Tag Archives: Biodiversity

Erodium moschatum

Botanical Name: Erodium moschatum
Family: 
Geraniaceae
Genus: 
Erodium
Species:
E. moschatum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: 
Geraniales

Common Names: Musk stork’s-bill and Whitestem filaree

Habitat: Erodium moschatum is native to Mediterranean areas and southwestern Europe, including Britain. It grows on the waste places and rocky ground, mainly near the sea in Britain, mainly near the southern coast.

Description:
Erodium moschatum is an annual/biennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The young plant starts with a flat rosette of compound leaves, each leaf up to 15 centimeters long with many oval-shaped highly lobed and toothed leaflets along a central vein which is hairy, white, and stemlike. The plant grows to a maximum of about half a meter in height with plentiful fuzzy green foliage. The small flowers have five sepals behind five purple or lavender petals, each petal just over a centimeter long. The filaree fruit has a small, glandular body with a long green style up to 4 centimeters in length.

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It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny well-drained position and a limy soil or at least one that is not acid. The bruised leaves emit a strong scent of musk.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ as soon as the seed is ripe in the late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. It usually germinates readily.
Edible Uses: ..Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as a potherb.

Medicinal Uses:….The plant is febrifuge. A tincture of the plant is used in the treatment of dysentery.

Other Uses:...Dye….A green dye can be obtained from the whole plant. It does not require a mordant.

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/Erodium_moschatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Erodium+moschatum

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Viola canadensis

Botanical Name : Viola canadensis
Family:  Violaceae – Violet family
Genus : Viola L. – violet
Species :Viola canadensis L. – Canadian white violet
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order : Violales

Synonyms:Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. rugulosa (Greene) C.L. Hitchcock ,Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. canadensis sensu NM authors,Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. neomexicana (Greene) House,Viola rydbergii Greene

Common Name : Canada Violet,Canadian white violet, Canada Violet, tall white violet, or white violet.

Habitat : It is native to Canada and the eastern United States.Viola canadensis is our most common white violet in the Gila National Forest. It is found along moist streambanks under trees, occasionally in large numbers.It is threatened or endangered in some areas, and abundant in others. There are four varieties.

Description:
General: perennial with short, thick rootstocks and often
with slender stolons. Stems 10-40 cm tall, hairless to
short-hairy.

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Leaves: basal and alternate, the stalks as much as 30
cm long. Leaf blades heart-shaped, abruptly pointed, about
4-8 cm long, from (usually) short-hairy on one or both
surfaces to hairless. Stipules lanceolate, 1-2 cm long,
entire, hairless to hairy on the edges only. The apex of the leaf is acute.

Flowers: one to few from the upper portion of the stem,
the stalks shorter than the leaves. The 5 sepals lanceolate,
often short-hairy and with hairy edges, the spur short. The
5 petals about 1.5 cm long, white to pinkish, yellow-based,
the 3 lower ones purplish-lined, the side bearded, all (but
especially the upper pair) more or less purplish-tinged on
the outside and sometimes less conspicuously so on the
inside. Style head sparsely long-bearded.The throat of the flower is marked with yellow with faint purple guidelines.

Flowering time: May-July.

Fruits: capsules, 4-5 mm long, granular on the surface
to short-hairy, with 3 valves, splitting open explosively and
shooting out seeds, the seeds brownish.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of pain in the bladder region.  The roots and leaves have traditionally been used to induce vomiting, they have also been poulticed and applied to skin abrasions and boils.

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://montana.plant-life.org/species/viola_canad.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/viola_canadensis.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_canadensis

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Periwinkle Plant

Botanical Name :Vinca minor
Family :Dogbane/Apocynaceae
Synonym(s): lesser periwinkle, myrtle
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Vinca
Species: V. minor

Habitat : .It is a plant native to central and southern Europe, from Portugal and France north to the Netherlands and the Baltic States, and east to the Caucasus, and also in southwestern Asia in Turkey.  It has been in North America since the 1700s. It has the capability of taking over large tracts of land by spreading out of control. In many states, such as Michigan, the periwinkle plant has overtaken the natural forest ground cover in deciduous woodlands.

Description:
It is a trailing, viny subshrub, spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems to form large clonal colonies and occasionally scrambling up to 40 cm high but never twining or climbing. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, 2-4.5 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, glossy dark green with a leathery texture and an entire margin. The flowers are solitary in the leaf axils and are produced mainly from early spring to mid summer but with a few flowers still produced into the autumn; they are violet-purple (pale purple or white in some cultivated selections), 2-3 cm diameter, with a five-lobed corolla. The fruit is a pair of follicles 2.5 cm long, containing numerous seeds.

