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Herbs & Plants

Berberis Jaeschkeana

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Botanical Name :Berberis jaeschkeana
Family : Berberidaceae
Subfamily: Berberidoideae
Tribe:
Berberideae
Subtribe: Berberidinae.

Genus : Berberis

Habitat:
E. Asia – Himalayas in Kashmir.  Found at elevations of 2,700 – 4,000 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:

A decidious Shrub growing to 0.75m.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation

Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring . Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate  whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[80]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.( raw or cooked.)

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Antibacterial; Cancer.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Other Uses:
Dye. : A yellow dye is obtained from the root.

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/database/plants.php?Berberis+jaeschkeana
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Berberis_jaeschkeana

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Herbs & Plants

Wild Indigo (Baptisia lactea)

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Botanical Name : Baptisia lactea
Family :               Leguminosae
Genus : Baptisia
Synonyms : Baptisia alba macrophylla – (Larisey.)Isely., Baptisia leucanthaTorr.&A.Gray.

Habitat: Range South-eastern N. America .   Sandy pine woods, prairies and river banks.

Description:
It is a Perennial  upright bushy plant with attractive foliage. White blossoms are arranged in long erect plumes. Seed heads turn a deep indigo color providing winter interest.

Upright bushy plants with attractive foliage. White blossoms are arranged in long erect plumes. Seed heads turn a deep indigo color providing winter interest.

Height: 2-4′

Color: Flowers white with purple splotches

Flowering Time: June

Habitat: Moderate light. Mesic to moist soils.

Rate of Spread: Slow Propagation:

Seed: Collect Sept.-Oct. Clean seeds to avoid insect damage. 3-month stratification, scarification increases germination. Darker seeds germinate better than yellow seeds. Plant spring.

Vegetative: Division in fall, but difficult. Transplant seedlings at two years in spring.

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Miscellaneous: Formerly Baptisia leucantha
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep, well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun[188, 200]. Grows freely in a loamy soil[1]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Some modern works treat this species as a variety of B. alba, naming it Baptisia alba macrophylla. Somewhat shy flowering in British gardens. Plants have a very deep root system and dislike root disturbance, they should be left alone once they are established. 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.

Propagation:

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and then sown in a cold frame in late winter or early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer or following spring. Division in spring[188]. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Cathartic; Emetic; Laxative.

Known Hazards : The plant is potentially toxic.

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/database/plants.php?Baptisia+lactea
http://www.webresults.net/gardener/index.htm
http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/animals_plants/plants/ilgallery/ThePlants/BGenera/BapLac/BapLac.htmlhttp://www.stonesiloprairie.com/catalog/i74.html

http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/animals_plants/plants/ilgallery/ThePlants/BGenera/BapLac/BapLac.html

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Herbs & Plants

Prunus triloba

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Botanical Name: Prunus triloba var. multiplex(Pronunciation: PROO-nus try-LOW-buh variety MULL-tih-plecks)
Family :  Rosaceae
Genus : Prunus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Species: P. triloba

Synonyms : Amygdalopsis lindleyi – Carrière., Amygdalus triloba – (Lindl.)Ricker.
Common name(s): Flowering-Almond, Double-Flowering Plum

Habitat :E. Asia – China, N. Korea.   Forests and thickets at elevations of 600 – 2500 metres

Description:
A decidious Shrub .
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen from June to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Height: 10 to 15 feet
Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape
: vase, round
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: medium

..Foliage
Leaf arrangement: alternate
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: double serrate, serrate, dentate
Leaf shape: elliptic (oval), obovate
Leaf venation: pinnate, reticulate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches, 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: yellow, copper
Fall characteristic: showy

Flower
Flower color: pink
Flower characteristics: very showy

Fruit
Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch
Fruit covering: fleshy
Fruit color: red
Fruit characteristics: attracts squirrels/mammals; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

It is also very suitable in a shrub border as a tall accent. It can be sculptured nicely into a unique form with proper pruning and training and is well suited for container gardening. Regular pruning is needed for best flowering performance. Branches cut in early spring can be forced into bloom indoors.

Cultivation :
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better when growing in a sunny position. Any pruning is best done soon after the plant has flowered, to within 4 – 5 buds of the previous years wood. This encourages heavier flowering in the following year because it flowers best on the previous years growth. Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c. Although very hardy, the plant flowers in early spring and it is best grown against a sunny wall in order to give some protection to the flowers. Another report says that plants are not reliably hardy in the open garden[219], which is rather strange considering the plant has been given a hardiness rating of 5. This species is named after a cultivated form grown in gardens, the true wild form is P. triloba simplex. (Bunge.)Rehd[200]. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. It is possible edible. The fruit is about 13mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.

