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Artemisia mexicana

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Botanical Name : Artemisia mexicana
Family: Compositae: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Specis: Mexicana

Common Names: Mexican White Sagebrush , Mexican Wormwood, Agenjo del Pais, Ambfe (Otomi), Artemisia, Cola de Zorillo (‘little tail of the fox’), Ensencio de Mata Verde (‘incense of the green bush’), Guitee (Zapotec), Hierba de San Juan (Spanish, ‘Saint John’s herb’), Hierba Maestra (Spanish, “master herb’), Si’isim (Maya), Tlalpoyomatli (Aztec)

Habitat :Artemisia mexicana is native to South-western N. America – Missouri to Texas, Arkansas and Mexico. It grows in the prairies, hillsides, barrens and sands.

Description:
Artemisia mexicana is a perennial upright shrubby herb that can grow up to three feet tall. The leaves are whitish grey and covered on both sides with fine hairs. They exude an aromatic-bitter scent immediately when crushed. The flowers are small, yellow and clustered (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93).

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 
This plant is so similar to European wormwood in appearance that even experienced botanists have a hard time telling them apart. Some botanists even believe that A. mexicana is a sub-species of A. absinthium (Ratsch 1998, 73). A. mexicana is found in both dry and moist areas of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. It may also be found in Arizona and New Mexico (Ohno et al. 1980).
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 this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making 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 for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Traditional Uses: The Aztecs and other native peoples of Mesoamerica have been using A. mexicana for various ritual and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Aztecs used A. mexicana as a ritual incense – the plant is sacred to Uixtociuatl, the Aztec goddess of salt and salt makers. It is sacred to Tlaloc, the rain god, who also holds Argemone mexicana and Tagetes lucida as holy – this suggests a possible interesting psychoactive incense or smoking mixture. Today in Mexico it is used in folk medicine and smoked as a marijuana substitute (Ratsch 1998, 74).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is emmenagogue, stimulant and vermifuge. The leaves can be chewed to treat sore throats. A poultice of the chewed leaves can be used on sores.
The Aztecs used the stems of A. mexica as a tonic and to relieve coughs. The flowers were consumed by those with low energy (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93). In Mexican folk medicine, which is strongly influenced by Aztec knowledge, an alcohol extract of A. mexicana herbage is taken for digestive troubles (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). Similarly, a tea made from the plant is taken by those who have lost the desire to eat, as well as to treat coughs and diarrhea. The roots and plant material are used to treat epilepsy and as a form of birth control – the plant can bring on menstruation and cause abortions (Reza 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). The Yucatec Maya burn the herb as an incense to relieve headaches (Pulido Salas & Serralta Peraza 1993 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Traditional Effects: A. mexicana contains a powerful essential oil, as well as several active alkaloids. Thujone is likely present in the plant, as it is so similar to A. absinthium, but the compound has not yet been formally detected. Smoking the dried herbage creates mild stimulation followed by pleasant euphoria if enough smoke is inhaled. The effects may vary widely from person to person, however. The plant contains fewer toxic alkaloids than A. absinthium and is therefore easier to work with (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Known Hazards; Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+mexicana

Artemisia mexicana – Mexican Wormwood

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Rhododendron ‘PJM’

Botanical Name : Rhododendron ‘PJM’
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Ericoideae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron ‘PJM’  is  mostly  grown in the midwestern countries.  A hybrid of garden origin, R. minus x R. dauricum

Description:
Rhododendron ‘PJM’ is an evergreen broadleaf evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). Leaves are elliptic, flat to convex, obtuse apex, cuneate base, rust colored scaly indumentum, deep mahogany-purple November to April. Upright, dense growth habit. Flowers are openly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1½” across, lilac purple to light violet. Several clones are known as well as a number of forms.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. This is an exceptionally hardy cultivar. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position 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. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants can be grown as a hedge. It is also grown in the garden for it’s good looking flowers.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten 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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+’PJM’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron
http://www.rhododendron.org/descriptionH_new.asp?ID=643

Rhododendron lapponicum

Botanical Name : Rhododendron lapponicum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species:R. lapponicum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:
*Azalea lapponica L.
*Rhododendron confertissimum Nakai
*Rhododendron lapponicum subsp. parvifolium (Adams) T. Yamaz.
*Rhododendron palustre Turcz.
*Rhododendron parviflorum F. Schmidt
*Rhododendron parvifolium Adams
*Rhododendron parvifolium subsp. confertissimum (Nakai) A.P. Khokhr.

Common Names: Lapland rosebay

Habitat : Rhododendron lapponicum is native to N. Europe, N. Asia. Northern N. AmericaAlaska to Quebec. It grows on the rocky barrens and sub-alpine woods.It is found in subarctic regions around the world, where it grows at altitudes ranging from sea level to 1900 meters.

Description:
Rhododendron lapponicum is an evergreen perennial Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).Leaves are thick, leathery, evergreen, and 1 to 1.5 cm long, growing to 30 cm in height they are leathery, evergreen, elliptic, and covered with many small scales, much longer than wide. Flowers few, 1.5 cm wide, bright purple, bell-shaped, developing at the end of the branches. Fruits are 5 mm wide.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey[1]. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers[200]. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry[200]. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Easy

Edible Uses:: A tea is made from the leaves and flower tips.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten 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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+lapponicum
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/Plants.asp?mode=detail&SpecCode=PDERI150G0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_lapponicum

Rhododendron japonicum

Botanical Name :Rhododendron japonicum
Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhododendron (roh-do-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species:japonicum (juh-PON-ih-kum) (Info)
Kingdom Plantae – plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants
Subkingdom:Viridiplantae
Division:Tracheophyta – vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision:Spermatophytina – spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:  R. metternichii. Sieb.&Zucc.

Common Names: Japanese azalea

Habitat :Rhododendron japonicum is native to E. Asia – Japan. It grows in the dense woods in mountains in C. and S. Japan, to 1800 metres.

Description:
Rhododendron japonicum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in).
It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Leaf type:the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)

Leaves per node:there is one leaf per node along the stem

Leaf blade edges:the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes

Leaf duration:the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)

Armature on plant:the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Leaf blade length: 40–100 mm

Leaf stalk:the leaves have leaf stalks

Fruit type (general):the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe

Bud scale number: there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. This species is closely related to R. molle and perhaps not distinct from it. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult
Edible Uses: …Leaves. No more details are given but some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic, tonic

Known Hazards; Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten 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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+japonicum
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/rhododendron/japonicum/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/94265/
http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=23718

Tagetes erecta

Botanical Name :Tagetes erecta
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
Species: T. erecta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :African marigold, Mexican marigold, also called Aztec marigold

Habitat :Tagetes erecta is  native to the Americas. In Mexico, this plant is found in the wild in the states of San Luis Potosí, Chiapas, State of México, Puebla, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz.It grows in the pine-oak forest zone. A garden escape in the USA where it grows along the sides of roads.

Description:
Tagetes erecta is an annual flowering plant and it grows  to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil

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The Aztecs gathered the wild plant as well as cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. It is widely cultivated commercially with many cultivars in use as ornamental plants

Cultivation:     
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils. Although not very frost resistant, it can be grown as a tender annual in Britain, sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring and planting out after the last expected frosts. The flowers are often sold in local markets in Nepal and used as an offering to the Gods. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value. The cultivar ‘Yellow Climax’ has mild flavoured edible flowers that can be used as colourful garnishes. All parts of the plant emit an unpleasant smell similar to that of stale urine when they are bruised[245]. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. Plants are prone to attacks by slugs, snails and botrytis[188].

Propagation:          
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:   
The petals of the flowers of some varieties can be eaten. The fresh receptacle is eaten by children. A yellow dye obtained from the flowers can be used as a saffron substitute for colouring and flavouring foods. The plant is used as a condiment. (This probably refers to the use of the flowers as an edible dye)

Medicinal Uses:  
Anthelmintic;  Aromatic;  Carminative;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Laxative;  Ophthalmic;  Sedative;  Skin;  Stomachic.

The whole herb is anthelmintic, aromatic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative and stomachic. It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs and dysentery. Externally, it is used to treat sores, ulcers, eczema. sore eyes and rheumatism. The leaves are harvested as required for immediate use during the growing season, whilst the flowering plant can be dried and stored for later use. A paste of the leavs is applied externally to treat boils, carbuncles and earaches. The flowers are carminitive, diuretic and vermifuge. A decoction is used to treat colds, and mumps. It is applied externally to trea skin diseases, conjunctivitis and sore eyes. The root is laxative.

Since prehispanic times, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes. The Cherokee used it as a skin wash and for yellow dye. Scientific study shows that thiophenes, natural phytochemicals that include sulfur-containing rings, may be the active ingredients. They have been shown to kill gram negative and gram positive bacteria in vitro. This marigold may help protect certain crop plants from nematode pests when planted in fields. It is most effective against the nematode species Pratylenchus penetrans

Other Uses  
Dye;  Insecticide;  Repellent.

Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs. These secretions are produced about 3 – 4 months after sowing. The flower petals also have nematacidal properties. The growing plant is also said to repel insects and can be grown amongst crops such as potatoes and tomatoes. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers.

Its flower, the cempasúchil is also called the flor de muertos (“flower of the dead”) in Mexico and is used in the Día de los Muertos celebration every 2nd of November. The word cempasúchil (also spelled cempazúchil) comes from the Nahuatl term for the flower zempoalxochitl, literally translated as “twenty flower”. Water infused with the fragrant essential oil of the flower was used to wash corpses in Honduras, and the flower is still commonly planted in cemeteries

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tagetes+erecta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagetes_erecta

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