Tag Archives: Arable land

Cleome lutea

Botanical Name : Cleome lutea
Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Cleome
Species: C. lutea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms : Peritoma aurea. P. luteum.

Common Names: Yellow Spiderflower, Jones spiderflower, Yellow bee plant

Habitat :Cleome lutea is native to Western N. America – Nebraska to Washington and Arizona. It grows on sandy soils on desert plains to lower montane valleys, it is also found on sandy flatland.

Cleome lutea is a sprawling plant often exceeding a meter in height. The erect stem has widely spaced leaves all the way along, each leaf made up of three to five small leaflets. Atop the stem is a showy inflorescence of many bright yellow flowers. Each flower has oblong petals around a cluster of long stamens tipped with knobby anthers. As the inflorescence lengthens at the top of the stem, flowers that have opened and been pollinated drop their petals and the ovary develops into a fruit. The fruits are capsules several centimeters long containing many seeds. A flowering plant may have blooming flowers at the top of the stem and ripening capsules dangling off the stem further down.

It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread. A frost tender plant, it can be grown as a summer annual in Britain.

Seed – surface sow or only lightly cover the seed in spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 5 – 14 days at 25°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Day time temperatures below 20°c depress germination but a night time fall to 20° is necessary.

Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. Seed – ground into a meal and used as a flour.

Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used to treat ant bites.

Other Uses: Yields a black dye. No further details are given, but it is probably obtained by boiling down the whole 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.


Amorpha canescens

Botanical Name: Amorpha canescens
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Amorpha
Species:A. canescens
Order: Fabales

Common Names: Leadplant, Leadplant amorpha, Prairie shoestring

Habitat :Amorpha canescens is native to Eastern N. America – Indiana to Minnesota and Manitoba, south to Kansas and New Mexico. It grows on dry sandy prairies, hills and woodland.

Amorpha canescens is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1.5 m (5ft in). It has very small purple flowers with yellow stamens which are grouped in racemes. The compound leaves of this plant appear leaden (the reason for the common name “leadplant”) due to their dense hairiness. The roots can grow deeper than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).


It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Prefers a light well-drained sandy soil in sun or light shade. Tolerant of poor dry soils, plants can be invasive in rich soils. Wind resistant. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25c but it frequently dies down to ground level in the winter, resprouting from the base in the following spring. A very ornamental plant. A deep rooted plant, it thrives best in hot, droughty seasons. It only ripens its seed in fine autumns. Immune to insect pests, the plant contains its own insecticide. At one time this plant was supposed to indicate the presence of lead in the soil. There is some confusion over the correct author of the Latin name of this plant. It is probably Pursh. as stated on the top of this sheet, but some books cite Nutt. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Seed – presoak for 12 hours in warm water and sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June/July in a frame. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, autumn, in a sheltered position outdoors. Takes 12 months. Suckers in spring just before new growth begins. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:… Oil; Tea……An infusion of the dried leaves makes a pleasant tasting yellow-coloured tea.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Miscellany; Salve; Skin; Stomachic.

An infusion of the leaves has been used to kill pinworms or any intestinal worms. The infusion is also used to treat eczema, the report does not say it if is used internally or externally. The dried and powdered leaves are applied as a salve to cuts and open wounds. A decoction of the root is used to treat stomach pains. A moxa of the twigs has been used in the treatment of neuralgia and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Insecticide; Miscellany; Oil; Repellent; Shelterbelt; Soil stabilization.

Plants have an extensive root system, they tolerate poor dry soils and are also wind resistant, they are used as a windbreak and also to prevent soil erosion. Resinous pustules on the plant contain ‘amorpha’, a contact and stomachic insecticide that also acts as an insect repellent.

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.



Rhododendron ponticum

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.

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.


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.

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.
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.


Physalis pruinosa

Botanical Name : Physalis pruinosa
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Physaleae
Subtribe: Physalinae
Genus: Physalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: Physalis pubescens grisea. Waterfall. = Physalis pubescens (Cornucopia)

Common Name : Strawberry Tomato

Habitat : Physalis pruinosa is native to Eastern N. America – Wisconsin, New York and south to Florida. It grows in dry open often sandy soils, old fields and wasteland.

