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Herbs & Plants

Water Milfoil

Botanical Name: Myriophyllum spicatum
Family: Haloragaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales
Genus: Myriophyllum
Species: M. spicatum

Common Names: Water Milfoil, Eurasian watermilfoil, Spiked water-milfoil

Habitat: Water Milfoil is native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa, but has a wide geographic and climatic distribution among some 57 countries, extending from northern Canada to South Africa. It is a submerged aquatic plant, grows in still or slow-moving water, and is considered to be a highly invasive species in lakes, ponds, ditches etc, to 450 metres. Locally common, especially in calcareous waters.

Description:
Water Milfoil has slender stems up to 250 centimetres (8.2 ft) long. The submerged leaves (usually between 15–35 mm long) are borne in pinnate whorls of four, with numerous thread-like leaflets roughly 4–13 mm long. Plants are monoecious with flowers produced in the leaf axils (male above, female below) on a spike 5–15 cm long held vertically above the water surface, each flower is inconspicuous, orange-red, 4–6 mm long. Eurasian water milfoil has 12- 21 pairs of leaflets while northern watermilfoil M. sibiricum only has 5–9 pairs. The two can hybridize and the resulting hybrid plants can cause taxonomic confusion as leaf characters are intermediate and can overlap with parent species.

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Cultivation:
Requires a sandy medium, rich in decaying organic matter, in full sun. Plants overwinter as resting buds at the bottom of the pond. Another report says that the plants do not form winter buds, but persist at the bottom of the pond. This species is considered to have the potential to be invasive when introduced into some areas such as Texas. A good water oxygenato.

Edible Uses:
Root is eaten – raw or cooked. Sweet and crunchy, the roots were a much relished food for several native North American Indian tribes

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is demulcent and febrifuge.

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/Myriophyllum_spicatum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myriophyllum+spicatum

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Herbs & Plants

Larix kaempferi

Botanical Name: Larix kaempferi
Family: Pinaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Genus: Larix
Species: L. kaempferi

Common Names: Japanese larch or Karamatsu

Habitat:Larix kaempferi is native to Japan. It grows at altitudes up to 2,900 m on well-drained soils, avoiding waterlogged ground. It grows in the mountains of Chubu and Kanto regions in central Honshu. Japanese larch is an important tree in forestry plantations, being grown throughout central and northern Japan, and also widely in northern Europe, particularly Ireland and Britain.

Description:
Larix kaempferi is a medium-sized to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 20–40 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is broad conic; both the main branches and the side branches are level, the side branches only rarely drooping. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots (typically 10–50 cm long) and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud. The leaves are needle-like, light glaucous green, 2–5 cm long; they turn bright yellow to orange before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring.

The cones are erect, ovoid-conic and 2–3.5 cm long, with 30–50 reflexed seed scales; they are green when immature, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4–6 months after pollination. The old cones commonly remain on the tree for many years, turning dull grey-black.

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The scientific name honours Engelbert Kaempfer. It is also sometimes known by the synonym Larix leptolepi.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Prefers an open airy position in a light or gravelly well-drained soil. Plants are intolerant of badly drained soils, but they tolerate acid and infertile soils. Succeeds on rocky hill or mountain sides and slopes. A north or east aspect is more suitable than west or south. This species is very cold-hardy when fully dormant, but the trees can be excited into premature growth in Britain by mild spells during the winter and they are then very subject to damage by late frosts and cold winds. Slow growing for its first two or three years from seed, it is then very vigorous making between 1 and 1.5 metres increase in height a year. The belief that older trees do not do so well is erroneous, 50 year old specimens in Britain are still growing rapidly. Trees have been planted for timber in N.W. Europe. The heavy leaf-fall from this species soon suppresses any other vegetation, including rhododendrons Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. There are many named varieties, selected for their ornamental value, most of these are dwarf forms. Open ground plants, 1 year x 1 year are the best for planting out, do not use container grown plants with spiralled roots. Plants transplant well, even when coming into growth in the spring. The trees are attractive to small finches, tits and treecreepers. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features: Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Uses:
Larix kaempferi is used for ornamental purposes in parks and gardens. It is also widely used as material for bonsai. The dwarf cultivars ‘Blue Dwarf’, growing to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall and broad, and ‘Nana’, growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and broad, have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. The wood is tough and durable, used for general construction work. Small larch poles are widely used for fencing.

