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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.

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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

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Magnolia liliiflora

Botanical Name : Magnolia liliiflora
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Yulania
Section: M. sect. Yulania subsect. Yulania
Species: M. liliiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Synonyms : M. obovata. non Thunb. M. purpurea. M. quinquepeta. (Buc-Holz.)Dandy. Lassonia quinquepeta.

Common Names : Mu-Lan, Woody Orchid, Lily Magnolia,Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Red magnolia, Lily magnolia, Tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and Woody-orchid

Habitat: Magnolia liliiflora is native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It grows in slopes and forests edges at elevations of 300 – 1600 metres in Fujian, Hubei, Sichuan and NW Yunnan Provinces.
Description:
Magnolia liliiflora is a deciduous shrub, exceptionally a small tree, to 4m tall (smaller than most other magnolias). Bloom Color: Pink, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect. It blooms profusely in early spring with large showy flowers, before the leaf buds open.The seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Beetles…...CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Specimen. Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture. Prefers a neutral to acid soil but tolerates alkaline soils so long as they are deep and rich in humus. Plants cannot be grown on limy or chalky soils. The branches are brittle so a sheltered position is required. This species is said to be fairly wind tolerant. It is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, but they require the protection of a wall when grown in northern Britain. The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring. The flowers, which start to be produced when the plant is less than a metre tall, are deliciously scented. The young wood is aromatic. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame[200]. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Layering in early spring .

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Anodyne; Carminative; Febrifuge; Sedative; Tonic.

The flowers and unopened flower buds are analgesic, anodyne, carminative, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. The main effect of this herb is to constrict blood vessels in the nasal passages and so it is taken internally in the treatment of sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and colds with a runny nose or catarrh. In excess it can cause dizziness. This herb is incompatible with Astragalus membranaceus. The flowers are harvested in the spring and can be used fresh or dried.

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/Magnolia_liliiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Magnolia+liliiflora

Aspidistra

Botanical Name :Aspidistra elatior
Family: Convallariaceae/Ruscaceae
Genus : Aspidistra
Synonyms : Aspidistra lurida – Ker-Gawl.
Common Name :
Cast-iron Plant
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. elatior

Habitat :Although sometimes thought to be of Chinese origin, the species is in fact native to islands in southern Japan including Kuroshima, Suwanosejima and the Uji Islands. It occurs in association with overstorey species such as Ardisia sieboldii and Castanopsis sieboldii  E. Asia – Japan – Kuroshima, Suwanose, and Uji Islands. An understory plant, found growing in forests beneath Ardisia crenata and Castanopsis sieboldii. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Description:
Aspidistra elatior  is a rhizomatous perennial. It is a stemless plant to 1 metre in height with dark green leaves. Small, solitary purplish flowers may appear at the base of the plant in spring.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from January to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Slugs, snails.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Aspidistra elatior is a staple of the shade garden. It has wide, evergreen leaves that rise up from tough, rhizomatous roots. The lance shaped leaves are dark green and leathery, and around 12-20 in (30-50 cm) long. The aspect of cast-iron plant is decidedly vertical. Some types of aspidistra are variegated with creamy streaks or dots; some are shorter than the species. The plants spread in clumps, vigorously but at a moderate enough rate not to be invasive or even troublesome. The flowers are borne close to the ground and never even seen unless one deliberately searches for them.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Medicinal Uses
Febrifuge; Styptic; Tonic.

The roots, stems and leaves are febrifuge, styptic and tonic. Strengthens bones and muscles. A decoction of the root, stems or leaves is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, amenorrhoea, diarrhoea, myalgia, traumatic injuries and urinary stones.

Other Uses:
Ground cover.
Aspidistras can be grown as a ground cover in a shady position.

Aspidistra is often grown in a container as a porch or patio plant, or as a house plant. In landscapes, it can be used as a border or be planted in a drift around trees, or to fill a planter under an overhang. In his North Florida garden, Steve has a stand of them growing in almost total shade at the base of a large live oak tree. Florists use the leaves in arrangements, where they lend drama and provide an excellent background for flowers. The leaves of cast-iron plant are especially long lasting in arrangements.

