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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia tridentate

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Botanical Name : Artemisia tridentate
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. tridentata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush

Habitat :Artemisia tridentate is native to western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska. It grows on dry plains and hills on calcareous soils. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils.

Description:
Artemisia tridentata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. It may have a short trunk or be branched from the base. Small, velvety, silvery leaves have a sweet, pungent aroma and, en masse, give a bluish-gray effect. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Established plants are very drought tolerant. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 – 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root Division in spring or autumn. Layering
Edible Uses:
Leaves are cooked and eaten. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seeds are eaten raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Digestive; Disinfectant; Febrifuge; Miscellany; Ophthalmic; Poultice; Sedative; Skin.

Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.

A tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an antidote for poisoning. Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach gas. A wash made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as a hot poultice in treating rheumatism. A poultice was also placed on the stomach to induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms. The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as a decongestant. Warm leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat. The leaves are pungent and have been preferred for making medicine among other sagebrushes.

Other Uses
Basketry; Disinfectant; Dye; Fibre; Friction sticks; Fuel; Hair; Miscellany; Paper; Repellent; Stuffing; Tinder.

An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair. An infusion of the plant repels insects, it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper. The fibres are about 1.3mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers. Wood – hard, dense. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people

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/Artemisia_tridentata
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARTR2
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+tridentata

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Herbs & Plants

Crocus nudiflorus

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Botanical Name :Crocus nudiflorus
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Crocoideae
Genus: Crocus
Species: C. nudiflorus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Crocus aphyllus, Crocus fimbriatus, Crocus multifidus, Crocus pyrenaeus

Common Name : Saffron

Other Names: Autumnal crocus, Naked-flowered crocus

Habitat: Crocus nudiflorus is native to S. Europe – S.W. France to N.E. Spain.(the plants are found over much of Europe, especially around the Mediterranean, in North Africa, and in Western Asia.) It goows on Meadows. (Soil…Sand, Chalk)

Description:
Crocus nudiflorus is a CORM growing to Height in inches 6-10 and spread is 15.

Foliage: The Dark Green grasslike leaves appear after the flowers; becoming 6-8 inches long and 0.125 inches wide.

Flower Colour in Month(s). Seed: Bright Purple, 6 inches in height, blooms in September-October before the leaves.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, butterflies.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained sandy or loamy soil that is free from clay. Prefers some shade from the hottest sun in summer and at least a modicum of moisture during its summer dormancy. Succeeds in grass, so long as this is not mown until the leaves die down, it also grows well under deep-rooting deciduous trees and shrubs. It can also be grown with very low shallow-rooting groundcover plants such as lawn camomile (Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’). Plants are very frost hardy. Plants tend to move considerably from their original planting place because of their means of vegetative reproduction, it is therefore wise not to grow different species in close proximity. The corms should be planted about 5 – 8cm deep in the soil. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer. Plants take 4 – 5 years to come into flowering from seed. The flowers are only open during the day time, closing at night.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light sandy soil in pots in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring. Sow thinly because the seed usually germinates freely, within 1 – 6 months at 18°c. Unless the seed has been sown too thickly, do not transplant the seedlings in their first year of growth, but give them regular liquid feeds to make sure they do not become deficient. Divide the small bulbs once the plants have died down, planting 2 – 3 bulbs per 8cm pot. Grow them on for another 2 years in a greenhouse or frame and plant them out into their permanent positions when dormant in late summer. Plants take 3 – 4 years to flower from seed. Division of the clumps after the leaves die down in spring. The bulbs can be replanted direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
This species has been used as a saffron substitute. The following notes are for the genuine saffron, C. sativus:- The flower styles are used as a flavouring and yellow colouring for various foods such as bread, soups, sauces, rice and puddings. Extremely rich in riboflavin. Water soluble. Yields per plant are extremely low, about 4000 stigmas yield 25g of saffron. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, it takes 150,000 flowers and 400 hours work to produce 1 kilo of dried saffron. About 25 kilos of styles can be harvested from a hectare of the plant. The flower styles are used as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
This species has been used as a saffron substitute. The following notes are for the genuine saffron, C. sativus:- Saffron is a famous medicinal herb with a long history of effective use. The flower styles and stigmas are the parts used, but since these are very small and fiddly to harvest they are very expensive and consequently often adulterated by lesser products. They are anodyne, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, appetizer, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative and stimulant. They are used as a diaphoretic for children and to treat chronic haemorrhages in the uterus of adults. A dental analgesic is obtained from the stigmas. The styles are harvested in the autumn when the plant is in flower and are dried for later use, they do not store well and should be used within 12 months. This remedy should be used with caution, large doses can be narcotic and quantities of 10g or more can cause an abortion.
Other Uses: Plants are ideal for rock gardens and for slight forcing in bowls for an early indoor display. The yellow dye obtained from the stigmas has been used for many centuries to colour cloth. It is the favoured colouring for the cloth of Indian swamis who have renounced the material world. A blue or green dye is obtained from the petals.

Known Hazards: The following reports are for C. sativus. They quite possibly also apply to this species. The plant is poisonous. The plant is perfectly safe in normal usage but 5 – 10 grams of saffron has been known to cause death.

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/Crocus_nudiflorus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crocus+nudiflorus
http://www.ivydenegardens.co.uk/Bulb%20Colchicum%20Crocus%20Gallery/crocusnudiflorus.html
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/4912/Crocus-nudiflorus/Details

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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron ‘PJM’

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron ‘PJM’
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Ericoideae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron ‘PJM’  is  mostly  grown in the midwestern countries.  A hybrid of garden origin, R. minus x R. dauricum

Description:
Rhododendron ‘PJM’ is an evergreen broadleaf evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). Leaves are elliptic, flat to convex, obtuse apex, cuneate base, rust colored scaly indumentum, deep mahogany-purple November to April. Upright, dense growth habit. Flowers are openly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1½” across, lilac purple to light violet. Several clones are known as well as a number of forms.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. This is an exceptionally hardy cultivar. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants can be grown as a hedge. It is also grown in the garden for it’s good looking flowers.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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=Rhododendron+’PJM’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron
http://www.rhododendron.org/descriptionH_new.asp?ID=643

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Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron mucronulatum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron mucronulatum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species: R. mucronulatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms:
*Rhododendron dauricum var. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Maxim.
*Rhododendron dauricum subsp. mucronulatum (Turcz.) Vorosch

Common Names: Korean rhododendron

Habitat : Rhododendron mucronulatum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea and Siberia. It grows in thin woods and open country, especially on volcanic soils.

Description:
Rhododendron mucronulatum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in).
It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These are deciduous shrubs, often with rather twisting-rambling branches. Autumn leaf colour is often very good in R. mucronulatum. The scales on their leaves and twigs (that can be seen with a good magnifying lens), reveal that they belong to the subgenus Rhododendron (or lepidopes). In comparison to their nearest relative, the semi-evergreen R. dauricum, the leaf-scales are not so dense (2 4 times their diameter apart) and the flowers are larger in this species. However, there is considerable variation in these characters within these two species, and they hybridize to form swarms of intermediate types in nature. The widely, funnel-shaped, flowers are typically rosy-purple in colour, but can be pink and even white. They open successively from clusters of buds at the end of the shoots before the leaves expand. While they can be killed by frosts below -5C, damaged flowers are soon replaced by the next ones to open. We place our plants where they are not too exposed to the night sky in order to protect the flowers from spring frosts.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires.   A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is idea. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult

Edible Uses: ….Flower petals – raw. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet Known.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
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/Rhododendron_mucronulatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+mucronulatum