Tag Archives: Aster (genus)

Rudbechia hirta

 

Botanical Name: Rudbechia hirta
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Rudbeckia
Species: R. hirta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Black-Eye-Susan, Brown-eyed susan, Brown betty, Gloriosa daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland daisy, Yellow daisy, and Yellow ox-eye daisy
Habitat: Rudbechia hirta native to the Eastern and Central North America and naturalized in the Western part of the continent as well as in China. It has now been found in all 10 Canadian Provinces and all 48 of the states in the contiguous United States.

Description:
Rudbeckia hirta is an upright annual (sometimes biennial or perennial) growing 30–100 cm (12–39 in) tall by 30–45 cm (12–18 in) wide. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 10–18 cm long, covered by coarse hair, with stout branching stems and daisy-like, composite flower heads appearing in late summer and early autumn. In the species, the flowers are up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter, with yellow ray florets circling conspicuous brown or black, dome-shaped cone of many small disc florets. However, extensive breeding has produced a range of sizes and colours, including oranges, reds and browns
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Varieties:
There are four varieties

*Rudbeckia hirta var. angustifolia – southeastern + south-central United States (South Carolina to Texas)
*Rudbeckia hirta var. floridana – Florida
*Rudbeckia hirta var. hirta – Eastern United States (Maine to Alabama).
*Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima. Widespread in most of North America (Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Alabama and New Mexico; naturalized Washington to California).

Cultivation:
Rudbeckia hirta is widely cultivated in parks and gardens, for summer bedding schemes, borders, containers, wildflower gardens, prairie-style plantings and cut flowers. Numerous cultivars have been developed, of which ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Toto’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. Other popular cultivars include ‘Double Gold’ and ‘Marmalade’.

Gloriosa daisies are tetraploid cultivars having much larger flower heads than the wild species, often doubled or with contrasting markings on the ray florets. They were first bred by Alfred Blakeslee of Smith College by applying colchicine to R. hirta seeds; Blakeslee’s stock was further developed by W. Atlee Burpee and introduced to commerce at the 1957 Philadelphia Flower Show. Gloriosa daisies are generally treated as annuals or short-lived perennials and are typically grown from seed, though there are some named cultivars.

Medicinal Uses:
Certain parts of the plant contains anthocyanins a class of antioxidant with several known health benefits.

Traditional Native American medicinal uses:
American Indians used root tea to treat parasitic infestations such as pinworm. They used it externally to treat snake bits, superficial wounds and earaches.

*The roots but not the seedheads of Rudbeckia hirta can be used much like the related Echinacea purpurea to boost immunity and fight colds, flu and infections.
*It is also an astringent when used in a warm infusion as a wash for sores and swellings.
*The Ojibwa people used it as a poultice for snake bites and to make an infusion for treating colds and worms in children.
*The plant is also diuretic and was used by the Menominee and Potawatomi peoples.
*Juice from the roots has been used as drops for earaches

Other Uses:
*Butterflies are attracted to Rudbeckia hirta when planted in large color-masses, creating a beautiful spectacle.
* The black-eyed Susan which also traditionally symbolizes “Justice” makes a very nice cut-flower with a vase life up to 10 days

Known Hazards: The species is known to be toxic to cats when ingeste
As with any wild plant, it is usually recommended to research carefully before consuming as not all parts of the plant may be edible and to avoid mis-identification with other plants that may look similar to the Black eyed Susan.
It is widely recommended always to consul

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/Rudbeckia_hirta
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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Tragopogon pratensis

Botanical Name: Tragopogon pratensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Tragopogon
Species: T. pratensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Noon Flower. Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon.

Common Names: Meadow Salsify, Showy Goat’s-beard, Meadow Goat’s-beard or Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon.

Habitat: Tragopogon pratensis distributed across Europe and North America, commonly growing in fields (hence its name) and on roadsides. It is found in North America from southern Ontario to Massachusetts; most of England; on the eastern and southern edges of Scotland; and central Ireland but not the coastal edges.

Description:
Tragopogon pratensis is an annual/perennial plant . It grows 30 to 100 cm tall.
It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self. The flower heads are 5 cm wide. They only open in the morning sunshine, hence the name ‘Jack go to bed at noon’. The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It differs from Viper’s-grass (Scorzonera humilis) in that Viper’s-grass has short, pale green bracts, whereas in Goat’s-beard they are long and pointed.The lower leaves are 10 to 30 cm long, lanceolate, keeled lengthwise, grey-green, pointed, hairless, with a white midrib. The upper leaves are shorter and more erect. It is the only United Kingdom dandelion type flower with grass like leaves.

