710
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+punjabensis+sinica