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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron mucronulatum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron mucronulatum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species: R. mucronulatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:
*Rhododendron dauricum var. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Maxim.
*Rhododendron dauricum subsp. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Vorosch

Common Names: Korean rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron mucronulatum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea and Siberia. It grows in thin woods and open country, especially on volcanic soils.

Description:
Rhododendron mucronulatum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in).
It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These are deciduous shrubs, often with rather twisting-rambling branches. Autumn leaf colour is often very good in R. mucronulatum. The scales on their leaves and twigs (that can be seen with a good magnifying lens), reveal that they belong to the subgenus Rhododendron (or lepidopes). In comparison to their nearest relative, the semi-evergreen R. dauricum, the leaf-scales are not so dense (2 4 times their diameter apart) and the flowers are larger in this species. However, there is considerable variation in these characters within these two species, and they hybridize to form swarms of intermediate types in nature. The widely, funnel-shaped, flowers are typically rosy-purple in colour, but can be pink and even white. They open successively from clusters of buds at the end of the shoots before the leaves expand. While they can be killed by frosts below -5C, damaged flowers are soon replaced by the next ones to open. We place our plants where they are not too exposed to the night sky in order to protect the flowers from spring frosts.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires.   A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is idea. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult

Edible Uses: ….Flower petals – raw. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet Known.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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/Rhododendron_mucronulatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+mucronulatum

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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron campanulatum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron campanulatum
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Ericoideae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common names: Bell Rhododendron • Hindi  Name: Burans, Semru

Habitat : Rhododendron campanulatum is native to E. Asia – Himalayan alpine regions of Northern India, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is found on open slopes in the alpine zone at elevations between 2,800 and 4,400 metres. Rhododendron thickets on mountain slopes.

Description:
Rhododendron campanulatum is a gregarious evergreen herb of 1.5 to 2.5 m. Its leaves are very interesting. They are broadly elliptic to oval, to 14 cm long, dark glossy green above, with brown felted wooly hairs below. In fact, running a finger on the underside of the leaves gives one a velvety feel. Beautiful bell-shaped flowers are pale mauve to rosy-purple, rarely white, purple spotted inside. Flowers grow in large trusses, or clusters, which can be up to 10 inches across. Each flower is shaped like a small bell about 1 – 1.5 inch long.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus rich lime free soils except those of a dry arid nature or heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. Requires a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Meditional Uses:
he leaves are mixed with tobacco and used as a snuff in the treatment of colds and headaches that affect only one side of the head. The juice of the leaves is also used in the treatment of chronic rheumatism, sciatica and syphilis. The dried twigs and wood are used in the treatment of phthisis and chronic.

Other Uses:
Fuel; Miscellany…….An excellent fuel wood is obtained from this plant.

Known Hazards : The leaves are considered to be poisonous. The flowers of many species can cause intoxication in large quantities.

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/Rhododendron
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+campanulatum
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Bell%20Rhododendron.html

Rhododendron campanulatum

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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron arboreum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron arboreum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Hymenanthes
Species: R. arboreum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Burans or Gurans

Habitat :Rhododendron arboreum is native to E. Asia – Himalayas to Sri Lanka. It grows in the forests and shrubberies with Pieris ovalifolia and Quercus incana, 1500 – 3600 metres from Pakistan to S.E. Tibet in the Himalayas.
Description:
Rhododendron arboreum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft) by 3 m (9ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It has been recorded as reaching heights of up to 20 m, although more usually it has a height and spread up to 12 m (36 ft) x 12 m (36 ft). Its species name arboreum means tree-like. It has broad, dark green leaves, 3-7in long, with a silvery, fawn or brown hairy coating beneath.

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This plant holds the Guinness Record for World’s Largest Rhododendron. The tree discovered in 1993 at Mt. Japfü in Kohima district of Nagaland, India, holds the Guinness Record for the tallest Rhododendron at 108 ft measured at the time of discovery which is still growing.

In early- and mid-spring, trusses of 15–20 bell-shaped flowers, 5 cm (2 in) wide and 3–5 cm (1.25–2 in) long are produced in red, pink or white. They have black nectar pouches and black spots inside.

One of the most stately and impressive species rhododendrons, Tree Rhododendron is the state tree of Uttarakhand. It is extremely variable in stature, hardiness, flower color and leaf characteristics.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus rich lime free soils except those of a dry arid nature or heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. Requires a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. Hardy to between -10 and -15°c, the pink flowered form is hardier than the red. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. This plant is the national flower of Nepal. The flowers are sold in local markets and used as offerings to the Gods and Godesses. A very ornamental plant, it is not very hardy outdoors in much of Britain, but grows well in the milder areas of the country. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses:

The tender leaves are used as a cooked vegetable. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers – raw or cooked. A sweet-sour taste, they are said to make a good sub-acid jelly. Th flowers are sometimes simply pickled by adding salt and chili. Caution is advised, large quantities can cause intoxication.

Medicinal Uses:
The young leaves are astringent and poultice. They are made into a pasteand then applied to the forehead in the treatment of headaches. The juice of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the flowers is used to check a tendency to vomit, especially if there is also a loss of appetite. The juice of the flowers is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. The petals are eaten to assist the removal of any animal bones that have become stuck in the throat.

Other Uses:
Charcoal; Fuel; Repellent; Wood.

The juice of the leaves is spread over cots and beds to get rid of bed lice. Wood – soft, even grained, seasons badly. Used in turnery, it can also be used to make charcoal and for fuel. Th wood is much employed in Nepal where it is used for making household implements, building small houses and fences. Planks of the wood are carved to make boxes, cupboards and other furniture. It is a very good fuel, burning well with a long-lasting heat – overcollection of the wod for fuel, and also for making charcoal, has become a cause for conservation concern.

