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Zanthoxylum bungeanum

Botanical Name : Zanthoxylum bungeanum
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Zanthoxylum bungeanum

Common Names: Szechuan Peppercorn

Habitat:Zanthoxylum bungeanum is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on waysides and thickets to 2000 metres in W. China.

Description:
Zanthoxylum bungeanum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). 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.
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.

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It is not a true peppercorn, but rather the dried berry/seed of a deciduous prickly ash tree. The 3-4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that is split open and a black seed inside. The black seed is bitter and can be discarded. The red shell can be added whole to stewed dishes or ground to a powder and used a seasoning. The spice has a unique aroma and flavor that is not as pungent as black pepper and has slight lemony overtones.
Szechuan peppercorns are one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. Called sansho in Japan, they are used in the spice mixture shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven-spice seasoning.
Cultivation:
It is said to be often cultivated for its edible fruit, especially in hot dry river valleys in China. There is some doubt over the correct name for this species, it might be no more than a synonym of Z. simulans. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Flowers are formed on the old wood.

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:
Seed – used as a condiment, a pepper substitute. Highly prized. The fruit is rather small but is produced in clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed.
Medicinal Uses:

Anaesthetic; Anthelmintic; Aromatic; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Stimulant; Vasodilator; Vermifuge.

The fruit is anaesthetic, anthelmintic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant, sudorific, vasodilator and vermifuge. It is pulverised then mixed with water for internal application in the treatment of chills and pains in the abdomen, vomiting, cold-damp diarrhoea and dysentery, ascariasis-caused abdominal pain and moist sores on the skin. The pericarp is anaesthetic, anthelmintic, antibacterial and antifungal. It is effective against the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and is also used in the treatment of gastralgia, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. The pericarp contains geraniol. This lowers the blood pressure, is mildly diuretic in small doses but in large doses inhibits the excretion of urine, and also increases peristalsis of the abdomen at low doses though inhibits it at large doses

Known Hazards : The plant is toxic. No more details.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_bungeanum
http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/198501352.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+bungeanum

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Allium fistulosum

Botanical Name : Allium fistulosum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. fistulosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium bouddae Debeaux
*Allium kashgaricum Prokh.
*Cepa fissilis Garsault
*Cepa fistulosa (L.) Gray
*Cepa ventricosa Moench
*Kepa fistulosa (L.) Raf.
*Phyllodolon fistulosum (L.) Salisb.
*Porrum fistulosum (L.) Schur

Common Names: Welsh onion, Japanese bunching onion, Bunching onion,Scallion, Green onion, Ciboule

Habitat:Allium fistulosum is native to E. Asia, possibly western China, though the original habitat is obscure. It is being cultivated for over 1000 years, it is not known in the wild.
Description:
Allium fistulosum, a very distinctive member of the onion family. Bunching onions form perennial evergreen clumps up to 1 ft (0.3 m) in diameter and about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall. The leaves are hollow and tube-like, inflated their entire length. The bulbs are elongate and not much thicker than the stem. After a cold spell, bunching onions send up hollow stalks topped with little greenish flowers in round umbels (clusters with all the flower stems arising from the same point), that are 1-3 in (2.5-7.6 cm) in diameter.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil but tolerates most soils including those that are damp and acid[203]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5, but it tolerates a pH in the range 4.9 to 7.5. A very hardy species, it is related to the cultivated onion (A. cepa) and could be of value in breeding programmes. It is sometimes cultivated in the garden for its edible leaves which can be produced throughout the winter if the weather is not too severe. A very popular cultivated vegetable in the Orient, it probably arose through cultivation from A. altaicum[203]. The oriental forms of this species, known as bunching onions, tend to be hardier and more robust than the welsh onion. There are two basic forms, multi-stem types and single-stem types. The single-stem types divide less freely than the multi-stems. Plants will often retain their leaves even when covered in snow. They are also tolerant of high temperatures and can be grown in the tropics. The plants are often eaten by slugs. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, it is faster at higher temperatures. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. When well-grown, the plants should be ready to be planted out in the summer. If they are not large enough at this time, grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring. Division of the plants is very easy and can be done at almost any time of the year though the spring is probably best. The divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A strong onion flavour, it can be used in salads, as a cooked vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. The bulbs are rather small, usually 10 – 25mm in diameter though they can be up to 45mm, and are sometimes used as spring onions. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Leaves – raw or cooked. They have a mild onion flavour and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves are often available all through the winter if the weather is not too severe. They contain about 1.4% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.6% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash, some vitamin B1 and moderate levels of vitamin C. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, but they are rather on the dry side.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

