Tag Archives: Carnivorous plant

Dionaea muscipula

Botanical Name : Dionaea muscipula
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Dionaea
Species:D. muscipula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonym:
Dionaea sensitiva Salisb., Dionaea corymbosa Raf., Dionaea sessiliflora Raf., Dionaea uniflora Raf., Drosera sessiliflora Raf., Drosera uniflora Raf.

Common Names: Venus’s flytrap or Venus’ flytrap. Historically, the plant was also known by the slang term “tipitiwitchet” or “tippity twitchet”, possibly an oblique reference to the plant’s resemblance to human female genitalia.

Habitat : Dionaea muscipula is native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North Carolina and South Carolina
Description:
Dionaea muscipula is a carnivorous plant. It is a small plant whose structure can be described as a rosette of four to seven leaves, which arise from a short subterranean stem that is actually a bulb-like object. Each stem reaches a maximum size of about three to ten centimeters, depending on the time of year; longer leaves with robust traps are usually formed after flowering. Flytraps that have more than 7 leaves are colonies formed by rosettes that have divided beneath the ground.

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Leaves will reach up to 5 inches (13 cm) long with flat, winged petioles. The blades are reniform (kidney-shaped), 2 lobed with the lobes hinged and fringed with stiff cilia. The upper surface has 3 sensitive hairs that when stimulated by insects cause the lobes to close together quickly (much this closing happens within ~1/30 of a second). Plants are easy to grow and are great plants for terraria. They are hardy in USDA zone 8, but growing them in nature may be a challenge because of their need for low nutients and low pH — difficult unless you intend to simulate their natural bog environment.

Blooming Time: The small white flower is ¾ of inch (2 cm) across.

The leaf blade is divided into two regions: a flat, heart-shaped photosynthesis-capable petiole, and a pair of terminal lobes hinged at the midrib, forming the trap which is the true leaf. The upper surface of these lobes contains red anthocyanin pigments and its edges secrete mucilage. The lobes exhibit rapid plant movements, snapping shut when stimulated by prey. The trapping mechanism is tripped when prey contacts one of the three hair-like trichomes that are found on the upper surface of each of the lobes. The mechanism is so highly specialized that it can distinguish between living prey and non-prey stimuli, such as falling raindrops; two trigger hairs must be touched in succession within 20 seconds of each other or one hair touched twice in rapid succession, whereupon the lobes of the trap will snap shut, typically in about one-tenth of a second. The edges of the lobes are fringed by stiff hair-like protrusions or cilia, which mesh together and prevent large prey from escaping. These protrusions, and the trigger hairs (also known as sensitive hairs) are likely homologous with the tentacles found in this plant’s close relatives, the sundews. Scientists have concluded that the snap trap evolved from a fly-paper trap similar to that of Drosera.

The holes in the meshwork allow small prey to escape, presumably because the benefit that would be obtained from them would be less than the cost of digesting them. If the prey is too small and escapes, the trap will usually reopen within 12 hours. If the prey moves around in the trap, it tightens and digestion begins more quickly.

Speed of closing can vary depending on the amount of humidity, light, size of prey, and general growing conditions. The speed with which traps close can be used as an indicator of a plant’s general health. Venus flytraps are not as humidity-dependent as are some other carnivorous plants, such as Nepenthes, Cephalotus, most Heliamphora, and some Drosera.

The Venus flytrap exhibits variations in petiole shape and length and whether the leaf lies flat on the ground or extends up at an angle of about 40–60 degrees. The four major forms are: ‘typica’, the most common, with broad decumbent petioles; ‘erecta’, with leaves at a 45-degree angle; ‘linearis’, with narrow petioles and leaves at 45 degrees; and ‘filiformis’, with extremely narrow or linear petioles. Except for ‘filiformis’, all of these can be stages in leaf production of any plant depending on season (decumbent in summer versus short versus semi-erect in spring), length of photoperiod (long petioles in spring versus short in summer), and intensity of light (wide petioles in low light intensity versus narrow in brighter light).

When grown from seed, plants take around four to five years to reach maturity and will live for 20 to 30 years if cultivated in the right conditions.

Cultivation:
Venus flytraps are popular as cultivated plants, but have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Successfully growing these specialized plants requires recreating a close approximation to the plant’s natural habitat.

CLICK TO LEARN : Growing Dionaea muscipula ,   How  & where to get  the plant

 

Healthy Venus flytraps will produce scapes of white flowers in spring; however, many growers remove the flowering stems early (2–3 inches), as flowering consumes some of the plant’s energy and thereby reduces the rate of trap production. If healthy plants are allowed to flower, successful pollination will result in seeds.

