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Herbs & Plants

Gastrodia cunninghamii

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Botanical Name: Gastrodia cunninghamii
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Gastrodieae
Subtribe: Gastrodiinae
Genus: Gastrodia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: : Black orchid; Gastrodia

Habitat: Gastrodia cunninghamii is native to New Zealand. it grows in dark shaded places in deep woods, usually in beech forests, on North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Description:
Gastrodia cunninghamii is a perennial orchid plant. The erect stem up to 1 metre high and 5-10mm in diameter. Coloured blackish-brown to pale brown, often with streaks or spots. Underground tubers large and extensively branched.The plant has leaves, only scale leaves widely spaced up the stem.It blooms during Noverber to February. The flowers are up to 70 knobbly flowers per stem. Each 1.5cm in length. Outer side light brown, black or greenish in colour. Inner side white. Column short, located in the back of the flower and not visible. Labellum 10mm long, the tip near the opening of the lateral sepals. Labellum white or cream with a dark brown or black tip…..CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. A saprophytic herb, it is without green parts and is entirely dependant upon a fungus for its nutriment. This makes it very difficult to cultivate outside its native range. As well as its fungal host, it also requires a damp humus-rich soil in a sheltered woodland position. The freshly opened flowers have a refreshingly aromatic scent, though this becomes foetid and unpleasant as the flowers fade. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, into the plants natural habitat near existing colonies, or onto a bed of Quercus wood inoculated with the fungus Armillaria mellea (introduce this fungus into your land with extreme caution since it kills trees and there is no known preventative). The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant

Edible Uses: The root is up to 40cm long, as thick as an adults finger, and full of starch . It is roasted and eaten . The taste is sweet and mealy.

Medicinal Uses:
Not known.

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/Gastrodia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gastrodia+cunninghamii
http://www.nativeorchids.co.nz/Species/Gastrodia_cunninghamii.html
http://maoriplantuse.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/PeoplePlantsDetails.aspx?PKey=131d8ed9-c332-4912-8315-c60eb0905f49

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Gastrodia sesamoides

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Botanical Name: Gastrodia sesamoides
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Gastrodia
Species: G. sesamoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Common Names: Potato Orchid, Native Potato, Bell Orchid and Cinnamon Bells.

Habitat : Gastrodia sesamoides is native to Australia, New Zealand. It grows in open forest and scrub from the coast to the sub-alpine zone, mainly north of latitude 42°s, in the North and South Islands of New Zealand. This leafless plant occurs in a variety of habitats; often growing in leaf litter in high rainfall areas.

Description:
Gastrodia sesamoides is a perennial orchid plant growing with erect stemto up to 1 metre high and 2-7mm in diameter. Stout or slender. Swollen underground rhizomes to 8 x 3cm.The plant has no leaves, only scale leaves widely spaced up the stem. It blooms during October to January.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

There are to 20 flowers or more per stem. Each 1 – 1.5cm in length. Drooping. Outer surface smooth, coloured light brown to white. Inside of the flower white. Labellum to 10mm long, the tip near the opening of the lateral sepals. Labellum white with a yellow tip. Column visible, similar in length to the labellum.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. A saprophytic herb, it is without green parts and is entirely dependant upon a fungus for its nutriment. This makes it very difficult to cultivate outside its native range. As well as its fungal host, it also requires a damp humus-rich soil in a sheltered woodland position. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.
Edible Uses:

Root – raw or cooked. It resembles a beetroot in flavour but is watery and insipid. The root can be up to 15cm long and 4cm thick. Leaves. Eaten by the Australian Aborigines in Tasmania. The flavour of the tuber is said to resemble that of the beetroot, though insipid and watery.

Within the tubers are beneficial bacteria and fungi. The fungal filaments supply soil nutrients to the plant and the root bacteria synthesizes nitrogen for the plant. The root tubers may grow to 15 cm (6 in) long and 4 cm (1.5 in) thick.

Medicinal Uses:
Not known
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastrodia_sesamoides
http://www.nativeorchids.co.nz/Species/Gastrodia_sesamoides.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gastrodia+sesamoides

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Goodyera repens

 

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Botanical Name: Goodyera repens
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Goodyera
Species: G. repens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Satyrium repens. L.

Common Names: Creeping Lady’s Tresses, Lesser rattlesnake plantain, Creeping rattlesnake plantain, Dwarf rattlesnake plantain, Northern rattlesnake plantain

Habitats: Goodyera repens is a rare plant, but it is the most common orchid in Scandinavia. The species is widespread across much of Europe, Asia and North America including Russia, China, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, though never very common in any of these places. It grows in locally in pine woods, rarely under birch or on moist fixed dunes in northern Britain.