The achenes are rough, long beaked pappus radiating outwards interwoven like a spider’s web of fine white side hairs (referred to as a “Blowball”

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soils, including heavy clays. Goat’s beard was formerly cultivated as a vegetable, though it has now fallen into disuse[2, 4]. Grows well in the summer meadow. The flowers open at daybreak and close before noon.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Make sure to water the seed in if the weather is dry.

Edible Uses:    Root eaten raw or cooked. The roots have a sweet flavour due to their inulin content. The young roots can be eaten raw whilst older roots are best cooked like parsnips or salsify. They are often blanched before use. Young leaves and shoots – raw or cooked. They can be added to mixed salads or used in soups etc. The leaves are best used as they come into growth in the spring. The flowering stem, including the buds, is cooked and served like asparagus.
Young shoots and roots of Meadow Salsify can be used in diabetic salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Depurative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stomachic.

Goat’s beard is considered to be a useful remedy for the liver and gallbladder. It appears to have a detoxifying effect and may stimulate the appetite and digestion. Its high inulin content makes this herb a useful food for diabetics since inulin is a nutrient made of fructose rather than glucose units and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels. The root is astringent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, nutritive and stomachic. A syrup made from the root gives great relief in cases of obstinate coughs and bronchitis. A decoction of the root is given in the treatment of heartburn, loss of appetite and disorders of the breast or liver. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The fresh juice of young plants is said to be a good dissolver of bile, relieving the stomach without side effects.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic…….An infusion of the petals is used to clear the skin and lighten freckles. A distilled water made from the plant is used in cleansing lotions for dry skins

In Armenia, rural kids make bubble gum from the juice of meadow salsify. For this purpose, when milky juice is released from the torn stems it is collected on the walls of a glass and dried.
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/Tragopogon_pratensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/goabea23.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tragopogon+pratensis

Fumaria officinalis

Botanical Name: Fumaria officinalis
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Fumaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Synonyms: Earth Smoke. Beggary. Fumus. Vapor. Nidor. Fumus Terrae. Fumiterry, Scheiteregi. Taubenkropp. Kaphnos. Wax Dolls.

Common Names: Common fumitory, Drug fumitory or Earth smoke

Habitat: Fumaria officinalis occurs in Europe and America. Parts of Asia, Australia and South Africa. It grows on arable land and as a weed in gardens, usually on lighter soils. It is also found growing on old walls.

Description:
Fumaria officinalis is an herbaceous annual plant, which grows weakly erect and scrambling, with stalks about 10 to 50 cm long. Its pink 7 to 9 mm flowers appear from April to October in the northern hemis phere. They are two lipped and spurred, with sepals running a quarter the length of the petals. The fruit is an achene. It contains alkaloids, potassium salts, and tannins. It is also a major source of fumaric acid….CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a light well-drained soil in a sunny position. This plant can be a common weed in some gardens, self-sowing freely, though it is fairly easy to control by hand weeding[K]. The flowers are seldom visited by insects, but they are self-fertile and usually set every seed.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. There is normally very little need to sow this seed, the plant normally self-sows freely and should manage quite nicely by itself.

Part Used in medicines: The Herb.

Constituents:
The plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids protopine and allocryptopine. Both protopine and allocryptopine increased CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNA levels in human hepatocyte cells. The use of products containing protopine and/or allocryptopine may be considered safe in terms of possible induction of CYP1A enzymes.

The leaves yield by expression a juice which has medicinal properties. An extract, prepared by evaporating the expressed juice, or a decoction of the leaves, throws out upon its surface a copious saline efflorescence. Fumaric acid was early identified as present, and its isomerism with maleic acid was established later. The alkaloid Fumarine has been believed to be identical with corydaline, but it differs both in formula and in its reaction to sulphuric and nitric acids. It occurs in colourless, tasteless crystals, freely soluble in chloroform, less so in benzine, still less so in alcohol and ether, sparingly soluble in water.

Edible Uses: ……Curdling agent.

The fresh or dried herb can be added to sour plant milks. A few sprays are added to each litre of liquid and left until the liquid has soured thickly. The sprays are then removed. It gives a tangy taste to the milk, acts as a preservative and prevents the rancid taste that can accompany soured milk.

