Tag Archives: Compost

Digitalis grandiflor

Botanical Name : Digitalis grandiflor
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Large Yellow Foxglove or simply Yellow Foxglove

Habitat : Digitalis grandiflor is native to Europe to W. Asia. It grows in the woods in mountains and in drier stonier habitats.
Description:
Digitalis grandiflora is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in September.

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Arising in midsummer from neat clumps of fine-toothed foliage, a mass of soft yellow open bells, speckled brown inside, blooms along one side of a 3-foot-tall stem. Usually described as a perennial, it is more accurate to call it a biennial or short-lived perennial. If the flowering stalk is cut down after blooms have faded, it may rebloom in the fall. When a few flower stalks are left, the plant self-seeds.
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. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter. It also succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant. It prefers semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A short-lived perennial or biennial. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer and rabbits. Special Features: Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses: The leaves are cardiac, stimulant and tonic. They are often used in the treatment of certain heart complaints.

Other Uses: The plant is used as Landscaping ( Border, Specimen.)

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous.

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/Digitalis
http://www.finegardening.com/yellow-foxglove-digitalis-grandiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Digitalis+grandiflora

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Achillea millefolium

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. millefolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Achillea albida Willd.
*Achillea alpicola (Rydb.) Rydb.
*Achillea ambigua Boiss.
*Achillea ambigua Pollini
*Achillea anethifolia Fisch. ex Herder

Common Names: Yarrow, Boreal yarrow, California yarrow, Giant yarrow, Coast yarrow, Western yarrow, Pacific yarrow . Also known as Bloodwort, Carpenter’s weed, Common yarrow, Hierba de las cortaduras, Milfoil, Plumajillo.

Habitat : Achillea millefolium is native to Europe, including Britain, north to 71°, and east to western Asia. It grows on meadows, pastures, lawns etc. on all but the poorest soils.

Description:
Achillea millefolium is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant that produces one to several stems 0.2–1 m (0.66–3.28 ft) in height, and has a spreading rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness (pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. The leaves are cauline, and more or less clasping.

The inflorescence has 4 to 9 phyllaries and contains ray and disk flowers which are white to pink. The generally 3 to 8 ray flowers are ovate to round. Disk flowers range from 15 to 40. The inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped capitulum cluster and the inflorescences are visited by many insects, featuring a generalized pollination system. The small achene-like fruits are called cypsela.

Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer.

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The plant has a strong, sweet scent, similar to that of chrysanthemums.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Massing, Seashore, Woodland garden. Succeeds in most soils and situations but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Shade tolerant. Plants live longer when grown in a poor soil and also do well on lime. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover. It remains green after grass has turned brown in a drought. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. The plant has a very spreading root system and is usually quite invasive. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c. Yarrow is an excellent plant for growing in lawns, meadows, orchards etc., it is tolerant of repeated close cutting and of being walked on. It works to improve the soil fertility. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect predations. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. ‘Pink’ (syn. ‘Rosea’) has very aromatic foliage and deep pink flowers. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good bee plant, it is an important nectar source for many insects. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Divisions succeed at any time of the year. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A rather bitter flavour, they make an acceptable addition to mixed salads and are best used when young. The leaves are also used as a hop-substitute for flavouring and as a preservative for beer etc. Although in general yarrow is a very nutritious and beneficial plant to add to the diet, some caution should be exercised. See the notes above on possible toxicity. An aromatic tea is made from the flowers and leaves. An essential oil from the flowering heads is used as a flavouring for soft drinks

Medicinal Uses:
Yarrow has a high reputation and is widely employed in herbal medicine, administered both internally and externally. It is used in the treatment of a very wide range of disorders but is particularly valuable for treating wounds, stopping the flow of blood, treating colds, fevers, kidney diseases, menstrual pain etc. The whole plant is used, both fresh and dried, and is best harvested when in flower. Some caution should be exercised in the use of this herb since large or frequent doses taken over a long period may be potentially harmful, causing allergic rashes and making the skin more sensitive to sunlight. The herb combines well with Sambucus nigra flowers (Elder) and Mentha x piperita vulgaris (Peppermint) for treating colds and influenza. The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, mildly aromatic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, odontalgic, stimulant, bitter tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. It also contains the anti-inflammatory agent azulene, though the content of this varies even between plants in the same habitat. The herb is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be dried for later use. The fresh leaf can be applied direct to an aching tooth in order to relieve the pain.

Due to the flavonoids they contain, yarrow flowers encourage circulation, lower blood pressure and help stop bleeding anywhere in the body. A couple of cups of hot yarrow, peppermint and elder flower tea is an old remedy for reducing fevers and treating colds, measles, and eruptive diseases. It also helps relieve urinary tract infections and stones. The tea benefits the kidneys. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia and hyperacidity. In China, yarrow is used in poultices and to ease stomach ulcers. It is said to stop excessive blood flower especially well in the pelvic region, so is used to decrease excessive menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and hemorrhoids. Chewing the fresh leaves relieves toothache. Yarrow contains a chemical also present in chamomile and chamazulene, that helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic.

Other Uses:
Compost; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential; Hair; Liquid feed; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles, ants and flies. The plant has been burnt in order to ward off mosquitoes. A liquid plant feed can be made from the leaves. You fill a container with the leaves and then add some water. Leave it to soak for a week or two and then dilute the rather smelly dark liquid, perhaps 10 – 1 with water though this figure is not crucial. This plant is an essential ingredient of ‘Quick Return’ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The fragrant seeds have been used to impart a pleasant smell indoors. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used medicinally. The leaves contain from 0.6 to 0.85% essential oil. The leaves have been used as a cosmetic cleanser for greasy skin. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowers. A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by its roots.

