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Iris missouriensis

Botanical Name: Iris missouriensis
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Longipetalae
Species: I. missouriensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Iris arizonica Dykes
*Iris haematophylla var. valametica Herb. ex Hook.
*Iris longipetala var. montana Baker
*Iris missouriensis f. alba H.St.John
*Iris missouriensis var. albiflora Cockerell
*Iris missouriensis f. angustispatha R.C.Foster
*Iris missouriensis var. arizonica (Dykes) R.C.Foster
*Iris missouriensis var. pelogonus (Goodd.) R.C.Foster
*Iris missuriensis M.Martens
*Iris montana Nutt. ex Dykes
*Iris pariensis S.L.Welsh
*Iris pelogonus Goodd.
*Iris tolmieana Herb.
*Limniris missouriensis (Nutt.) Rodion.

Common Names: Rocky Mountain Iris

Habitat : Iris missouriensis is native to native to western North America. Its distribution is varied; it grows at high elevations in mountains and alpine meadows and all the way down to sea level in coastal hills.

Description:
Iris missouriensis is an erect herbaceous rhizomatous perennial  flowering plant .It is  20 to 40 cm high, with leafless unbranched scapes (flowering stems) and linear basal leaves, 5 to 10 mm wide, similar in height to the scapes. The inflorescence usually consists of one or two flowers, exceptionally three or four. Each flower has three light to dark blue, spreading or reflexed sepals lined with purple and three smaller upright blue petals.
It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a moist soil, growing well in a moist border, but intolerant of stagnant water. Easily grown in a sunny position so long as the soil is wet in the spring. A polymorphic species. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering. Another report says that it is best done in spring or early autumn. Very easy, 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:…..The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Diuretic; Emetic; Odontalgic; Poultice; Salve; Stomachic.

Rocky Mountain iris was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat various complaints, but especially as an external application for skin problems. It was for a time an officinal American medicinal plant, but is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The root is emetic and odontalgic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints, stomach aches etc. The pulped root is placed in the tooth cavity or on the gum in order to bring relief from toothache. A decoction of the root has been used as ear drops to treat earaches. A poultice of the mashed roots has been applied to rheumatic joints and also used as a salve on venereal sores. Caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity. A paste of the ripe seeds has been used as a dressing on burns.

Some Plateau Indian tribes used the roots to treat toothache.
The Navajo used a decoction of this plant as an emetic.The Zuni apply a poultice of chewed root to increase strength of newborns and infants.
This iris is listed as a weed in some areas, particularly in agricultural California. It is bitter and distasteful to livestock and heavy growths of the plant are a nuisance in pasture land. Heavy grazing in an area promotes the growth of this hardy iris.

Other Uses: … Dye….Yields a green dye (part of plant used is not specified).

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/Iris_missouriensis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_missouriensis

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Prunus cerasifera

Botanical Name : Prunus cerasifera
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Section: Prunus
Species: P. cerasifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Prunus domestica myrobalan.

Common Names: Cherry Plum, Myrobalan Plum, Newport Cherry Plum, Pissard Plum

Habitat : Prunus cerasifera is native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in scattered locations in North America. It grows on woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge.

Description:
Prunus cerasifera is a wild type deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 9 m (29ft) at a medium rate, with leaves 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 inches) long. It is one of the first European trees to flower in spring, often starting in mid-February. The flowers are white and about 2 cm (0.8 inches) across, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe, 2–3 cm in diameter, and yellow or red. It is edible, and reaches maturity from early July to mid-September.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, unfortunately this is not often borne in large quantities in Britain, but large crops are produced every 4 years or so. There are some named varieties. Included as a part of P. divaricata by some botanists though others include P. divaricata as a sub-species under this species. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.
Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, tarts, jams etc. The size of a small plum with a thin skin and a nice sweet flavour. The flesh is somewhat mealy but is also juicy. The fruit can hang on the tree until October. The fruit is about 30mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Desperation’, ‘Fear of losing control of the mind’ and ‘Dread of doing some frightful thing’. It is also one of the five ingredients in the ‘Rescue remedy’. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Rootstock; Shelterbelt.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Makes quite a good windbreak hedge though it cannot stand too much exposure. Often used as a rootstock for the cultivated plums, giving them a semi-dwarfing habit.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Cherry_plum
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+cerasifera

