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Astragalus exscapus

Botanical Name : Astragalus exscapus
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Astragalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Habitat :Astragalus exscapus is native to Central EuropeMoldavia and the Ukraine. It grows on steppe and foothills, on limestone soils.
Description:
Astragalus exscapus is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
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It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. This plant is a sub-shrub and although it produces woody stems these tend to die back almost to the base each winter. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of syphilitic sores.

Other Uses:
A gum called morea tragacanth is obtained from the stem (see above). It has a wide range of uses including:- a thickening agent in preparing dyes for calico printing, textile dyes and for dressing fabrics, it is also a thickener in making glues, water colours, ink (where it supplies a gloss), it is a binding agent in paper making, a culture medium in laboratories etc

Known Hazards : Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.

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/Astragalus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+exscapus

The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Left Ear

If you’re thinking of asking your beloved to marry you, make sure that you utter your declaration of love into his or her left ear. New research suggests that declarations of love, jokes, or words of anger are best remembered when they are heard through the left ear. Instructions, directions and non-emotional messages, on the other hand, have more impact on the right side.

It has to do with how your brain processes information. Although the left and right hemispheres of the brain are similar structures, they have specialized functions. The left side is more logic-based and dominant, while the right is the more imaginative side.

Since the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and vice-versa the left ear has been shown in some research to be the route to the emotional side of the brain, and the right ear to the non-emotional, logical side.

The right eye has also been shown to be best for processing colors, and the right foot is the most vulnerable to tickling. The left cheek is the more favorable one to kiss, and the left side is the favored one for holding babies. Support for the idea comes from a number of psychological and brain scanning studies, and from research based on patients with brain injuries.

Test a Friend :-

Watch the direction of a friend’s gaze when you ask him or her these questions

1. Name a county that borders Cornwall.

2. Name three synonyms for “walking”.

3. What direction does the Queen face on a two pence piece?

4. Name three synonyms for “intelligence”.

Most people will look to the right when thinking about language-related questions (the even- numbered questions) and look to the left when thinking about the spatial questions (the odd- numbered questions). These eye movements are thought to be a consequence of the two sides of our brains processing different information.

Sources:The Times Online