Tag Archives: Aztec

Artemisia mexicana

Botanical Name : Artemisia mexicana
Family: Compositae: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Specis: Mexicana

Common Names: Mexican White Sagebrush , Mexican Wormwood, Agenjo del Pais, Ambfe (Otomi), Artemisia, Cola de Zorillo (‘little tail of the fox’), Ensencio de Mata Verde (‘incense of the green bush’), Guitee (Zapotec), Hierba de San Juan (Spanish, ‘Saint John’s herb’), Hierba Maestra (Spanish, “master herb’), Si’isim (Maya), Tlalpoyomatli (Aztec)

Habitat :Artemisia mexicana is native to South-western N. America – Missouri to Texas, Arkansas and Mexico. It grows in the prairies, hillsides, barrens and sands.

Artemisia mexicana is a perennial upright shrubby herb that can grow up to three feet tall. The leaves are whitish grey and covered on both sides with fine hairs. They exude an aromatic-bitter scent immediately when crushed. The flowers are small, yellow and clustered (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93).

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

This plant is so similar to European wormwood in appearance that even experienced botanists have a hard time telling them apart. Some botanists even believe that A. mexicana is a sub-species of A. absinthium (Ratsch 1998, 73). A. mexicana is found in both dry and moist areas of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. It may also be found in Arizona and New Mexico (Ohno et al. 1980).
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Traditional Uses: The Aztecs and other native peoples of Mesoamerica have been using A. mexicana for various ritual and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Aztecs used A. mexicana as a ritual incense – the plant is sacred to Uixtociuatl, the Aztec goddess of salt and salt makers. It is sacred to Tlaloc, the rain god, who also holds Argemone mexicana and Tagetes lucida as holy – this suggests a possible interesting psychoactive incense or smoking mixture. Today in Mexico it is used in folk medicine and smoked as a marijuana substitute (Ratsch 1998, 74).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is emmenagogue, stimulant and vermifuge. The leaves can be chewed to treat sore throats. A poultice of the chewed leaves can be used on sores.
The Aztecs used the stems of A. mexica as a tonic and to relieve coughs. The flowers were consumed by those with low energy (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93). In Mexican folk medicine, which is strongly influenced by Aztec knowledge, an alcohol extract of A. mexicana herbage is taken for digestive troubles (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). Similarly, a tea made from the plant is taken by those who have lost the desire to eat, as well as to treat coughs and diarrhea. The roots and plant material are used to treat epilepsy and as a form of birth control – the plant can bring on menstruation and cause abortions (Reza 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). The Yucatec Maya burn the herb as an incense to relieve headaches (Pulido Salas & Serralta Peraza 1993 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Traditional Effects: A. mexicana contains a powerful essential oil, as well as several active alkaloids. Thujone is likely present in the plant, as it is so similar to A. absinthium, but the compound has not yet been formally detected. Smoking the dried herbage creates mild stimulation followed by pleasant euphoria if enough smoke is inhaled. The effects may vary widely from person to person, however. The plant contains fewer toxic alkaloids than A. absinthium and is therefore easier to work with (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Known Hazards; Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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.


Artemisia mexicana – Mexican Wormwood


Rhododendron ‘PJM’

Botanical Name : Rhododendron ‘PJM’
Family: Ericaceae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron ‘PJM’  is  mostly  grown in the midwestern countries.  A hybrid of garden origin, R. minus x R. dauricum

Rhododendron ‘PJM’ is an evergreen broadleaf evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). Leaves are elliptic, flat to convex, obtuse apex, cuneate base, rust colored scaly indumentum, deep mahogany-purple November to April. Upright, dense growth habit. Flowers are openly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1½” across, lilac purple to light violet. Several clones are known as well as a number of forms.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Succeeds in 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. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. This is an exceptionally hardy cultivar. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, 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. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position 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. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants can be grown as a hedge. It is also grown in the garden for it’s good looking flowers.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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 lapponicum