Cultivation :
Prefers a shady position in a rich well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils and drought. Almost hardy in Britain[1], plants can withstand temperatures down to about -15°c if they are well sited. A plant growing under shrubs in Worcestershire has survived in the garden for over 30 years. This plant used to be commonly grown as a house plant, it tolerates considerable neglect.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring. Suckers. Best removed in the autumn and grown on in the greenhouse for the first winter.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aspidistra+elatior
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspidistra_elatior
http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/aspi_ela.cfm
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week078.shtml

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Wolf’s bane (Indian aconite)

Botanical Name: Aconitum ferox Wall
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species:A. ferox
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Syn: Aconitum virosum Don., A. napellus var. rigidum Hook, f & T.

English names: Wolf’s bane, Indian aconite.

Sanskrit names: Vatsanabha, Visa.

Vernacular names: Hin: Bish, Mahoor; Guj and Mar: Vachang; Kas: Mohra; Tam: Vasnumbi; Tel: Vasnabhi.

Trade name: Bish.

Habitat : Wolf’s bane  is  abundant at Sandakphu, which is the highest point of the Darjeeling Hills in the Indian State of West Bengal.
Alpine Himalaya including Nepal; endemic.

Descriptions: 

Wolf’s bane is  a deciduous perennial plant  . It is an erect herb growing up to 2 m in height; roots look like the navel of children; leaves alternate, simple, rounded or oval, may be palmately 5-lobed; flowers borne on branched racemes, bracts and bracteoles present, large helmet-type, helmet vaulted with short sharp beak, pale dirty blue in colour, zygomorphic, floral parts arranged spirally on an elongated receptacle; follicles erect, usually densely villose-sometimes glabrous.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: July-November.
Ecology and cultivation: Temperate to alpine regions of the Himalaya in the altitude of 3300-5000 m…..CLICK & SEE

Cultivation:-
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. If the flower stems are removed after flowering the plant will normally flower again later in the season. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. A polymorphic species. The nomenclature is very confused for this species, A. lycoctonum. L. is treated as A. septentrionale by many botanists whilst A. lycoctonum. Auct. is A. vulparia.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year

Chemical contents: Root: pseudoaconitine (a toxic alkaloid), indactonitine, chasmaconitine, bikhaconitine.
Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Alterative; Anaesthetic; Antiarthritic; Antitussive; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Stimulant.

The root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, antitussive, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and stimulant. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner

Traditional use: AYURVEDA : Root: used in the mrityunjaya rasa (used to treat the fever supposed to be caused by deranged vayu, i.e., wind, sannipatika jvara, i.e., remittent fever, hingulesware-rasa, anandabhairav agnitundi vati, etc.

Vatsanabha has been used in medicine from a very remote period. It is regarded as healing and stimulant. It is used in a great variety of affections, but is specially recommended in fever, cephalagia, affections of throat, dyspepsia and rheumatism. HOMOEOPATHY: remedy for clotting of blood in heart or in lungs, pneumonia, Iymptisis, pleurisy, eye trouble, earache, toothache and urinary trouble.

Modern use: Extremely poisonous; used in leprosy, fever, cholera, nasal catarrah, tonsillitis, sore throat, gastric disorders, debility, etc., also used as a sedative and diaphoretic; applied in the form of paste in cases of neuralgia and rheumatism.

Click to learn more about ->-………………(1).(2)...(3)

Adulterants: Indian aconite root is known as ‘bikh’ or ‘bish’, the name which is applied to aconite from more than one species, and different authors have ascribed it to different species.

Remarks: Vulnerable due to excessive collection for medicinal uses. Collection in wild state should be banned and measures for cultivation should be initiated.

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

Reources:

http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Aconitum%20ferox

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum_ferox

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aconitum+lycoctonum

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