Known Hazards:  Extended use of this plant, either medicinally or in the diet, can cause allergic skin rashes or lead to photosensitivity in some people. Theoretically yarrow can enhance the sedative effects of other herbs (e.g. valerian, kava, German chamomile, hops) & sedative drugs. Possible sedative & diuretic effects from ingesting large amounts.

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/Achillea_millefolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+millefolium

Erodium stephanianum

Botanical Name: Erodium stephanianum
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Erodium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Geraniales

Habitat : Erodium stephanianum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Mongolia, Siberia and the Himalayas..It grows on dry slopes, sandy river banks and as a weed of cultivation. Open placs at elevations of 2500 – 4000 metres in Nepal.

Description:
Erodium stephanianum is an annual plant. It is 45 cm or more tall, retrose-pubescent hairy. Leaves pinnatisect into 1-2 segment pairs; segments pinnatifid-partite into linear acute lobes. Stipules 5-7 mm long, lanceolate, pubescent, long ciliate. Bracts similar but smaller, scarious. Peduncles 2-3 flowered, 4-6.5 cm long. Sepals lanceolate, oblong, ± 5.5 mm long, up to 7 mm in fruit, ciliate, 3-nerved, hairy on the nerves, margin broad membranous, awn 2.5-3 mm long. Petals pink, slightly exceeding sepals, base ciliate. Filaments 4-4.5 mm long, base dilated, 2-toothed and ciliate. Beak 2.4-3.4 cm long, appressed pubescent. Mericarps 6 mm long, white setose, pits 2, not prominent.It blooms during June-July.

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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.

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 many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a sunny well-drained position and a limy soil or at least one that is not acid.

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

Medicinal Uses:
The aerial parts of the plant are antirheumatic, antiseptic and astringent. They are used in the treatment of acute and chronic rheumatalgia, diarrhoea, dysentery and enteritis. The plant has also shown antibacterial action against Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Pneumococci, Shigella flexneri etc. A paste of the plant is applied externally in the treatment of gout.

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
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200012381
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Erodium+stephanianum

Eleutherococcus trifoliatus

Botanical Name : Eleutherococcus trifoliatus
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily:Aralioideae
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Acanthopanax trifoliatus.
Common Name:Climing Ginseng

Habitat: Eleutherococcus trifoliatus is native to E. AsiaHimalayas. It grows in the thickets. Mountainous areas in Vietnam, occasionally on the edges of forests.
Description:
Eleutherococcus trifoliatus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is scandent or climbers. It has branches with scattered, recurved prickles. Petiole 2-6 cm, glabrous, prickly; petiolules 2-8 mm; leaflets 3(-5), ovate, elliptic-ovate, o r oblong, 4-10 × 2-4.5 cm, papery, adaxially glabrous or slightly setose on midvein and veins, secondary veins 5 or 6 pairs, base cuneate, margin serrulate, apex acute or acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme of umbels or a compound umbel, borne on leafy shoots, with 3-10 umbels; peduncles 2-7 cm; pedicels 1-2 cm. Calyx with 5 teeth, glabrous. Ovary 2-carpellate; styles united to middle. Fruit globose, laterally compressed, 3-4 mm; style bifid, ca. 1.5 mm. It is in flower during Aug-Nov, and fruit matutes in Sep-Dec.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution
Cultivation:
Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun. Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils. All parts of the plant are particularly fragrant. Plants are hardy to between -10 and -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification and can be very slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 30cm long in a cold frame. Root cuttings in late winter. Division of suckers in the dormant season
Edible Uses: Young leaves – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic; Infertility; Nervine; Tonic.

The root bark and stem bark contain triterpenoid saponinsand oleanolic acid.They are used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago, ostealgia and impotence. The bark is also considered to be a stimulant and tonic for the central nervous system and to improve the memory. The bark is collected in the summer and autumn, wrapped to bring out the aroma and then thoroughly dried. The plant is used in the treatment of colds, coughs, neuralgia, rheumatism and water on the knee.

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/Eleutherococcus
http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=4145
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242320223
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eleutherococcus+trifoliatus

Eleutherococcus spinosus

 

Botanical Name : Eleutherococcus spinosus
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily:Aralioideae
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : E. pentaphyllus, Acanthopanax spinosus.

Habitat : Eleutherococcus spinosus is native to E. AsiaChina, C. Japan. It grows in the woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;

Description:
Eleutherococcus spinosus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

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Cultivation:
Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun[200]. Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds. Considered to be a part of E. sieboldianus by some botanists, but this species has smaller leaves. It is closely related to and often confused with E. divaricatus. There is a spineless form of this species, known as Eleutherococcus spinosus inermis (Makino) H. Ohashi.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification and can be very slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 30cm long in a cold frame. Root cuttings in late winter. Division of suckers in the dormant season
Edible Uses: Tea…..Leaves and young budlings – cooked. The dried leaves are a tea substitute. Although we have no record of the seed being edible, it is said to contain 5.6 – 30.6% protein, 5.6 – 36.6% fat and 2.1 – 3.5% ash.
Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic; Tonic.
The cortex of the root is tonic and analgesic. It is used to treat general debility, rheumatic pains and many other complaints. A wine made from the root is considered to be a general tonic for restoring vigour and restoring sexual potency.

Other Uses:...Hedge; Hedge……Plants can be used as a hedge

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/Eleutherococcus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eleutherococcus+spinosus