The heavy leaf-fall of this species has lead to it being planted as a fire-break in some areas where pine trees are grown. A fast-growing tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings. The bark contains tannin.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_kaempferi
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Larix+kaempferi

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Herbs & Plants

Larix gmelinii

Botanical Name:Larix gmelinii
Family: Pinaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division:Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Genus: Larix
Species:L. gmelinii

Synonyms: L. dahurica.

Common Names: Dahurian Larch, Kurile larch

Habitat:Larix gmelinii is a species of larch native to eastern Siberia and adjacent northeastern Mongolia, northeastern China (Heilongjiang) and North Korea,Europe – Russia.
It grows in dense forests at high altitudes. Hills, mountains, rocky slopes, peatlands, swamps, lowland sub-arctic plains, river basins and valleys 300 – 2800 metres

Description:
Larix gmelinii is a medium-sized deciduous coniferous tree reaching 10–30 m tall, rarely 40 m, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is broad conic; both the main branches and the side branches are level, the side branches only rarely drooping. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots (typically 5–30 cm long) and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud. The leaves are needle-like, light green, 2–3 cm long; they turn bright yellow to orange before they fall in the autumn, leaving the variably downy reddish-brown shoots bare until the next spring.

The cones are erect, ovoid, 1–2 cm (rarely 2.5 cm) long, with 15-25 moderately reflexed seed scales; they are green (rarely purple) when immature, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 3–5 months after pollination. The old cones commonly remain on the tree for many years, turning dull grey-black.

It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.

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Uses:
Resin is extracted by tapping the trunk. It is obtained from near the centre of the trunk, one properly made borehole can be used for 20 – 30 years. The resin has a wide range of uses including wood preservatives, medicinal etc. The hole is made in the spring and the resin extracted in the autumn. The yield is about 40 grams per tree. The bark contains tannin. Wood – hard, durable. Used in construction, water pipes, mine props, beams etc

Ecological Uses:

Larix gmelinii forms enormous forests in the eastern Siberian taiga, growing at 50-1,200 m altitude on both boggy and well-drained soils, including on the shallow soils above permafrost. It is unique in two respects, being the northernmost tree in the world, reaching 73° 04′ 32″ N 102° 00′ 00″ E as creeping forms of the trees in the tundra of the Taymyr Peninsula, 72° 55′ 07″ N 106° 08′ E as comparatively vertical growing single trees, 72° 31′ N 105° 03′ E at Lukunsky grove and 72° 28′ N 102° 15′ E at Ary-Mas as the subtundra sparse forests which are situated both in the Taymyr Peninsula, Khatanga river basin, and also the most cold-hardy tree in the world, tolerating temperatures below -70 °C in the Oymyakon–Verkhoyansk region of Yakutia. One tree in Yakutia was recorded as being 919 years old.

Dahurian larch is occasionally grown in botanical gardens in Europe and North America; it is not an easy tree to grow in areas with mild winters as it is adapted to a long period of winter rest; the warm winter weather in Britain can tempt it into leaf as early as the start of January, with the tender young leaves then being killed by the next frost. In its native region, daily minimum temperatures above freezing do not occur until late May or June, with no further frost until the brief summer is over.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_gmelinii
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Larix+gmelinii

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Herbs & Plants

Fuchsia

Botanical Name: Fuchsia magellanica
Family: Onagraceae
Subfamily:Onagroideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Tribe: Circaeeae
Genus: Fuchsia

Common Names: Fuchsia , Hummingbird fuchsia or Hardy fuchsia

Habitat: Fuchsia is native to the lower Southern Cone of southern South America. This species of Fuchsia occurs in temperate climate southern regions of Argentina and Chile, from latitude 32°50′ S. to the Straits of Magellan.In Australia, the species is recorded as naturalised in the states of Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Description:
Fuchsia ,the sub-shrub is deciduous can grow to 10 feet (3.0 m) in height and width in frost-free climates, and 4–5 feet (1.2–1.5 m) where colder.
It is in flower from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.The plant blossoms profusely over a long period with many small and tubular pendent flowers, in brilliant shades of red and purple, softer shades of pink and lavender, and some in white. F. magellanica is a consistently variable species across the whole of its natural range and, despite past usage and popular misconceptions, no scientific varieties are currently recognized by botanist Dr. Paul E. Berry, the leading authority on the genus. Care should be taken not to accord any of the many garden selections and hybrids with taxonomic status by using “var.” Additionally, pollen stain tests conducted in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States by members of the Western Fuchsia Species Society have indicated that almost all of the many garden selections of this species are, in fact, hybrids to a lesser or greater degree.

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Cultivation:
Fuchsia magellanica, and its cultivars and hybrids, are widely cultivated by plant nurseries and gardeners as an ornamental plant. It is used for planting in temperate and subtropical gardens and within conservatories, and for containers on patios, balconies, and sunny houseplant positions.

The plants are quite cold-hardy compared to other species from more tropical climates, being deciduous where frosts are light, and only top die back in hard frosts (with mulching). The profuse drooping flowers are a nectar source attractive to hummingbirds.

This species, and hybrids using it as parent stock, are very susceptible to the fuchsia gall mite, Aculops fuchsiae, a serious disfiguring pest that was first accidentally spread from its native Brazil to the West Coast of the United States in 1980. It has more recently made appearances in France (2003), the Channel Islands (2006) and the United Kingdom (2007). Fortunately the fuchsia gall mite doesn’t readily survive temperatures under 40 °F (5 °C) and there are effective treatments and strategies to combat its appearance

Edible Uses:
In fact, all fuchsia fruit are edible and one can eat the flowers too. By all accounts, the berries are lightly tart with lemony freshness. Some foodies compare them to stoneless cherries. Either way, they are not toxic and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

Other Uses:
A black dye is obtained from the wood. Very resistant of maritime exposure and tolerant of trimming it makes a good informal hedge in mild maritime areas. The variety ‘Riccartonii’ is commonly used. The cultivar ‘Prostrata’ forms a carpet of growth and can be used as a ground cover when planted about 60cm apart each way

Medicinal Uses:
Fuchsia is Diuretic, febrifuge

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/Fuchsia_magellanica
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fuchsia+magellanica
https://home.howstuffworks.com/fuchsia-ladys-ear-drops.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Laburnum alpinum

Botanical Name:Laburnum alpinum
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Genisteae
Genus: Laburnum
Species:L. alpinum

Common Names: Laburnum alpinum, the Scotch laburnum, Scottish laburnum or alpine laburnum, Alpine Bea Tree, Alpine Golden Chain Tree
In Bengal it is called Sonajhuri

Habitat: Laburnum alpinum is native to Central and Southern Europe and has naturalized in Scotland. L. alpinium and L. anagyroides Medic. both are common as a garden escape in Northern Ireland. It grows on Stony hillsides of mountain woodlands.

Description:
Laburnum alpinum is a deciduous Tree. It grows to 5 metres (16 ft) by 6 metres (20 ft), at a fast rate.

It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The panicles of vanilla scented, pea-like flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.Bloom Colors are normally Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Upright or erect.

The fruit is a pod or legume, the seeds green at first but becoming shiny black.

The leaves are cholagogue and purgative. All parts of this plant are poisonous if consumed in large enough quantities and should not be eaten or used internally.

It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.

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Cultivation:
Laburnum alpinum is cultivated as an ornamental tree. Plants can be successfully transplanted even when quite large. The most common ornamental Laburnum plant is a hybrid of this species and Laburnum anagyroides, Laburnum × watereri.

The plant prefers well-drained, light (sandy), medium (loamy) soil but tolerates heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Preferring acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils, it can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or full sun.

It can withstand strong winds but not maritime exposure and tolerates atmospheric pollution. The plant is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Laburnum 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.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are cholagogue and purgative. The leaves have a similar effect to tobacco and have thus been used in treating nicotinism. The plant is very poisonous and should not be used internally without expert supervision.

Other Uses:
Wood – hard. It is highly esteemed by turners and is used for making musical instruments.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant, and especially the seed, are poisonous.

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/Laburnum_alpinum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Laburnum+alpinum