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Rhododendron x praecox


Botanical Name : Rhododendron x praecox
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Hymenanthes
Species: R. ponticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Divisio:Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:Magnoliophytina
Classis:Rosopsida
Subclassis:Dilleniidae
Superordo:Ericanae

Common Name : Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron x praecox is a hybrid between Rhododendron ciliatum and Rhododendron dauricum. The cross was selected by Isaac Davies of the Brook Lane Nursery in Ormskirk, Lancashire around 1855 and was introduced on the market in 1861.

Description:
Rhododendron x praecox is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan 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

The shrubs have a loose upright growth and will reach a width of approx. 100 cm and a height of 120 after around 10 years. Under ideal conditions they will reach heights of 2 metres and a width of 1,5 metres, with an annual growth of approx. 5 cm.

Wood and Bark
The stems of a 120 cm-high shrubs are up to 2 cm across and rather flexible. The bark appears to be relatively smooth, young shoots are a reddish brown becoming light brown and slightly scaly in age.

Leaves:
Rhododendron x praecox is evergreen and has alternate, simple ovate leaves with entire margins. The leaves are approx. 60 x 27 mm in size and are glossy dark-green, they are hairy above and scaly below. Young leaves are lime-green.

Rhododendron x praecox thus has leaves that are slightly larger than those of Rhododendron dauricum whose foliage also turns brownish in winter.

Depending on the growing conditions older leaves may be shed after having taken on a light yellow autumn colour. In that case only the youngest generation of leaves will overwinter together with the terminal flower buds.

Flowers and Fruit
The funnel-shaped and somewhat bulgy flowers appear from March to April. They are bright pink-purple with darker margins on the inside and dark pink-purple on the outside. The flowers usually arranged in loose terminal umbels made up of 1 to 5 flowers. Each flowers is approx. 2,5 x 4,5 cm in size. They flowers do not bear marks, the scent can hardly be distinguished.

The fruits are septicidal capsules.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in acid or neutral soils in sun or part shade. 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. 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 are hardy to about -15°c but the flowers come out in spring and are very frost tender. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – this is a hybrid species and the seed will not breed true. It is 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
Medicinal Uses:    Not yet known.

Other Uses: Rhododendron x praecox is very tolerant of trimming, plants can be grown as a hedge.

This reliable hybrid is suitable for almost any garden. It may even be used in an alpine garden due to its loose habit and low space and soil requirements. A nice effect can be achieved when put next to daffodils flowering at the same time.
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://en.hortipedia.com/wiki/Rhododendron_x_praecox
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+x+praecox

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Rhododendron lutescens

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

Other names: Lutescens rhododendron

Habitat: Rhododendron lutescens is native to E. Asia – China in C. Sichuan. It grows on the hillsides, scrub, hedges and forest edges, 1750 – 3000 metres.
Thickets and wood margins fully exposed to the sun, 2000 – 2800 metres.
Description:
Rhododendron lutescens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). with leaves that are lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 4–9 by 1.5–2.5 cm in size. Flowers are yellow. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by InsectsCLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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, though this species has been shown to tolerate a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Somewhat heat and drought tolerant. Generally hardy to about -10°c, though some forms of this species are tender in Britain. 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. A very ornamental plant. 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[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses:  Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants are being grown as a medium-sized hedge at Wisley, RHS gardens in Surrey
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+lutescens
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_lutescens
https://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/rhododendron-lutescens

Solidago odora

Botanical Name : Solidago odora
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Solidago
Species: S. odora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names : Sweet goldenrod, Anise-scented goldenrod or Fragrant goldenrod, Chapman’s goldenrod

Habitat ; Solidago odora is native to Eastern N. America – New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas and Oklahoma. It grows in dry sterile soil or thin woodlands. Woods and roadsides in Texas.

Description:
Sweet goldenrod is a perennial with 2-5 ft (0.6-1.5 m) stems arising from short rhizomes. The hairy stems bear alternate stemless single-veined narrow dark green leaves with smooth or hairy margins and pointed tips. The leaves are 1-4 in (2.5-10.2 cm) long and smell like licorice when crushed. In late summer, densely crowded golden-yellow flowers appear in branched clusters at the tops of the stems. The individual blossoms are arranged in rows along the upper sides of the flower head branchlets. Fuzzy pale gray seedheads containing tiny nutlets replace the blossoms later in the season. S. odora var. chapmanii is recognized as a separate botanical variety from S. odora var. odora. (The hairs on the stems of var. chapmanii are fairly evenly distributed, though perhaps a bit sparse in a strip below each leaf base, whereas the hairs on var. odora stems are in distinct vertical lines.) Goldenrods tend to hybridize, so identifying them to species, much less variety, may be challenging.

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It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting.

Subspecies:
*Solidago odora ssp. odora – most of species range
*Solidago odora ssp. chapmanii (Gray) Semple – Florida only

Solidago odora is mostly used as a herbal/medicinal team with a variety of ethnobotanical uses reported, especially from the Cherokee. It has been considered both a stimulant and a sedative.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Leaves – cooked. Seed. No more details are given but the seed is very small and fiddly to harvest. An aromatic, anise-flavoured tea is made from the dried leaves and dried fully expanded flowers. The blossoms are used as a flavouring.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiseptic; Aperient; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Stimulant; Tonic.