•0 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 1.4g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 4.6g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0.8g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
Medicinal Uses:
The bulb contains an essential oil that is rich in sulphur compounds. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, stomachic, vermifuge and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of colds and abdominal coldness and fullness. A tea made from the roots is a children’s sedative. Use of the bulb in the diet impedes internal parasites. Externally, the bulb can be made into a poultice to drain pus from sores, boils and abscesses.

Other Uses: ….Repellent….The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_fistulosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+fistulosum
http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Amaryllidaceae/Allium%20fistulosum/627

Allium cepa aggregatum

 

Botanical Name : Allium cepa aggregatum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. cepa
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Potato onion,Multiplier onion

Habitat : Potato onion is cultivated in many countries of the world.

Description:
Allium cepa aggregatum is a BULB growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.
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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny sheltered position in a light well-drained fertile soil[1] but tolerates most soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The potato onion was at one time fairly widely grown as a vegetable, but it has now fallen into virtual disuse. There are still some named forms available[183]. This is a genuinely perennial form of A. cepa, the bulb grows deeper in the soil and divides to produce a number of underground bulbs each year in much the same way as shallots. Large bulbs divide to form 5 – 15 bulbs whilst smaller bulbs grow into one large bulb. According to one report, the bulbs should be planted fairly deeply, whilst another report says that they should be planted just below soil level. Onions grow well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but they inhibit the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed is seldom produced by this plant. Division in late summer. Harvest the bulbs as the foliage dies down and store them in a cool place. In areas with mild winters the bulbs are traditionally replanted on the shortest day of the year, but in colder areas it is best to wait until late winter or even early spring. Plant the bulbs only just below the soil surface

Medicinal Uses:
Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Dye; Hair; Polish; Repellent; Rust.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. Onion juice rubbed into the skin is said to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. It is also used as a cosmetic to get rid of freckles. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites

Known Hazards: There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this plant. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
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/Potato_onion
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+cepa+aggregatum

Ceanothus fendleri

 

Botanical Name :Ceanothus fendleri
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus
Species: C. fendleri
Kingdom:Planeta
Order: Rosales

Common Names : Fendler’s Buckbrush, Deer brier,Fendler’s Ceanothus

Habitat : Ceanothus fendleri is native to Western N. America – S. Dakota to Wyoming and Utah, south to Mexico . It grows in most situations other than deserts, but especially in pine forests in the southern Rockies, 1500 – 3000 metres.

Description:
Ceanothus fendleri is a deciduous Shrub growing to maximum  2 m (6ft 7in) at a fast rate.
It seldom exceeds 1 m (3.3 ft) tall. The stems and twigs are grayish green when young, reddish brown when mature, armed with spines up to 2.5 cm (0.98 in) long. The leaves are grayish green and thick, with dense woolly hair on the underside.

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The flowers are about 2 mm across and white, borne in thick clusters emanating from the leaf axils, particularly on the older stems. They all open at once, so the plant is covered with bloom. This usually happens in June or July, but may be any time from April to October according to the altitude and weather. As in other ceanothuses, there are five spoon-shaped or hooded petals, each partly covering a stamen.
The fruits are three-celled capsules, pink and glossy, forming an approximate rounded equilateral triangle with the stem at the center. They typically ripen in August and September. When dry these pods exhibit explosive dehiscence, throwing the seeds out forcefully. The seeds are glossy dark brown, about 2 mm across

