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Herbs & Plants

Prunus angustifolia

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Botanical Name : Prunus angustifolia
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. angustifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Pruns chicasa.
Common Name : Chickasaw Plum, Watson’s plum, Hally Jolivette Cherry, Cherokee plum, Florida sand plum, sandhill plum, or sand plum

Habitat :Prunus angustifolia is native to South-eastern N. America – New York to Florida, west to Texas. It is usually found in sandy soils, occurring along fence rows, in pastures, fields, stream banks, sand dunes and disturbed sites, often forming thickets.

Description:
Prunus angustifolia is a deciduous Tree growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a medium rate. The tree is 15 to 20 feet wide in an irregular shape. It is “twiggy” in nature, and has a scaly, almost black bark. Its branches are reddish with thorn-like, small side branches. In February, March, April and May, small white flowers blossom, 8–9 mm wide, along with red plums, up to 25 mm long. The flowers have five white petals with reddish or orange anthers. The plums are cherry-like and tend to be quite tart until they fully ripen. They ripen in late summer. It requires low to medium amounts of water to grow, and dry, sandy or loose soil. It grows best in areas with regular sunlight or areas of partial shade. In sunny areas, it will be more dense and colonize thickly. In areas of partial shade, it will be thinner and less dense, and each plant will be more spread out. P. angustifolia is very difficult to distinguish from Prunus umbellata, with which it hybridizes easily.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

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. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Although it should be hardy in all parts of Britain, it grows better in the warmer areas of the country. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild, it has become rather rare in a truly wild state, though it is often cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America. There are some named varieties. The fruit is not freely produced in British gardens. The flowers, which appear just before the leaves unfold, have a refreshing fruity scent. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. This species suckers freely in the wild, often forming thickets. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

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.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw, cooked or dried for later use. Large and thin-skinned with a soft juicy sweet pulp, it has a dlicious flavour and is very good eaten out of hand, whilst it can also be used in pies, preserves etc. The fruit is up to 18mm in diameter. Seed – raw or cooked.
Ripe fruits are slightly tart, but can be eaten or are sometimes made into jellies, desserts and preserves.
Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.
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:
Dye; Shelterbelt; Soil stabilization; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168]. This species is sometimes used in shelterbelt planting. It has an extensive root system and often forms thickets, which make it useful for erosion control. Wood – heavy, rather soft, not strong. It weighs 43lb per cubic foot and is of little commercial value.

Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Standard, Specimen.

Because they bloom early in the spring, before many other plants bloom, and require very little maintenance, they are often used in horticulture for ornamental use. They are found along many highways, especially in the southern part of the United States. The fruit is eaten by various animals. It also provides cover for nesting sites. Because of its attractive bark, small leaves and thin branches, prunus angustifolia plant is also sometimes used for bonsai.

Known Hazards: Athough 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_angustifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+angustifolia

 

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Herbs & Plants

Juglans major

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Botanical Name: Juglans major
Family: Juglandaceae
Subfamily: Juglandoideae
Tribe: Juglandeae
Subtribe: Juglandinae
Genus: Juglans
Section: Rhysocaryon
Species: J. major
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : J. microcarpa major. J. rupestris major. J. torreyi.

Common Names: Arizona walnut, Arizona black walnut

Habitat : Juglans major is native to Southern N. America – New Mexico to Arizona. It grows on dry rocky ravines and stream beds, 700 – 2300 metres.

Description:
Juglans major is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a fast rate.
In moister areas, the tree features a single, stout trunk; there are usually several slender trunks in drier situations. The 8–14 in long pinnately compound leaves bear 9–15 lanceolate leaflets, 3/8–11/4 in wide by 2–4 in long. The small nut has a thick shell with deep grooves enclosing an oily, edible seed.

It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.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. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil[200]. Plants are fast-growing when young. This species is closely related to and sometimes considered to be no more than a sub-species of J. microcarpa. It hybridizes with that species where their ranges overlap. If it is a distinct species then perhaps its correct name should be J. torreyi. Trees produce good crops of seeds every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Natural regeneration is very low because most seeds are consumed by wildlife. Plants are fairly long-lived (to about 400 years) and produce a deep taproot, they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first winter or two since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame[80]. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate. Germination rates are usually less than 50%

Edible Uses: Oil.
Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is rather small, but it is sometimes eaten. Of little value. The seed is large and sweet with a thick shell. There are about 45 seeds to the pound. The seeds are 25 – 40mm in diameter. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.

Medicinal Uses: A tea of the dried leaves is used for irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and chronic colon disorders; it also is used to treat dysentery. For arthritis, the leaves and bark are boiled into a strong tea, taken internally, and applied to arthritic legs and back.

Other Uses:
This species is sometimes used as a rootstock. A golden brown dye can be obtained from the seed husks. A light brown dye is obtained from the young twigs. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood – this very attractive wood rivals that of J. nigra, the black walnut, in quality. However, the limited range and smaller size of the tree have restricted its use.

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/Juglans_major
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+major

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Herbs & Plants

Juglans mandschurica

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Botanical Name: Juglans mandschurica

Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. mandshurica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Name: Manchurian walnut

Habitat :Juglans mandschurica is native to E. Asia – Manchuria. It grows in the mixed woods in rich soils, also by mountain streams. Mixed forests on mountain slopes or in valleys at elevations of 500 – 2800 metres.
Description:
Juglans mandschurica is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in). The leaves are alternate, 40–90 cm long, odd-pinnate, with 7–19 leaflets, 6–17 cm long and 2–7.5 cm broad (margin serrate or serrulate, apex acuminate). The male flowers are in drooping catkins 9–40 cm long, the wind-pollinated female flowers (April–May) are terminal, in spikes of 4 to 10, ripening in August–October into nuts, 3-7.5 × 3–5 cm, with densely glandular pubescent green husk and very thick shell.

The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.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. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. A very hardy and ornamental tree, it is recommended for cultivation in severe cold climates. Plants produce a deep taproot and they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first winter or two since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant. Closely allied to J. cathayensis.

Propagation :
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate.

Edible Uses: Oil; Oil.
Seed – raw or roasted. The kernels are well filled but difficult to extract because the shell is thick. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.
Medicinal Uses :

Cancer; Miscellany.

The cotyledons are said to be a cure for cancer.

Other Uses:
Herbicide; Miscellany; Oil; Oil; Rootstock; String; Wood.

The seed contains up to 52% oil and, as well as being edible, it has industrial uses. A rope is made from the bark of young trees. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The inner bark is used to make heel pieces for straw shoes. Sometimes used as a rootstock to confer greater cold resistance. Wood – hard, durable. Used for veneer, furniture etc.

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/Juglans_mandshurica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+mandschurica

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Juglans ailanthifolia

Botanical Name: Juglans ailanthifolia
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. ailantifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: J. cordiformis and J. sieboldiana and J. mandshurica var. sachalinensis

Common Name: Heartseed Walnut

Habitat: Juglans ailanthifolia is native to Japan and Sakhalin. It grows in the forest.
Description:
Juglans ailanthifolia is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, rarely 30 m, and 40–80 cm stem diameter, with light grey bark. The leaves are pinnate, 50–90 cm long, with 11-17 leaflets, each leaflet 7–16 cm long and 3–5 cm broad. The whole leaf is downy-pubescent, and a somewhat brighter, yellower green than many other tree leaves. It is in flower in June. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
The male flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins produced in spring at the same time as the new leaves appear. The female flowers have pink/ red pistils. The fruit is a nut, produced in bunches of 4-10 together; the nut is spherical, 3–5 cm long and broad, surrounded by a green husk before maturity in mid autumn.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

The plant is self-fertile.
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.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. This is the hardiest member of the genus, it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is also resistant to most insects. The young growth in spring, however, can be damaged by late frosts. This is a form of C. ailanthifolia with a thinner shell and a better tasting nut. It is cultivated for its edible seed in Japan and has the potential for producing very superior nuts, especially if hybridized with J. cinerea. There are some named varieties. Plants can come into bearing in 3 – 4 years from seed. Even when grown on a very windy site in Cornwall, the plants flowered in their eighth year from seed (by which time they were more sheltered from the wind) Plants produce a deep taproot and they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and then given some protection since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate
Edible Uses: Oil.
Seed – raw or cooked. They are also used in sweets, pies etc. A mild and pleasant flavour, they can be eaten in quantity for dessert. The shell is thin and easily cracked. It is considered to be superior in taste to C. ailanthifolia. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, though it tends to go rancid quickly. Young buds (leaf?) and peduncles – cooked.

