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Elaeagnus multiflora ovata

Botanical Name : Elaeagnus multiflora ovata
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus
Species: E. multiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Elaeagnus longipes

Common Names : Goumi, Gumi, Natsugumi, or Cherry silverberry

Habitat : Elaeagnus multiflora ovata is native to E. Asia – China and Japan. It grows on the thickets and thin woods in hills and on lowland, at elevations of 600 – 1800 metres.

Description:
Elaeagnus multiflora ovata is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 2-8 m tall, with a trunk up to 30 cm diameter with dark brown bark.
The shoots are densely covered in minute red-brown scales. The leaves are ovate to elliptic, 3-10 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, green above, and silvery to orange-brown below with dense small scales.The flowers are solitary or in pairs in the leaf axils, fragrant, with a four-lobed pale yellowish-white corolla 1.5 cm long; flowering is in mid-spring and the seeds ripen in July.

The fruit is round to oval drupe 1 cm long, silvery-scaled orange, ripening red dotted with silver or brown, pendulous on a 2-3 cm peduncle. When ripe in mid- to late summer, the fruit is juicy and edible, with a sweet but astringent taste somewhat similar to that of rhubarb. The skin of the fruit is thin and fragile, making it difficult to transport, thus reducing its viability as a food crop.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils that are well-drained. Prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in poor soils and in dry soils. Prefers a light sandy loam and a sunny position but succeeds in light shade. Very drought and wind resistant. Tolerates atmospheric pollution. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, but the roots are hardy to -30°c (although top growth will be killed at this temperature). Cultivated for its edible fruit in Japan, there are some named varieties. Plants can crop in 4 years from cuttings. They bear heavily in Britain. The fruit is well hidden in the shrub and is quite difficult to harvest without damaging the plant. This sub-species produces brown fruits on long stalks, would this be any easier to harvest? This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Birds love the fruits. There is some confusion over the correct name for this species. In the on-line version of the Flora of Japan it is referred to as Elaeagnus montana ovata. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots 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. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%. The small flowers are deliciously scented, their aroma pervading the garden on calm days.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in late winter or early spring, though it may take 18 months[K]. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help[98]. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well. Prick out the seedlings into individual pot as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when they are at least 15cm tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 10 – 12cm with a heel, November in a frame. Leave for 12 months. Fair to good percentage. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Pleasantly acid when ripe, they are usually made into pies, preserves etc. Quite fiddly and difficult to pick without breaking the young shoots, this sub-species carries the fruit on longer stalks than the species and might therefore be easier to pick. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent. The fruit is about 10mm long and contains a single large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.
Medicinal Uses:

Cancer.

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
Other Uses: ……Hedge; Rootstock..….Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure. A hedge in a very exposed position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall was 3.5 metres tall in 1989[K]. Often used as a rootstock for evergreen species that are hard to grow from cuttings. It frequently sprouts from the base and can out-compete the scion.
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/Elaeagnus_multiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Elaeagnus+multiflora+ovata

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Gentiana manshurica

Botanical Name: Gentiana manshurica
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. manshurica
Order: Gentianales

Common Name : Gentiana manshurica

Habitat :Gentiana manshurica is native to East Asia – China, Manchuria. It grows on the grassland slopes, wet meadows, roadsides; 100-1100 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang.

Description:
Gentiana manshurica is a perennial herb, growing 20-30cm tall. Stems glabrous. Lower stem leaves pale purple, 5-8 mm; middle to upper leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, 3-10 cm × 3-9(-14) mm, base narrowed to obtuse, margin slightly revolute and smooth, apex acuminate to acute, veins 1-3; upper leaves slightly smaller, longer than but not surrounding flowers. Flowers terminal, solitary, sessile or subsessile, rarely also few in axils of upper leaves; bracts linear-lanceolate, 1.5-2 cm. Calyx tube 8-10 mm, entire; lobes linear to linear-lanceolate, 0.8-1.5 cm, margin slightly revolute, apex acute, vein 1. Corolla violet to blue-purple, tubular-campanulate, 4-5 cm; lobes ovate-triangular, 7-9 mm, margin entire, apex acuminate; plicae obliquely ovate, 3.5-4 mm, margin irregularly denticulate, apex obtuse. Stamens inserted at basal part of corolla tube; filaments 0.9-1.2 cm; anthers narrowly ellipsoid, 3.5-4 mm. Style 2-3 mm. Capsules 1.5-1.8 cm; gynophore to 2 cm. Seeds 1.8-2.2 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug-Sep
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies….CLICK &  SEE THE PICTURES

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 most parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots of gentian species contain some of the most bitter compounds known and make an excellent tonic for the whole digestive system, working especially on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. The root is antibacterial and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore throat, acute infection of the urinary system, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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://vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_manshurica
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018011
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+manshurica

Fanning The Creative Flames

Boredom
The human
mind thrives on novelty. What was once a source of pleasure can become tedious after a time. Though our lives are full, boredom lurks around every corner because we innately long for new experiences. Yet boredom by its very nature is passive. In this idle state of mind, we may feel frustrated at our inability to channel our mental energy into productive or engaging tasks. We may even attempt to lose ourselves in purposeless or self-destructive pursuits. While this can be a sign of depression, it can also be an invitation issued from your mind, asking you to challenge yourself. Boredom can become the motivation that drives you to learn, explore the exotic, experiment, and harness the boundless creative energy within.

In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, boredom is perceived as a pathway to self-awareness. Boredom itself is not detrimental to the soul it is the manner in which we respond to it that determines whether it becomes a positive or a negative influence in our lives. When you respond by actively filling the emptiness you feel lurking in yourself, you cultivate creativity and innovation. If, when in the grip of boredom, you have difficulty acknowledging the merits of any activities you might otherwise enjoy, generate your own inspiration. Before you find yourself beset by boredom, create a list of tasks you can consult when it feels like there is simply nothing to do. Referring to a list of topics you want to learn more about, projects you’ve yet to begin, or even pending chores can spark your creative energy and reawaken your zest for life.

When we are troubled by boredom, it is not that there is nothing to do but rather that we are not stimulated by the options before us. A bored mind can be the canvas upon which innovation is painted and the womb in which novelty is nourished. When you identify boredom as a signal that you need to test your boundaries, it can be the force that presses you to strive for opportunities you thought were beyond your reach and to indulge your desire for adventure.

Sources: Daily Om