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Acer saccharum nigrum

 

Botanical Name: Acer saccharum nigrum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. nigrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: A. nigrum. Michx.f.

Common Name: Black Maple

Habitat : Acer saccharum nigrum is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Alabama, west to South Dakota and Arkansas. It grows on rich calcareous or alluvial woods. Found in a variety of soil types, near streams, rivers and in rich woodlands, usually below 750 metres but up to 1650 metres in the south of its range.

Description:
Acer saccharum nigrum is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft 0in) at a slow rate. Leaves are simple, opposite, often 4 inches or more long and fully as wide, from 3 to 5 shallow lobes with wide-spaced coarse teeth, dark green in color above, paler below; the clefts are rounded at the base. Leaf edge is smooth between the points. The leaf stalk (petiole) is typically greater in length than the leaf blade.

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Twigs are slender, shining, and warmly brown, the color of maple sugar. The current year’s twig is identical to sugar maple, but the older sections of twigs often have a waxy coating that may peel in strips from the twig.

Winter buds are conical, sharp-pointed, and brown in color, the terminal buds much larger than the lateral buds.

Barks of young trees, dark gray in color, close, smooth, and firm, becoming furrowed into long irregular plates lifting along one edge.

It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded.
Fruit – maple keys (samaras), in short clusters, ripening in September. Samaras are paired with the seeds joining each other in a straight line, but the wings are separated by about 60 degrees.

Outstanding features – rounded cleft between lobes of leaves; leaf blade broad and lateral lobes often droop; sharp-pointed, brown buds; brown twig with waxy coating on older sections of the twig.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen, Street tree. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but succeeds on most soils. Chlorosis can often develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Trees need full light and a lot of space. Plants are hardy to about -45°c when fully dormant. This species is not a great success in Britain, though it does better than once thought. It grows well in Cornwall. Slow growing when young. Plants produce prodigious root growth but very little top growth in first year from seed. Trees grow rapidly for their first 25 years in the wild, but then slow down and only occasionally surviving for more than 200 years. A very ornamental tree but a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. This species is commercially exploited in America for its sap. Along with A. saccharum and the sub-species A. s. grandidentatum it is the major source of maple syrup. There are some named varieties. The sap can be tapped within 10 – 15 years from seed but it does not flow so well in areas with mild winters. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. A lot of the seed is non-viable, it is best to cut a few open to see if there is an embryo. An average of 95% germination can be achieved from viable seed. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking two years. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Sap; Seed.

The sap contains reasonable quantities of sugar and can be used as a drink or concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The sap can be harvested in late winter or early spring, the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost. Trees on southern slopes in sandy soils give the best yields. It is best to make a hole about 7cm deep and about 1.3 metres above the ground. Yields of 40 – 100 litres per tree can be obtained. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Seed – boiled then roasted. The seed is about 6mm long and is produced in small clusters. Inner bark – cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.

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Medicinal Uses : A decoction of the inner bark has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses:
Fuel; Preservative; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them[18, 20]. Wood – close grained, tough, hard, heavy. Used for furniture, ship building, etc. It is a good fuel.

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/Acer_nigrum
http://maple.dnr.cornell.edu/kids/tree_blk.htm
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+saccharum+nigrum

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Acer saccharum

Botanical Name : Acer saccharum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. saccharum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:
*Acer barbatum auct. non Michx.
*Acer barbatum f. commune Ashe
*Acer floridanum (Chapm.) Pax
*Acer hispidum Schwer.
*Acer leucoderme Small
*Acer nigrum F. Michx.
*Acer nigrum var. glaucum

Common Names: Sugar Maple, Florida Maple, Hard Maple, Rock Maple

Habitat : Acer saccharum is native to the hardwood forests of eastern Canada, from Nova Scotia west through Quebec and southern Ontario to southeastern Manitoba around Lake of the Woods, and the northern parts of the Central and eastern United States, from Minnesota eastward to the highlands of the eastern states. It is found in a variety of soil types, doing best in deep rich well-drained soils from sea level to 1600 metres. Rich usually hilly woods.

