Tag Archives: Galápagos Islands

Hibiscus diversifolius

 

Botanical Name : Hibiscus diversifolius
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species:H. diversifolius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Swamp Hibiscus

Habitat : It occurs in tropical Africa, New Guinea, the Philippines, many Pacific Islands, Central and South America, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Norfolk Island as well as the states of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. There is disagreement over its native range. Some sources consider it native only to Africa, and naturalised elsewhere; but it is considered a native in New Zealand and Australia

It is found in low, swampy areas; in Africa it may occur inland or near the coast, but in all other continents it occurs only in coastal areas. This distribution, together with genomic evidence, suggests that it originated in Africa, and colonised the other continents through long-range salt-water dispersal.

Description:
Hibiscus diversifolius is a deciduous Shrub. It is a widespread species of hibiscus. It grows to between 1 and 2 metres in height, with prickly stems and yellow flowers with a maroon basal spot during spring summer.

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The stems have many short prickles.

The leaves near the ends of the stems can be undivided and the lower leaves can have either three or five lobes, but the lobing is only shallow. The leaf margins are irregularly toothed. The leaf surfaces are rough to touch because of the short, stiff, bristle-like hairs.

The flowers are pale yellow with purple centres.

Flowers are carried in arching terminal sprays and are held facing the ground. Blooms are produced in the warmer months.

The calyx is covered with stiff bristles and the nectary is conspicuous.

The seed pod is also covered with rigid bristly hairs.

It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. A frost-tender shrub, it can be grown as an annual in temperate climates where it can flower and set seed in its first year of growth. Plants can also be overwintered in a cold greenhouse if the winter is fairly mild. As the specific name of this plant suggests, the leaves vary widely in shape. The first leaves to be produced are semi-circular in shape, but later leaves are distinctly three-lobed. Plants are self-fertile.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates inside 2 weeks and should be potted up into individual pots as soon as it is large enough to handle. Grow the plants on fast in a fairly rich compost and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. These will be difficult to overwinter unless kept in heated environment.

Edible Uses:
Young leaf buds – they are good either raw or cooked. The young leaves can also be eaten, they are mild and quite mucilaginous, making a pleasant addition to the salad bowl. Flowers – raw or cooked with other foods. They have a very mild flavour and are very mucilaginous. They make a very acceptable and beautiful addition to the salad bowl. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient.
Known Hazards: Some caution should be observed when using this plant because there is a report that it might be used to procure abortions. No further details are found.

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/Hibiscus_diversifolius
http://www.hibiscus.org/species/hdiversifolius.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+diversifolius

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Rhizophora mangle

Botanical Name : Rhizophora mangle
Family: Rhizophoraceae
Genus: Rhizophora
Species: R. mangle
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Name: Red mangrove

Habitat : Red mangroves are found in subtropical and tropical areas in both hemispheres, extending to approximately 28°N to S latitude.(Tropical America from Bermuda through West Indies to Florida. Northern Mexico south to Brazil and Ecuador including Galapagos Islands and north-western Peru. Western Africa from Senegal to Nigeria; Angola, Melanesia, Polynesia (Little, 1983).) They thrive on coastlines in brackish water and in swampy salt marshes. Because they are well adapted to salt water, they thrive where many other plants fail and create their own ecosystems, the mangals. Red mangroves are often found near white mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa), black mangroves (Avicennia germinans), and buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). Through stabilisation of their surroundings, mangroves create a community for other plants and animals (such as the mangrove crab). Though rooted in soil, mangrove roots are often submerged in water for several hours or on a permanent basis. The roots are usually sunk in a sand or clay base, which allows for some protection from the waves.

Rhizophora mangle grows on aerial prop roots, which arch above the water level, giving stands of this tree the characteristic “mangrove” appearance. It is a valuable plant in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas coastal ecosystems. In its native habitat it is threatened by invasive species such as the Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius). The red mangrove itself is considered an invasive species in some locations, such as Hawaii, where it forms dense, monospecific thickets. R. mangle thickets, however, provide nesting and hunting habitat for a diverse array of organisms, including fish, birds, and crocodiles.

Description:
Red mangroves are easily distinguishable through their unique prop roots system and viviparous seeds. The prop roots of a red mangrove suspend it over the water, thereby giving it extra support and protection. They also help the tree to combat hypoxia by allowing it a direct intake of oxygen through its root structure.

