Tag Archives: Global Change Biology

Potentilla erecta

Botanical Name: Potentilla erecta
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Potentilla
Species: P. erecta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Tormentilla erecta, Potentilla laeta, Potentilla tormentilla

Common Names: Tormentil, Erect cinquefoil, Rough-Fruited Cinquefoil, Erect cinquefoil

Habitat :Potentilla erecta is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa, W. Asia, Siberia. It grows on grassland, heath, bog, fens, mountain tops and open woods, especially in light acid soils.

Description:
Potentilla erecta is a low, clump-forming perennial plant with slender, procumbent to arcuately upright stalks, growing 10–30 centimetres (3.9–11.8 in) tall and with non-rooting runners. It grows wild predominantly in Scandinavia, Europe, and western Asia mostly on acid soils in a wide variety of habitats, such as mountains, heaths, meadows, sandy soils and dunes.

This plant is flowering from May to August/September. There is one yellow, 7–11 millimetres (0.28–0.43 in) wide flower, growing at the tip of a long stalk. There are almost always four notched petals, each with a length between 3 and 6 mm. Four petals are rather uncommon in the rose family. The petals are somewhat longer than the sepals. There are 20–25 stamens.

The radical leaves have a long petiole, while the leaves on the flowering stalks are usually sessile or with short petioles. The glossy leaves are alternate, ternate, consisting of three obovate leaflets with serrate margins. The paired stipules are leaflike and palmately lobed.
There are 2–8 dry, inedible fruits.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers a light acid soil, disliking heavy and strongly calcareous soils. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. 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.

Edible Uses: Tea.
The roots are extremely rich in tannin, long boiling converts this into a gum and it can then be eaten. An emergency food, it is only eaten when all else fails. A tea is made from the rhizomes.

Medicinal Uses:

Antibiotic; Antidiarrhoeal; Astringent; Enuresis; Haemostatic; Hypoglycaemic; Odontalgic.

Containing more tannin than oak bark, all parts of tormentil are strongly astringent, finding use wherever that action is required. This plant is considered to be one of the safest native astringents and it is widely used in herbal medicine in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, sore throats etc. The whole plant, and especially the root, is antibiotic, strongly astringent, haemostatic and hypoglycaemic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcerative colitis etc. Externally, the plant makes a good styptic for cuts etc., and a strongly made decoction has been recommended as a wash for mouth ulcers, infected gums, piles and inflamed eyes. Extracts are used to treat chapping of the anus and cracked nipples. The plant’s effectiveness as a toothache remedy is undeniable and it has also been of benefit in treating bed-wetting by children.
Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Dye; Tannin.

A red dye is obtained from the roots. The plant, and especially the root, is rich in tannin. It s used cosmetically as a compress to tone up flabby skin. The root contains up to 20% tannin.
Known Hazards : Gastrointestinal symptoms if doses over 1g. Interferes with iron absorption & other minerals when taken internally. Avoid if inflammatory or ulcerative bowel disease. Avoid if pregnant or lactating.

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/Potentilla_erecta
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Potentilla+erecta

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).
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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

Arnica cordifolia

Botanical Name: Arnica cordifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Arnica
Species: A. cordifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Arnica cordifolia Hook. var. cordifolia
*Arnica cordifolia Hook. var. pumila (Rydb.) Maguire

Common Name: Heartleaf arnica

Habitat :Arnica cordifolia is native to western North America from Alaska to California to New Mexico, as far east as Ontario and Michigan. It is a plant of many habitat types, including coniferous forests and mountain meadows.
Description:
This is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing one or more erect stems reaching a maximum height near half a meter. It has two to four pairs of leaves on the stem, each on a long petiole. The leaves are heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped and finely toothed along the edges. The inflorescence bears one or more daisylike flower heads lined with white-haired phyllaries and sometimes studded with resin glands. The center of each head contains golden yellow disc florets and a fringe of bright golden ray florets approaching 3 centimeters in maximum length. Blooms: April – July

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The fruit is a hairy achene up to a centimeter long, not counting its off-white pappus. Seeds are dispersed on the wind. An individual plant can live twelve years, surviving periodic wildfire by resprouting from its long, slender rhizome afterward.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist, well-drained humus rich soil, preferably lime-free. Prefers a mixture of sand, loam and peat.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and make sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring.
Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine, sternutatory and vulnerary. When applied intravenously or orally it causes a rise in body temperature. All parts of the plant may be used, but the flowers are used in preference to the root. They have a discutient property and a tincture is used as an external application to swellings, sprains, bruises and wounds. A salve applied to cuts helps to keep down infections.

Other Uses: This plant is used as a hair conditioner. No further details are available.

Known Hazards; The whole plant is toxic and should only be used for external applications to unbroken skin.

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/Arnica_cordifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arnica+cordifolia
http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php?Genus=Arnica&Species=cordifolia