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Allium thunbergii

Botanical Name: Allium thunbergii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. thunbergii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium arenarium Thunb.
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) T.S.Liu & S.S.Ying
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) Tang S. Liu & S.S. Ying
*Allium cyaneum f. stenodon (Nakai & Kitag.) Kitag.

Common Names: Thunberg’s chive

Habitat : Allium thunbergii is native to Japan (incl Bonin + Ryukyu Islands), Korea, and China (incl. Taiwan). It grows at elevations up to 3000 m. The Flora of China recognizes A. tunbergii and A. stenodon as separate species, but more recent sources combine the two.

Description:
Allium thunbergii produces one or two egg-shaped bulbs up to 20 mm in diameter. Scapes are up to 50 cm tall. Leaves are longer than the scape, hollow, triangular in cross-section. Umbels are crowded with many red or purple flowers. It is in flower from Sep to November.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value[200]. ‘Ozawa’ is smaller than the type, growing to 30cm. 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 cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

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

Young plants and leaves – raw or cooked in soups etc. The raw leaves have a pleasant mild onion flavour and a good fibre-free texture. Bulbs – cooked. They can be pickled in brine, vinegar and syrup. The bulbs are up to 2cm in diameter. Flowers – raw. A pleasant mild onion flavour, they make an attractive garnish in salads etc.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
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 very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_thunbergii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+thunbergii

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Lancea tibetica

Botanical Name: Lancea tibetica
Family: Mazaceae
Genus: Lancea
Species: L. tibetica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Habitat : Lancea tibetica is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from India, Bhutan and Sikkim to China and Mongolia. It grows in
grassland, sparse forests, along streams at elevations of 2000 – 4500 metres in western China.

Description:
Lancea tibetica is aperennial herb growing to 3-7(-15) cm tall, glabrous except for petioles. Rhizomes to 10 cm, with a pair of membranous scales on each node. Leaves 6-10, rosulate; leaf blade obovate, obovate-ob-long, or spatulate, 2-7 cm, subleathery, base tapering, margin entire or obscurely and sparsely toothed, apex obtuse and usually apiculate. Flowers in fascicles of 3-5 or in a raceme; bracts subulate-lanceolate. Calyx ca. 1 cm, leathery; lobes subulate-triangular. Corolla dark blue to purple, 1.5-2.5 cm; tube 0.8-1.3 cm; throat yellowish and/or with purple dots; lower lip middle lobe entire; upper lip erect, deeply 2-lobed, rarely shallowly 2-parted. Stamens inserted near middle of tube; filaments glabrous. Fruit red to dark purple, ovoid, ca. 1 cm, included in persistent calyx. Seeds numerous, brownish yellow, oblong, ca. 1 mm. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)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.

Medicinal Uses:
The flowers, leaves and fruit are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a sweet and bitter taste with a cooling potency. They are used in the treatment of pulmonary disorders. The fruit is used to treat heart disorders and retention of the menses, whilst the leaves are used for healing wounds.

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/Lancea_tibetica
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200020690
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lancea+tibetica

Marrubium vulgare

 

Botanical Name : Marrubium vulgare
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Marrubium
Species: M. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Marrubium apulum. Marrubium ballotoides. Marrubium germanicum. Marrubium uncinatum.

Common Names: White Horehound, Horehound or Common horehound

Habitat : Marrubium vulgare is native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern and central Asia. It is also widely naturalized in many places, including most of North and South America. It grows on the downs, waste places and roadsides southwards from central Scotland, though perhaps only native near the south coast of England.

Description:
Marrubium vulgare is a grey-leaved herbaceous perennial plant, somewhat resembling mint in appearance, and grows to 25–45 centimetres (10–18 in) tall. The leaves are 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long with a densely crinkled surface, and are covered in downy hairs.It is in flower from Jun to November, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are white, borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
White horehound is an easily grown plant that succeeds in most well-drained soils, though it flourishes best in a poor dry soil. Another report says that the plant flourishes best where there is plenty of nitrogen in the soil. It prefers neutral to alkaline soil conditions and requires a warm sunny position if it is to do well. Often grown in the herb garden and sometimes cultivated commercially as a medicinal herb. If the plant is cut back after flowering it will normally produce a second crop of leaves. The fresh leaves have a pronounced musky smell, though this is lost once the plant is dried. A good bee plant. White horehound is a good companion plant for growing near tomatoes. The tomatoes crop for a longer period and also produce a heavier crop.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April/May or August/September in a cold frame. Germination can be slow and erratic. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the following spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. 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:… Condiment; Tea…..The leaves are used as a seasoning. Bitter and pungent, they are sometimes used to flavour herb beer or liqueurs. Horehound ale is a fairly well-known drink made from the leaves. A mild pleasantly flavoured tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves, it is a favourite cough remedy.
Medicinal Uses:
White horehound is a well-known and popular herbal medicine that is often used as a domestic remedy for coughs, colds, wheeziness etc. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, readily cleared by coughing. The leaves and young flowering stems are antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, strongly expectorant, hepatic, stimulant and tonic. Horehound is a very valuable pectoral, expectorant and tonic that can be safely used by children as well as adults. It is often made into a syrup or candy in order to disguise its very bitter flavour, though it can also be taken as a tea. As a bitter tonic, it increases the appetite and supports the function of the stomach. It can also act to normalize heart rhythm. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Plantago lanceolata or P. major. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Marrubium vulgare for dyspepsia, loss of appetite.

It’s bitterness stimulates the appetite and also promotes bile, making large doses laxative. The whole herb and its derivatives are used in thousands of lung medications around the world, especially for treating bronchitis and coughs. The essential oils and marrubiin dilate the arteries and help to ease lung congestion. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucus, which is more readily cleared by coughing. Marrubiin also normalizes the heart beat and is a weak sedative. At one time, horehound was suggested for relieving menstrual pain and slowing a rapid heart beat. Since it also induces sweating, it has been used to reduce fevers, even those associated with malaria. It is less commonly used as a decoction for skin conditions. Old recipes call for the leaves to be boiled in lard and applied to wounds.

Several modern scientific studies have been conducted on the usefulness of horehound. For example, a 2011 study concluded that the essential oil of M. vulgare contains potent antimicrobial and anticancer properties, while a 2012 study found marrubiin, one of the primary active compounds found in horehound, to possess “antidiabetic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory properties”.

Other Uses:…Essential; Repellent……..An essential oil is obtained from the plant and used as a flavouring in liqueurs. The plant has been used as a cure for cankerworm in trees. No more details are given but it is probably a strong infusion of the flowering shoots, or the essential oil, that is used. The growing plant repels flies.

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/Marrubium_vulgare
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Marrubium+vulgare
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

Dactylorhiza maculata

Botanical Name: Dactylorhiza maculata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Dactylorhiza
Species: D. maculata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Orchis maculata.

Common Names: Heath spotted-orchid or Moorland spotted orchid

Habitat : Dactylorhiza maculata is native to W. Europe in Britain and France, north through Germany ad Belgium to Scandanavia. It grows in moist acid peaty substrata throughout the British Isles.
Description:
Dactylorhiza maculata is a herbaceous perennial orchid plant.It reaches on average 15–45 centimetres (5.9–17.7 in) of height, with a maximum of 70 centimetres (28 in). These plants are bulbous geophytes, forming their buds in underground tubers or bulbs, organs that annually produce new stems, leaves and flowers. Furthermore these orchids are “terrestrial”, because unlike “epiphyte” species they do not live at the expense of other large plants.

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This orchid has an erect, glabrous and cylindrical stem, with a streaked surface. The leaves are oblong or oval-lanceolate, with dark ellipsoid-shaped “spots” on the surface (hence the species name). The leaves are amplexicaul and can be either radical (basal) or cauline.

The underground part of the stem has two webbed tubers each one more or less deeply divided into several lobes or tubercles (characteristic of the genus Dactylorhiza), the first one plays the important functions of supplying the stem, while the second one collects nutrient materials for the development of the plant that will form in the coming year.

The inflorescence is 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long and it is composed of flowers gathered in dense spikes. The flowers are placed in the axils of bracts membranous and lanceolate-shaped. Their colors vary from light pink to purple or white with darker streaks mainly on the labellum (sometimes at the margins of tepals). The flowers reaches on average 10–15 centimetres (3.9–5.9 in). The flowers are hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects, especially bumblebees. However the seeds germination is conditioned by the presence of specific fungi.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, but it prefers a moist loam and lots of leaf mould. Requires a deep rich soil. Grows well in full sun or partial shade, doing well in a woodland garden. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. Cultivated plants are very susceptible to the predation of slugs and snails. Plants can succeed in a lawn in various parts of the country. The lawn should not be mown early in the year before or immediately after flowering. Plant out bulbs whilst the plant is dormant, preferably in the autumn. Bulbs can also be transplanted with a large ball of soil around the roots when they are in leaf, they are impatient of root disturbance.
Propagation :
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally
Edible Uses:.Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.
Medicinal Uses:

Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dactylorhiza_maculata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dactylorhiza+maculata

 

Ophrys araneola

 

 

Botanical Name: Ophrys araneola
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Ophrys
Species: O. sphegodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Habitat : Ophrys araneola is native to S. and C. Europe.
Description:
Ophrys araneola is a parennial orchid plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Plants can be grown in a lawn, but the lawn must not be cut until the plants have set seed. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. The flowers resemble a female insect and also emit a scent similar to female pheremones, they are pollinated by a male insect of that species attempting to copulate with the flower. Tubers should be planted out whilst they are dormant, this is probably best done in the autumn. They should be planted at least 5cm below soil level.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. This species only rarely forms new offsets and so division is seldom feasible, the following methods can be tried, however. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally
Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder[200]. Salep is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread etc[183]. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day[100, 115]. The salep can also be made into a drink

Medicinal Uses:
Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed

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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ophrys_araneola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ophrys+araneola