Tag Archives: Great Britain

Galanthus nivalis

Botanical Name : Galanthus nivalis
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus:     Galanthus
Species: G. nivalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade:     Angiosperms
Clade:     Monocots
Order:     Asparagales

Synonyms:  Fair Maid of February. Bulbous Violet.

Common Name: Snowdrop or Common snowdrop

Habitat :Galanthus nivalis native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to Ukraine. It is native to Albania, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It  is now widely grown in gardens, particularly in northern Europe, and is widely naturalised in woodlands in the regions where it is grown. It is considered naturalised in Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and parts of North America (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Massachusetts, Alabama, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Washington State, New York State, Michigan, Utah, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina).

Although often thought of as a British native wild flower, or to have been brought to the British Isles by the Romans, it is now thought that it was probably introduced much later, perhaps around the early sixteenth century.

Description:
Galanthus nivalis  are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs. It grows to around 7–15 cm tall, flowering between January and April in the northern temperate zone (January–May in the wild). Each bulb generally produces two linear, or very narrowly lanceolate, greyish-green leaves and an erect, leafless scape (flowering stalk), which bears at the top a pair of bract-like spathe valves joined by a papery membrane. From between them emerges a solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped white flower, held on a slender pedicel.
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The flower consists of six tepals, also referred to as segments. The outer three are larger and more convex than the inner ones. The inner flower segments are usually marked on their outer surface with a green, or greenish-yellow, V or U-shaped mark (sometimes described as “bridge-shaped”) over the small “sinus” (notch) at the tip of each tepal. The inner surface has a faint green mark covering all or most of it. Occasionally plants are found with green markings on the outer surface of the outer tepals.

Galanthus nivalis herbs reach their blooming peak between January and April in northern, temperate climates. After that, their flowers mature into fruits which ripen as three-celled capsules enclosing whitish seeds that contain substances appreciated by ants (who are also the ones responsible for the seed distribution).

The six long, pointed anthers open by pores or short slits. The ovary is three-celled, ripening into a three-celled capsule. Each whitish seed has a small, fleshy tail (the elaiosome) containing substances attractive to ants which distribute the seeds. The leaves die back a few weeks after the flowers have faded.

Galanthus nivalis  is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus, Galanthus. Snowdrops are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalised. They should not be confused with snowflakes (Leucojum and Acis.)

Medicinal Uses:
Galanthus nivalis content of galathamine is mostly responsible for its therapeutic action, very much appreciated in the treatment of traumatic injuries of the nervous system. It cannot cure Alzheimer disease, but it can at least prevent it or slow down its evolution. Being a strong inhibitor of cholinesterase, this alkaloid is also part of chemically-produced drugs used in anesthetics, but also in post-surgery treatment of myasthenia, myopathy, or atonia occuring either in the gastro-intestinal tract or in the bladder.

Since the alkaloid spectrum contained in Galanthus nivalis is considerably large, their medicinal effects also vary a lot: some of them are virostatic, or respiratory analeptics, while others are effective tumor-inhibitors. Galanthus nivalis homeopathic derivates are also emmenagogues, meaning that they stimulate the blood flow in the pelvic area, thus increasing the menstrual flow and possibly inducing abortion in early stages of the preganncy.

Lectin (or agglutinin) is currently being studied for its likely action against HIV (human immunodefficiency virus). Other medicinal uses of the plant have reportedly treated symptoms of polyneuropathy, neuritis, myelitis, thrombosis, thromboembolism, and spine injuries

Known Hazards:  This plant is no longer used as such in therapies, due to its relatively high levels of toxicity. Only chemically-extracted substances are used in standard medication, to avoid the occurence of adverse reactions such as digestive tissue irritation and stomach pain. Oral ingestion of parts of Galanthus nivalis reportedly leads to poisoning, manifested through diarrhea, colic, vomiting, and nausea.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/snowdr59.html
http://www.liveandfeel.com/articles/galanthus-nivalis-improves-memory-and-has-many-other-health-benefits-3335
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus_nivalis

Laserpitum latifolia

Botanical Name:Laserpitum latifolia
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Laserpitium
Species: L. latifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonym: White Gentian.

Common Name :Bastard lovage,Broad-leaved sermountain

Vernacular Names :Deutsch: Breitblättriges Laserkraut · français: Laser à feuilles larges · lietuvi?: Pla?ialapis begalis · polski: Okrzyn szerokolistny · svenska: Spenört ·

Habitat: Laserpitum latifolia is widespread in most of Europe except Albania, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal. It has been introduced in Belgium.It grows in mountain dry forests, on grassy slopes, on the sunny edges of woods or in meadows. It prefers calcareous soils and a nutrient-rich substrate, at an altitude of 400–2,100 metres (1,300–6,900 ft) above sea level.

Description:
Laserpitum latifolia is an herbaceous perennial plant. It reaches on average 50–150 centimetres (20–59 in) of height. The inflorescence has a diameter of 10–15 centimetres (3.9–5.9 in). The stem is green-grayish, round, erect and lightly grooved, branched on the top. Leaves are quite large, biternate and petiolated, with a prominent central rib. Leaflets are ovate or heart-shaped and toothed. Size of leaves: 3-10 cm long, 2-6 cm wide. Flowers are white, clustered in unbrels of 25-40 rays. The diameter of umbels reach 20–30 centimetres (7.9–11.8 in). The flowering season is from May to August. Fruits are oblong and flattened, 5–10 mm 5–10 millimetres (0.20–0.39 in) long. CLICK & SEE
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Edible Uses: Condiment.

Root – used as a flavouring. It was used by the Romans with cumin in order to season preserved artichokes. A decoction of the seeds is used in beer.

Medicinal Uses:

Stomachic, tonic

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lovbas43.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laserpitium_latifolium
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Laserpitium_latifolium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Laserpitium+latifolium

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Teucrium scorodonia

Botanical Name :Teucrium scorodonia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Teucrium
Species: T. scorodonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Wood Sage. Large-leaved Germander. Hind Heal. Ambroise. Garlic Sage.

Common Name: wood sage or woodland germander

Habitat: Teucrium scorodonia is  native of Europe and Morocco, found in woody and hilly situations among bushes and under hedges, where the soil is dry and stony. It is frequent in such places in most parts of Great Britain.

Description;
Teucrium scorodonia is a perennial and creeping herb. It reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) of height. It is a hairy shrub with erect and branched stems. The leaves are petiolate, irregularly toothed, triangular-ovate to oblong shaped, lightly wrinkled. The inflorescence is composed by one-sided (all flowers “look” at the same side) pale green or yellowish flowers bearing four stamens with reddish or violet filaments. These flowers grow in the axils of the upper leaves and are hermaphrodite, tomentose and bilabiate but lack an upper lip, as all Teucrium ones. The flowering period extends from June through August. These plants are mainly pollinated by Hymenoptera species.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The whole plant is softly hairy or pubescent. The small labiate flowers are in onesided spike-like clusters, the corollas greenish-yellow in colour, with four stamens, which have yellow anthers, and very noticeable purple and hairy filaments. The terminal flowering spike is about as long again as those that spring laterally below it from the axils of the uppermost pair of leaves.

Cultivation: Teucrium scorodonia is generally collected in the wild state, but will thrive in any moderately good soil, and in almost any situation.

It may be increased by seeds, by cuttings, inserted in sandy soil, under a glass, in spring and summer; or by division of roots in the autumn.

Edible Uses: Condiment……..The plant resembles hops in taste and flavour. An infusion of the leaves and flowers is used as a hop substitute for flavouring beer in some areas. It is said to clear the beer more quickly than hops, but imparts too much colour to the brew

Parts Uses:The whole herb, collected in July.

Constituents: A volatile oil, some tannin and a bitter principle.
Medicinal Uses:
Alterative; Appetizer; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Skin; Tonic; Vulnerary.

The herb is alterative, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, tonic and vulnerary. It is harvested in July and can be dried for later use. The herb is often used in domestic herbal practice in the treatment of skin afflictions, diseases of the blood, fevers, colds etc. It is an appetizer of the first order and is equal to gentian root as a tonic.
Teucrium scorodonia or wood sage may be used for all infections of the upper respiratory tract, especially for colds and influenza. It may be used as a diaphoretic in all fevers. It can prove beneficial in some cases of rheumatism. There is a marked stimulation of gastric juices, thereby aiding digestion and relieving flatulent indigestion. It’s equal to gentian root as a bitter tonic. Externally wood sage will speed the healing of wounds, boils and abscesses.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gersag10.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teucrium_scorodonia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Teucrium+scorodonia

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Rampion bellflower

Botanical Name : Campanula rapunculus
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Campanula
Species: C. rapunculus
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Campanula elatior Hoffmanns. & Link
*Campanula lusitanica f. bracteosa (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica f. racemoso-paniculata (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica f. verruculosa (Hoffmanns. & Link) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica var. cymoso-spicata (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica auct.
*Campanula verruculosa Hoffmanns. & Link

Common Names : Rampion bellflower, rampion, or rover bellflower

Habitat :Rampion bellflower is found wild in England, on gravelly roadsides and hedgebanks and in open pastures, from Stafford southwards, but it is uncertain whether it should be held as a true native in the localities in southern England, where it is now established.  This species prefers limestone soils and grows in dry meadows, cultivated beds, forests of oaks and pine trees, along roadsides and lane, at an altitude of 0–1,500 metres (0–4,900 ft) above sea level.

This plantis present in western Asia, northern Africa and in most of Europe, except Iceland, Ireland and Norway. It has been introduced in Denmark, southern Sweden and Great Britain

Description:
Rampion bellflower is a biennial (but can be made perennial) herbaceous plant reaches on average 40–80 centimetres (16–31 in) of height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in) . The stem is erect, lightly hairy, branched on the top. The basal leaves are petiolated, ovate, slightly toothed and arranged in a rosette, while the upper leaves are sessile and narrow lanceolate. The hermaphrodite flowers are clustered in a racemose inflorescence, with a bell-shaped, light blue or violet corolla, about two centimeters long. They are arranged along the stem in a fairly narrow one-sided facing cluster. The flowering period extends from May through September. The fruit is a dehiscent capsule in the form of inverted cone with many seeds. The thick root looks like a small turnip and it is edible.

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The leaves are variable, 1 to 3 inches long, the radical leaves oblong or ovate, on long stalks and slightly crenate, the stem-leaves narrow and mostly entire, or obscurely toothed. The flowers, which bloom in July and August, are about 3/4 inch long, reddish purple, blue or white, on short peduncles, forming long, simple or slightly branched panicles. The corolla is divided to about the middle into five lanceolate segments. The capsule is short and erect, opening in small lateral clefts, close under the narrow linear segments of the calyx.

Drayton names it among the vegetables and pot-herbs of the kitchen garden, in his poem Polyolbion, and there is a reference to it in the slang of Falstaff, showing how generally it was in cultivation in this country in Shakespeare’s time.

There is an Italian tradition that the possession of a rampion excites quarrels among children. The plant figures in one of Grimm’s tales, the heroine, Rapunzel, being named after it, and the whole plot is woven around the theft of rampions from a magician’s garden. In an old Calabrian tale, a maiden, uprooting a rampion in a field, discovers a staircase that leads to a palace far down in the depths of the earth.

Cultivation:
Rampion is easily cultivated and will flourish in ordinary good soil, though a moist, sandy soil suits it best.

Seeds should be sown in shallow drills, a foot apart, in May, and thinned out to 5 or 6 inches in the rows. The young plants should be moderately watered at first.

If grown for culinary use, it must not be allowed to flower, and the roots should be earthed up several inches on each side in order to blanch them. They are fit for use in November, and should be lifted then and stored in a frost-proof place.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Gerard tells us: ‘Some affirme that the decoction of the roots are good for all inflammation of the mouth and almonds of the throte and other diseases happening in the mouth and throte, as the other Throte warts.’

An old writer states that the distilled water of the whole plant is excellent for the complexion and ‘maketh the face very splendent.’

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/rampio03.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanula_rapunculus

Stratiotes aloides

 

Botanical Name : Stratiotes aloides
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Stratiotes
Species: S. aloides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms: S. aculeatus; S. aquaticus; S. ensiformis; S. generalis

Common Names: Water Soldier / Water Pineapple

Habitat :Stratiotes aloides is native to Europe, this plant can be found growing in ponds, slow moving water, and lakes, especially in within areas of Great Britain.   found in Europe and NW Asia.  In Britain it was once common in East Anglia and still is in many places, particularly wet ditches and healthy ponds.

Description:
Stratiotes aloides is a naturally floating plant that sinks during the Fall and Winter months in the wild. During the summer, as water temperatures rise, this plant will float to the top with dark green leaves and white flowers  just emerging from the water.  The leaves are approximately 1 inch (0.5 cm) wide, and can extend up to 9 inches (4 cm) long.  From the above, the leaves bloom out in a spikey formation, similar to a Pineapple.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
In aquariums, Stratiotes aloides will usually stay submerged due to the warmer tank conditions.  The foliage will take on a bright green coloration, and its long leaves emerge in a rosette form that will flow gently in the current.
It is a moderate demanding plant that requires bright light and regular water column fertilization in order to thrive. It prefers soft water, but can grow in slightly harder water.

Once established the plant will develop small little plantlets from the center of its rosette. These young plants can be split away from the parent plant to propagate the species.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb has had a high reputation for treating wounds, especially when these are made by an iron implement. It is applied externally. The plant is also said to be of use in the treatment of St. Anthony’s Fire and also of bruised kidneys.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratiotes_aloides
http://www.aquascapingworld.com/plantpedia/full_view_plant.php?item_id=56&plant=Water%20Solider
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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