Tag Archives: Banyan

Ficus carica

Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Family:    Moraceae
Tribe:    Ficeae
Genus:    Ficus
Subgenus:Ficus
Species:    F. carica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Rosales

Common Name : Common fig  or simply  Fig

Habitat: Ficus carica is  native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

Description:
Ficus carica is a gynodioecious (functionally dioecious),deciduous tree or large shrub, growing to a height of  10.00 to 20.00 feet and Spread  10.00 to 20.00 feet with smooth white bark. Its fragrant leaves are 12–25 centimetres (4.7–9.8 in) long and 10–18 centimetres (3.9–7.1 in) across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The complex inflorescence consists of a hollow fleshy structure called the syconium, which is lined with numerous unisexual flowers. The flower itself is not visible outwardly, as it blooms inside the infructescence. Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually the infructescence or scion of the tree, known as a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds are borne. It is a hollow-ended stem containing many flowers. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage, which allows the specialized fig wasp Blastophaga psenes to enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds.  Fig pollination and fig fruit.

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Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy, Edible

The edible fruit consists of the mature syconium containing numerous one-seeded fruits (druplets). The fruit is 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long, with a green skin, sometimes ripening towards purple or brown. Ficus carica has milky sap (laticifer). The sap of the fig’s green parts is an irritant to human skin.

Cultivation:
The common fig is grown for its edible fruit throughout the temperate world. It is also grown as an ornamental tree, and the cultivar ‘Brown Turkey’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Figs can be found in continental climates with hot summers as far north as Hungary and Moravia, and can be harvested up to four times per year. Thousands of cultivars, most named, have been developed as human migration brought the fig to many places outside its natural range.

Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year. The first or breba crop develops in the spring on last year’s shoot growth. In contrast, the main fig crop develops on the current year’s shoot growth and ripens in the late summer or fall. The main crop is generally superior in both quantity and quality to the breba crop. However, some cultivars produce good breba crops (e.g., ‘Black Mission’, ‘Croisic’, and ‘Ventura’).

There are basically three types of edible figs:
*Persistent (or common) figs have all female flowers that do not need pollination for fruiting; the fruit can develop through parthenocarpic means. This is a popular horticulture fig for home gardeners. Dottato (Kadota), Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.

*Caducous (or Smyrna) figs require cross pollination by the fig wasp with pollen from caprifigs for the fruit to mature. If not pollinated the immature fruits drop. Some cultivars are Smyrne (Lob Incir in Turkey) – (Calimyrna in the Great Central Valley USA), Marabout, Inchàrio, and Zidi.

*Intermediate (or San Pedro) figs set an unpollinated breba crop, but need pollination for the later main crop. Examples are Lampeira, King, and San Pedro.
The fig likes dry sunny sites, the soil dry or drained. Excessive growth has to be limited to promote the fruiting. It thrives in both sandy and rocky soil. As the sun is really important it is better to avoid shades. Some varieties are more adapted to harsh and wet climates.

Propagation:
Figs plants are easy to propagate through several methods. Propagation using seeds is not the preferred method since vegetative methods exist that are quicker and more reliable, that is, they do not yield the inedible caprifigs. However, those desiring to can plant seeds of dried figs with moist sphagnum moss or other media in a zip lock bag and expect germination in a few weeks to several months. The tiny plants can be transplanted out little by little once the leaves open, and despite the tiny initial size can grow to 1 foot (30 cm) or more within one year from planting seeds.

Edible Uses:
Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well. The widely produced fig newton or fig roll is a biscuit (cookie) with a filling made from figs.

Nutrition value and phytochemicals:
Dried figs are a rich source (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fiber and the essential mineral, manganese, while vitamin K and numerous other minerals are in moderate content (USDA, right table).

Figs contain diverse phytochemicals, including polyphenols such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, (+)-catechin, (?)-epicatechin and rutin

Medicinal Uses:
Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), its wide variety of chemical constituents, its use in traditional medicine as remedies for many health problems, and its biological activities. The plant has been used traditionally to treat various ailments such as gastric problems, inflammation, and cancer. Phytochemical studies on the leaves and fruits of the plant have shown that they are rich in phenolics, organic acids, and volatile compounds. However, there is little information on the phytochemicals present in the stem and root. Reports on the biological activities of the plant are mainly on its crude extracts which have been proven to possess many biological activities. Some of the most interesting therapeutic effects include anticancer, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antimicrobial activities. Thus, studies related to identification of the bioactive compounds and correlating them to their biological activities are very useful for further research to explore the potential of F. carica as a source of therapeutic agents.