Medicinal Uses: The bark is anthelmintic, astringent, diuretic, lithontripic, pectoral, skin, tonic (kidneys).

Other Uses:
Dye; Herbicide; Oil; Tannin; Wood.

A brown dye is obtained from the seed husks and the bark. Rich in tannin, it does not require a mordant. The bark is rich in tannin. It is used as a dye and also medicinally. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood – soft, light, not easily cracked, of good quality. Used for cabinet making etc.

The very bold, decorative leaves and the attractive catkins produced in spring make it an excellent ornamental tree for planting in parks and large gardens.

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/Juglans_ailantifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+ailanthifolia+cordiformis

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Herbs & Plants

Carduus acaulis

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Botanical Name: : Carduus acaulis
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium
Species: C. acaule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Ground Thistle. Dwarf May Thistle (Culpepper)

Common Name : Stemless Carline Thistle, Carline Thistle

Johns (Flowers of the Field) calls this the Ground Thistle, and Culpepper calls it the Dwarf May Thistle, and says that ‘in some places it is called the Dwarf Carline Thistle.’
Habitat: Carduus acaulis, the Dwarf Thistle, is found in pastures, especially chalk downs, and is rather common in the southern half of England, particularly on the east side.It grows in poor soils in dry sandy pastures and on rocky slopes, especially on limestone.

Description:
Carduus acaulis is a biennial/ perennial plant,  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).long, It has woody root-stock. The stem in the ordinary form is so short that the flowers appear to be sessile, or sitting, in the centre of the rosette of prickly leaves, but very occasionally it attains the length of a foot or 18 inches, and then is usually slightly branched.    The leaves are spiny and rigid, with only a few hairs on the upper side, and on the veins beneath, and are of a dark, shining green. The flowers are large and dark crimson in colour, and are in bloom from July to September  and the seeds ripen from Jul to August..The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil. Prefers a poor soil. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. The stemless carline thistle is a protected plant in the wild because of its rarity. This species resents root disturbance, it should be planted into its final position as soon as possible. Plants are usually short-lived or monocarpic. The plant is popular in dried flower arranging, the dried heads keeping their appearance indefinitely.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a cold frame in the spring. The seed usually germinates in 4 – 8 weeks at 15°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Edible Uses: Flowering head is cooked. Used as a globe artichoke substitute, though they are considerably smaller and even more fiddly. The fleshy centre of the plant is edible.

Part Used in medicine:—Root.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Diuretic; Emetic; Febrifuge; Purgative.

Stemless carline thistle is seldom used in modern herbalism. The root has also been used in treating a range of skin complaints such as acne and eczema. A decoction of the root can be used externally to cleanse wounds or as an antiseptic gargle. Some caution should be employed since in large doses the root is purgative and emetic. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

It is used   nternally for fluid retention, liver, gall bladder, and prostate problems, bronchitis, and skin complaints, such as acne and eczema.  It is used in the form of an infusion to treat stomach and liver disorders, edema and urine retention.  Decoctions are applied externally to bathe skin disorders, fungal infections and wounds and are used as an antiseptic gargle.  The dried and chopped roots, soaked in wine, stimulate digestion and soothe the nerves.  Wine extract of 40-50 g of powdered roots/1 litre wine acts as a vermifuge.  Take a wine glass twice daily.  A water extract produces the same effect in 50/50 mixture with vinegar.  Swedish bitters contains the root of the carline thistle, which possesses bacteriostatic properties and acts on the stomach as well. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses.  The plant was at one time in great demand as an aphrodisiac, it is used nowadays in the treatment of spasms of the digestive tract, gall bladder disorders, dropsy etc.

At one time the root used to be chewed as a remedy for toothache.

Other Uses:
Weather forecasting. : The dried flowers respond to the amount of humidity in the air and can be used as hygrometers. Flowers on the growing plant close at the approach of rain.

Known Hazards:The Thistle is very injurious in pastures; it kills all plants that grow beneath it and ought not to be tolerated, even on the borders of fields and waste places.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_acaule
https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thistl11.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=carlina+acaulis

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