Tag Archives: Mexico

Kalopanax septemlobus

Botanical Name : Kalopanax septemlobus
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily:Aralioideae
Genus: Kalopanax
Species:K. septemlobus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: K. pictus. (Thunb.)Nakai. K. ricinifolium. Acanthopanax ricinifolium. Acer pictum. Acer septemlobus

Common Names:Tree Aralia, Castor aralia, Prickly castor oil tree

Habitat :Kalopanax septemlobus is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in cool deciduous forests from near sea level to elevations of 2500 metres.

Description:
Kalopanax septemlobus is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft 0in) at a slow rate with a trunk up to 1–1.5 metres (3.3–4.9 ft) diameter. The stems are often spiny, with stout spines up to 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long. The leaves are alternate, in appearance similar to a large Fatsia or Liquidambar (sweetgum) leaf, 15–35 centimetres (5.9–13.8 in) across, palmately lobed with five or seven lobes, each lobe with a finely toothed margin.

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The leaf lobes vary greatly in shape, from shallow lobes to cut nearly to the leaf base. Trees with deeply lobed leaves were formerly distinguished as K. septemlobus var. maximowiczii, but the variation is continuous and not correlated with geography, so it is no longer regarded as distinct.

The flowers are produced in late summer in large umbels 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in) across at the apex of a stem, each flower with 4-5 small white petals. The fruit is a small black drupe containing 2 seeds.

It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)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:
Requires a deep fertile moisture-retentive soil in sun or part shade. Young shoots, especially on young plants, can die back over winter if they are not fully ripened. Young plants are slow-growing. The tree is widely cultivated for timber in China. A polymorphic species.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed probably requires a period of cold stratification and should be sown as soon as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least 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, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings in late winter

Edible Uses: Young leaves and young shoots – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Antifungal; Expectorant; Hepatic; Skin; Stomachic.

The bark contains a range of bio-active constituents, including saponins, flavonoids and lignans. It has antifungal and liver protecting properties. It is used in Korea in the treatment of contusions, beri-beri, lumbago, neuralgia and pleurisy. An infusion of the leaves is used to make a stomachic tea. The root is expectorant. A decoction of the wood is used for skin diseases.

Other Uses:  The tree is cultivated as an ornamental tree for the “tropical” appearance of its large palmate leaves in Europe and North America; despite its tropical looks, it is very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to at least ?40 °C (?40 °F) The bark and the leaves are used as an insecticide. Wood is very useful.

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/Kalopanax
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Kalopanax+septemlobus

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Artemisia mexicana

Botanical Name : Artemisia mexicana
Family: Compositae: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Specis: Mexicana

Common Names: Mexican White Sagebrush , Mexican Wormwood, Agenjo del Pais, Ambfe (Otomi), Artemisia, Cola de Zorillo (‘little tail of the fox’), Ensencio de Mata Verde (‘incense of the green bush’), Guitee (Zapotec), Hierba de San Juan (Spanish, ‘Saint John’s herb’), Hierba Maestra (Spanish, “master herb’), Si’isim (Maya), Tlalpoyomatli (Aztec)

Habitat :Artemisia mexicana is native to South-western N. America – Missouri to Texas, Arkansas and Mexico. It grows in the prairies, hillsides, barrens and sands.

Description:
Artemisia mexicana is a perennial upright shrubby herb that can grow up to three feet tall. The leaves are whitish grey and covered on both sides with fine hairs. They exude an aromatic-bitter scent immediately when crushed. The flowers are small, yellow and clustered (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93).

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. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

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This plant is so similar to European wormwood in appearance that even experienced botanists have a hard time telling them apart. Some botanists even believe that A. mexicana is a sub-species of A. absinthium (Ratsch 1998, 73). A. mexicana is found in both dry and moist areas of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. It may also be found in Arizona and New Mexico (Ohno et al. 1980).
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 this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. 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. 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, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Traditional Uses: The Aztecs and other native peoples of Mesoamerica have been using A. mexicana for various ritual and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Aztecs used A. mexicana as a ritual incense – the plant is sacred to Uixtociuatl, the Aztec goddess of salt and salt makers. It is sacred to Tlaloc, the rain god, who also holds Argemone mexicana and Tagetes lucida as holy – this suggests a possible interesting psychoactive incense or smoking mixture. Today in Mexico it is used in folk medicine and smoked as a marijuana substitute (Ratsch 1998, 74).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is emmenagogue, stimulant and vermifuge. The leaves can be chewed to treat sore throats. A poultice of the chewed leaves can be used on sores.
The Aztecs used the stems of A. mexica as a tonic and to relieve coughs. The flowers were consumed by those with low energy (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93). In Mexican folk medicine, which is strongly influenced by Aztec knowledge, an alcohol extract of A. mexicana herbage is taken for digestive troubles (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). Similarly, a tea made from the plant is taken by those who have lost the desire to eat, as well as to treat coughs and diarrhea. The roots and plant material are used to treat epilepsy and as a form of birth control – the plant can bring on menstruation and cause abortions (Reza 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). The Yucatec Maya burn the herb as an incense to relieve headaches (Pulido Salas & Serralta Peraza 1993 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Traditional Effects: A. mexicana contains a powerful essential oil, as well as several active alkaloids. Thujone is likely present in the plant, as it is so similar to A. absinthium, but the compound has not yet been formally detected. Smoking the dried herbage creates mild stimulation followed by pleasant euphoria if enough smoke is inhaled. The effects may vary widely from person to person, however. The plant contains fewer toxic alkaloids than A. absinthium and is therefore easier to work with (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+mexicana