Description:
Acer saccharum is a deciduous tree normally reaching heights of 25–35 m (80–115 ft) tall, and exceptionally up to 45 m (148 ft). A 10-year-old tree is typically about 5 m (16 ft) tall. When healthy, the sugar maple can live for over 400 years.

The leaves are deciduous, up to 20 cm (7.9 in) long and equally wide, with five palmate lobes. The basal lobes are relatively small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched. In contrast with the angular notching of the silver maple, however, the notches tend to be rounded at their interior. The fall color is often spectacular, ranging from bright yellow through orange to fluorescent red-orange, although they look best in the northern part of its range. Sugar maples also have a tendency to color unevenly in fall. In some trees, all colors above can be seen at the same time. They also share a tendency with red maples for certain parts of a mature tree to change color weeks ahead of or behind the remainder of the tree. The leaf buds are pointy and brown-colored. The recent year’s growth twigs are green, and turn dark brown.

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The flowers are in panicles of five to 10 together, yellow-green and without petals; flowering occurs in early spring after 30–55 growing degree days. The sugar maple will generally begin flowering when it is between 10 and 15 years old. The fruit is a pair of samaras (winged seeds). The seeds are globose, 7–10 mm (9?32–13?32 in) in diameter, the wing 2–3 cm (3?4–1 1?4 in) long. The seeds fall from the tree in autumn, where they must be exposed to 90 days of temperatures below ?18 °C (0 °F) to break their coating down. Germination of A. saccharum is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past.

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded.

The sugar maple is also often confused with the Norway maple, though they are not closely related within the genus. The sugar maple is most easily identified by clear sap in the leaf petiole (the Norway maple has white sap), brown, sharp-tipped buds (the Norway maple has blunt, green or reddish-purple buds), and shaggy bark on older trees (the Norway maple bark has small grooves). Also, the leaf lobes of the sugar maple have a more triangular shape, in contrast to the squarish lobes of the Norway maple.

Although many people think a red sugar maple leaf is featured on the flag of Canada, the official maple leaf does not belong to any particular maple species; although it perhaps most closely resembles a sugar maple leaf of all the maple species in Canada, the leaf on the flag was specially designed to be as identifiable as possible on a flag waving in the wind without regard to whether it resembled a particular species’ foliage.

The sugar maple is the state tree of the US states of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Screen, Specimen, Street tree, Woodland garden. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but succeeds on most soils, though it is more likely to become chlorotic as a result of iron deficiency on alkaline soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Trees need full light and a lot of space. This species is one of the most shade tolerant of the N. American maples. It tolerates atmospheric pollution and so is often used as a street tree, though it can suffer from soil compaction and the use of salt on the roads in frosty weather. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.3. Hardy to about -45°c when fully dormant. A fast-growing tree for its first 40 years in the wild, this species is not a great success in Britain, though it does better than once thought. It grows well in Cornwall. In cultivation it has proved to be slow growing when young. Trees can live for 250 years in the wild. A very ornamental tree but a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. This species is commercially exploited in America for its sap. Along with its sub-species it is the major source of maple syrup. There are some named varieties. The sap can be tapped within 10 – 15 years from seed but it does not flow so well in areas with mild winters. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. A lot of the seed is non-viable, it is best to cut a few open to see if there is an embryo. An average of 95% germination can be achieved from viable seed. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking two years. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Leaves; Sap; Seed.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The sap contains quite a large proportion of sugar. This can be used as a refreshing drink, or be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The sap can be harvested in late winter or early spring[, the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost. Trees on southern slopes in sandy soils give the best yields. It is best to make a hole about 7cm deep and about 1.3 metres above the ground. Yields of 40 – 100 litres per tree can be obtained. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. The sap contains 2 – 6% sugar, thus about 32 litres are required to make a litre of maple syrup. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use. Seeds – cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot. The seed is about 6mm long and is produced in small clusters. Inner bark – cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.
Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the inner bark is a blood tonic, diuretic and expectorant. It has been used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea etc. A compound infusion of the bark has been used as drops in treating blindness. The sap has been used for treating sore eyes. The inner bark has been used as an expectorant and cough remedy. Maple syrup is used in cough syrups and is also said to be a liver tonic and kidney cleanser. The Mohegan use the inner bark as a cough remedy, and the sap as a sweetening agent and to make maple syrup.

