Tag Archives: Antipasto

Allium brevistylum

Botanical Name : Allium brevistylum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. brevistylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Shortstyle Onion

Habitat :Allium brevistylum is native to the western United StatesRocky Mountains from Montana and Idaho to Utah and Colorado.
It grows on the swampy meadows and stream sides at medium to high elevations.

Description:
General: perennial herb with an onion- or garlic-like odor,
flowering stem 20-60 cm tall, flattened and narrowly winged
toward the top. Bulbs elongate, mostly less than 1 cm
thick, at the end of a thick rhizome.

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Leaves: 2 to several basal, plane, blunt-tipped, entire,
2-8 mm broad, much shorter than the stem, green at
flowering time, persistent at maturity.

Flowers: 7 to 15 in a flat-topped umbel-cluster, stalks
slender, about as long as the flowers at flowering time,
becoming longer, stout and curved in fruit. Tepals 6, 10-13
mm long, lanceolate, pointed, entire, pink, withering in fruit,
the midribs somewhat thickened. Bracts 2, united at base
and often along one side, ovate, pointed, 3- to 5-nerved.
Stamens about half the length of the tepals, the anthers
short-oblong, blunt, yellowish. Ovary crestless, the style
awl-shaped, rarely more than 3 mm long, stigma 3-cleft.
Flowering time: June-August.

Fruits: capsules broader than long, the valves heart-
shaped, distinctly notched. Seeds correspondingly short
and thick, dull black.

Bulb of Allium brevistylum is  growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species tolerates much wetter soils than most members of the genus but it dislikes winters with alternating periods of damp and cold and no snow cover, so it is best given a damp though well-drained soil. It requires plenty of moisture in the growing season.  The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Plants can be confused with A. validum. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
The Bulb and leaves of short-styled onion are edible, raw or cooked. The plant has thick iris-like rhizomes. Indians used wild onions extensively. Their bulbs served as a staple and condiment to many different tribes. The crisp bulbs were gathered by Indians from Spring through early Fall. They were eaten raw and used as an ingredient in soups, stews and meat dishes. The bulbs also stored well for winter use The flowers can also be eaten raw, and used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
A few Indian tribes would crush the wild onion and apply it to bee and insect bites to reduce swelling and pain. Others used it to draw poison out of snakebites. A heavy syrup made from the juice of the wild onion was also used for coughs and other cold symptoms. A poultice of the ground root and stems, or an infusion of them, was used as a wash for carbuncles by the Cheyenne Indians. Onions in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavor) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant has been used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_brevistylum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101338
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/allium_brevi.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+brevistylum

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Cantaloupe

Botanical Name: Cucumis Cantalupensis
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucumis
Species: C. melo
Subspecies: C. melo subsp. melo
Variety: C. melo var. cantalupo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Cantaloupe (also cantelope, cantaloup, muskmelon (India and the United States), Mushmelon, Rockmelon, Sweet melon, Honeydew, Persian melon, or Spanspek (South Africa)) refers to a variety of Cucumis melo

Habitat: The cantaloupe originated in Iran, India and Africa; it was first cultivated in Iran some 5000 years ago and in Greece and Egypt some 4000 years ago.

The European cantaloupe is lightly ribbed (sutured),  with a sweet and flavorful flesh and a gray-green skin that looks quite different from that of the North American cantaloupe.

The North American cantaloupe, common in the United States, Mexico, and in some parts of Canada, is actually a muskmelon, a different variety of Cucumis melo, and has a net-like (or reticulated) skin covering. It is a round melon with firm, orange, moderately sweet flesh and a thin, reticulated, light-brown rind.[6][verification needed] Varieties with redder and yellower flesh exist, but are not common in the U.S. market.

Description:
Cucumis melo cantalupensis is an annual creaper, growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivation: Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position. A frost-tender annual plant, the cantaloupe melon is widely cultivated in gardens and commercially, especially in warmer climates than Britain, for its edible fruit. Some varieties may succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers but in general it is best to grow melons under protection in this country. Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons.

Propagation: Seed – sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Said to be the finest-tasting of the melons, cantaloupes have a very watery flesh but with a delicate sweet flavour. They are very refreshing, especially in hot weather. Rich in vitamins B and C. The flesh of the fruit can be dried, ground into a powder and used with cereals when making bread, biscuits etc. The size of the fruit varies widely between cultivars but is up to 15cm long and 7cm wide, it can weight 1 kilo or more. Seed – raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat. The seed contains between 12.5 – 39.1% oil. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions. The flowers are expectorant and emetic. The fruit is stomachic. The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. The root is diuretic and emetic.

Good news for calorie counters. Even though cantaloupes are sweet, they actually come with a very low calorie content. A single cantaloupe only contains 34 calories per serving.

Health buffs should note that the fruit contains valuable nutrients and is loaded with fiber. Cantaloupes boost metabolism and contain niacin, which lowers your risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.

Cantaloupes also contain vitamin B6, which helps improve your immune system, and folate, which is great for the heart and helps avoid strokes. This super fruit also contains, vitamins A and C. These are essential to the maintenance of good vision and defending the body from infections, respectively.

Research Links Cantaloupes to Disease Prevention:

Studies also show that cantaloupes are one of several fruits that actually contribute to lowering the risk of contracting breast, prostate, and/or colon cancer. It is also said that the consumption of cantaloupes helps in avoiding age-related macular degeneration or the deterioration of the eye’s macula because of its zeaxanthin component. Consuming cantaloupe also helps in lowering the risk of contracting asthma because of its high content of beta-carotene.

If you are thinking of buying cantaloupes, keep in mind that the ripeness of these fruits is quite hard to gauge. However, ripe cantaloupes are usually heavier as compared to unripe cantaloupes. Ripe cantaloupes also resonate a deeper and a hollower sound when you rap your knuckles on the fruit.

Overall, cantaloupes not only taste good but they’re also equipped with impressive nutritional properties. So the next time you have sweet craving, choose cantaloupes!

Known Hazards: But before consuming this fruit, it would be important to note that it contains a high amount of fructose which may be harmful to the body if taken in excess. Remember that cantaloupes, like other conventionally grown fruits, are usually grown in farms that use toxic insecticides, so it would be wise to buy them from local, organic farms to eliminate the risk of consuming these harmful toxins.

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/Cantaloupe
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cucumis+melo+cantalupensis

Cantaloupes: The Well-Rounded Fruit