Brassica napus

Botanical Name :Brassica napus
Family: Brassicaceae
Tribe: Brassiceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: Brassica napus L.
Cladus: eurosids II
Order: Brassicales

Common NamesCanola oil rapeseed

Habitat :Brassica napus is grown throughout temperate regions. Cultivated in most European countries, but naturalized in most.

Description:
Annual or biennial, when sown late and flowering the following spring, with slender or stout, hard, long, fusiform tuberous taproot; stems erect, much-branched, up to 1.5 m tall, often purple toward base; leaves glaucous, the lower ones lyrate-pinnatifid or lobed, with petioles 10–30 cm long, glabrous or with a few bristly hairs, upper stem leaves lanceolate, sessile, clasping, more or less entire; flowers pale yellow, 1.2–1.5 cm long, open flowers not overtopping buds of inflorescence; inflorescence much-branched, up to 1 m tall as an elongating raceme; silique 5–11 cm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, with slender beak 0.5–3 mm long. Underground part curved or crooked for 5–7.5 cm and then dividing into stout horizontal branches. Fl. late spring to fall; fr. early summer to fall

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Cultivation:
Fall plowing and preparation of a good firm seedbed is desirable as rape seeds are small. Cultipacking before seeding make a firm even seedbed. Germination must be fast with uniform emergence for the crop to get ahead of the weeds. Seed of Polish and Argentine types germinate readily when moisture and temperature conditions are suitable. Seed rate and spacing of rows varies in different areas. Sow seed with a grain drill, in rows 30–40 cm apart. Because seed are so small, it is recommended to mix 50–50 with cracked grain, so as to spread out the rape seed; for a 10 kg/ha rate, calibrate the drill for 20 kg/ha of mixture. If fertilizer is used mixed with the seed when sowing, sow about 30 kg/ha of mixture and mix at the time of sowing. Seed may be sown with a grass-seed attachment, or broadcast and then harrowed or disced lightly. Depth of sowing should be 2.5 cm or less, but seedlings will emerge from 5 cm or more if soil does not crust on top. Seedlings develop slowly and are easily destroyed by drifting soil. Spreading manure where drifting might start helps trap drifting soil. Early sowings give higher yields, but crop is more susceptible when emerging, -4°C either killing or injuring seedlings, whereas -2°C has no affect when one month old. Sowing in late April or early May is best in northern areas; sowing as late as June or early July give rather good results. Rape may be planted after grains, flax, corn, potatoes, sugar beets or fallow, but not after rape, mustards or sunflowers (Reed, 1976).
click to see

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine
The seed, powdered, with salt is said to be a folk remedy for cancer. Rape oil is used in massage and oil baths, believed to strengthen the skin and keep it cool and healthy. With camphor it is applied for rheumatism and stiff joints. Medicinally, root used in chronic coughs and bronchial catarrh

Like soybean, canola contains both high oil content as well as high protein content. It contains about 40% oil and 23% protein compared to 20% and 40%, respectively, for soybean. Like soybean, when the oil is crushed out, it leaves a high quality, high protein (37%) feed concentrate which is highly palatable to livestock. Commercial varieties of canola were developed from two species; Brassica napus (Argentine type) and Brassica campestris (Polish type). Both species of canola produce seed that is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, and linolenic).

Other Uses:
Grown sparingly for young leaves used as potherb; more generally grown as forage for livestock feed, and as source of rapeseed oil. Rape oil used in food industry, as an illuminant and lubricant, and for soap manufacture. Residual rapeseed cake, though low in food value, used as livestock feed. Rapeseed oil has potential market in detergent lubrication oils, emulsifying agents, polyamide fibers, and resins, and as a vegetable wax substitute. According to the Chemical Marketing Reporter (April 26, 1982) “the most common use for the oil is still in the production or erucic acid, a fatty acid used in turn in the manufacture of other chemicals. Sprouts are used dietetically and as seasoning.

