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Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. 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. Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Equisetum variegatum

Botanical Name : Equisetum variegatum
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. variegatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Common Name : Variegated scouringrush, Alaskan scouringrush, Variegated horsetail or Variegated scouring rush

Habitat : Equisetum variegatum is native to Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America, central and northern Asia. It grows on dunes, river banks, wet ground on mountains etc, to 480 metres.

Description:
Equisetum variegatum is a perennial plant. It is a variable species with several ecotypes, some of which are distinct subspecies. The stems can grow to 40 cm (occasionally 80 cm) in height but are often much smaller. Some forms have prostrate stems that creep along the ground while other forms grow more erect. The stems are dark blue-green, slender and rough to the touch. They may be unbranched or have branches growing from the base. The stem nodes are covered with a sheath that is marked with a black band and has dark teeth with white edges. The stems are tipped with a small cone, 3-4 mm across, which is usually green with a black, bluntly-pointed tip.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Summery : Equisetum species – horsetail family are Creeping, perenial, Branching rootstocks, rooted at the nodes. The Arial stems may be annual or Perennial, are cylindrical, fluted, simple or with whorled branches at the jointed nodes. The internodes are usually hollow. The Surfaces of the stems are covered with Silica. The Cones are terminal.

CLICK & SEE

Leaves and stems:
The sterile stem is green and has no branches. The “leaves” are reduced to a sheath that surrounds the stem. At the top of the sheath is a narrow black band and 3 to 12 teeth that are black/brown with distinct white edges. The teeth persist all season. The stem is evergreen and persists through the winter. The central cavity is ¼ to 1/3 the diameter of the stem….CLICK & SEE

Fruit:
Fertile stems are like the sterile stems but with a ½-inch cone at the tip of the stem. Cones have a sharply pointed tip, mature in late summer or may over-winter and release spores the following spring…..CLICK & SEE

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist but well-drained fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A very cold-hardy species tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Medicinal Uses:
Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. Horsetail is very astringent and makes an excellent clotting agent, staunching wounds, stopping nosebleeds and reducing the coughing up of blood. It helps speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity. The plant has been used in the treatment of sore eyes.

Other Uses:
The stems contain 10% silica and are used for scouring metal and as a fine sandpaper. They can also be used as a polish for brass, hardwood etc. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase. a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_variegatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+variegatum
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/fern/variegated-scouring-rush

Equisetum pratense

Botanical Name : Equisetum pratense
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. pratense
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Common Names : Meadow horsetail, Shade horsetail or Shady horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum pratense is native to arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America, central and northern Asia. It grows on grassy stream banks, up to 900 metres.

Description:
Equisetum pratense is in general a green, bottlebrush-like creeping perennial , growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. The seeds ripen in April.

Summery in detail:
It has branching rootstocks, rooted at the nodes. The Arial stems may be annual or Perennial, are cylindrical, fluted, simple or with whorled branches at the jointed nodes. The internodes are usually hollow. The Surfaces of the stems are covered with Silica. The Cones are terminal.

*Stems dimorphic; slender, erect, hollow, and annual. Central canal about 1/6 to 1/3 diameter of the stem.
*Sterile stems to 18″, upright and whitish green; branched, with long, thin, tapering tip and 10-18 minutely roughened ridges. Internodes about 1″ apart.
*Fertile Stems to 15″, upright, brown; initially unbranched, branching and greening up only after cones have disappeared.
*Branches 5″ long, thin and delicate, straight, smoothed, solid, 3-sided, and unbranched; horizontal to drooping; borne in whorls. First branch segment not longer than adjacent stem sheath. *Teeth deltoid, slightly incurving, with thin white margins.
*Leaf Sheaths pale, 2-6 mm long, 2-4.5 mm wide, with 8-10 brown, white-edged teeth, 1.5-4 mm long.
*Rhizomes dull, black, slender, deeply creeping, and branching.
*Roots black, wiry kinky.
*Cones 1″ long, blunt tipped, on very long stalks; at the tips of fertile stem.
*Spore Clusters – in 1 – 2 cm long cone, on long talk at tip of bottlebrush-like shoot (whorled branches may be absent at first), soon fall off

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Notes:
Meadow horsetail is often confused with common horsetail; however, all of meadow horsetail’s shoots are green and have whorls of branches. Only common horsetail has small, brown, unbranched, fertile stems. The sterile stems of meadow horsetail are generally more slender and fragile looking than those of the lengthy of the first branch segment relative to the length of the adjacent stem sheath. The branch segment is shorter than or equal to the stem sheath in meadow horsetail, but longer in common horsetail. Horsetails contain an enzyme (thiaminase) that destroys vitamin B1 (thiamine). In large quantities, they have caused deaths in livestock, though poisoning is quickly reversed by removing horsetails from the diet. Their effect on humans is not completely understood, but raw horsetails can act as a poison. Cooking destroys the thiaminase. Only very small quantities should be taken internally, and people with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems are warned against using horsetail.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficul. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.
Edible Uses: Roots – raw or cooked. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. A further report says that the peeled stems, base of the plant, root and tubers were eaten raw by the N. American Indians, the report went on to say that this may be inadvisable.
Medicinal Uses: Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants[238]. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals

Known Hazards :Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+pratense
http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/ferns/equisetumpra.html
http://www.borealforest.org/ferns/fern5.htm

Equisetum hyemale

Botanical Name : Equisetum hyemale
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. hyemale
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Common Name : Dutch Rush, Scouringrush horsetail, Horsetail, Scouring Rush, Rough Horsetai

Habitat : Equisetum hyemale is a native plant throughout the Holarctic Kingdom, found in North America, Europe, and northern Asia. It grows in mesic (reliably moist) habitats, often in sandy or gravelly areas between sea level to 2,530 metres (8,300 ft) in elevation, to 500 metres.