Physalis pruinosa is an annual herbaceous plant growing to 0.4 to 3 m tall, similar to the common tomato, a plant of the same family, but usually with a stiffer, more upright stem. They can be either annual or perennial. Most require full sun and fairly warm to hot temperatures. Some species are sensitive to frost, but others, such as the Chinese lantern, P. alkekengi, tolerate severe cold when dormant in winter. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties. Similar to P. peruviana.

Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse only just covering the seed. Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc. A delicious bitter sweet flavour. It is used as common tomato. Can be eaten raw, used in salads, desserts, as a flavoring, and in jams and jellies. Fruits are excellent when dipped in chocolate, and can be dried and eaten. The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own ‘paper bag’ (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
In Chinese medicine, Physalis species are used as remedies for such conditions as abscesses, coughs, fevers, and sore throat. Smooth groundcherry (P. subglabrata) is classified as a hallucinogenic plant, and its cultivation for other than ornamental purposes is outlawed in the US state of Louisiana under State Act 159.

Known Hazards : All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous.
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.


Gastrodia elata

Botanical Name : Gastrodia elata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Gastrodia
Species: G. elata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Tien Ma

Habitat :Gastrodia elata is found in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyuushu ), North Korea, Siberia, Taiwan as well as mainland China (Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Henan, Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Tibet) grow at elevations of 400–3200 meters at the edge of forest . It grows in symbiosis with the fungus Armillaria mellea on rotting wood, depending on the hypha of the fungus to invade the root system so that the plant can absorb nutrients from A. mellea.
Gastrodia elata is a perennial orchid plant.The plant has an 8-12 centimeters long elliptical underground rhizome with a diameter of 3-5 centimeters but may grow up to 7 centimeters. The stem is erect with a height of 0.3-1 meter up to 2 meters, the orange yellow, tan, cylinder, and leafless….CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowered pale olivine or the orange red, the scape is length 5-30 centimeters, longest may be 50 centimeters. Floral Bractsare long lanceolate, length 1-1.5 centimeters; Pedicel and ovary of branch 0.7-1.2 centimeter, slightly short in colored bract; The sepal and the petal produce a slanting pot shape perianth tube, the perianth tube long the approximately 1 centimeter, the diameter 5-7 millimeters, The labellum white, circular, with a length of 6-7 millimeters and width of 3-4 millimeters, the tip 3 cracks, the base pastes the tight pistil column full terminal, has a pair of pulp callus, in the callus connection perianth tube. The pistil column length 5-7 millimeters, have the short pistil column foot.

Capsule each approximately 30, oval or but actually oval, length 1.2-1.8 centimeters, width 8-9 millimeters. The seed are most, 2 – 40,000 grains of each fruit, minimum, powdery. Flowering season June to July, fruit time July to August.

The herb is used in Traditional Chinese medicine and Sichuan cuisine.

A saprophytic herb, it is without green parts and is entirely dependant upon a fungus for its nutriment. This makes it very difficult to cultivate outside its native range. As well as its fungal host, it also requires a damp humus-rich soil in a sheltered woodland position. The plants are very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c. This plant is becoming increasingly rare in the wild, due to over-collection as a medicinal plant. Methods of cultivating it have now been devised in China. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, into the plants natural habitat near existing colonies, or onto a bed of Quercus wood inoculated with the fungus Armillaria mellea (introduce this fungus into your land with extreme caution since it kills trees and there is no known preventative). The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant .
Edible Uses:     Root is eaten raw or roasted. Large

Chemical Constituents:
4-Hydroxybenzaldehyde and gastrodin can be found in the orchid Gastrodia elata. It also produces 2,4-Bis(4-hydroxybenzyl) phenol, gastrol, gastrodigenin and other related compounds.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Cholagogue; Sedative; Tonic.

This species has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over 1,500 years. The root contains a number of phenolic compounds with medicinal actions. It is a sweet, acrid, herb that is analgesic, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, sedative and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of convulsive illnesses (such as epilepsy and tetanus), rheumatoid arthritis, vertigo and numbness associated with liver disharmony. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The stem is aphrodisiac and 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.