Categories
Herbs & Plants

Prunus cerasus frutescens

Botanical Name : Prunus cerasus frutescens
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. cerasus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name : Bush Sour Cherry

Habitat : Prunus cerasus frutescens is native to S.E. Europe to W. Asia. It is grown in Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Description:
Prunus cerasus frutescens is a deciduous Tree growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Prefers an acid soil according to another report. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Hardy to about -20°c. A shrub with a suckering habit, this subspecies has long been cultivated for its edible fruit, especially in Russia. There are several named varieties including ‘Ostheim’ which has been cultivated in Britain. This subspecies has smaller fruits. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers during the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Oil; Oil; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Neither bitter nor sweet, the fruit is pleasantly acid and can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc or dried for later use. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. When refined it is used as a salad oil. The leaves are used as a tea substitute. A gum obtained from the trunk is used for chewing.
Medicinal Uses
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Adhesive; Dye; Gum; Gum; Hedge; Hedge; Oil; Oil; Wood.

An edible drying oil obtained from the seed is also used in cosmetics. The gum obtained from the stem is also used as an adhesive. Plants can be grown as a hedge, succeeding in fairly exposed positions. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
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/Prunus_cerasus
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+cerasus+frutescens

Advertisements
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lysimachia christiniae

Botanical Name: Lysimachia christiniae
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Lysimachusa vulgaris (L.) Pohl

Common Names: Garden loosestrife, Yellow loosestrife, or Garden yellow loosestrife.
Habitat : Lysimachia christiniae is native to Europe and Asia, including Britain, but excluding the extreme north and south. It grows on marshes, streams and in shallow water in reed swamps. Shady places near water, avoiding acid soils.
Description:
Lysimachia vulgaris is a perennial herb growing to 1.2 m (4ft). It is rhizomatous, with runners. Stem slightly ascending from base, unbranched, upper part fine-haired, lime green–reddish brown, often spotted.

Leaves: Whorled or opposite, almost stalkless. Leaf blade ovate–lanceolate, sharp-tipped, with entire margins, dark-spotted, underside fine-haired.

.
Fruit: Spherical, 5-valved, longer than calyx, approx. 4 mm (0.16 in.) long capsule.

It is in flower from Apr to September. Flowers:  Corolla regular (actinomorphic), wheel-shaped, yellow, 8–16 mm (0.32–0.64 in.) wide, fused, short-tubed, 5-lobed, lobes with roundish tips, edge glabrous. Calyx lobes narrow, with reddish brown margins. Stamens 5. Pistil a fused carpel. Inflorescence a lax, terminal, compound raceme, flowers abundant in groups.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist or wet loamy soil in sun or partial shade. Prefers a shady position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Hardy to at least -25°c. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A very ornamental plant. The sub-species L. vulgaris davurica. (Ledeb.)Kunth. is the form used for food in China and Japan.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. 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. Basal cuttings, March to April in a cold frame. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: Young leaves are eaten.
Medicinal Uses:

It is anastringent herb, yellow loosestrife is principally used to treat gastro-intestinal conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery, to stop internal and external bleeding and to cleanse wounds. The herb is astringent, demulcent and expectorant. It is harvested when in flower in July and dried for later use. The plant can be used internally or externally and is useful in checking bleeding of the mouth, nose and wounds, restraining profuse haemorrhages of any kind and in the treatment of diarrhoea. It makes a serviceable mouthwash for treating sore gums and mouth ulcers.

Other Uses:
Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A brown dye is obtained from the rhizomes. The growing plant repels gnats and flies, it has been burnt in houses in order to remove these insects.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lysimachia+vulgaris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysimachia_vulgaris

http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/yellow-loosestrife

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Ophrys apifera

 

Botanical Name: Ophrys apifera
Family: Orchidaceae
Genus: Ophrys
Order: Asparagales
Species: O. apiferay
Species: O. apifera
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name: Bee orchid

Habitat : Ophrys apifera is native to Central and southern Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa . It generally grows on semi-dry turf, in grassland, on limestone, calcareous dunes or in open areas in woodland, also on base-rich clays and calcareous dunes. It prefers calcareous soils, in bright light or dim light.

Description:
Ophrys apifera is a perennial herbaceous orchid plant. It grows to a height of 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in). This hardy orchid develops small rosettes of leaves in autumn. They continue to grow slowly during winter. Basal leaves are ovate or oblong-lanceolate, upper leaves and bracts are ovate-lanceolate and sheathing. The plant blooms from mid-April to July producing a spike composed from one to twelve flowers. The flowers have large sepals, with a central green rib and their colour varies from white to pink, while petals are short, pubescent, yellow to greenish. The labellum is trilobed, with two pronounced humps on the hairy lateral lobes, the median lobe is hairy and similar to the abdomen of a bee. It is quite variable in the pattern of coloration, but usually brownish-red with yellow markings. The gynostegium is at right angles, with an elongated apex...CLICK  &  SEE  THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Plants can be grown in a lawn, but the lawn must not be cut until the plants have set seed. When well-suited, the plants can multiply rapidly. Grows well in a sunny dry border or on a scree. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. This species can often appear in disturbed habitats well away from its normal preferred sites on chalk and limestone hills. The flowers resemble a female insect and also emit a scent similar to female pheremones. This species is unique in the genus, however, in that it is not pollinated by insects but is self-pollinated. Tubers should be planted out whilst they are dormant, this is probably best done in the autumn. They should be planted at least 5cm below soil level.
Propagation :
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. This species only rarely forms new offsets and so division is seldom feasible, the following methods can be tried, however. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally

Edible Uses:     Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day. The salep can also be made into a drink.

Medicinal Uses:    Demulcent; Nutritive.
Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ophrys+apifera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophrys_apifera

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lactuca virosa

[amazon_link asins=’B01BIE62VM,B01IOPEK1M,B008X8JP5C,B06XTQCGPH,B00479VWVQ,B071D52Q7T,B00HO12VD2,B01AFHAFVQ,B0016BO2JM’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bea7b342-5552-11e7-8f16-ad988b598406′]

Botanical Name : Lactuca virosa
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. virosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Wild Lettuce, Bitter lettuce, Laitue vireuse, Opium Lettuce, Poisonous Lettuce, or Rakutu-Karyumu-So.

Habitat : Lactuca virosa is found in  Europe, including Britain, from Belgium south and west to N. Africa, Central Russia and W. Asia.It is also found in the Punjab Region of Pakistan India and Australia where it grows in the wild.

Description:
Lactuca virosa is an  annual  or biennial  plant and is   similar to prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola but taller – it can grow to 200 cm. It is also stouter, the stem and leaves are more purple flushed,[disputed – discuss] the leaves are less divided, but more spreading.

click to see the pictures..>…..(01).(1)..(2).…...(3)….(4)...(5).....(6).

It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The achene is purple black, without bristles at the tip. The pappus is the same as Lactuca serriola.

Cultivation :   
Prefers a light sandy loam and a sunny position. The wild lettuce is cultivated as a medicinal plant in many areas of Europe.

Propagation :    
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses:      
Leaves are eaten  raw or cooked. Very tender. A mild flavoured oil, used in cooking, is obtained from the seeds.

Constituents:
A latex which is called lactucarium can be derived from the extract of the stem secretions of Lactuca virosa. Oils and extracts can also be produced from L. virosa. These oils and extracts have sedative properties in rodents. They may be added to tea to help induce sleep. While its use as a galactagogue (a substance that increases breast milk) has been reported, the sedative effects on the baby would strongly argue against its use for this purpose. Many add the greens to salads, though the leaves of L. virosa are more bitter than other salad greens. Smoking involves either dried leaves or a sticky precipitate extracted from the leaves. Beverages can be prepared by soaking the leaves in alcohol.

The plant contains flavonoids, coumarins, and N-methyl-?-phenethylamine.[unreliable source?] A variety of other chemical compounds have been isolated from L. virosa. One of the compounds, lactucin, is an adenosine receptor agonist in vitro, while another, lactucopicrin, has been shown to act as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor in vitro

Medicinal Uses:.

Anodyne;  Antispasmodic;  Digestive;  Homeopathy;  Hypnotic;  Narcotic;  Sedative;  Tonic.

The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. This species is probably the richest supply of lactucarium. The plant also contains ‘hyoscyamine’, a powerful depressant of the parasympathetic nervous system. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of chronic catarrh, coughs, swollen liver, flatulence and ailments of the urinary tract.

Wild lettuce is a valuable remedy for insomnia and muscular arthritis. The common name “lettuce opium“, as it was known in the earlier official pharmacopoeias, refers to the potent milky latex produced by the stems and leaves. There has been a recent internet driven surge of popularity of wild lettuce as a recreational herb, however wild lettuce will disappoint those only looking for a legal high similar to opium. The powers that be have outlawed all the truly narcotic herbs, leaving only the less potent ones available to use without fear of running afoul of the law. That said, this relaxing and sedative herb can be a ally for those needing help to induce sleep, and calm restlessness.