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://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail397.php
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/brassica_napus.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Brassica_napus

Cola acuminata

Botanical Name : Cola acuminata
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Cola
Species: C. acuminata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names :Local name:
Cola is called differently by different tribes:

Tribe Ewondo call it Abeu and tribe Boulou call it Abel

Habitat :Cola acuminata is native to Democratic Republic of Congo.Grows in the forest areas.

Description:
Cola acuminata is an evergreen tree of about 20 meters in height. Its germination can reach 2 to 3 months at a fast rate, and has long and ovoid leaves pointed at both the ends that have a leathery texture. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds can be found in a white seed shell. The nut’s aroma is sweet and rose-like. The first taste is bitter, but sweetens upon chewing. The nut can be boiled to extract the cola. This tree reaches 25 meters in height and is propagated through seeds. C. nitida and C. acuminata can easily be interchanged with other Cola species.

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Cultivation:
Originally a tree of tropical rainforest, it needs a hot humid climate but can withstand a dry season on sites with a high ground water level. It may be cultivated in drier areas where ground water is available. C. nitida is a shade bearer but develops a better spreading crown which yields more fruits in open places. Though it is a lowland forest tree it has been found at altitudes over 300 m on deep rich soils under heavy and evenly distributed rainfall.

Regular weeding is a must and this can either be done manually or by using herbicides. Some irrigation can be provided to the plants, but it is important to remove the water through an effective drainage system as excess water may prove to be detrimental for the growth of the plant. When not grown in adequate shade, the kola nut plant responds well to fertilizers. Usually, the plants need to be provided with windbreaks to protect them from strong gales.

Harvesting and storage: Kola nuts can be harvested by hand, by plucking it at the tree branch. Like in western countries and other countries of the world, it has been harvested by the use of harvesters. When kept in a cold and dry place, Kola nut can be stored for a long time.

Propagation: Usually by seed, although cuttings are sometimes used. Trees will bear in 7-10 years from seed.

Chemical constituents of kola nut:
*caffeine (2–3.5%)
*theobromine (1.0–2.5%)
*theophylline
*phenolics
*phlobaphens (kola red)
*epicatechin
*D-catechin
*tannic acid
*sugar
*cellulose
*water

Medicinal Uses:
Kola nut stimulates the central nervous system and the body as a whole.  It increases alertness and muscular strength, counters lethargy, and has been used extensively both in western African and Anglo-American herbal medicine as an antidepressant, particularly during recovery from chronic illness.  Like coffee, kola is used to treat headaches and migraine.  It is diuretic and astringent and may be taken for diarrhea and dysentery.  It will aid in states of depression and may in some people give rise to euphoric states.  Through the stimulation it will be a valuable part of the treatment for anorexia.  It can be viewed as specific in cases of depression associated with weakness and debility.

Other Uses:
In addition to its medicinal value, Cola plays a significant social role in Cameroon. Among Moslems from the north, Cola is sacred. In other communities, in particular the Bamiléké, Cola is a sign of love and friendship. Furthermore, Cola is consumed in ceremonies in particular dowry ceremonies, ‘tontines’, funerals, wake-keepings, etc. Some people consume Cola to reduce tiredness, hunger and to stay awake. Others consume it for its stimulant effect. Cola from the north is also used to tint clothing. Cola is also used in breweries (Nkongmeneck, 1985).

Kola nuts are perhaps best known to Western culture as a flavouring ingredient and one of the sources of caffeine in cola and other similarly flavoured beverages, although the use of kola (or kola flavoring) in commercial cola drinks has become uncommon. However, recently the use of Kola nut has been reintroduced, most notably in Whole Foods Market 365 Cola  as part of their trend to use natural rather than artificial ingredients. It is also used in Barr’s Red Kola, Red Bull’s new Simply Cola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, Foxon Park Kola, Blue Sky Organic Cola, Sprecher’s Puma Kola, Virgil’s Real Cola, Hansen’s Natural Original Cola, and Cricket Cola, and formerly in Royal Crown Premium. In Barbados the Kola nut is made into a sweet drink known as Clayton’s Kola Tonic.

