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Astragalus floridus

Botanical Name : Astragalus floridus
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Astragalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name : Duo Hua Huang Qi

Habitat : Astragalus floridus is native to East AsiaHimalayas. It grows in the forests and alpine meadows at elevations of 3800-4400 metres in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim and western China.

Description:
Astragalus floridus is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.   CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
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. Whilst it is likely to tolerate low temperatures it may not be so happy with a wet winter. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. This plant is a sub-shrub and although it produces woody stems these tend to die back almost to the base each winter. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sweet taste and a heating potency. Antihydrotic, diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic, it is used in the treatment of body weakness from prolonged illness, renal inflammation from lack of exercise, lack of appetite, excessive perspiration (especially when asleep), diabetes, boils/sores, diarrhoea, irregular menses and vaginal/seminal discharge.
Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
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=Astragalus+floridus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus

Experiencing Nature By Night

Moon Gardens :
In the height of summertime’s heat, we drift outdoors at dusk to refresh ourselves in the temperate air of evening. Cricket song and the glow of fireflies come together with ever-lengthening shadows to create a natural symphony of overlapping sensations that invigorate the body and gladden the soul. As the sun sets, the vivid colors of most flowers and leaves fade, becoming a dull grey, but moon gardens provide us with a space to appreciate Mother Nature‘s bounty long after the light of day has retreated. Designed to be enjoyed from dusk until the coming of the darkness, these gardens serve as a perfect complement to silvery moonlight, mild summer nights, and the spirit of rejuvenation.

Most plant life worships the sun, but a select few shrubs and flowers come into their own in luna’s glow. The silvery leaves of lamb’s ears and artemisia reflect the radiance of the moon, while the bright-white flowers adorning yucca and evening primrose seem to shimmer brilliantly in dusk’s gloom. Certain blossoms such as the moonflower and four o’clocks open only at night, releasing their sweet fragrances in spectacular displays of scent and beauty. While creating a moon garden, remember to take each human sense into account. We appreciate the ghostly beauty of nighttime nature best when we can sit comfortably until our eyes have adjusted to the surrounding darkness. Bamboo and thick grasses make a comforting sound when bandied about by gentle nighttime breezes.

Transforming a portion of your existing yard or patio into a moon garden is simple, and the pleasure you will derive from your nighttime retreat will become worth it once you start to enjoy it. Green spaces come alive at night when nocturnal blossoms release their perfume into the air and ethereally lovely and luminous foliage dances in the breeze. In a moon garden, relaxation is a simple matter of attuning yourself to the stillness of evening and seeing, for the first time, the myriad shades of beauty that can be found in the darkness.

Source:Daily Om

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The Art Of Focus

Energy Protection :
Many of us are sensitive to energy, so we make our homes a sanctuary and only leave when we have fully prepared ourselves. We may use gemstones, essential oil, or talismans, or perhaps we call on our angels or surround ourselves in a bubble of light. But we should be conscious of what we are seeking to accomplish. It is important to remember that if we want to shield ourselves, we might inadvertently keep out the good that is coming our way. All of our tools can be helpful if we use them wisely and keep ourselves engaged in all the world has to offer.

If we instead seek to filter distractions, than we can be like prospectors panning for gold. We learn to filter when we are children as we learn about the world around us. At first every leaf on the ground is a reason to stop and investigate. But as we learn where to focus our attention, the rest becomes background. We don’t cut ourselves off from the world, we merely shift our focus.

As humans, we don’t always know what is good for us. Sometimes what appears to be a negative situation contains a gem of wisdom that leads to our highest growth. Rather than focusing our thoughts on what we want to keep out of our experience, we may want to turn the light of our attention to the good we’d like to create while leaving room for something better. By doing this, we allow space for the wisdom of the universe to work its magic on our behalf. If we trust the universe, we know that good is present even if it doesn’t look good on the surface. When we shift our focus this way, we actually attract those things into our lives, and the rest falls away without the effort of filtering. By practicing the art of focus, we invest our attention and energy into making our lives a positive experience.

Source:Daily Om