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Herbs & Plants

Galium boreale

Botanical Name : Galium boreale
Family: Rubiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Galium
Species: G. boreale

Common Names:: Northern bedstraw

Habitat: Galium boreale is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, south and west to N. Italy and W. Asia. It grows on rocky slopes and streamsides, moraine, scree, shingle, stable dunes etc, to 1050 metres in N. Britain.

Description:
Galium boreale is a perennial plant that dies back to the ground every winter. Established plants spread by rhizomes, creating colonies of new plants around the original one.

The squarish unbranched stems may grow between 20 centimetres (7.9 in) and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall. The leaves are attached directly to the stem in groups of four; spaced evenly like the spokes of a wheel. Leaves are longer than they are wide and have three prominent veins.

It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.The small white flowers grow in a fairly showy panicles from the top of the stem. Each individual flower has 4 pointed segments that fold back from a fused tube enclosing the stamens and pistil. The lightly perfumed flowers have no calyx. Seeds are formed in pairs in dark fruits that may be covered in short hairs.

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Cultivation:
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

Edible Uses:
Gallium boreale is edible, with a sweet smell and taste, and can be eaten as a wild salad green. Varieties such as Galium boreale which do not contain the small hooks on the stem are not as palatable as the hooked varieties of Galium, like Galium aparine, but are important plants to remember for survival purposes. Leaves – raw or cooked. A tea is made from the flowering stems.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is diaphoretic and diuretic. A decoction has been used as a contraceptive. Both Asperuloside (a terpenoid) and Coumarin (a benzopyrone) occur in some species of Galium. 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. The plant is used as a stuffing material for mattresses etc.

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/Galium_boreale
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galium+boreale

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Galeopsis tetrahit

Botanical Name: Galeopsis tetrahit
Family: Lamiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Galeopsis
Species: G. tetrahit

Common Names:: Common hemp-nettle, Brittlestem hempnettle,

Habitat : Common hemp-nettle is native to Europe and northwestern Asia. Its typical habitat is rough ground, arable land, logging clearances and waste places. It spreads readily as its sharp calyces adhere to clothing and animal pelts

Description:
Galeopsis tetrahit is a herbaceous annual plant growing to 1 m tall; it is a pioneer species and thrives on disturbed sites or roadsides. The plant looks like mint but is taller. The stems have reflexed hairs and swollen nodes. In cross section, the stem is square. The leaves are rhombic to elliptic, with coarsely to bluntly serrate edges. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile.
The flowers are multicoloured, with purple, pink, or white areas; diminutive, bilateral and snapdragon-like, and are mostly visited by bumblebees.

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The stem branches occasionally and is squarish and hairy, with glandular hairs on the upper part of the plant. The nodes are swollen and widely spaced and the pale green, stalked leaves are in opposite pairs. The leaf blades are hairy and are ovate with a long tapered tip and with regular large teeth on the margin. The inflorescence forms a terminal spike and is composed of whorls of pinkish flowers with dark markings on the lower lip. The calyx has five sharp-pointed lobes and the corolla forms a two-lipped flower about 15 to 20 mm (0.6 to 0.8 in) long with a fused tube. The upper lip of each flower is convex with dense, glandular hairs and the lower lip is three-lobed, the central lobe being the largest, squarish with a flat or rounded edge. There are four stamens, two long and two short, the gynoecium has two fused carpels and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp. The plant has a slightly unpleasant smell.

Cultivation:
Grows in most soils, disliking heavy shade. This plant is sometimes grown in the wild garden. An aggregate species. It is a natural hybrid, G. speciosa x G. pubescens.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination usually takes place within a month.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is antispasmodic, detergent, expectorant and resolvent. It is used in the treatment of tissue-wasting complaints. An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of pulmonary complaints.

Other Uses:
A drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is used as a polish for leather. A fibre is obtained from the stems, it is used for making cord.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, causing paralysis.

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/Galeopsis_tetrahit
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galeopsis+tetrahit

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Galeopsis segetum

Botanical Name: Galeopsis segetum
Family: Lamiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Galeopsis
Species: G. segetum

Synonyms : G. dubia. G. ochroleuca.

Common Name: Downy hemp-nettle

Habitat: Galeopsis segetum is native to W. Europe, including Britain, from Denmark to Germany and Spain. It grows on fields, meadows and waste places.

Description:
Galeopsis segetum is an annual flowering plant , growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivation: Grows in most soils, disliking heavy shade. This plant is sometimes grown in the wild garden.

Medicinal Uses:
The flowering plant is astringent, diuretic and mildly expectorant. A decoction has been used in the treatment of whooping cough, bronchitis, tracheitis etc. The plant is harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[9]. It is used to treat disorders of the splee.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, many other members of this genus are said to be poisonous, causing paralysi

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galeopsis_segetum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galeopsis+segetum

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Galax urceolata

Botanical Name:Galax urceolata
Family: Diapensiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Galax
Species: G. urceolata

Synonyms : G. aphylla. non L.

Common Names: Galax, Beetleweed, Wandflower

Habitat: Galax urceolata is native to South-eastern N. America. It grows on moist open woodland, particularly in montane areas, to altitudes of 1500 metres.

Description:
Galax urceolata is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant growing to 30–45 cm (rarely 75 cm) tall, with a rosette of leathery leaves which grow only at the base of the plant, and turn brown during winter. The leaves are a rounded cardioid (heart) shape, 2.5–7.5 cm diameter, rarely up to 15 cm, with a serrated margin with rounded “teeth”. The flowers are produced in late spring to early summer, white in color and on a single spike-like raceme 15–25 cm long on top of a 20–50 cm tall stem. Each individual flower has five petals, and is up to 4 mm or 0.15 inches in diameter. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.

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Cultivation:
Requires a moist humus-rich lime-free soil with part day shade. Succeeds in full shade. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees. Succeeds in the woodland garden, large rock gardens or as an edging for shady paths. Plants like an annual mulch of pine needles or other acid organic matter each spring. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers. 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. An evergreen. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots . The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground.

Medicinal Uses:
It is used in herbalism to treat cuts and kidney ailments. The plant is used for healing all kinds of wounds and cuts. An infusion of the root is used to treat kidney problems.

Other Uses:Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. The leaves turn bronze-red in winter. Plants should be spaced about 25cm apart each way.

The leaves are often harvested for the floristry industry; concern has been expressed over excessive exploitation, and collection is now restricted in many areas. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.

The independent city of Galax, Virginia, is named after this plant.

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/Galax
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galax+urceolata

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Daphniphyllum himalense

Botanical Name: Daphniphyllum himalense
Family: Daphniphyllaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales
Genus: Daphniphyllum

Synonyms: Goughia himalayensis.

Common Chinese name : Xi zang hu pi nan

Habitat: Daphniphyllum himalense is native to E. Asia – Central and Eastern Himalayas to Northern Burma. It grows in cool moist forests, shady ravines and valleys alongside streams, 1200 – 3000 metres. Forests; 1200-2500 m. SE Xizang (Mêdog), NW Yunnan (Gongshan) [Bhutan, NE India, N Myanmar, E Nepal].

Description:
Daphniphyllum himalense is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It’s branchlets are stout, white lenticellate, young branches dark brown. Petiole 2-5 mm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate, oblong, or oblong-elliptic, 10-21 × 2.5-7 cm, chartaceous or thinly coriaceous, glaucous and finely papillate abaxially, green and shining adaxially in dried state, base cuneate or obtuse, apex acute or acuminate; lateral veins 10-14 pairs, prominent abaxially and slightly impressed adaxially. Male flowers: inflorescence 3-5 cm; pedicel 4-8 mm; calyx absent; stamens 8-12; filaments ca. 1 mm; anthers oblong, ca. 1 mm. Female flowers: inflorescence 4-6 cm; pedicel 7-13 mm; calyx absent; staminodes 5 around ovary; ovary ovoid, glaucous; style branches recurved. Infructescence 7.5-9.5 cm; drupe ellipsoidal, 12-14 × 7-9 mm, ± smooth, glaucous; style branches persistent. 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). . The plant is not self-fertile. It is in flower during September to November.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in any good soil, tolerating lime but perhaps not suitable for very chalky soils. A useful plant for moist shady positions. Dislikes cold drying winds. D. macropodum. Miq. is hardy at Kew and tolerates temperatures down to about -20°c. It is very closely related to this species and is perhaps no more than a sub-species of it. This species, however, is less hardy than D. macropodum. The flowers have a pungent aroma. They are produced in racemes on the previous year’s wood. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses: The very closely related specis ,Daphniphyllum macropodum is said to have edible leaves. The leaves of Daphniphyllum himalense may also edible cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses: A paste of the wod is applied as a poultice to boils.

Other Uses: Wood – soft, close and even grained, very handsome. Used for turnery, carving etc. The wood of the roots is especially handsome, it is deep red in colou

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/Daphniphyllum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Daphniphyllum+himalense
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200012619