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Herbs & Plants

Garrya elliptica

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Botanical Name: Garrya elliptica
Family: Garryaceae
Genus: Garrya
Species: G. elliptica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Garryales

Common Names: Coast silk-tassel, Silk tassel bush or Wavyleaf silktassel

Habitat : Garrya elliptica is native to South-western N. America – California to Oregon. It grows in chaparral and forest on dry slopes and ridges below 600 metres.

Description:
Garrya elliptica is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate. It has a multi-furcate branching structure yielding an almost spherical form. Like others of its genus, G. elliptica has opposite leaves with a tough leathery feel, glossy green on top, but paler and duller on the underside. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Nov to February.

The dioecious flowers are concentrated in inflorescences which cascade downward as aments of 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in length. While it manifests separate male and female plants, the pendant male catkins are much more showy and are grey-green and up to 30 cm (12 in) long; the female ones are shorter and silver-grey. Although the flowers bloom in late winter and early spring, dried bracts remain on the plant well into summer as light gray decorations. The plant has smooth bark, dark-greenish when young, but roughening with age. New twigs are green and moderately stout.

For pistillate flowers, above each small bract there is a solitary flower inside the inflorescence. This plant produces tiny dark seeds. The ripened purplish black fruit of about 1 cm in diameter has a hard desiccated coating, but is rather fleshy on the interior. In the case of stamenate infloresences, there are a total of four stamens per flower; moreover, above each bract pair there is a triplet of flowers. The cultivar ‘James Roof’ has catkins up to 30 cm (12 in) in length.

The unique characteristics of Garrya elliptica are its waxy convex leaves with wavy leaf margins, coupled with dense individual hairs on the leaf undersides that are scarcely distinguishable with a hand lens. Its leaf blades are six to eight centimeters in length, and has petioles which range in length from six to twelve millimeters. For identification purposes Congdon silk-tassel (Garrya congdonii) is most closely related. Congdon silk-tassel has the same leaf appearance, but leaf hairs are distinguishable with a hand lens and both leaf blades and petioles are about two thirds the size of Coast silk-tassel. Both Fremont silk-tassel (Garrya fremontii) and Ashy silk-tassel (Garrya flavescens) have similar fruit characteristics, but have a flat leaf margin.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position succeeding in most well-drained fertile soils. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in light shade, the plants are also tolerant of quite deep shade. Does not require a rich soil or abundant moisture, if the soil is too fertile the flowering will be delayed. Plants are resistant to urban pollution and maritime exposure, but they are subject to wind scorch from cold drying winds in colder areas. This species is hardy to about -15°c, it is best on a sunny wall in most parts of the country but does very well as a free standing shrub in Devon and Cornwall. In cold winters and springs the previous year’s leaves may fall before the new leaves are produced. A hedge in a relatively open area at Wisley in Surrey is growing well (1991), as is a plant in a friend’s garden in Stockton on Teesside(1998). All pruning should be carried out in spring before new growth starts but after flowering has ended. Plants are strongly resentful of root disturbance, they should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Very slow, the seed can take 2 or more years to germinate. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10cm with a heel, August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood 10 – 12 cm with a heel, December/January in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient; Antiperiodic; Febrifuge.

The leaves are intensely bitter and are used as an antiperiodic and febrifuge. They can be used as a quinine substitute. An infusion has been used to induce menstruation, probably acting as an abortifacient.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Repellent; Wood.

A hedge in a sheltered position at Wisley in 1991 was very healthy. Makes a good wind shelter. Grey to black dyes are obtained from the berries. The colour varies according to the ripeness of the fruit, green fruits are the best. The bark and leaves are very bitter, a possible insect repellent?. Wood – hard, close-grained. It has been used for fine cabinet work, though its small size and rarity limits its commercial usefulness.

