Tag Archives: Award of Garden Merit

Erysimum cheiri

Botanical Name :Erysimum cheiri
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus:     Erysimum
Species: E. cheiri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Synonyms: Cheiranthus cheiri,Gillyflower. Wallstock-gillofer. Giroflier. Gillyflower. Handflower. Keiri. Beeflower. Baton d’or.

Common Name:   Wallflower, Aegean wallflower

Habitat:Erysimum cheiri is native to all Southern Europe, on old walls, quarries and seacliffs. It grows on Walls, cliffs and rocks, often near the sea in Britain.

Description:
This is an herbaceous perennial plant, often grown as a biennial, with one or more highly branching stems reaching heights of 15–80 cm (6–31 in). The leaves are generally narrow and pointed and may be up to 20 cm (8 in) long. The top of the stem is occupied by a club-shaped inflorescence of strongly scented flowers. It has single flowers, yellowy orange in its wild state, and quickly spreads abundantly from seed, commencing to bloom in early spring, and continuing most of the summer. In olden times this flower was carried in the hand at classic festivals, hence it was called Cherisaunce by virtue of its cordial qualities. Each flower has purplish-green sepals and rounded petals which are two to three centimeters long and in shades of bright yellows to reds and purples. The flowers fall away to leave long fruits which are narrow, hairy siliques several centimeters in length.
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This is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated for its abundant, fragrant flowers in spring. Many cultivars have been developed, in shades of yellow, orange, red, maroon, purple, brown, white and cream. It associates well in bedding schemes with other spring flowers such as tulips and forget-me-nots. It is usually grown as a biennial, sown one year to flower the next, and then discarded. This is partly because of its tendency to grow spindly and leggy during its second year, but more importantly its susceptibility to infections such as clubroot.

A miniature yellow double leafed wallflower was rediscovered by Rev. Henry Harpur-Crewe (before 1883) and is now named “Harpur Crewe”. Other bred varieties may vary quite a bit in appearance from the wild plant. One cultivar, ‘Chelsea Jacket‘, is a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. Other varieties such as ‘Blood Red Covent Garden’ are easy to grow and often benefit from being sown and left to their own devices, growing on patches of empty land with little effort required to maintain them, providing aesthetically sound blooms which produce heady scents.

Cultivation:
Prefers a position in full sun in a circumneutral soil. Succeeds in ordinary garden soils, tolerating poor and limey soils. Plants are liable to die out if the soil is too rich. Wallflowers are perennial, though they are usually grown as biennials in the flower garden for spring and early summer bedding. There are some named varieties. A very ornamental plant, it is liable to die out after flowering, probably because it exhausts itself by producing so many flowers. Plants require a very well-drained dry soil if they are to survive a second winter. They grow well on dry stone walls  and also on old mortared walls where they usually self-sow. A good butterfly and moth plant. A good companion for apple trees.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in an outdoor seedbed. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. Plant the seedlings into their permanent positions when they are large enough to handle. If seed is in short supply, it can be sown in spring in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.

Constituents: Oil, a powerful glucoside, of the digitalis group, and cherinine, a crystalline alkaloid.

Medicinal Uses:
Erysimum cheiri was formerly used mainly as a diuretic and emmenagogue but recent research has shown that it is more valuable for its effect on the heart. In small doses it is a cardiotonic, supporting a failing heart in a similar manner to foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). In more than small doses, however, it is toxic and so is seldom used in herbal medicine. The flowers and stems are antirheumatic, antispasmodic, cardiotonic, emmenagogue, nervine, purgative and resolvent. They are used in the treatment of impotence and paralysis. The essential oil is normally used. This should be used with caution because large doses are toxic. The plant contains the chemical compound cheiranthin which has a stronger cardiotonic action than digitalis (obtained from Digitalis species). If taken in large doses this is very poisonous and so this plant should not be used medicinally without expert supervision. The seeds are aphrodisiac, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of dry bronchitis, fevers and injuries to the eyes

(In homoeopathic medicine a tincture of the whole plant has been found useful in the effects of cutting the wisdom tooth) The oil has a pleasing perfume if diluted, but in full strength a disagreeable odour. The alkaloid is useful acting on nerve centres and on the muscles.

Other Uses: The flowers contain 0.06% essential oil. It has a pleasing aroma if diluted and is used in perfumery. The seed contains about 20% fixed oil, but no details of any uses are  available.

Known Hazards :    The plant is said to be poisonous if used in large quantities.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erysimum_cheiri
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wallfl04.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cheiranthus+cheiri

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Tiger lily

Botanical Name : Lilium tigrinum
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: lancifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonyms:Lilium lancifolium

Common Names:Tiger lily

Habitat :Tiger lily is  native to northern and eastern Asia, including Japan.

Description:
Like other true lilies, the flowers are borne on an erect stem 80–200 centimetres (31–79 in) tall, clothed with the more or less linear leaves 6–10 centimetres (2.4–3.9 in) long and 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) broad. It is one of a very small number of species that produce aerial bulblets, known as bulbils, in the leaf axils along the stem. These can be used to propagate the plant. Flowers on the plant last for a short period of time before they wither and are replaced by newer flowers.

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The plant flowers in July and August; the bloom is orange colour and spotted. The upper leaves cordate and oval. It does not ripen seed in this country, but is propagated from the bulbils produced in the axils of the leaves which should yield flowering bulbs in three years from the time of planting.

Edible Uses:
It is cultivated in Asia for its edible bulbs.

Medicinal Uses:
A tincture is made from the fresh plant and has proved of great value in uterine-neuralgia, congestion and irritation, also in the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

It relieves the bearing down pain accompanying uterine prolapse.

It is an important remedy in ovarian neuralgia. Poisoning by the pollen of the plant has produced vomiting, drowsiness and purging.

In Homeopathic medication Tiger lily has  various uses.

Other Uses:Tiger lily  is also grown as an ornamental plant for its bold flowers, and has become naturalised in parts of North America. The cultivar ‘Splendens’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/liltig25.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_tigrinum

Wild thyme

Botanical Name :Thymus serpyllum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Thymus
Species:T. serpyllum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Lamiales

Synonyms: Other of Thyme. Serpyllum.

Common Names : Wild thyme , Creeping thyme, Breckland thyme,

Habitat:
Wild thyme is native to the palearctic zone of Europe and Asia. It is a plant of thin soils and can be found growing on sandy-soiled heaths, rocky outcrops, hills, banks, roadsides and riverside sand banks.

Description:
Wild thyme is a creeping dwarf evergreen shrub with woody stems and a taproot. It forms matlike plants that root from the nodes of the squarish, limp stems. The leaves are in opposite pairs, nearly stalkless, with linear elliptic round-tipped blades and untoothed margins. The plant sends up erect flowering shoots in summer. The usually pink or mauve flowers have a tube-like calyx and an irregular straight-tubed, hairy corolla. The upper petal is notched and the lower one is larger than the two lateral petals and has three flattened lobes which form a lip. Each flower has four projecting stamens and two fused carpels. The fruit is a dry, four-chambered schizocarp….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: Wild Thyme will grow on any soil, but prefers light, sandy or gravel ground exposed to the sun.

Propagate by seeds, cuttings, or division of roots. Care must be taken to weed. Manure with farmyard manure in autumn or winter and nitrates in spring.

Cut when in full flower, in July and August, and dry in the same manner as Common Thyme.It is much picked in France, chiefly in the fields of the Aisne, for the extraction of its essential oil.

Propagation:         
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. 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. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible  Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw in salads or added as a flavouring to cooked foods. Thyme retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. An aromatic tea is made from the leaves.

Constituents;
When distilled, 100 kilos (about 225 lb.) of dried material yield 150 grams of essence (about 5 or 6 OZ.). It is a yellow liquid, with a weaker scent than that of oil of Thyme extracted from T. vulgaris, and is called oil of Serpolet. It contains 30 to 70 per cent of phenols: Thymol, Carvacrol, etc. It is made into an artificial oil, together with the oil of Common Thyme. In perfumery, oil of Serpolet is chiefly used for soap.

The flowering tops, macerated for 24 hours or so in salt and water, are made into a perfumed water.

