Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name: Hydrocotyle Asiatica
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Hydrocotyloideae
Genus: Hydrocotyl
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Indian Pennywort. Marsh Penny. White Rot. Thick-leaved Pennywort.

Common Names: Water pennywort, Indian pennywort, Marsh penny, White rot

Habitat: Hydrocotyleae grows in Asia and Africa in wet and damp places in the tropics and the temperate zones.
Water pennyworts, Hydrocotyles, are very common. They have long creeping stems that often form dense mats, often in and near ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes and some species in coastal areas by the sea….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Leaves are Simple, with small leafy outgrowth at the base, kidney shaped to round. Leaf edges are scalloped.
Flowers: Flower clusters are simple and flat-topped or rounded. Involucral bracts Inconspicuous bracts at the base of each flower. Indistinct sepals.
Fruits and reproduction: Elliptical to round with thin ridges and no oil tubes (vitta) which is characteristic in the fruit of umbelliferous plants. The prostrate plants reproduce by seed and by sending roots from stem nodes.

Selected species:
The Hydrocotyle genus has between 75 and 100 species. that grow in tropical and temperate regions worldwide A few species have entered the world of cultivated ornamental aquatics. A list of selected species are :

*Hydrocotyle americana L. — American marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle batrachium Hance
*Hydrocotyle benguetensis Elm.
*Hydrocotyle bonariensis Lam. — largeleaf pennywort
*Hydrocotyle bowlesioides Mathias & Constance — largeleaf marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle calcicola
*Hydrocotyle dichondroides Makino
*Hydrocotyle dielsiana
*Hydrocotyle heteromeria — waxweed
*Hydrocotyle hexagona
*Hydrocotyle himalaica
*Hydrocotyle hirsuta Sw. — yerba de clavo
*Hydrocotyle hitchcockii
*Hydrocotyle hookeri
*Hydrocotyle javanica Thunb.
*Hydrocotyle keelungensis Liu, Chao & Chuang
*Hydrocotyle leucocephala Cham. & Schltdl. — Brazilian pennywort
*Hydrocotyle mannii Hook.f.
*Hydrocotyle microphylla A.Cunn.
*Hydrocotyle moschata G. Forst. — musky marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle nepalensis Hook.
*Hydrocotyle novae-zelandiae DC.
*Hydrocotyle prolifera Kellogg — whorled marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle pseudoconferta
*Hydrocotyle pusilla A. Rich. — tropical marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle ramiflora
*Hydrocotyle ranunculoides L. f. — floating marshpennywort, floating marshpennywort, floating pennyroyal
*Hydrocotyle salwinica
*Hydrocotyle setulosa Hayata
*Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides Lam. — lawn marshpennywort
*Hydrocotyle tambalomaensis
*Hydrocotyle tripartita
*Hydrocotyle umbellata L. — manyflower marshpennywort, umbrella pennyroyal
*Hydrocotyle verticillata Thunb. — whorled marshpennywort, whorled marshpennywort, whorled pennyroyal
*Hydrocotyle vulgaris L.
*Hydrocotyle wilfordii
*Hydrocotyle wilsonii
*Hydrocotyle yanghuangensis

Part Used: The Leaves.

Constituents: An oily volatile liquid called vellarin (which has a strong smell reminiscent of the plant, and a bitter, pungent, persistent taste) and tannic acid.

Medicinal Uses:  A valuable medicine for its diuretic properties; has long been used in India as an aperient or alterative tonic, useful in fever and bowel complaints and a noted remedy for leprosy, rheumatism and ichthyosis; employed as a poultice for syphilitic ulcers. In small doses it acts as a stimulant, in large doses as a narcotic, causing stupor and headache and with some people vertigo and coma.

Other Species:
The native species is not unlike the Indian variety, but there is a slight difference in the leaves.

European hydrocotyle vulgaris (syn. Common Pennywort). Leaves orbicular and peltate. The plant appears to have no noxious qualities; it grows freely in boggy places on the edges of lakes and rivers.

The plant has come into disfavour because it is said to cause footrot in sheep.

Herbs & Plants

Cornus florida

Botanical Name: Cornus florida
Family:    Cornaceae
Genus:    Cheshornus
Subgenus:    Benthamidia
Species:    C. florida
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Cornales

Synonyms:  Bitter Redberry. Cornel. New England Boxwood. Dog-Tree. Flowering Dogwood. American Dogwood. Benthamidia florida. Box Tree. Virginian Dogwood. Cornouiller à grandes fleurs. Mon-ha-can-ni-min-schi. Hat-ta-wa-no-minschi.

Common Name: Flowering dogwood

Other old names: ( now rarely used)  American Dogwood, Florida Dogwood, Flowering Dogwood, Indian Arrowwood, Cornelian Tree, White Cornel, White Dogwood, False Box, and False Boxwood.

Habitat:  Cornus florida is   native to eastern North America, from southern Maine west to southern Ontario, Illinois, and eastern Kansas, and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas, with a disjunct population in Nuevo León and Veracruz in eastern Mexico. In Ontario, this tree species has been assessed and is now listed as endangered.
Flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) high, often wider than it is tall when mature, with a trunk diameter of up to 30 cm (1 ft). A 10-year-old tree will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, ovate, 6–13 cm (2.4–5.1 in) long and 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) broad, with an apparently entire margin (actually very finely toothed, under a lens); they turn a rich red-brown in fall……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, with four greenish-yellow bracts 4 mm (0.16 in) long. Around 20 flowers are produced in a dense, rounded, umbel-shaped inflorescence, or flower-head, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter. The flower-head is surrounded by four conspicuous large white, pink or red “petals” (actually bracts), each bract 3 cm (1.2 in) long and 2.5 cm (0.98 in) broad, rounded, and often with a distinct notch at the apex. The flowers are bisexual.

When in the wild they can typically be found at the forest edge and popular on dry ridges. While most of the wild trees have white bracts, some selected cultivars of this tree also have pink bracts, some even almost a true red. They typically flower in early April in the southern part of their range, to late April or early May in northern and high altitude areas. The similar Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), native to Asia, flowers about a month later.

The fruit is a cluster of two to ten drupes, each 10–15 mm (0.39–0.59 in) long and about 8 mm (0.31 in) wide, which ripen in the late summer and the early fall to a bright red, or occasionally yellow with a rosy blush. They are an important food source for dozens of species of birds, which then distribute the seeds.

In 2012, the United States sent 3,000 dogwood saplings to Japan to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Washington D.C. cherry trees given as a gift to the U.S. by Japan in 1912.

Cultivation:  Flowering dogwood does best horticulturally in moist, acidic soil in a site with some afternoon shade, but good morning sun. It does not do well when exposed to intense heat sources such as adjacent parking lots or air conditioning compressors. It also has a low salinity tolerance. The hardiness zone is 5–9 and the preferred pH is between 6.0–7.0. In urban and suburban settings, care should be taken not to inflict mower damage on the trunk or roots, as this increases the tree’s susceptibility to disease and pest pressure.

Propagation:  Cornus florida is easily propagated by seeds, which are sown in the fall into prepared rows of sawdust or sand, and emerge in the spring. Germination rates for good clean seed should be near 100% if seed dormancy is first overcome by cold stratification treatments for 90 to 120 days at 4 °C (39 °F). Flowering dogwood demonstrates gametophytic self-incompatibility, meaning that the plants can’t self-fertilize. This is important for breeding programs as it means that it is not necessary to emasculate (remove the anthers from) C. florida flowers before making controlled cross-pollinations. These pollinations should be repeated every other day, as the flowers must be cross-pollinated within one or two days of opening for pollinations to be effective.

Softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer from new growth can be rooted under mist if treated with 8,000 to 10,000 ppm indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). In cold climates, potted cuttings must be kept in heated cold frames or polyhouses the following winter to maintain temperatures between 0 and 7 °C (32 and 45 °F). Although rooting success can be as high as 50–85%, this technique is not commonly used by commercial growers. Rather, selected cultivars are generally propagated by T-budding in late summer or by whip grafting in the greenhouse in winter onto seedling rootstock.

Micropropagation of flowering dogwood is now used in breeding programs aiming to incorporate resistance to dogwood anthracnose and powdery mildew into horticulturally and economically important cultivars. Nodal (axillary bud) sections are established in a culture of Woody Plant Medium (WPM) amended with 4.4 µmol/L 6-Benzyladenine (BA) to promote shoot growth.[8] Rooting of up to 83% can be obtained when 5–7 week-old microshoots are then transferred to WPM amended with 4.9 µmol/L IBA

Part Used for Medicines::  The dried bark of the root.