Description:
Goodyera repens is a perennial orchid plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is a green underground creeper that sends out occasional skinny stems above the surface. During the summer, these stems bear flowers arranged in a spiral. These flowers twist themselves to face toward the sun. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Humble bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES

*Leaves are deciduous, mottled green and white, ½”-1″ long.
*Rhizomes are thick, fiberous.
*Flowers white to pale green and only 4mm-5 mm long; on a one-sided raceme, 1″-3½” long.
*Fruit a capsule, not quite ½” long.
Cultivation:
Requires a somewhat shady site and a well-drained compost of peat, leafmold and sand. Does well in the woodland garden. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[200]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.

Medicinal Uses:
A cold infusion of the leaves has been used to improve the appetite and also in the treatment of colds and kidney problems. A poultice of the wilted leaves has been used to ‘draw out burns’. The infusion can be held in the mouth as a treatment for toothache. The root and the leaves have been used in the treatment of bladder problems. The roots and the leaves have been used in the treatment of stomach problems and female disorders. A poultice of the chewed leaves, and the swallowed juice, has been used in the treatment of snake bites. The plant ooze has been used as drops to treat sore eyes.

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=Goodyera+repens
http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/herbs/goodyerarep.html
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/goorep/all.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyera_repens

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Herbs & Plants

Habenaria intermedia

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Botanical name: Habenaria intermedia
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
Subtribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Habenaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Ochyrorchis intermedia, Kryptostoma intermedium
Common name: Intermediate Habenaria • Hindi: Vriddhi, Riddhi • Sanskrit: Vriddhi
Habitat:Habenaria intermedia is native to E. Asia – Himalayas . It is mostly found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Nepal, at altitudes between 1500-2500 m.
Description:
Intermediate Habenaria is a very beautiful perennial orchid plant.It is 30-50 cm tall, with oblong, stalkless tuberoids. Stem is evenly leafy. Leaves are 3-5, ovate-oblong, acuminate, up to 8×4 cm, sheathing. Large flowers are borne in clusters of 1-4. Bracts are leaflike. Flowers are large, green and white. Sepals are green, the dorsal ovate-lanceolate, recurved, 20-24 x 9-10 mm, lateral-sepals falcately lanceshaped, spreading, 23-28 x 6-7 mm. Petals are white, crescent-shaped, recurved and adherent to dorsal sepal, minutely ciliolate on margins. Labellum pale or yellowish-green, 3-lobed from an undivided, white, up to 10 mm long base, mid-lobe linear-acumi¬nate, straight or slightly turned upwards, 20-30 x 2.5 mm; side lobes 25-30 mm long, somewhat diverging with c. 10, partly divided, fine, up to 20 mm long fringes on the outer margin. Spur green, 6 cm long, ± flexuous, somewhat widened towards apex and base. Not so rare, but one of the biggest flower in Habenarias. Flowering: July-August.>…CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of this country. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Even those species that grow in bogs tend to be in the drier areas of the bog with plenty of water 15cm or more below soil level. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant
Edible Uses: Roots – cooked. Boiled and eaten as a vegetable. Tender young leaves – cooked. Used as a vegetable
Medicinal uses: Intermediate Habenaria is used in Ayurvedic medicine

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.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habenaria
http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Intermediate%20Habenaria.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Habenaria+intermedia

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Habenaria sparsiflora

Botanical Name: Habenaria sparsiflora
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Platanthera
Species: P. sparsiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Platanthera sparsiflora.
Common Names: Sparse-flowered bog orchid

Habitat : Habenaria sparsiflora is native to Western N. America – Washington to Arizona and California. Found mainly along the sides of streams or in boggy places in montane coniferous forests, 1200 – 3300 metres. Wet meadows, marshes, fens, stream banks, shores, seeping slopes; 0 – 3500 m.

Description:
Habenaria sparsiflora is a perennial orchid plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It produces a slender, erect flowering stem up to about half a meter tall. It is in flower from May to August. The longest leaves near the base of the stem are up to 15 centimeters long by 3 wide. The inflorescence has widely spaced twisted green flowers with petals up to a centimeter in length. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects…..CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Even those species that grow in bogs tend to be in the drier areas of the bog with plenty of water 15cm or more below soil level. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant

Edible Uses: The plant has been used as food in times of food shortage.

Medicinal Uses: Not known.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platanthera_sparsiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Habenaria+sparsiflora