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Herbs & Plants

Enchylaena tomentosa

Botanical Name: Enchylaena tomentosa
Family: Amaranthaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Enchylaena
Species: E. tomentosa

Common Names: Barrier saltbush or Ruby saltbush

Habitat:
Enchylaena tomentosa is native toAustralia. It grows on loamy and slightly saline soils by the coast in semi-arid areas. Found in salt marshes and rocky headlands as well as in arid zones inland.

Description:
Enchylaena tomentosa grows as a small perennial evergreen shrub, up to a meter in diameter. Leaves are slender and cylindrical growing to 6-15mm long, both leaves and stems are densely covered in woolly hairs. It is a non flowering plant. Fruits form as fleshy berries changing from bright green/yellow to bright red/orange.

The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.

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Cultivation:
Enchylaena tomentosa is highly drought tolerant It has historically been sought after by Indigenous Australians, early settlers and livestock. Nutritional analyze gives the plant a 65% digestibility rating providing grazing species with 14% digestible protein and 6% digestible salt.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure. It probably requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position.

Propagation:
Through seeds – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection for at least their first winter outdoors. It might also be possible to grow the plant as a summer annual, sowing in the spring and planting out the young plants after the last expected frosts. Cuttings.

Edible Uses:
The ripened fruit of E. tomentosa can be picked and eaten raw and is described as being salty-sweet in flavor, being picked by desert Indigenous Australians as a snack food and is still frequently collected today. Indigenous groups of the Macdonell Ranges (central Australia) have been recorded to soak the fruits in water to make a sweetened tea. Charles Sturt on his explorations into the semi-arid interior also recorded harvesting the leaves, which could be eaten as a vegetable after being boiled.

Medicinal Uses:
Enchylaena tomentosa can be used as an antiviral. The diseases that this herb is known to cure are many– Fever, Itching, High Bp, Swelling, Diabetes, Inflammation, Skin Disorders, etc.

Other Uses:
In terms of grazing value “E. tomentosa” is listed as a maintenance feed; as the plant does not provide enough grazing volume to act as a sole foraging source, its drought hardiness allows it to be available in dryer times of the year such as late summer when other palatable and nutritious forage sources are absent.

Known Hazards : The leaves are rich in oxalic acid. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body’s supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. It is oxalic acid that gives foods such as rhubarb their acid flavour. Cooking the leaves will greatly reduce the oxalic acid content. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Enchylaena_tomentosa
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Enchylaena+tomentosa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Encelia farinosa

Botanical Name: Encelia farinosa
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Encelia
Species:E. farinosa

Common Names: Brittlebush, Brittlebrush, or Incienso

Habitat:
Encelia farinosa is native to South-western N. America – California to Utah and Arizona. It grows on dry stony slopes to 1000 metres.

Description:
Encelia farinosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) at a medium rate.It has fragrant leaves 3–10 cm (1+1?4–4 in) long, ovate to deltoid, and silvery tomentose. Arranged in loose panicles above the leafy stems, the capitula are 3–3.5 cm (1+1/4–1+1/2 in) in diameter. Each has 8–18 orange-yellow ray florets, 6–15 millimetres (1/4–9/16 in) in length, and yellow or purple-brown disc florets. The fruit measures 3–6 mm (1/8–1/4 in) and no pappus is visible. During dry seasons the plant goes drought deciduous, shedding all of its foliage, relying on the water stored in its thick stems.
The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.
Plants strongly resent wet conditions, especially in the winter. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Another report says that the plants will tolerate temperatures down to -12°c if they are in quite dry conditions. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. Plants have a taproot and resent root disturbance. They should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small, though they will then need protection from the cold for their first winter or so.

Propagation:
Through seeds – sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter, making sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the tap root, and plant out in early summer. Cuttings, in pure sand, in a frame. The report does not specify the type of cutting.

Edible Uses: A gum that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used for chewing. It is aromatic.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the blossoms, leaves and stems has been held in the mouth to alleviate a toothache. A poultice of the plant has been used to alleviate pain.

Other Uses:
A resin that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used as a glue and as an incense in the home and in church. It has also been used to waterproof containers and has been melted then used as a varnish. The resinous branches have been used to make a quick fire.
Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing, Specimen. Requires a very warm sunny position in a deep very well-drained soil. Blooms are very showy.

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/Encelia_farinosa
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Encelia+farinosa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Empetrum rubrum

Botanical Name: Empetrum rubrum
Family: Ericaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Empetrum
Species: E. rubrum

Common Names: Red crowberry or Diddle-dee (Chilean Spanish: Murtilla de Magallanes)

Habitat: Empetrum rubrum is native to South America – Chile and Tierra Del Fuego. It grows on bogs and swamps, in open Nothofagus forest and occasionally frequent in the understorey.

Description:
Empetrum rubrum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate with somewhat trailing in habit. The narrow simple leaves are about 1 cm (0.4 inch) long and somewhat succulent. The flowers are very small and purplish pink. The fruits are true berries, about 1 cm long, and range from reddish to purple to black, depending on the species.

It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is 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 is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is not self-fertile.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
A calcifuge plant, it is easily grown in a moist lime-free peaty soil. Tolerates exposed positions, including maritime exposure in Cornwall. This species is closely related to E. nigrum. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Through seeds – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be very slow to germinate, stored seed requires 5 months warm then 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. 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, 3cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Takes 3 weeks. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 3cm with a heel, October in a frame. Requires shade. Good percentage

Edible Uses:Fruits are edible, eaten – raw or cooked. It is supposed to have tonic properties.

Medicinal Uses: Used as very good tonic.

Other Uses: Plants can be used for groundcover in exposed locations.

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/Empetrum_rubrum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Empetrum+rubrum
https://www.bing.com/search?q=medicinal+uses++of+Empetrum+rubrum+plant&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=medicinal+uses+of+empetrum+rubrum+plant&sc=7-39&sk=&cvid=027A02E67C9642539F54E391F4F03CD1&ghsh=0&ghacc=0&ghpl=

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Emilia coccinea

Botanical Name: Emilia coccinea
Family: Asteraceae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Emilia
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Magnoliids

Synonyms: E. flammea. Cass. Cacalia coccinea. C. sagittata.

Common Names: Tassel Flower, Scarlet tasselflower

Habitat: Emilia coccinea is native to Tropical Asia.It is a conspicuous weed of roadsides, waste places, abundant in old cultivated land, often common in dry country at low elevations, found from sea level to 2,000 metres.

Description:
Emilia coccinear is an erect, annual plant with few or no branches, growing 20 – 100cm tall.Basal and lower leaves shortly petiolate; involucres broad-cylindrical to hemispherical, corollas moderately to well-exserted; corollas lobes 1.1-2.2 mm; disk floret styles obviously appendiculate, appendages 0.2-0.3 mm, caudate. It is in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from August to Oct.

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Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most well-drained soils in a sunny position. An ideal plant for hot dry areas and coastal soils. Plants flower better when growing on nutritionally poor soils, producing much lusher growth on rich soils. They are drought tolerant once established. Plants are not frost hardy, but succeed outdoors in Britain as a spring-sown annual. Slugs can be a problem with this plant in a wet spring.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild and used locally for food and medicines. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens.

Propagation:
Through seeds – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown outdoors in situ in the middle of spring.

Edible Uses: Leaves are edible,eaten – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as a potherb.

Medicinal Uses:
Emilia coccinea is widely used in folkloric medicine for eye and ear ailments as well as for fever. This present study evaluated the preliminary and quantitative phytochemical properties of E. coccinea leaves using standard procedures. The results revealed the following bioactive compounds Flavonoids (0.90 ± 0.02), Alkaloids (0.94 ± 0.03), Tannins (10.36 ± 0.02), Saponins (2.34 ± 0.02), Oxalate (1.62 ± 0.01), Phenols (0.89 ± 0.02), Terpenoids (0.11 ± 0.01). The high concentration of tannin and moderate concentration of other phytochemical proved that E. coccinea can serve as a vital medicinal plant that could be used for pharmaceutical formulations.

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://www.researchgate.net/publication/320676337_Evaluation_of_phytochemical_contents_of_Emilia_coccinea_leaves
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Emilia+coccinea

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Emex australis

Botanical Name: Emex australis
Family: Polygonaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Rumex
Species:R. hypogaeus

Synonyms: Rumex hypogaeus

Common Names: Doublegee, Southern threecornerjack, Devil’s thorn.

Habitat: Emex australis is native to South Africa and has become naturalised in California, Trinidad, Europe, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Australia
It is found in many habitats, especially grass plains. A weed of waste ground and pastures.

Description:
Emex australis is a decumbent to semi-erect annual plant. It grows to heights of from 10 to 60 cm and its stems may be prostrate, decumbent, or ascending. The base is often reddish. Leaves and stems appear vivid green from seedling stage. Leaves are simple, alternately arranged or arranged in small bundles, egg-shaped (ovoid) to oblong, up to 8 cm long and 5 cm wide.The leaves are stalked and without any surface covering, with the leaf blade being 1-10 by 0.5-6 cm. There are 1 to 8 flowers with stamens per sheathed bundle and these flowers have narrow oblong tepals which are 1.5-2 mm. The female flowers occur as groups of 1 to 4 per sheathed bundle, and the outer tepals are ovate to oblong and 4-6 mm in fruit, while the inner tepals are broadly triangular and, 5-6 mm in fruit. The achenes (dry 1-seeded fruits not opening at maturity) are 4-6 by 2-3 mm, and shiny.

It flowers all year round.

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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.

Edible Uses: Young leaves cooked vand eaten. The leaves contain oxalates and are laxative in large quantities.

Medicinal Uses: Emex australis is reported to have medicinal value, used by Zulu as a remedy for stomach disorders and colic and they are used by the Xhosa to relieve dyspepsia and biliousness and to stimulate appetite.

Known Hazards: The 3-cornered seeds can be very painfull if stepped upon, They are renown to pierce through bycicle tyres.

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/Rumex_hypogaeus
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Emex+australis

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