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Salvia Divinorum

Botanical Name : Salvia Divinorum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species:S. divinorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Sage of the diviners, Ska maría pastora, Seer’s sage, Yerba de la pastora and just Salvia

Habitat : Salvia divinorum is endemic to the Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, growing in the primary or secondary cloud forest and tropical evergreen forest at elevations from 300 to 1,830 metres (980 to 6,000 ft). Its most common habitat is black soil along stream banks where small trees and bushes provide an environment of low light and high humidity.

Description:
Salvia divinorum has large green ovate (often also dentate) leaves, with a yellow undertone that reach 10 to 30 cm (4 to 12 in) long. The leaves have no hairs on either surface, and little or no petiole. The plant grows to well over 1 metre (3 ft) in height, on hollow square stems which tend to break or trail on the ground, with the plant rooting quite readily at the nodes and internodes.

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The flowers, which bloom only rarely, grow in whorls on a 30-centimetre (12 in) inflorescence, with about six flowers to each whorl. The 3-centimetre (1.2 in) flowers are white, curved and covered with hairs, and held in a small violet calyx that is covered in hairs and glands. When it does bloom in its native habitat, it does so from September to May.

Blooms occur when the day length becomes shorter than 12 hours (beginning in mid-October in some places), necessitating a shade cloth in urban environments with exposure to light pollution (HPS)

Early authors erred in describing the flowers as having blue corollas, based on Epling and Játiva‘s description. The first plant material they received was dried, so they based the flower color on an erroneous description by Hofmann and Wasson, who didn’t realize that their “blue flowers, crowned with a white dome” were in fact violet calyces with unopened white corollas.

Seeds: Salvia seeds are very rare because the plant does not often produce them. This is because salvia wild genetics are scarce. Most of todays salvia divinorum plants are propogated in the wild. This is why over the past few decades they have stopped producing seeds. ..CLICK  & SEE 

Cultivation:
Propagation by cuttings:-
Salvia divinorum is usually propagated through vegetative reproduction. Small cuttings, between two and eight inches long, cut off of the mother plant just below a node, will usually root in plain tap water within two or three weeks

Medicinal uses:
Traditional Mazatec healers have used Salvia divinorum to treat medical and psychiatric conditions conceptualized according to their traditional framework. Some of the conditions for which they use the herb are easily recognizable to Western medical practitioners (e.g colds, sore throats, constipation and diarrhea) and some are not, e.g. ‘fat lambs belly’ which is said to be due to a ‘stone’ put in the victims belly by means of evil witchcraft. Some alternative healers and herbalists are exploring possible uses for Salvia. The problems in objectively evaluating such efforts and ‘sorting the wheat from the chaff’ are considerable. There are no accepted uses for Salvia divinorum in standard medical practice at this time. A medical exploration of some possible uses suggested by Mazatec healing practice is in order in such areas as cough suppression (use to treat colds), and treatment of congestive heart failure and ascites (is ‘fat lamb’s belly’ ascites?). Some other areas for exploration include Salvia aided psychotherapy (there is anecdotal material supporting its usefulness in resolving pathological grief), use of salvinorin as a brief acting general or dissociative anesthetic agent, use to provide pain relief, use in easing both the physical and mental suffering of terminal patients as part of hospice care, and a possible antidepressant effect.

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

http://www.bcseeds.com/salvia-seeds-salvia-divinorum-seeds-p-158.html

Atriplex canescens

Botanical Name: Atriplex canescens
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: A. canescens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names :Saltbush, Grey Sage Brush, Chamiso, Chamiza, Four wing saltbush, Four-wing saltbush, and Fourwing saltbush

Habitat : Atriplex canescens is native to Central and southwestern N. America – South Dakota to Kansas, Texas, California and Mexico. ISandy or gravelly, commonly non-saline but in other situations obviously saline, sites in Joshua tree, blackbrush, greasewood, salt desert shrub, sagebrush, mountain brush communitiest grows on the
Descrition:
Atriplex canescens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 1.8 m (6ft). It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. It blooms in July and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Atriplex canescens has a highly variable form, and readily hybridizes with several other species in the Atriplex genus. The degree of polyploidy also results in variations in form. Its height can vary from 1 foot to 10 feet, but 2 to 4 feet is most common. The leaves are thin and 0.5 to 2 inches long.

It is most readily identified by its fruits, which have four wings at roughly 90 degree angles and are densely packed on long stems.

