Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lactuca formosana


Botanical Name:
Lactuca formosana
Family :
Asteraceae
Tribe:
Cichorieae
Genus:
Lactuca/Ixeris
Class :
Magnoliopsida
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Common Names: Lactuca morii Hayata; L. sonchus H. Léveillé & Vaniot; Pterocypsela formosana (Maximowicz) C. Shih; P. sonchus (H. Léveillé & Vaniot) C. Shih.

Habitat:
Lactuca formosana is native to E. Asia – China. It grows in grasslands on mountain slopes and in valleys, thickets or forests on mountain slopes, fields, along trails; 100-2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.

Description:

Lactuca formosana is an annual or perennial herb 0.5-1.5 m tall. Roots ramose. Stem solitary, erect, loosely branched apically, ± hirsute, glabrescent. Lower and middle stem leaves with narrow petiole-like amplexicaul basal portion to 5 cm or with conspicuously expanded and semiamplexicaul base; leaf blade elliptic, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, 8-18 × 4-8 cm, hirsute, main rib echinulate, undivided and with coarsely dentate margin or pinnatifid with 2-5 pairs of elliptic to broadly falcate lateral lobes, faintly to strongly dentate on margin, and a lanceolate or triangular terminal lobe. Upper stem leaves similar to middle stem leaves, margin mostly ± entire. Synflorescence loosely corymbose, with ca. 10 to many capitula. Capitula with usually 25-30 florets. Involucre cylindric, 1-1.1 cm at anthesis, to 1.8 × 0.8 cm in fruit. Phyllaries acute to acuminate at apex; outer phyllaries broadly obovate to lanceolate, longest ca. 8 × 1-2 mm; inner phyllaries 8. Florets yellow. Achene 4.5-6.5 mm; body reddish brown, dark brown, or blackish brown, ellipsoid, compressed, broadly winged, 2-2.3 mm wide, with 1 prominent rib on either side, apically contracted into a usually pale to greenish filiform 2-3.5 mm beak. Pappus 7-8 mm, caducous. Fl. and fr. Apr-Nov.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
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 in many parts of this country. We are not sure if it is an annual or perennial but assume that it can be grown as a spring-sown annual. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a light sandy loam.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses:
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242328013

Lactuca debilis


http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+formosana

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Categories
Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Lactuca raddeana

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Botanical Name: Lactuca raddeana
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribes: Cichorieae
Subtribes: Lactucinae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: Lactuca raddeana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Lactuca aogashimaensis Kitamura; Lactuca elata Hemsley, non Salisbury; Lactuca raddeana var. compacta Baranov & Skvortsov; Pterocypsera elata (Hemsley) C. Shih; Prenanthes hieracifolia H. Léveillé

Common names: (Japanese common name) yama-nigana [meaning: mountain bitter herb])


Habitat :Lactuca raddeana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on mountains all over Japan.
Description:
Lactuca raddeana is an annual or perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). Roots ramose. Stem solitary, erect, basal half ± densely hispid, apical half glabrous and branched. Lower and middle stem leaves with basal portion cuneate or winged petiole-like, 2–10 cm; apical portion ovate, elliptic, or triangular, 5–16 × 2–8.5 cm, undivided, pinnatipartite, or lyrately pinnatipartite, ± hispid, margin dentate and coarsely sinuate-dentate; lateral lobes 1–3 pairs, elliptic, apex acute; terminal lobe triangular, ovate-triangular, or subrhombic, apex acute. Upper stem leaves with basal portion shorter, winged, and petiole-like to cuneate, apical portion ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate. Synflorescence narrowly paniculate, with numerous capitula on wiry branches. Capitula with 8–11 florets. Involucre cylindric, 8–10 mm at anthesis, 9–11 × 4–5 mm in fruit. Phyllaries often pale purplish red; outer phyllaries triangular-ovate to lanceolate, largest ca. 5 × 1–2 mm, apex obtuse; inner phyllaries 5(or 6), apex obtuse. Florets bright yellow. Achene 3–4 mm; body reddish to dark brown, ellipsoid, compressed, broadly winged, 1.5–2 mm wide, with 3(–5) prominent ribs on either side, apically contracted into a concolorous or apically pale stout 0.2–0.4 mm beak. Pappus 6–7 mm, ± caducous. Fl. and fr. May–Oct. 2n = 18.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation: Prefers a light sandy loam.

