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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.

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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

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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