Medicinal Uses:
In medicine, Wild Thyme or Serpolet has the same properties as Common Thyme, but to an inferior degree. It is aromatic, antiseptic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic and emmenagogue.

The infusion is used for chest maladies and for weak digestion, being a good remedy for flatulence, and favourable results have been obtained in convulsive coughs, especially in whooping cough, catarrh and sore throat. The infusion, prepared with 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water, is usually sweetened with sugar or honey and made demulcent by linseed or acacia. It is given in doses of 1 or more tablespoonfuls several times daily.

The infusion is also useful in cases of drunkenness, and Culpepper recommends it as a certain remedy taken on going to bed for ‘that troublesome complaint the nightmare,’ and says: ‘if you make a vinegar of the herb as vinegar of roses is made and annoint the head with it, it presently stops the pains thereof. It is very good to be given either in phrenzy or lethargy.’

Wild Thyme Tea, either drunk by itself or mixed with other plants such as rosemary, etc., is an excellent remedy for headache and other nervous affections.

Formerly several preparations of this plant were kept in shops, and a distilled spirit and water, which were both very fragrant.

 Other Uses:  Wild thyme is one of the plants on which the large blue butterfly larvae feed and it is also attractive to bees.Creeping and mounding variants of T. serpyllum are used as border plants and ground cover around gardens and stone paths. It may also be used to replace a bluegrass lawn to xeriscape low to moderate foot traffic areas due to its tolerance for low water and poor soils.

Numerous cultivars have been produced, of which ‘Pink Chintz’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.  A miniature creeping form is ‘Elfin’

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_serpyllum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thywil17.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Thymus+serpyllum

Paeonia officinalis

Botanical Name : Paeonia officinalis
Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus:    Paeonia
Species: P. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonym: Paeonia Corallina.

Common Names : European peony or common peony

Habitat :Paeonia officinalis is  native to Europe.

Description:
Paeonia officinalis is an herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 60–70 cm (24–28 in) tall and wide, with leaves divided into 9 leaflets, and bowl-shaped deep pink or deep red flowers, 10–13 cm (4–5 in) in diameter, in late spring (May in the Northern Hemisphere).
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Cultivated in Europe for five hundred years, P. officinalis was first used for medicinal purposes, then grown as an ornamental. Many selections are now used in horticulture, though the typical species is uncommon. Paeonia officinalis is still found wild in Europe.

The cultivar ‘Rubra Plena’ (deep crimson double flowered) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Cultivation:
Peonies are extremely hardy and will grow in almost any soil or situation, in sun or shade. The best soil, however, is a deep, rich loam, which should be well trenched and manured, previous to planting.

Propagation is by division of roots, which increase very quickly. The best season for transplanting is towards the end of August, or the beginning of September. In dividing the roots, care must be taken to preserve a bud upon the crown of each offset.

Single varieties are generally propagated from seeds, sown in autumn, soon after they are ripe, upon a bed of light soil, covering them with 1/2 inch of soil. Water well in dry weather and keep clear from weeds. Leave the young plants in this bed two years, transplanting in September.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: The root, dried and powdered. It is dug in the autumn, from plants at least two years old. The roots should be cleansed carefully in cold water with a brush and only be allowed to remain in the water as short a time as possible. Then spread out on trays in the sun, or on the floor, or on shelves in a kitchen, or other warm room for ten days or more. When somewhat shrunken, roots may be finished off more quickly in greater heat over a stove or gas fire, or in an open oven, when the fire has just gone out. Dried roots must always be dry to the core and brittle.

Antispasmodic, tonic. Paeony root has beensuccessfully employed in convulsions and spasmodic nervous affections, such as epilepsy, etc.

It was formerly considered very efficacious for lunacy. An old writer tells us: ‘If a man layeth this wort over the lunatic as he lies, soon he upheaveth himself whole.’

The infusion of 1 OZ. of powdered root in a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses, three or four times daily.

An infusion of the powdered root has been recommended for obstructions of the liver, and for complaints arising from such obstructions.