It is primarily found in wetlands, and in riparian zones of rivers and streams where it can withstand seasonal flooding. It is also found around springs and seeps, and can indicate their presence when not flowing. Other habitats include moist forest and woodland openings, lake and pond shores, ditches, and marshes and swamps.

Description:
Equisetum hyemale is a perennial plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).Bloom Color: Unknown. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Equisetum species – horsetail family are Creeping, perenial, Branching rootstocks, rooted at the nodes. The Arial stems may be annual or Perennial, are cylindrical, fluted, simple or with whorled branches at the jointed nodes. The internodes are usually hollow. The Surfaces of the stems are covered with Silica. The Cones are terminal. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect, Variable spread.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Equisetum hyemale has vertical jointed reed-like stalks of medium to dark green. The hollow stems are up to 3 feet (0.91 m) in height. The stems are not branched with conspicuous ridges, impregnated with silica which makes them feel rough and harsh.

The tiny leaves are joined together around the stem, forming a narrow black-green band or sheath at each joint. Like other ferns and their relatives, the plant reproduces by spores and does not produce flowers or seeds.

The stems are generally deciduous in cold climates, and remain during winter in warmer climates. It forms dense spreading colonies, in full to partial sun.

Subspecies:
Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine — endemic to North America

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Woodland garden. Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. The stems of this species were once exported to Britain in quantity from Holland so that they could be used as an abrasive for cleaning pots and pans. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground. Special Features:North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance
Edible Uses:
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked. An asparagus substitute. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – dried and then cooked. A source of starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. A further report says that the peeled stems, base of the plant, root and tubers were eaten raw by the N. American Indians, the report went on to say that this may be inadvisable.
Medicinal Uses: 
Antibacterial; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Cancer; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Hypotensive; Parasiticide;
Styptic.

Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypotensive and styptic. It also has an appetite-stimulating effect. The barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the pant are used. The plant is a useful diuretic when taken internally and is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing. The plant contains polyphenolic flavonoids with bactericidal activity.

Some Plateau Indian tribes boiled the stalks to produce a drink used as a diuretic and to treat venereal disease. It is used as a homeopathic remedy.
Other Uses:
Dye; Fungicide; Liquid feed; Musical; Paper; Parasiticide; Polish; Sandpaper; Scourer.

The stems are very rich in silica. They are used for scouring and polishing metal and as a fine sandpaper. The stems are first bleached by repeated wetting and drying in the sun. They can also be used as a polish for wooden floors and furniture. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed. Used as a hair rinse it can eliminate fleas, lice and mites. A light pink dye is obtained from the stem. The hollow stems have been used as whistles. Another report says that the stem joints are pulled apart and used by children to produce a whistling sound.

The rough stems have been used to scour or clean pots, and used as sandpaper.

Boiled and dried Equisetum hyemale is used as traditional polishing material, similar to a fine grit sandpaper, in Japan.

Music :   The stems are used to shape the reeds of reed instruments such as clarinets or saxophones.

Known Hazards :Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum_hyemale
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+hyemale

Ophioglossum vulgatum

Botanical Name : Ophioglossum vulgatum
Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Ophioglossum
Species: O. vulgatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
Order: Ophioglossales

Common Names: Adder’s-tongue, Southern adders-tongue or Adders-tongue fern

Habitat : Ophioglossum vulgatum is native to many regions with a wide scattered distribution: throughout temperate through tropical Africa; and throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere in Europe, northeastern North America, temperate Asia, and Eurasia. This small, hard-to-spot plant can occur singly in unimproved pastures, rock crevices and grassy path-sides, but also can occur in colonies of hundreds of plants in sand dunes.

Description:
Ophioglossum vulgatum grows from a rhizome base to 10-20 cm tall (rarely to 30 cm). It consists of a two-part frond, separated into a rounded diamond-shaped sheath and narrow spore-bearing spike. The spike has around 10-40 segments on each side.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It reproduces by means of spores.

Propagation:
Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep them in humid conditions until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Division of underground rhizomes with care because the roots are brittle.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Ophioglossum vulgatum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist free-draining soil.
Plants are hardy to about -15°c. The prothalli (a small plant formed when the spore germinates) of this species form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in much the same way as orchid seedlings. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Plants can be hard to establish, they can be naturalized in a meadow or cultivated in the border where they should be left undisturbed.

Unlike most species of ferns, the fronds of this species grow up straight and not curled inward, crozier fashi
Edible uses: Used as a vegetable. No more details are found.
Medicinal Uses:
The root and the leaves are antiseptic, detergent, emetic, haemostatic, styptic and vulnerary. An ointment made from the plant is considered to be a good remedy for wounds and is also used in the treatment of skin ulcers. The expressed juice of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for internal bleeding and bruising
Traditional European folk use of leaves and rhizomes as a poultice for wounds. This remedy was sometimes called the “Green Oil of Charity”. A tea made from the leaves was used as a traditional European folk remedy for internal bleeding and vomiting.

The fresh leaves make a most effective and comforting poultice for ulcers and tumors. The expressed juice of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for internal bleeding and bruising.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity is found for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.

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/Ophioglossum_vulgatum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Ophioglossum_vulgatum