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Herbs & Plants

Polemonium caeruleum

Botanical Name : Polemonium caeruleum
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Polemonium
Species: P. caeruleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Jacob’s-ladder or Greek valerian, Charity

Habitat : Polemonium caeruleum is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows on the margins of woods and swamps, by streams, especially on turf and usually in limestone hills.

Description:
Polemonium caeruleum is a hardy perennial flowering plant. The plant usually reaches a height from 45 to 60 centimeters (18 to 24 inches), but some occasionally will be taller than 90 centimeters (35 inches.) The spread of the plant is also 45 to 60 centimeters. It can grow in North American hardiness zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Dislikes damp or heavy soils, though it tolerates alkaline conditions. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species, there are several sub-species and many named forms. Plants are fairly short-lived in cultivation unless they are divided regularly and moved to fresh soil. They can self-sow to the point of nuisance, however and will also survive when growing in lush grass. Cats are strongly attracted by the smell of this plant and will frequently roll on it and injure it.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed is best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent and diaphoretic.It was first used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used the root to treat dysentery, toothaches and animal bites. The plant was also found in a few European pharmacies during the nineteenth century and was used as an antisyphilitic agent and to treat rabies. It was used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later used. Today, the plant is not usually used medically.

Other uses:
Polemonium caeruleum was voted the County flower of Derbyshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.

Today, the plant is usually used in potpourris and is boiled in olive oil to make black dyes and hair dressing, but it has few other significant uses.

Bees work the flowers for both pollen and nectar. Flowers of other species of Polemonium are also useful honey bee forage.
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/Polemonium_caeruleum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polemonium+caeruleum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Gentiana triflora

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Botanical Name : Gentiana triflora
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. triflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names : San hua long dan in Chinese, Clustered Gentian in English

Habitat : Gentiana triflora is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Siberia. It grows on grassy places, especially along roadsides, from sea level to the mountains.((to higher-elevation (600-1000 m) meadows and forests of China (Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol), Mongolia, Eastern Russia, Korea and Japan. )

Description:
Gentiana triflora is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).Several erect thick stems radiate from the crown of this rather magnificent plant. At the end of each sprouts a truss of large puckered blue trumpets. It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species requires a lime-free, peaty, moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.

Constituents: Gentian blue petals predominantly contain the unusually blue and stable anthocyanin gentiodelphin (delphinidin 3-O-glucosyl-5-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucosyl)-3?-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucoside))

Medicinal Uses:
Gentian roots contain some of the most bitter compounds known and make an excellent tonic for the digestive system, working especially on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. The root is antibacterial and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore throat, acute infection of the urinary system, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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/Gentiana_triflora
http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/592
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+triflora