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Iris kemaonensis


Btanical Name :  Iris kemaonensis
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Section: Pseudoregelia
Species: Iris kemaonensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Iris duthiei Foster
*Iris kamaonensis Wall.
*Iris kingiana Foster
*Iris tigrina Jacquem. ex Baker

Common Name: Kumaon iris

Habitat : Iris kemaonensis is native to East Asia – Himalayas from India to Bhutan and western China. It grows on alpine pastures at elevations of 3500 – 4200 metres.
Description:
Iris kemaonensis is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The leaves are variable in size, they can grow up to between 6–20 cm (2–8 in) long, and between 0.2 and 1 cm wide, at blooming time. Before the plant produces fruit or seed capsules, they extend up to between 34–45 cm (13–18 in) long, taller than the flowers. They are light green, greyish green or yellowish green. They are glaucous, and linear, with a rounded apex. In mild areas, it is semi-evergreen, but generally they are deciduous.
It has a slender short stem, that can grow up to between 5–12 cm (2–5 in) tall.
The stem has 2 to 3 green, lanceolate, (scarious) membranous, spathes (leaves of the flower bud). They can be between 5–6 cm (2–2 in) long and between 1 and 1.8 cm wide. They are scarious (membranous) and acuminate (pointed) at the tips. They can sheath or cover the base of the stem.
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.
The stems hold 1 or 2 terminal (top of stem) flowers, which bloom in late spring, between May and June, (in UK and Europe) and between April and July, (in India).

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The scented flowers, are 4–8 cm (2–3 in) in diameter, they come in shades of purple, from lilac, to lilac-purple, to pale purple. The flowers are spotted, or blotched with a dark colour. They are mottled like the skin of a reptile. The flowers are very similar in form to Iris hookeriana, but similar in shade to Iris kashmiriana.
It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals), known as the ‘standards’.[17] The falls are spatulate (spoon shaped), or obovate, between 3.5–5 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5 cm wide. They have ovate blades.[3][16] In the centre of the petal is a dense beard of white hairs, with yellow, or orange tips. The upright standards are oblanceolate, elliptic,[8] or obovate shaped, are between 4–5 cm (2–2 in) long and 1 cm wide. The standards are paler than the falls.

It has pedicels that are between 1 and 1.5 cm long trumpet shaped perianth tube that 5–7.5 cm (2–3 in) long, which is longer than spathe.[8] It has 2.5-3.2 cm long and 5-6mm wide, style branches, it is dark in the centre and paler at the edges. It has small triangular crests.[3] It has 2-2.3 cm long stamens, 6 cm long ovary, blue filaments, lavender anthers and white pollen.

After the iris has flowered, it produces an globose seed capsule, that is 2–2.5 cm (1–1 in) long, and 1.5 – 1.8 cm wide. They have short beak, taper to a pointed apex and dehisce (split open) laterally. Inside the capsule, are pyriform seeds, which are reddish brown, which have a milky yellow or cream aril (appendage). The seed capsule grows on stems, that are about 45 cm long, above the height of the leaves. This habit is similar to Algerian Iris (Iris unguicularis).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil containing lime. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7.5 or higher. The rhizome is compact and non-stoloniferous. Closely related to Iris dolichosiphon. 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, though it can be done at almost any time. 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.

Medicinal Uses:
The flowers of Iris kemaonensis are used in Tibetan herbal medicine. They are described as having an acrid taste. They are analgesic and ophthalmic, and are used in the treatment of tinnitus (pain in the ears) and to treat weakening of the eyesight.

The seeds of the iris are also used in herbal medicine in Tibet, they also have an acrid taste, are analgesic and are anthelmintic and vermifuge. They are used in the treatment of colic pains, when due to intestinal worms. They are also used to treat hot and cold disorders of the stomach and intestines, and also the pain, below the neck and shoulders.

The roots and the whole of the iris is a stomachic, which can be used on scabies and urticaria.  The roots and leaves of the plant are diuretic, and used to treat bronchitis, dropsy and various liver complaints. When broken down into a powder, they are used to treat sores and pimples. The roots of the plant, are used to treat urinary disorders and kidney troubles. The seeds are used to treat coughs and colds.  In India, they are also used as spasmolytic, febrifuge and antidote for opium addiction.
Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised[65]. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in 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/Iris_kemaonensis
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+kemaonensis

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Prunus americana lanata

 

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

Synonyms: Prunus lanata. (Sudw.)Mack.&Bush.

Habitat : Prunus americana lanata is native to Central and Southern N. America – Indiana to Illinois, south to Texas. It grows on the hillsides and river bottom lands.

Description:
Prunus americana lanata is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in). The leaves are somewhat stout with pubescent, usually glandless petioles; twigs often become somewhat spinelike at the tips. White flowers usually appear before the leaves and are borne in fasicles of two to five on the tip of spur branchlets or from axillary buds formed the previous season. Fruits are yellow to red plums (drupes), at least 0.8 inch (2 cm) long with yellow flesh and a compressed stone. Although this species sometimes produces small, hard plums, the fruits are generally fleshy and highly palatable. Occassionally trees cultivated for plums escape and persist. Horticultural varieties can be distinguished from the native species by their larger petals, smaller flower clusters (one to three per node), and sometimes by the gland-tipped teeth of the leaves.

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It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation;
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. 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.

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.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Used mainly in jellies. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter, it has a thick succulent flesh and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
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; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Wood – heavy, hard, close-grained, strong. The tree is too small for the wood to be of commercial value.

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 : 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.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana+lanata
http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_American_plum.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_americana

Buxus sempervirens

Botanical Name :Buxus sempervirens
Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Buxus
Species: B. sempervirens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Buxales

Synonym : Dudgeon.

Common Names :Common box, European box, or boxwood

Habitat : Buxus sempervirens is native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia, from southern England south to northern Morocco, and east through the northern Mediterranean region to Turkey. Buxus colchica of western Caucasus and B. hyrcana of northern Iran and eastern Caucasus are commonly treated as synonyms of B. sempervirens

Description:
Buxus sempervirens is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 1–9 m (3 ft 3 in–29 ft 6 in) tall, with a trunk up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in diameter (exceptionally to 10 m tall and 45 cm diameter). Arranged in opposite pairs along the stems, the leaves are green to yellow-green, oval, 1.5–3 cm long, and 0.5–1.3 cm broad. The hermaphrodite flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, with no petals, and are insect pollinated; the fruit is a three-lobed capsule containing 3-6 seeds

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Box in its familiar dwarfed state is merely a shrub, but when left to grow naturally it will become a small tree 12 to 15 feet in height, rarely exceeding 20 feet, with a trunk about 6 inches in diameter covered with a rugged, greyish bark, that of the branches being yellowish. It belongs to the family Buxacece, a very small family of only six genera and about thirty species, closely related to the Spurge family – Euphorbiaceae. Only this evergreen species has been utilized in medicine.

Its twigs are densely leafy and the leaves are about 1/2 inch in length, ovate, entire, smooth, thick, coriaceous and dark green. They have a peculiar, rather disagreeable odour and a bitter and somewhat astringent taste. The flowers are in heads, a terminal female flower, surrounded by a number of male flowers. The fruit dehisces explosively the inner layer of the pericarp separating from the outer and shooting out the seed by folding into a U-shape.

Constituents:  The leaves have been found to contain besides a small amount of tannin and unimportant constituents, a butyraceous volatile oil and three alkaloids: (i) Buxine, the important constituent, chiefly responsible for the bitter taste and now regarded as identical with the Berberine of Nectander bark, (ii) Parabuxine, (iii) Parabuxonidine, which turns turmeric paper deep red. The bark contains chlorophyll, wax, resin, argotized tallow, gum, lignin, sulphates of potassium and lime, carbonates of lime and magnesia, phosphates of lime, iron and silica.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
The wood in its native countries is considered diaphoretic, being given in decoction as an alterative for rheumatism and secondary syphilis. Used as a substitute for guaiacum in the treatment of venereal disease when sudorifics are considered to be the correct specifics.

It has been found narcotic and sedative in full doses; emetico-cathartic and convulsant in overdose. The tincture was formerly used as a bitter tonic and antiperiodic and had the reputation of curing leprosy.

A volatile oil distilled from the wood has been prescribed in cases of epilepsy. The oil has been employed for piles and also for toothache.

The leaves, which have a nauseous taste, have sudorific, alterative and cathartic properties being given in powder, in which form they are also an excellent vermifuge.

Various extracts and perfumes were formerly made from the leaves and bark. A decoction was recommended by some writers as an application to promote the growth of the hair. The leaves and sawdust boiled in Iye were used to dye hair an auburn colour.

Dried and powdered, the leaves are still given to horses for the purpose of improving their coats. The powder is regarded by carters as highly poisonous, to be given with great care. In Devonshire, farriers still employ the old-fashioned remedy of powdered Box leaves for bot-worm in horses.

In former days, Box was the active ingredient in a once-famous remedy for the bite of a mad dog. The leaves were formerly used in place of quinine, and as a fever reducer

The timber, though small, is valuable on account of its hardness and heaviness, being the hardest and heaviest of all European woods. It is of a delicate yellow colour, dense in structure with a fine uniform grain, which gives it unique value for the wood-engraver, the most important use to which it is put being for printing blocks and engraving plates. An edge of this wood stands better than tin or lead, rivalling brass in its wearing power. A large amount is used in the manufacture of measuring rules, various mathematical instruments, flutes and other musical instruments and the wooden parts of tools, for which a perfectly rigid and non-expansive material is required, as well as for toilet boxes, pillrounders and similar articles.

‘The root is likewise yellow and harder than the timber, but of greater beauty and more fit for dagger haftes, boxes and suchlike. Turners and cuttlers do call this wood Dudgeon, wherewith they make Dudgeonhafted daggers.’

In France, Boxwood has been used as a substitute for hops and the branches and leaves of Box have been recommended as by far the best manure for the vine, as it is said no plant by its decomposition affords a greater quantity of vegetable manure.

Other Uses:
Slow growth of box renders the wood (“boxwood”) very hard (possibly the hardest in Europe) and heavy, and free of grain produced by growth rings, making it ideal for cabinet-making, the crafting of clarinets, engraving, marquetry, woodturning, tool handles, mallet heads and as a substitute for ivory. The noted English engraver Thomas Bewick pioneered the use of boxwood blocks for engraving.

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/Buxus_sempervirens
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/box—67.html

 

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Why You are More Creative After You Sleep

sleep, sleeping, insomnia, creative, creativity, problem solving, resolutions, nappingMost people think of the sleeping brain as similar to a computer that has “gone to sleep” — they believe that it does nothing productive. But this is incorrect. Sleep enhances performance, learning and memory. And most unappreciated of all, sleep improves the creative ability to uncover novel connections among seemingly unrelated ideas.

Some large companies provide EnergyPods, leather recliners with hoods to block noise and light, to help employees take naps and return to work refreshed.

.Sleep assists the brain in flagging unrelated ideas and memories, forging connections among them that increase the odds that a creative idea or insight will surface. After sleep, people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas.

Business attitudes toward sleep may be starting to shift.

Claire Stapleton, a spokeswoman for Google, says “grassroots” interest in sleep led to an on-campus talk by Sara C. Mednick, a napping expert. Google also installed EnergyPods, leather recliners with egglike hoods that block noise and light, that allow employees to take naps at work. Other companies that have installed EnergyPods include Cisco Systems and Procter & Gamble.

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