Other Uses:
Dye.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.

Known Hazards :   Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Prunus+triloba
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st520
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Prunus_triloba
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_triloba

http://www.shootgardening.co.uk/sitePlant.php?plantid=8061&name=prunus-triloba-mandaline

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Herbs & Plants

Ladybells

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Botanical Name :
Adenophora stricta
Family : Campanulaceae
Genus :       Adenophora
Synonyms : Adenophora confusa – Nannf.
Common Names : Ladybells, Lady Bells,Slender lady bells

Parts used: Dried root and rhizome.

English Name:Upright Ladybell Root
Common Name:Nanshashen,Fourleaf Ladybell Root,Mountain ladybell Root

Habitat: E. AsiaChina. Cultivated and naturalised in Japan.  Hillsides and hilly places in China .  Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Perennial growing to 1m by 0.3m.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

click to see the pictures
Herb plant with white milk liquid,stem height 50~100cm.Cross grow leaves and shapes round or long piece,3~9cm length,width 1.5~4cm,irregula sawtooth of leaf edge. long anthotaxy,bell shape,5 split at top,with needle shape small feather, purple and blue chaplet,wide bell shape,1.8cm long.Fruit ball shape, flower August to September,fruit 1 month later.
Collection:Dig out in spring or Autumn,raze out crude skin when fresh, then dry.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a light rich slightly alkaline soil that is not too dry, and a warm sunny position. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance, though they are fast-growing and can become invasive when well-sited. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, they have been known to destroy even mature plants.

Propagation:

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed can also be sown in spring. Surface sow 2 – 3 seeds per pot in the spring in order to avoid transplanting. We have found that if transplanted when very small seedlings grow away without difficulty. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 10°c. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst young. Basal cuttings in spring. Division in spring – very difficult because the plant dislikes root disturbance.

Chemical constituents:
Four compounds were isolated from the roots of Adenophora stricta. On the basis of spectrometric analysis and physicochemical constants, they were identified as beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosterol-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, taraxerone and octacasanoic acid respectively. Taraxerone and octacasanoic acid were isolated from the plants of Adenophora for the first time.

Phytochemicals and Active constituents : Saponins,xanthotoxin,ammoidin,Phyto Sterol.Protein,Starch,and more minerals and vitamins.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root – cooked. When boiled in two changes of water, it is said to be excellent eating. Leaves – cooked.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses :
Antitussive; Expectorant.

The root is a stimulant herb that acts mainly on the respiratory system and the heart. It is antitussive and expectorant and is used internally to treat dry coughs, chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis.

Function and Active Uses: general tonic, protect liver,cure cough.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Adenophora+stricta
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/575/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2093322
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/589/
http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new00702.html

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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Hemsleyanum

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Botanical Name:Aconitum hemsleyanum
Family : Ranunculaceae
Common Name : Climbing Monkshood
Genus : Aconitum
Habitat: Aconitum hemsleyanum  is native to  E. Asia – C. and W. ChinaForests, forest margins, scrub, mountains and grassy slopes at elevations of 1700 – 3500 metres.Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

Description:
Aconitum hemsleyanum is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial with a climbing habit. Its glossy dark green leaves are ovate-pentagonal, deeply lobed with up to 7 segments and up to 12cm long and 13cm across. Its stems are twining which enables this plan to climb. Its dark violet/ blue flowers are hood shaped, up to 2cm tall and appear in clusters of up to 12.  The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

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The etymological root of the binomial name Aconitum is from the ancient Greek name for this plant and is loosely translated as ‘unconquerable poison’. Hemsleyanum is named after William botting Hemsley (1843 – 1924), an English botanist.

The landscape architect may find Aconitum hemsleyanum useful as a relatively low growing climbing plant with blue flowers in early autumn. Care should be taken when locating this plant due to its poisonous nature, including via skin.

Aconitum hemsleyanum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

Cultivation
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. Closely related to A. fischeri and considered to be part of that species by some botanists.

Propagation

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year

Medicinal Uses
A widely used herbal remedy in China, where it is cultivated for its root. This is harvested in the autumn as the plant dies down and is then dried before being used. The root is anaesthetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, cardiotonic, stimulant and vasodilator. Use with caution, the plant is very poisonous and should not be used internally.

Known Hazards: The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aconitum+hemsleyanum
http://www.hortusb.com/ache.html
Aconitum hemsleyanum

Aconitum hemsleyanum

 

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