Constituents:  The bark has been found to contain tannic and gallic acids, resin, gum, extractive, oil, wax, red colouring matter, lignin, potassa, lime, magnesia, iron, and a neutral, crystalline glucoside called Cornin. Either water or alcohol extracts the virtues of the bark. The flowers are said to have similar properties, and to be sometimes used as a substitute. It is said that the berries, boiled and pressed, yield a limpid oil.

Medicinal  Uses:   Before Europeans discovered America, the Red Indianswere using the bark in the same way as Peruvian bark. It is valuable in intermittent fevers, as a weak tonic for the stomach, and antiperiodic, as a stimulant and astringent. As a poultice in anthrax, indolent ulcers, and inflamed erysipelas, it is tonic, stimulant and antiseptic. In the recent state it should be avoided, as it disagrees with stomach and bowels. Cinchona bark or sulphate of quinea often replace it officially. 35 grains of Cornus bark are equal to 30 grains of cinchona bark.

The ripe fruit, infused in brandy, is used as a stomachic in domestic practice, and a tincture of the berries restores tone to the stomach in alcoholism. Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Pliny recommend them in diarrhoea.

Root-bark tea or tincture widely used for malaria and diarrhea throughout South during the Civil War. Also used as a poultice for external sores and ulcers.

Fruits:  Berries soaked in brandy for heart burn and upset stomach.

Twigs:  Twigs chewed for cleaning teeth


Other Uses:
The leaves make good fodder for cattle, and in Italy the oil is used in soups.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Bentham’s Cornel (Cornus capitata)

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Botanical Name : Cornus capitata
Family : Cornaceae
Genus :
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cornales
Species: C. capitata
Synonyms: Benthamia capitata – (Wall.)Nakai.,Benthamia fragifera – Lindl.,Benthamidia capitata – (Wall.)Hara.,Dendrobenthamia capitata – Hutch.
Common Names :   Bentham’s cornel, Himalayan flowering dogwood, and evergreen dogwood.

Habitat : It is native to the low-elevation woodlands of the Himalayas in China, India, and surrounding nations and it is naturalized in parts of Australia and New Zealand. It is grown elsewhere as an ornamental.

This is an evergreen tree growing to 12 meters in height and 12meters width. The leaves are gray-green and pale and fuzzy underneath, and several centimeters long.Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer (June-July). The showy parts of the dogwood “flower” are the four (infrequently 6), pointed, petal-like, bracts (each to 1.5” x 3.0”) that surround a center cluster of insignificant, greenish-white, true flowers. Bracts are creamy white to pale yellow. Flowers are followed by fleshy, edible, strawberry-like berries that ripen in clusters in fall. In addition to being a good food source for birds, the fruit is also ornamentally attractive. This dogwood is also commonly called Himalayan strawberry tree in reference to the fruits. Genus name comes from the Latin word cornu meaning horn in reference to the toughness of the wood. Specific epithet comes from the Latin word caput meaning head in reference to the mounding flowers and fruits. The infructescence is a small aggregate of several individual fruits fused into a red body 2 or 3 centimeters across. It is edible but sometimes bitter. There are several varieties and hybri

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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility, ranging from acid to shallow chalk. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in full sun or light shade. Prefers semi-shade. This species is hardy to between -5 and -10°c, it grows very well in S.W. England, self-sowing and fruiting prolifically in Cornish woodland gardens and doing well by the coast where it tolerates sea winds. Plants are not hardy in the London area, being killed even when on a south-facing wall. Another report says that it succeeds as far north as Edinburgh. Squirrels are very fond of this fruit. This species has been known to hybridize with C. kousa, the cultivar ‘Norman Hadden’ could be such a hybrid. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.


Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 – 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked. A bitter-sweet flavour, tasting like an over-ripe banana. The fruit can also be used in preserves. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter, it is fleshy with a number of seeds and a tough slightly bitter skin[K]. Our experience is that some trees can produce quite pleasant tasting fruits, but many others produce fruit with a distinct and unpleasant bitterness. The fruit ripens in late autumn to early winter and will fail to ripe properly if the weather is very cold.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses

The bark is used medicinally. No further information is given, though the bark is a source of tannin which is used as an astringent.

Other Uses

Fuel; Tannin; Wood.

The branches and leaves are a source of tannin. Wood – very hard, close grained but warps when being seasoned. Used mainly for fuel and for making tools..

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


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