Medicinal Uses:
A weak tonic, slightly diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient; valuable in all visceral obstructions, particularly those of the liver, in scorbutic affections, and in troublesome eruptive diseases, even those of the leprous order. A decoction makes a curative lotion for milk-crust on the scalp of an infant. Physicians and writers from Dioscorides to Chaucer, and from the fourteenth century to Cullen and to modern times value its purifying power. The Japanese make a tonic from it. Cows and sheep eat it, and the latter are said to derive great benefit from it. The leaves, in decoction or extract, may be used in almost any doses. The inspissated juice has also been employed, also a syrup, powder, cataplasm, distilled water, and several tinctures.

French and German physicians still preferit to most other medicines as a purifier of the blood; while sometimes the dried leaves are smoked in the manner of tobacco, for disorders of the head. Dr. Cullen, among its good effects in cutaneous disorders, mentions the following:
‘There is a disorder of the skin, which, though not attended with any alarming symptoms of danger to the life of the patient, is thought to place the empire of beauty in great jeopardy; the complaint is frequently brought on by neglecting to use a parasol, and may be known by sandy spots, vulgarly known as freckles, scattered over the face. Now, be it known to all whom it may concern, that the infusion of the leaves of the abovedescribed plant is said to be an excellent specific for removing these freckles and clearing the skin; and ought, we think, to be chiefly employed by those who have previously removed those moral blemishes which deform the mind, or degrade the dignity of a reasonable and an immortal being.’

The herb has a stimulant action on the liver and gallbladder and is chiefly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and exanthema.  Its action is probably due to a general cleansing mediated via the kidneys and liver.   It is also diuretic and mildly laxative.  Taken over a long period, it helps to cure depression.  Also used internally for biliary colic and migraine with digestive disturbances.  Externally used for conjunctivitis.

Other Uses:
 Dye & Baby care;

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A decoction makes a curative lotion for ‘milk-crust’ on the scalps of babies.

Caution: It was traditionally thought to be good for the eyes, and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases, and conjunctivitis; as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used “under the direction of a medical herbalist.

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/Fumaria_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fumito36.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fumaria+officinalis

Carduus acaulis

Botanical Name: : Carduus acaulis
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium
Species: C. acaule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Ground Thistle. Dwarf May Thistle (Culpepper)

Common Name : Stemless Carline Thistle, Carline Thistle

Johns (Flowers of the Field) calls this the Ground Thistle, and Culpepper calls it the Dwarf May Thistle, and says that ‘in some places it is called the Dwarf Carline Thistle.’
Habitat: Carduus acaulis, the Dwarf Thistle, is found in pastures, especially chalk downs, and is rather common in the southern half of England, particularly on the east side.It grows in poor soils in dry sandy pastures and on rocky slopes, especially on limestone.

Description:
Carduus acaulis is a biennial/ perennial plant,  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).long, It has woody root-stock. The stem in the ordinary form is so short that the flowers appear to be sessile, or sitting, in the centre of the rosette of prickly leaves, but very occasionally it attains the length of a foot or 18 inches, and then is usually slightly branched.    The leaves are spiny and rigid, with only a few hairs on the upper side, and on the veins beneath, and are of a dark, shining green. The flowers are large and dark crimson in colour, and are in bloom from July to September  and the seeds ripen from Jul to August..The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil. Prefers a poor soil. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. The stemless carline thistle is a protected plant in the wild because of its rarity. This species resents root disturbance, it should be planted into its final position as soon as possible. Plants are usually short-lived or monocarpic. The plant is popular in dried flower arranging, the dried heads keeping their appearance indefinitely.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a cold frame in the spring. The seed usually germinates in 4 – 8 weeks at 15°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Edible Uses: Flowering head is cooked. Used as a globe artichoke substitute, though they are considerably smaller and even more fiddly. The fleshy centre of the plant is edible.

Part Used in medicine:—Root.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Diuretic; Emetic; Febrifuge; Purgative.

Stemless carline thistle is seldom used in modern herbalism. The root has also been used in treating a range of skin complaints such as acne and eczema. A decoction of the root can be used externally to cleanse wounds or as an antiseptic gargle. Some caution should be employed since in large doses the root is purgative and emetic. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

It is used   nternally for fluid retention, liver, gall bladder, and prostate problems, bronchitis, and skin complaints, such as acne and eczema.  It is used in the form of an infusion to treat stomach and liver disorders, edema and urine retention.  Decoctions are applied externally to bathe skin disorders, fungal infections and wounds and are used as an antiseptic gargle.  The dried and chopped roots, soaked in wine, stimulate digestion and soothe the nerves.  Wine extract of 40-50 g of powdered roots/1 litre wine acts as a vermifuge.  Take a wine glass twice daily.  A water extract produces the same effect in 50/50 mixture with vinegar.  Swedish bitters contains the root of the carline thistle, which possesses bacteriostatic properties and acts on the stomach as well. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses.  The plant was at one time in great demand as an aphrodisiac, it is used nowadays in the treatment of spasms of the digestive tract, gall bladder disorders, dropsy etc.

