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Herbs & Plants

Carya myristiciformis (Nutmeg Hickory)

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Botanical Name : Carya myristiciformis
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Carya
Species: C. myristiciformis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Name : Nutmeg Hickory (No racial varieties or hybrids have been reported for nutmeg hickory.), Swamp hickory or Bitter water hickory

Habitat: Carya myristiciformis is native to Southern United States and in northern Mexico. It grows on rich moist soils of higher bottom lands and stream banks.

Description:
Carya myristiciformis is a deciduous medium-sized tree with a tall, straight trunk and stout, slightly spreading branches that form a narrow and rather open crown. It can attain heights of 24 to 30 in (80 to 100 ft) and a diameter of 61 cm (24 in). Although the pecan hickories (which include nutmeg hickory) grow more rapidly than the true hickories, specific information on the growth rate of nutmeg hickory is lacking. The pecan hickories, in turn, grow more slowly than most other bottom-land hardwoods. The average 10-year diameter increase for hickories in natural, unmanaged stands in the northeast Louisiana delta was 4.3 cm (1.7 in) in the 15- to 30-cm (6- to 12-in) diameter class; 3.3 cm (1.3 in) in the 33- to 48-cm (13- to 19-in) diameter class; and 3.8 cm (1.5 in) in the 51- to 71-cm (20- to 28-in) diameter class.

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It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development. Slow growing. Trees are said to only be hardy to zone 9, but there is a good specimen growing outdoors at Kew which is in zone 7. Most species in this genus have quite a wide range of distribution and, in order to find trees more suited to this country, seed from the most appropriate provenances should be sought. Most trees growing in Britain at present tend to only produce good seed after hot summers. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place. Large seed crops are produced every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Plants are strongly tap-rooted and should be planted in their permanent positions as soon as possible. Sowing in situ would be the best method so long as the seed could be protected from mice. Trees are late coming into leaf (usually late May to June) and lose their leaves early in the autumn (usually in October). During this time they cast a heavy shade. These factors combine to make the trees eminently suitable for a mixed woodland planting with shrubs and other trees beneath them. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires a period of cold stratification. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be kept moist (but not wet) prior to sowing and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible. Where possible, sow 1 or 2 seeds only in each deep pot and thin to the best seedling. If you need to transplant the seedlings, then do this as soon as they are large enough to handle, once more using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Put the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in their first summer, and give them some protection from the cold for at least the first winter. Seed can also be sown in situ so long as protection is given from mice etc and the seed is given some protection from cold (a plastic bottle with the top and bottom removed and a wire mesh top fitted to keep the mice out
Edible Uses: .….Seed – raw or cooked. Sweet, but with a thick shell. The seed is up to 3cm in diameter. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months.

Medicinal Uses: No known medicinal uses are found in the internet
Other Uses: …..Fuel; Wood…….Wood – hard, very strong, tough, close grained. A good fuel, burning well with a lot of heat.

The nuts of nutmeg hickory are relished by squirrels, which begin cutting them while they are still green. Other rodents and wildlife also eat the nuts. The species is too rare over most of its range to be of major economic importance. The wood of this pecan hickory is slightly inferior in strength and toughness to that of the true or upland hickories, but owing to the small volumes involved and difficulty of distinguishing it from the true hickories, nutmeg hickory is not separated from them during logging.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carya_myristiciformis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Carya+myristiciformis

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Alocasia

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Botanical Name :Alocasia
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Colocasieae
Genus: Alocasia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Syn. : Arum Indicum, Roxb. Sans, Alocasia macorhiza (Linn);  Alocasia odora Koch; Colocasia macrorhiza Schott

Common Name :Makanda, Giant taro, Mankachu, Great-leaved Caledium, Alavu, mankanda, Genasoo, Marambu, Alu, Merukanlilangu, Chara kanda,Elephant Ear,Giant Elephant Ear

.Bengali name :Kochu
Parts used: Stems, leave, rhizomes.

Habitat :Native to Java and Malaysia, people there use alocasia (Esculenta, Taro) as important sources of starch, such as poi in the Hawaiian food tradition. It grows most places having worm climate.Grows  very well in India, Balgladesh and Sreelankha.

Description:
Alocasia is a genus of about 70 species .These rhizomatous or bulbous perennials occur in tropical humid climates of southeast Asia and a few other places. They are grown as ornamentals for their large heart-shaped or arrowhead-shaped leaves, sometimes called African Masks or Elephant’s Ears. These plants are variable in size, height, shape, and leaf color.
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The underground stems of Alocasia Indica constitute a valu-able and important vegetable of native dietary. The stems sometimes grow to an immense size, from six to eight feet in length and can be preserved for a considerable time. Hence they are of great importance in jail dietary when fresh vegetables become scarce in the bazar or jail garden. They thrive best in shade under the eaves of huts or buildings and beside fences.
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The stem (a corm) is edible, but contains raphid or raphide crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx resulting in difficult breathing, and sharp throat pain. The lower parts contain more of the poison. Prolonged boiling before serving or processing may reduce the risks but acidic fruit such as tamarind will dissolve them.

Constituents and properties:-
*Rhizomes contain phytosterols, alkaloids, glucose and fructose.
*Root tuber contains neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinally manaka is said to be useful in anasarca, in which disease it is used in the following manner. Take of the powdered meal of Alocasia Indica eight tolas, powdered rice sixteen tolas, water and milk, forty-eight tol?s each, boil them together till the water is evaporated. This preparation called Menamanda, is given as diet.1 No other article is allowed in addition to it except milk. A ghrita is also ordered to be made with a decoction and paste of menaka but it is not in vogue.

Folkloric
• Leaves and corms used for furuncles, impetigo and snake bites
• Ground petioles in near-decayed state are placed in cloth and heated in coals, used for toothaches.
• Decoction of rhizomes used for abdominal pains and vomiting.
• Acrid juice used for stings of giant nettles (Laportea).
• In Java, chopped roots and leaves applied to painful joints.
• In India, rhizomes are rubefacient; employed as external stimulant and for fevers.

Other Uses:
As Houseplants
Hybrids, such as the Amazon Lily or the African Mask (Alocasia x amazonica) are grown as popular ornamentals. Alocasia are distinctly exotic and tropical plants that are increasingly becoming popular in American and European homes as houseplants. They are typically grown as pot plants but a better way is to grow the plants permanently in the controlled conditions of a greenhouse. They do not do well in the dark and need good lighting if inside the house. They should be cared for as any other tropical plant with weekly cleaning of the leaves and frequent fine water misting without leaving the plants wet.

Unfortunately, they rarely survive cold winters, or the dryness of artificial heating, but an attempt to slowly acclimatize plants from the summer garden to the house can help . Once inside the watering period must be reduced and the plants should be protected from spider mites or red spider attack. Alternatively, let younger plants die back to the corm from when the temperature reaches 19 degrees and with some luck this could lead to a rebirth in spring.

Studies
• Antifungal / Anti-HIV1 Reverse Transcriptase: Alocasin, an anti-fungal protein was isolated from the rhizome of Alocasia macrorrhiza. and showed antifungal activity against Botrytis cineria. Alocasin also reduced the activity of HIV1 reverse transcriptase.
• Neurotoxicity / Sapotoxin: A case report of poisoning due to the raw root tuber of Chinese medicinal plant, A macrorrhiza, presenting with severe pain and numbness periorally, with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Root tuber is known to contain the neurotoxin, sapotoxin.
Anti-Tumor: In a study of the antitumor effect of water extract of Alocasia macrorrhiza, the inhibitory rate was 29.38% against S180 in mice and 51.72% against transplantable human gastroadenitis in nude mice.

Known Possible Hazards :
• Stinging Raphides: Stems, corms, leaves and petioles contain stinging raphides (calcium oxalate crystals) that are destroyed by boiling and roasting.
• Neurotoxicity: Case report possiblty caused by tuber root neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

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.

Resources:
http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/alocasia
http://mgonline.com/articles/alocasia.aspx
http://www.aroid.org/gallery/kozminski/Alocasia/
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.stuartxchange.org/Biga.html

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