Propagation : Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. Root.
Medicinal Uses :
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed
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/Lettuce
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_raddeana
http://cichorieae.e-taxonomy.net/portal/cdm_dataportal/taxon/fb94cf28-3b13-4b16-aa51-065c46c833c0
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+raddeana
http://flowers.la.coocan.jp/Asteraceae/Lactuca%20elata.htm

 

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Erodium cicutarium

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Botanical Name : Erodium cicutarium
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Erodium
Species: E. cicutarium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales

Common Names :Redstem filaree,alfilaree, alfilaria, alfilerillo (Spanish-Chile), California filaree, cutleaf filaree, filaree, heronsbill, loiquilahuen (Spanish-Chile), pin-grass, pin-weed, redstem, redstem filaree, redstem stork’s bill, relojito (Spanish-Chile), stork’s bill, tachuela (Spanish-Chile)

Habitat : Erodium cicutarium is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was introduced to North America in the eighteenth century, where it has since become invasive, particularly of the deserts and arid grasslands of the southwestern United States. The seeds of this annual are a species collected by various species of harvester ants.It grows on  sandy dunes, grassland, arable land, waste areas, roadsides, railway embankments etc, usually near the sea.

Description:
Erodium cicutarium is described as an annual, winter annual or biennial. It has a prostrate basal rosette and upright, often leafy flowering stalks. The stalks range from < 10cm to about 50cm high, and originate in the axils of the leaves. The leaves are divided into fine leaflets (or lobes) and are finely dissected, similar to those of a carrot. The flowers are about 1cm across, pink or lavender, and borne on stalks in clusters of 2-12. The sepals of the flowers are somewhat pointed and hairy. The fruiting structure (consisting of the seeds, persistent bristly styles, and central placental axis) is 2-5cm long and resembles a stork’s bill. At maturity, the developing fruit splits into 5 segments, each with a long, spirally twisting style with a seed attached at the base. The style twists hygroscopically, drilling the seed into the soil (The Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, 2001; Hickman, 1993)…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny well-drained position and a limy soil or at least one that is not acid. Plants are likely to be resistant to maritime exposure.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ as soon as the seed is ripe in the late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks
Edible Uses:The entire plant is edible with a flavor similar to sharp parsley if picked young…..
Young leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb. Harvested in the spring before the plant flowers, they are tasty and nutritious. The leaves are added to salads, sandwiches, soups etc, they can be used in recipes that call for leaves of beet, plantain, sow thistle or amaranth. Young stems – raw. Root – chewed by children as a gum.

Medicinal Uses:
A mild uterine hemostatic and a diuretic for water retention, rheumatism, or gout.  Not a potent plant, a fair amount is needed for effect depending on the use.  The entire plant may be put into a warm-water bath for a person suffering the pains of rheumatism.  The leaves have been made into a hot tea used to increase urine flow, to treat uterine hemorrhage and water retention, and to increase perspiration.  Storksbill is a traditional afterbirth remedy in northern Mexico and New Mexico, said to reliably decrease bleeding and help prevent infection.  A tablespoon of the root and leaves are brewed into tea and drunk three or four times a day.  A tablespoon of the plant with an equal part of comfrey leaves or borage steeped in a pint of water and used for douching is considered a reliable treatment for cervicitis, especially if it has been preceded by vaginal inflammation and no uterine infection is involved.  For joint inflammations a fair amount of the tea is consumed and the wet leaves used for a poultice for several days, the swellings subsiding by the third or fourth day.  Little adverse effect on the kidneys when used as a diuretic and is an older herbal treatment in China for hematuria, particularly from kidney trauma.  One of the many reliable herbs for heavy, painful menstruation.  The root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections etc. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to sores and rashes. An infusion has been used in the treatment of typhoid fever. The seeds contain vitamin K, a poultice of them is applied to gouty tophus

Other Uses:  A green dye is obtained from the whole plant. It does not require a mordant. The remnants of the styles are very hygroscopic, they can be used in hygrometers and as weather indicators. The dried plant powder has been mixed with watermelon seeds during storage and planting in order to prevent watermelon disease.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erodium_cicutarium
http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=518
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/erodium-cicutarium—alfilaria.htm