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Allium thunbergii

Botanical Name: Allium thunbergii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. thunbergii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium arenarium Thunb.
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) T.S.Liu & S.S.Ying
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) Tang S. Liu & S.S. Ying
*Allium cyaneum f. stenodon (Nakai & Kitag.) Kitag.

Common Names: Thunberg’s chive

Habitat : Allium thunbergii is native to Japan (incl Bonin + Ryukyu Islands), Korea, and China (incl. Taiwan). It grows at elevations up to 3000 m. The Flora of China recognizes A. tunbergii and A. stenodon as separate species, but more recent sources combine the two.

Description:
Allium thunbergii produces one or two egg-shaped bulbs up to 20 mm in diameter. Scapes are up to 50 cm tall. Leaves are longer than the scape, hollow, triangular in cross-section. Umbels are crowded with many red or purple flowers. It is in flower from Sep to November.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value[200]. ‘Ozawa’ is smaller than the type, growing to 30cm. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

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

Young plants and leaves – raw or cooked in soups etc. The raw leaves have a pleasant mild onion flavour and a good fibre-free texture. Bulbs – cooked. They can be pickled in brine, vinegar and syrup. The bulbs are up to 2cm in diameter. Flowers – raw. A pleasant mild onion flavour, they make an attractive garnish in salads etc.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:…..Repellent..…..The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_thunbergii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+thunbergii

Lactuca formosana


Botanical Name:
Lactuca formosana
Family :
Asteraceae
Tribe:
Cichorieae
Genus:
Lactuca/Ixeris
Class :
Magnoliopsida
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Common Names: Lactuca morii Hayata; L. sonchus H. Léveillé & Vaniot; Pterocypsela formosana (Maximowicz) C. Shih; P. sonchus (H. Léveillé & Vaniot) C. Shih.

Habitat:
Lactuca formosana is native to E. Asia – China. It grows in grasslands on mountain slopes and in valleys, thickets or forests on mountain slopes, fields, along trails; 100-2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.

Description:

Lactuca formosana is an annual or perennial herb 0.5-1.5 m tall. Roots ramose. Stem solitary, erect, loosely branched apically, ± hirsute, glabrescent. Lower and middle stem leaves with narrow petiole-like amplexicaul basal portion to 5 cm or with conspicuously expanded and semiamplexicaul base; leaf blade elliptic, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, 8-18 × 4-8 cm, hirsute, main rib echinulate, undivided and with coarsely dentate margin or pinnatifid with 2-5 pairs of elliptic to broadly falcate lateral lobes, faintly to strongly dentate on margin, and a lanceolate or triangular terminal lobe. Upper stem leaves similar to middle stem leaves, margin mostly ± entire. Synflorescence loosely corymbose, with ca. 10 to many capitula. Capitula with usually 25-30 florets. Involucre cylindric, 1-1.1 cm at anthesis, to 1.8 × 0.8 cm in fruit. Phyllaries acute to acuminate at apex; outer phyllaries broadly obovate to lanceolate, longest ca. 8 × 1-2 mm; inner phyllaries 8. Florets yellow. Achene 4.5-6.5 mm; body reddish brown, dark brown, or blackish brown, ellipsoid, compressed, broadly winged, 2-2.3 mm wide, with 1 prominent rib on either side, apically contracted into a usually pale to greenish filiform 2-3.5 mm beak. Pappus 7-8 mm, caducous. Fl. and fr. Apr-Nov.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. We are not sure if it is an annual or perennial but assume that it can be grown as a spring-sown annual. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a light sandy loam.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses:
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242328013

Lactuca debilis


http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+formosana

Rhus punjabensis sinica

Botanical Name: Rhus punjabensis sinica
Family : Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. coriaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Synonyms: Rhus sinica, Rhus hemyi Diels,Rhus sinica Koehne.
Common  Chinese Name:Qingfuyang

Habitat :Rhus punjabensis sinica is native to E. Asia – Himalayas.(Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu, Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi)It grows in moist situations in valleys and ravines, thickets and forests at elevations of 460 – 3000 metres in Tibet and western China.

Description:
Rhus punjabensis sinica is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft 4in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:  
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. This species is closely allied to R. potaninii. This is the form of R. punjabensis that is most commonly grown in Britain. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are 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 into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is small with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.

Medicinal Uses:
An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic. It is used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is used applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth.

Other Uses:
An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant.

Known Hazards: There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in ‘Cultivation’

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:

Rhus punjabensis


http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+punjabensis+sinica
http://base.sp2000.cn/colchina_e15/show_species_details.php?name_code=4e094de4-1112-484d-bdf7-2b7d6c131cb3

Rhus potaninii

Botanical Name: Rhus potaninii
Family: Anacardiaceae
Subfamily: Anacardioideae
Genus: Toxicodendron
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms :Rhus henryi, Rhus sinica. non Diels.

Common Names: Chinese Varnish Tree, Potanin Sumac, Potanin’s Lacquer Tree

Habitat: Rhus potaninii is native to E. Asia – C. and W. China.( S Gansu, Henan, S Shaanxi, S Shanxi, Sichuan, NW Yunnan.) It grows on the hill and mountain forests, thickets; 900-2500 metres.

Description:
Rhus potaninii is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 8 m (26ft) branchlets glabrous. Petiole minutely pubescent; leaf blade imparipinnately compound; rachis wingless; leaflets 7-11; leaflet petiolule short; leaflet blade oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 5-10 × 2-4 cm, both sides minutely pubescent or subglabrous, base oblique, subrounded, margin entire, apex acuminate. Inflorescence 10-20 cm, minutely pubescent. Calyx minutely pubescent, lobes ovate, ca. 1 mm, margins ciliate. Petals ovate or ovate-oblong, 1.5-2 × ca. 1 mm, minutely pubescent, margins ciliate, revolute at anthesis. Stamen filaments ca. 2 mm in male flowers; anthers ovate; staminode filaments short in female flowers. Disk conspicuous. Ovary globose, ca. 0.7 mm in diam., densely white tomentose. Drupe subglobose, 3-4 mm in diam., densely mixed pilose and glandular-pubescent, red at maturity.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not 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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[11, 200]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, but it rarely flowers in Britain. This species is very closely related to R. punjabensis. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are 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 into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil.
Medicinal Uses:
An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic. It is used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is used applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth.

Other Uses : The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. An indelible black ink is obtained from galls on the leaves. The report does not say if the galls are used before or after the insect leaves them.

Known Hazards: There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.
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/Toxicodendron
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+potaninii
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200012709

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.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

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

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.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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

Dactylorhiza incarnata

Botanical Name : Dactylorhiza incarnata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Dactylorhiza
Species: D. incarnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Orchis incarnata. O. latifolia. O. strictifolia.

Common Names: Marsh Orchid ,Early marsh-orchi

Habitat : Dactylorhiza incarnata is native to Europe, including Britain, north to Norway and east to W. Asia. It grows in wet meadows and marshes in rich soils.

Description:
Dactylorhiza incarnata is perennial orchid plant.The long leaves are lanceolate and, in most species, also speckled. They grow along a rather long stem which reaches a height of 70-90 cm. Leaves higher on the stem are shorter than leaves lower on the stem.

The inflorescence, compared to the length of the plant, is rather short. It consists of a compact raceme with 25-50 flowers. These develop from axillary buds. The dominant colors are all shades of pink to red, sprinkled with darker speckles.

Bent-back sides of lowest petal is best ID feature. Three kinds occur here: pink (common), purple (frequent) and red (very rare). The red ones are ssp coccinea and the purple ones are ssp pulchella. The pink ones have traditionally been regarded as ssp incarnata, and they key out to this in the books. However some experts believe that all the pink ones are a form of ssp pulchella, and this is supported by the fact that they frequently form what appears to be a single population with the purple ones…..CLICK & SEE : 

It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES: 

Edible Uses:  The root bulb  is  cooked. It is very nutritious. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.
Medicinal Uses:

Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed .
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/Dactylorhiza_incarnata
http://plant-identification.co.uk/skye/orchidaceae/dactylorhiza-incarnata.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dactylorhiza+incarnata
http://orchids.wikia.com/wiki/Dactylorhiza

Tanacetum balsamita

Botanical Name : Tanacetum balsamita
Family: Asteraceae
Genus:     Tanacetum
Species: T. balsamita
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Alecost. Balsamita major. (L.)Desf. Chrysanthemum balsamita.
Balsam Herb. Costmarie. Mace. Balsamita.
(French) Herbe Sainte-Marie.

Common Names:Costmary, alecost, balsam herb, bible leaf, or mint geranium.

Habitat : Costmary is a native of the Orient, but has now become naturalized in many parts of southern Europe and was formerly to be found in almost every garden in this country, having been introduced into England in the sixteenth century – Lyte, writing in 1578, said it was then ‘very common in all gardens.’ Gerard, twenty years later, says ‘it groweth everywhere in gardens,’ and Parkinson mentions it among other sweet herbs in his garden, but it has now so completely gone out of favour as to have become a rarity, though it may still occasionally be found in old gardens, especially in Lincolnshire, where it is known as ‘Mace.’

The plant seems to have originated in the Mediterranean. It is unclear whether the plant called “balsamita” described by Columella in 70 AD is the same. According to Heinrich Marzell, it was first mentioned in 812 in a plant catalogue. Costmary was widely grown since the medieval times in herb gardens until the late 19th and early centuries for medical purposes. Nowadays it has mostly disappeared in Europe, but is still widely used in southwest Asia. It was used in medieval times as a place marker in bibles.

It is an introduced weed of roadsides in eastern N. America.

Description:
The costmary is a perennial herb with oval serrated leaves and can grow up to 2 meters high. In distinction to the feathery leaves of its near relative, the Tansy, the somewhat long and broad leaves of Costmary are entire, their margins only finely toothed. The stems rise 2 to 3 feet from the creeping roots and bear in August, at their summit, heads of insignificant yellowish flowers in loose clusters, which do not set seed in this country.

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Cultivation:
The plant will thrive in almost every soil or situation, but will do best on dry land.

Propagation is effected by division of the roots in early spring, or in autumn, planting 2 feet apart, in a dry, warm situation. As the roots creep freely, the plants will probably spread over the intervening spaces in a couple of years and need dividing and transplanting every second or third year.

Grown in the shade, Costmary goes strongly to leaf, but will not flower.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or used as a flavouring in soups, beer etc. They can be chopped and added sparingly to salads. They have a very pleasant aroma, but can be overpowering in the food if you are not careful. The leaves were at one time widely used in brewing beer, before being superseded by hops (Humulus lupulus). The whole leaves can be laid in cake trays to flavour the cake whilst it is baking. The flower petals are used for conserves. A delicious tea is made from the dried leaves

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Leaves.

Alecost is seldom used in herbal medicine, though it does have a beneficial effect upon the digestive system. Early writers suggested the leaves to relieve headaches and gout pain, to increase menstruation, and as a diuretic.  It was also used for conditions of   excessive coldness. Costmary is slightly astringent and antiseptic on wounds and burns and was also used with other herbs in ointments for dry, itch skin and skin parasites.  Infuse the leaf as a tonic tea for colds, catarrh, upset stomachs and cramps, and to ease childbirth.  Add to a salve for burns and stings.  It was at one time employed medicinally in this country, having somewhat astringent and antiseptic properties, and had a place in our Pharmacopceia until 1788, chiefly as an aperient, its use in dysentery being especially indicated.  An ointment made by boiling the herb in olive oil with Adder’s Tongue and thickening the strained liquid with wax and resin and turpentine was considered to be very valuable for application to sores and ulcers. The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, digestive and laxative. They have been used internally as an aperient in the treatment of dysentery, and as a remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints. Externally, they have been used as a salve to treat burns and insect stings. They are considered to be virtually obsolete in modern herbalism.
Other Uses:Insecticide; Pot-pourri; Strewing……….The plant was traditionally used for its insecticidal properties. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well and so are used in pot-pourri, they are also used as a strewing herb

The plant is known from ancient herbals and was widely grown in Elizabethan knot gardens.

 

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/costm107.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanacetum_balsamita

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tanacetum+balsamita

Ipomoea nil

Botanical Name : Ipomoea nil
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: I. nil
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: Pharbitis nil – (L.)Choisy.

Common Names :Picotee morning glory, Ivy morning glory, and Japanese morning glory.Aguinaldo azul claro.

Habitat :Blue Morning Glory is native to most of the tropical world, and has been introduced widely.Grows in thickets on mountain slopes, waysides, fields and hedges from sea level to 1600 metres in China.

Description:
Ipomoea nil  is an annual Vines and Climbers, growing to 5m at a fast rate. Stems twining, pubescent, 0.5-2 m; leaves ovate to almost round, 3-lobed, or almost entire, slim, 5-15 cm, lobes ovate, acuminate or pointed, base heart-shaped; peduncles with 1-5 flowers; pedicels short; sepals 1.5-2.5 cm, linear with wider base, pubescent; corolla blue, 3-4 cm, limb 4-5 cm wide; ovary 3-locular, capsule globose, 8-12 mm, seeds pubescent.

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It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a fertile well-drained loam in a sunny position. The plant is not frost hardy, but can be grown outdoors as a tender annual in temperate zones. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. Closely related to I. purpurea.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water, or scarify the seed, and sow in individual pots in a greenhouse in early spring. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 weeks at 22°c. Plants are extremely resentful of root disturbance, even when they are quite small, and should be potted up almost as soon as they germinate. Grow them on fast in the greenhouse and plant them out into their permanent positions after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away actively.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antifungal; Antispasmodic; Antitumor; Diuretic; Hallucinogenic; Laxative; Parasiticide.

The seed is anthelmintic, anticholinergic, antifungal, antispasmodic, antitumour, diuretic and laxative. It is used in the treatment of oedema, oliguria, ascariasis and constipation. The seed is also used as a contraceptive in Korea. The seed is used in the treatment of edema, oliguria, ascariasis and constipation.  The seed contains small quantities of the hallucinogen LSD. This has been used medicinally in the treatment of various mental disorders.   Therapeutic benefits are somewhat enhanced when used in combination with costus and ginger.  Simply add 1-2 grams of each to the above decoction. The pounded plant is used as a hair wash to rid the hair of lice.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipomoea_nil
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Ipomoea+nil
http://www.cybertruffle.org.uk/vinales/eng/ipomoea_nil.htm

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Moneses uniflora

 

Botanical Name : Moneses uniflora
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Tribe: Pyroleae
Genus: Moneses
Species: M. uniflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: One-flowered Wintergreen (Scotland); Single Delight; St. Olaf’s Candlestick (Norway)

Habitat :    Moneses uniflora is native to Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, N. Asia to Japan, N. America. It grows in pine woods, the margins of moist woods in shady mossy places often in a bed of pine needles, avoiding calcareous soils.

Description:
Moneses uniflora is a perennial herb with a slender rhizome, the leaves are basal or low, oval-elliptic to obovate, from 10 to 30 mm in diameter, with small teeth. The petiole is shorter than the leaf diameter. Each stem terminates in a nodding, fragrant flower on a stem from 30 to 170 mm high. The corolla has a diameter of 15 to 25 mm. The spreading five white petals are slightly rumpled. The sepals are oval, separate and white-greenish. Flowering occurs from May to October

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Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil. in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer[200]. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is rare decreasing in the wild in Britain. Surviving populations are threatened, usually by commercial forestry.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously
Edible Uses: Fruits are eaten….. The fruit is a capsule about 8cm wide. Seed are eaten raw or cooked

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the dried plant has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The plant has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for sore throat. A poultice of the leaves has been used to draw out the pus from boils and abscesses, to draw blisters, to help reduce swellings and also to relieve pain.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneses
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Moneses+uniflora

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