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 and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Requires a position in full sun in any well-drained but not too fertile soil. Tolerates saline and very alkaline soils. Plants are very tolerant of maritime exposure, though they dislike wet climates. Resents root disturbance when large. Succeeds in a hot dry position. A very ornamental plan, though it is liable to succumb to winter wet when grown on heavy or rich soils. This species forms hybrids with Atriplex confertifolia and A. gardneri. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Occasional monoecious plants are found. Individual plants can change sex. The change is more generally from female to male and is apparently associated with stress such as cold or drought. It would appear that the change confers a survival advantage on the plant.
Propagation:
Seed – sow April/May in a cold frame in a compost of peat and sand. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 weeks at 13°c. Pot up the seedlings when still small into individual pots, grow on in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a very sandy compost in a frame. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November/December in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer

Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked or raw. A very acceptable taste with a salty tang. The leaves can be used at any time of the year though winter harvesting must be light because the plant is not growing much at this time of year. Seed – cooked. Ground into a powder, mixed with cereals and used in making cakes etc or used as a piñole. It is small and very fiddly to utilize. The ground up seed can also be mixed with water and drunk as a refreshing beverage. The burnt green herb yields culinary ashes high in minerals and these are used by the Hopi Indians to enhance the colour of blue corn products. The ashes can be used like baking soda.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a wash on itches and rashes such as chickenpox. A poultice of the crushed leaves can be applied to ant bites to reduce the pain and swelling. The dried tops as a lukewarm tea for nausea and vomiting from the flu; taken hot for breaking fevers. The cold tea is used for simple stomachache.Among the Zuni people, an infusion of dried root and blossoms or a poultice of blossoms is used for ant bites.

Other Uses:
A good hedge in maritime areas, it responds well to trimming. The leaves and stems were burnt by the Hopi Indians and the alkaline ash used to maintain the blue colour when cooking blue corn. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves and stems. The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a hair wash. The plant has fire-retardant properties and can be used for barrier plantings to control bush fires. Twigs are also attached to prayer plumes and sacrificed to the cottontail rabbit to ensure good hunting.

Known Hazards : No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves.
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/Atriplex_canescens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Atriplex+canescens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Equisetum telmateia

Botanical Name : Equisetum telmateia
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. telmateia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms : Equisetum maximum. auct.

Common Names : Great horsetail or Northern giant horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum telmateia is native to Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia, N.W. N. America. It grows on damp shady banks etc, to 350 metres.

Description:
Equisetum telmateia is a herbaceous perennial plant, with separate green photosynthetic sterile stems, and pale yellowish non-photosynthetic spore-bearing fertile stems. The sterile stems, produced in late spring and dying down in late autumn, are 30–150 cm (rarely to 240 cm) tall (the tallest species of horsetail outside of tropical regions) and 1 cm diameter, heavily branched, with whorls of 14–40 branches, these up to 20 cm long, 1–2 mm diameter and unbranched, emerging from the axils of a ring of bracts. The fertile stems are produced in early spring before the sterile shoots, growing to 15–45 cm tall with an apical spore-bearing strobilus 4–10 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, and no side branches; the spores disperse in mid spring, with the fertile stems dying immediately after spore release. It also spreads by means of rhizomes that have been observed to penetrate 4 meters into wet clay soil, spreading laterally in multiple layers. Occasional plants produce stems that are both fertile and photosynthetic. It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in April.

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There are two subspecies:
*Equisetum telmateia subsp. telmateia. Great Horsetail. Europe, western Asia, northwest Africa. Main stem between branch whorls pale greenish white.

*Equisetum telmateia subsp. braunii (Milde) Hauke. Northern Giant Horsetail. Western North America, from southeastern Alaska and western British Columbia south to California. Main stem between branch whorls green.

CLICK & SEE : Equisetum telmateia  & Spore-bearing strobilus

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Edible Uses:
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – raw or cooked. The tough outer fibres are peeled off, or can be chewed and then discarded. The vegetative shoots, produced from late spring onwards, were occasionally cleaned of their leaves, sheathing and branches and then eaten by native North American Indians, but only when very young and tightly compacted. Root – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:

Astringent; Diuretic; Poultice.

The plant is astringent and diuretic. A decoction has been used to treat ‘stoppage of urine’. A poultice of the rough leaves and stems is applied to cuts and sores.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Fungicide; Hair; Liquid feed; Polish; Sandpaper.

The stems are very rich in silica. They are used for scouring and polishing metal and as a fine sandpaper. The stems are first bleached by repeated wetting and drying in the sun. They can also be used as a polish for wooden floors and furniture. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed. Used as a hair rinse it can eliminate fleas, lice and mites. The black roots have been used for imbrication on coiled baskets.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_telmateia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+telmateia

Fragaria viridis

Botanical Name : Fragaria viridis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. viridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria collina.

Common Names: Green Strawberry

Habitat : Fragaria viridis is native to Europe. It grows in woods and banks.

Description:
Fragaria viridis is a perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. This species is closely related to F. vesca. Plants are sometimes dioecious. In this case, male and female plants will be needed if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses :    Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit are greenish-tinged with red and are sweet and succulent with a rich musky pineapple-like flavour. Absolutely delicious, though they are not produced very freely.

Medicinal Uses : None known

Other Uses : An excellent ground cover plant, spreading vigorously by means of surface stolons and forming a dense carpet.   It grows well amongst shrubs but can out-compete smaller plants

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=Fragaria+viri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_viridis

Sphagnum Moss

Botanical Name : Sphagnum cymbifolium
Family: Sphagnaceae
Genus: Sphagnum
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Bryophyta
Class: Sphagnopsida
Subclass: Sphagnidae
Order: Sphagnales

Synonym: Bog Moss.

Common Names ;Sphagnum Moss

Habitat :
Sphagnum Moss  is found in wet and boggy spots, preferably on peat soil, mostly near heather, on all our mountains and moors, in patches small or large, usually in water free from lime, growing so close together that it often forms large cushions or clumps. It is seldom found in woods; it grows best on heath moors, in water holes.

Sphagnum Moss is the only true Moss that has yet proved itself to be of appreciable economic value.

Description:
Sphagnum is easily distinguished from other mosses by its habit ofgrowth, its soft thick fullness (each head resembling a full and elaborate bloom of edelweiss), and its vividly pale-green colour.

Its stem is densely beset with narrow, broken-up leaves, a branch being emitted at every fourth leaf; many of these are turned downwards and applied more or less closely to the stem.
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Though the pale-green species is the most common, there are several others, large and small, varying in colour from the very light green (never dark green) to yellow, and all shades of pink to deep red and brown. The Moss often attracts attention by its display of beautiful shades of colour, such patches being avoided by wary persons, who do not wish to get their feet wet.

Every part of the moss is permeated with minute tubes and spaces, resulting in a system of delicate capillary tubes, having the effect of a very fine sponge. The cells readily absorb water and retain it. The water can be squeezed out, but the Moss does not collapse and is ready to take in fluid again.

The plant is not dependent on soil water, but also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and is laden throughout with water retained in its delicate cells.

The presence of these capillary cells makes Sphagnum economically useful. In horticulture, long before the war, this Moss had a marketable value, in combination with peat fibre, being widely used as a rooting medium for orchids, on account of the remarkable manner in which it retains moisture, a handful when wet being like a sponge, and when chopped and mixed with soil in pots preventing moisture passing too quickly through the soil.

Medicinal Uses:
Preparations of calcined peat have long been regarded as effective and cheap germicides, and as a valuable aid to sanitation; peat water possesses astringent and antiseptic properties, and the air in proximity to tracts of peat moss is invariably salubrious, owing probably to the absorption of hydrogen and the exhalation of oxygen by the mosses. Sphagnol, a distillate of Peat Tar, is authoritatively recognized as an extremely usefulapplication in eczema, psoriasis, pruritus, haemorrhoids, chilblains, scabies, acne and other forms of skin diseases, while it is very beneficial for allaying irritation arising from insect bites. For the latter purpose it is a preventative no less than a cure.

Other Uses:
Decayed, dried sphagnum moss has the name of peat or peat moss. This is used as a soil conditioner which increases the soil’s capacity to hold water and nutrients by increasing capillary forces and cation exchange capacity. This is often necessary when dealing with very sandy soil, or plants that need increased or steady moisture content to flourish. A distinction is sometimes made between sphagnum moss, the live moss growing on top of a peat bog, and ‘sphagnum peat moss’ (North American usage) or ‘sphagnum peat’ (British usage), the latter being the slowly decaying matter underneath.[18]

Dried sphagnum moss is also used in northern Arctic regions as an insulating material.

Anaerobic acidic sphagnum bogs have low rates of decay, and hence preserve plant fragments and pollen to allow reconstruction of past environments. They even preserve human bodies for millennia; examples of these preserved specimens are Tollund Man, Haraldskær Woman, Clonycavan Man and Lindow Man. Such bogs can also preserve human hair and clothing, one of the most noteworthy examples being Egtved Girl, Denmark. Because of the acidity of peat, however, bones are dissolved rather than preserved. These bogs have also been used to preserve food. Up to 2000-year-old containers of butter or lard have been found.

Sphagnum moss has also been used for centuries as a dressing for wounds, including through World War I. Since it is absorptive and extremely acidic, it inhibits growth of bacteria and fungi, so it is used for shipping seeds and live plants. However, see Health dangers below.

Peat moss is used to dispose of the clarified liquid output (effluent) from septic tanks in areas that lack the proper conditions for ordinary disposal means. It is also used as an environmentally friendly alternative to chlorine in swimming pool sanitation. The moss inhibits the growth of microbes and reduces the need for chlorine in swimming pools.

In New Zealand, both the species S. cristatum and S. subnitens are harvested by hand and exported worldwide for use as hanging basket liners, as a growing medium for young orchids, and mixed with other potting mixes to enhance their moisture retaining value.

Peat moss is a critical element for growing mushrooms. The fungal mycelium grows in compost with a layer of peat moss on top, through which the mushrooms come out, a process called casing.

Peat moss, dead or alive, is also a very important soil and topper for most carnivorous plants.

In the 7th Framework Programme Mossclone peat mosses multiplied in moss bioreactors are developed as a new tool to monitor air pollution.

The manufacture of spinning material out of peat-fibre has been attempted in Sweden, and experiments have advanced so far that cloth as well as clothing has been made out of peat fibre mixed with other textile materials. This does not, however, appear likely to lead to any important industry, but absorptive material has been produced from white Sphagnum Moss and Wood Pulp. It has also lately been reported from Sweden that successful attempts have been made to extract alcohol from Sphagnum.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mossph54.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphagnum