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Herbs & Plants

Amelanchier confusa

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Botanical Name : Amelanchier confusa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species:A. canadensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Amelanchier canadensis auct., Amelanchier grandiflora auct.

Common Names: Service berry, Shadblow, Shadbush, Sugarplum, Shad

Habitat:Amelanchier confusa is native to Europe – S. Sweden. This species is only known from plants naturalised in Sweden, its origin is uncertain.

Description:
Amelanchier confusa is a deciduous woody perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). It has smooth, ovate leaves which are irregularly serrated. The autumn colour is inconspicuous.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid or neutral soil. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. A suckering plant, the suckers are formed very close to the original stem so the plant forms a gradually expanding clump. Plants growing at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire were 4 metres tall in early April 1999, they were suckering quite freely in a tight clump and flowering very freely. This species is closely related to A. laevis. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing.
Propagation:
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
The fruit is  edible both raw and cooked. It is 7 – 9mm in diameter. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.

Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.
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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amelanchier+confusa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier_canadensis
https://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/plants/1105
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/plants/amelanchier/confusa.html

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Herbs & Plants

Arabis caucasica

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Name : Arabis caucasica
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species:A. caucasica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms : A. albida.

Common Names: Rock Cress, Wall Rockcress, Garden arabis, Mountain rock cress or Caucasian rockcress.

Habitat : Arabis caucasica is native to S.E. Europe – Mediterranean. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on the mountain rocks and dry sites.

Description:
Arabis caucasica is an evergreen perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in leaf 12-Jan and in flower from Jan to May, and the seeds ripen from Apr to June. It has white hermaphrodite flowers, pollinated by bees.

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Cultivation:
Easily grown in ordinary well-drained soil. Prefers a poor soil. Succeeds in partial shade though it tends to become straggly. Established plants are very tolerant of drought and grow very well on a dry bank, they also succeed when grown in walls. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to about -15°c, but can be rather invasive. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. A good butterfly and moth plant[30]. Bees are attracted to the flowers. Plants resent root disturbance and are best put in their final positions whilst still small. This species is closely related to A. alpina. Special Features: Attractive foliage.

Propagation:
Seed – it is best to surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division after flowering. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required. Cuttings in a shady border in summer.
Edible Uses:….The leaves are used as a garnish in much the same way as watercress. They are also sometimes used as a potherb.

Medicinal Uses: Could not find anywhere.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Ground cover, Rock garden.A good ground cover plant for sunny positions, forming a carpet

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/Arabis_caucasica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arabis+caucasica

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Herbs & Plants

Psidium cattleianum

Botanical Name: Psidium cattleianum
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Genus: Psidium
Species: P. cattleyanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms : Psidium cattleianum. Salisb. littorale (O. Berg) Fosb., Psidium littoraleRaddi

Common Names: Cattley guava, Strawberry guava or Cherry guava
The red-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. cattleyanum, is commonly known as red cattley guava, red strawberry guava and red cherry guava. The yellow-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. littorale is variously known as yellow cattley guava, yellow strawberry guava, yellow cherry guava, lemon guava and in Hawaii as waiaw?.

Habitat : Psidium cattleianum is native to Brazil where it is known as araçá (ara-SAH) and adjacent tropical South America, it is closely related to common guava . Now it is cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical areas worldwide for its fruit and as an ornamental. It has escaped cultivation and become a serious weed in various Indian and Pacific Ocean locations, and is considered the worst invasive plant species in Hawaii. The strawberry guava is similar in flavor and uses to guava (P. guajava), but is generally smaller (although considered to be more attractive). Other guava fruits that are commercially grown are the Costa Rican guava (P. friedrichsthalianum) and the Guinea guava (P. guineense).

Description:
Psidium cattleianum is a shrub or many-branched small tree, with smooth brown bark and slender branches, which may reach heights of up to 12 m (39 ft), although typically growing to 2 to 4 m (6 to 13 ft). Some varieties are moderately frost-tolerant, and may be hardier than P. guava.It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The leaves are oval to elliptical, up to 4.5 cm (1.75 in) long, smooth and leathery to waxy, with prominent veins. The fragrant white flowers are tubular with 5 petals, and are larger than the leaves, to 6 cm (2.3 in) wide, and are either solitary or in clusters of 3 at the axils (where leaf meets stem). The fruits, which are produced when the plants are 3 to 6 years old, are round to somewhat oval, about the size of a walnut around 4 cm (1.5 in) long, with a thin skin that ripens to a color ranging from yellow (in var. lucidum) to dark red or purple, tipped by the remains of the calyx (somewhat like an apple or blueberry). The juicy flesh, which is white or yellow, has many soft seeds embedded in it……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained sandy loam with leafmold. Requires cool greenhouse treatment in Britain. Tolerates short-lived light frosts and cool summers so it might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Dislikes much humidity. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying the plants outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first two winters. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts:……Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit can be used in jellies, jams, custards, drinks etc. Sweet and aromatic. The flavour is more pronounced than that of the yellow strawberry guava but lacks the muskiness of the common guava. The fruit has an agreeable acid-sweet flavour and is good when eaten raw, though it can also be used in preserves. The fruit is about 4cm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses : Not Known

Other Uses: …..Hedge; Hedge……..Grown as a hedge in warm temperate climates
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psidium_cattleyanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Psidium+cattleianum
http://eol.org/pages/2508592/overview
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psidium_cattleyanum

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Herbs & Plants

Jewelweed ( Impatiens )

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Botanical Name: Impatiens aurea (MUHL.), Impatiens biflora (WALT.)
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Kingdom: Planta
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Wild Balsam. Balsam-weed. Impatiens pallida. Pale-touch-me-not. Spottedtouch-me-not. Slipperweed. Silverweed. Wild Lady’s Slipper. Speckled Jewels. Wild Celandine. Quick-in-the-hand.

Common Names: Impatiens, Jewelweed, Touch-me-not, Snapweed

Part Used: Herb.
Habitat: Members of the genus Impatiens are found widely distributed in the north temperate zone and in South Africa, but the majority are natives of the mountains of tropical Asia and Africa. It grows in lowlying, damp, rather rich soil, beside streams and in similar damp localities.
Description:
Some species are annual plants and produce flowers from early summer until the first frost, while perennial species, found in milder climates, can flower all year. Regardless of their lifespan, the largest impatiens grow up to about 2 meters (about 7 feet) tall, but most are less than half as tall. The stems somewhat translucent, the foliage showing a brilliant silvery surface when immersed in water, which will not adhere to the surface. The leaves are entire and shiny; their upperside has a thick, water-repellent cuticula that gives them a greasy feel. Particularly on the underside of the leaves, tiny air bubbles are trapped over and under the leaf surface, giving them a silvery sheen that becomes pronounced when they are held under water.They are thin, ovate oval, more or less toothed, of a tender green colour.

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The flowers, up to 2–3 cm, around 1 inch long, in most species are made up by a shoe- or horn-shaped spur for the most part, with at least the upper petals insignificant by comparison; some have a prominent labellum though, allowing pollinators to land. Others, like the busy lizzie (I. walleriana), have flattened flowers with large petals and just a tiny spur that appear somewhat similar to those of violets (Viola), an unrelated genus. A few Impatiens species have flowers intermediate between the two basic types.The oblong capsules of both species when ripe explode under the slightest disturbance, scattering the seeds widely. Most of the popular names refer to this peculiarity, others to the shape of the flowers.

The slipper-shaped, yellow flowers, in bloom from July to September, have long recurved tails, those of the first-named species being of a uniform pale-yellow, those of the second species, orange-yellow, crowded with dark spots, hence its common name of Spotted-touch-me-not.

Constituents: Impatiens contain 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, an anti-inflammatory and fungicide naphthoquinone that is an active ingredient in some formulations of Preparation H.
Medicinal Uses:
North American impatiens have been used as herbal remedies for the treatment of bee stings, insect bites, and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) rashes. They are also used after poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) contact to prevent a rash from developing. The efficacy of orange jewelweed (I. capensis) and yellow jewelweed (I. pallida) in preventing poison ivy contact dermatitis has been studied, with conflicting results. A study in 1958 found that Impatiens biflora was an effective alternative to standard treatment for dermatitis caused by contact with sumac, while later studies found that the species had no antipruritic effects after the rash has developed. Researchers reviewing these contradictions state that potential reason for these conflicts include the method of preparation and timing of application. A 2012 study found that while an extract of orange jewelweed and garden jewelweed (I. balsamina) was not effective in reducing contact dermatitis, a mash of the plants applied topically decreased it.

Impatiens glandulifera is one of the Bach flower remedies, flower extracts used as herbal remedies for physical and emotional problems. It is included in the “Rescue Remedy” or “Five Flower Remedy”, a potion touted as a treatment for acute anxiety and which is supposed to be protective in stressful situations. Studies have found no difference between the effect of the potion and that of a placebo.

All Impatiens taste bitter and seem to be slightly toxic upon ingestion, causing intestinal ailments like vomiting and diarrhea. The toxic compounds have not been identified but are probably the same as those responsible for the bitter taste, likely might be glycosides or alkaloids.

?-Parinaric acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid discovered in the seeds of the makita tree (Atuna racemosa racemosa), is together with linolenic acid the predominant component of the seed fat of garden jewelweed (I. balsamina), and perhaps other species of Impatiens. This is interesting from a phylogenetic perspective, because the makita tree is a member of the Chrysobalanaceae in a lineage of eudicots entirely distinct from the balsams.

Certain jewelweeds, including the garden jewelweed contain the naphthoquinone lawsone, a dye that is also found in henna (Lawsonia inermis) and is also the hair coloring and skin coloring agent in mehndi. In ancient China, Impatiens petals mashed with rose and orchid petals and alum were used as nail polish: leaving the mixture on the nails for some hours colored them pink or reddish.

Impatiens has been listed as one of the 38 plants that are used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However according to Cancer Research UK, “there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer”

Other Uses:  A yellow dye has been made from the flowers.

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/Impatiens
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/j/jewelw08.html

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Herbs & Plants

Onopordum acanthium

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Botanical Name: Onopordum acanthium
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Onopordum
Species: O. acanthium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms-: Woolly Thistle.

Common Names: Cotton thistle, Scotch thistle

Habitat : Cotton thistle is native to Europe and Asia. The plant prefers habitats with dry summers, such as the Mediterranean region, growing best in sandy, sandy clay and calcareous soils which are rich in ammonium salts. It grows in ruderal places, as well as dry pastures and disturbed fields. Its preferred habitats are natural areas, disturbed sites, roadsides, fields, and especially sites with fertile soils, agricultural areas, range/grasslands, riparian zones, scrub/shrublands valleys and plains along with water courses. Temperature and moisture, rather than soil nutrient concentrations determine the ecological performance of Onopordum species.

Description:
Onopordum acanthium is a biennial plant, producing a large rosette of spiny leaves the first year. The plants typically germinate in the autumn after the first rains and exist as rosettes throughout the first year, forming a stout, fleshy taproot that may extend down 30 cm or more for a food reserve.

In the second year, the plant grows (0.2–) 0.5–2.5 (–3) m tall and a width of 1.5 m. The leaves are 10–50 cm wide, are alternate and spiny, often covered with white woolly hairs and with the lower surface more densely covered than the upper. The leaves are deeply lobed with long, stiff spines along the margins. Fine hairs give the plant a greyish appearance. The massive main stem may be 10 cm wide at the base, and is branched in the upper part. Each stem shows a vertical row of broad, spiny wings (conspicuous ribbon-like leafy material), typically 2–3 cm wide, extending to the base of the flower head.

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The flowers are globe shaped, 2–6 cm in diameter, from dark pink to lavender, and are produced in the summer. The flower buds form first at the tip of the stem and later at the tip of the axillary branches. They appear singly or in groups of two or three on branch tips. The plants are androgynous, with both pistil and stamens, and sit above numerous, long, stiff, spine-tipped bracts, all pointing outwards, the lower ones wider apart and pointing downwards. After flowering, the ovary starts swelling and forms about 8,400 to 40,000 seeds per plant.
Edible Uses: Colouring; Oil; Oil.

Flower buds – cooked. A globe artichoke substitute, though they are much smaller and very fiddly to use. Stems – cooked. Used as a vegetable, they are a cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) substitute. The stems are cooked in water like asparagus or rhubarb. They are best if the rind is removed. Leaves and young plants – cooked. They are harvested before the flowers develop and the prickles must be removed prior to cooking. The petals are an adulterant for saffron, used as a yellow food colouring and flavouring. A good quality edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed contains about 25% oil.

Parts Used in medicines: Leaves, root.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Cancer; Cardiotonic.

Onopordum acanthium is a cardiotonic. It is used in some proprietary heart medicines. The juice of the plant has been used with good effect in the treatment of cancers and ulcers. A decoction of the root is astringent. It is used to diminish discharges from mucous membranes.

Other Uses:
Oil; Oil; Stuffing.

The cotton is occasionally collected from the stem and used to stuff pillows, and the oil obtained from the seeds has been used on the Continent for burning, both in lamps and for ordinary culinary purposes.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onopordum_acanthium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Onopordum+acanthium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thistl11.html#hol