Tag Archives: Great Plains

Osmunda claytoniana

 

Botanical Name :Osmunda claytoniana
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section: Claytosmunda
Species: O. claytoniana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda interrupta.

Common Name : Interrupted Fern

Habitat : Osmunda claytoniana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. Eastern N. America. It grows on wet places in C. Japan. Open slopes, rarely in forests, 2800 – 3300 metres in Kashmir.

In eastern North America it occurs in: the Great Lakes region; eastern Canada – in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (north to tree line); and east to Newfoundland; eastern United States – upper New England south through the Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic seaboard, into the Southeastern United States in Georgia and Alabama; and west across the Southern United States to Mississippi River, and back up the Mississippi embayment through the Midwestern United States to the Great Lakes.
Description:
Osmunda claytoniana is a fern. It’s fronds are bipinnate, 40–100 cm (16–39 in) tall and 20–30 cm (8–12 in) broad, the blade formed of alternate segments forming an arching blade tightening to a pointed end. The lower end is also slightly thinner than the rest of the frond because the first segments are shorter. Three to seven short, cinnamon-colored fertile segments are inserted in the middle of the length, giving the plant its name.

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In their absence, the plant in all its stages appears similar to Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern). The base of the segments distinguishes the two species: where O. cinnamomeum has typical felt-like hairs, the few hairs present on O. claytoniana are extremely short, usually requiring a magnifying glass to see well.

Like other species in the family Osmundaceae, it grows a very large rhizome, with persistent stipe bases from previous years. It forms small, dense colonies, spreading locally through its rhizome, and often forming fairy rings
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Requires a shady position. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots.

Edible Uses:
The young fronds are eaten. Cooked as a vegetable. The centre of the clump, below ground level, is the source of a small edible pith called ‘fernbutter’

Unlike those of the ostrich fern, the interrupted fern’s fiddleheads are not readily edible, due to their bitter taste and a tendency to cause diarrhea. The base of the stipe and very young buds are edible. Overuse may kill the crown.
Medicinal Uses: The roots are used as an adulterant for Dryopteris felix-mas in the treatment of internal worms.Resources The Iroquois used the plant as treatment for blood disorders and venereal diseases.

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/Osmunda_claytoniana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+claytoniana

Asarum canadense

Botanical Name: : Asarum canadense
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. canadense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Canada Snakeroot. Indian Ginger. Coltsfoot.

Common Names: Canada wild ginger, Wild ginger,  Canadian snakeroot and Broad-leaved asarabaccais

Habitat: Asarum canadense is native to deciduous forest in eastern North America, from the Great Plains east to the Atlantic Coast, and from southeastern Canada south to approximately the fall line in the southeastern United States. It grows on  moist rich soils in woodlands, usually on calcareous soils.  Understorey of deciduous (rarely coniferous) forests from sea level to 1300 metres.

Description:
An inconspicuous but fragrant little plant, not over 12 inches high, found growing in rich soil on roadsides and in woods. A stemless perennial, much resembling the European Asarum, but with larger leaves, provided with a short spine, leaves usually only two, kidney-shaped, borne on thin fine hairy stems, dark above and paler green under-surface, 4 to 8 inches broad, strongly veined. A solitary bell-shaped flower, dull brown or brownish purple, drooping between the two leaf stems, woolly, the inside darker than the outside and of a satiny texture, the fruit a leathery six-celled capsule. It has a yellowish creeping rootstock, slightly jointed, with thin rootlets from the joints. In commerce the rootstock is found in pieces 4 to 5 inches long, 1/8 inch thick, irregular quadrangular, brownish end wrinkled outside, whitish inside, showing a large centre pith hard and brittle, breaking with a short fracture. Odour fragrant, taste aromatic, spicy and slightly bitter–it is collected in the autumn…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are found on alkaline soils in the wild. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Edible Uses: Condiment.
The underground stem and the flowers are used as a ginger substitute. The root, especially when quite dry, has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. The root is best harvested in autumn but is available all year round. It can be dried for later use.

Constituents: A volatile oil once largely used in perfumery, also resin, a bitter principle called asarin, mucilage, alkaloid, sugar and a substance like camphor.

The plant yields its properties to alcohol and to hot water.

Medicinal Uses:

The long rhizomes of A. canadense were used by Native Americans as a seasoning. It has similar aromatic properties to true ginger (Zingiber officinale), but should not be used as a substitute because it contains an unknown concentration of the carcinogen aristolochic acid and asarone. The distillate from the ground root is known as Canadian snakeroot oil. The odor and flavor are spicy. It has been used in many flavor preparations.

Native Americans used the plant as a medicinal herb to treat a number of ailments including dysentery, digestive problems, swollen breasts, coughs and colds, typhus, scarlet fever, nerves, sore throats, cramps, heaves, earaches, headaches, convulsions, asthma, tuberculosis, urinary disorders and venereal disease. In addition, they also used it as a stimulant, an appetite enhancer and a charm. It was also used as an admixture to strengthen other herbal preparations.

Known Hazards: The leaves are poisonous. Handling the leaves is said to cause dermatitis in some people.

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/Asarum_canadense
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/ginwil14.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+canadense

Compass Plant.

Botanical Name : Silphium laciniatum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Silphium
Species: S. laciniatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Compass Plant. Compass-weed. Polar Plant.

Common Names :compass plant or compassplant.  prairie compass plant, Pilotweed, polarplant,Gum weed, Cut-leaf silphium, and Turpentine plant.

Habitat;  It is native to North America, where it occurs in Ontario in Canada and the eastern and central United States as far west as New Mexico. Western United States, especially Ohio.It grows well on moist soil.

Description:
Silphium laciniatum is a  perennial flowering plant. This plant is a taprooted herb producing rough-haired stems usually one to three meters tall. The leaves are variable in shape and size, being 4 to 60 centimeters long and one to 30 centimeters wide. The are hairy, smooth-edged or toothed, and borne on petioles or not.Blooming time is late summer to early fall and colour of the flowers are bright yellow. The back of the flower head has layers of rough, glandular phyllaries. The head contains 27 to 38 yellow ray florets and many yellow disc florets. The fruit is a cypsela which can be almost 2 centimeters long and is tipped with a pappus of two short awns.

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The common name compass plant was inspired by the “compass orientation” of its leaves. The large leaves are held vertically with the tips pointing north or south and the upper and lower surfaces of the blades facing east or west. A newly emerging leaf grows in a random direction, but within two or three weeks it twists on its petiole clockwise or counterclockwise into a vertical position. Studies indicate that the sun’s position in the early morning hours influences the twisting orientation. This orientation reduces the amount of solar radiation hitting the leaf surface. Vertical leaves facing east-west have higher water use efficiency than horizontal or north-south-facing blades.

Early settlers on the Great Plains could make their way in the dark by feeling of the leaves.

Cultivation: 
The plant is cultivated in gardens  in any ordinary garden soil. Prefers a deep moisture retentive moderately fertile soil that is not too nitrogen rich, in sun or dappled shade. Prefers a shady position. A very ornamental plant. Leaves of young plants tip vertically and align themselves north to south to minimise exposure to the midday sun[200]. Plants have a deep and extensive root system which makes transplanting difficult.

Propagation:   
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. This is very difficult due to the deep and extensive root system.

Edible Uses:
A resin exudes naturally from the plant, and can also be obtained by incision. It is an inexpensive substitute for mastic and is used as a chewing gum to sweeten the breath. It forms on the upper part of the flowering stem.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used : Root
Diuretic;  Emetic;  Expectorant;  Tonic;  Vermifuge.

The resin obtained from the plant is diuretic. It imparts a strong aromatic odour to urine. A tea made from the roots is vermifuge and a tonic for general debility. It is used as an expectorant in coughs and other pulmonary ailments. A decoction of the smaller roots has been used as an emetic. A tea made from the leaves is emetic, it has also been used in the treatment of coughs, lung ailments and asthma.

Both Rosin-weed and Compass-weed ate said to be emetic in decoction, and to have effected cures in intermittent fevers, and to have cured the heaves in horses. They are beneficial in dry, obstinate coughs, asthmatic affections, and pulmonary catarrhal diseases. A strong infusion or extract is said to be one of the best remedies for the removal of ague cake, or enlarged spleen, and for internal bruises, liver affections, and ulcers

Other Uses: The Pawnee made a tisane with it. Many groups burned the dried root as a charm during lightning.

Known Hazards : There is a report that the plant might be toxic.

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/Silphium_laciniatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silphium+laciniatum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/rosinw19.html

Sphaeralcea coccinea

Botanical Name : Sphaeralcea coccinea
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Genus: Sphaeralcea
Species: S. coccinea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Malvastrum coccineum

Common Names; Scarlet Globemallow, Alkali Heath, red false globemallow, copper mallow

Habitat : Sphaeralcea coccinea is native to grasslands and prairies of the Great Plains and western regions of northern North America.

Description;
Sphaeralcea coccinea is a perennial plant growing 10–30 cm tall from spreading rhizomes with a low habit. They have grayish stems with dense, star-shaped hairs and alternately arranged leaves. The leaf blades are 2–5 cm long, palmately shaped, and deeply cut, with 3–5 main wedge-shaped segments. The undersides of the leaves have gray hairs. The 2-cm-wide flowers are reddish-orange and saucer-shaped, with 5 notched, broad petals, in small terminal clusters. Plants flower from May to October.Fruits are cheese-shaped capsules composed of 10 or  more 1-seeded carpels. Each carpel about 3 mm long, densely hairy on the back, net-veined on about 90% of the sides.

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Medicinal Uses:
This plant’s Navajo name came from the sticky mixture that occurs when the roots and leaves are pounded and soaked in water.  The resulting sticky infusion is put on sores to stop bleeding and is used as a lotion for skin disease.  The dried powdered plant is used as dusting powder.  It is one of the life medicines and is used as a tonic to improve the appetite, and to cure colds, coughs and flu.  The roots were used to stop bleeding, and they were also chewed to reduce hunger when food was scarce. The leaves are slimy and mucilaginous when crushed, and they were chewed or mashed and used as poultices or plasters on inflamed skin, sores, wounds and sore or blistered feet. Leaves were also used in lotions to relieve skin diseases, or they were dried, ground and dusted on sores.  Fresh leaves and flowers were chewed to relieve hoarse or sore throats and upset stomachs. Whole plants were used to make a sweet-tasting tea that made distasteful medicines more palatable. It was also said to reduce swellings, improve appetite, relieve upset stomachs, and strengthen voices. The Dakota heyoka chewed the plants to a paste and rubbed it on their skin as protection from scalding.  The tea is very effective for a raspy, dry, sore throat; and, like its relative Malva, it will soothe the urinary tract when urination is painful.  The tea is used for bathing infants to prevent or retard thrush, and to soothe chafing.  It is soothing to almost any skin rash in adults and children.  Strong decoction, 4-6 fluid ounces up to 4 times a day for internal use, as needed externally.

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/Sphaeralcea_coccinea
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/sphaer_cocc.htm
http://www.conps.org/slide%20shows/foothills%20wildflowers%20in%20the%20metro-denver%20chapter%20area/pages/sphaeralcea%20coccinea.htm
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SPCO
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/sphcoc/all.html

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Artemisia frigida

 Botanical Name : Artemisia frigida
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. frigida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names : Fringed Wormwood,  Fringed sagebrush, Prairie sagewort, and Pasture sage

Habitat ; Artemisia frigida is native to Europe, Asia, and much of North America, in Canada and the western United States. In parts of the north-central eastern United States it is an introduced species. It grows on dry prairies, plains and rocks to 3300 metres in N. America.

Description:
Artemisia frigida is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen, perennial herb but with a woody base. The stems spread out, generally forming a mat or clump up to 40 centimetres (1.3 ft) tall. The stems are covered in lobed gray-green leaves which are coated in silvery hairs. The inflorescence contains many spherical flower heads each about half a centimeter wide and lined with woolly-haired, gray-green or brownish phyllaries. The flower heads contain several pistillate ray florets and many bisexual disc florets. The plant is aromatic, with a strong scent. The fruit are rather inconspicuous. This plant can make a great many seeds.It can also spread by layering; in some years it produces very few seeds.
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This plant is common and dominant or codominant in many areas, especially in dry and disturbed habitat types. It is common in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains in North America, where it occurs in grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands, among others. It has a tendency to increase in areas that have been heavily grazed by livestock. Overgrowth of the plant is sometimes an indicator of overgrazing on rangeland. It sometimes becomes an aggressive weed. Ranchers have considered the plant to be both an adequate forage species and a worthless nuisance species.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A very ornamental plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When 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 in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses: The leaves are used by the Hopi Indians as a flavouring for sweet corn.

Medicinal Uses;
First introduced as a substitute for quinine.  Used to combat indigestion by chewing leaves.  The leaves are used in the treatment of women’s complaints. The plant contains camphor, which is stimulant and antispasmodic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of biliousness, indigestion, coughs and colds while the leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed to treat heartburn. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used as a poultice to reduce swellings and the leaves are also placed in the nose to stop nosebleeds. A hot poultice of the leaves has been used to treat toothache. The leaves can be used as a sanitary towel to help reduce skin irritation. They are also drunk as a tea when the woman is menstruating or to treat irregular menstruation. The dried leaves are burnt in a room as a disinfectant. A decoction of the root is used as a stimulant and tonic.

Other Uses:
A number of wild animals consume the plant, including white-tailed jackrabbits and sage grouse.

This sagebrush had a variety of uses for Native American groups. It was used medicinally for coughs, colds, wounds, and heartburn by the Blackfoot. The Cree people used it for headache and fever and the Tewa people took it for gastritis and indigestion. It also had ceremonial and veterinary applications, including for the Blackfoot, who reportedly used the crushed leaves to “revive gophers after children clubbed them while playing a game”.

This plant is also used in landscaping and for erosion control and revegetation of rangeland. It is drought-resistant.

Both the growing and the dried plant can be used as an insect repellent. The leaves can be placed on a camp fire to repel mosquitoes. The aromatic leaves have been used in pillows etc as a deodorant. Bunches of the soft leaves have been used as towels, toilet paper etc. A green dye is obtained from the leaves.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

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

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFR4

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+frigida

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