At one time the root used to be chewed as a remedy for toothache.

Other Uses:
Weather forecasting. : The dried flowers respond to the amount of humidity in the air and can be used as hygrometers. Flowers on the growing plant close at the approach of rain.

Known Hazards:The Thistle is very injurious in pastures; it kills all plants that grow beneath it and ought not to be tolerated, even on the borders of fields and waste places.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_acaule
https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thistl11.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=carlina+acaulis

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Ranunculus bulbosus

Botanical Name: : Ranunculus bulbosus
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. bulbosus
KingdomPlantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:  St. Anthony’s Turnip, Crowfoot. Frogsfoot, Goldcup. (French) Jaunet.

Common Names:  St Anthony‘s turnip or bulbous buttercup

Habitat: Bulbous buttercup grows in lawns, pastures and fields in general, preferring nutrient-poor, well-drained soils. Although it doesn’t generally grow in proper crops or improved grassland, it is often found in hay fields and in coastal grassland. The native range of Ranunculus bulbosus is Western Europe between about 60°N and the Northern Mediterranean coast. It grows in both the eastern and western parts of North America as an introduced weed
Description:
Ranunculus bulbosus is a perennial herb. It has attractive yellow flowers, and deeply divided, three-lobed long-petioled basal leaves. Bulbous buttercup is known to form tufts. The stems are 20–60 cm tall, erect, branching, and slightly hairy flowering. There are alternate and sessile leaves on the stem. The flower forms at the apex of the stems, and is shiny and yellow with 5–7 petals. The flowers are 1.5–3 cm wide. The plant blooms from April to July...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:       
Prefers a moist loamy soil. A common weed of lawns and gardens, it can be very difficult to eradicate when established. It is a polymorphic species and there is at least one named variety which has been selected for its ornamental value. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation:     
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. This species is a common weed and doesn’t really need any help from us. Division in spring. Very easy, though probably totally unnecessary, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked. A famine food used when all else fails. Root – must be dried beforehand and thoroughly cooked. When boiled, the roots are said to become so mild as to be eatable.

Chemical constituents:
This plant, like other buttercups, contains the toxic glycoside ranunculin. It is avoided by livestock when fresh, but when the plant dries the toxin is lost, so hay containing the plant is safe for animal consumption.

Parts used  in medicines  : Juice and Herb.

Medicinal  Uses:
Acrid;  Anodyne;  Antirheumatic;  Antispasmodic;  Diaphoretic;  Rubefacient;  VD.

The whole plant, and especially the sap, is acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, rubefacient. It was at one time rubbed on the skin by beggars in order to produce open sores and thereby excite sympathy. The root has been placed in a tooth cavity to act as a painkiller. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of VD.

Like most of the Crowfoots, the Bulbous Buttercup possesses the property of inflaming and blistering the skin, particularly the roots, which are said to raise blisters with less pain and greater safety than Spanish Fly, and have been applied for that purpose, especially to the joints, in gout. The juice, if applied to the nostrils, provokes sneezing and cures certain cases of headache. The leaves have been used to produce blisters on the wrists in rheumatism, and when infused in boiling water, as a poultice, at the pit of the stomach.

A tincture made with spirits of wine will cure shingles very expeditiously, it is stated, both the outbreak of the small pimples and the accompanying sharp pains between the ribs, 6 to 8 drops being given three or four times daily. For sciatica, the tincture has been employed with good effect.

The roots on being kept lose their stimulating quality, and are even eatable when boiled. Pigs are remarkably fond of them, and will go long distances to get them.

The herb is too acrid to be eaten alone by cattle, but possibly mixed with grasses it may act as a stimulus.

It is recorded that two obstinate cases of nursing soremouth have been cured with an infusion made by adding 2 drachms of the recent root, cut into small pieces, to 1 pint of hot water, when cold, a tablespoonful was given three or four times a day, and the mouth was frequently washed with a much stronger infusion.

Its action as a counter-irritant is both uncertain and violent, and may cause obstinate ulcers. The beggars of Europe sometimes use it to keep open sores for the purpose of exciting sympathy.
Known Hazards:  All parts of the plant are poisonous, the toxins can be destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.
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/Ranunculus_bulbosus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/butcup97.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ranunculus+bulbosus