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Tree 5–20(-30) m tall, 20–50(-70) cm in diameter with arching stilt roots 2–4.5 m high. Bark gray or gray-brown, smooth and thin on small trunks, becoming furrowed and thick; inner bark reddish or pinkish. Leaves opposite or elliptical, acute at tip and base, entire, without visible veins, thick, leathery, glabrous, 6–12 cm long, 2.5–6 cm wide, shiny green upper surface, yellow-green, black-dotted underneath. Petiole 1.5–2 cm long. Stipules paired, leaving ring scar. Flowers mostly 2–4 on forked stalk 4–7 cm long in leaf axil, pale yellow, ca 2 cm across. Bell-shaped hypanthium ca 5 mm long with 4 widely spreading, narrow, leathery, pale yellow sepals 12 mm long; petals 4, 1 cm long, curved downward, whitish but turning brown, cottony on inner side; stamens 8, stalkless. Ovary inferior conical, 2-celled with 2 ovules each cell; style slender; stigma 2-lobed. Berry, ovoid, 3 cm long, dark brown. Seed 1, viviparous, becoming cigar-shaped, to 25 cm long and 12 mm in diameter (Little, 1983). They are a darker shade of green on the tops than on the bottoms. The tree produces pale pink flowers in the spring.

Cultivation:
Since natural regeneration is so good, this species is not often cultivated, but it has been planted, for example, to stabilize the banks of brackish aquaculture enclosures. Direct seeding yields ca 90% survival in Rhizophora and Avicennia. Air-layering and the planting of propagules have both been successful in Florida (NAS, 1980a).
Chemical Constituents:
Per 100 g, the leaf is reported to contain, 10.7 g protein, 3.4 g fat, 77.0 g total carbohydrate, 14.5 g fiber, and 8.9 g ash (Duke and Atchley, 1983 in ed). Per 100 g, the leaf meal is reported to contain 5.6 g H2O, 7.5 g protein, 3.6 g fat, 59.3 g NFE, 13.9 g fiber, 10.1 g ash, 1.350 mg Ca, 140 mg P, 15.2 mg Fe, 650 mg K, 600 mg b-carotene equivalent, 88 mg Mg, 30 mg Mn, 3.5 mg Cu, 0.52 mg Co, 4.3 mg Zn, 54 mg I, 13 mg thiamine, 19 mg riboflavin, 240 mg niacin, 32 mg folic acid, 5.3 mg pantothenic acid, and 46.0 mg choline (Morton, 1965). I suspect that the vitamins are off by a magnitude or two. Something is wrong with the amino acid figures as well, but perhaps the proportions are worth repeating, arginine 1.1 : lysine 0.9 : methionine 0.421 cystine 0.301 : glycine 0.801. Another analysis of the leaf tablets shows, per 100 g, 790 mg S, 8.3 mg Cu, 920 mg Na, 8.3 mg B, 224 mg chlorophyll, 0.68 mg folic acid, 5.2 ppm cobalt, and 144 ppm F (Morton, 1965). Fresh leaves contain 65.6% moisture and ca 0.1% chlorophyll. Dry bark contains 10–40% tannin, aerial roots ca 10.5%

Medicinal Uses:
The red bark of the South American mangrove tree has been used for many years by the natives as a febrifuge but more recently it has been claimed that it is a specific in leprosy. They administer a beginning dose of one fluidrachm (3.75 mils) of the fluidextract twice a day which is gradually increased until the patient is taking a fluidounce and a half (45 mils) daily.

Folk Medicine:
Red mangrove is a folk remedy for angina, asthma, backache, boils, ciguatera, convulsions, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, enuresis, epistaxis, eye ailments, fever, filariasis, hemoptysis, hemorrhage, inflammation, jaundice, leprosy, lesions, leucorrhea, malignancies, scrofula, short wind, sores, sorethroat, syphilis, tuberculosis, uterorrhagia, and wounds. One Cali doctor reported a cure of throat cancer, with gargles of mangrove bark The bark of the tree is boiled (1 handful of chopped bark in 1 gallon of water for 10 minutes) and used as a hot bath for very stubborn or serious sores, skin conditions, leprosy and swellings.

