Tag Archives: Evergreen

Illicuim verum

Botanical Name : Illicuim verum
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species: I. verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales

Synonyms: Chinese Anise. Aniseed Stars. Badiana.

Common Name :Star anise, Star aniseed, or Chinese star anise

Habitat : Illicuim verum is  native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China.It grows on light woodland and thickets. Forests at elevations of 200 – 1600 metres in S and W Guangxi Province, China.

Illicium verum is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[200]. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and requires a very sheltered position or the protection of a wall when grown in Britain. Chinese anise is extensively cultivated in China for its fruit and medicinal essential oil. It is planted in the grounds of temples in Japan, and also on tombs. Plants seldom grow larger than about 3 metres in Britain, but eventually reach about 18 metres tall in their native habitat.

Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
The fruit is used as a flavouring in curries, teas and pickles. It is an ingredient of ‘five spice powder’, used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. The fruit is also chewed after meals in order to sweeten the breath. Caution is advised because it is said to be poisonous in quantity. The essential oil is used to flavour liqueurs, soft drinks and bakery products.Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of ph?, a Vietnamese noodle soup. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia.

Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient that gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe. Star anise enhances the flavour of meat. It is used as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent.

Medicinal uses:
Star anise has been used in a tea as a traditional remedy for rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.[citation needed] As a warm and moving herb, star anise is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Shikimic acid is produced by most autotrophic organisms, and whilst it can be obtained in commercial quantities from elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was causedby its use in the production of Tamiflu. Later that year, a method for the production of shikimic acid using bacteria was discovered. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from the fermentation of E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.

Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a 10-stage manufacturing process which takes a year.

Other Uses:
Essential;  Incense.

The pounded bark is used as an incense.

Known Hazards: Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible; in Japan, it has instead been burned as incense. Cases of illness, including “serious neurological effects, such as seizures”, reported after using star anise tea, may be a result of using this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. The toxicity of I. anisatum, also known as shikimi, is caused by its containing potent neurotoxins (anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin), due to their activity as noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.

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


Persia borbonia

Botanical Name : Persia borbonia
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Persea
Species: P. borbonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Laurales

Common Names :Redbay, Scrubbay, Sweetbay, Shorebay and Swampbay

Habitat : Persia borbonia  is native to North America, north of Mexico. It grows in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. It  grows in  sandy to rich moist soils of low woodlands, coastal forests, along the sides of bogs, streams and swamps. Sometimes found in dry sandy areas in Florida.   It also grows in the Bahamas and is cultivated in Hawaii. It usually grows on the borders of swamp land.

Unfortunately, due to an invasion of redbay ambrosia beetles in the Southern United States the tree is slowly dying out. The beetle was discovered in 2002 near Savannah, Georgia and it carries a fungal disease that is responsible for killing Redbay. This is bad because Redbay is a relative of the Avocado tree so if this disease is capable of killing off  Persia borbonia it could probably affect Persia americana.

Persia borbonia is a tall, evergreen shrub or short-trunked tree, reaching a maximum height of 65 ft. Form is dense and well-rounded. Handsome, aromatic, evergreen tree, with dense crown. The ascending branches are covered with a dense, rusty pubuscence and its aromatic leaves are leathery and narrowly oval. Pale-yellow flowers occur in small panicles from leaf axils and are followed by dark-blue to black fruit.


It has evergreen leaves that are about 3 to 7 inches long with a lance shape. The leaves are arranged alternately and emit a spicy smell when crushed. The leaves vary in color from bright green to dark green.  Redbay is a perennial, with a non-herbaceous stem that is lignified.

Sow seeds directly after collection of stratify and sow in spring.

Seed Collection: Gather fruits in the fall when they are dark blue to black. Remove pulp before storing. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to one year.

Edible   uses:    The fresh or dried leaves can be used as a flavouring in soups etc

Medicinal Uses:
Red bay was widely employed medicinally by the Seminole Indians who used it to treat a variety of complaints, but especially as an emetic and body cleanser. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.  An infusion  of the leaves can be used to abort a fetus up to the age of four months. An infusion is also used in treating fevers, headaches, diarrhea, thirst, constipation, appetite loss and blocked urination. A strong decoction is emetic and was used as a body purification when treating a wide range of complaints. A decoction of the leaves is used externally as a wash on rheumatic joints and painful limbs.

The leaves have been used as an abortifacient, analgesic, emetic and febrifuge. They have been used to treat fevers, headaches, diarrhea, thirst, constipation, appetite loss and blocked urination.

Other Uses:
*The wood is hard and strong, which can be used to build boats, cabinets and lining interiors of structures.It takes a beautiful polish
*It can also be used as an ornamental tree due to its evergreen leaves.
*The dried up leaves can used as a condiment but not much else.
*Deer and some reports of bears also eat the leaves and fruits of redbay. Birds and turkey only eat the fruit of the redbay

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.



Red Bay for all seasonings

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sweetbay Magnolia

Botanical Name : Sweetbay Magnolia
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Magnolia
Section: M. sect. Magnolia
Species: M. virginiana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Common Names: Swampbay, Swamp magnolia, Whitebay,  Beaver tree,Sweetbay magnolia, Merely sweetbay

Habitat : Sweetbay Magnolia is native to the southeastern United States.It is found from New York to Florida and west to Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee at elevations up to 500′. It is most commonly found in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. It grows  in swamps, wet soils, and along borders of streams and ponds.

Sweetbay Magnolia was the first magnolia to be scientifically described under modern rules of botanical nomenclature, and is the type species of the genus Magnolia; as Magnolia is also the type genus of all flowering plants (magnoliophytes), this species in a sense typifies all flowering


Click to see the pictures:–>.

1)Sweetbay Mangolia

2)Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana Leaf

3) Magnolia virginiana flower

4) Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana Dried Berry Cluster


Magnolia virginiana is a deciduous or evergreen tree to 30 m tall, Whether it is deciduous or evergreen depends on climate; it is evergreen in areas with milder winters in the south of its range, and is semi-evergreen or deciduous further north. The leaves are alternate, simple (not lobed or pinnate), with entire margins, 6-12 cm long, and 3-5 cm wide. The bark is smooth and gray, with the inner bark mildly scented, the scent reminiscent of the bay laurel spice.

The flowers are creamy white, 8-14 cm diameter, with 6-15 petal-like tepals. The flowers carry a very strong vanilla scent that can sometimes be noticed several hundred yards away. The fruit is a fused aggregate of follicles, 3-5 cm long, pinkish-red when mature, with the follicles splitting open to release the 1 cm long seeds. The seeds are black but covered by a thinly fleshy red coat, which is attractive to some fruit-eating birds; these swallow the seeds, digest the red coating, and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

Magnolia virginiana is often grown as an ornamental tree in gardens, and used in horticultural applications to give an architectural feel to landscape designs. It is an attractive tree for parks and large gardens, grown for its large, conspicuous, scented flowers, for its clean, attractive foliage, and for its fast growth. These handsome plants are not often damaged by ice storms.

The English botanist and missionary John Banister collected Magnolia virginiana in 1678 and sent it to England, where it flowered for Bishop Henry Compton. This species was the first magnolia to be cultivated in England, although it was soon overshadowed by the evergreen, larger-flowered southern magnolia (M. grandiflora.)

The sweetbay magnolia has been hybridized horticulturally with a number of species within subgenus Magnolia. These species include M. globosa, M. grandiflora, M. insignis, M. macrophylla, M. obovata, M. sieboldii and M. tripetala. Some of these hybrids have been given cultivar names and registered by the Magnolia Society.

Medicinal Uses:
Indians drank a warm infusion of the bark, cones and seeds for rheumatism.  In colonial times, the root bark was used in place of quinine bark to treat malaria.  A drink made of an infusion of bark and brandy was used to treat lung and chest diseases, dysentery, and fever.  A tea made of young branches boiled in water was a treatment for colds.  The bark and fruit are aromatic and have been used as a tonic.  A tincture of the fresh leaves has been used to treat rheumatism and gout, and as a laxative. A tea made from the bark is taken internally in the treatment of colds, bronchial diseases, upper respiratory tract infections, rheumatism and gout. The bark has been chewed by people trying to break the tobacco habit. A tea made from the fruit is a tonic, used in the treatment of general debility and was formerly esteemed in the treatment of stomach ailments. The leaves or bark have been placed in cupped hands over the nose and inhaled as a mild hallucinogen.

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

Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana Leaves


Enhanced by Zemanta

Bolax Gummifera

Botanical Name : Bolax gummifera
Family  : Umbelliferae
Genus  : Bolax
Synonyms :        Bolax glebaria – Comm. ex Gaudich.
Common Name : Azorella

Habitat :
Southern S. America.   Cliffs and rocks, open scrub and heath, forest margins and clearings, feldmark, to 900 metres.Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;

An evergreen Perennial growing to 0.02m by 1.2m at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July. 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.
The plant prefers light (sandy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


Requires a position in full sun in a well-drained gritty humus-rich soil. A cushion plant up to 1.2m in diameter, it is often included in the genus Azorella. Plants rarely flower in cultivation. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Click to learn more

Seed – it may be best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring. Stored seed should be sown in late winter in a greenhouse. 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. Division of rooting rosettes in the summer.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – raw or roasted.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Deobstruent.

An oleo-resin obtained from incisions made at the base of the main stem is antispasmodic and deobstruent.

Other Uses
Ground cover.

Plants can be used for ground cover, forming a very dense carpet of growth.

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.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Berberis Gagnepainii

Botanical Name : Berberis gagnepainii
Family : Berberidaceae
Genus  : Berberis
Synonyms : Berberis acuminata – non Franch.
Common Name:Berries gagnepainii C.K. Schneid.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Habitat : E. Asia – China in Sichuan Thickets and woodlands, 2000 – 4000 metres.Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;

An evergreen Shrub growing to 2.4m by 2m.The genus is characterised by dimorphic shoots, with long shoots which form the structure of the plant, and short shoots only 1-2 mm long. The leaves on long shoots are non-photosynthetic, developed into three-spined thorns 3-30 mm long; the bud in the axil of each thorn-leaf then develops a short shoot with several normal, photosynthetic leaves. These leaves are 1-10 cm long, simple, and either entire, or with spiny margins. Only on young seedlings do leaves develop on the long shoots, with the adult foliage style developing after the young plant is 1-2 years old.


It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A number of cultivars have been selected for their ornamental value. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate[78], whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame. Suckers, removed in late autumn/early winter and planted out in situ or potted up and planted out in late spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruits are about 10mm long.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Antibacterial; Cancer.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Other Uses
Dye; Hedge.

The plant makes an impenetrable hedge that can be trimmed or left to its own devices[29, 182, 200]. A yellow dye is obtained from the root.

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


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]