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Iris foetidissima

Botanical Name: Iris foetidissima
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Section: Limniris
Species: I. foetidissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Stinking Gladwin, Stinking iris, Gladwin Iris,Stinking iris, gladdon, Roast-beef plant

Habitat : Iris foetidissima is native to Western Europe, including Britain, from France south and east to N. Africa, Italy and Greece. It grows on open woods, hedgebanks and shady places, usually on calcareous soils. It is often also found on sea cliffs.
Description:
Iris foetidissima is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Oct to February. The flowers are usually of a dull, leaden-blue colour, or dull buff-yellow tinged with blue; the capsules, which remain attached to the plant throughout the winter, are 5–8 cm long; and the seeds scarlet.

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It is known as “stinking” because some people find the smell of its leaves unpleasant when crushed or bruised, an odour that has been described as “beefy”
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
An easily grown and very tolerant plant, it succeeds in most positions in any good soil in sun or partial shade. Succeeds in dense shade. Prefers a moist soil but succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant. Thrives in a bog garden. Requires a well-drained soil containing some lime and succeeds on pure chalk. Established plants are tolerant of considerable neglect and can survive dense weed competition. The evergreen leaves are not very hardy, being killed back by cold winds around -15°c, though the rootstock is much hardier and the plant soon recovers in spring. A good plant for woodland edges. Plants often self-sow. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. The crushed leaves emit a strong odour which, at a distance, resembles hot roast beef. On closer acquaintance the scent becomes disagreeable. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Flowers have an unpleasant odor, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame, it may take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done in July after flowering. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Medicinal Uses:
Iris foetidissima has a long history of medicinal use, though it can be rather strong in its action and so is little used nowadays. The root is anodyne, antispasmodic and cathartic. A decoction of the roots acts as a strong purge, it has also been used as an emmenagogue and for cleaning eruptions. The powdered or infused dried root is beneficial in the treatment of fainting, nervous complaints and to relieve pains and cramps. The plant has been used as a cure for ringworm.

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Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Rock garden, Specimen. A good ground cover plant, succeeding in dense shade and in dry soils. Rather slow to spread though, needing weeding for the first year or two. Plants should be spaced about 60cm apart each way.

Known Hazards: The roots of this plant are toxic to grazing mammals. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

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/Iris_foetidissima
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Iris+foetidissima

Taraxacum tibetanum

Botanical Name: Taraxacum tibetanum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Taraxacum tibeticum

Common Name: Tibetan dandelion

Habitat : Taraxacum tibetanum is native to E. Asia – Tibet.It grows on the alpine grasslands and pastures; 3800-5000 m. Sichuan, Xizang [India (Sikkim)].

Description:
Taraxacum tibetanum is a perennial herb, 5-15(-20) cm tall. Petiole ± green or purplish, base sparsely arachnoid; leaf blade mid-green to deep green, narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, 4-10(-13) × 0.8-1.2(-1.6) cm, glabrous, pinnatilobed to pinnatisect; lateral lobes 2-4 pairs, broadly triangular with base convex on distal side, approximate, ± recurved, distal margin entire, dentate, or sparsely lobulate, apex narrowed into a ± subpatent to strongly recurved lobulelike segment; interlobes short, broad; terminal lobe ± narrowly triangular-sagittate, margin entire or sparsely denticulate, apex subobtuse. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, subglabrous and only sparsely arachnoid below capitulum. Capitulum ca. 4 cm wide. Involucre 1.1-1.4 cm wide, base broadly rounded. Outer phyllaries 10-13, ± black, subimbricate, oblong-ovate (often widest above middle), outermost ones (4-)7-9 × 2.7-3.1 mm and 1/2-3/4 as long as inner ones, venation not distinct, unbordered, ± glabrous to sparsely ciliate, ± flat to minutely corniculate below apex; inner phyllaries blackish green, 13-16 × 2-2.5 mm, apex ± flat or callose. Ligules yellow, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with blackish apical teeth. Stigmas ± black. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene dark grayish brown, 4.1-4.4 × 1.1-1.4 mm; body distally subsparsely spinulose, ± smooth below, ± subabruptly narrowing into a 0.6-0.9 mm cone broadly conic at base and subconic distally, spinules small, suberect, and acute; beak ca. 6 mm. Pappus yellowish white, 7-8 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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 should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. This species is not in the IOPI list of accepted plant names. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it has a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of stomach disorders and pain in the stomach/intestines due to intestinal worms.

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:

Taraxacum mongolicum


http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242425880
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+tibetanum

Taraxacum sinicum

Botanical Name: Taraxacum sinicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum sinicum is native to east Asia-China.

Description:
Taraxacum sinicum is a perennial herb. 8-15(-25) cm tall. Petiole brownish purple, narrow; leaf blade ± mid-green, linear-oblanceolate, 7-10(-15) × 0.6-1 cm, subglabrous to sparsely arachnoid, margin usually pinnatilobed, pinnatisect, or very deeply dissected or rarely undivided; lateral lobes 5-7(-9) pairs, linear to linear-triangular, ± recurved; interlobes narrow, usually 5-7 mm, margin entire; terminal lobe narrow, elongated, base sagittate, apex ± acute. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, arachnoid and densely so below capitulum. Capitulum 1.5-2.5 cm wide. Involucre 6-7(-8) mm wide, ± subobconic at base. Outer phyllaries 16-18, yellowish green with red apex to dark green and often suffused reddish, imbricate, outermost ones ovate-lanceolate and 4.5-6.5 × 1.8-2.7 mm, middle ones ± lanceolate, 7-8 × 1.5-2 mm, and 1/3-1/2 as long as inner ones, appressed, with a ± conspicuous membranous to whitish 0.2-0.4 mm wide border, margin glabrous, apex ± flat to slightly callose; inner phyllaries 10-13 × ca. 1 mm, apex flat. Ligules deep yellow; outer ligules ± flat, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with yellow to grayish apical teeth. Stigmas greenish gray. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene light grayish, 3.5-4.4 × 0.9-1 mm; body subsparsely to ± densely spinulose above, ± gradually narrowing into a thick subcylindric 0.7-1 mm cone, spinules coarse with uppermost ones curved upward; beak 5-6.5 mm, base ± thick. Pappus yellowish white, 6.5-7 mm. Fl. spring to summer. Agamosperm. 2n = 24

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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 should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

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

Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The aerial parts of the plant are antibacterial, cholagogue, diuretic, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. A decoction is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow. The plant has an antibacterial action against Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.
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:

Taraxacum mongolicum


http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024592
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+sinicum

Calomeria amaranthoides

 Botanical Name ; Calomeria amaranthoides
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae
Genus: Calomeria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Other names: Incense plant, Plume bush , Amaranth feathers, Humea elegans

Habitat : Calomeria amaranthoides is nitive to Australia

Description:
Calomeria amaranthoides is a tall, fragrant biennial herb, growing to 3.5 metres in height. It has sticky stems and leaves which are green above and whitish beneath and are up to 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. It is a tender, erect, branching, smooth to slightly hairy perennial, usually grown as a biennial or annual, with aromatic, ovate to lance-shaped, mid-green leaves and feathery panicles of fragrant, tiny, tubular, reddish-brown flower heads in summer.

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Calomeria amaranthoides is: Deciduous

Its flowers appear in large brown to red plumes in the summer (January to April in its native range)

Foliage: Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn

Fragrance: If grown under glass, mist plant to release fragrance.
Medicinal Uses:
Homeopathic uses for skin problems like eczema

Click to read : Potent cytotoxic effects of Calomeria amaranthoides on ovarian cancers

Known Hazards: Leaves and flower bracts may cause skin irritation. Fragrance may cause breathing difficulties when plant is in full flower.

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/Calomeria
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
https://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/calomeria-amaranthoides

Equisetum fluviatile

Botanical Name : Equisetum fluviatile
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. fluviatile
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms: E. heliocharis. E. limosum.

Common Name : Water horsetail , Swamp Horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum fluviatile is native to arctic and temperate Northern Hemisphere, from Eurasia south to central Spain, northern Italy, the Caucasus, China, Korea and Japan, and in
North America from the Aleutian Islands to Newfoundland, south to Oregon, Idaho, northwest Montana, northeast Wyoming, West Virginia and Virginia.. It grows on shallow water in lakes,
ponds and ditches and other sluggish or still waters with mud bottoms.

Description:
Equisetum fluviatile is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 30–100 cm (rarely 140 cm) tall with erect dark green stems 2–8 mm in diameter, smooth, with about 10–30 fine ridges. At
each joint, the stem has a whorl of tiny, black-tipped scale leaves 5–10 mm long. Many, but not all, stems also have whorls of short ascending and spreading branches 1–5 cm long, with the   longest branches on the lower middle of the stem. The side branches are slender, dark green, and have 1–8 nodes with a whorl of five scale leaves at each node. The water horsetail has the
largest central hollow of the horsetails, with 80% of the stem diameter typically being hollow. The stems readily pull apart at the joints, and both fertile and sterile stems look alike.

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The water horsetail reproduces both by spores and vegetatively by rhizomes. It primarily reproduces by vegetative means, with the majority of shoots arising from rhizomes. Spores are
produced in blunt-tipped cones at the tips of some stems. The spore cones are yellowish-green, 1-2 cm long and 1 cm broad, with numerous scales in dense whorls.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jun to July.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best   kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation :
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very
difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Edible Uses:
The water horsetail has historically been used by both Europeans and Native Americans for scouring, sanding, and filing because of the high silica content in the stems. Early spring shoots were eaten.

Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute, though it is neither palatable nor nutritious. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – cooked.
The roots contain a nutritious starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Medically it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to stop bleeding and treat kidney ailments, ulcers, and tuberculosis, and by the ancient Chinese to treat superficial visual obstructions. Horsetails absorb heavy metals from the soil, and are often used in bioassays for metals.

Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is styptic. The
barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the plant are used. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and
promote healing.

Other Uses: Rootstocks and stems are sometimes eaten by waterfowl.

Known Hazards:
Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_fluviatile
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+fluviatile