Tag Archives: Correspondent

Arum italicum

Botanical Name : Arum italicum
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Areae
Genus: Arum
Species: A. italicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : A. neglectum. A. modicense. A. numidicum.

Common Names : Cuckoo Pint, Italian arum and Italian lords-and-ladies

Habitat ; Arum italicum is native to the Mediterranean region (southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East) plus Great Britain, the Netherlands, Crimea, Caucasus, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. It is also naturalized in Argentina and in scattered locations in the United States. It grows on Stony ground near the sea, hedges and among old walls, often on calcareous soils.

Description:
Arum italicum is a perennial plant. It grows 30–46 cm (1–1.5 ft) high, with equal spread. It blooms in Spring with white flowers that turn to showy red fruit. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant for traditional and woodland shade gardens. Some gardeners use this arum to underplant with hosta, as they produce foliage sequentially; when the hosta withers away, the arum replaces it, leaving the ground covered.Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which A. italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Arum italicum can be invasive in some areas.

Arum italicum may hybridize with Arum maculatum.

In 1778, Lamarck noticed that the inflorescence of this plant produces heat.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Succeeds in sun or dry shade, preferring a shady position and growing well in woodland conditions. A polymorphic species, the British form has been separated off by some botanists as A. neglectum. The leaves appear in the autumn, the plant staying green all winter. The inflorescence has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. This probably protects the flowers from damage by frost, or allows it to penetrate frozen ground. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c]. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.
Edible Uses:…Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable. An arrowroot can be extracted from the dried root. The root must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
It was used in ancient medicine, mixed with honey, to cure coughs. Currently used in homeopathy.

Known Hazards: The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.

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/Arum_italicum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arum+italicum

Advertisements

Vaccaria hispanica

Botanical Name : Vaccaria hispanica
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Vaccaria
Species: V. hispanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms : V. pyramidata. V. segetilis. V. vulgaris. Saponaria vaccaria. L.

Common Names : Cowherb, Cowcockle, Cow basil, Cow soapwort, and Prairie carnation,Bladder-soapwort (English), China cockle (English) , Cow cockle (English), Cowherb (English), Cow-soapwort ( English) , Ful al-arab( Arabic), Saponaire des vaches ( French), Kuhlkraut (German) , Akernejlika (Swedish), mai lan cai (Chinese)

Habitat : Vaccaria hispanica is native to Central and Southern Europe, North to Belgium. An introduced and not infrequent casual in Britain. It grows as a weed of cultivated fields.

Description:
Vaccaria hispanica is an annual plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera, self. The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
Physical  Characteristics:
Flower petal color : blue to purple, pink to red
Leaf type : the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement: opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges: the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
Flower symmetry: there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals: there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals : both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
Stamen number: 10
Fruit type (general): the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Sometimes cultivated for its seed which is often added to wild bird foods. By this means, the plant is often found as an introduced casual in Britain.

Propagation: Seed – sow April in situ.

Edible Uses: Condiment……….Leaves – used as a condiment. Seed – ground into a meal. Rich in starch. The seed contains 13.8 – 16.1% protein and 1.6 – 3.2% fat. The seed also contains saponins, see notes above on toxicity below.

Chemical Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
* 0 Calories per 100g
* Water : 0%
* Protein: 15g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
* Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
* Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Notes: The report does not make it clear whether this is a zero moisture basis.

Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Antiphlogistic; Antipruritic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Galactogogue; Oxytoxic; Styptic; Vulnerary.

The seed is anodyne, discutient, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, styptic and vulnerary. They are used in Chinese medicine. This medicinal ingredient is known as Wang Bu Liu Xing. It is supposed to promote diuresis and milk secretion, activate blood circulation and relieve swelling.

A decoction of the seed is used to treat skin problems, breast tumors, menstrual problems, deficiency of lactation and sluggish labor. The seeds are also taken internally as a galactogogue. The flowers, leaves, roots and shoots also have the same properties. The sap of the plant is said to be febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of long-continued fevers of a low type as well as coughs. It is used in the treatment of long-continued fevers of a low type. The plant is used externally to cure itch.