Figs are used for their mild, laxative action, and are employed in the preparation of laxative confections and syrups, usually with senna and carminatives. It is considered that the laxative property resides in the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit and in the dried fruit is probably due to the indigestible seeds and skin. The three preparations of Fig of the British Pharmacopoeia are Syrup of Figs, a mild laxative, suitable for administration to children; Aromatie Syrup of Figs, Elixir of Figs, or Sweet Essence of Figs, an excellent laxative for children and delicate persons, is compounded of compound tincture of rhubarb, liquid extract of senna, compound spirit of orange, liquid extract of cascara and Syrup of Figs. The Compound Syrup of Figs is a stronger preparation, composed of liquid extract of senna, syrup of rhubarb and Syrup of Figs, and is more suitable for adults.

Figs are demulcent as well as nutritive. Demulcent decoctions are prepared from them and employed in the treatment of catarrhal affections of the nose and throat.

Roasted and split into two portions, the soft pulpy interior of Figs may be applied as emolient poultices to gumboils, dental abscesses and other circumscribed maturating tumours. They were used by Hezekiah as a remedy for boils 2,400 years ago (Isaiah xxxviii. 21).

The milky juice of the freshly-broken stalk of a Fig has been found to remove warts on the body. When applied, a slightly inflamed area appears round the wart, which then shrivels and falls off. The milky juice of the stems and leaves is very acrid and has been used in some countries for raising blisters.

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/Common_fig
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c944
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/974256/
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/figcom12.html

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Aspidistra

Botanical Name :Aspidistra elatior
Family: Convallariaceae/Ruscaceae
Genus : Aspidistra
Synonyms : Aspidistra lurida – Ker-Gawl.
Common Name :
Cast-iron Plant
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. elatior

Habitat :Although sometimes thought to be of Chinese origin, the species is in fact native to islands in southern Japan including Kuroshima, Suwanosejima and the Uji Islands. It occurs in association with overstorey species such as Ardisia sieboldii and Castanopsis sieboldii  E. Asia – Japan – Kuroshima, Suwanose, and Uji Islands. An understory plant, found growing in forests beneath Ardisia crenata and Castanopsis sieboldii. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Description:
Aspidistra elatior  is a rhizomatous perennial. It is a stemless plant to 1 metre in height with dark green leaves. Small, solitary purplish flowers may appear at the base of the plant in spring.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from January to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Slugs, snails.

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Aspidistra elatior is a staple of the shade garden. It has wide, evergreen leaves that rise up from tough, rhizomatous roots. The lance shaped leaves are dark green and leathery, and around 12-20 in (30-50 cm) long. The aspect of cast-iron plant is decidedly vertical. Some types of aspidistra are variegated with creamy streaks or dots; some are shorter than the species. The plants spread in clumps, vigorously but at a moderate enough rate not to be invasive or even troublesome. The flowers are borne close to the ground and never even seen unless one deliberately searches for them.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Medicinal Uses
Febrifuge; Styptic; Tonic.

The roots, stems and leaves are febrifuge, styptic and tonic. Strengthens bones and muscles. A decoction of the root, stems or leaves is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, amenorrhoea, diarrhoea, myalgia, traumatic injuries and urinary stones.

Other Uses:
Ground cover.
Aspidistras can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position.

Aspidistra is often grown in a container as a porch or patio plant, or as a house plant. In landscapes, it can be used as a border or be planted in a drift around trees, or to fill a planter under an overhang. In his North Florida garden, Steve has a stand of them growing in almost total shade at the base of a large live oak tree. Florists use the leaves in arrangements, where they lend drama and provide an excellent background for flowers. The leaves of cast-iron plant are especially long lasting in arrangements.

Cultivation :
Prefers a shady position in a rich well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils and drought. Almost hardy in Britain[1], plants can withstand temperatures down to about -15°c if they are well sited. A plant growing under shrubs in Worcestershire has survived in the garden for over 30 years. This plant used to be commonly grown as a house plant, it tolerates considerable neglect.

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 for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring. Suckers. Best removed in the autumn and grown on in the greenhouse for the first winter.

