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Taraxacum mongolicum

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

Common Name: Dandelion

Habitat: Taraxacum mongolicum is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the village outskirts, embankments and damp roadsides.

Description:

Taraxacum mongolicum is a perennial herb, which is usually from 10 to 25cm. The whole plant, covered with sparse white soft hairs, contains white milk. Deep-rooted dandelion root is with a single yellow-brown branch that is from 3 to 5cm in diameter. Radicicolous leaves arrange into a rosette; both sides of petiole base expand into sheath; lion’s teeth like leaf blade is linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate, or obovate, 6 to 15cm long, 2 to 3.5cm wide, and with acute or obtuse apex, narrow base, and lobed or irregularly pinnately divided margin. Single apical capitulum is full of bisexual ray florets; multilayer bracts are ovate-lanceolate; receptacle is flat; corolla is yellow, often divided, and with truncated apex; stamens are 5; pistil is 1, and with inferior ovary, slender style, 2-lobed stigma, and short hair. Achenes are oblanceolate, 4 to 5mm long, about 1.5mm wide, with vertical edges connected to stripes, spines, 8 to 10mm beaks at the top of the fruit, and about 7mm white pappus. Bloom time is from April to May and fruiting time is from June to July.

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

Young leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them[K] 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. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Decongestant; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Galactogogue;
Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The whole plant is antibacterial, cholagogue, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. A decoction 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. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.

1. Its decoction or water extract has a strong inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus bacteria, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Besides, it also has a certain inhibition on pneumococcus, meningococcus, diphtheria bacilli, Shigella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, leptospira, and so on;
2. It has a synergistic effect with TMP (Trimethoprim);
3. It promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum, protects liver, resists endotoxin, and increases secretion of urine. And it has a better cholagogic effect than capillaris decoction;
4. Its water extract of the aerial parts has anti-tumor effect;
5. In vitro tests suggested that it could stimulate the body’s immune function;
6. Its leaves can ease blocked milk ducts in breastfeeding and promote and lactation.
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://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+mongolicum

Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying)

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Lysimachia nemorum

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Botanical Name : Lysimachia nemorum
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. nemorum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

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Synonyms:

*Anagallis nemorum (L.) Büscher & G.H.Loos
*Ephemerum nemorum (L.) Rchb.
*Lerouxia nemorum (L.) Mérat
*Lysimachia azorica Hook.
*Lysimachusa nemorum (L.) Pohl

Common Name: Yellow Pimpernel

Habitat : Lysimachia nemorum is native to Western and central Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to the Carpathians. It grows in damp shady places, woodland.
Description:
Lysimachia nemorum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is a low creeping hairless plant, leaves opposite, pale green, rounded to lanceolate, pointed. Flowers bright yellow, saucer shaped 10 to 15 mm solitary, long stalked with slender sepal teeth.

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It is in flower from May to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. 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:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist or wet loamy soil in sun or partial shade. Hardy to at least -25°c. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are 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, 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. Basal cuttings, March to April in a cold frame. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses: Lysimachia nemorumn is an astringent herb, yellow pimpernel is used as a wound herb to staunch bleeding.

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/Lysimachia_nemorum
http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/yellow-pimpernel
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lysimachia+nemorum

Vicia faba major

Botanical Name: Vicia faba major
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. faba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Common Names: Broad bean, Fava bean, Faba bean, Field bean, Bell bean, English bean, Horse bean, Windsor bean, Pigeon bean and Tic(k) bean
Habitat ; The origin of this legume is obscure, but it had been cultivated in the Middle East for 8,000 years before it spread to Western Europe. It is grown on cultivated bed.

Description:
Vicia faba major is an annual stiffly erect plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate with stout stems of a square cross-section. The leaves are 10–25 cm long, pinnate with 2–7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Unlike most other vetches, the leaves do not have tendrils for climbing over other vegetation. The flowers are 1–2.5 cm long, with five petals, the standard petal white, the wing petals white with a black spot (true black, not deep purple or blue as is the case in many “black” colorings,) and the keel petals are white. Crimson-flowered broad beans also exist, which were recently saved from extinction. The flowers have a strong and sweet scent which is attractive to bees and other pollinators,[6] particularly bumble bees. The fruit is a broad, leathery pod, green maturing to blackish-brown, with a densely downy surface; in the wild species, the pods are 5–10 cm long and 1 cm diameter, but many modern cultivars developed for food use have pods 15–25 cm long and 2–3 cm thick. Each pod contains 3–8 seeds, round to oval and 5–10 mm diameter in the wild plant, usually flattened and up to 20–25 mm long, 15 mm broad and 5–10 mm thick in food cultivars. Vicia faba has a diploid (2n) chromosome number of 12 (six homologous pairs). Five pairs are acrocentric chromosomes and one pair is metacentric.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Prefers a fairly heavy loam but succeeds in a sunny position in most soils that are well-drained. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes dry conditions according to some reports, whilst another says that it is drought tolerant once established. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 7. Broad beans are often cultivated for their edible seed and sometimes also as a green manure crop. There are two main types, the ‘longpod’ beans are the more hardy and can be sown in the autumn in cool temperate areas, whilst ‘windsor’ beans, which are considered to be finer flavoured, are less tolerant of the cold and so are best sown in spring. The ideal temperature range in the growing season is between 18 and 27°c, at higher temperatures the flowers are often aborted. The autumn sown varieties are more susceptible to ‘chocolate spot’ fungus, this problem can be alleviated by the addition of potash to the soil. Black fly can be a major problem in late spring. Autumn sown crops are less likely to be affected. Pinching out the soft tips of the plants, one they are tall enough and are beginning to flower, can reduce the problem since the blackfly always start on the soft shoots and then spread to the older stems. Grows well with carrots, cauliflowers, beet, cucumber, cabbages, leeks, celeriac, corn and potatoes, but is inhibited by onions, garlic and shallots. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots 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. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. Germination should take place in about 7 – 10 days. The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties such as the ‘Longpods’ whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties such as the ‘Windsors’. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the beans to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice. Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 – 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. The plants will also be less likely to be attacked by blackfly. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.
Edible Uses:
Broad bean seeds are very nutritious and are frequently used as items of food. There are, however, some potential problems to their use if they are consumed in large quantities – see the notes above on toxicity. The immature seeds can be eaten raw when they are small and tender, as they grow older they can be cooked as a vegetable. They have a very pleasant floury taste. The young pods can be cooked as a vegetable, though they quickly become fibrous and also have a hairy coating inside that can become unpleasant as the pods get larger. Mature seeds can be eaten cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. They are best soaked for 12 – 24 hours prior to cooking in order to soften them and reduce the cooking time. They will also become more nutritious this way. The flavour is mild and pleasant with a floury texture. They can also be dried and ground into a flour for use in making bread etc with cereal flours. The seed can also be fermented to make ‘tempeh’.The seed can be sprouted before being cooked. Popped seeds can be salted and eaten as a snack or roasted like peanuts. Young leaves – cooked. They are very nutritious and can be used like spinach.
Medicinal Uses: The seedpods are diuretic and lithontripic.

Other Uses :
Fibre; Soap making.

A fibre is obtained from the stems. The burnt stems are rich in potassium and can be used in making soap.

Known Hazards: Although often used as an edible seed, there are reports that eating the seed of this plant can cause the disease ‘Favism‘ in susceptible people. Inhaling the pollen can also cause the disease. Favism, which is a severe haemolytic anaemia due to an inherited enzymatic deficiency, only occurs in cases of excessive consumption of the raw seed (no more details are given) and when the person is genetically inclined towards the disease. About 1% of Caucasians and 15% of Negroids are susceptible to the disease.
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/Vicia_faba
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vicia+faba+major

Viburnum erubescens

 Botanical Name : Viburnum erubescens
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Order: Dipsacales
Species: Viburnum erubescens

Synonyms: Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Common name: Reddish Viburnum • Nepali Name: Ashaare

Habitat :Viburnum erubescens is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas and Sri Lanka. It grows in forests and shrubberies, 1500 – 3300 metres, from Uttar Pradesh to S.W. China.

Description:
Viburnum erubescens is a loose, upright, graceful deciduous shrub growing 10′ by 8′. It is distinguished by its lax drooping long-stalked branched clusters of white, cream or or pink tubular flowers, borne with the leaves at the ends of short branchlets

The var. gracilipes has larger leaves and flower panicles than the species and is more common in cultivation. Leaves are ovate to elliptic, toothed in the upper part, 3-6 cm long, dark green, with a reddish tinge. Leaves are glossy green, 2-4″ long and half as wide with a distinct reddish pedicel and central vein on the underside. Leaves emit a fetid odor when crushed. Inflorescence is a loose, pendant, panicle about 3-4″ wide and 2″ long. Fragrant flowers occuring in early June are pinkish in the bud, opening white with a pink tinge. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in October.Flowers have a slender tube 5 mm long, with rounded spreading petals, 2 mm. Anthers are dark purple. The species name erubescens means becoming red, and comes from erubesco, which means, to redden, to blush. Fruits are ¼” wide, transitioning from green to red to black, 8mm long……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations.  It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. Not all forms of this species are hardy in Britain. Plants are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. The flowers are deliciously scented. A polymorphic species. The sub-species V. erubescens gracilipes. Rehd. fruits freely in Britain.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[80]. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour but there is very little flesh in relation to the size of the single large seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The juice of the roots is used in the treatment of coughs.

Other Uses: …Miscellany; Wood…….Wood is soft to hard, close and even grained. The wood is hardest in the cooler parts of its range, the Himalayan form is a possible Boxwood (Buxus spp) substitute.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_erubescens
http://www.classicviburnums.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/7077/index.htm
http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Reddish%20Viburnum.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+erubescens

Osmunda claytoniana

 

Botanical Name :Osmunda claytoniana
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section: Claytosmunda
Species: O. claytoniana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda interrupta.

Common Name : Interrupted Fern

Habitat : Osmunda claytoniana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. Eastern N. America. It grows on wet places in C. Japan. Open slopes, rarely in forests, 2800 – 3300 metres in Kashmir.

In eastern North America it occurs in: the Great Lakes region; eastern Canada – in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (north to tree line); and east to Newfoundland; eastern United States – upper New England south through the Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic seaboard, into the Southeastern United States in Georgia and Alabama; and west across the Southern United States to Mississippi River, and back up the Mississippi embayment through the Midwestern United States to the Great Lakes.
Description:
Osmunda claytoniana is a fern. It’s fronds are bipinnate, 40–100 cm (16–39 in) tall and 20–30 cm (8–12 in) broad, the blade formed of alternate segments forming an arching blade tightening to a pointed end. The lower end is also slightly thinner than the rest of the frond because the first segments are shorter. Three to seven short, cinnamon-colored fertile segments are inserted in the middle of the length, giving the plant its name.

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In their absence, the plant in all its stages appears similar to Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern). The base of the segments distinguishes the two species: where O. cinnamomeum has typical felt-like hairs, the few hairs present on O. claytoniana are extremely short, usually requiring a magnifying glass to see well.

Like other species in the family Osmundaceae, it grows a very large rhizome, with persistent stipe bases from previous years. It forms small, dense colonies, spreading locally through its rhizome, and often forming fairy rings
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Requires a shady position. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots.

Edible Uses:
The young fronds are eaten. Cooked as a vegetable. The centre of the clump, below ground level, is the source of a small edible pith called ‘fernbutter’

Unlike those of the ostrich fern, the interrupted fern’s fiddleheads are not readily edible, due to their bitter taste and a tendency to cause diarrhea. The base of the stipe and very young buds are edible. Overuse may kill the crown.
Medicinal Uses: The roots are used as an adulterant for Dryopteris felix-mas in the treatment of internal worms.Resources The Iroquois used the plant as treatment for blood disorders and venereal diseases.

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/Osmunda_claytoniana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+claytoniana