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Taxus canadensis

Botanical Name: Taxus canadensis
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus
Species: T. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names:Canada yew or Canadian yew.

Habitat : Taxus canadensis is native to central and eastern North America, thriving in swampy woods, ravines, riverbanks and on lake shores. Locally called simply “yew”, this species is also referred to as American yew or ground-hemlock.
Description:
Taxus canadensis is usually a sprawling an evergreen conferious Tree growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a slow rate. It sometimes forms strong upright central leaders, but these cannot be formed from spreading branches, only from the original leader of the seedling plant. The shrub has thin scaly brown bark. The leaves are lanceolate, flat, dark green, 1–2.5 cm long and 1.5 mm broad, arranged in two flat rows either side of the branch.

The seed cones are highly modified, each cone containing a single seed partly surrounded by a modified scale which develops into a soft, bright red berry-like structure called an aril, open at the end. The seeds are eaten by thrushes, waxwings and other birds, which disperse the hard seeds undamaged in their droppings. The male cones are globose, 3 mm diameter. It is a monoecious plant – one of the few in the genus.
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained. Plants are very shade tolerant. This species is the most cold-hardy member of the genus – dormant plants will tolerate very heavy frosts though the young growth in spring can be damaged by a few degrees of frost. The plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Other reports say that this species usually has monoecious flowers (separate male and female flowers, but both borne on the same plant).

Propagation:
Seed – can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time. Harvesting the seed ‘green’ (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 8mm in diameter and containing a single seed. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit’s centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.
Medicinal Uses :
The Canadian yew is a very poisonous plant, though it was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used minute amounts of the leaves both internally and externally in order to treat a variety of complaints including rheumatism, fevers, influenza, expelling afterbirth and dispelling clots. Modern research has shown that it contains the substance ‘taxol’ in its shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant is abortifacient, analgesic, antirheumatic, antitumor, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and pectoral.

Other Uses :.…Dye……A green dye can be obtained from the leaves.

Known Hazards : All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly 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/Taxus_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taxus+canadensis

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Betula pubescens

Botanical Name: Betula pubescens
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. pubescens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Betula alba var. pubescens, Betula alba subsp. pubescens

Common Names: Downy birch, Moor birch, White birch, European white birch or Hairy birch

Habitat:Betula pubescens is native to Most of Europe, including Britain, east to W. Siberia and central Asia. It grows on open woodland and heaths, usually on acid soils, from sea level to 830 metres.

Description:
Betula pubescens is a deciduous tree growing to 10 to 20 m (33 to 66 ft) tall (rarely to 27 m), with a slender crown and a trunk up to 70 cm (28 in) (exceptionally 1 m) diameter, with smooth but dull grey-white bark finely marked with dark horizontal lenticels. The shoots are grey-brown and finely downy. The leaves are ovate-acute, 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2.0 in) long and 1.5 to 4.5 cm (0.6 to 1.8 in) broad, with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, produced in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is a pendulous, cylindrical aggregate 1 to 4 cm (0.4 to 1.6 in) long and 5 to 7 mm (0.2 to 0.3 in) wide which disintegrates at maturity, releasing the individual seeds; these are 2 mm (0.08 in) long with two small wings along the side……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained light loamy soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates a wet position, succeeding in poorly drained soils. Fairly wind tolerant. Prefers an acid soil. A very ornamental tree and fast growing, capable of growing 1 metre a year but it is short-lived. It is one of the first trees to colonize open land and it creates a suitable environment for other woodland trees to follow. These trees eventually shade out the birch trees. Trees take about 15 years from seed to produce their own seed. Although closely related, it does not usually hybridize with B. pendula. It hybridizes freely with B. pendula according to another report. A superb tree for encouraging wildlife, it has over 200 associated insect species. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. It is also a good companion plant, its root activity working to improve the soil. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:
Inner bark – cooked or dried, ground into a powder then used with cereals for making bread etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on sunny days following a heavy frost. The sap is often concentrated into a sugar by boiling off the water. Between 4 and 7 litres can be drawn off a mature tree in a day and this will not kill the tree so long as the tap hole is filled up afterwards. However, prolonged or heavy tapping will kill the tree. A beer can be fermented from the sap. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”. Young leaves – raw or cooked. Young catkins. A tea is made from the leaves and another tea is made from the essential oil in the inner bark.
Medicinal Uses:

Anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, diaphoretic. The bark is diuretic and laxative. The inner bark is bitter and astringent, it is used in treating intermittent fevers. An oil obtained from the inner bark is astringent and is used in the treatment of various skin afflictions, especially eczema and psoriasis. The bark is usually obtained from trees that have been felled for timber and can be distilled at any time of the year. The buds are balsamic. The young shoots and leaves secrete a resinous substance which has acid properties, when combined with alkalis it is a tonic laxative. The leaves are anticholesterolemic and diuretic. They also contain phytosides, which are effective germicides. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of gout, dropsy and rheumatism, and is recommended as a reliable solvent of kidney stones. The young leaves and leaf buds are harvested in the spring and dried for later use. A decoction of the leaves and bark is used for bathing skin eruptions. The vernal sap is diuretic. The boiled and powdered wood has been applied to chafed skin. Moxa is made from the yellow fungous excrescences of the wood, which sometimes swell out of the fissures. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Adhesive; Besom; Charcoal; Compost; Dye; Essential; Fibre; Fungicide; Miscellany; Paper; Pioneer; Polish; Repellent; Tannin; Thatching; Waterproofing; Wood.

The bark is used to make drinking vessels, canoe skins, roofing tiles etc. It is waterproof, durable, tough and resinous. Only the outer bark is removed, this does not kill the tree. It is most easily removed in late spring to early summer. The bark was pressed flat and stored until the following spring. When required for making canoes it would be heated over a fire to make it pliable for shaping to the canoe frame. A pioneer species, it readily invades old fields, cleared or burnt-over land and creates conditions suitable for other woodland trees to become established. Since it is relatively short-lived and intolerant of shade, it is eventually out-competed by these trees. A tar-oil is obtained from the white bark in spring. It has fungicidal properties and is also used as an insect repellent. It makes a good shoe polish. Another report says that an essential oil is obtained from the bark and this, called ‘Russian Leather’ has been used as a perfume. A glue is made from the sap. Cordage can be made from the fibres of the inner bark. This inner bark can also be separated into thin layers and used as a substitute for oiled paper. A decoction of the inner bark is used to preserve cordage, it is rich in tannin. The bark contains up to 16% tannin. A brown dye is obtained from the inner bark. An oil similar to Wintergreen oil (obtained from Gaultheria procumbens) is obtained from the inner bark. It is used medicinally and also makes a refreshing tea. The young branches are very flexible and are used to make whisks, besoms etc. They are also used in thatching and to make wattles. The leaves are a good addition to the compost heap, improving fermentation. A black paint is obtained from the soot of the plant[61]. A high quality charcoal is obtained from the bark. It is used by artists, painters etc. Wood – soft, light, durable. It is used for a wide range of purposes including furniture, tool handles, carving, toys etc. It is a source of charcoal that is used by artists and is also pulped and used for making paper.

Known Hazards: The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.

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.

Resourcs:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_pubescens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+pubescens

Betula glandulosa

Botanical Name : Betula glandulosa
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Chamaebetula
Species: B. glandulosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms:Betula crenata, Betula glandulifera.

Common Names: American Dwarf Birch, Resin Birch, Shrub Birch,Scrub Birch

Habitat :Betula glandulosa is native to North-western N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska, southwards on mountain ranges. It grows on streambanks, marsh margins, lakes and bogs, also found on alpine slopes.

Description:
Betula glandulosa is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub typically growing to 1–3 m tall, often forming dense thickets. The trunks are slender, rarely over 5–10 cm diameter, with smooth, dark brown bark. The leaves are nearly circular to oval, 0.5–3 cm long and 1.2.5 cm broad, with a toothed margin. The fruiting catkins are erect, 1-2.5 cm long and 5–12 mm broad…CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

It is closely related to the Dwarf Birch (Betula nana), and is sometimes treated as a subspecies of it, as B. nana subsp. glandulosa. It is distinguished from typical B. nana by the presence of glandular warts on the shoots and longer leaf petioles. Hybrids with several other birches occur.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Shade tolerant. B. glandulifera, mentioned above as a synonym of this species, might be a separate species in its own right. This species is native to areas with very cold winters and often does not do well in milder zones. It can be excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to frost damage. The branches are covered in aromatic glands, and the leaves are pleasantly fragrant when crushed. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to B. nana. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:Young leaves and catkins – raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and catkins are eaten raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.

Medicinal Uses: The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative.

Other Uses: The plant is valuable for ground cover. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment

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.
Resurces:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_glandulosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+glandulosa

Alnus nepalensis

 

Botanical Name : Alnus nepalensis
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
Subgenus: Alnus
Species: A. nepalensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names: Utis in Nepali and Nepalese alder in English.

Habitat : Alnus nepalensis occurs throughout the Himalaya at 500–3000 m of elevation from Pakistan through Nepal and Bhutan to Yunnan in southwest China. It grows best on deep volcanic loamy soils, but also grows on clay, sand and gravel. It tolerates a wide variety of soil types and grows well in very wet areas. It needs plenty of moisture in the soil and prefers streamside locations, but also grows on slopes.

Description:
Alnus nepalensis is a large deciduous alder tree with silver-gray bark that reaches up to 30 m in height and 60 cm in diameter. The leaves are alternate, simple, shallowly toothed, with prominent veins parallel to each other, 7–16 cm long and 5–10 cm broad. The flowers are catkins, with the male and female flowers separate but produced on the same tree. The male flowers are 10 to 25 cm (4 to 10 in) long and pendulous, while the female flowers are erect, 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 in), with up to eight together in axillary racemes. Unusually for an alder, they are produced in the autumn, with the seeds maturing the following year.

The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It can fix Nitrogen…….CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor 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:
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in very infertile sites. The Nepalese alder is reported to tolerate clay, flooding, fog, gravel, sand, shade, slope, water-logging, and weeds. It is not tolerant of high winds. Grows best in deep well-drained loams or loamy soils of alluvial soils, but ranges from gravel to sand to clay. Prefers an annual rainfall estimated at 50 – 250cm, an annual average temperature in the range of 19 – 23°C, and a pH of 6 – 8. This species is possibly only hardy in the milder areas of Britain. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants 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.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.

Medicinal Uses:
A useful diuretic for reducing swelling of the leg. The juice of the bark is boiled and the gelatinous liquid applied to burns.

Other Uses:
Dye; Fuel; Soil stabilization; Wood.

The bark contains 7% tannin, it is used in dyeing and tanning. It is used to deepen the red colour of madder, Rubia cordifolia. A fast growing species, it is suitable for plantation cultivation in tropical uplands. The tree is locally cultivated by West Java Forest Service to reforest eroded slopes under ever-wet climates. The tree establishes rapidly on areas subject to landslides, binding the soil with its extensive root system and stabilizig the slope. Wood – soft, tough, even grained, rather durable, easily sawn, seasons well and does not warp. It is used to a limited extent in carpentry, house construction, tea boxes, for making furniture, rope bridges etc. A very good timber, it deserves to be more widely used. In India the trees are coppiced every two years for fuel.

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/Alnus_nepalensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+nepalensis

Rhus wallichii

Botanical Name: Rhus wallichii
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. typhina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Equisetopsida:  C. Agardh
Subclass: Magnoliidae Novák ex Takht.
Superorder: Rosanae Takht.

Synonyms: Toxicodendron wallichii var. wallichii, R. vernicifera. DC. pro parte.

Common Names:.…Local Names: Kag Bhalayo, Thulo Bhalayo (Nep)

Habitat: Rhus wallichii is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows on shady and open places in forests and shrubberies at elevations of 300 – 2500 metres.
Description:
Rhus wallichii is a deciduous Tree growing to 8 m (26ft 3in).
It is frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[200]. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Medicinal Uses:….The juice of the leaves is a corrosive vesicant.

Other Uses:
The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. A lacquer is obtained from the sap of this plant. The leaf juice is rubbed onto thread to strengthen it. (This might be due to the presence of tannin which would act as a preservative.) Wood. Used for tools, musical instruments. It is also used to make the handle of the Khukuri, the Nepalese curved knife

Known Hazards : This plant contains toxic substances in the sap that can cause severe irritation to some people.

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/Rhus_typhina
http://www.tropicos.org/Name/1300639
http://www.icimod.org/hkhconservationportal/Plant.aspx?ID=1523
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/tro-1300639
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+wallichii