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/Garrya_elliptica
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Garrya+elliptica

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Money Plant

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Botanical Name :  Epipremnum aureum
Family:Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Monsteroideae

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Tribe: Monstereae
Genus: Epipremnum
Species: E. aureum

Synonyms: Epipremnum pinnatum, Pothos aureus, Scindapsus aureus, Raphidophora aurea.

Common Names: Pothos (once classified under the genus Pothos),Golden pothos, Silver Vine, Money Plant, Centipede tongavine, Devil’s Ivy and Solomon Islands‘ Ivy

Habitat : Native to southeastern Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia) and New Guinea. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron in plant stores.

Description  :
It is a liana growing to 20 m tall, with stems up to 4 cm diameter, climbing by means of aerial roots which hook over tree branches. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, heart-shaped, entire on juvenile plants, but irregularly pinnatifid on mature plants, up to 100 cm long and 45 cm broad (juvenile leaves much smaller, typically under 20 cm long). The flowers are produced in a spathe up to 23 cm long.(Bloom Time: Rarely flowers)

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This plant produces trailing stems when it climbs up trees and these take root when they reach the ground and grow along it. The leaves on these trailing stems grow up to 10cm long and are the ones normally seen on this plant when it is cultivated as a pot plant.

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Cultivation:-
It is a popular houseplant with numerous cultivars selected for leaves with white, yellow, or light green variegation. It is often used in decorative displays in shopping centers, offices, and other public locations largely because it is a very hardy plant that requires little care and is also attractively leafy. It is also efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene A study found that this effect became less the higher the molecular weight of the polluting substance.

As a houseplant it can reach a height of two meters or more, given suitable support. For best results it requires medium indirect light; bright light is tolerated, but lengthy spells of direct sun will scorch the leaves. The plant prefers a temperature of between 17 to 30 °C (63 to 86 °F). Generally it only needs water when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch. For best results a liquid fertilizer can be added in spring, and they should be repotted every couple of years. However, this is a robust plant that can stand a very high degree of abuse. It will grow hydroponically quite readily.

Uses:
(1) Evergreen (2) Has showy flowers. (3)  Leaves colorful (4) Has showy fruit .
Because of its tolerance of low-light conditions, this easy-growing and hardy plant, E. aureum make excellent house plants in vases, pots and hanging baskets, allowing the stems to tumble down. Ideal as an indoor plant in greenhouse or conservatory in temperate regions. Its fabulous variegated foliage are used popularly for interiorscape in homes, offices, shopping malls and public places, as well as cut foliage to complement floral arrangement, while at the same time, cleansing the indoor air of pollutants.
Outdoors, Pothos is most suitable as a groundcover in garden beds and borders with its sprawling habit, or grown in above-ground planter or small to large containers raised on a pedestal for a cascading effect. Very suitable as a climbing vine on trellis, poles, fences, trees or wires. It can also be espaliered against the wall for landscapping or allowed to cascade down a wall for that something extra to spruce and beautify your garden.

The plant is listed as “toxic to cats, toxic to dogs” by the ASPCA, due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates. Care should be taken to ensure the plant is not consumed by house pets. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Popular E. aureum cultivars include:

•‘Golden Pothos’ – green waxy leaves, irregularly variegated with splashes and streaks of golden yellow and creamy white;
•‘Marble Queen’ – white to creamy leaves that are smooth and waxy, blotched and streaked with green and grey-green;
•‘Tricolor’ – green leaves marbled with deep yellow, cream and pale green;
•‘Jade Pothos’ – solid green leaves without variegation;
•‘Hawaiian Pothos’ – similar to ‘Golden Pothos’ in variegation, though the yellow is more striking and brilliant;
•‘Neon’ (or ‘Goldilocks’) – lime-green leaves without variegation, small and compact;
•‘Wilcoxii’ – with sharply-defined variegations of green and white;

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epipremnum_aureum
http://www.mobot.org/gardinghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=B594

Epipremnum aureum (Pothos) is both beautiful and useful!

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