Herbs & Plants

Thelesperma megapotamicum

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Botanical Name : Thelesperma megapotamicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Coreopsideae
Genus: Thelesperma
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:  Thelesperma megapotanicum

Common Names: Navajo Tea, Cota, Hopi tea greenthread.

Habitat : Thelesperma megapotamicum is native to Western N. America. It grows on sandy or rocky prairies and roadsides in Texas. Dry sandy soils in south-western S. Dakota.

Thelesperma megapotamicum is a perennial flowering herb, producing a slender, branching stem 30 to 60 centimeters tall or more. The leaves are narrow, mostly compound with linear or threadlike segments measuring a few centimeters long. The inflorescence bears several flower heads each in a cuplike involucre of phyllaries with purple-tinged, pointed lobes with white edges. The head contains many yellow or orange disc florets, and sometimes one or more yellow ray florets, although these may be absent.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation: Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun. This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, usually requiring cold greenhouse treatment. According to one report this species might be no more than a synonym for T. gracile.

Propagation: Seed – sow spring in situ, only just covering the seed. In dry weather the seed should be watered in. Division might be possible.

Edible Uses:.……. A tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flowering stems. When well made it is delicious, with just a hint of mint in its aftertaste

Medicinal Uses:
Native American groups such as the Hopi and Navajo use this plant to make herbal teas, as a medicinal remedy . The plant has been used in the treatment of children with tuberculosis. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a ‘nervous stimulant. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a treatment for the teeth.
Other Uses:
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. Reddish-brown according to another report. A brown dye is obtained from the leaves and stems. An orange-yellow dye can be obtained from the boiled roots.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Cephalanthus occidentalis

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Botanical Name : Cephalanthus occidentalis
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Cinchonoideae
Tribe: Naucleeae
Genus: Cephalanthus
Species: C. occidentalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Button Bush, Common buttonbush, Button Willow, Honey Bells

Habitat :Cephalanthus occidentalis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Minnesota and California. It is a lowland species, growing along the edges of streams, rivers, lakes, swamps and wet floodplains.

Cephalanthus occidentalis is a deciduous shrub or small tree that averages 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) in height, but can reach 6 m (20 ft). The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three, elliptic to ovate, 7–18 cm (2.8–7.1 in) long and 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) broad, with a smooth edge and a short petiole. The flowers are arranged in a dense spherical inflorescence 2–3.5 cm (0.79–1.38 in) in diameter on a short peduncle. Each flower has a fused white to pale yellow four-lobed corolla forming a long slender tube connecting to the sepals. The stigma protrudes slightly from the corolla. The fruit is a spherical cluster of achenes (nutlets)....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Easily grown in moist, humusy soils in full sun to part shade. Grows very well in wet soils, including flood conditions and shallow standing water. Adapts to a wide range of soils except dry ones. Pruning is usually not necessary, but may be done in early spring to shape. If plants become unmanageable, however, they may be cut back near to the ground in early spring to revitalize.

Propagation :
Seed – It is  suggested  to sow  the seed as soon as it is ripe in an acid compost in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of soft or semi-ripe wood, July in a frame. Layering.

Medicinal Uses:
Button bush was often employed medicinally by native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a range of ailments. It is little used in modern herbalism. A tea made from the bark is astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. A strong decoction has been used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, stomach complaints, haemorrhages etc. It has been used as a wash for eye inflammations. A decoction of either the roots or the fruits have been used as a laxative to treat constipation The leaves are astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and tonic. A tea has been used to check menstrual flow and to treat fevers, kidney stones, pleurisy etc. The plant has a folk reputation for relieving malaria. The inner bark has been chewed in the treatment of toothaches.

Other Uses:
Buttonbush is cultivated as an ornamental plant for a nectar source or ‘honey plant’ and for aesthetics in gardens and native plant landscapes, and is planted on slopes to help control erosion. Buttonbush is a suitable shrub for butterfly gardens. Wood – light, tough.

Known Hazards : The leaves contain glucosides and can be toxic in large doses. Symptoms include vomiting, convulsions, chronic spasms and muscular paralysis