Known Hazards : The leaves are poisonous. The flowers can cause intoxication in large quantities.

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/Rhododendron_arboreum
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Tree%20Rhododendron.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+arboreum

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Herbs & Plants

Equisetum sylvaticum

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

Common Name : Wood horsetail, Woodland horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum sylvaticum is native to temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia. It grows on damp woods on acid soils, moors etc.

These horsetails are commonly found in wet or swampy forest, open woodlands, and meadow areas. The plant is an indicator of boreal and cool-temperate climates, and very moist to wet, nitrogen-poor soils.
Description:
Equisetum sylvaticum is a perennial plant. It has erect, hollow stems that grow from 30 to 60 cm in length and from 1-4 mm thick. The branches themselves are compound and delicate, occurring in whorls and drooping downward. There are generally 12 or more branches per whorl. Fertile stems are at first tan-to-brown and unbranched, but later become like the sterile stems, which are more highly branched and green. All the stems have 10-18 spiny vertical ridges that contain silica spicules. The leaves are scales fused into sheaths that cover the stems and branches. These spiny leaves are larger and looser on the fertile stems.

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The fertile stems are shorter than the others; on these develop the cones that bear the spore casings. The leaves develop on the fertile stems and the stems lengthen; then the cones open to release their spores. The cones then drop off. This process takes a few weeks. All the stems may continue to grow until fall and generally die back over winter.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Apr to May.

Reproduction:
This plant reproduces by spores, but its primary means of reproduction is done vegetatively by rhizomes. These rhizome systems are deep and extensive, as well as extremely long-lived. These creeping rhizomes occasionally produce tubers, and often outweigh the above-ground growth by 100 to 1.
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) – cooked. An asparagus substitute, though it is neither very palatable nor very nutritious. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – cooked. A source of starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is astringent, diuretic and styptic. The barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the pant are use. The plant is a useful diuretic when taken internally and is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems, internal bleeding. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing.
Other Uses:
Dye; Fungicide; Hair; Sandpaper; Scourer.
The stems can be 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. A light pink dye is obtained from the stem
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_sylvaticum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+sylvaticum

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Herbs & Plants

Spigelia marylandica

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Botanical Name : Spigelia marylandica
Family: Loganiaceae
Genus: Spigelia
Species: S. marilandic
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Maryland Pink. Wormgrass. American Wormgrass. Carolina-, Maryland-, American-Wormroot. Starbloom.

Common Names: Pink Root, Indian pink or Woodland pinkroot

Parts Used: Dried rhizome and rootlets, or entire plant.

Habitat: Spigelia marylandica is native to South-eastern N. America – New Jersey to Florida. It grows in rich, dry soils on the edges of woods.

Description:
Spigelia marylandica is a herbaceous perennial plant. It has several smooth simple stems, arising from the same rhizome; these stems are rounded below and square above. Leaves, few, opposite, sessile, ovatelanceolate, at apex acuminate, tapering at the base. It grows 1 to 2 feet high with a spread of 0.5 to 1.5 feet. The flowers are borne in a brilliant red-pink spike at top of the stem, the long corollas (terminating in spreading, star-like petals), externally red, yellow within, surrounding a double, many-seeded capsule. It flowers from May to July. The entire plant is collected in autumn and dried, but only the rhizome and rootlets are official in the United States Pharmacopceia, though in several other pharmacopoeias on the Continent, in which Spigelia is official, a closely allied species is named and the flowering plant is specified. The rhizome is tortuous, knotty and dark-brown externally, with many thin, wiry motlets attached to it and the short branches on the upper side are marked with scars of the stems of former years; internally, the rhizome is whitish, with a darkbrown pith; the rootlets are lighter coloured than the rhizome, thin, brittle and long. Odour, aromatic; taste, bitter, sweetish, pungent and somewhat nauseous. It is usually powdered and then is of a greyish colour. Age impairs its strength. When imported from the Western United States, where it is very abundant, it is received in bales and casks……….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most fertile soils in semi-shade. Tolerates full sun if the soil remains reliably moist in the growing season, in a shady position it tolerates considerably drier soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Seed requires stratification, pre-chill for 3 weeks prior to sowing. It will usually germinate in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in the spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. 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.

Constituents: A poisonous alkaloid, named Spigeline; also a bitter acrid principle, soluble in water or alcohol, but insoluble in ether; a small amount of volatile oil, a tasteless resin, tannin, wax, fat, mucilage, albumen, myricin, a viscid, saccharine substance, lignin, salts of sodium, potassium and calcium. The reactions of the poisonous alkaloid resemble those of nicotine, lobeline and coniine.
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Narcotic.

The whole plant, but especially the root, is anthelmintic and narcotic. A safe and effective anthelmintic when used in the proper dosage, it is especially effective with tapeworms and roundworm. Its use should always be followed by a saline aperient such as magnesium sulphate otherwise unpleasant side effects will follow. Another report says that it can be used with other herbs such as Foeniculum vulgare or Cassia senna. These will ensure that the root is expelled along with the worms since the root is potentially toxic if it is absorbed through the gut. The root is best used when fresh but can be harvested in the autumn then dried and stored. It should not be stored for longer than 2 years. Use with caution and only under professional supervision. The plant contains the alkaloid spigiline,which is largely responsible for the medicinal action but side effects of an overdose can include increased heart action, vertigo, convulsions and possibly death.
Known Hazards: This plant is poisonous in large quantities.

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/Spigelia_marilandica
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pinkro39.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Spigelia+marilandica