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Nymphaea alba

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

Betula glandulosa

Botanical Name : Betula glandulosa
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Chamaebetula
Species: B. glandulosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms:Betula crenata, Betula glandulifera.

Common Names: American Dwarf Birch, Resin Birch, Shrub Birch,Scrub Birch

Habitat :Betula glandulosa is native to North-western N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska, southwards on mountain ranges. It grows on streambanks, marsh margins, lakes and bogs, also found on alpine slopes.

Description:
Betula glandulosa is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub typically growing to 1–3 m tall, often forming dense thickets. The trunks are slender, rarely over 5–10 cm diameter, with smooth, dark brown bark. The leaves are nearly circular to oval, 0.5–3 cm long and 1.2.5 cm broad, with a toothed margin. The fruiting catkins are erect, 1-2.5 cm long and 5–12 mm broad…CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. 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.

It is closely related to the Dwarf Birch (Betula nana), and is sometimes treated as a subspecies of it, as B. nana subsp. glandulosa. It is distinguished from typical B. nana by the presence of glandular warts on the shoots and longer leaf petioles. Hybrids with several other birches occur.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Shade tolerant. B. glandulifera, mentioned above as a synonym of this species, might be a separate species in its own right. This species is native to areas with very cold winters and often does not do well in milder zones. It can be excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to frost damage. The branches are covered in aromatic glands, and the leaves are pleasantly fragrant when crushed. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to B. nana. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:Young leaves and catkins – raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and catkins are eaten raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews.

Medicinal Uses: The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative.

Other Uses: The plant is valuable for ground cover. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment

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.
Resurces:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_glandulosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+glandulosa

Calculator Tells the Bald Future

A pioneering new computer programme that predicts if and when men will go bald is being offered to British men.

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The “baldness calculator” — said to be the world’s first reliable tool for predicting hair loss — has been a huge hit with men.

The programme calculates the exact age at which someone will go bald or have lost most of their hair or provides reassurance by predicting that they will still have a full head of hair in old age.

More than half a million German men used it within ten days of it being unveiled there and three million men have tried it out globally so far.

Sixty per cent of users of the calculator to date have been young men aged between 15 and 30. Two thirds of all British men will eventually suffer hair loss, according to recent research.

The programme asks users about their age, marital status, occupation, where they live, what their current hairline is, hair loss in their family and their stress levels.

German scientists devised the programme because half of men in their country suffer from hereditary hair loss.

Adolf Klenk, head of research and development at hair care firm Dr Kurt Wolff, said: “More and more men value full hair but especially younger men.

“They are looking for a partner and are at the peak of their social lives. They are very conscious about their looks and being accepted within their social groups. They get concerned that if they lose their hair, they will cease to be attractive to others whereas older men don’t care so much.”

Klenk said that men with a history of hair loss on either their mother or father’s side of the family are most at risk of going bald.

Source:The Daily Telegraph

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