Other Uses:
Fuel; Potash; Preservative; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood – close grained, tough, hard, heavy, strong, not very durable, it takes a high polish, remains smooth under abrasion and has a high shock-resistance. It holds nails well, is fair in gluing, dries easily and shrinks moderately. The wood weighs 43lb per cubic foot. Considered by many to be the most valuable hardwood tree in N. America, the sugar maple is used for a wide range of applications including furniture, flooring, turnery, musical instruments and ship building. Accidental forms with the grain curled and contorted, known as curly maple and bird’s eye maple, are common and are highly prized in cabinet making. The wood is also a very good fuel, giving off a lot of heat and forming very hot embers. The ashes of the wood are rich in alkali and yield large quantities of potash

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/Acer_saccharum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+saccharum

Picea glauca

Botanical Name : Picea glauca
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Picea
Species: P. glauca
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms : Picea alba.
Common Names: White spruce. It is also known as Canadian spruce, skunk spruce, cat spruce, Black Hills spruce, western white spruce, Alberta white spruce, and Porsild spruce.
Habitat : Picea glauca is native to the northern temperate and boreal forests in North America. Picea glauca was originally native from central Alaska all the east across southern/central Canada to the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. It now has become naturalized southward into the far northern USA border states like Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine; there is also an isolated population in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. It grows in woods in good soils. Along streams and lakes and also on rocky hills and slopes, succeeding in a variety of soil conditions.
Description:
Picea glauca is a large coniferous evergreen tree which grows normally to 15 to 30 metres (49 to 98 ft) tall, but can grow up to 40 m (130 ft) tall with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m (3.3 ft). The bark is thin and scaly, flaking off in small circular plates 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) across. The crown is narrow – conic in young trees, becoming cylindric in older trees. The shoots are pale buff-brown, glabrous (hairless) in the east of the range, but often pubescent in the west, and with prominent pulvini. The leaves are needle-like, 12 to 20 millimetres (0.47 to 0.79 in) long, rhombic in cross-section, glaucous blue-green above with several thin lines of stomata, and blue-white below with two broad bands of stomata.

The cones are pendulous, slender, cylindrical, 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long and 1.5 cm (0.59 in) wide when closed, opening to 2.5 cm (0.98 in) broad. They have thin, flexible scales 15 mm (0.59 in) long, with a smoothly rounded margin. They are green or reddish, maturing to pale brown 4 to 8 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 2 to 3 mm (0.079 to 0.118 in) long, with a slender, 5 to 8 mm (0.20 to 0.31 in) long pale brown wing.

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Bloom Color is Red, Yellow. Main Blooming time is early spring, late spring, mid spring and the form is columnar, pyramidal.

It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil. Tolerates poor peaty soils. Succeeds in wet cold and shallow soils but is not very wind-firm in shallow soils. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6. Dislikes shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Resists wind exposure to some degree. A fast growing tree, especially when young with annual increases of up to 1 metre in height. New growth takes place from April to July. Growth slows considerably as the trees grow older. It is an important forestry tree in N. America and is also planted for timber in N. Europe. It is sometimes used as a ‘Christmas tree’, but is unsuited for this because its leaves quickly fall. Seed production begins at approximately 20 years, though reliable crops make take twice that long. Heavy crops are produced every 2 – 5 years. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[200]. The crushed leaves are quite aromatic. Some people find the smell distasteful saying that it is like skunks, whilst others say it has a pleasant smell like blackcurrants or mouldy grapefruit. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A position in light shade is probably best. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place. 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 winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Seed; Seedpod.

Young male catkins – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. Immature female cones – cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy. The cones are about 5cm long. Inner bark – raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. Usually harvested in the spring, it is an emergency food that is only used when all else fails. Seed – raw. The seed is about 2 – 4mm long and is too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips. The trunk yields a gum, used for chewing. Spruce oil, distilled from the leaves and twigs, is used in the food industry to flavour chewing gum, ice cream, soft drinks and sweets.
Medicinal Uses:
White spruce was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who valued it especially for treating chest complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. An infusion of the cones has been used in the treatment of urinary troubles. The inner bark is pectoral. It has been chewed, and an infusion drunk, in the treatment of TB, influenza, coughs and colds. An infusion is also drunk in the treatment of rheumatism. The inner bark has also been used as a poultice on sores and infected areas, and has also been used to bandage cuts. The tea made from the young shoot tips has antiseptic properties. It is used in the treatment of respiratory infections. A decoction of the stems is used as a herbal steam bath in the treatment of rheumatism. The gum is antiseptic, digestive, laxative, pectoral and salve. A decoction has been used in the treatment of respiratory complaints. The gum obtained from the trunk (probably pitch) has been used as a salve on sores and cuts. A poultice of the gum mixed with oil has been used to treat skin rashes, scabies, persistent scabs, growing boils etc, and has also been used on wounds where there is blood poisoning. The rotten, dried, finely powdered wood has been used as a baby powder and as a treatment for skin rashes.

Other Uses:
Baby care; Dye; Gum; Musical; Pitch; Repellent; Shelterbelt; String; Tannin; Waterproofing; Wood.

A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting. The cultivar ‘Denstat’ has been recommended[200]. The leaves have been burnt to repel insects. Various native North American Indian tribes made a string from the long roots of this species and used it to stitch the bark of their canoes and to make baskets etc. The rotten, dried, finely powdered wood has been used as a baby powder and as a treatment for skin rashes. The bark is a source of tannin. A yellow-brown dye can be obtained from the rotten wood. The pitch obtained from the trunk can be used as a waterproofing sealant in canoes. Wood – straight-grained, resilient, light, soft, not strong. Used for construction and as a source of pulp for paper making. The resonance of the wood, and its capacity to transmit vibrations, make it an ideal wood for guitars, violins, piano soundboards etc

Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Firewood, Screen, Specimen.

White spruce is the provincial tree of Manitoba and the state tree of South Dakota.

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/Picea_glauca
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Picea+glauca

Tephrosia virginiana

Botanical Name: Tephrosia virginiana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis

Common Names: Catgut, Galega officinalis, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed, Goat-rue, Goat’s Rue, Cat Gut, Rabbit Pea, and Virginia Tephrosia

Other Names: American Garden Rue, Devil’s Shoestring, Rabbit-pea, Horey turkey peas, Virginia Pea, Virginia Tephrosia, Cheese renet, herba ruta caprariae

Habitat : Tephrosia virginiana originates from Europe and Middle East. Goat’s rue is native to Europe and eastern Asia. It was introduced to the western U.S. in the late 1800s as a possible forage crop.Goat’s rue is planted as fodder for animals. Goat’s rue is said to increase the milk production of goats, hence its name. Juice from Goat’s rue was used to clot milk for cheese production. There are also reports of cattle which died after eating goat’s rue.

Now, Native to Eastern N. America from New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas and Manitoba. Found growing in dry sandy woods, openings, fields, and roadsides.

It grows in dry sandy woods and openings

Description:
Tephrosia virginiana is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft), sending up one or more stems from the base that are unbranched or sparingly branched. The stems are light green, terete, and hairy. Alternate compound leaves are widely spreading; they are odd-pinnate with 9-25 leaflets. Individual leaflets are up to 1″ long and ¼” across; they are medium green to grayish green, oblong to narrowly elliptic in shape, and smooth along their margins. Upper surfaces of the leaflets are hairless to silky-hairy, while their lower surfaces are pubescent to silky-hairy. Each leaflet has a prominent central vein. The central stalk (rachis) and petiole of each compound leaf is pubescent. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of small stipules about ¼” long. The stems terminate in short dense racemes about 2-3″ long that are covered in buds and bicolored flowers facing all directions. The racemes are held a little above the foliage on short peduncles. Individual flowers are ¾” long and across, consisting of 5 petals, a short tubular calyx with 5 teeth, 10 stamens, and a pistil. Each flower has a typical pea-like floral structure, consisting of an upright banner and a pair of lateral wings that project forward to enclose the keel. The broad banner is white to pale greenish yellow, while the wings are deep rosy pink. The pedicels of the flowers and their calyces are light green and pubescent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by widely spreading seedpods about 1½-3″ long. These seedpods are initially light green, but later turn brown; they are silky-hairy. The seedpods are narrowly cylindrical and slightly flattened in shape; each pod contains several seeds that are reniform and somewhat flattened. The root system consists of a deep taproot.

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It is in flower from May to July. 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, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
A deep rooted plant, requiring a dry to moist light or medium very well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -25° when given a suitable position. 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.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer
Medicinal Uses:
The root is anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and tonic. A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

At various times it was used to treat rheumatism, fevers, pulmonary problems, bladder disorders, coughing, hair loss, and reproductive disorders. The root of this plant alone, or in combination with other agents, has been reputed a very efficient remedy in syphilis. The decoction is also much used as a vermifuge, and is said to be as efficient and powerful as spigelia. The plant is a mild, stimulating tonic, having a slight action on the bowels, and the secretive organs generally, and applicable in the treatment of many diseases, especially in a certain stage of typhoid fever, where there is little use of active medicine. The recommendation was a compound fluid extract of tephrosia: Take of Tephrosia virginiana (the plant), 8 ounces; Rumex acutus (dock), 2 ounces; water, 4 quarts. Place the plants in the water, and boil until reduced to 1 quart. Strain, and when intended to be kept, mix with an equal bulk of brandy or diluted alcohol, and half its weight of sugar, macerate for several days, and strain through muslin. The dose is from 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce, 2, 3, or 4 times a day A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Hair; Insecticide……….The root is a source of the insecticide ‘rotenone. This is especially effective against flying insects but appears to be relatively harmless to animals. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo by women in order to prevent hair loss.

Known Hazards : Contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. The seeds are toxic.

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/Tephrosia_virginiana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tephrosia+virginiana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/goat_rue.htm

 

Black cohosh

Botanical Name : Cimicifuga racemosa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Actaea
Species: A. racemosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms : Actaea racemosa

Common Names: Black cohosh, Black bugbane, Black snakeroot, Fairy candle,, Bugbane

Habitat : Black cohosh is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings. (Moist, mixed deciduous forests, wooded slopes, ravines, creek margins, thickets, moist meadowlands, forest margins, and especially mountainous terrain from sea level to 1500 metres)

Description:
Black cohosh is a smooth (glabrous) herbaceous perennial plant that produces large, compound leaves from an underground rhizome, reaching a height of 25–60 cm (9.8–23.6 in). The basal leaves are up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) long and broad, forming repeated sets of three leaflets (tripinnately compound) having a coarsely toothed (serrated) margin. The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on a tall stem, 75–250 cm (30–98 in) tall, forming racemes up to 50 cm (20 in) long. The flowers have no petals or sepals, and consist of tight clusters of 55-110 white, 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long stamens surrounding a white stigma. The flowers have a distinctly sweet, fetid smell that attracts flies, gnats, and beetles. The fruit is a dry follicle 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with one carpel, containing several seeds….....CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Woodland garden. Prefers a moist humus rich soil and some shade. Grows well in dappled shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil and tolerates drier soils. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. A very ornamental species. The flowers have an unusual, slightly unpleasant smell which is thought to repel insects. Plants grow and flower well in Britain, though they seldom if ever ripen their seed. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. It germinates in 1 – 12 months or even longer at 15°c[. The seed does not store well and soon loses its viability, stored seed may germinate better if given 6 – 8 weeks warm stratification at 15°c and then 8 weeks cold stratification. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. 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 summer or following spring.
Edible Uses: …Leaves – cooked. Some caution is advised,   see the notes below   on Known Hazards.