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/Cola_acuminata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_nut
http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/factsheet/Cola_eng.pdf
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/cola_nut.htm
http://www.britannica.hk/botany/kola-nut-369346.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Ranunculus ficaria

Botanical Name : Ranunculus ficaria
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. ficaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:   Ficaria grandiflora Robert, Ficaria verna Huds

Common Names :Lesser celandine

Habitat :Ranunculus ficaria is found throughout Europe and west Asia and is now introduced in North America. It prefers bare, damp ground and in the UK it is often a persistent garden weed. The flowers are orange, turning yellow as they age.

Description:
Ranunculus ficaria is a low-growing, hairless perennial plant, with fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves.It grows to  0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 6-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

It exists in both diploid (2n=16) and tetraploid (2n=32) forms which are very similar in appearance. However, the tetraploid type prefer more shady locations and frequently develops bulbils at the base of the stalk. These two variants are sometimes referred to as distinct sub-species, R. ficaria ficaria and R. ficaria bulbifer respectively.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, celandine comes from the Latin chelidonia, meaning swallow: it was said that the flowers bloomed when the swallows returned and faded when they left. The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for “little frog,” from rana “frog” and a diminutive ending. This probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs.

Cultivation:   
Prefers a moist loamy neutral to alkaline soil in full sun or shade[1, 238]. A very common and invasive weed[17, 90], especially when growing in the shade because this encourages formation of bulbils at the leaf bases[238]. You would regret introducing it into your garden, though it might have a place in the wild garden[90]. This is, however, a polymorphic species[90] and there are a number of named forms selected for their ornamental value[188]. These are normally less invasive than the type species. The plant flowers early in the year when there are few pollinating insects and so seed is not freely produced[4]. The plant, however, produced tubercles (small tubers) along the stems and each of these can grow into a new plant[4]. Grows well along woodland edges[24], and in the deeper shade of the woodland where it often forms dense carpets[4]. The flowers do not open in dull weather and even on sunny days do not open before about 9 o’clock in the morning and are closed by 5 o’clock in the evening[4]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].

Propagation :  
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. This species doesn’t really need any help from us. Division in spring.

Edible Uses   :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Young leaves in spring – raw or cooked as a potherb. The first leaves in spring make an excellent salad. The leaves, stalks and buds can be used like spinach, whilst the blanched stems are also eaten. The leaves turn poisonous as the fruit matures. Caution is advised regarding the use of this plant for food, see the notes above on toxicity. Bulbils – cooked and used as a vegetable. The bulbils are formed at the leaf axils and also at the roots.  Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The flower buds make a good substitute for capers.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.

Lesser celandine has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of haemorrhoids and ulcers. It is not recommended for internal use because it contains several toxic components. The whole plant, including the roots, is astringent. It is harvested when flowering in March and April and dried for later use. It is widely used as a remedy for piles and is considered almost a specific. An infusion can be taken internally or it can be made into an ointment and used externally. It is also applied externally to perineal damage after childbirth. Some caution is advised because it can cause irritation to sensitive skins. Externally also used for perineal damage after childbirth.  Combines well with plantain, marigold for agrimony for the internal treatment of piles.

Other Uses :
Teeth.

The flower petals are an effective tooth cleaner.  The plant often forms dense carpets when grown in the shade and can therefore be used as a ground cover though they die down in early summer. This should be done with some caution, however, since the plant can easily become an unwanted and aggressive weed in the garden.

Known Hazards :  All parts of the plant are poisonous. The toxins are unstable and of low toxicity, they are easily destroyed by heat or by drying. The sap can cause irritation to the skin

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ranunculus+ficaria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_celandine

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm