Categories
Herbs & Plants

Sedum spectabile

Botanical Name: Sedum spectabile
Family: Crassulaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales
Genus: Hylotelephium
Species: H. spectabile

Synonyms:
*Hylotelephium spectabile
*Sedum telephium

Common Names: Showy stonecrop, Ice plant, Butterfly stonecrop

Habitat: Sedum spectabile is native to Eastern part of Asia – China and Korea and Manchuria. It grows on valleys, rocky cliffs and damp places along woodlands

Description:
Sedum spectabile is an herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in), with alternate, simple, toothed leaves on erect, unbranched succulent stems. The star-shaped pink flowers are borne in flat cymes 15 cm (6 in) across. It is in flower from September to October, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Cultivation:
A very easily grown and tolerant plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Tolerates poor soils. Established plants are drought tolerant, they can also tolerate considerable neglect, surviving even in the dense growth of weeds. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. This species has pink flowers. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity. The flowers have a honey-like smell similar to Buddleias. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. The flowers are very attractive to bees and lepidoptera. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is fleshy. Thick or swollen – fibrous or tap root.

Ediible Uses: Leaves are eaten- raw or cooked. The leaves are very mucilaginous but have a fairly bland flavour.

Medicinal Uses: The plant is antiphlogistic, depurative, sialagogue.

Other Uses: Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 30cm apart each way.

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/Hylotelephium_spectabile
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sedum+spectabile

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Herbs & Plants

Scopolia carniolica

Botanical Name: Scopolia carniolica
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Scopolia
Species: S. carniolica

Synonyms: Hyoscyamus chloranthus. Scopolina atropoides. Scopolina carniolica.

Common Names:Scopolia, European scopolia, Henbane bell

Habitat: Scopolia carniolica is native to Europe – Austria, Hungary and Russia. It grows on moist rocky beech woods around 1000 metres. Damp stony places in hilly areas.

Description:
Scopolia carniolica is a creeping herbaceous perennials plant with boldly-veined leaves, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
with dark green foliage emerging flushed with dark purple in late winter, and dying back in summer. Pale yellow, hanging, bell-shaped flowers are produced in spring. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.

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Cultivation: Prefers a light, fertile, well-drained dry soil in a shady position. A very ornamental plant, it is occasionally cultivated for its medicinal uses.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried root is hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic. It causes a sleep that resembles normal sleep. The medicinal activity of this plant resembles belladonna (Atropa belladonna) but it is more narcotic. It is used internally in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, stomach ache and manic-depressive states. A very toxic plant, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is harvested in the autumn and normally processed for extraction of the alkaloids which are used in the pharmaceutical industry. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Scopolia carniolica for liver & gallbladder complaints .

Known Hazards: This plant is probably fairly poisonous. The rhizomes contain potentially poisonous alkaloids that are similar to Atropa belladonna[200]. Adverse effects include visual disturbances, heat build up due to lack of sweating. Micturition disorders may occur with overdose. Contraindicated in close angle glaucoma, prostatic adenoma with residual urine, tachycardia, and gastrointestinal obstructions and any state where increased anticholinergic activity is harmful.

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/Scopolia_carniolica
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Scopolia+carniolica
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/16898/Scopolia-carniolica-var-brevifolia/Details

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Herbs & Plants

Pueraria tuberosa

Botanical Name: Pueraria tuberosa
Family: Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Genus: Pueraria
Species: P. tuberosa

Synonyms: Hedysarum tuberosum Willd

Common Names: Indian kudzu, or Nepalese kudzu, Vidarikand, Sanskrit: Bhukushmandi

Habitat: Pueraria tuberosa is native to India, Pakistan, and Nepal. It grows on shrubberies and streamsides, 300 – 2000 metres.

Description:
Pueraria tuberosa is a climbing, coiling and trailing vine with large tuberous roots. The tubers are globose or pot-like, about 25 centimetres (9.8 in) across and the insides are white, starchy and mildly sweet. Leaves are trifoliate and alternate, while the leaflets are egg-shaped, with round base and unequal sides. They are 18 cm (7.1 in) long and 16 cm (6.3 in) wide and are hairless above. Flowers are bisexual, around 1.5 cm (0.59 in) across and blue or purplish-blue in color. The fruit pods are linear, about 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) long and constricted densely between the seeds. They have silky, bristly reddish-brown hair. Seeds vary from 3 to 6 in number.

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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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
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.. Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. 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.

Edible Uses: Roots are eaten raw. Very large, it is up to 50cm long and 30cm in diameter. A liquorice flavour

Medicinal Uses:
The root is used as a demulcent and refrigerant in the treatment of fevers. It is peeled and bruised into a cataplasm and used to reduce swellings. It is crushed and rubbed on the body in the treatment of fevers and rheumatism. It is also emetic, galactogogue and tonic.

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/Pueraria_tuberosa
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pueraria+tuberosa

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Herbs & Plants

Ptaeroxylon obliquum

Botanical Name: Ptaeroxylon obliquum
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Spathelioideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Ptaeroxylon
Species: P. obliquum

Common Name: Sneezewood

Habitat: Ptaeroxylon obliquum is native to Southern Africa – Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and S. Africa. T growsd on dry evergreen forest, often together with Podocarpus and Juniperus, and in bushland, at elevations from sea-level up to 2,000 metres.

Description:
Ptaeroxylon obliquum is an evergreen to semi-deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
It has dark grey bark bearing deep longitudinal and inter-linked furrows. The leaves are opposite and compound. The leaflets are dark green with an entire margin and slightly wavy edges. The cream flowers are sweetly scented and appear on short branched heads. The fruit is an oblong reddish brown capsule.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Cultivation:
A plant of tropical and subtropical areas, where it is found at elevations from sea level to about 2,000 metres. Tolerates moderate levels of frost. Thrives best in shale or lime soils, though it also succeeds in well-drained sandy or rocky soils. Established plants are drought tolerant. The tree grows moderately fast, achieving annual increments of 40 – 100cm in height under good conditions. Trees can be managed by coppicing, showing regrowth in about 75% of cut stems. Natural regeneration often occurs in forest margins, but saplings have also been recorded in Pinus plantations in South Africa. Regeneration may be abundant after severe opening of the forest canopy, and seedlings may cover the bare forest floor after disturbance. Dioecious, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Mediicinal Uses:
The wood has the scent of pepper and causes sneezing. The bark, the sawdust and the smoke from burning wood are used as a snuff against headache. Bark and wood infusions are considered remedies for rheumatism, arthritis and heart complaints. The wood resin is applied to warts and is used to kill ticks on cattle. A tea made from the twigs is used against urinary complaints[299 ]. The wood and leaves contain chromones and other phenolic compounds. Some of these, methylalloptaeroxylin and perforatin A, showed antihypertensive effects; 7-Hydroxychromones have anti-oxidant activity. The tree lacks limonoids, which are commonly found in Rutaceae. An alkaloid isolated from the bark showed cardiac-depressant activity. Dichloromethane extracts of roots, leaves and stems showed moderate in-vitro antiplasmodial activity.

Other Uses:
The wood chips are used to repel moths from clothes. The smoke from burning wood is used as traditional pesticide for stored grain. The resin can be used as an insecticide. The heartwood is rose-red to dark red, changing to orange-brown or golden brown on exposure, and distinctly demarcated from the pale grey, narrow sapwood. The grain is wavy, texture fine. The wood is hard, heavy, tough, dense and close-grained, it has a satiny lustre and a strong peppery smell. The wood is extremely durable and resistant to termite, Lyctus and marine borer attacks. Taking into account its hardness, the wood is not difficult to saw, but it is difficult to work because of its wavy grain. However, it can be finished to a smooth and lustrous surface. The turning properties are excellent. Pre-boring before nailing is necessary. Gluing is difficult. The wood is highly valued for furniture and for poles in house building. In Mozambique it is favoured for making the keys of traditional xylophones, and for this purpose it is baked in an oven. It has also been used for railway sleepers and durable fence posts. It is suitable for heavy construction including marine works, heavy flooring, vehicle bodies, handles, sporting goods, implements, toys, novelties, precision equipment, carving, pattern making, vats and turnery. When used as machine bearings, sneezewood often wears longer than brass or iron. The wood contains an oil that makes it very inflammable – as well as being used as a fuel, it is employed as a tinder and is used to produce fire by friction. The wood is reported to ‘burn like paraffin’- giving a bright, hot fire.

Known Hazards: The wood dust is very irritating and may cause violent sneezing. Highly irritant, aromatic peppery oils, containing nieshoutol, are produced by the wood, causing violent sneezing by woodworkers after sawing or sanding.

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/Ptaeroxylon
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ptaeroxylon+obliquum
http://www.plantbook.co.za/ptaeroxylon-obliquum/

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Uncategorized

Hovenia dulcis

Botanical Name: Hovenia dulcis
Family: Rhamnaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Hovenia
Species: H. dulcis

Synonyms : Hovenia acerba, Hovenia inequalis.

Common Names: Japanese raisin tree or Oriental raisin tree

Habitat: Hovenia dulcis is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas. It grows on thje plains and mountains to 2000 metres in W. China. Secondary forest.

Description:
Hovenia dulcis is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 7 m (23ft). Branchlets brown or black-purple, glabrous, with inconspicuous lenticels. The glossy leaves are large and pointed. The trees bear clusters of small cream-coloured hermaphroditic flowers in July. The drupes appear at the ends of edible fleshy fruit stalks (rachis), which is a type of accessory fruit. The seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).

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Cultivation:
Grows well in a fertile sandy loam in a sunny position. Although the dormant plant is hardy to at least -15°c in Britain, it really prefers a continental climate to fully ripen its wood, it is then hardy to about -25°c. The shoot tips are sometimes damaged by winter frosts in Britain and the young growth in spring can also be damaged by late frosts. The Japanese raisin tree is said to grow well in Cornwall, though our experience of this plant so far (1995) is that it is very difficult to establish. Perhaps older plants are as hardy as the reports above suggest, but younger plants are quite tender and often die in their first few winters outdoors. The Japanese raisin tree is cultivated for its edible fruit in Japan. The small white flowers are scented and are produced in terminal cymes. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of “heat days” experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form – tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a standard with a non-suckering single trunk.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. They can be dried when they have the sweet flavour and texture of raisins and can be used similarly. The fruit is sweet and fragrant with a pear-like flavour. Dry and sub-acid. It is not a true fruit but a swollen receptacle. The fruit is up to 3cm long, it contains 11.4% glucose, 4.7% fructose and 12.6% sucrose. A sweet extract of the seed, boughs and young leaves is used as a substitute for honey. The seed contains 15% protein and 7.8% fat

The fleshy rachis of the infructescence is sweet, fragrant and is edible raw or cooked. Dried, they look and taste like raisins. An extract of the seeds, bough and young leaves can be used as a substitute for honey and is used for making wine and candy.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic, febrifuge, laxative. The fruit is antispasmodic, febrifuge, laxative and diuretic. The seeds are diuretic and are used in the treatment of alcohol overdose. The seeds are used to relieve intoxication due to wine. The stem bark is used in the treatment of rectal diseases. It has been used in traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicines to treat fever, parasitic infection, as a laxative, and a treatment of liver diseases, and as a hangover treatment.

Other Uses:
The wood is hard and fine grained. It is good for making furniture and building construction.

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/Hovenia_dulcis
https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Hovenia+dulcis