The medicinal seeds are round, reddish brown, and look like mustard seeds. They are bitter and contain saponin. The plant is used externally to cure itch. This herb is used for its astringent properties in a patent formula called Prostate Gland Pills, for swelling and inflammation of the prostate. The formula is quite effective, but during treatment the herb causes some men to temporarily lose the capacity to sustain erection, a side effect that disappears when the herb is withdrawn. In fact, this effect helps support the therapy, because men are supposed to refrain from sexual intercourse anyway during treatment for prostate problems.
Known Hazards :The seeds and other parts of the plant contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also broken down if thoroughly heated. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

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/Vaccaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vaccaria+hispanica
https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?310852
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/vaccaria/hispanica/

Salvia clevelandii

Botanical Name : Salvia clevelandii
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: S. clevelandii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names ; The fragrant sage, Blue sage, Jim sage and Cleveland sage, Fragrant sage, Chaparral Sage

Habitat :Salvia clevelandii is native to Southern California and northern Baja California, growing below 900 m (3,000 ft) elevation in California coastal sage and chaparral habitat. The plant was named in 1874 by Asa Gray, honoring plant collector Daniel Cleveland.

Description:
Salvia clevelandii is an evergreen perennial shrub that reaches 1 to 1.5 m (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in height and width. The fragrant, ashy green leaves are obovate and rugose, growing less than 2.5 cm (0.98 in) long. Flowers are on 30 cm (12 in) spikes, with numerous whorls of upright amethyst blooms opening in June–July. Bloom Color: Purple. Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Irregular or sprawling…...CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
Salvia clevelandii is a popular California landscape plant, cultivated since the 1940s. Plants prefer dry summers, good drainage, and full sun, with a relatively short life span of five to ten years. They are hardy to ?7 °C (19 °F).

Cultivars and hybrids include:

*Winnifred Gilman’, a popular cultivar with intense violet-blue flowers.
*Betsy Clebsch’, a shorter cultivar with wide variation in flower color.
*Allen Chickering’, ‘Aromas’, ‘Pozo Blue’, ‘Santa Cruz Dark’, and ‘Whirly Blue’ are hybrids with similar appearance.
Salvia clevelandii is one of the parents of the hybrid Salvia ‘Celestial Blue’

Propagation :
Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse[200]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season
Edible Uses: Condiment……The leaves have a pleasant flavour and fragrance, they are a good substitute for sage in cooking.

Medicinal Uses:  Not known

Other Uses:  . The gray-green leaves of Salvia clevelandii have intense fragrance. It is a great hummingbird plant. 

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_clevelandii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salvia+clevelandii
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/606–salvia-clevelandii-winifred-gilman-cleveland-sage

Comptonia peregrina asplenifolia

Botanical Name : Comptonia peregrina asplenifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Comptonia
Species: C. peregrina
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: C. asplenifolia. Myrica asplenifolia.

Common Name: Sweetfern or Sweet-fern ( a confusing name as it is not a fern.)

Habitat : Comptonia peregrina asplenifolia is native to Eastern North America. It grows in dry, sterile, sandy to rocky soils in pinelands or pine barrens, clearings, pastures or edges of woodlots from sea level to 1800 metres.
Description:
Comptonia peregrina asplenifolia is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is in flower from Mar to April. The leaves of the plant are linear to lanceolate, 3–15 centimetres (1.2–5.9 in) long and 0.3–3 centimetres (0.12–1.18 in) broad, with a modified dentate, pinnately lobed margin; they give off a sweet odor, especially when crushed. The flowers are imperfect, meaning that no one flower has both gender parts. It tends to grow on dry sandy sites, and is associated with pine stands.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)It can fix Nitrogen.