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The closely related species Vinca major is similar but larger in all parts, and also has relatively broader leaves with a hairy margin.


Cultivation:

The species is commonly grown as a groundcover in temperate gardens for its evergreen foliage, spring and summer flowers, ease of culture, and dense habit that smothers most weeds. The species has few pests or diseases outside its native range and is widely naturalised and classified as an invasive species in parts of North America . There are numerous cultivars, with different flower colours and variegated foliage, including ‘Argenteovariegata’ (white leaf edges), ‘Aureovariegata’ (yellow leaf edges), ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ (white flowers), and ‘Plena’ (double flowers).

Other vernacular names used in cultivation include small periwinkle, common periwinkle, and sometimes in the United States, myrtle or creeping myrtle, although this is misleading, as the name myrtle normally refers to Myrtus species.

The periwinkle plant is extremely hardy and grows in almost any type of soil. It prefers shady placement but too much sun won’t be an insurmountable problem. The plant will not live over the winter in locations that go beyond thirty below zero. The periwinkle can be propagated by root cuttings or by seeds. It will grow where many other plants will not, such as in sandy soil and rock gardens. It is also deer resistant. After the flowers have finished blooming, the periwinkle plant grows cylindrical fruit up to two inches long. Each contains three to five seeds which are released to the wind.

If you wish to grow periwinkles from seed, you can start them inside eight to ten weeks before the final frost or outside after the last frost. Inside you can use a regular plant starter mix and outside you should plant in loose soil fertilized with compost. Simply cover the seeds with dirt, water them, and you will be growing periwinkle in no time at all. Do not transplant any seedlings grown indoors, outside, until all danger of frost has past.

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Medicinal Uses:

The periwinkle plant is used by herbalists as an astringent. Its major use throughout the centuries has been to help treat menstrual periods where there is too much heavy bleeding. It can be used during your period or in-between periods. It is also used to treat urinary tract problems, such as hematuria, or blood in the urine. Periwinkle has been used to treat colitis and diarrhea, plus other types of digestive problems which involve bleeding. Some people also use periwinkle in the treatment of such conditions as nose bleeds, bleeding gums, ulcers in the mouth, and sore throats. In medicinal use, the periwinkle plant is used in tinctures and infusions.


Other Uses:

It is an evergreen type of plant that is used for ground cover. In many locations, the periwinkle plant is considered invasive and cannot be legally planted, so check your local statutes before growing Vinca minor.

 

As a ground cover, the periwinkle plant is like a long, green mat, with growth only about six inches high. The leaves are bluish-green and it forms stems approximately two feet long before clamping down roots. Periwinkle blooms in the spring (March) with flowers which are lilac-blue or purple.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinca_minor
http://www.gardeningcentral.org/periwinkle_plant/periwinkle_plant.html
http://www.invasive.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=3081
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VIMI2&photoID=vimi2_003_avp.jpg
http://www.invasive.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=3081

Medicinal Plants Slowly Going Extinct


The health of millions could be at risk because medicinal plants used to make traditional remedies, including drugs to combat cancer and malaria,   are being overexploited.

 

“The loss of medicinal plant diversity is a quiet disaster,” says Sara Oldfield, secretary general of the NGO Botanic Gardens Conservation International, told New Scientist.

Most people worldwide, including 80% of all Africans, rely on herbal medicines obtained mostly from wild plants. But some 15,000 of 50,000 medicinal species are under threat of extinction, according to a report this week from international conservation group Plantlife. Shortages have been reported in China, India, Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda.

Commercial over-harvesting does the most harm, though pollution, competition from invasive species and habitat destruction all contribute. “Commercial collectors generally harvest medicinal plants with little care for sustainability,” the Plantlife report says. “This can be partly through ignorance, but [happens] mainly because such collection is unorganised and competitive.”

Medicinal trees at risk include the Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana), a source of the anti-cancer drug, paclitaxel; the pepper-bark tree (Warburgia), which yields an antimalarial; and the African cherry (Prunus africana), an extract from which is used to treat a prostate condition.

The solution, says the report’s author, Alan Hamilton, is to provide communities with incentives to protect these plants. Ten projects in India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Uganda and Kenya showed this approach can succeed.

Sources: The Times Of India

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