Tag Archives: Entomophily

Conopodium majus

Botanical Name : Conopodium majus
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Conopodium
Species: C. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Bunium flexuosum – Stokes, Conopodium denudatum – Koch.

Common Name ;Pignut, Hognut, and more indirectly Saint Anthony’s nut

Habitat ;Conopodium majus is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to Italy and Corsica. It grows in  Woods, hedgerows and fields. It is never found on alkaline soils

Description:
Conopodium majus is a small herbaceous perennial common in woods, grasslands, and hedgerows across Europe. It flowers from May to June producing white flowers in compound umbels and has finely divided leaves.It has a smooth, slender, curving stem, up to 1 m high, much-divided leaves, and small, white flowers in many-rayed terminal compound umbels.

The stem terminates in a single tuber up to 20cm below ground with thin fibrous roots growing across its surface (Hather 1993). This storage organ is edible with a nutty flavour similar to chestnut and available all year round.

 

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It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

The rounded “nut” (inconsistently described by authorities as a tuber, corm, or root) is similar to a chestnut in its brown colour and its size (up to 25 mm in diameter), and its sweet, aromatic flavour has been compared to that of the chestnut, hazelnut, sweet potato, and Brazil nut. Palatable and nutritious, its eating qualities are widely praised, and it is popular among wild food foragers, but it remains a minor crop, due in part to its low yields and difficulty of harvest.

Cultivation:
Never found on alkaline soils in the wild. See the plants native habitat for other ideas on its cultivation needs. This species responds to cultivation by producing larger tubers. With careful selective breeding it is probably possible to produce a much more productive plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out when in early summer. It is also possible to sow in situ, though this requires a lot more seed to produce the same amount of plants from a protected sowing. Division in late summer as the plant dies down.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Tubers – raw or cooked. A very pleasant food with a flavour somewhat between a sweet potato and hazelnuts, with a hot aftertaste of radish. We have never detected this hot aftertaste, and feel that the flavour is reminiscent of brazil nuts. There is only one tuber on each plant, this is rather small and difficult to harvest, but the size could probably be increased by cultivation.

Medicinal Uses
The powdered roots have been recommended as a cough remedy.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conopodium_majus
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Conopodium+majus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Iris germanica florentina

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

Synonyms :Iris florentina – L.

Common Name :Orris, German Flag

Habitat :Iris germanica florentina  is native to Europe – Mediterranean. It probably grows in an albino form of I. germanica, it is not found in a truly wild situation

Description:
Iris germanica florentina is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.9m by 0.6m.The roots can go up to 10 cm deep. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect..

click to see the pictures……>…..(01)...(1).…….…(2).……..(3).……...(4)..……….(5)

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

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil that contains some lime. Grows well in dry soils in light deciduous shade. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5 or higher. The plant is sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its root. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A sterile plant, it does not produce seed. Division, best done after flowering though it is usually successful at most times of the year. 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.

Edible Uses:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The root can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring[105]. The root may take several years of drying to develop its full fragrance.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Purgative; Stomachic.

The dried root is diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of coughs, catarrh and diarrhoea. Externally it is applied to deep wounds. The root is harvested in late summer and early autumn and dried for later use. The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.
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English: Dried roots of Iris germanica (Orris ...

English: Dried roots of Iris germanica (Orris root), ready to be sold by the planter Walon: Souwêyès raecinêyes di cladjot d’ corti, presses a esse vindowe på cotlî (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orris was formerly used in upper respiratory tract catarrh, coughs and for diarrhea in infants.  It was used to treat dropsy and has been used as a snuff for congestive headaches.  Dried root, preferably aged for at least 2 years. ½ to 1 teaspoon in warm water as suspended tea; the pressed “fingers” for teething infants to gum on.  Although sometimes a topical allergen, it is not so internally.

Other Uses:
Beads; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential; Ground cover; Incense.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its violet-like fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The root has been burnt in open fires in order to sweeten the smell of a room. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. The seeds are used as rosary beads. Plants can be grown for ground cover, the dense mat of roots excluding all weeds.

Scented Plants:
Root: Dried
The dried root develops a delicious violet-like fragrance.

Known Hazards: The leaves, and especially the rhizomes, of this species contain an irritating resinous substance called irisin. If ingested this can cause severe gastric disturbances. 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:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Iris+germanica+florentina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_germanica
http://hortiplex.gardenweb.com/plants/jour/p/31/gw1021031/3197311017788975.jpeg
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

Erysimum cheiranthoides

Botanical Name : Erysimum cheiranthoides
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Erysimum
Species: E. cheiranthoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Name:Treacle-mustard, Wormseed Mustard

Habitat :Erysimum cheiranthoides is   native to most of central and northern Europe and northern and central Asia.It is widely naturalised outside of its native range, including in western and southern Europe, and North America . Found in many habitats from southern British Columbia to California at elevations of 750 – 3600 metres.

Description:
Erysimum cheiranthoides is a herbaceous annual plant similar in appearance to many other mustards, growing an erect stem 15–100 cm (rarely 150 cm) tall. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 2–11 cm long and 0.5–1 cm broad, with an entire to coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are bright yellow, 5–12 mm diameter, produced in an erect inflorescence. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects The fruit is a slender cylindrical capsule 1–3 cm (rarely 5 cm) long, containing several small, dark brown seeds.
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It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender.

Cultivation :  
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Dislikes acid soils. Tolerates poor soils.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow in situ in the spring. Germination should take place within 3 weeks.

Medicinal Uses
Skin;  Vermifuge.
A drink made from the crushed seed is used as a vermifuge. It is intensely bitter but has been used on children and expels the worms both by vomit and by excretion. A decoction of the root has been applied to skin eruptions. Occasionally used as an anthelmintic.  It is also used in folk medicine to treat rhueumatism, jaundice, dropsy and asthma. The root mixed in water was applied to skin eruptions

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=Erysimum+cheiranthoides
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erysimum_cheiranthoides
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Mentha australis

Botanical Name : Mentha australis
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name : River mint

Habitat : Mentha australis is a native of eastern Australia, occurring in every state and territory except Western Australia.It grows along streams, usually in semi-shade, in inland areas

Description:
Mentha australis is a Perennial herb  growing to 0.5m.It has soft, aromatic leaves from 25 – 60 mm long, lance shaped and tapering to a point. The leaf margins are toothed. Small white to lilac flowers are seen in the upper leaf axils during summer and autumn.
It  is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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.

Cultivation:
We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but succeeds in partial shade. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient; Antiseptic; Carminative; Febrifuge.

Like many other members of this genus, this species is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses and can cause abortions.

Mentha australis is widespread in inland areas of Australia and was used as a medicinal plant by the Aborigines.  It was boiled in water and used for the relief of coughs and colds.  It is recorded the plant was used by the Aborigines to induce abortions.  It was also used by early settlers as a tonic. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses and can cause abortions.

Other Uses:
Essential; Repellent; Strewing.

The leaves contain about 0.2% of an essential oil. It is a coarse peppermint. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Scented Plants
Plant: Crushed Dried
The whole plant has a mint-like aroma.

Known Hazards:   Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Mentha+australis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+australis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://anpsa.org.au/m-aus.html

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Tagetes filifolia

Botanical Name : Tagetes filifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
Species: filifolia

Common Name : Irish Lace

Habitat :Tagetes filifolia is native to Central and South AmericaMexico to Costa Rica . It best grown  on cultivated bed.

Description:
Tagetes filifolia is an annual plant growing to 12-18 in. (30-45 cm).
It is hardy to zone 9. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
CLICK &  SEE THE PICTURES.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:  
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils. Grows well with tomatoes. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses :    
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The plants are used as a food flavouring.

Medicinal Uses:
The tea is said to be drunk as a refreshing beverage and to relieve minor ills.  Bolivians drink the decoction as a digestive.  Venezuelans employ it as an emollient and treatment for syphilis.  In Costa Rica, it is taken as a carminative to relieve colic and as a diuretic. Also used for prostate problems and difficulties associated with urination

Other Uses :
Insecticide;  Repellent.

Although no specific mention of the following use has been seen for this species, most if not all members of this genus probably have a similar effect to a greater or lesser degree. Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs. These secretions are produced about 3 – 4 months after sowing. The growing plant is also said to repel insects and can be grown amongst crops such as potatoes and tomatoes.

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=Tagetes+filifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/185096/
http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/asteraceae/tagetes-filifolia/fichas/ficha.htm
http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/asteraceae/tagetes-filifolia/imagenes/habito.jpg