Cultivation:
Requires a peaty or light loam lime-free soil. Requires an acid well-drained soil of low to medium fertility in partial shade but tolerates full sun if the soil does not dry out in the summer. Tolerates dry sandy soils when grown in the shade. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to at least -25°c. This form is probably no more than a phenotypic variant of the species that is found growing in harsh conditions. The crushed leaves are very aromatic, their scent is most noticeable in the early morning and the evening. The scent increases when the leaves are dried. This species is somewhat intolerant of root disturbance and should be planted out into its permanent position whilst small. Suckering freely, this plant is well suited to clothing banks on soils of low fertility. It has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants 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 – it has a very tough seed coat and also contains germination inhibitors and so is very difficult to germinate. It is probably best to harvest the seed ‘green’ (after the seed has fully developed but before it dries on the plant) and sow immediately in a cold frame. If the seed has been stored then soaking in hot water for 24 hours will leach out some of the inhibitors and also help to soften the seed coat. Scarification will also help as will a period of cold stratification. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Root cuttings, 4cm long December in a frame. Plant the root horizontally. High percentage. Suckers removed in the dormant season and potted up or planted into their permanent positions. Plants can be difficult to move successfully. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The young fruits are eaten as a pleasant nibble. The aromatic leaves, fresh or dried, are used to make a palatable tea. The leaves are also used as a seasoning.

Medicinal Uses:
Sweet fern was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it especially as a poultice to treat a variety of complaints. It is still used for most of the same purposes in modern herbalism. The leaves are astringent, blood purifier, expectorant and tonic. A tea made from the leaves and flowering tops is used as a remedy for diarrhoea, headache, fevers, catarrh, vomiting of blood, rheumatism etc. The infusion has also been used to treat ringworm. The leaves have also been used as a poultice for toothaches, sprains etc. A cold water infusion of the leaves has been used externally to counter the effect of poison ivy and to bathe stings, minor haemorrhages etc. The leaves are harvested in early summer and dried for later use
Other Uses:
Incense; Lining; Parasiticide; Repellent.

The leaves are used as a lining in baskets etc in order to preserve the fruit. The crushed leaves repel insects. They can be thrown onto a camp fire to keep mosquitoes away. The dried leaves have been burnt as an incense

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=Comptonia+peregrina+asplenifolia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comptonia

Gentiana lutea

Botanical Name: Gentiana lutea
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. lutea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms : Asterias hybrida. Asterias lutea. Coilantha biloba. Gentiana major.

Common Names: Great yellow gentian, Yellow Gentian, Bitter root, Bitterwort‘, Centiyane and Genciana

Habitat: Gentiana lutea is native to central & southern Europe . It grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures, usually on calcareous soils.

Description:
Gentiana lutea is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, with broad lanceolate to elliptic leaves 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in) long and 4–12 cm (1.6–4.7 in) broad. The flowers are yellow, with the corolla separated nearly to the base into 5–7 narrow petals. It grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures, usually on calcareous soils.It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species is easily grown in any good garden soil so long as it is deep enough to accommodate its roots, though it prefers alkaline conditions. It prefers full sun but succeeds in partial shade. A slow-growing plant, it takes many years to reach its full stature. A moisture loving plant, growing well by water, it prefers to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer and it grows better in the north and west of Britain. Plants are very deep-rooted and are intolerant of root disturbance. They are very long lived, to 50 years or more. A very ornamental plant, it takes about 3 years to reach flowering size from seed. Cultivated as a medicinal plant in Europe.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.

Edible Uses: Condiment…….The root is sometimes used in the manufacture of gentian bitters. The root contains sugar and mucilage(this is probably a reference to its medicinal properties). The root was occasionally used as a flavouring in beer before the use of hops (Humulus lupulus) became widespread.

Chemical Constituents: The bitter principles of gentian root are secoiridoid glycosides amarogentin and gentiopicrin. The former is one of the most bitter natural compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiinflammatory; Antiseptic; Appetizer; Bitter; Cholagogue; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Refrigerant; Stomachic; Tonic.

Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root, which can be as thick as a person’s arm and has few branches, is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Gentiana lutea as a tonic.

Known Hazards : Contraindicated with gastric or duodenal ulcer patients. Possible headaches, nausea and vomiting.

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/Gentiana_lutea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+lutea