Artemisia mexicana – Mexican Wormwood

Rhododendron lapponicum

Botanical Name : Rhododendron lapponicum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species:R. lapponicum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:
*Azalea lapponica L.
*Rhododendron confertissimum Nakai
*Rhododendron lapponicum subsp. parvifolium (Adams) T. Yamaz.
*Rhododendron palustre Turcz.
*Rhododendron parviflorum F. Schmidt
*Rhododendron parvifolium Adams
*Rhododendron parvifolium subsp. confertissimum (Nakai) A.P. Khokhr.

Common Names: Lapland rosebay

Habitat : Rhododendron lapponicum is native to N. Europe, N. Asia. Northern N. AmericaAlaska to Quebec. It grows on the rocky barrens and sub-alpine woods.It is found in subarctic regions around the world, where it grows at altitudes ranging from sea level to 1900 meters.

Description:
Rhododendron lapponicum is an evergreen perennial Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).Leaves are thick, leathery, evergreen, and 1 to 1.5 cm long, growing to 30 cm in height they are leathery, evergreen, elliptic, and covered with many small scales, much longer than wide. Flowers few, 1.5 cm wide, bright purple, bell-shaped, developing at the end of the branches. Fruits are 5 mm wide.

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It is in flower from Apr to 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[1]. 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. 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[200]. 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 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[200]. 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[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Easy

Edible Uses:: A tea is made from the leaves and flower tips.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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=Rhododendron+lapponicum
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/Plants.asp?mode=detail&SpecCode=PDERI150G0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_lapponicum

Critonia morifolia

Botanical Name : Critonia morifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Critonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Green Stick

Habitat : Critonia morifolia is native to Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies. It grows in forest areas.

Description:
The most notable trait that characterizes the genus is the presence of pellucid punctations caused by internal secretory pockets of the leaves – to be seen these must be viewed with a hand lens while holding the leaf up to light in most species of the genus. Most species of Critonia also have smooth opposite leaves, a shrubby habit, unenlarged style bases, relatively few (3-5) flowers per head, and imbricate involucres. .CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Of the medicinal leaves found in the forest, this is one of the most important and useful to add to herbal bath formulas. Steam baths (“bajo”) are given in cases of swelling, retention of fluids, rheumatism, arthritis, paralysis, and muscle spasms. The leaf is heated in oil and applied to boils, tumors, cysts, and pus-filled sores. Boil leaf alone or in combination with other bathing leaves for any skin condition, exhaustion, wounds, feverish babies, insomnia, flu, aches, pains and general malaise.

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/Critonia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

Liatris punctata

Botanical Name : Liatris punctata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. punctata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Laciniaria punctata. (Hook.)Kuntze

Common Names ; Snakeroot, Dotted blazing star, Mexican blazing star, Nebraska blazing star

Habitat : Liatris punctata occurs in Alberta east to Manitoba in Canada, and in most of the central United States, its distribution extending into Mexico. There are three varieties, with var. punctata in western areas, var. nebraskana more common to the east, and var. mexicana in Oklahoma and Texas. It grows in dry prairies and plains.

Description:
Liatris punctata is a perennial herb produces one or more erect stems up to 80 centimetres (2.6 feet) tall. They grow from a thick taproot which may extend 5 m (16 ft) deep in the ground. It also has rhizomes. The inflorescence is a spike of several flower heads. The heads contain several flowers which are usually purple, but sometimes white. The fruit is an achene tipped with a long pappus. The plant reproduces sexually by seed and vegetatively by sprouting from its rhizome. This species is long-lived, with specimens estimated to be over 35 years old
It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
Grows well in a moderately good light soil. Tolerates poor soils. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils. A good bee plant. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. 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 taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. 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.

Edible Uses: …….Root – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour when harvested in the spring and baked. Eating the root is said to improve the appetite.

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic; Diuretic; Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, bloody urine and women’s bladder complaints. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of swollen testes. A decoction of the roots is used as a wash for itching skin complaints. A poultice of the boiled roots is applied to swelling.

Other Uses:
This plant is palatable to livestock and wild ungulates such as elk, white-tailed deer, and pronghorn. Its nectar is favored by lepidopterans, such as the rare butterfly Pawnee montane skipper (Hesperia leonardus montana), which is known to occur wherever the plant does. This plant species is considered good for revegetating prairie habitat. It is also used as an ornamental plant.

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=Liatris+punctata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liatris_punctata