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Herbs & Plants

Pyrola elliptica

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Botanical Name : Pyrola elliptica
Family: Ericaceae/Pyrolaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Tribes: Pyroleae
Genus: Pyrola
Species: Pyrola elliptica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order    Ericales

Synonym(s): Pyrola compacta

Common Name : Waxflower Shinleaf

Habitat: Pyrola elliptica is native to Northern N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska and south to Virginia and Nebraska.It grows on rich, mainly dry woods.

Description:
Pyrola elliptica is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Greenish-white, waxy, fragrant flowers are in an elongated cluster on a stalk that rises above evergreen basal leaves. The nodding, white flowers of shinleaf occur on a 6-10 in. stalk and each has five petals; a long, curved style; and ten stamens with yellow anthers. Each stalk bears 3-21 flowers. The thick, basal, evergreen leaves are broadly oval and cluster in a rosette at ground level.

One of the most common of several species of Pyrola. Round-leaved Pyrola (P. americana), has leathery, roundish leaves. The Pyrolas yield a drug closely related to aspirin; the leaves have been used on bruises and wounds to reduce pain. Such a leaf plaster has been referred to as a shin plaster, which accounts for the common name of this plant.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer. The flowers have a delicate sweet perfume. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is extremely rare and endangered in the wild.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Medicinal Uses:
The Pyrolas contain a drug closely related to aspirin; the leaves have been used on bruises and wounds to reduce pain. Such a leaf plaster has been referred to as a shin plaster, which accounts for the common name of this plant. (Niering)The leaves have analgesic properties and were used as a poultice on bruised shins and other sores and wounds.

A tea made from the whole plant was used to treat epileptic fits in babies. A decoction of the whole plant has been used as eye drops to treat sore eyes, sties and inflamed eyelids. A tea made from the leaves was used as a gargle for sore throats and cankers in the mouth. A tea made from the roots is 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/Pyrola
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pyrola_elliptica
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PYEL

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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron x praecox

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron x praecox
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Hymenanthes
Species: R. ponticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Divisio:Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:Magnoliophytina
Classis:Rosopsida
Subclassis:Dilleniidae
Superordo:Ericanae

Common Name : Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron x praecox is a hybrid between Rhododendron ciliatum and Rhododendron dauricum. The cross was selected by Isaac Davies of the Brook Lane Nursery in Ormskirk, Lancashire around 1855 and was introduced on the market in 1861.

Description:
Rhododendron x praecox is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES

The shrubs have a loose upright growth and will reach a width of approx. 100 cm and a height of 120 after around 10 years. Under ideal conditions they will reach heights of 2 metres and a width of 1,5 metres, with an annual growth of approx. 5 cm.

Wood and Bark
The stems of a 120 cm-high shrubs are up to 2 cm across and rather flexible. The bark appears to be relatively smooth, young shoots are a reddish brown becoming light brown and slightly scaly in age.

Leaves:
Rhododendron x praecox is evergreen and has alternate, simple ovate leaves with entire margins. The leaves are approx. 60 x 27 mm in size and are glossy dark-green, they are hairy above and scaly below. Young leaves are lime-green.

Rhododendron x praecox thus has leaves that are slightly larger than those of Rhododendron dauricum whose foliage also turns brownish in winter.

Depending on the growing conditions older leaves may be shed after having taken on a light yellow autumn colour. In that case only the youngest generation of leaves will overwinter together with the terminal flower buds.

Flowers and Fruit
The funnel-shaped and somewhat bulgy flowers appear from March to April. They are bright pink-purple with darker margins on the inside and dark pink-purple on the outside. The flowers usually arranged in loose terminal umbels made up of 1 to 5 flowers. Each flowers is approx. 2,5 x 4,5 cm in size. They flowers do not bear marks, the scent can hardly be distinguished.

The fruits are septicidal capsules.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in acid or neutral soils in sun or part shade. Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants are hardy to about -15°c but the flowers come out in spring and are very frost tender. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – this is a hybrid species and the seed will not breed true. It is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult
Medicinal Uses:    Not yet known.

Other Uses: Rhododendron x praecox is very tolerant of trimming, plants can be grown as a hedge.

This reliable hybrid is suitable for almost any garden. It may even be used in an alpine garden due to its loose habit and low space and soil requirements. A nice effect can be achieved when put next to daffodils flowering at the same time.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.

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://en.hortipedia.com/wiki/Rhododendron_x_praecox
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+x+praecox

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron ponticum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron ponticum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Hymenanthes
Species: R. ponticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:  R. lancifolium. R. speciosum.

Common Name : Rhododendron

Habitat: Rhododendron ponticum is native to southern Europe and southwest Asia. It grows in the rich forests under Fagus, Picea and Abies species, it is also found above the tree line. Sandy and peaty soils in woods and open places in Britain.

Description:
Rhododendron ponticum is a dense, suckering shrub or small tree growing to 5 m (16 ft) tall, rarely 8 m (26 ft).Leaves are oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, 10-20 cm long and 2.5-64 cm wide, dark green above, paler below; petiole 1.3-2.5 cm long and they are evergreen. The flowers are 3.5 to 5 cm (1.4 to 2.0 in) in diameter, violet-purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots or streaks. The fruit is a dry capsule 1.5 to 2.5 cm (0.59 to 0.98 in) long, containing numerous small seeds.

It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The two subspecies are:

R. p. ponticum, found from Bulgaria east to Georgia
R. p. baeticum (Boiss. & Reut.) Hand.-Mazz. found in Spain and Portugal

Rhododendron ponticum is an invasive plant. It produces abundant seed and also suckers, forming dense thickets. It is naturalized in Ireland, the U.K. and much of western Europe as well as in parts of New Zealand. Rhododendron control is a key element in nature conservation in many areas.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. Hardy to about -15°c. Plants are self-sowing aggressively in British woodlands and are often out-competing native trees by filling the understorey and preventing natural regeneration. They are considered to be a pernicious weed by many environmentalists. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit[200], it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses:
A medicine made from the plant is used to treat heart and circulation malfunctions, but it should not be used without expert supervision.
Other Uses:
Rhododendron ponticum subsp. baeticum is one of the most extensively cultivated rhododendrons in western Europe. It is used as an ornamental plant in its own right, and more frequently as a rootstock onto which other more attractive rhododendrons are grafted. The plants were first grown in Britain in the 1760s, supplied by Conrad Loddiges, and became widely distributed through the commercial nursery trade in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The roots readily send up suckers from below the graft, often allowing it to overtake the intended grafted rhododendron.

Known Hazards: Honey produced with pollen from the flowers of this plant can be quite poisonous, causing severe hypotension and bradycardia in humans if consumed in sufficient quantities, due to toxic diterpenes (grayanotoxins).

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/Rhododendron_ponticum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+ponticum
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/rhpon.htm

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron ‘PJM’

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron ‘PJM’
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Ericoideae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron ‘PJM’  is  mostly  grown in the midwestern countries.  A hybrid of garden origin, R. minus x R. dauricum

Description:
Rhododendron ‘PJM’ is an evergreen broadleaf evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). Leaves are elliptic, flat to convex, obtuse apex, cuneate base, rust colored scaly indumentum, deep mahogany-purple November to April. Upright, dense growth habit. Flowers are openly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1½” across, lilac purple to light violet. Several clones are known as well as a number of forms.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. This is an exceptionally hardy cultivar. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position 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. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants can be grown as a hedge. It is also grown in the garden for it’s good looking flowers.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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=Rhododendron+’PJM’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron
http://www.rhododendron.org/descriptionH_new.asp?ID=643

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron mucronulatum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron mucronulatum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species: R. mucronulatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:
*Rhododendron dauricum var. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Maxim.
*Rhododendron dauricum subsp. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Vorosch

Common Names: Korean rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron mucronulatum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea and Siberia. It grows in thin woods and open country, especially on volcanic soils.

Description:
Rhododendron mucronulatum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in).
It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These are deciduous shrubs, often with rather twisting-rambling branches. Autumn leaf colour is often very good in R. mucronulatum. The scales on their leaves and twigs (that can be seen with a good magnifying lens), reveal that they belong to the subgenus Rhododendron (or lepidopes). In comparison to their nearest relative, the semi-evergreen R. dauricum, the leaf-scales are not so dense (2 4 times their diameter apart) and the flowers are larger in this species. However, there is considerable variation in these characters within these two species, and they hybridize to form swarms of intermediate types in nature. The widely, funnel-shaped, flowers are typically rosy-purple in colour, but can be pink and even white. They open successively from clusters of buds at the end of the shoots before the leaves expand. While they can be killed by frosts below -5C, damaged flowers are soon replaced by the next ones to open. We place our plants where they are not too exposed to the night sky in order to protect the flowers from spring frosts.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires.   A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is idea. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult

Edible Uses: ….Flower petals – raw. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet Known.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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/Rhododendron_mucronulatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+mucronulatum