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/database/plants.php?Aspidistra+elatior
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspidistra_elatior
http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/aspi_ela.cfm
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml

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Banyan

Botanical Name: Ficus benghalensis
Family:    Moraceae
Genus:    Ficus
Species:F. benghalensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Rosales

Common Names:  Indian banyan ‘Bengal fig’ and ‘Indian fig’. In Bengali it called Bot language, it is known as bat. In Tamil, it is known as aalamaram. In Telugu, it is known as marrichettu. Sanskrit names include nyagrodha and vata. In Kannada it is known as aalada mara. In Malayalam it is known as aalmaram or Peraal and in Punjabi It is known as “bodha”

Habitat :Banyan tree is native to  India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but has been imported in other tropical regions. It is also the national tree of India. The first banyan tree in the U.S. was planted by Thomas Alva Edison in Fort Myers, Florida. It was given to Edison by Harvey Firestone after Firestone visited India in 1925 and was planted in the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. The tree, originally only 4 feet tall, now covers 400 feet.

Description:
Banyan tree is     a evergreen tree with spreading, often horizontal branches supported by prop roots. Bears elliptic to broadly ovate, leathery, deep green leaves, flushed bronze when young and with a distinct pattern of pale veins when mature. Spherical red figs are borne in pairs.It can grow 20 to 30m, the foilage color is dark green.

They are large trees that usually start life as a seedling growing on another tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges), where a fig-eating bird has deposited the seed. The roots descend over the trunk of the host, seeking out the soil below. Once they have rooted into this, the fig roots rapidly thicken and lignify (become wooden). Where the fig roots cross each other they fuse, thus creating a lattice around the host tree trunk. The fig competes with its host for light, water and nutrients, while its roots prevent the host trunk from growing. Eventually the host dies and rots away, leaving the fig self supporting as an ordinary tree, but with a tubular lattice of lignified roots instead of a trunk. For this reason banyans are often referred to as strangler figs.....click & see

Another unusual feature of the banyan is its ability to produce adventitious roots from the branches. This characteristic of developing aerial roots allows a single tree to spread over a large area. One famous banyan tree was planted in 1873 in Lahaina’s Courthouse Square in Hawai’i, and has grown to now cover two-thirds of an acre.

Like other members of this genus (which includes the common edible fig Ficus carica), banyans have a unique fruit and insect mediated fertilization process.

List of species:     The Indian Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) can grow into a giant tree covering several hectares. The Great Banyan in the Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world.

The Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa), also known as the Malayan Banyan is native from Ceylon to India, southern China, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia.
The Central American Banyan (Ficus pertusa) is native to Central America and northern South America, from southern Mexico south to Paraguay.

Medicinal  Uses:

The banyan has many medical qualities. It is used in the traditional medicine for the treatment of several ailments.

Skin disorders: The banyan fruit exercises a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membrances and alleviates pain and swelling. It serves as a mild purgative too.

Arresting bleeding: The bark and the leaf bus of the banyan tree is very useful in preventing bleeding.

Diabetes: An infusion of the bark is a specific medicine for diabetes.

Vomiting: The tender ends of the aerial root can be taken in obstinate vomiting.

Dysentery & Chronic Diarhhoea: The leaf buds of the banyan tree are beneficial in thr treatment dysentery and chronic diarhhoea.

Luocorrhoea: A regular douching of genital tract with a decoction of the bark of the banyan tree and the fig tree is very helpful in lucorrhoea.

Rheumatic pain: The latex is commonly used locally for rheumatic pain and lumbago.A few drops of latex of the banyan tree mixed with milk is beneficial to cure bleeding piles.

KibesThe cracking of heels : To deal with the problem it is useful to fill the cracks with the sap of banyan tree.

Female Sterility: Tender roots of banyan tree are considered beneficial in the treatment of female sterility.A hot polutice of the banyan leaves can be applied with beneficial to abscesses to promote suppuration and to hasten their breaking.

Warts: The milky juice from the fresh green banyan leaves is useful to destroy warts.

Ulcers: The latex of the banyan tree is commonly used locally for ulcers,bruises and sores.

Teeth Disorders: Cleaning the teeth with the arial roots of the banyan tree is beneficial in preventing teeth and gum disorders.

Leaves of banyan tree yield ficusin and bergaptene . Latex of the tree is very much toxic

Other Uses:
Banyan tree is the National tree of the Republic of India.It’s huge spreaded structures gives shade to birds & graging cattles,the fruit is eaten by birds & squirrels,leaves are eaten by goats & cows..

Known Hazards:  The foliage and milky sap of all figs can sometimes be an irritant to skin and eyes for especially sensitive people, but most people are not effected.

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:   Help taken from :en.wikipedia.org and book named miracles of herbs

http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Moraceae/Ficus%20benghalensis/802