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Herbs & Plants

Nymphaea alba

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Botanical Name: Nymphaea alba
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. alba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Nymphaeales

Synonyms : N. occidentalis. Castalia alba. C. speciosa.
Common Names: White Water Lily, European white waterlily, White water rose or White nenuphar

Habitat: Nymphaea alba is native to most of Europe, including Britain. It grows in marshes, ponds, slow moving streams, lakes and canals up to 1.2m deep.

Description:
Nymphaea alba is a perennial water plant. It grows in water that is 30–150 cm (12–59 in) deep and likes large ponds and lakes. The leaves can be up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and they take up a spread of 150 cm (59 in) per plant. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are white and they have many small stamens inside. It is found all over Europe and in parts of North Africa and the Middle East in freshwater.

The red variety (Nymphaea alba f. rosea) which is in cultivation came from lake Fagertärn (“Fair tarn”) in the forest of Tiveden, Sweden, where they were discovered in the early 19th century. The discovery led to a large scale exploitation which nearly made it extinct in the wild before it was protected.

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

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

Cultivation:
A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position in still or slowly moving water. Best grown in 2 – 2.5 metres of water[200]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7. Dislikes acid conditions according to another report. This species is hardy to about -20°c. There are two basic types of plant in this genus:- ‘crawlers’ are species with horizontal roots that often spread freely, with new plants being formed at intervals along the root. These species are useful for naturalising, but they do not flower very freely in the cool summers of Britain. ‘clumpers’ have vertical roots and form slowly spreading clumps and produce offsets around the crown. These forms flower much more freely in Britain. A very ornamental plant. The flowers, which only open in bright sunshine, have a soft delicate scent.

Propagation:
Seed – sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring. The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears. Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established

Edible Uses: Root – cooked. Eaten when several years old. It contains up to 40% starch, 6% protein. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Seed – cooked. It contains about 47% starch.
Medicinal Uses:
The rhizome is anodyne, antiscrofulatic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent and sedative. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery or diarrhoea caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used to treat bronchial catarrh and kidney pain and can be taken as a gargle for sore throats. Externally it can be used to make a douche to treat vaginal soreness or discharges. In combination with slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) or flax (Linum usitatissimum) it is used as a poultice to treat boils and abscesses. The rhizome is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded. According to one report the plant is not used in modern herbal practice, though it has been quoted as a remedy for dysentery.

The rhizome may be used to make a douche for vaginal soreness and discharge, or to make a poultice, often in combination with slippery elm or linseed, for boils and abscesses. The plant has been found to lower blood pressure in animals. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded.

Known Hazards: One report suggests that the plant is poisonous but gives no further details. The plant contains the toxic alkaloids nupharine and nymphaeine, these substances have an effect on the nervous system.
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/Nymphaea_alba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Nymphaea+alba

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Butterfly Bush

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Botanical Name :Buddleia davidii
Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleia
Species: B. davidii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : B. variabilis. Buddleja davidii.

Common Names:   Summer lilac,butterfly-bush or orange eye

Habitat :It is native of the Sichuan and Hubei provinces of central China, and of Japan. It is widely used as an ornamental plant, and many named varieties are in cultivation.

B. davidii, named for the French explorer in China, Father Armand David, who first noticed the shrub, was found near Ichang by Dr Augustine Henry about 1887 and sent to St Petersburg. Another botanist-missionary in China, Jean André Soulié, provided seed to the French firm of nurserymen, Vilmorin, and B. davidii came on the Western market in the 1890s.

It can be invasive in many countries, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. Within the United States, it is classified as a noxious weed by the states of Oregon and Washington.

This species is naturalized in most cities of central and southern Europe, where it can spread on wastelands and in gardens.

It is appreciated in butterfly gardens for its value as food for many species of butterflies.

Description:
Buddleia davidii is  a deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub with a weeping form that can get 6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) tall and have a spread of 4-15 ft (1.2-4.6 m). Butterfly bushes have opposite, 6-10 in (15-25 cm), lance-shaped gray-green leaves on long arching stems. The tiny flowers are irresistible to butterflies. They are borne in long, 8-18 in (20-45.7 cm), cone-shaped clusters that droop in a profusion of color and stay abuzz with winged, nectar-feeding insects from late spring until first frost in autumn. The flower clusters can be so profuse that they cause the branches to arch even more. The flowers of many cultivars are sweetly fragrant. Flower colors may be purple, white, pink, or red, and they usually have an orange throat in the center. There are a great many named selections to choose from. ‘African Queen’ has dark purple flowers. ‘Nanho Blue’ or ‘Petite Indigo’ is compact and smaller, to 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and has 6 in (15 cm) clusters of blue-lavender flowers. ‘Nanho Purple’ and ‘Nanho White’ are also compact bushes. ‘Royal Red’ has flowers of dark reddish purple. ‘White Bouquet‘ has white flowers with orange throats. ‘Opera’ has pink flowers in clusters to 2 ft (0.6 m) long.

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It is not able to survive the harsh winters of northern continental climates, being killed by temperatures below about -15°C to -20°C. Even where it is not killed to the ground, in gardens it is generally partly stooled, with older shoots cut to the ground, as younger wood is more floriferous.

Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position. Prefers a rich loamy well-drained soil. Very tolerant of alkaline soils, atmospheric pollution and maritime exposure. Grows best on dry soils of low fertility, where it can seed itself freely. Plants are hardy to about -15°c, they resprout from the base if cut back by cold weather. A very ornamental plant[1], it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Polymorphic, there are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value. The flowers emit a musk-like fragrance like heather honey. Plants flower mainly on the current years growth so a hard pruning in spring will encourage better flowering[200]. An excellent plant for bees and butterflies.

Propagation:
Seed – cold stratify for 4 weeks at 4°c and surface sow the seed in February/March in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 4 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seedlings are inclined to damp off and so should be watered with care and kept well-ventilated. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Use short side-shoots. Very high percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 20cm long, October/November in a frame

Usage
Butterfly bush is the perfect foundation plant for a butterfly garden. The larger cultivars should be placed behind other shrubs and blooming annuals and perennials. Dark flowered varieties show up quite well against a light background. Plant alongside pentas (Pentas lanceolata), lantana (Lantana camara) and zinnias Zinnia elegans) for non-stop butterfly activity, and find a place nearby for parsley (Petroselinum crispum), passion vine (Passiflora incarnata) and other butterfly larval food plants. You may clicl to see: Floridata’s Butterfly Gallery for more ideas.

Medicinal uses:
No appreciable medicinal uses of this plant is available  in the internet.

Other Uses:
Black or green dyes can be obtained from the flowers, leaves and stems combined[168]. An orange-gold to brown dye can be obtained from the flowers.

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.floridata.com/ref/B/budd_dav.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddleja_davidii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Buddleia%20davidii

http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Plants/flower-Butterfly-Bush.html

http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/tcweeds/weeds/butterflybush.htm