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Fritillaria verticillata

Botanical Name: Fritillaria verticillata
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. verticillata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonymy:
*Corona verticillata (Willd.) Fisch. ex Graham
*Fritillaria albidiflora X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. jimunaica (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. purpurea X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. rhodanthera X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. viridicaulina (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng

Habitat : Fritillaria verticillata is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, and the Altay region of Siberia. It grows on stony and dry slopes from W. Siberia eastwards. Hill thickets and gravelly meadows at elevations of 1300 – 2000 metres in NW Xinjiang, China.
Description:
Fritillaria verticillata is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in), usually with one flower at the top, but sometimes as many as 5. Leaves are mostly in whorls, with 4-7 leaves per node, each up to 10 cm long but rarely more than 10 mm across. Flowers are nodding, bell-shaped, white or pale yellow, sometimes with purple spots.

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It is in flower from Mar to May. 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 dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation :
Prefers a moist peaty soil in the open garden. Easily grown in a moderately fertile soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Succeeds in drier soils and is drought tolerant when established. The scaly bulbs are best planted on their sides or surrounded in sand to prevent water collecting in their hollow crowns. Cultivated as a medicinal plant in Japan, the sub-species F. verticillata thunbergii. Baker. is most often used. (this species is now known as F. thunbergii. q.v.). Plants take 3 – 5 years to flower from seed.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.

Edible Uses:
Bulb – cooked or candied. The bulb is about 2cm in diameter. Young plant – cooked. Used in soups. Eating the young plant will greatly reduce the vigour of the bulb, and could even kill it. Petals and flower buds – cooked. Used in soups.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidote; Antitussive; Astringent; Cancer; Expectorant; Galactogogue.

The bulbs are antidote, antitussive, astringent, expectorant, galactogogue and purgative. They contain fritimine which diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium. The bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use

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/Fritillaria_verticillata
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+verticillata

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Helianthemum nummularium

Botanical Name: Helianthemum nummularium
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Helianthemum
Species:  Helianthemum   nummularium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Helianthemum chamaecistus. Mill. Helianthemum vulgare. Gaertn.

Common Names: Common Rockrose, Sun Rose, Rock Rose

Habitat: Helianthemum nummularium is native to most of Europe. It grows on the basic grassland and scrub, to 600 metres.

Description:
Helianthemum nummularium is an evergreen tralling Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is plant with loose terminal clusters of bright yellow, saucer-shaped flowers. In the flower centre is a tight cluster of orange stamens, which are sensitive to the touch, and spread outwards to reveal the tall stigma in the middle. The plant is common on chalk downs, and occasional in other grasslands, always on dry, base-rich soil. The wild species has yellow flowers, but garden varieties range from white through yellow to deep red.

Though the individual blooms are short-lived, the plant produces a mass of flowers through the summer. It needs a dry, sunny place, like a south-facing rockery or meadow. As the Latin name Helianthemum suggests, these are sun-flowers. This is a good nectar source for bees and there are several species of small beetle that feed on the foliage. Common rock-rose is also the food plant for the larvae of several species of moth and butterfly.

It flowers from May until July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:Alpine garden, Border, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen. Requires an open sunny position in a light well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8. Plants are hardy to at least -10°c. A vigorous plant suitable for the rock garden, crevices in walls or gravel beds. Plants are short-lived, though, soon becoming leggy or sparse, and require fairly frequent replacement. The flowers only open in bright sunshine. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. A polymorphic species, there are some named forms that have been selected for their ornamental value. Plants are generally pest and disease-free. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least 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, 6 – 8cm with a heel, late summer in a sandy soil in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Terror’, ‘Panic’ and ‘Extreme fright’. It is also one of the five ingredients in the ‘Rescue remedy’.

Other Uses:
A prostrate growing plant, it can be used as a ground cover.

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/Helianthemum_nummularium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthemum+nummularium

Iris sanguinea

Botanical Name : Iris sanguinea
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Sibiricae
Species: I. sanguinea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Iris extremorientalis Koidz.
*Iris haematophylla Fisch. [Illegitimate]
*Iris nertschinskia Lodd.
*Iris nertschinskia var. pumila Makino
*Iris orientalis Thunb. [Illegitimate]
*Iris polakii Stapf
*Iris sanguinea f. albiflora Makino
*Iris sanguinea var. coronalis Y.N.Lee
*Iris sanguinea var. sanguinea (unknown)
*Iris sanguinea f. sericiflora Y.N.Lee
*Iris sanguinea f. tetrapetala Doronkin
*Iris sibirica var. orientalis (Schrank) Baker
*Iris sibirica var. sanguinea (Donn ex Hornem.) Ker Gawl.
*Limniris sanguinea (Donn ex Hornem.) Rodion.
*Xiphion orientale Schrank

Common Name : Blood iris

Habitat: Iris sanguinea is native to E. Asia – Korea, Japan. It grows on damp meadows, sunny pond banks, mountain stream banks and hillsides around 500 metres.

Description:
Iris sanguinea is a perennial plant growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It has a thick creeping rhizome.
It has grey-green leaves that are more or less the same height as the flowering stems, but as the leaves droop, they appear shorter. The linear, narrow leaves grow between 20–60 cm long and 5-13mm wide.
It has a hollow unbranched flowering stem, that grows up to between 30 and 90 cm (12 and 35.5 in) long. The stems bear two to three flowers, at the terminal ends in early summer, between May and July.
It has three green spathes (leaves of the flower bud), that are reddish at the base, measuring 5–7 cm long and 1 cm wide. It then has a brown papery tip.

