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Helianthus strumosus

Botanical Name : Helianthus strumosus
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus
Species:H. hirsutus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower

Habitat :Helianthus strumosus is native to N. America – Quebec to N. Dakota, south to Arkansas and Oklahoma It grows on dry woods and banks.

Description:
Helianthus hirsutus is a perennial sometimes as much as 200 cm (almost 7 feet) tall, spreading by means of underground rhizomes. Leaves and stems are covered with stiff hairs. One plant can produce 1-7 flower heads, each with 10–15 yellow ray florets surrounding 40 or more yellow disc florets. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The species grows in sunny locations in open forests or along the edges of forests.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Requires a rich soil. Dislikes shade. Prefers a moist soil[200]. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. Plants have a running root system and can be invasive.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are 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 into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. 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: Root. No more details but it is probably used raw or cooked like the Jerusalem artichoke.
Medicinal Uses:A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems. The sunflower has many common uses.  Indians applied the crushed root to bruises.  The seeds have been used to increase urine flow and to clear phlegm.  A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems

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/Helianthus_hirsutus

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+strumosus

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

Drosera rotundifolia

Botanical Name: Drosera rotundifolia
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Drosera
Species: D. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Dew Plant. Round-leaved Sundew. Red Rot. Herba rosellae. Sonnenthau rosollis. Rosée du Soleil.

Common Names: Round-leaved sundew or Common sundew

Part Used: The flowering plant dried in the air, not artificially.

Habitat: Drosera rotundifolia is found in all of northern Europe, much of Siberia, large parts of northern North America, Korea, Japan and is also found on New Guinea. It grows in muddy edges of ponds, bogs and rivers, where the soil is peaty.

Description:
Drosera rotundifolia is a small herbaceous, perennial, aquatic plant, with short and slender fibrous root, from which grow the leaves. These are remarkable for their covering of red glandular hairs, by which they are readily recognized, apart from their flowers which only open in the sunshine. Their leaves are orbicular on long stalks, depressed, Iying flat on ground and have on upper surface long red viscid hairs, each having a small gland at top, containing a fluid, which looks like a dewdrop, hence its name. This secretion is most abundant when the sun is at its height. Flower-stems erect, slender, 2 to 6 inches high, at first coiled inward bearing a simple raceme, which straightens out as flowers expand; these are very small and white, appearing in summer and early autumn. Seeds numerous, spindleshaped in a loose chaffy covering contained in a capsule. These hairs are very sensitive, they curve inward slowly and catch any insects which alight on them; the fluid on the points also retains them. After an insect has been caught, the glandular heads secrete a digestive fluid which dissolves all that can be absorbed from the insect. It has been noted that secretion does not take place when inorganic substances are imprisoned…..CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to its bright red colour and its glistening drops of mucilage, loaded with a sugary substance, covering its leaves. It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which is usually poor in nutrients or is so acidic, nutrient availability is severely decreased. The plant uses enzymes to dissolve the insects – which become stuck to the glandular tentacles – and extract ammonia (from proteins) and other nutrients from their bodies. The ammonia replaces the nitrogen that other plants absorb from the soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy peaty soil, succeeding in poor soils and bogs. Requires a sunny position. An insectivorous plant, it can survive in nitrogen poor soils because it gets the nutrients it needs from insects. The upper surfaces of leaves are covered with hairs that secrete a sweet sticky substance.This attracts insects, which become smeared with it and unable to escape – the plant then exudes a digestive fluid that enables it to absorb most of the insect into its system.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown thinly as soon as it is ripe into pots of a free-draining soil with some charcoal added and with a layer of finely chopped sphagnum moss on top. Surface sow and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. Grow the plants on in the pots for their first growing season, making sure that the soil does not become dry. Divide the plants in the autumn, grow them on in the greenhouse for the winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Edible Uses: The juice of the plant is used to curdle plant milks. You heat the milk and the leaves together in order to make the milk curdle

Constituents: The juice is bitter, acrid, caustic, odourless, yielding not more than 30 per cent ash, and contains citric and malic acids.

