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Herbs & Plants

Saussurea affinis

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Botanical Name : Saussurea affinis
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Hemistepta lyrata. Bunge.

Common Name: Saussurea affinis, Some authorities now say that the correct name of this species is Hemistepta lyrata.

Habitat : Saussurea affinis is native to East AsiaChina & Japan etc. It grows on mountain slopes and valleys, plains, hills, forest margins, forests, grassland, wasteland, farmland, riversidesand roadsides from near sea level to 3300 metres with LMH soil and N moisture levels.

Description:
Saussurea affinis is a Biennial plant.It can grow to a height of 0.6 meters and up to meters wide. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation details :…..Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position.

Propagation:………It is suggested to sow the seed in situ in May. If seed is in short supply then sowing it in a pot in a cold frame would be advisable, planting out in the summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves………Leaves and young shoots. No more details are found.

Medicinal Uses:…Women’s complaints………..The juice of the root is given with other herbs in the treatment of diseases of women.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saussurea
http://www.mygarden.net.au/gardening/saussurea-affinis/9248/1
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Saussurea+affinis

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Herbs & Plants

Chaenomeles

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Botanical Name: Pyrus japonica
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Amygdaloideae
Tribe: Maleae
Subtribe: Malinae
Genus: Chaenomeles
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Chaenomeles laganaria, Cydonia lagenaria, Cydonia speciosa,  Cydonia japonica

Common Names : Chaenomeles

Habitat : Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall, They are native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. These plants are related to the quince (Cydonia oblonga) and the Chinese quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis), differing in the serrated leaves, and in the flowers having deciduous sepals and styles that are connate at the base.

Description:
Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall,The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and have a serrated margin. The flowers are 3–4.5 cm diameter, with five petals, and are usually bright orange-red, but can be white or pink; flowering is in late winter or early spring. The fruit is a pome with five carpels; it ripens in late autumn.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES……...THE PLANT………….…FLOWER & FRUIT.………….………………

Edible Uses:
The fruits are very hard and astringent and very unpleasant to eat raw, though they do soften and become less astringent after frost (when they are said to be “bletted”). They are, however, suitable for making liqueurs, as well as marmalade and preserves, as they contain more pectin than apples and true quinces. The fruit also contains more vitamin C than lemons (up to 150 mg/100 g).

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and digestive. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of nausea, joint pains, cholera and associated cramps.

Other Uses: Chaenomeles is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Brown-tail and the leaf-miner Bucculatrix pomifoliella.

The species have become popular ornamental shrubs in parts of Europe and North America, grown in gardens both for their bright flowers and as a spiny barrier. Some cultivars grow up to 2 m tall, but others are much smaller and creeping.

They are also suitable for cultivation as a bonsai.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/q/quinja05.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaenomeles
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/chaenomeles-speciosa=japanese-quince.php

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Herbs & Plants

Petasites palmatus

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Botanical Name :Petasites palmatus
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Petasites Mill. – butterbur
Species : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Variety : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. var. palmatus (Aiton) Cronquist – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass:  Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Names :Sweet Butterbur ,Western Coltsfoot,Sweet Coltsfoot

Habitat :Petasites palmatus is native to  N. America – Newfoundland to Massachusetts, west to Alaska and south to California. It grows in Low woods, glades and damp clearings. Swamps and along the sides of streams.

Description:
Petasites palmatus is a deciduous  perennial plant growing to 1’h x 3’w   at a fast rate. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Leaves – round to heart- or kidney-shaped at stem base. 5 – 20 cm wide, deeply divided (more than halfway to centre), into 5 to 7 toothed lobes, green, essentially hairless above, thinly white-woolly below; stem leaves reduced to alternate bracts.

Flowers – in clusters of several to many white, 8 – 12 mm wide heads on glandular, often white-woolly stalks, mostly female or mostly male; ray flowers creamy white; disc flowers whitish to pinkish; involucres 7 – 16 mm high, bracts lance-shaped, hairy at base.; appearing early-summer.

Fruit – hairless, linear achenes, about 2 mm long, 5 to 10 ribs; pappus soft, white; appearingmid-summer.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, but prefers a deep fertile humus-rich soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, succeeding in shade, semi-shade or full sun. Requires a moist shady position. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A very invasive plant, too rampant for anything other than the wild garden. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:   
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in early spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses   :
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Salt.

Young flower stalks, used before the flower buds appear, are boiled until tender and seasoned with salt. Flower buds – cooked. Leafstalks – peeled and eaten raw. The ash of the plant is used as a salt substitute. To prepare the salt, the stems and leaves are rolled up into balls whilst still green, and after being carefully dried they are placed on top of a very small fire on a rock and burned.

Medicinal Uses:

Pectoral;  Salve;  TB.

The roots have been used in treating the first stages of grippe and consumption. The dried and grated roots have been applied as a dressing on boils, swellings and running sores. An infusion of the crushed roots has been used as a wash for sore eyes. A syrup for treating coughs and lung complaints has been made from the roots of this species combined with mullein(Verbascum sp.) and plum root (Prunus sp.).

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Petasites+palmatus
http://www.borealforest.org/herbs/herb27.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=pefrp

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Diospyros kaki

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Botanical Name : Diospyros kaki
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. kaki
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names :Japanese Persimmon, Kaki Persimmon  or Asian Persimmon

Habitat :Diospyros kaki is native to   E. Asia – China, Japan.Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s[3], and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.Now in North America, is the most widely cultivated species of the Diospyros genus. Although its first published botanical description was not until 1780, the kaki is also among the oldest plants in cultivation, known for its use in China for more than 2000 years.

Not known in a truly wild situation, it is found in broad leafed woodland but probably as an escape from cultivation.

Description:
Diospyros kaki is a deciduous tree  with broad, stiff leaves. It grows  to 12 m (39ft) by 7 m (23ft).
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

..CL.ICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>.(1)…..(2)………(3).…..….(4)…

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

The persimmon (kaki) is a sweet, slightly tangy fruit with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s, and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.

In many cultivars, known as the astringent varieties, the fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. It is not edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften after harvest. It has a delicious soft jelly-like consistency, and is best eaten with a spoon. The Japanese cultivar ‘Hachiya’ is a widely grown astringent cultivar. Some cultivars, such as Fuyu, do not contain tannins when firm, and can be eaten like an apple, or can be allowed to go to any stage of ripeness, including to the jelly-like stage. These non-astringent varieties are considered to have a less complex flavor.

When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. “Sharon Fruit” (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is the trade name for D. kaki fruit whose astringency has been chemically removed.[5] It is also known as the “Korean mango”.

Cultivation :
Prefers a good deep loamy soil in sun or light shade but succeeds in most soils. Dislikes very acid or wet and poorly drained soils. Requires a sheltered position[200]. Dormant plants are quite hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -14°c, but they require warmer summers than are normally experienced in Britain in order to ripen their fruit and wood. 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. A warm sunny wall improves the chance of producing ripe fruit and trees fruit freely when grown under glass. Fruits are frequently produced outdoors at Kew. A tree seen in a open position with afternoon shade at Kew in November 1993 (after a cool summer) had about 200 almost ripe fruits around 8cm in diameter. The same tree, after a fairly warm summer in 1996, had a large quantity of fruit just about ready for harvesting in the middle of December. Trees produce a long taproot and should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible. The young trees require some winter protection for their first winter or two. The persimmon is widely cultivated for its edible fruit in warm temperate areas of the world, especially in Japan and China, there are many named varieties. Some cultivars, such as ‘Fuyu’, lack the usual astringency and can be eaten whilst still firm, though they develop a richer flavour if allowed to become soft. These non-astringent forms require a warmer climate and do not ripen in cooler areas. The astringent cultivars are somewhat hardier and ripen well in cooler climates than the non-astringent forms. The fruit colours better and is sweeter in warmer areas but in hot conditions has a poor texture and deep black spots develop. If allowed to become very ripe (almost to the point of going rotten), they develop a better flavour than non-astringent forms. Dioecious, but the female tree can produce seedless fruits in the absence of a pollinator. However, unfertilized fruit tends to be smaller and more astringent. This astringency is due to the high content of tannin but once the fruit is fully ripe it loses this astringency and becomes sweet. If fertilized fruit is required, then growing one male for every 8 – 10 females is usually adequate.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed requires a period of cold-stratification and should be sown as early in the year as possible[78]. It usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into fairly deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Give them some protection from winter cold for their first year or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE
Edible Uses: Coffee; Condiment; Sweetener.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit has an exquisitely rich flavour when it is very soft and fully ripe (almost at the point of going bad), but the fruit of many cultivars is very harsh and astringent before then[K]. In Britain, the fruit needs to be harvested whilst it is still very hard. This is done very late in the season (in December or even January if possible), it is then stored in a cool but frost-free place until very soft and fully ripe[K]. The fruit can also be used in pies, cakes, bread, desserts etc. It contains 25% sugars. A fuller nutritional analysis is available. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 7.5cm in diameter. The peel of the fruit can be powdered and used as a sweetener. The leaves are used to improve the flavour of pickled radishes. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

*Fruit (Dry weight)  :350 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 3.6g; Fat: 1.5g; Carbohydrate: 91g; Fibre: 7.7g; Ash: 4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 80mg; Phosphorus: 100mg; Iron: 8mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 20mg; Potassium: 950mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 5600mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.2mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.15mg; Niacin: 0.9mg; B6: 0mg; C: 75mg;

CLICK TO  SEE  THE PICTURE

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Antitussive;  Antivinous;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Hypotensive;  Laxative;  Sialagogue;
Stomachic;  Styptic.

Appetizer, sialagogue. The stem bark is astringent and styptic. The fruit is said to have different properties depending on its stage of ripeness, though it is generally antitussive, astringent, laxative, nutritive and stomachic. The fresh fully ripe fruit is used raw in the treatment of constipation and haemorrhoids and when cooked is used to treat diarrhoea. The dried ripe fruit is used in the treatment of bronchial complaints, whilst when ground into a powder it is used to treat dry coughs. Juice from the unripe fruit is used in the treatment of hypertension. The fruits, picked green and ripened in containers with the leaves, become very sweet and are considered to be antifebrile, antivinous and demulcent. The fruits are also peeled and then exposed to sunlight by day and dew by night. They become encrusted with a white powder and are then considered to be anthelmintic, antihaemorrhagic, antivinous, expectorant, febrifuge and restorative. The peduncle is used to treat coughs and hiccups. The calyx is used to treat hiccups.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic;  Wood.

The pulp of unripe fruits is used in cosmetics to make face-packs because of its firming qualities. Wood – hard and durable with a beautiful grain. Used for making fine furniture

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/Diospyros_kaki
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diospyros+kaki

The Kaki Tree (Diospyros kaki)

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Herbs & Plants

Brasenia schreberi

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Botanical Name : Brasenia schreberi
Family: Cabombaceae
Genus: Brasenia
Species: B. schreberi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales
Synonyms:Brasenia nymphoides, Brasenia peltata

Common Name:Water-shield (also watershield or water shield).

Habitat : Brasenia schreberi is widely distributed in warm temperate and tropical regions of the world.It grows throughout most of the United States and southern Canada. Also occurs in Central America, Cuba, Africa, East Asia and Australia. It is found in Shallow ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. It grows in water 0.5-3 m deep.

Description:

Brasenia schreberi is an aquatic perennial plant with floating, peltate leaves and rhizomatous stems. It is identified by its bright green leaves, small purple flowers that bloom from June through September, and a thick mucilage that covers all of the underwater organs, including the underside of the leaves, stems, and developing buds.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES……..(1).…..(2)..…...(3)..….(4)..

 

Leaf: Oval leaves (4-12 cm long and 3-8 cm wide) float on the water surface. The leaves have purple undersides with long, centrally-attached leaf-stalks up to 2 m long. A slimy gelatinous substance usually covers the stalks and underside of young leaves and stems.
Stem: Arise from submersed, branching, reddish creeping rhizomes.

Flower: The 5-20 cm long flower stalks each bear a single purplish flower with 3 sepals and 3 (4) similar-looking petals. Each flower measures up to 2.5 cm across and is elevated slightly above the water surface. Blooms May to September.

Fruit: Each flower produces 4-18 separate narrowly egg-shaped, leathery fruits between 6-8 mm long. Each fruit usually contains 2 seeds. They ripen underwater and decay to release seeds.

Root: Slender, branched, creeping rhizomes

This plant  exhibits wind pollination. The flowers have a two-day blooming period. On the first day, the functionally female, or pistillate flower, extends above the surface of the water and exposes the receptive stigmas. The flower then recedes below the water surface and on the following day emerges as a functionally male, or staminate flower. It is elevated higher than on the previous day and the anther-bearing filaments are extended beyond the female carpels. The anthers dehisce, releasing the pollen, and the flower is then withdrawn below the water where the fruit develops. Brasenia spreads rapidly once it is established and is very difficult to control.

Edible Uses:
The rhizomes and leaves have been used for food and medicinal purposes by Native Americans. The Japanese use the young leaves and stems in salads. Provides habitat for fish and aquatic insects; seeds and vegetation are eaten by waterfowl.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are crushed and applied to abscesses and boils, and are also used in the treatment of phthisis and dysentery. A decoction of the seed is antidotal. It is also used in the treatment of dysentery and to relieve thirst.  The plant is used in the treatment of cancer.  The fresh leaves were used like lichen, in pulmonary complaints and dysentery; when dry the gelatinous matter almost disappears, yet they impart mucilage to the water.

Other Uses: Brasenia schreberi is cultivated as a vegetable in China and Japan (where it is known as junsai) and the mucilage it produces has been found to have anti-algal and anti-bacterial properties that may be useful as a natural weed control.

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/Brasenia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/plantid2/descriptions/brasch.html

http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/ponds/p/ap/guide/fl/brasenias.cfm

http://cfb.unh.edu/phycokey/Choices/Anomalous_Items/aquatic_macrophytes/floating_leaves/BRASENIA/Brasenia_Image_page.html

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