Medicinal Uses:
Black cohosh is a traditional remedy of the North American Indians where it was used mainly to treat women’s problems, especially painful periods and problems associated with the menopause. A popular and widely used herbal remedy, it is effective in the treatment of a range of diseases. The root is alterative, antidote, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator. It is harvested in the autumn as the leaves die down, then cut into pieces and dried.

Black cohosh root improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure and body temperature by dilating blood vessels and increasing peripheral circulation. The constituents responsible for these actions are so resinous, the traditional virtues of this herb are best extracted by using hot water and preferably alcohol on the fresh root. A central nervous system depressant, black cohosh directly inhibits vasomotor centers that are involved with inner ear balance and hearing. One of the uses for black cohosh recognized by doctors is for relief of ringing in the ears. The Native Americans knew that it encouraged uterine contractions and used it to facilitate labor. It is also used to reduce the inflammation and muscular pain of rheumatism and inflammatory arthritis, especially when it is associated with menopause and to treat problems of the respiratory system. Chinese physicians use several related plants to treat headache, to ripen and bring out skin rashes such as measles, diarrhea, bleeding gums and some gynecological problems.

Black cohosh has estrogenic effects, meaning it acts like the female sex hormone estrogen. This may lend support to its traditional use for menstrual complaints. It is thought to reduce levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries’ production of progesterone. A German trial published in 1995, revealed that black cohosh in combination with St. John’s wort was 78% effective at treating hot flashes and other menopausal problems. Black cohosh is used to optimize estrogen levels perhaps by competing with estrogen receptor sites when estrogen is overabundant but may promote estrogen production when estrogen is low. It is the prime women’s tonic for any uterine condition involving inflammation, pain, or low estrogen. It promotes fertility and softens the impact of menopause. Using black cohosh during menopause can reduce intensity and frequency of hot flashes, support and ease the body’s changes, helps counteract menopausal prolapses, improves digestion, relieves menstrual pain and irregularity, relieves headaches, relieves menopausal arthritis and rheumatism.

Cimicifugin, the ranunculoside in black cohosh, exhibits antispasmodic and sedative properties in the fresh root. When the root is cut or bruised, an enzyme is released which reacts with cimicifugin to produce protoanemonine, which is unstable in water but, when dried, is readily oxidized to an anemonic acid which has no physiological activity. The antispasmodic and sedative properties of black cohosh are only present in the whole, fresh root. The dried, powdered black cohosh in common use today contains only the irritating principles.

The root is toxic in overdose, it should be used with caution and be completely avoided by pregnant women.   The medically active ingredients are not soluble in water so a tincture of the root is normally used. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, as a sedative and an emmenagogue. It is traditionally important in the treatment of women’s complaints, acting specifically on the uterus it eases uterine cramps and has been used to help in childbirth. Research has shown that the root has oestrogenic activity and is thought to reduce levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries production of progesterone. The root is also hypoglycaemic, sedative and anti-inflammatory. Used in conjunction with St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) it is 78% effective in treating hot flushes and other menopausal problems. An extract of the root has been shown to strengthen the male reproductive organ in rats. The root contains salicylic acid, which makes it of value in the treatment of various rheumatic problems – it is particularly effective in the acute stage of rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica and chorea. Its sedative action makes it useful for treating a range of other complaints including tinnitus and high blood pressure. The roots are used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is used mainly for women, especially during pregnancy. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cimicifuga racemosa (Actaea racemosa) for climacteric (menopause) complaints & Premenstrual syndrome.

Other Uses : Both the growing and the dried plant can be used to repel bugs and fleas

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous in large doses. Large doses irritate nerve centres and may cause abortion. Gastrointestinal disturbances, hypotension, nausea, headaches. Not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Do not take concomitantly with iron.
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/Actaea_racemosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cimicifuga+racemosa+(Actaea+racemosa)
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail67.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm