Tag Archives: Invasive species

Black Alder Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Botanical Name: Ilex verticillata
Family:    Aquifoliaceae
Genus:    Ilex
Species:    I. verticillata
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Aquifoliales

Synonyms:Prinos verticillatus

Common Names:  Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, Canada holly ,Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly.

Habitat : Black Alder is  native to eastern North America in the United States and southeast Canada, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Minnesota, and south to Alabama. It grows on swamps, pond margins and damp thickets.

Description:
Black Alder  or Ilex verticillata is a  multi-stemmed shrubshrub growing to 1–5 metres (3.3–16.4 ft) tall. It is one of a number of hollies which are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall. In wet sites, it will spread to form a dense thicket, while in dry soil it remains a tight shrub. The leaves are glossy green, 3.5–9 cm long, 1.5–3.5 cm broad, with a serrated margin and an acute apex. The flowers are small, 5 mm diameter, with five to eight white petals.

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The fruit is a globose red drupe 6–8 mm diameter, which often persists on the branches long into the winter, giving the plant its English name. Like most hollies, it is dioecious, with separate male and female plants; the proximity of at least one male plant is required to pollenize the females in order to bear fruit. The Bark is dark gray to brown  generally smooth with some lenticels

Cultivation:
It is a tough plant which is easy to grow, with very few diseases or pests. Although wet acidic soils are optimal, the winterberry will grow well in the average garden. Numerous cultivars are available, differing in size and shape of the plant and color of the berry. At least one male plant must be planted in proximity to one or more females for them to bear fruit.

Propagation:
*Early summer cuttings are easily rooted
*Seeds possess a dormancy making germination tricky

Constituents: The bark contains about 4-8 per cent tannin, two resins, the one soluble and the other insoluble in alcohol, albumen, gum, sugar, and a bitter principle and a yellow colouring matter not yet isolated. There is no berberine.

Medicinal Uses:
Native American herbal tradition regarded the bark as a botanical aid for relieving occasional constipation. In fact, later herbalists describe its action similar to Cascara Sagrada.The berries were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes, the origin of the name “fever bush”.

This remedy is a stimulant to the digestive and blood-making organs, and may be advantageously employed for the general purposes of a tonic. But beyond this, it influences the vegetative processes, probably through the sympathetic system of nerves, strengthening the circulation, aiding nutrition, and the removal of waste. We have used it but little, yet the testimony in its favor is such, that we strongly recommend its trial.

Other Uses:
Ornamental plant:
Ilex verticillata – the American Winterberry – is prized as an ornamental plant in gardens for the midwinter splash of bright color from densely packed berries, whose visibility is heightened by the loss of foliage; therefore it is popular even where other, evergreen, hollies are also grown. The bare branches covered in berries are also popular for cutting and use in floral arrangements.

Known Hazards:   Although no specific reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stupor if eaten in quantity. The fruit is poisonous

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_verticillata
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/spec-med/prinos.html
http://www.pennherb.com/black-alder-bark-powder-16oz-6p16
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=221
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/alder018.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ilex+verticillata

 

Sphagneticola trilobata

Botanical Name ;Sphagneticola trilobata
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Sphagneticola
Species: S. trilobata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonym: Complaya trilobata,Silphium trilobatum,Thelechitonia trilobata,Wedelia paludosa,Wedelia trilobata

Common Name:Bay Biscayne Creeping-oxeye,Rabbit’s Paw

Chuukese: atiat

English: creeping ox-eye, Singapore daisy, trailing daisy, wedelia

Kosraean: rosrangrang

Marshallese: ut mõkadkad, ut telia

Palauan: ngesil ra ngebard

Pohnpeian: dihpwoangoahng suwed, ngkahu, tuhke ongohng

Tongan: ‘anselmo

Habitat :Sphagneticola trilobata is native to the Neotropics (Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean; now grown almost worldwide in tropical and other warm places”  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 165). and is widespread as an invasive species in the Pacific.

Description:
Sphagneticola trilobata is a creeping, mat-forming perennial herbs; stems rounded, rooting at the nodes, 1-3 (-4) dm long, the flowering portions ascending, coarsely strigose to spreading hirsute, sometimes subglabrous.  Leaves fleshy, usually 4-9 cm long, (1.5-) 2-5 cm wide, irregularly toothed or serrate, usually with a pair of lateral lobes.  Peduncles 3-10 cm long; involucre campanulate-hemispherical, ca. 1 cm high; chaffy bracts lanceolate, rigid; ray florets often 8-13 per head, rays 6-15 mm long; disk corollas 4-5 mm long; pappus a crown of short fimbriate scales.  Achenes tuberculate, 4-5 mm long, few achenes maturing in cultivated plants in Hawai‘i”  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 373-374).

You may click to see the picture
Propagation:  Usually vegetatively, but Bill Sykes reports observing mature achenes on plants (pers. com.). Stems form new plants where they touch the ground and pieces readily take root. Commonly spread by dumping of garden waste.

Medicinal Uses;
Used for hepatitis, indigestion due to sluggish liver, white stools, burning in the urine and stopping of urine, and for infections – boil 1 cup of fresh herb (stems, leaves, and flowers) in 3 cups water for 5 minutes and drink 1 cup warm before each meal.  To bathe those suffering from backache, muscle cramps, rheumatism, or swellings, boil a large double handful of fresh stems and leaves in 2 gallons of water for 10 minutes.  Said to pull  “heat” out of the body.  For painful joints of arthritis, mash fresh leaves and stems; spread on a cloth and apply to area, wrapping securely with a warm covering.   Also used to clear the placenta after birth.

Other Uses:Sphagneticola trilobata is cultivated as an ornamental plant in the garden.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphagneticola_trilobata
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/sphagneticola_trilobata.htm
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1303/
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Solanum elaeagnifolium

 

 

Botanical Name : Solanum elaeagnifolium
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. elaeagnifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name :Prairie Berry, Silverleaf Nettle, White Horsenettle or Silver Nightshade,Bull-nettle, “Horsenettle” and the Spanish “trompillo”, Silver-leaf bitter-apple or satansbos

Habitat : Solanum elaeagnifolium  is a common weed of western North America and also found in South America.Its range is from Kansas south to Louisiana, and west through the Mexican-border states of the United States into Mexico, as well as Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. It may have originated in North America and was accidentally introduced to South America or the reverse. It can grow in poor soil with very little water. It spreads by rhizomes as well as seeds, and is common in disturbed habitats. It is considered a noxious weed in 21 U.S. states and in countries such as Australia, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It  grows in desert, Upland. This prickly weed is most common in highly disturbed areas like at the edge of fields and in overgrazed pastures, drainage ditches, and vacant lots.

Description:
Solanum elaeagnifolium is a perennial plant 10 cm to 1 m in height. The stems are covered with nettle-like prickles, ranging from very few on some plants to very dense on others. Leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs (trichomes) that lie against and hide the surface, giving a silvery or grayish appearance.

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The leaves are up to 15 cm long and 0.5 to 2.5 cm wide, with shallowly waved edges, which distinguish it from the closely related Carolina Horsenettle (S. carolinense), which has wider, more deeply indented leaves. The flowers, appearing from April to August, have five petals united to form a star, ranging from blue to pale lavender or occasionally white; five yellow stamens and a pistil form a projecting center. The plant produces glossy yellow, orange, or red berries that last all winter and may turn brown as they dry.

Medicinal Uses:
The weed is useful to  treat cutaneous diseases, syphilitic conditions, excites venereal functions, leprosy, teeter, eczema, scrofula, rheumatic and cachectic affections, ill-conditioned ulcers, glandular swellings, obstructed menstruation, and as a treatment of cancers. Tea is taken 1-2 cups is good for skin/hair diseases and worms. Bark in vodka is taken a few drops at a time for heart disease.
Externally 1 lb of bark is heated slowly in 1 lb of lard for 8 hours treats painful tumors, ulcers, irritated skin, piles, burns, scalds, etc..

Other Uses: The Pima Indians used the berries as a vegetable rennet, and the Kiowa used the seeds together with brain tissue to tan leather.Some gardeners encourage it as a xeriscape ornamental.

Known Hazards:
Poisonous – The plants, especially the leaves and green, unripe, cherry tomato-like fruit, are poisonous and contain the glycoalkaloid solanine as well as the tropane alkaloids scopolamine (hyoscine) and hyoscyamine

It is toxic to livestock and very hard to control, as root stocks less than 1 cm long can regenerate into plants.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_elaeagnifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Solanum elaeagnifolium – Silverleaf Nightshade

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Eupatorium odoratum

 

Botanical Name : Chromolaena odorata/ Eupatorium odoratum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Chromolaena
Species: C. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names :Jack  in the Bush,Siam Weed, Christmas Bush, and Common Floss Flower.

Habitat :. Chromolaena odorata is native to North America, from Florida and Texas to Mexico and the Caribbean, and has been introduced to tropical Asia, west Africa, and parts of Australia.

