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Herbs & Plants

Cruciata laevipes

Botanical Name: Cruciata laevipes
Family: Rubiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Cruciata
Species: C. laevipes

Synonyms:
*Valantia cruciata L.
*Galium cruciata (L.) Scop.
*Galium cruciata var. laevipes (Opiz) W.D.J.Koch
*Rubia cruciata (L.) Baill.
*Valantia hirsuta Gilib.
*Aparine latifolia Moench
*Galium valantia G.Gaertn., B.Mey. & Scherb.

Common Names: Crosswort, Smooth bedstraw or Luc na croise in Gaelic.

Habitat: Cruciata laevipes is native to Europe, including Britain, from the Netherlands to Poland, south to S. Europe, W. Asia and Siberia. It grows on open woodland, scrub, hedges, waysides and pastures, especially on calcareous soils.

Description:
iata laevipes is a perennial sprawling plant that can grow to a height of 15–70 cm (6–28 in), spreads by seeds and stolons and has, unusually amongst this group, yellow hermaphrodite flowers. The inner flowers are male and soon fall off, whilst the outer are bisexual and produce the fruit. The flowers smell of honey. Of the whorls of four leaves, only two in each group are real leaves, the other two being stipules. It is associated with arbuscular mycorrhiza that penetrate the cortical cells of the roots.  It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from June to July Pollination is by bees and flies.

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Cultivation:
Cruciata laevipes prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade. Tolerates dry soils but the leaves quickly become scorched when growing in full sun]. This species does not thrive in a hot climate. The flowers have a sweet powerful perfume. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

Propagation:
Through seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in spring though it may be very slow to germinate. Division in spring or throughout the growing season if the plants are kept well watered[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: Leaves are vedible , eaten – raw or cooked.

Mediicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent, diuretic and vulnerary. It is not much used nowadays, but was considered a very good wound herb for both external and internal use. A decoction of the leaves has also been used to treat obstructions of the stomach and bowels, to stimulate the appetite and as a remedy for rheumatism, rupture and dropsy. A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

Other Uses: A red dye is obtained from the root. Good to grow in flower garden.
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/Cruciata_laevipes
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cruciata+laevipes

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Herbs & Plants

Clarkia biloba

Botanical Name: Clarkia biloba
Family: Onagraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Genus: Clarkia
Species: C. biloba

Synonyms : Godetia biloba. Dur.

Common Names: Twolobe clarkia, Two lobed clarkia,Mariposa clarkia, Brandegee’s clarkia

Habitat: Clarkia biloba is native to South-western N. America. It grows on Open places below 1200 metres in California.

Description:
Clarkia biloba is an annual herb producing an erect stem approaching 1 metre (3.3 ft) in maximum height. The leaves are linear to lance-shaped and up to 6 centimeters long. Each is borne on a short petiole.

The top of the erect stem is occupied by the inflorescence, which bears hanging buds above open flowers. The pink or red-purple sepals remain fused as the petals spread and emerge from one side of the bud. The petals are up to 2.5 centimeters long and pink to lavender to magenta, sometimes flecked with red. Each petal has a two-lobed tip. There are 8 stamens, some with large lavender anthers and some with smaller, paler anthers. The stigma protrudes past the stamens.

The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).

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

Propagation: Through seeds.

Medicinal Uses: Ophthalmic.

Other Uses: Very nice to grow in flowering garden.

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/Clarkia_biloba
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Clarkia+biloba

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Herbs & Plants

Inga vera

Botanical Name: Inga vera
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Clade: Mimosoid clade
Genus: Inga
Species: I. vera

Synonyms: Kuntze Inga berteroana DC. Inga donnell-smithii Pittier Inga eriocarpa Benth. Inga fissicalyx Pittier Inga…

Common Names : Ice cream bean, River koko, Guaba, Pois Doux

Habitat:
Inga vera is native to Tropical S. America, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico. It grows in Tropical moist forest. Along riverbanks and in sheltered ravines at elevations of 60 – 700 metres. Prefers damp to wet soils, growing mainly in secondary formations.

Description:

Inga vera is a medium-sized evergreen tree 12-18 m tall, with trunk 30-60
cm in diameter (sometimes to 20 m tall and 1 m in diameter) with a widely
spreading crown of long branches and thin foliage. Bark grey-brown, fairly
smooth but becoming finely fissured; inner bark pinkish to brown. Twigs
brown, often zigzag, with dense brown hairs when young.
Leaves alternate in 2 rows, pinnately compound, 18-30 cm long; axis 6-18
cm long, brown, hairy, with a green wing 6-10 mm broad. Leaflets 3-7
pairs, slightly drooping, stalkless, with a tiny round gland between each
pair, elliptical to oblong, 5-15 x 2.5-7 cm, larger from base towards the
end, long pointed at tip and short pointed at base, not toothed on edges,
thin and slightly convex, slightly hairy, especially on veins, upper surface
green, underneath pale green.

Flower clusters 1-4 on base of leaf or at end of twig, consisting of several
stalkless flowers crowded near end of hairy stalk, only 1 or 2 open daily.
Each flower 6-7.5 x 7.5-9 cm, with many threadlike white stamens.
Flower
fully expanded at dawn but soon wilts in daylight. Calyx tubular, cylindrical,
5-toothed, corolla a narrow cylindrical tube about 15 mm long with 5 short
spreading lobes, greenish-yellow with dense brown hairs; numerous
stamens united into a tube inside the corolla; pistil with long narrow ovary
and very slender style. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

Pods nearly cylindrical, narrow, 10-20 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, 4-ribbed, with
2 long grooves, slightly curved, densely hairy, brown, with calyx at base,
not splitting open. Seeds few, beanlike, black, in white, sweetish, edible
pulp.

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Cultivation:
A plant of the humid, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 – 28°c, but can tolerate 15 – 35°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 – 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,200 – 4,000mm. Succeeds in full sun and in dappled shade. Succeeds on a wide variety of soils, including limestone. Prefers a pH in the range 6 – 8, tolerating 5.5 – 8.5. A fast-growing tree. The plant can flower and produce fruits throughout the year. 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:
Through seeds – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position either in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate of around 100% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 3 – 5 days. Transplant the seedbed seedlings to individual containers when they are 4 – 6cm tall. The seedlings develop quickly and should be ready to plant out 3 – 4 months late.

Edible Uses:
The sweet tasting pulp found surrounding the seeds inside the pod is eaten. It is not widely appreciated. The nearly cylindrical, narrow pods are 10 – 20cm long, 1 – 2cm wide.

Medicinal Uses:
The macerated bark is taken orally as a treatment for anaemia. A decoction of the root is used as a treatment for gallstones. The pulp of the fruit is a treatment for constipation. It is reported to be astringent and diuretic.

Other Uses:
Design: Shade tree; Street tree; Public open space. Agroforestry Uses: The tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen and so enriches the soil in which it grows. It is frequently used as a shade tree in coffee and cacao plantations, being large enough when only 3 years old. Inga species generally have a number of factors that make them popular for use as shade trees in coffee and cacao plantations:- they grow quickly and so soon make an effective shade; they respond well to drastic pruning and so are easy to keep within the required size and shade levels; they promote and maintain soil fertility; they are effective soil stabilizers. Other Uses: The bark is a source of tannins. It is used for dyeing textiles. The heartwood is pale brown to a golden brown, with longitudinal streaks or patches of darker brown often shaded with green or yellow; the sapwood is whitish. The wood is moderately heavy; moderately hard; strong; tough; of low durability, being very susceptible to attack by drywood termites and other insects and to decay in contact with the ground. Rate of air-seasoning is rapid, and amount of degrade is moderate. Machining characteristics are as follows: planing, turning, boring, mortising, sanding, and resistance to screw splitting are good; and shaping is poor. It is used for making posts and small implements such as boxes, toys, pencils etc. The wood makes an excellent fuel and is also used to make charcoal.

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/Inga_vera#:~:text=Inga%20vera%20is%20a%20species%20of%20tropical%20tree,guamo%20churimo%2C%20guamo%20arroyero%20and%20guamo%20macho.%20
https://apps.worldagroforestry.org/treedb2/AFTPDFS/Inga_vera.PDF
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Inga+vera

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Furcraea hexapetala

Botanical Name: Furcraea hexapetala
Family: Asparagaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Furcraea

Synonyms:
Agave aspera Jacq. Agave australis Steud. Agave cubensis Jacq. Agave hexapetala Jacq. Agave odorata Pers. Agave vivipara Arruda Furcraea agavephylla Brot. Furcraea aspera (Jacq.) M.Roem. Furcraea cahum Trel. Furcraea cubensis (Jacq.) Vent. Furcraea macrophylla Baker Furcraea valleculata Jacobi. Agave odorata, Agave cubensis

Common Names: Fique, Cuban Hemp

Habitat: Furcraea hexapetala is native to Northern S. America – Venezuela, Ecuador, Galapagos, north through the Caribbean and Mexico. It grows on the Tropical highlands.

Description:
Furcraea hexapetala is an evergreen Perennial succulent plants with long, fleshy leaves which grow upwards, similar to Yucca. Flower stalks and long and flowers range from green to white and are slightly fragranced.The plant grows to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
The flowers are pollinated by Birds, Bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Propagation:
Seed – rarely produced. Plants frequently produce large numbers of bulbils, which root and grow into new plants when they fall to the ground. These bulbils have the capacity to remain viable for a number of years, even in unfavourable conditions

Medicinal Uses:
One of the most popular uses of asthma plant is for treating eye infections. Traditional healers commonly turn the weed into tea or decoction, and then recommended it as eye wash for those who have conjunctivitis. For Snakebites.

Other Uses: Agroforestry Uses: Planted as living fences. Other Uses: A fibre is obtained from the leaves.

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/Furcraea
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/189941/i-furcraea-hexapetala-i/details
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Furcraea+hexapetala

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Furcraea andina

Botanical Name: Furcraea andina
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Furcraea
Species: F. andina

Synonyms: Furcraea delevantii Riviere

Common Names: Pacpa, Fique

Habitat: Furcraea andina is native to Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. From here it was extended to Venezuela and the east coast of Brazil. It grows oropical highlands. All climates, from coastal plains to elevations above 3,000 metres.

Description:
Furcraea andina is a perennial succulent shrub kind of plant that grows 59 to 79 inches in both height and width. The stem alone grows about 40 to 80 inches tall and the leaves are thick and fleshy and in the form of a beautiful rosette. Some species come with spine-y leaves and once the plant matures, one can notice that the stalk looks like an asparagus shoot.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Propagation: Through seeds. Bulblets, Cuttings. Best method by bulbils found on lower stems.

Edible Uses: Edible Portion: Bud, Leaves – alcoholic drink. The young buds are edible. They are pickled. The leaves are used to make a fermented drink.

Mediicinal Uses: The leaves have been used in topic preparations for treatment of boils. The extract of leaves is used against horse lice.

Other Uses:
Packing (sacks and packages for agriculture). Ropes, Tapestry (rugs and tapestry). The fibres can be stained with different organic materials, such as avocado seed, achiote and eucalyptus cortex. Handcrafts, purses, bags, handbags, mattresses, curtains, shoes, umbrellas, baskets and many other products. Subproducts: Pulp for organic fertilizer and paper. Leaves juice used for soap, fungicides, alcoholic beverages (homemade tapetusa), organic fuel and animal food. Floral stem used in the construction of houses and ladders. Carbon Farming Solutions – Industrial Crop: fiber. Good leaf lamina fibres that need to be seperated from the rest of the plant. Lamina fibres cannot be used for fine textiles but for rope, nets, bags, and rugs. (Industrial crops are grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles). Agroforestry Services: living fence (Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland).

Known Hazards: Spines or sharp edges.

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/Furcraea_andina
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Furcraea+andina

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