Homeopathic remidies of Peony :

Other Uses:
This is a compact woodland peony that is best suited to open woodland areas, shade gardens, shaded areas of the border or cottage gardens. It also could be effective as a low herbaceous hedge or edger. Flowers are extremely showy, and foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season either alone or in combination with other flowering/foliage shade perennials such as hostas.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/paeony01.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paeonia_officinalis
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e905

Cornus sericea

Botanical Name : Cornus sericea
Family: Cornaceae
Genus:     Cornus
Subgenus: Swida
Species: C. sericea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Cornales

Synonyms: Swamp’s Dogwood. Red Willow. Silky Cornel. Female Dogwood. Blueberry. Kinnikinnik. Rose Willow.
(French) Cornouille.

Common Names:Red Osier Dogwood, Western dogwood, Red willow, Redstem dogwood, Redtwig dogwood, Red-rood, American dogwood, Creek dogwood.

Habitat: Cornus sericea is native throughout northern and western North America from Alaska east to Newfoundland, south to Durango and Nuevo León in the west, and Illinois and Virginia in the east.It grows on Shores and thickets. Along streams, rivers and moist sites, 450 – 2700 metres

Desciption:
In the wild, it commonly grows in areas of damp soil, such as wetlands. It is a medium to tall deciduous shrub, growing 1.5–4 m tall and 3–5 m wide, spreading readily by underground stolons to form dense thickets. The branches and twigs are dark red, although wild plants may lack this coloration in shaded areas. The leaves are opposite, 5–12 cm long and 2.5–6 cm broad, with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin; they are dark green above and glaucous below; fall color is commonly bright red to purple. The flowers are small (5–10 mm diameter), dull white, in clusters 3–6 cm diameter. The fruit is a globose white berry 5–9 mm diameter.
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The Latin specific epithet sericea means “silky”, referring to the texture of the leaves.

Cultivation:  
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility, ranging from acid to shallow chalk. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil and a position in sun or partial shade. Succeeds in poorly drained soils. Plants are hardy to about -35°c. A rampant suckering shrub. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value. This species is closely allied to C. alba. The flowers are very attractive to bees. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 – 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months

Edible Uses          
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Oil.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Juicy. Bitter and unpalatable according to some reports, it was mixed with other fruits such as juneberries (Amelanchier spp) and then dried for winter use by native North Americans. The fruit can cause nausea. The fruit is up to 9mm in diameter. Seed. No more details are given, but the seeds are quite small and woody, looking rather less than edible. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Root-bark and bark.

Constituents: The active properties are similar to those found in Peruvian Bark, except that there is more gum mucilage and extractive matter and less resin quinine and tannin.

It is tonic astringent and slightly stimulant, used in periodical and typhoid fever. Taken internally it increases the strength and frequency of the pulse, elevating the temperature of the body. It should be used in the dried state, the fresh bark being likely to upset the stomach.

The powdered bark has been used as toothpowder, to preserve the gums and make the teeth white; the flowers have been used in place of chamomile.

Other Uses:
Cornus sericea is a popular ornamental shrub that is often planted for the red coloring of its twigs in the dormant season. The cultivar ‘Flaviramea’, with lime green stems, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Like most dogwood species native to North America, C. sericea can be parasitized by the dogwood sawfly, possibly leaving much of the plant devoid of leaves. A variety of pesticides are effective; however, hand-picking the larvae is also an option.

C. sericea is frequently used for waterway bank erosion protection and restoration in the United States and Canada. Its root system provides excellent soil retention, it is hardy and provides an attractive shrub even when bare in winter, and its ability to be reproduced by cuttings makes it a low cost solution for large scale plantings.

Some Plateau Indian tribes ate the berries to treat colds and to slow bleeding.

Known as cansasa in Lakota, the inner bark was also used by the Lakota and other Native Americans as “traditional tobacco”, either by itself or in a mixture with other plant materials. Among the Algonquian peoples such as the Ojibwe, the smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, blended the inner bark with tobacco, while more western tribes added it to the bearberry leaf to improve the taste.

The Ojibwe used red osier dogwood bark as a dye by taking the inner bark, mixing it with other plants or minerals.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/osierr14.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cornus+sericea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornus_sericea