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Herbs & Plants

Helianthemum nummularium

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Botanical Name: Helianthemum nummularium
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Helianthemum
Species:  Helianthemum   nummularium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Helianthemum chamaecistus. Mill. Helianthemum vulgare. Gaertn.

Common Names:, Common RockroseSun Rose, Rock Rose

Habitat: Helianthemum nummularium is native to most of Europe. It grows on the basic grassland and scrub, to 600 metres.

Description:
Helianthemum nummularium is an evergreen tralling Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is plant with loose terminal clusters of bright yellow, saucer-shaped flowers. In the flower centre is a tight cluster of orange stamens, which are sensitive to the touch, and spread outwards to reveal the tall stigma in the middle. The plant is common on chalk downs, and occasional in other grasslands, always on dry, base-rich soil. The wild species has yellow flowers, but garden varieties range from white through yellow to deep red.

Though the individual blooms are short-lived, the plant produces a mass of flowers through the summer. It needs a dry, sunny place, like a south-facing rockery or meadow. As the Latin name Helianthemum suggests, these are sun-flowers. This is a good nectar source for bees and there are several species of small beetle that feed on the foliage. Common rock-rose is also the food plant for the larvae of several species of moth and butterfly.

It flowers from May until July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen. Requires an open sunny position in a light well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8. Plants are hardy to at least -10°c. A vigorous plant suitable for the rock garden, crevices in walls or gravel beds. Plants are short-lived, though, soon becoming leggy or sparse, and require fairly frequent replacement. The flowers only open in bright sunshine. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. A polymorphic species, there are some named forms that have been selected for their ornamental value. Plants are generally pest and disease-free. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 6 – 8cm with a heel, late summer in a sandy soil in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Terror’, ‘Panic’ and ‘Extreme fright’. It is also one of the five ingredients in the ‘Rescue remedy’.

Other Uses:
A prostrate growing plant, it can be used as a ground cover.

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/Helianthemum_nummularium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthemum+nummularium

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Iris germanica

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Botanical Name : Iris germanica
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Section: Iris
Species: I. germanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Iris × alba’ (Savi)
*’Iris × amoena’ * ‘Iris × atroviolacea’ (Lange)
*’Iris × australis’ (Tod.)
*’Iris × belouinii’ (Bois & Cornuault)
*’Iris × biliottii’ (Foster)
*’Iris × buiana’ (Prodán)
*’Iris × buiana va

Common Names: Purple Flag, German iris, Orris-root, Tall Bearded German Iris, Bearded Iris
Habitat: The original habitat is obscure, it is probably of hybrid origin. It grows in the dry rocky places.
Description:
Iris germanica is a perennial flowering plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate. It is a European hybrid, rather than a true wild species. The roots can go up to 10 cm deep and it is a rhizomatous perennial that blooms mid to late spring. If is known to produce the isoflavone irilone. Hundreds of hybrids exist representing nearly every colour from jet black to sparkling whites, except bright scarlet. Varieties include I. g. var. florentina and I. g. var. germanica.

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It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. A very easily grown plant that tolerates considerable neglect, it prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil that contains some lime. Grows well in dry soils in light deciduous shade. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5 or higher. Many named varieties have been selected for their ornamental value. The plant is also sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its root. The plant is sterile and does not produce seed. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A sterile plant, it does not produce seed. Division, best done after flowering. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: The root is dried and used as a flavouring.

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Purgative.

The root is diuretic, emetic, expectorant and mildly purgative. Another report says that the juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy. In the past, sections of the dried root have been given to teething babies to chew on, though this has been discontinued for hygienic reasons. Roots of plants 2 – 3 years old are dug up after flowering and are then dried for later use.
Other Uses:
Baby care; Beads; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. The seeds are used as rosary beads.

Known Hazards: The leaves, and especially the rhizomes, of this species contain an irritating resinous substance called irisin. If ingested this can cause severe gastric disturbances. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

Resources:
https://secure.icicidirect.com/NewSiteTrading/customer/logon.asp
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+germanica

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Iris pallida

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Botanical Name: Iris pallida
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Species: I. pallida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

.
Synonyms:

*Iris × australis var. mandraliscae (Tod.) Nyman
*Iris × australis var. tinaei (Tod.) Nyman
*Iris desertorum Balb. [Illegitimate]
*Iris fulgida Berg
*Iris × germanica subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo
*Iris glauca Salisb.
*Iris gloriosa Reider ex Berg
*Iris hortensis Tausch
*Iris mandraliscae Tod.
*Iris marchesettii Pamp.
*Iris moggridgei Baker
*Iris odoratissima Jacq.
*Iris pallida subsp. mandraliscae (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallida var. odoratissima (Jacq.) Nyman
*Iris pallida subsp. pallida (unknown)
*Iris pallida var. rosea Prodán
*Iris pallida subsp. sicula (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallida subsp. tinaei (Tod.) K.Richt.
*Iris pallidecaerulaea Pers.
*Iris picta Spreng. [Illegitimate]
*Iris plicata Lam.
*Iris propendens Lange
*Iris sicula Tod.
*Iris swertii Lam.
*Iris tinaei Tod.

Common Names: Dalmation Iris, Sweet iris, Fragrant Iris, Zebra Iris

Habitat : Iris pallida is native to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) but widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a member of the subgenus iris, meaning that it is a bearded iris, and grows from a rhizome in rocky places in limestone hillsides and the sides of gorges.

Description:
Iris pallida is a perennial flowering plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate. The leaves are bluish-green in color, and sword-shaped, 40–50 cm (16–20 in) in length, and 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in width. The inflorescence, produced in May/June, is fan-shaped and contains two or three flowers which are usually pale purplish to whitish.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil containing lime. Easily cultivated in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7.5 or higher. Established plants are drought tolerant. Cultivated, especially in Italy, for the essential oil in its root. The flowers are sweetly scented, reminding some people of orange blossom, others of vanilla and others of civet. A very vigorous species. The rhizome should be planted partly above the soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, All or parts of this plant are poisonous.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering, though it can be done at almost any time. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts:

The root can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. The root may take several years of drying to develop its full fragrance. ‘Orris oil’ is an essential oil derived from the dried root, it is used as a flavouring in soft drinks, sweets, chewing gum etc.
Medicinal Uses:

Cathartic.

Cathartic. The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.

Other Uses:

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. Plants can be grown for ground cover, the dense mat of roots excluding all weeds.

Known Hazards : Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

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/Iris_pallida
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+pallida