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Other Different Uses:
Timber of the mangrove is used for cabinetry, construction, piling, poles, posts, shipbuilding, and wharves. Duke (1972) notes that in Panama it is being studied for its telephone pole potential. In the Choco it is being exploited for the pulp industry. Cattle will eat mangrove leaf meal after CaCO3 has been added to raise the pH. Morton (1965) even describes a wine made from mangrove leaf and raisin.Amerindians ate the starchy interior of the fruit and hypocotyl during hard times (Morton, 1965). Dried hypocotyls have been smoked like cigars. Dried leaves have been used in Florida as a tobacco substitute. African children use the dried fruits as whistles (Irvine, 1961). In Costa Rica, concentrated bark extracts are used to stain floors and furniture, a habit shared with Africa’s Ashantis. Cuna Indians make fishing lines from the brown branches. Although some have speculated that Rhizophora plantings can be used to extend or preserve precarious shores. Hou resurrects a quote suggesting the contrary “mangrove follows the silting up of a coastal area rather than precedes and initiates the accumulation of mud or other soil…it establishes itself merely on accrescent coasts” (Hou, 1958). Morton (1965), however, notes that the American Sugar Company introduced it in 1902 as a soil retainer on the mud flats of Molokai. According to Garcia-Barriga (1975) Kino de Colombia, resin from the red mangrove, has several medicinal uses.

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.

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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizophora_mangle
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Rhizophora_mangle.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Sorghum vulgare

Botanical Name: Sorghum vulgare
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily:Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Sorghum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms: Sorghum Seeds. Sorghum Saccharatum (Moench). Guinea Corn.

Common Name:  Broomcorn.

Part Used: Seeds.

Habitat: Sorghum vulgare native to Australia, with some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Spain. Italy and south of Europe.

Description:
Known as Millet or Guinea Corn. Is cultivated in the same way as oats or barley in northern Europe; the seeds are small, round and white, the plant is canelike and similar to Indian Corn, but producing large heads of the small grain. Sorghum is generally classified under two varieties, saccharine and non-saccharine. The saccharine sorghums are not used for producing sugar owing to the difficulty of crystallization.

Sorghum vulgare is an annual grass like other sorghums, it grows 6 to 15 ft (1.8 to 4.6 m) tall, although dwarf varieties are only 3 to 7 ft (0.91 to 2.13 m) in height. The upper peduncle is normally 8 to 18 in (200 to 460 mm) long, topped by a branched inflorescence or panicle, from which the seed-bearing fibers originate. The fibers are usually 12 to 24 in (300 to 610 mm) long, but can be up to 36 in (910 mm) long; they are branched toward the tip where the flowers and seed grow. The seeds number about 30,000/lb (70,000/kg), with feed value similar to oats. A ton of the fibrous panicle makes 900 to 1200 brooms……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Plants selected for long-panicle branches probably originated in central Africa, but the variety was known to be used for broom-making in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. It was first described in Italy in the late 1500s

The species is grown for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warm climates worldwide and naturalized in many places. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).

Uses:
It yields a very white flour which is used for making bread, and the grain is used for feeding cattle, horses and poultry. The grain is diuretic and demulcent if taken as a decoction. The plant is extensively cultivated in America for the manufacture of brooms and brushes.

The decoction of 2 oz. of seeds to 1 quart of water, boiled down to 1 pint, is used in urinary and kidney complaints.

In the semi-arid districts of western America it is reported that cattle have been poisoned by eating the green sorghum of the second growth; possibly due to hydrocyanic acid in the leaves.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorghum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brocor74.html

Golapn jam (Syzygium jambos)

Botanical Name :Syzygium jambos
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. jambos
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

syn. Eugenia jambos L.; Jambosa jambos Millsp.; Jambosa vulgaris DC.; Caryophyllus jambos Stokes

Common Name :Golapn jam, Boga Jamuk , Malabar Plum, champakka, chom pu or chom-phu. Terms like “plum rose“, “water apple”, “Malay apple“, “jambrosade”,and “pomarrosa”, or the English equivalent, “rose apple”. Several of these names also are applied to other species of Syzygium, while “jambu” can also mean a guava.