Propagation:
Plants can be propagated by seed, although seedlings take several years to mature. More commonly, they are propagated by clonal division in spring or summer.

Cultivars:
Venus flytraps are by far the most commonly recognized and cultivated carnivorous plant, and they are frequently sold as houseplants. Various cultivars (cultivated varieties) have come into the market through tissue culture of selected genetic mutations, and these plants are raised in large quantities for commercial markets.
Medicinal Uses:
In alternative medicine
Venus flytrap extract is available on the market as an herbal remedy, sometimes as the prime ingredient of a patent medicine named “Carnivora”. According to the American Cancer Society, these products are promoted in alternative medicine as a treatment for a variety of human ailments including HIV, Crohn’s disease and skin cancer, but “available scientific evidence does not support the health claims made for Venus flytrap extract”

Immunodeficiency diseases. Adult malignant tumors. Ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease. Neurodermitis. Multiple sclerosis. Primary chronic polyarthritis.

Dr. Keller claims that partial to total remissions have been achieved in glioblastomas, hypernephroma with lung metastases (not bones), pancreas carcinoma, viral induced tumors in the ear, nose and throat, adenocarcinomas of the lung and colon. In CML and CLL, remission time is prolonged together with the use of chemotherapy. He says in all the other malignancies Venus’ Fly Trap extract decreases the suppresser cells, increases the helper and natural killer cells, and therefore improves the patient’s general condition.

Other Uses: It is an ornamental plant. It can be grown as a fly trap or cosquito trap.

Venus flytrap is commonly grown as a curiosity and is a source of wonder for children and adults alike. Indeed, it is likely that Venus flytrap has been the source of inspiration for many a horror film involving man-eating plants – a somewhat unique ‘use’ within the plant kingdom! .
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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/Venus_flytrap
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week252.shtml

http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/dionaea-muscipula-venus-flytrap

http://www.herbaled.org/THM/Singles/venusflytrap.html

Pedicularis palustris


Botanical Name : Pedicularis palustris
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Tribes: Pedicularideae
Species: Pedicularis palustris

Common Names: Lousewort, Marsh, English name: Red Rattle and U.S. name: Red Rattle, Name also: European Purple Lousewort (USA)

Vernacular names:
English: Marsh Lousewort ceština: Všivec bahenní dansk: Eng-Troldurt Deutsch: Sumpf-Läusekraut español: Gallaritos eesti: Soo-kuuskjalg suomi: Luhtakuusio français: Pediculaire des marais, Tartarie rouge hornjoserbsce: Wulka wšowica italiano: Pediculare lietuviu: Pelkine glinde Nederlands: Moeraskartelblad, Moeras-Kartelblad norsk bokmål: Myrklegg polski: Gnidosz blotny slovenšcina: mocvirski ušivec svenska: Kärrspira

Habitat : Marsh lousewort is common in Finland, but rarely abundant. It grows on seashore and flood-influenced meadows, lake shores, riversides, moist meadows, boggy margins, rich swamps.

Description:
Pedicularis palustris grows as biennial herb. Taproot strong, straight. Hemiparasite. It grows to a height of 15–40(–80) cm (6–16(–32) in.). Stem almost glabrous, often brownish red, usually branched, branches often flowering.

Flower: Corolla zygomorphic, red, sometimes yellowish white, 15–22 mm (0.6–0.88 in.) long, fused, bilabiate, with long tube. Upper lip flat-sided, tip sharply convex; lower lip 3-lobed, central lobe smaller than lateral lobes, round. Calyx bowl-shaped, bilabiate, unclearly 5-lobed. Stamens 4. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence a long terminal spike, lax in the lower part.

Leaves: Alternate; with basal rosette. Rosette leaves long-stalked, blade triangular, 2 times pinnately lobed. Stem leaves short-stalked, blade ovate–linear, pinnately lobed, lobes toothed or lobed.

Fruit: Quite elliptic, with tapered tip, brown, capsule opening from one side.

Flowering time: June–August.

Its reddish brown, decorative shoots and red flowers stand out from a distance. Only the most powerful insects, such as bumble and honey bees, are able to get at its nectar. Bumble bees land on the corolla’s lower labellum, push their way inside and push the upper labellum forcefully in order to get at the nectar. In doing so the insect reveals its stamens and pollinates the plant while it loads up on nectar.

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Marsh lousewort is a hemiparasite, meaning that it sucks extra nutrition from its neighbour’s roots. The plant’s stem goes woody and stands up all through the winter. Marsh lousewort is divided in Finland into three subspecies, which can be differentiated from each other on the basis of the area they grow in and their flowering time. Ssp. palustris in quite low, abundantly branched, flowers in June, is large-flowered (18–22 mm, 0.72–0.88 in.), and grows in southern and central Finland; ssp. borealis grows in northern and northern parts of central Finland, is branchless, has a slightly smaller flower (approx. 15 mm, 0.6 in.) and it flowers in July; ssp. opsiantha is abundantly branched and quite tall, and its flowers are small (14–17 mm, 0.56–0.68 in.).

Medicinal Uses:
Lousewort is poisonous and a powerful insecticide. Formerly, an infusion of the plant was made to destroy lice and other insect parasites. The plant is now rarely used.
Known Hazards: Lousewort is poisonous.
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/Pedicularis
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pedicularis_palustris
http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/marsh-lousewort
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Anthemis arvensis

Botanical Name : Anthemis arvensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Anthemis
Species: A. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Corn Chamomile

Habitat : Anthemis arvensis is native to most of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. It is a locally common calcicolous plant of arable land and waste places throughout Britain.

Description:
Anthemis arvensis is a annual plant , growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.
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Stems – Herbaceous, erect to ascending, from fibrous roots, multiple from the base, branching, arachnoid pubescent (less so near base), carinate at apex, green to red in strong sun.

Leaves Alternate, pinnately divided. Divisions of leaf pinnatifid. Ultimate leaf divisions acute, minutely mucronate. Leaves to 5cm long, 2cm broad, sparse pubescent and punctate (use lens) adaxially, arachnoid pubescent below. Petiole with fimbriate divisions.

Inflorescence – Single pedunculate flower clusters terminating stems.

Involucre – 1.2cm in diameter, 4-5mm tall. Phyllaries in one or two series, slightly imbricated, to 5mm long, 2mm broad, scarious, with a green midvein, arachnoid pubescent externally, glabrous internally.

Ray flowers – Pistillate, fertile, +/-15 per head. Ligule white, -1.5cm long, 5-6mm broad, glabrous, 2-3-notched at apex, oblong. Corolla tube to 2mm long, greenish. Style bifurcate, exserted. Achene 1.5mm long in flower, light green, glabrous, truncate at base. Pappus none.

Disk flowers – Disk to 1.2cm broad, becoming globose with age. Corolla -3mm long, translucent at base, becoming yellow at apex, 5-lobed, expanded in apical 1/2. Lobes acute, to .6mm long, recurved. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube constriction. Filaments very short. Anthers yellow, included, 1.1mm long, connate around style. Style barely exserted beyond anthers, translucent-yellow. Stigmatic portion of style .5mm long. Achene translucent in flower, 1.3mm long, glabrous. Pappus none. Receptacle conic. Chaff thin, translucent, 3mm long, .4mm broad, slightly folded, glabrous, acuminate, linear.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly acid. Succeeds in heavy clay soils.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown outdoors as soon as it is ripe. Most of the seed germinates in the autumn.

Medicinal Uses:
This species is considered to be one of the best febrifuge species indigenous to France. The flowers and leaves are used. Employed in fevers, colds, and to produce perspiration.

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/Anthemis_arvensis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://missouriplants.com/Whitealt/Anthemis_arvensis_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anthemis+arvensis

Nabalus serpentarius

Botanical Name: Nabalus serpentarius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Nabalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Prenanthes serpentarium.

Common Names; Lion’s Foot, Canker Weed

Habitat: Nabalus serpentarius is native to Eastern N. America – Massachusetts to New York, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. It grows in fields and thickets.

Description:
Nabalus serpentarius is a perennial plant, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

It produces branching, tuberous roots and a flowering stem about 45-190 cm tall with milky latex sap. The stem is green or often purplish in color and glabrous or often rough-hairy in its uppermost portion. Its leaves are alternately arranged on the stem and become smaller in size toward the top. Their overall shape is typically longer than wide with pinnate lobes. Basal leaves may be trifoliate and further divided (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Very wide leaves may appear palmate (Milstead 1964). Milstead (1964) has sketched leaves of the American Nabalus species, and Nabalus serpentarius is distinguished from other species by leaves that are longer than wide and pinnately lobed. Identification of this species based on leaf shape may be possible if these characteristics are clear. Leaf petioles are often winged, especially the lower ones, and there may be fine, small hairs on the veins of the lower surfaces. Those plants with leaves entire or dentate and with short winged petioles are named forma simplicifolia (Fernald 1942; illustrated in Holmgren 1998). This form has been collected in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.

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Cultivation : Succeeds in shade or semi-shade in a moist but well-drained humus-rich neutral to acid soil.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Uses:.…….Useful as a mouthwash or gargle.   The plant is said to be an antidote for snake bites.

Other Uses:.…..Repellent…….The juice of the plant repels snakes.

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/Nabalus
file:///C:/Users/COOLE_~1/AppData/Local/Temp/sbpbrgsc.tmp/Nabalusserpentarius.pdf
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Nabalus+serpentarius

Calotropis procera

Botanical Name : Calotropis procera
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Calotropis
Species: C. procera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names ; Calotrope, Apple of Sodom, Sodom apple, Stabragh, Kapok tree, King’s crown, Rubber bush, or Rubber tree, Akund Crown flower and Dead Sea Fruit

Bengali Name : Akondo

Habitat :Calotropis procera is native to North Africa, Tropical Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, and Indochina.
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Description:
Calotropis procera is a woody perennial shrub or tree with cork-like bark that carries white or lavender flowers. The branches are twisting and cork-like in texture. The plant has ash colored bark covered with white fuzz. The plant has silver-green large leaves that grow opposite on the stems. The flowers grow at the tops of apical stems and produce fruits....CLICK & SEE

The fruit of Calotropis procera is oval and curved at the ends of the pods. The fruit is also thick and, when opened, it is the source of thick fibers that have been made into rope and used in a multitude of ways…....CLICK & SEE 

Chemical properties:
The milky sap contains a complex mix of chemicals, some of which are steroidal heart poisons known as “cardiac aglycones”. These belong to the same chemical family as similar chemicals found in foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea). The steroidal component includes an hydroxyl group in the C3(bita) position, a second attached to the C14 carbon, a C/D-cis ring junction and an (alpha,bita)-unsaturated-v-lactone in the C17 position. In the plants, the steroidal component is commonly attached via a glycosidic link to a 2-desoxy or a 2,6-didesoxy sugar molecule. The features described are those required for toxicity but in addition there can be other substitutions into the steroid nucleus. These can be a C19-aldehyde in place of the more usual methyl group in this position as well as additional hydroxyl functions and sometimes epoxide structures.

In the case of the Calotropis glycosides, their names are calotropin, calotoxin, calactin, uscharidin and voruscharin (the latter two involve rare sugars with nitrogen and sulphur in the structures). The steroidal moiety (known as “calotropagenin”, formula C23H32O6) has one of the more unusual structures. The C-19 formyl (CHO) group is present and there is an additional secondary alcohol as well as the common C3 and C14 hydroxyl functions. The position of this third hydroxyl function remains in some doubt. It was apparently established by the Swiss group under Thadeus Reichstein as being in the C2 position with an equatorial configuration. However, this assignment does not explain some of the known features and behaviours of this molecule, in particular the absence of spin-spin coupling of the two axial protons associated with their geminal hydroxyl groups and the failure to react with iodate in a cleavage reaction which the presence of such a viscinal 1,2-diol would require.
Medicinal Uses:
Calotropis procera is considered a weed in its native India but has also been used traditionally as a medicinal plant. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional Indian practice of healing. The Indian Journal of Pharmacology has produced a study on the effectiveness of extracted latex from Calotropis upon fungal infections caused by Candida. These infections usually lead to morbidity and are common in India so the promise of properties in Calotropis procera is welcome news.

Mudar root bark is the common form of Calotropis procera that is found in India. It is made by drying the root and then removing the cork bark. In India the plant is also used to treat leprosy and elephantiasis. Mudar root is also used for diarrhea and dysentery.

In India it has been used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea and other conditions, and topically for eczema. It has also long been used in India for abortive and suicidal purposes. Mudar root-bark is very largely used there as a treatment for elephantiasis and leprosy, and is efficacious in cases of chronic eczema.
Other Uses:
The wood yields a fibrous substance that is used for rope, fishing line and thread. It also has tannins, latex, rubber and a dye that are used in industrial practices.

Calotropis procera grows as a weed in many areas of India, but it is also purposefully planted. The plant’s root system has been shown to break up and cultivate cropland. It is a useful green manure and will be planted and plowed in before the “real” crop is sown.

Calotropis procera improves soils nutrients and improves moisture binding, an important property in some of the more arid croplands of India. The plant is tolerant of dry and salty conditions and can easily be established in over cultivated areas to help improve the soil conditions and reinvigorate the land.

The green globes are hollow but the flesh contains a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating resistant to soap.

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/Calotropis_procera
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/calotropis/calotropis-procera.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm