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Herbs & Plants

Epilobium latifolium

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Botanical Name : Epilobium latifolium
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Chamerion
Species: C. latifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:  Chamaenerion latifolium. (L.)T.Fries.&Lance.

Common Names:Dwarf Fireweed and River Beauty Willowherb

Habitat: Epilobium latifolium  has a circumboreal distribution, appearing throughout the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including subarctic and Arctic areas such as snowmelt-flooded gravel bars and talus, in a wide range of elevations.It grows on the river gravels, margins of streams and damp slopes

Description:
Epilobium latifolium  is a perennial herb growing in clumps of leaves variable in size, shape, and texture above a woody caudex. The leaves are 1 to 10 centimeters long, lance-shaped to oval, pointed or rounded at the tips, and hairy to hairless and waxy. The inflorescence is a rough-haired raceme of nodding flowers with bright to deep pink, and occasionally white, petals up to 3 centimeters long. Behind the opened petals are pointed sepals. The fruit is an elongated capsule which may exceed 10 centimeters in length.

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Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils. The roots are somewhat spreading and the plant can become invasive.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
This arctic plant provides valuable nutrition for the Inuit, who eat the leaves raw, boiled with fat, or steeped in water for tea, the flowers and fruits raw, and as a salad with meals of seal and walrus blubber. Every part of this plant is edible, tasting much like spinach, and is also known in the Canadian tundra as River Beauty. It is the national flower of Greenland, where it is known by the Greenlandic name niviarsiaq, which means “little girl”.

Young shoots – cooked. Used like asparagus. Very poor quality. Young leaves – raw. They become bitter with age. A good source of vitamins A and C. Flower stalks – raw or cooked. Eaten when the flowers are in bud. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. The core of mature stems is eaten raw. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasant tasting. Very fiddly though.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples

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/Dwarf_Fireweed
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://chestofbooks.com/flora-plants/flowers/North-American-Mountains/Great-Willow-Herb-Epilobium-angustifolium-Evening-Primrose-Family.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+latifolium

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Herbs & Plants

Rubus caesius

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Botanical Name : Rubus caesius
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Subgenus: Rubus (formerly Eubatus)
Order: Rosales

Common Name: Dewberry, European dewberry

Habitat :Rubus caesius  is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Siberia and W. Asia. It grows on  hedgerows, amongst shrubs and in rough dry meadowland, usually on basic soils.

Description:

Rubus caesius is a deciduous Shrub growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).  It is a small trailing (rather than upright or high-arching) brambles with berries reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red.Sometimesit is considered  as a nuisance weed.
click & see the pictures
Around March and April, the plants start to grow white flowers that develop into small green berries. The tiny green berries grow red and then a deep purple-blue as they ripen. When the berries are ripe, they are tender and difficult to pick in any quantity without squashing them. The plants do not have upright canes like some other Rubus species, but have stems that trail along the ground, putting forth new roots along the length of the stem. The stems are covered with fine spines or stickers. The berries are sweet and, for many, are worth the scratches and stains that come from picking them.

In the winter the leaves often remain on the stems, but may turn dark red. The leaves are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including peach blossom moths.

The European dewberry, Rubus caesius, grows more upright like other brambles, but is frequently restricted to coastal communities, especially sand dune systems. Its fruits are a deep, almost black, purple and are coated with a thin layer or ‘dew’ of waxy droplets. Thus, they appear sky-blue (caesius is Latin for pale blue). It is less sought after, because its fruits are small and retain a markedly tart taste even when fully ripe.

Cultivation :
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds on chalky soils. This species is a blackberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn.

Edible Uses:The leaves can be used for a tea, and the berries are sweet and edible.
Fruit –  is   eaten raw or cooked. Succulent but not very tasty. A delicious flavour, it is considered to be superior to blackcurrants though the fruit is rather small and consists of just a few drupes. The fruit can be used for making jellies, preserves etc.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is commonly used for a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. Combination of the roots is treatment for coughs and also fevers.

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/Dewberry
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/m1/Podarki7/Rubus_caesius67MikMak.jpg

http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/ancient/wild-food-entry.php?term=Dewberry

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