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Potentilla fruticosa

Botanical Name: Potentilla fruticosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Dasiphora
Species: D. fruticosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Dasiphora fruticosa. Pentaphylloides fruticosa.

Common Names: Shrubby cinquefoil, Potentilla, Golden hardhack,Bush cinquefoil, Shrubby five-finger, Tundra rose

Habitat : Potentilla fruticosa is native to the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, often growing at high altitudes in mountains. It grows on damp rocky ground, usually on limestone.
Description:
Potentilla fruticosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1.2 m (4ft in) at a medium rate. The habit is variably upright to sprawling or prostrate, but stems are often ascending especially those stems with many long branches. The bark of older stems is shreddy with long thin strips. The plants are densely leafy, the leaves divided into five or seven (occasionally three or nine) pinnate leaflets. The leaflets are linear-oblong, 3–20 mm (0.1–0.8 in) long, with entire margins and more or less acute ends. The foliage (both leaves and young stems) is pubescent, variably covered in fine silky, silvery hairs about 1 mm long. The flowers are produced terminally on the stems and are 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) cm across, buttercup-shaped, with five petals and 15–25 stamens; the petals are pale to bright yellow (orange to reddish in some western Chinese populations). The fruit is a cluster of achenes covered with long hairs. The species is variably dioecious or bisexual; flowering is typically from early to late summer… from Jun to July. 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, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Prefers a light well-drained soil. Established plants are drought tolerant. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. A very ornamental shrub, there are many named varieties. Polymorphic. A good bee plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Dislikes growing under trees, especially Juglans species. Plants are usually dioecious but hermaphrodite forms are also known. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn 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 at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3 – 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn if possible and overwinter in a cold frame. Softwood cuttings taken in the early summer. Easy.

Edible Uses: Tea.
A tea is made from the dried leaves. Used as a substitute for China tea, especially by people living at high elevations in the Himalayas.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.
The leaves are astringent. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of indigestion.
Other Uses:
Hedge; Hedge; Incense; Packing; Soil stabilization; Tinder.

Can be grown as a medium size informal hedge. Trim in spring. Some forms, notably ‘Longacre’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Gold Drop‘ have a dense spreading habit and make good ground cover plants. A useful plant for controlling soil erosion. The dry, flaky bark is used as a tinder for friction fires. (fires started by rubbing 2 pieces of wood together very fast). The powdered plant is used as an incense. The leaves are used as a packing material in pillows.

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/Dasiphora_fruticosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Potentilla+fruticosa

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Prunus americana

Botanical Name: Prunus americana
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus:Prunus
Section: Prunocerasus
Species: P. americana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: American Plum, American Wild Plum, Wild Plum, Large yellow sweet plum

Habitat : Prunus americana is native to North America from Saskatchewan and Idaho south to New Mexico and east to Québec, Maine and Florida.It grows on rich soils in mixed deciduous woodland, by streams, on the borders of swamps and in hedgerows.

Description:
Prunus americana grows as a large shrub or small tree, reaching up to 15 feet (4.6 m). It is adapted to coarse- and medium-textured soils, but not to fine soils. The shrub is winter-hardy, but has little tolerance for shade, drought, or fire. Its growth is most active in spring and summer, and it blooms in midspring. It propagates by seed, but the rate of spread by seed is slow.

The roots are shallow, widely spread, and send up suckers. The numerous stems per plant become scaly with age. The tree has a broad crown. The branches are thorny. The leaves are alternately arranged, with an oval shape. The leaf length is usually 2–4 in (5.1–10.2 cm) long. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green and under side is smooth and pale. The small white flowers with five petals occur singly or in clusters in the leaf axils. The globular fruits are about 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter.

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It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in August. 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 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:
Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Pest tolerant, Specimen. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Trees are probably hardy to as low as -50°c when fully dormant. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild, it is cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America, where there are many named varieties. It flowers well in Britain but rarely fruits well here. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants often produce suckers at the roots and form thickets. The branches are brittle. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, Edible, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Difficult, if not impossible. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Difficult, it not impossible. Suckers in late winter.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw, cooked in pies etc or used in preserves. The flesh is succulent and juicy, though it is rather acid with a tough skin. The best forms are pulpy and pleasant tasting. The fruit is best cooked, and it can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:

Antiasthmatic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Diuretic; Miscellany; Poultice.

A tea made from the scraped inner bark is used as a wash to treat various skin problems and as a mouth wash to treat sores. A poultice of the inner bark is disinfectant and is used as a treatment on cuts and wounds. The bark is astringent, diuretic and pectoral. It has been used to make a cough syrup. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, kidney and bladder complaints. An infusion of the twigs has been used in the treatment of asthma. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.

 

Other  Uses:Broom; Disinfectant; Dye; Miscellany; Rootstock; Soil stabilization; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. A red dye can be obtained from the roots. This species is widely used as a rootstock for cultivated plums in North America. The tough, elastic twigs can be bound into bundles and used as brooms for sweeping the floor. Trees often grow wild along streams, where their roots tend to prevent soil erosion. Wood – heavy, hard, close-grained, strong. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot. Of no commercial value because the trunk is too small.

Known Hazards:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Prunus_americana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana

Amorphophallus rivieri

Botanical Name: Amorphophallus rivieri
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideaen f
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Conophallus konjak.

Common Names: Devil’s Tongue, Umbrella Arum, Leopard Palm, Snake Palm

Habitat: Amorphophallus rivieri is native to E. Asia – Cochin China, East Indies. Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats. It grows in forest margins and thickets at elevations of 830-1200 metres in western Yunnan.

Description:
Amorphophallus rivieri is a tuberous herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.6 m (2ft). It is foul-smelling somewhat fleshy tropical plant of southeastern Asia cultivated for its edible corms or in the greenhouse for its large leaves and showy dark red spathe surrounding a large spadix.

It is frost tender. 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 Flies.

Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Late spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.

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

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container. Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain. This species is being increasingly cultivated for its edible tubers in Japan and Chin The plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display. It is also said to make a good house plant. The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep. The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant flowers, Flowers have an unpleasant odor.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture. It usually germinates in 1 – 8 months at 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly. Division of offsets. These are rarely produced

Edible Uses:
Rhizome – cooked. The root must be thoroughly boiled or baked, it is acrid when raw. Very large, it can be up to 30cm in iameter. In Japan the large brown tubers are peeled, cooked and pounded to extract their starch, which is solidified with dissolved limestone into an edible gel called ‘Konnyaku’. Konnyaku is a type of flour valued for its use in many dietary products. The flour is valued for its ability to clean the digestive tract without being a laxative. A nutritional analysis is available. This root is very high in water and low in calories, so it is being promoted as a diet food in N. America.

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•308 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 3.8g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 88.5g; Fibre: 3.8g; Ash: 7.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 654mg; Phosphorus: 269mg; Iron: 11.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses: The root is oxytoxic and sialagogue. It is used in the treatment of cancer. The flowers are febrifuge.

Other Uses : The plant has insecticidal properties.

Known Hazards: We have one report that this plant is very toxic raw, though no more details are given. It belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.

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=Amorphophallus+rivieri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphophallus

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Amorphophallus+rivieri

 

Scutellaria minor

Botanical Name : Scutellaria minor
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Scutellaria
Species: S. minor
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Lesser skullcap

Habitat : Scutellaria minor has a southern temperate distribution in Europe. It grows in wet heaths and open woodland on acidic soils. In the British Isles, it is restricted to southern and western areas, extending as far north as the Outer Hebrides.

Description:
Scutellaria minor grows to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) tall, with narrowly ovate leaves arranged oppositely. Flowers are borne in the axils of the upper leaves; they have a pinkish purple corolla, 6–10 millimetres (0.24–0.39 in) long. The leaves are egg-shaped, the upper, quite entire, the lower ones often slightly toothed at the base. The flowers are small, dull pink-purple, the calyx having the same peculiarlty as the larger species.

It flowers from July to October

It has the habit of the preceding species, but is more slender and often much branched and rarely attains 6 inches in height. The whole plant is more glabrous than Scutellaria galericulata.
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Medicinal Uses:  Not avaible

 

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutellaria_minor
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/scullc34.html

Agropyrum repens

Botanical Name: Agropyrum repens
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Elymus
Species: E. repens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Synonyms:  Twitch-grass. Scotch Quelch. Quick-grass. Dog-grass. Triticum repens (Linn.).

Commo  Namen : Couch grass

Other names : Common couch, Twitch, Quick grass, Quitch grass (also just quitch), Dog grass, Quackgrass, Scutch grass, and Witchgrass
Habitat:Agropyrum repens  is  native to most of Europe, Asia, the Arctic biome, and northwest Africa. It has been brought into other mild northern climates for forage or erosion
Description:
Agropyrum repens  or couch grass  is a very common perennial species of grass.  It has creeping rhizomes which enable it to grow rapidly across grassland. It has flat, hairy leaves with upright flower spikes. The stems (‘culms’) grow to 40–150 cm tall; the leaves are linear, 15–40 cm long and 3–10 mm broad at the base of the plant, with leaves higher on the stems 2–8.5 mm broad. The flower spike is 10–30 cm long, with spikelets 1–2 cm long, 5–7 mm broad and 3 mm thick with three to eight florets. The glumes are 7–12 mm long, usually without an awn or with only a short one…..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

It flowers at the end of June through to August in the northern hemisphere.
Part Used in medicine :   The rhizome, or underground stem, collected in the spring and freed from leaves and roots.

Constituents:  Couch-grass rhizome contains about 7 to 8 per cent of Triticin (a carbohydrate resembling Inulin) and yielding levulose on hydrolysis. It appears to occur in the rhizome of other grasses, and possibly is widely diffused in the vegetable kingdom. Sugar, Inosite, Mucilage and acid malates are also constituents of the drug. Lactic acid and mannite may occur in an extract of the rhizome, but are understood to be fermentation products. Starch is not present and no definite active constituent has yet been discovered. The rhizome leaves about 4 1/2 per cent ash on incineration.

Medicinal  Uses:
Diuretic demulcent. Much used in cystitis and thetreatment of catarrhal diseases of the bladder. It palliates irritation of the urinary passages and gives relief in cases of gravel.

It is also recommended in gout and rheumatism. It is supposed to owe its diuretic effect to its sugar, and is best given in the form of an infusion, made from 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water, which may be freely used taken in wineglassful doses. A decoction is also made by putting 2 to 4 oz. in a quart of water and reducing down to a pint by boiling. Of the liquid extract 1/2 to 2 teaspoonsful are given in water.

Couch-grass is official in the Indian and Colonial Addendum of the British Pharmacopoeia for use in the Australasian, Eastern and North American Colonies, where it is much employed.

The dried rhizomes of couch grass were broken up and used as incense in medieval northern Europe where other resin-based types of incense were unavailable. Elymus repens (Agropyron repens) rhizomes have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine against fever, internally as a tea, syrup, or cold maceration in water, or externally applied as a crude drug.

Other Uses:
The foliage is an important forage grass for many grazing mammals.  The seeds are eaten by several species of grassland birds, particularly buntings and finches. The caterpillars of some Lepidoptera use it as a foodplant, e.g. the Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola).

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/Elymus_repens
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/grasse34.html#cou