Known Hazards:
Poisonous. Cases of poisoning caused by this plant have only been recorded very rarely.

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/Lactuca_virosa
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail364.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+virosa

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

[amazon_link asins=’B01MSYKC21,B01N2TEMUX,B06XHG6HL7,B06XHFXKQP,B06XHFN7X4,B06XHD9Q3T,B06XHD7Z5X,B06XHD37GY,B06VXR65NM’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7fe6de2d-2e2a-11e7-ab94-ed97c8932e24′]

Botanical Name :Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthoides
Species: H. non-scripta
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Names:Wild Hyacinth , Bluebell

Habitat :Hyacinthoides non-scripta is native to the western parts of Atlantic Europe, from north-western Spain (occasionally even north-western Portugal) to the Netherlands and the British Isles. It is found in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, and also occurs as a naturalized species in Germany, Italy, and Romania. It has also been introduced to parts of North America, in both the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) and the north-eastern United States (Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York).

Description:
Hyacinthoides non-scripta is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb.[8] It produces 3–6 linear leaves, all growing from the base of the plant, and each 7–16 millimetres (0.28–0.63 in) wide. An inflorescence of 5–12 (exceptionally 3–32) flowers is borne on a stem up to 500 mm (20 in) tall, which droops towards the tip; the flowers are arranged in a 1-sided nodding raceme. Each flower is 14–20 mm (0.55–0.79 in) long, with two bracts at the base, and the six tepals are strongly recurved at their tips. The tepals are violet–blue. The three stamens in the outer whorl are fused to the perianth for more than 75% of their length, and bear cream-coloured pollen. The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented. The seeds are black, and germinate on the soil surface.

cloick to see the pictures…..>…...(1)..…...(2)..(3)    ..(4)…….(5)..…(6)....

The bulbs produce contractile roots; when these roots contract, they draw the bulbs down into deeper layers of the soil where there is greater moisture, reaching depths of 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 in). This may explain the absence of H. non-scripta from thin soils over chalk in South East England, since the bulbs are unable to penetrate into sufficiently deep soils.

H. non-scripta differs from H. hispanica, which occurs as an introduced species in the British Isles, in a number of ways. H. hispanica has paler flowers which are borne in radially symmetrical racemes; their tepals are less recurved, and are only faintly scented. The outer stamens are fused with the tepals for less than 75% of their length, and the anthers are the same colour as the tepals. These two species are thought to have diverged 8000 years ago. The two species also hybridise readily to produce fertile offspring known as Hyacinthoides × massartiana; the hybrids are intermediate between the parental species, forming a spectrum of variation which connects the two.

Constituents:  inulin, mucilage

Medicinal Uses:
Bluebells, a classic wildflower is no longer used in herbal medicine, its slight benefits being outweighed by the toxic nature of the bulbs. According to the account by Ms. Grieve, the medicinal reputation Wild Hyacinth of England benefits greatly from being associated with the Hyacinthus of Greek mythology, although it is not clear it is in the same genus as the ancient plant of legend. What little medicinal use attributed to the plant originated in writings of John Hill, a noted 18th century botanist who recommended it as a styptic.

Other Uses:
Bluebells are widely planted as garden plants, either among trees or in herbaceous borders. They flower at the same time as hyacinths, Narcissus and some tulips. Their ability to reproduce vegetatively using runners, however, means that they can spread rapidly, and may need to be controlled as weeds.

Bluebells synthesise a wide range of chemicals with potential medicinal properties. They contain at least 15 biologically active compounds that may provide them with protection against insects and animals. Certain extracts – water-soluble alkaloids – are similar to compounds tested for use in combating HIV and cancer. The bulbs of bluebells are used in folk medicine as a remedy for leucorrhoea, and as a diuretic or styptic, while the sap can be used as an adhesive.

The bluebell may be regarded as the United Kingdom’s “favourite flower”, and a stylised bluebell has been used since 2005 as the logo for the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

Taxonomic history:
Hybrids between H. non-scripta and H. non-scripta were first given a specific name in 1997, when the Belgian botanist D. Geerinck described them as H. × massartiana, honouring the botanist Jean Massart. The type locality is Watermael-Boitsfort, near Brussels, Belgium; the holotype is held in Brussels, with an isotype in Liège. The same taxon had already been given the name “Hyacinthoides × variabilis” by P. D. Sell in 1996 in the Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, but without a valid Latin diagnosis

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://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail281.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_non-scripta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_%C3%97_massartiana

 

Enhanced by Zemanta