Habitat :.Syzygium jambos is native to Southeast Asia but is naturalized in India, especially the state of Kerala. It has also been introduced widely on every continent except Antarctica, and it has become established and invasive in several regions. Concern has been expressed concerning the threat to several ecosystems, including those on several Hawaiian islands, Réunion, the Galápagos Islands, parts of Australia and the warmer regions of the Americas.

Description:
Syzygium jambos is a large shrub or small-to-medium-sized tree, typically three to 15 metres high, with a tendency to low branching. Its leaves and twigs are glabrous and the bark, though dark brown, is fairly smooth too, with little relief or texture. The leaves are lanceolate, 2cm to 4 cm broad, 10 cm to 20 cm long, pointed, base cuneate with hardly any petiole, lively red when growing, but dark, glossy green on attaining full size. The flowers are in small terminal clusters, white or greenish white, the long, numerous stamens giving them a diameter of 5 – 8 cm. In temperate regions the tree is summer-flowering.

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The edible fruit of Syzygium jambos is shaped like some kinds of guava, to which the plant is fairly closely related. In fact the fruit is so like the guava in appearance that people unfamiliar with it may mistake it for a guava on sight. However, the fragrance, flavour and texture are different, and instead of containing dozens of small, hard seeds set in a jelly-like tissue, as a guava does, the fruit of Syzygium jambos usually contains one or two large, unarmoured seeds about a cm in diameter, lying loose in a slightly fluffy cavity when ripe. Shaking a fruit to feel whether the seeds rattle, gives some indication whether it is ripe. The skin is thin and waxy. The flowers are described by some as fragrant, though this appears to be a variable attribute. The ripe fruit however, has a strong, pleasant floral bouquet, hence such common names as “Rose apple” and “pomarrosa”.
Click to see the pictures> ..(01)....(1)..(2)...(3)……..(4).…….(5)....(6).

There are many varieties of Syzygium jambos world wide, including nondescript feral trees. In Thailand the commonest cultivated variety bears a pale green fruit. Malaysian varieties generally have red skins. In many regions the fruit is a shade of pale yellow, often with a slight blush. The skin is thin and waxy, and the hollow core contains a small amount of insignificant fluff. The flesh is crisp and watery, and the taste is characteristic, which leads to some fanciful descriptions such as: “like a cross between nashi and bell pepper, with a very mild rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste.” There seems to be considerable variation in flavour if such a description has any merit; in South Africa for example, there is no noticeable bitter aftertaste, but the bouquet is decidedly assertive, whether one regards it as rose-like or not.

Edible Uses:
Rich in vitamin C, the fruit can be eaten raw or used in various regional recipes. In South-East Asian countries, rose apple fruit is frequently served with spiced sugar.

The wood is dense and accordingly is used as a source of charcoal.

The tree is variously rich in tannins that are of some antimicrobial interest. Some parts of the tree are used in regional traditional medicine.

Medicinal Uses:
Useful part : Bark,leaves & Fruits.

Plants have long been used as medicines for treating a variety of different diseases and complaints. Phytotherapy in Asia is particularly widespread. Plant preparations and medications continue to be used in the treatment of numerous disorders, including eczema, malaria, respiratory disorders and infectious diseases.

. The fruit has been used as a tonic for the brain and liver and as a diuretic.
The flowers are believed to reduce fever, and the seeds were used to treat diarrhea, dysentery and catarrh.
In South-American cultures, the seeds have additionally been used as an anesthetic,

Recent studies have shown S. jambos extracts to have a similar analgesic efficacy to morphine in rats.

S. jambos leaf decoctions were also used traditionally in the tre

Bark of the S. jambos tree is used to treat asthma, bronchitis and hoarseness.

S. jambos leaf extracts have also been shown to possess antiviral activity towards herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 and towards vesicular somatitis virus.

The antiseptic properties of some members of the genus Syzygium have been extensively studied. In the commercially most important species Syzygium aromaticum (clove), the antiseptic properties are well known. Numerous studies have reported on the antibacterial.

Aurvedic properities:
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, diarrhea, colic, wounds, ulcers, stomatitis, arthritis, and general debility.

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/Syzygium_jambos
http://ayurvedicmedicinalplants.com/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=26&page=view&catid=19&key=12
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140127/

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