Description:
Aromatic shrub; covered in fine grey hairs; stems rounded; blades ovate to diamond shaped, 5-15cm long, acuminate, with yellow dots below; flowers pale mauve or violet.

Click to see the pictures
.It is sometimes grown as a medicinal and ornamental plant.

It was earlier taxonomically classified under the genus Eupatorium, but is now considered more closely related to other genera in the tribe Eupatorieae.

Chromolaena odorata is considered invasive weed of field crops in its introduced range, and has been reported to be the most problematic invasive species within protected rainforests in Africa

Medicinal Uses:
It is used as a traditional medicine in Indonesia. The young leaves are crushed, and the resulting liquid can be used to treat skin wounds.

The leaves of the herb are used as tea to break up  the common cold  and  for intermittent  fevers and influenza. It is also a tonic and stimulant.For bronchitis of chindren  it is given with milk.
Toxicity :Chromolaena odorata contains carcinogenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/vfh/image/index.php?item=420
http://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/jackbush.htm

/wiki/File:Indian_Cabbage_White_(Pieris_canidia)_on_Eupatorium_odoratum_at_Samsing,_Duars,_West_Bengal_W_IMG_6381.jpg
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/05/23/3764.jpg

 

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Air potato

Botanical Name :Dioscorea bulbifera
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. bulbifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dioscoreales

Common Names :  Air potato, Varahi in Sanskrit, Kaachil in Malayalam and Dukkar Kand in Marathi

Habitat :The Air potato plant is native to Africa and Asia.

History: A native to tropical Asia, air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera, was first introduced to the Americas from Africa. In 1905 it was introduced to Florida. Due to its ability to displace native species and disrupt natural processes such as fire and water flow, air potato has been listed as one of Florida?s most invasive plant species since 1993, and was placed on the Florida Noxious Weed List by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 1999.

US Habitat: Rapid growing and occurring on open to semishady sites: extending from Florida to adjacent states. All dying back during winter but able to cover small trees in a year, with old vines providing trellises for regrowth. Spread and persist by underground tubers and abundant production of aerial yams, which drop and form new plants and can spread by water.

Description:
Air potato is a herbaceous perennial vine with broad leaves and   high climbing vines to 65 feet (20 m) long, infestations covering shrubs and trees. It has two types of storage organs,twining and sprawling stems with long-petioled heart-shaped leaves. Spreading by dangling potato-like tubers (bulbils) at leaf axils and underground tubers. Monocots.

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A distinguishing characteristic of air potato is that all leaf veins arise from the leaf base, unlike other herbaceous vines such as smilax and morningglories. Flowers are inconspicuous, arising from leaf axils in panicles 4 inches long, and are fairly uncommon in Florida. Vegetative reproduction is the primary mechanism of spread. This is through the formation of aerial tubers, or bulbils, which are formed in leaf axils. These vary in roundish shapes and sizes. In addition, large tubers are formed underground, some reaching over 6 inches in diameter.

Edible Uses:
These tubers are like small, oblong potatoes, and they are edible and cultivated as a food crop, especially in West Africa. The tubers often have a bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling. They can then be prepared in the same way as other yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The air potato is one of the most widely-consumed yam species.

Medicinal Uses:
In folk medicine it has been used to ease the pain on sprained ankles, and certain other uses that is in combination with other plants.  In healing the sprained angle, the fruit of the vine, which is brownish in color is cut in have and the insides are scraped out and put into a cloth or something that will easily let the fluid out of it we massaging the sprained ankle with it. Always massage down toward the ground and outwardly of the foot.  TCM: Indications: rid of toxin, relieves swelling, reduces phlegm, cools blood, stops bleeding.

Air potato has been used as a folk remedy to treat conjunctivitis, diarrhea and dysentery, among other ailments.

Toxicity:
Uncultivated forms, such as those found growing wild in Florida can be poisonous. These varieties contain the steroid, diosgenin, which is a principal material used in the manufacture of a number of synthetic steroidal hormones, such as those used in hormonal contraception. There have been claims[3] that even the wild forms are rendered edible after drying and boiling, leading to confusion over actual toxicity.

Invasive species:
In some places, such as Florida, it is an invasive species because of its quick-growing, large-leafed vine that spreads tenaciously and shades out any plants growing beneath it. The bulbils on the vines sprout and become new vines, twisting around each other to form a thick mat. If the plant is cut to the ground, the tubers can survive for extended periods and send up new shoots later.

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.

Rresources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_bulbifera
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=DIBU

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