Tag Archives: Caucasus

Astragalus hamosus

Botanical Name: Astragalus hamosus
Family : Fabaceae
Subfamily : Faboideae
Tribe : Galegeae
United : Plantae
Division : magnoliophyta
Class : magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order : Fabales

Common Name : European milkvetch
Habitat : Astragalus hamosus is native to EuropeMediterranean to Armenia, Ukraine and the Caucasus. It grows on the dry grassland. Semidesert areas in foothills and the low montane belt, on clay, loess, sand and rock debris.

Description:
Astragalus hamosus is an annual herbiculas plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The lives in dry fields and meadows terofíticos . It branches from the base but branches are applied to the soil. The leaves have many leaflets , but less and are smaller than in Astragalus boeticus .
It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September.

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The flowers are white, are grouped at the end of a stalk . The fruits perfectly characterize this species as they are strongly curved, they are similar to some fishhooks. It blooms in the spring and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidIt is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. optera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Grows well in Cornwall. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best sown in situ. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water. If any seed does not swell up in this time then carefully prick it with a needle making sure that you do not damage the embryo, and re-soak for a further 24 hours. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 6 weeks at 13°c. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Edible Uses: Young seedpods – cooked. They quickly become tough and fibrous. The young seedpods are also used in salads. They have only a mediocre taste, but look very much like certain worms and so are used mainly for their novelty value.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is demulcent, emollient, galactogogue and laxative. It is useful in treating irritation of the mucous membranes, nervous affections and catarrh.

Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
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=Astragalus+hamosus
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus_hamosus

Anabasis aphylla

Botanical Name : Anabasis aphylla
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily:Salsoloideae
Tribe: Salsoleae
Genus: Anabasis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Caryophyllales

Habitat :Anabasis aphylla is native to Europe – Russia to Siberia and northern China. It grows in the gobi desert, inter-dunes, gravelly alluvial fans, sometimes on arid slopes.

Description:
Anabasis aphylla is a perennial herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. It is a low, branching semishrub with tiny, scalelike, opposite leaves; the flowers are spikelike inflorescences. The fruit is berry-shaped and has yellowish or pink winglike appendages. It grows in the saline and clayey deserts and semideserts of Southeast, Middle, and Central Asia and also in the southern European part of the USSR, the Caucasus, and Southern Siberia. The young, green branchlets of A. aphylla contain alkaloids, most importantly anabasine, an effective agent for control of insect pests in agriculture; anabasine is also the raw material for obtaining nicotinic acid, or niacin…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native habitat it is likely to succeed at least in the milder parts of the country, particularly the drier areas. It is likely to prefer a well-drained soil and a sunny position.

Propagation : Seed –

Medicinal Uses:…The plant is used medicinally. No more information is given.

Other Uses:….Insecticide; Miscellany; Soil stabilization.

The annual branches contain the alkaloid anabasine (C10H14N2), a botanical insecticide. The plant is used for stabilizing sand dunes

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/Anabasis_(plant)
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Anabasis+Aphylla
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anabasis+aphylla

Orchis mascula

Botanical Name : Orchis maculata, Orchis latifolia, Orchis mascula, Orchis Morio, Orchis militaris, Orchis saccifera, Orchis pyrimidalis, Orchis coriphora, Orchis conopea

Family: Orchidaceae
Genus:     Orchis
Species: O. mascula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asparagales

Synonyms: Salep. Saloop. Sahlep. Satyrion. Levant Salep.

Common Names:Orchids, Early Purple Orchis

Habitat : The species is widespread across Europe, from Portugal to the Caucasus (Ireland, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Hungary,Czechia, Switzerland, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, most of Russia), in northwest Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) and in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq) up to Iran.It grows in a variety of habitats, from meadows to mountain pastures and woods, in full sun or shady areas, from 0–2,500 metres (0–8,202 ft) above sea level.

Description:
Orchis mascula is a herbaceous plant with stems up to 50–60 centimetres (20–24 in) of height, green at the base and purple on the apex. The root system consists of two tubers, rounded or ellipsoid. The leaves, grouped at the base of the stem, are oblong-lanceolate, pale green, sometimes with brownish-purple speckles. The inflorescence is 7.5–12.5 centimetres (3–5 in) long and it is composed of 6 to 20 flowers gathered in dense cylindrical spikes. The flower size is about 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) and the color varies from pink to violet. The lateral sepals are ovate-lanceolate and erect, the median one, together with the petals, is smaller and cover the gynostegium. The labellum is three-lobed and convex, with crenulated margins and the basal part clearer and dotted with purple-brown spots. The spur is cylindrical or clavate, horizontal or ascending. The gynostegium is short, with reddish-green anthers. It blooms from April to June.

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Cultivation:  In general they are not difficult to grow, but there are a few points to note.  Orchis mascula likes a lime rich soil.

Seeds should be surface sown in a greenhouse, preferably as soon as they are ripe, do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus, which acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil.

It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.

Another way to grow this plant is by division of the tubers. As the flowers fade it produces a new tuber. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.
Edible Uses  :
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep’, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents: The most important constituent is mucilage, amounting to 48 per cent. It also contains sugar 1 per cent), starch (2.7 per cent), nitrogenous substance (5 per cent), and when fresh a trace of volatile oil. It yields 2 per cent of ash, consisting chiefly of phosphates and chlorides of potassium and calcium.

(The constituents of Salep are subject to great variation, according to the season of collection. Raspail found the old tuber, collected in autumn, to be free from starch, while the young one was richly supplied with it.)

Astringent, Demulcent, Expectorant, Nutritive.

Salep is very nutritive, astringent, expectorant and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly.

Orchis mascula is an aphrodisiac according to Culpepper “ … provoke lust exceedingly.”

It cures worms in children. It heals the ‘kings evil’  –   Scrofula (Scrophula or Struma) refers to a variety of skin diseases; in particular, a form of tuberculosis, affecting the lymph nodes of the neck.

It was held in great repute in herbal medicine, being largely employed as a strengthening and soothing properties   To allay irritation of the gastro-intestinal canal, it is used by shaking 1 part of powdered Salep with 10 parts of cold water, until it is uniformly diffused, when 90 parts of boiling water are added and the whole well agitated. It has thus been recommended as an article of diet for infants and invalids suffering from chronic diarrhoea and bilious fevers.

In the German Pharmacopoeia, a mucilage of Salep appears as an official preparation.

Salep is very nutritive and demulcent, for which properties it has been used from time immemorial.

It forms a diet of especial value to convalescents and children, being boiled with milk or water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot.  A decoction flavoured with sugar and spice, or wine, is an agreeable drink for invalids. Sassafras chips were sometimes added, or cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchis_mascula
http://www.complete-herbal.com/details/orchis.html
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/orchid13.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Orchis+mascula

Spiranthes spiralis

Botanical Name : Spiranthes spiralis
Family: Orchidaceae
Genus:     Spiranthes
Species: S. spiralis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asparagales

Synonyms : Spiranthes autumnalis
Spiranthes is the Greek word for twisted, spiralis is Latin for twisted or spiral.Both refer to the inflorescence.

Common Names:Lady’s Tresses, Autumn lady’s-tresses

Habitat : Spiranthes spiralis grows on   dry, hilly fields all over Europe – towards the Caucasus.
Spiranthes spiralis is a palearctic orchid which in Europe blooms in August and September. It is characterised by a spiral inflorescence produced after the leaves have died down. The inflorescence can be very small (as little as 50 millimetres or 2.0 inches high) especially in short grazed grassland. In Western Europe it occurs most frequently in close cropped grassland overlying chalk or limestone.

Description:
Spiranthes spiralis is a short tuberous perennial which reaches heights between 5 and 30 centimeters. The stem is stickily-hairy.The plant has two tubers as storage organs, rarely, one or three. From Autumn two new tubers are formed and the old tubers lowly die off. The shiny oval-elliptical foliage leaves form a basal rosette close to the ground and to one side of the flower-spike. There are from three to seven and they have a length of 1.5 to 3.5 cm and a width of 1 to 1.5 cm. The leaves are often withered by flowering time. The stem leaves are scale-like and overlapping;the bracts are shorter than the flowers.
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The flowers are white, 6-7mm long. There are up to 20 borne in a slender spiral 3 to 12 cm long.The outer 2 sepals are spreading, the upper sepal and the petals fuse to form a tube with the lip. The lip has up-curved edges and is yellowish-green. The edge of the lip is notched and appears viewed up close as frayed.

Medicinal Uses:
A tincture of the root is used in homeopathy for skin affections, painful breasts, pain in the kidneys and eye complaints. click & see 

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/l/ladtru07.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiranthes_spiralis

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Purging Flax

Botanical Name :Linum catharticum
Family: Linaceae
Genus:     Linum
Species: L. catharticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Malpighiales

Synonyms: Purging Flax. Dwarf Flax. Fairy Flax. Mill Mountain.

Common Name:Mountain Flax

Habitat :Purging Flax is native to  Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain the Caucasus and Iran. It grows in grassland, dunes and moors, most commonly on calcareous grassland.

Description:
Purging Flax is an annual plant, with a small, thready root, which sends up several slender, smooth, straight stems, which rise to a height of 6 to 8 inches, and are sometimes branched towards the upper part. The leaves are small, linear-oblong and obtuse, the lower ones opposite, and the upper alternate. The flowers, 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch in diameter, are white. The plant at first glance much resembles chickweed, being glaucous and glabrous. It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile. click  & see
click to see the pictures
Cultivation:   
Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile humus-rich soil in a sunny sheltered position[.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow early spring in situ.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:The whole herb is used mediinally, both fresh and dried, collected in July, when in flower, in the wild state.

Constituents:  A green, bitter resin and a neutral, colourless, crystalline principle of a persistently bitter taste, called Linin, to which the herb owes its activity.

Anthelmintic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Homeopathy;  Purgative.

Purging Flax was often used in the past as a gentle laxative, and also for the treatment of muscular rheumatism, liver complaints, jaundice and catarrhal problems, though it is seldom used in modern herbalism. The whole herb is anthelmintic, diuretic, emetic and purgative. It is harvested in the summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. When used as a purgative it is generally taken with a carminative such as peppermint. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, piles and amenorrhoea.

Known Hazards :    Poisonous in large doses

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/f/flamou24.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Linum+catharticum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linum_catharticum