An infusion of the dried powdered herb is antiseptic. The leaves make a very pleasant-tasting tea that is mildly astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge and stimulant. It is useful in the treatment of coughs and colds, dysentery and ulceration of the intestines. The essential oil has been used as a diuretic for infants, as a local application for headaches and for the treatment of flatulence and vomiting. The flowers are aperient, astringent and tonic. An infusion is beneficial in the treatment of gravel, urinary obstruction and simple dropsy. The root can be chewed as a treatment for sore mouths.

Other Uses:
Dye; Essential.

An anise-scented essential oil is obtained from the plant. It is used medicinally and in perfumery – especially for scenting soaps. Mustard, orange and brown dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

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:
wildlifehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_odora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solidago+odora
http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Asteraceae/Solidago%20odora/814

Polygonatum multiflorum

Botanical Name : Polygonatum multiflorum
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Polygonatum
Species: P. multiflorum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Convallaria ambigua. Convallaria bracteata. Convallaria broteroi

Common Names: Solomon’s seal, David’s harp, Ladder-to-heaven, Eurasian Solomon’s seal

Habitat: Polygonatum multiflorum is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, and temperate Asia to Japan. It grows in woodland, usually on limestone.

Description:
Polygonatum multiflorum is a rhizomatous perennial plant, growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) broad, with arching stems of alternate leaves, and slightly necked, pendent tubular white flowers with green tips, hanging from the undersides of the stems. It is valued in cultivation for its ability to colonise shady areas, and is suitable for a woodland style planting. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. 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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Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade. Succeeds in dry shade if the soil is rich in humus[190]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but tolerate most other conditions[200]. Another report suggests that they tolerate drought so long as the soil is rich in humus. A very ornamental plant, growing well on the woodland edge. There are some named forms. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. The young shoots of most members of this genus are very attractive to slugs. Hybridizes with other members of this genus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a shady part of a cold greenhouse. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Germination can be slow, they may not come true to type and it takes a few years for them to reach a good size. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady 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. Division in March or October. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. Boiled and used as an asparagus substitute, they make an excellent vegetable and are widely used in Turkey. Root – cooked. Rich in starch. The root should be macerated for some time in water in order to remove bitter substances. Normally only used in times of famine, the root was powdered and then made into a bread by the North American Indians.

The roots macerated for some time in water yield a substance capable of being used as food and consisting principally of starch. The young shoots form an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like Asparagus, and are largely consumed in Turkey. The roots of another species have been made into bread in times of scarcity, but they require boiling or baking before use.

Constituents: The rhizome and herb contain Convallarin, one of the active constituents of Lily-of-the-Valley, also Asparagin, gum, sugar, starch and pectin.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Demulcent; Emetic; Poultice; Tonic.

Solomon’s seal has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. It is used mainly in the form of a poultice and is believed to prevent excessive bruising and to stimulate tissue repair. The root is astringent, demulcent, emetic and tonic. An infusion is healing and restorative, it is good in the treatment of stomach inflammations, chronic dysentery etc. It is used with other herbs in the treatment of pulmonary problems, including tuberculosis, and women’s complaints. The powdered roots make an excellent poultice for bruises, piles, inflammation etc. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The plant should not be used internally except under professional supervision. A distilled water made from the whole plant has been used as a skin tonic and is an ingredient of expensive cosmetics. The dried powdered roots and flowers have been used as a snuff to promote sneezing and thus clear the bronchial passages.

Solomon’s Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is useful also in female complaints. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery.

The flowers and roots used as snuff are celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions.

The berries are stated to excite vomiting, and even the leaves, nausea, if chewed.

The properties of these roots have not been very fully investigated. It is stated that a decoction will afford not only relief but ultimate cure in skin troubles caused by the poison vine, or poisonous exalations of other plants.

Other Uses: Can be used as Cosmetic………..Plants can be grown for ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. A distilled water made from the whole plant is used as a cosmetic to improve the complexion.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the fruits are poisonous. It has laxative properties and can increase the laxative effects of aloe, rhamnus, senna & yellow dock. May lead to gastrointestinal irritation with prolonged use. Overdose leads to nausea,

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/Polygonatum_multiflorum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/solsea63.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonatum+multiflorum

One-Leaved Onion (Allium unifolium )

Botanical Name: Allium unifolium
Family  : Alliaceae
Genus  : Allium
Synonyms : Allium grandisceptrum – Davidson.
Kingdom:: Plantae
Order  : Asparagales
Species: A. unifolium

Habitat: South-western N. AmericaCalifornia and Oregon. Moist soils in pine or mixed evergreen forest in the coastal ranges of California. Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Bulb growing to 0.6m by 0.1m.
It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects..

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:-
Prefers a hot dry sunny position in a light, rich well-drained soil[90, 200]. This species is difficult to maintain under cultivation in Britain, our weather is probably too wet and cool for it to really thrive. The plant has a summer resting period when it should be kept dry and so it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or bulb frame . Placing a cloche over outdoor-grown plants in the summer, especially after flowering, will help to ripen the bulbs . Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants . This species is not fully hardy in Britain and is unlikely to survive in the colder parts of the country. It is only marginally hardy in N.W. England. A new bulb is formed annually, the old one withering away. 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions

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

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are 10 – 15mm in diameter. Together with the young shoots, they are fried and eaten. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

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: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?Allium+unifolium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_unifolium
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Allium_unifolium
http://www.baynatives.com/plants/Allium-unifolium/
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