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Viburnum lentago

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Botanical Name : Viburnum lentago
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species:V. lentago
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Common Names: Nannyberry, Sheepberry, or Sweet viburnum

Habitat :Viburnum lentago is native to northern N. AmericaNew Brunswick to Saskatchewan, south to Virginia and Nebraska It grows on rich soils along woodland borders, edges of streams etc, it is also found on rocky hillsides etc.

Description:
Viburnum lentago is a large shrub or small tree growing upwards to 30 ft (9 m) tall with a trunk up to ~10 inches (25 cm) diameter and a short trunk, round-topped head, pendulous, flexible branches. The bark is reddish- to grayish-brown, and broken into small scales. The twigs are pale green and covered with rusty down at first, later becoming dark reddish brown, sometimes glaucous, smooth, tough, flexible, and produce an offensive odor when crushed or bruised. The winter buds are light red, covered with pale scurfy down, protected by a pair of opposing scales. Flower-bearing buds are ~3/4 in (2 cm) long, obovate, long pointed; other terminal buds are acute, ~1/3 to 1/2 in (10–15 mm) long, while lateral buds are much smaller. The bud scales enlarge with the growing shoot and often become leaf-like.

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Like all viburnums, the leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the twigs; they are oval, ~2 – 4 in (5–10 cm) long and ~3/4 in – 2 in (2–5 cm) broad, wedge-shaped, rounded or subcordate at base, with an acuminate apex and a finely serrated margin, and a winged petiole. They open from the bud involute, bronze green and shining, hairy and downy; when full grown are bright green and shining above, pale green and marked with tiny black dots beneath. In autumn they turn a deep red, or red and orange.

The flowers are small, 5–6 mm diameter, with five whitish petals, arranged in large round terminal cymes 5–12 cm diameter; flowering is in late spring. The calyx is tubular, equally five-toothed, persistent; the corolla is equally five-lobed, imbricate in the bud, cream-white, one-quarter of an inch across; lobes acute, and slightly erose. There are five stamens, inserted on the base of the corolla, alternate with its lobes, exserted; filaments slender; anthers bright yellow, oblong, introrse, versatile, two-celled; cells opening longitudinally. The pistil has a one-celled inferior ovary, the style thick, short, light green, and the stigma broad; there is one ovule in each cell. The fruit is a small round blue-black drupe, 8–16 mm long on a reddish stem; it is thick skinned, sweet and rather juicy, and edible. The stone is oblong oval, flattened.

The roots are fibrous, wood is ill-smelling. It grows in wet soil along the borders of the forest, often found in fence corners and along roadsides. The wood is dark orange brown, heavy, hard, close-grained, with a density of 0.7303
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Screen, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. A fast-growing but short-lived species in the wild. It readily sprouts from the roots and forms thickets, a habit that is undesirable in small gardens. The plants grow well, but do not usually fruit well in Britain. This is probably because they are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. Special Features:North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[80]. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame[200]. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame[78, 113]. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. It can also be dried for winter use. The fruit is variable in size and quality, the best being about 15mm long, pulpy, very sweet, somewhat juicy and pleasant tasting but with a thick skin and a single large seed. The fruit is said to be best after a frost but it is sometimes dry.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is antispasmodic. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat irregular menstruation and the spitting of blood. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of measles. An infusion of the leaves has been drunk, or a poultice of leaves applied, in the treatment of dysuria.

Other Uses:
Hedge; Hedge; Wood.

The plant is grown as a hedge in N. America. Wood – heavy, hard, close grained, malodorous. Of no commercial value due to the small size of the trees.

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/Viburnum_lentago
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+lentago

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Pak Choy

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Wong Baak
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Botanical Name:Brassica rapa
Family: Cruciferae
Genus: Brassica
Synonyms: Brassica parachinensis – L.H.Bailey.
Known Hazards: None known

Common Names:bok choy, pak choi, choi sum, Chinese white cabbage, Chinese flowering cabbage, Peking cabbage, celery cabbage, and white mustard cabbage.
Nomenclature
In Mandarin Chinese bai cai ( “white vegetable”) refers to both groups of B. rapa. However, the English word bok choy and its variations bok choi and pak choi are derived from the Cantonese cognate, which instead denotes one specific variety of cabbage, namely those with white stems and dark green leaves. The other varieties all have different names which entered the English language as you choy, choy sum, napa and baby bok choy, etc. Hence the English word bok choy (and its Cantonese source) is not equivalent to the Mandarin word bai cai, though the Chinese characters are the same.