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The flowers come in a range of reddish-purple shades, from blue to blue-purple, red-violet, with a rare white variants. The flowers are 6–8 cm in diameter.
It has two pairs of petals, three large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and three inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’). The large obovate (shaped like an egg), drooping ‘falls’ have reddish-purple veins on a white or yellowish signal. The smaller, erect obovate standards are 4–5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide.
It has perianth tube of 8–10 mm long, 3 cm long white filaments, yellow anthers, a cylindric ovary 1.5–2 cm long by 3–4 mm wide, and a reddish-purple style branches 3.5 cm long by 5 mm wide.
In July and September (after the iris has flowered), it produces a seed capsule, which is ellipsoid / cylindric in form and measures 3.5–5 cm long by 1.2–1.5 cm wide.

It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 or wet soil.

Iris sanguinea is often confused with Iris sibirica, another blue flowering Asian iris.

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Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a humus-rich soil, succeeding in a moist border or by water. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very cold tolerant, but they can be damaged when dormant if the soil is too moist. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. Plant the bulbs out very shallowly. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Propation:
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 in August/September after flowering but can also be done in April. 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:….Expectorant……Expectorant.

Other Uses:.….Insecticide…..An insecticide is obtained from the plant. (from the root?) It is also grown as flower plant in the garden.

Known Hazards : Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. 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.

Resourcs:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_sanguinea
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+sanguinea

Iris pallida

Botanical Name: Iris pallida
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Species: I. pallida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

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Synonyms:

*Iris × australis var. mandraliscae (Tod.) Nyman
*Iris × australis var. tinaei (Tod.) Nyman
*Iris desertorum Balb. [Illegitimate]
*Iris fulgida Berg
*Iris × germanica subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo
*Iris glauca Salisb.
*Iris gloriosa Reider ex Berg
*Iris hortensis Tausch
*Iris mandraliscae Tod.
*Iris marchesettii Pamp.
*Iris moggridgei Baker
*Iris odoratissima Jacq.
*Iris pallida subsp. mandraliscae (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallida var. odoratissima (Jacq.) Nyman
*Iris pallida subsp. pallida (unknown)
*Iris pallida var. rosea Prodán
*Iris pallida subsp. sicula (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallida subsp. tinaei (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallidecaerulaea Pers.
*Iris picta Spreng. [Illegitimate]
*Iris plicata Lam.
*Iris propendens Lange
*Iris sicula Tod.
*Iris swertii Lam.
*Iris tinaei Tod.

Common Names: Dalmation Iris, Sweet iris, Fragrant Iris, Zebra Iris

Habitat : Iris pallida is native to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) but widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a member of the subgenus iris, meaning that it is a bearded iris, and grows from a rhizome in rocky places in limestone hillsides and the sides of gorges.

Description:
Iris pallida is a perennial flowering plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate. The leaves are bluish-green in color, and sword-shaped, 40–50 cm (16–20 in) in length, and 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in width. The inflorescence, produced in May/June, is fan-shaped and contains two or three flowers which are usually pale purplish to whitish.

It is not frost tender. 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.

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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. Easily cultivated in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7.5 or higher. Established plants are drought tolerant. Cultivated, especially in Italy, for the essential oil in its root. The flowers are sweetly scented, reminding some people of orange blossom, others of vanilla and others of civet. A very vigorous species. The rhizome should be planted partly above the soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, All or parts of this plant are poisonous.

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.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts:

The root can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. The root may take several years of drying to develop its full fragrance. ‘Orris oil’ is an essential oil derived from the dried root, it is used as a flavouring in soft drinks, sweets, chewing gum etc.
Medicinal Uses:

Cathartic.

Cathartic. The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.

Other Uses:

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. Plants can be grown for ground cover, the dense mat of roots excluding all weeds.

Known Hazards : Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. 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_pallida
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+pallida

Taraxacum mongolicum

Botanical Name : Taraxacum mongolicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Dandelion

Habitat: Taraxacum mongolicum is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the village outskirts, embankments and damp roadsides.

Description:

Taraxacum mongolicum is a perennial herb, which is usually from 10 to 25cm. The whole plant, covered with sparse white soft hairs, contains white milk. Deep-rooted dandelion root is with a single yellow-brown branch that is from 3 to 5cm in diameter. Radicicolous leaves arrange into a rosette; both sides of petiole base expand into sheath; lion’s teeth like leaf blade is linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate, or obovate, 6 to 15cm long, 2 to 3.5cm wide, and with acute or obtuse apex, narrow base, and lobed or irregularly pinnately divided margin. Single apical capitulum is full of bisexual ray florets; multilayer bracts are ovate-lanceolate; receptacle is flat; corolla is yellow, often divided, and with truncated apex; stamens are 5; pistil is 1, and with inferior ovary, slender style, 2-lobed stigma, and short hair. Achenes are oblanceolate, 4 to 5mm long, about 1.5mm wide, with vertical edges connected to stripes, spines, 8 to 10mm beaks at the top of the fruit, and about 7mm white pappus. Bloom time is from April to May and fruiting time is from June to July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
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:
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 many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them[K] Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Decongestant; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Galactogogue;
Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The whole plant is antibacterial, cholagogue, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. A decoction is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.

1. Its decoction or water extract has a strong inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus bacteria, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Besides, it also has a certain inhibition on pneumococcus, meningococcus, diphtheria bacilli, Shigella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, leptospira, and so on;
2. It has a synergistic effect with TMP (Trimethoprim);
3. It promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum, protects liver, resists endotoxin, and increases secretion of urine. And it has a better cholagogic effect than capillaris decoction;
4. Its water extract of the aerial parts has anti-tumor effect;
5. In vitro tests suggested that it could stimulate the body’s immune function;
6. Its leaves can ease blocked milk ducts in breastfeeding and promote and lactation.
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/Taraxacum
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+mongolicum

Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying)