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Taraxacum heterolepis

Botanical Name ; Taraxacum heterolepis
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum heterolepis is native to E. Asia – Northeastern China. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Description:
Taraxacum heterolepis is a perennial plant. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
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 well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Coffee; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The roasted root is a coffee substitute. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.

Medicinal Uses:
Cancer; Galactogogue; Hepatic.

The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer. A decoction of the whole plant is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow.

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/Taraxacum
http://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+heterolepis

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Prunus capsica

Botanical Name: Prunus capsica
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Prunoideae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Section: Cerasus
Species :P. capsica
Kingdom : Plantae
Phylum/Division : Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Common Name: Siberian Apricot

Habitat : Prunus capsica is native to W. Asia – N. Iran. It grows on the woodland Garden Sunny Edge. Dry sunny slopes amongst shrubs. Forests, thickets, hill grasslands, river valleys and dry sunny slopes at elevations of 400 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Prunus capsica is a deciduous Tree. 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.

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Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know how hardy it will be in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. This species is possibly no more than a cultivated form of P. cerasifera divaricata. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. 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.
Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit contains a single large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below 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…..A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit

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:

Prunus canescens


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

Artemisia filifolia

Botanical Name : Artemisia filifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. filifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Sand Sage, Sand sagebrush and sandhill sage

Habitat : Artemisia filifolia is native to North America, where it occurs from Nevada east to South Dakota and from there south to Arizona, Chihuahua, and Texas. It grows on sandy soils in deserts and dry plains. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Description:
Artemisia filifolia is a deciduous and branching woody semi-evergreen shrub growing up to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) tall.   It has feathery, silver-blue foliage.

The stems are covered narrow, threadlike leaves up to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long and no more than half a millimeter wide. The leaves are sometimes split into segments. They are solitary or arranged in fascicles. The inflorescence is a panicle of hanging flower heads. Each head contains sterile disc florets and 2 to 3 fertile ray florets. The fruit is a tiny achene. The achenes do not tend to disperse far from the parent plant.
The graceful, windswept form is compact and the whole plant is sweetly pungent. Flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When 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 in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.
Medicinal Uses:
Carminative; Miscellany; Stomachic.
The plant is carminative and stomachic. A tea is used in the treatment of indigestion. An infusion of the plant and juniper branches is used in the treatment of indigestion. A strong infusion of the plant is used as a lotion on snakebites. The plant is also used to treat boils. It is a hayfever plant.

Other Uses:
Sand sagebrush seed is sold commercially. It is sometimes used for revegetation efforts on rangeland and coal fields. The Navajo had several uses for the plant. It was used for ritual purposes. Being quite soft, it was used as toilet paper.Good for erosion control.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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/Artemisia_filifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+filifolia
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFI2

Artemisia tridentate

Botanical Name : Artemisia tridentate
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. tridentata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush

Habitat :Artemisia tridentate is native to western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska. It grows on dry plains and hills on calcareous soils. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils.

Description:
Artemisia tridentata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. It may have a short trunk or be branched from the base. Small, velvety, silvery leaves have a sweet, pungent aroma and, en masse, give a bluish-gray effect. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

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Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Established plants are very drought tolerant. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 – 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root Division in spring or autumn. Layering
Edible Uses:
Leaves are cooked and eaten. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seeds are eaten raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Digestive; Disinfectant; Febrifuge; Miscellany; Ophthalmic; Poultice; Sedative; Skin.

Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.

A tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an antidote for poisoning. Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach gas. A wash made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as a hot poultice in treating rheumatism. A poultice was also placed on the stomach to induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms. The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as a decongestant. Warm leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat. The leaves are pungent and have been preferred for making medicine among other sagebrushes.

Other Uses
Basketry; Disinfectant; Dye; Fibre; Friction sticks; Fuel; Hair; Miscellany; Paper; Repellent; Stuffing; Tinder.

An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair. An infusion of the plant repels insects, it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper. The fibres are about 1.3mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers. Wood – hard, dense. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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/Artemisia_tridentata
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARTR2
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+tridentata

Rhododendron luteum

Botanical Name : Rhododendron luteum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus:Pentanthera
Section:Pentanthera
Species:R. luteum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Azalea pontica, Rhododendron flavum

Common Names: Yellow Azalea or Honeysuckle Azalea

Habitat :Rhododendron luteum is native to Europe – Austria and Poland to Turkey. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on the mountain meadows, sometimes on limestone, beech and open coniferous forests, to 2200 metres. Grows from sea-level to the sub-alpine zone.

Description:
Rhododendron luteum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m tall, rarely 4 m. The leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are 3-4 cm diameter, bright yellow, and strongly perfumed, produced in trusses of 5-25 together. The fruit is a dry capsule 15-25 mm long, containing numerous small seeds.
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It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. Hardy to about -30°c. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are sweetly scented with a honey-like fragrance. Plants self-sow freely when in a suitable position. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants are tolerant of drought when they are grown under trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet know

Other Uses: Plants are being grown as a medium-sized hedge at Wisley, RHS gardens in Surrey. Commonly used as a rootstock for many of the ornamental cultivars of azaleas.The flower has sweet perfume.

Cultural references:
The plant is depicted instead of the crown above the coat of arms of the Local Community of Boštanj. It has been chosen because the area is one of the rare growing places of Rhododendron luteum in Slovenia. The coat of arms was created in 1998 by the artist Rudi Stopar.
Known Hazards: Despite the sweet perfume of the flowers, the nectar is toxic, containing grayanotoxin; records of poisoning of people eating the honey date back to the 4th century BC in Classical Greece.

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/Rhododendron_luteum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+luteum