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny position but tolerates light shade. Tolerates some lime, but will not succeed on shallow chalk. One of the hardiest members of this genus, it succeeds outdoors in many areas of the country. Plants dislike root disturbance, they should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. Dislikes heavy pruning, it is best not to cut out any wood thicker than a pencil. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. Fast growing, it flowers well when young, often in its second year from seed. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Some members of this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then given 1 – 3 months stratification at 1°c. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 2 months at 20°c[138]. One report says that the seed is best given boiling water treatment, or heated in 4 times its volume of sand at 90 – 120°c for 4 – 5 minutes and then soaked in warm water for 12 hours before sowing it. The seed exhibits considerable longevity, when stored for 15 years in an air-tight dry container at 1 – 5°c it has shown little deterioration in viability. The seed is ejected from its capsule with some force when fully ripe, timing the collection of seed can be difficult because unless collected just prior to dehiscence the seed is difficult to extract and rarely germinates satisfactorily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 7 – 12 cm with a heel, October in a cold frame. The roots are quite brittle and it is best to pot up the callused cuttings in spring, just before the roots break. Good percentage

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Fruit; Inner bark.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit.... Used for food in New Mexico. The berries are sweetened with sugar and used as food. The fruit is about 5mm wide. Strips of the inner bark can be eaten in the summer. The leaves are used as a substitute for tea.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is sedative. An infusion has been used to treat nervousness and a poultice of the plants also used for this purpose. The leaves have been chewed to treat a sore mouth.

Other Uses:
Dye; Soap.

A green dye is obtained from the flowers. All parts of the plant are rich in saponins – when crushed and mixed with water they produce a good lather which is an effective and gentle soap. This soap is very good at removing dirt, though it does not remove oils very well. This means that when used on the skin it will not remove the natural body oils, but nor will it remove engine oil etc The flowers are a very good source, when used as a body soap they leave behind a pleasant perfume on the skin. The developing seed cases are also a very good source of saponins.

Animal interactions: Deer are particularly fond of browsing on Fendler’s ceanothus. In a study at Beaver Creek, Arizona, it was important to mule deer all year and constituted up to 6.9 percent of their summer diet and might constitute even more where other forage species are less common. Elk also eat it, as North American porcupines, jackrabbits, and livestock do to a lesser extent.

The caterpillars of Erynnis pacuvius, the buckthorn duskywing, feed on this plant and other species of Ceanothus.

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/Ceanothus_fendleri
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceanothus+fendleri

Fragaria x ananassa

Botanical Name: Fragaria x ananassa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. × ananassa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria grandiflora.

Common Name: Strawberry or Garden strawberry

Habitat : It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit (which is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit) is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in many products like lip gloss, candy, hand sanitizers, perfume, and many others.

Description:
Fragaria x ananassa plants are rosette-forming perennials which spread by thin runners (stolons) growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The leaves are trifoliate, dark green but paler and haired on the undersides, on long petioles emerging from the crowns. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers have yellow centers, with the 5 petals white or occasionally pink, borne underneath the foliage canopy. The fruits need no describing.

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Strawberry varieties vary remarkably in fruit size, colour, flavour and shape, the degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. Some vary in foliage, and some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female.

Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. Strawberries appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. The strawberry is widely cultivated in temperate areas for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties that can supply fruit from late spring (under cloches) to late autumn. Most strawberry varieties are day-length sensitive and only flower at certain times of the year. However, a number of cultivars have been selected that are not sensitive to day-length and can produce fruit for most of the summer. These cultivars are normally referred to as ‘remontants’. The blossom can be damaged by late spring frosts. Oat straw should not be used as a mulch since this can infect the strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm. Strawberry plants are very subject to virus diseases, these are usually spread by an aphid. Plants tend to degenerate after a few years and need to be replaced. Seed is a safe means of propagation though, since this species is of hybrid origin, the seed will not breed true. Strawberries are a good companion plant, growing well with bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce and pyrethrum.
Propagation :
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. This is a hybrid species and seed will not breed true, though this is the only way to develop new varieties. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit – raw. Fruits of the best cultivars are sweet and succulent with an exquisite flavour. Strawberries are a very popular fruit and are widely available in the summer. The fruit of some cultivars is up to 3cm in diameter. Young leaves – raw.

Strawberries are often used to flavor other foods, such as ice cream. Apart from its interest as a dessert fruit, the strawberry draws interest due to the peculiarities of its structure, its tendency towards variation, and the gardener’s success in exploiting this tendency.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicines made from Fragaria x ananassa is not known but it is highly delicious fruit. It has all the qualities & health benifits that fruits have.

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/Strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+x+ananassa
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Fragaria_x_ananassa