Description:
Pak Choy have gloss, dark green leaves with long, large white petioles. They are generally called Full Size White Pak Choy in the markets. These varieties grow best in mild and slightly cold climates, suitable for fall crops. They may go into the pre-matured flowering in heat conditions. Pak Choy is used extensively in Cantonese cooking. Many varieties can grow up to 20 inches high.

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A type of Chinese vegetable of the mustard family. It has dark green leaves and white celery-like stalks that have a mild, slightly peppery flavor. Both the greens and the stalks are popular in salads and the stalks are often used in stir-fry recipes.Pak Choy is available throughout the year. When selecting, look for a firm compact head with fresh leaves. The cabbage should be used when fresh if possible because it does not store well. If it is necessary to store, keep it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, and it should stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.

Cultivation details:
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil. Prefers a pH of 5.5 to 7. Prefers a cool moist reasonably fertile soil. The plant is shallow rooted and intolerant of drought, it responds well to a moist fertile soil but succeeds in poorer soils than standard Pak choi. Hardy to about -10°c, the plants stand up well to snow but are less likely to stand up to prolonged winter wet. The prostrate forms are hardier than semi-prostrate forms. The rosette pak choi is widely cultivated in China for its edible leaves, there are several named varieties. It is slower-growing than standard Pak choi, B. rapa chinensis.

choy seeds are extremely small, so difficult to handle when sowing. Pak choy can either be sown direct in the row and thinned to an appropriate spacing, or transplanted 15 to 30 days, depending on the variety, after seeding. Transplanting may reduce bolting, especially during summer. The soil should be well prepared so that the beds are raised with good drainage and air circulation.

Within row spacing varies from 2.5 to 10 cm for the smallest varieties and up to 45 cm for the largest. Spacing between rows varies between 15 and 30 cm. Do not sow seeds deeper than 2 cm below the surface.

Pak choy is a shallow-rooted crop and requires frequent watering. Apply light irrigations to avoid leaching. Outdoor plants can be protected by film covers in winter and shading net in summer. Do not apply large amounts of nitrogen to soil as this may increase the incidence of bacterial soft rots in pak choy.

Harvesting:
Pak choy are usually harvested by hand, cut off at the base 35 to 55 days after sowing. Pak choy should always be picked when leaves are fresh and crisp, and before the outer leaves turn yellow. Remove any dead or damaged leaves, trim the base flush with the first petiole and wash the plant. Harvest during a cooler part of the day. Yields are usually about 15 tonne per hectare. Market prices are highest for green, turgid produce.

Uses:
Pak choy is a vegetable which has been cultivated in China for thousands of years. In addition to being widely used in Chinese cuisine, pak choy or “white vegetable” is very popular in other parts of Asia as well. Many English speakers know pak choy as bok choy or pak choi, thanks to disagreement about how the Chinese word for this vegetable should be transliterated. Whatever you call it, pak choy is a very versatile, tender, flavorful vegetable which can be used in a wide assortment of dishes.

This vegetable is also sometimes called “Chinese cabbage,” a reference to the fact that it is classified in the Brassica genus, to which cabbages belong. Brassicas are also members of the mustard family, and they have a distinctive tangy, somewhat spicy flavor as a result. Brassica chinensis, as pak choy is more formally known, comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, thanks to the development of specific cultivars.

Classic pak choy has white, crunchy stems and dark green leaves, both of which are edible. In China, the smaller the vegetable is, the more favorably it is viewed, because small pak choy plants tend to be more tender. Outside of China, some cooks seek out larger versions, as they are under the impression that bigger is better, but if you can obtain smaller vegetables, you may find that they are much more tasty; many markets sell young pak choy as “baby pak choy,” and it is growing easier to find. Big pak choy bunches tend to be woody and lacking in flavor.

Tender young pak choy only needs to be cooked very briefly, and the leaves take even less time to cook than the stems. Most cooks separate leaves and stems, throwing the leaves into a dish at the last minute to lightly wilt them before serving. The stalks can be allowed to cook a bit longer than the leaves, although many people favor a brief cooking time to leave the stalks crunchy and tender, rather than allowing them to soften.

Many cooks like to use pak choy in stir fries, and it can also be used in soups, curries, spring rolls, and a variety of other dishes. The flavor of pak choy is very mild, with a hint of a tangy bite which betrays its place in the mustard family, and this vegetable is also very healthy. It is high in calcium, like other Brassicas, and it also has high levels of vitamins A and C.
Click to see:->Pak Choy cooking Terms

Resources:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pak-choy.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Brassica+rapa+parachinensis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bok_choy
http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/5300.html
http://www.evergreenseeds.com/larleafpetty.html

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