Medicinal Uses:
Drosera rotundifolia plant extracts show great efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, more so than Drosera madagascariensis, as a result of the flavonoids such as hyperoside, quercetin and isoquercetin, but not the naphthoquinones present in the extracts. The flavonoids are thought to affect the M3 muscarinic receptors in smooth muscle, causing the antispasmodic effects. Ellagic acid in D. rotundifolia extracts has also been shown to have antiangiogenic effects.

In America it has been advocated as a cure for old age; a vegetable extract is used together with colloidal silicates in cases of arterio sclerosis.

The sundew has a long history of herbal use, having been popular for its fortifying and aphrodisiac effects. It relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, easing breathing and relieving wheezing and so is of great value in the treatment of various chest complaints. The plant has become quite rare and so it should not be harvested from the wild. The flowering plant is antibacterial, antibiotic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, expectorant and hypoglycaemic. The plant is used with advantage in the treatment of whooping cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs. It is also used in the treatment of incipient phthisis, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Externally, it has been used to treat corns, warts and bunions.The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. Use with caution. Internal use of this herb causes a harmless colouring of the urine. An extract of the plant contains plumbagin, which is antibiotic against a wide range of pathogens. Because of their protein digesting enzymes, the leaf juice has been used in the treatment of warts and corns. The entire fresh plant, harvested when it is starting to flower, is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used mainly in the treatment of coughs and is specific for whooping cough.

Other Uses
Fungicide.

Substances in the plant are used to curb the growth of bacteria

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sundew99.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_rotundifolia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Drosera+rotundifolia

Cotinus coggygria

Botanical Name : Cotinus coggygria
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
Species:C. coggygria
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Rhus cotinus, the European smoketree, Eurasian smoketree

Common Names: Smoke tree, Smoke bush, or Dyer’s sumach

Habitat :  Cotinus coggygria is native to a large area from southern Europe, east across central Asia and the Himalaya to northern China. It grows on dry hillsides, rocky places and open woods, usually on limestone, to 1300 metres.

Description:
Cotinus coggygria is a multiple-branching shrub growing to 5-7 m tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3-8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn colour can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15-30 cm long; each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy ‘smoke-like’ appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2-3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.

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Cultivation:
Tolerates most soils.Prefers a well-drained dry or moist soil in a sunny position, doing better in a soil that is not very rich. Prefers a fertile but not over-rich soil. Tolerates light shade. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though die-back often occurs at the tips of shoots during the winter. Plants are slow to establish but are then quite fast growing when young though they slow down with age. Hybridizes with C. obovatus. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value. The purple-leafed cultivars are susceptible to mildew. Plants flower on wood that is at least 3 years old. Any pruning is best done in the spring. Branches sometimes wilt, especially after hard pruning, and these should be removed. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in the spring. Slightly immature or ‘green’ seed, harvested when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant, gives the best results. Warm stratify stored seed for 2 – 3 months at 15°c, then cold stratify for 2 – 3 months[164]. Germination can be very slow, often taking 12 months or more at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the 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. The seed has a long viability and should store for several years. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Trench layering in spring.

Edible Uses: 
Leaves are possibly edible. Some caution is advised. A volatile oil in the leaves contains pinene and camphene. One report suggests that the essential oil contained in the flowers and leaves has a mango-like odour. We have tried these leaves and really would not recommend them to anyone.

Medicinal Uses:
The yellow wood of Cotinus coggygria is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye ailments.   Recent research shows that  the Cotinus coggygria syrup has the effect of protecting the liver from chemical damages, reducing tension of the choledochal sphincter, increasing the bile flow and raising the body immunity. The anti-hepatitis effect may be carried out through decreasing transaminase, normalizing functioning of the gallbladder, reducing icterus and enhancing the immunity of the body.

Other Uses:
The wood was formerly used to make the yellow dye called young fustic. Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Pollard, Screen, Standard, Specimen. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers. It has a mango-like smell. Is it edible? A yellow to orange dye is obtained from the root and stem. It is somewhat fugitive though. The leaves and bark are a good source of tannins. Wood – ornamental. Used for cabinet making, picture frames. The twigs are used in basketry.

Known Hazards :  Skin contact with this plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. Though related to several poisonous species, this species is definitely not poisonous.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_smoketree
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cotinus+coggygria

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