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Prunus cerasifera

Botanical Name : Prunus cerasifera
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Section: Prunus
Species: P. cerasifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Prunus domestica myrobalan.

Common Names: Cherry Plum, Myrobalan Plum, Newport Cherry Plum, Pissard Plum

Habitat : Prunus cerasifera is native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in scattered locations in North America. It grows on woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge.

Description:
Prunus cerasifera is a wild type deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 9 m (29ft) at a medium rate, with leaves 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 inches) long. It is one of the first European trees to flower in spring, often starting in mid-February. The flowers are white and about 2 cm (0.8 inches) across, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe, 2–3 cm in diameter, and yellow or red. It is edible, and reaches maturity from early July to mid-September.

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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, prefers well-drained soil 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. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, unfortunately this is not often borne in large quantities in Britain, but large crops are produced every 4 years or so. There are some named varieties. Included as a part of P. divaricata by some botanists though others include P. divaricata as a sub-species under this species. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.
Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, tarts, jams etc. The size of a small plum with a thin skin and a nice sweet flavour. The flesh is somewhat mealy but is also juicy. The fruit can hang on the tree until October. The fruit is about 30mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Desperation’, ‘Fear of losing control of the mind’ and ‘Dread of doing some frightful thing’. It is also one of the five ingredients in the ‘Rescue remedy’. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Rootstock; Shelterbelt.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Makes quite a good windbreak hedge though it cannot stand too much exposure. Often used as a rootstock for the cultivated plums, giving them a semi-dwarfing habit.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Cherry_plum
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+cerasifera

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Prunus avium

Botanical Name : Prunus avium
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. avium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Cerasus nigra. C. sylvestris.

Common Names: Wild cherry, Sweet cherry, or Gean

Habitat : Prunus avium is native to Europe, Anatolia, Maghreb, and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Morocco and Tunisia, north to the Trondheimsfjord region in Norway and east to the Caucasus and northern Iran, with a small isolated population in the western Himalaya. The species is widely cultivated in other regions and has become naturalized in North America and Australia. It grows in better soils in hedgerows and woods, especially in beech woods.
Description:
Prunus avium is a deciduous tree growing to 15–32 m (49–105 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in diameter. Young trees show strong apical dominance with a straight trunk and symmetrical conical crown, becoming rounded to irregular on old trees. The bark is smooth purplish-brown with prominent horizontal grey-brown lenticels on young trees, becoming thick dark blackish-brown and fissured on old trees. The leaves are alternate, simple ovoid-acute, 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long and 4–7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) broad, glabrous matt or sub-shiny green above, variably finely downy beneath, with a serrated margin and an acuminate tip, with a green or reddish petiole 2–3.5 cm (0.79–1.38 in) long bearing two to five small red glands. The tip of each serrated edge of the leaves also bear small red glands. In autumn, the leaves turn orange, pink or red before falling. The flowers are produced in early spring at the same time as the new leaves, borne in corymbs of two to six together, each flower pendent on a 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) peduncle, 2.5–3.5 cm (0.98–1.38 in) in diameter, with five pure white petals, yellowish stamens, and a superior ovary; they are hermaphroditic, and pollinated by bees. The ovary contains two ovules, only one of which becomes the seed. The fruit is a drupe 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter (larger in some cultivated selections), bright red to dark purple when mature in midsummer, edible, variably sweet to somewhat astringent and bitter to eat fresh. Each fruit contains a single hard-shelled stone 8–12 mm long, 7–10 mm wide and 6–8 mm thick, grooved along the flattest edge; the seed (kernel) inside the stone is 6–8 mm long.

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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.
The fruit are readily eaten by numerous kinds of birds and mammals, which digest the fruit flesh and disperse the seeds in their droppings. Some rodents, and a few birds (notably the hawfinch), also crack open the stones to eat the kernel inside. All parts of the plant except for the ripe fruit are slightly toxic, containing cyanogenic glycosides.

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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:
Landscape Uses:Espalier. Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. A very ornamental plant, it is fast growing on deep moist soils but is shallow rooting. Trees cast a light shade and are themselves intolerant of heavy shade. They produce quite a lot of suckers and can form thickets, especially if the main trunk is felled. This species is a parent of many cultivated forms of sweet cherries, especially the black fruited forms. Where space is at a premium, or at the limits of their climatic range, sweet cherries can be grown against a wall. Most cultivars will grow well against a sunny south or west facing wall though east or north facing walls are not very suitable. The main problems with growing this species against a wall are firstly that it is usually completely self-sterile and so there needs to be space for at least two different cultivars, secondly it is very vigorous and so is difficult to keep within bounds. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. An excellent tree for insects and the fruit is a good food source for birds. A bad companion for potatoes, making them more susceptible to potato blight, it also suppresses the growth of wheat. It also grows badly with plum trees, its roots giving out an antagonistic secretion. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[200]. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. It can be sweet or bitter but it is not acid. The fruit can be cooked in pies etc or used to make preserves. The fruit contains about 78% water, 8.5 – 14% sugars. The fruit is about 20mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity. An edible gum is obtained by wounding the bark.
Medicinal Uses:

Antitussive; Astringent; Diuretic; Tonic.

The fruit stalks are astringent, diuretic and tonic. A decoction is used in the treatment of cystitis, oedema, bronchial complaints, looseness of the bowels and anaemia. An aromatic resin can be obtained by making small incisions in the trunk. This has been used as an inhalant in the treatment of persistent coughs. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Gum; Tannin; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. The bark usually only contains small amounts of tannin, but this sometimes rises to 16%. Wood – firm, compact, satiny grain. Used for turnery, furniture, instruments.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
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/Prunus_avium
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+avium

Vicia gigantea

Botanical Name: Vicia gigantea
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. nigricans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms : V. nigricans gigantea. (Hook.)Lassetter.&Gunn.

Common Names: Black vetch, Giant Vetch

Habitat: Vicia gigantea is native to Western N. America – Alaska to California. It grows on moist places in California, especially in redwood forests.

Description:
Vicia gigantea is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) with stout, hollow, and ridged climbing stems that may reach two meters in length. It attaches to objects and other plants by its large branched tendrils for support. The leaves are made up of 9 to 13 pairs of lance-shaped or elongated oval leaflets that may measure up to 4 centimeters in length. The inflorescence is a one-sided raceme of up to 15 or 20 flowers which have pale pink to dark reddish purple or sometimes yellowish to orange corollas. The flowers, each with a calyx about half as long as the corolla, are 1 to 2 centimeters long. They yield fruits which are legume pods measuring up to 4 centimeters long by 1.5 wide. As they dry they turn black.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

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: The plant Prefers a fairly heavy loam but succeeds in a sunny position in most soils that are well-drained. Grows well in heavy clay soils.

Propagation: Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in spring or autumn.
Edible Uses:
Young seed – raw or cooked. The seeds are produced in pods 2 – 5cm long, each pod containing 3 – 4 round seeds the size of small peas. They are eaten, when young, like green peas, the flavour even of young seeds is rather strong, like old garden peas. Some native North American Indian tribes regarded the seeds as poisonous, though other tribes would eat them as a snack. The pods were harvested when green and then roasted in an open fire until the pods started to split open. The seeds were then removed and eaten.
Medicinal Uses :
Antidandruff; Laxative.

The roots are laxative. An infusion of the roots has been used as a tonic hair wash and anti-dandruff treatment.

Other Uses : An infusion of the roots has been used as a tonic hair wash and anti-dandruff treatment.

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/Vicia_nigricans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vicia+gigantea

Lactuca sibirica

 

Botanical Name: Lactuca sibirica
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Lactuca sibirica (L.) Benth., Lagedium sibiricum (L.) Sojak., Sonchus sibiricus L., Mulgedium sibiricum Less., Agathyrsus sibiricus D.Don.

Common Names: Prickly lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca sibirica is native to N. Europe to E. Asia. It grows on woods and scrub, also on river sands and gravels.

Description:
Lactuca sibirica is a perennial herb . Stalks are 25-100 (to 140) cm in height, straight, simple, non-pubescent, frequently red. The main root is erect, sometimes branchy. The root system consists of numerous roots and rhizomes. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate, elongate-acuminate, 1-5 cm in width, 6-18 cm in length, full, less often runcinate or pinnatilobate. Leaves are naked or weakly pubescent, amplexicaul cordate or sagittate at base; upper side green, underside glaucous. Phyllotaxy alternate. Corymbose-paniculate inflorescence consists of rather large calathidia 2.5-3 cm in diameter. Flowers are dark blue or violet, with ligules. Ligules are 10-15 mm in length and 2-3-mm in width. Involucre is cylindrical in form, 3-4-seriate, 9-14 mm in length, 4-8 mm in width. Leaflets lanceolate, bare with the pubescent top. Fruits are hemicarps, slightly compressed and ribbed, up to 5 mm in length, densely pubescent. Rostellum is usually a quarter the size of the hemicarp. Pappus is yellowish, up to 10 mm in length. It is in flower during July -and in fruit during August-September.

Flower color is blue, rarely white. Achene brown to olive green, narrowly ellipsoid, ca. 4 mm, subcompressed, either marginal rib almost as thick as ca. 1/3 of achene diam., middle third with 4 or 5 narrow ribs on either side, apically attenuate or with a ca. 1 mm beak. Pappus 5-7 mm.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation:
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. But light sandy loam in a sunny position is prefered.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick. Division in spring. Make sure that each portion of root has at least one leaf bud.

Edible Uses: Young plants are eaten – raw or cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails

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. 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

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200024118

http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/weeds/Lactuca_sibirica/http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sibirica

 

Zanthoxylum simulans

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum simulans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Z. simulans

Synonyms: Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum bungei

Common Names: Szechuan Pepper, Chinese-pepper, Prickly Ash

Habitat:Zanthoxylum simulans is native to eastern China and Taiwan. It grows on virgin wilds, hillsides and open woods.

Description:

Zanthoxylum simulans is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. The leaves are 7-12.5 cm long, pinnate, with 7-11 leaflets, the leaflets 3–5 cm long and 1.5–2 cm broad. There are numerous short (3–6 mm) spines on both the stems and the leaf petioles, and large (several cm) knobs on the branches. The flowers are produced in slender cymes, each flower about 4–5 mm diameter. The 3–4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that splits open to release the black seeds from inside.

It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. 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)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 can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Massing. Easily grown in loamy soils in most positions, but prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A plant has been growing well for many years in deep woodland shade at Cambridge Botanical gardens, it was fruiting heavily in autumn 1996. Cultivated for its seed, which is used as a condiment in China. Flowers are formed on the old wood. The bruised leaves are strongly aromatic. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions
Edible Uses:
The fruit is dried and used as a condiment. A pepper flavour, it is stronger and more pungent than black pepper. It can be used whole or ground into a powder and used as a table seasoning. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. It is an ingredient of the famous Chinese ‘five spice’ mixture.
Medicinal Uses:
Astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue. The pericarp is anaesthetic, diuretic, parasiticide and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. It has a local anaesthetic action and is parasiticide against the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium). The pericarp contains geraniol. In small doses this has a mild diuretic action, though large doses will inhibit the excretion of urine. There is a persistent increase in peristalsis at low concentration, but inhibition at high concentration.  The leaves are carminative, stimulant and sudorific. The fruit is carminative, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The seed is antiphlogistic and diuretic. A decoction of the root is digestive and also used in the treatment of snakebites. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

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.

Respources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_simulans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+simulans