Tag Archives: Leaf peeping

Asarum caudatum

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

Synonyms: Asarum hookeri Fielding & Gardner, Asarum rotundifolium Raf.

Common Names: British Columbia wild ginger, western wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger.

Habitat :Asarum caudatum is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to California. It grows on deep shade in moist pine woods and redwood forests. Understory of conifer forests, usually in mesic or wet places from sea level to 1200 metres and occasionally to 2200 metres.

Description:
Asarum caudatum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are distinct, hirsute (hairy), cup-shaped, and brown-purple to green-yellow which terminate in three, long, gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads, forming mats. The leaves emit a ginger aroma when rubbed.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°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, Fragrant foliage, 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; Tea.
The root can be used as a ginger substitute. The root has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. It can be harvested all year round, but is best in the autumn. It can also be dried for later use. Leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is laxative, stomachic and tonic. A tea made from the root is used in the treatment of colds, colic, indigestion and stomach pains. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is analgesic, antirheumatic, appetizer and tonic. A decoction is used externally to treat headaches, intestinal pain and knee pains. A poultice made from the heated leaves is applied to boils, skin infections and toothaches, whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as a wash on sores.

Other Uses :
A useful ground-cover plant for deep shade, spreading by its roots.Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Woodland garden.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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_caudatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Asarum+caudatum

Astragalus crassicarpus

Botanical Name : Astragalus crassicarpus
Family:Fabaceae
Kind:Astragalus
Reign:Plantae
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Subclass:Rosidae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms : A. caryocarpus. Ker-Gawl. A. mexicanus. A. succulentus. Geoprumnon succulentum.

Common Names: Ground Plum, Groundplum milkvetch

Habitat :Astragalus crassicarpus is native Western N. AmericaEastern Rocky mountains and eastward to Nebraska.It grows on prairies and plains.
Description:
Astragalus crassicarpus is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It’s leaves are compound in groups of 15 to 29. Leaflets are about 1/3 to ½ inch long, less than ¼ inch wide, generally elliptic with a pointed or blunt tip, hairy to varying degrees on both sides. Stems are hairy, sprawling along the ground and rising at the tip end (decumbent).

Racemes of 5 to 15 pea-shaped flowers. Flowers are about ¾ inch long with an erect broad egg-shaped upper petal, notched at the tip, and 2 small lower petals that are mostly horizontal. The tubular calyx holding the flower is purple tinged with several prong-like appendages at the tip end. Flower color ranges from pinkish purple to lavender to blue-violet. A plant has several to many clusters on stalks up to 4 inches long arising from the leaf axils.

The fruit is a smooth round pod ½ to 1 inch across that ripens to purple, and resembles a plum. Inside are 1/8-inch, somewhat kidney shaped black seeds.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. The stems are sometimes prostrate. This species is somewhat polymorphic and is separated into a number of distinct species by some botanists. The form sometimes known as A. mexicanus has larger seedpods than the type, up to 35mm in diameter. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
The thick fleshy unripe seedpods, which resemble green plums, are eaten raw or cooked. They are highly esteemed. The pods are about 25mm in diameter.
Medicinal Uses:
A compound decoction or infusion of the root has been used to treat fits and convulsions and has been used on bleeding wounds. It has also been taken or used externally as a stimulant.

Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
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://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus_crassicarpus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+crassicarpus
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/ground-plum

Tephrosia virginiana

Botanical Name: Tephrosia virginiana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis

Common Names: Catgut, Galega officinalis, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed, Goat-rue, Goat’s Rue, Cat Gut, Rabbit Pea, and Virginia Tephrosia

Other Names: American Garden Rue, Devil’s Shoestring, Rabbit-pea, Horey turkey peas, Virginia Pea, Virginia Tephrosia, Cheese renet, herba ruta caprariae

Habitat : Tephrosia virginiana originates from Europe and Middle East. Goat’s rue is native to Europe and eastern Asia. It was introduced to the western U.S. in the late 1800s as a possible forage crop.Goat’s rue is planted as fodder for animals. Goat’s rue is said to increase the milk production of goats, hence its name. Juice from Goat’s rue was used to clot milk for cheese production. There are also reports of cattle which died after eating goat’s rue.

Now, Native to Eastern N. America from New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas and Manitoba. Found growing in dry sandy woods, openings, fields, and roadsides.

It grows in dry sandy woods and openings

Description:
Tephrosia virginiana is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft), sending up one or more stems from the base that are unbranched or sparingly branched. The stems are light green, terete, and hairy. Alternate compound leaves are widely spreading; they are odd-pinnate with 9-25 leaflets. Individual leaflets are up to 1″ long and ¼” across; they are medium green to grayish green, oblong to narrowly elliptic in shape, and smooth along their margins. Upper surfaces of the leaflets are hairless to silky-hairy, while their lower surfaces are pubescent to silky-hairy. Each leaflet has a prominent central vein. The central stalk (rachis) and petiole of each compound leaf is pubescent. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of small stipules about ¼” long. The stems terminate in short dense racemes about 2-3″ long that are covered in buds and bicolored flowers facing all directions. The racemes are held a little above the foliage on short peduncles. Individual flowers are ¾” long and across, consisting of 5 petals, a short tubular calyx with 5 teeth, 10 stamens, and a pistil. Each flower has a typical pea-like floral structure, consisting of an upright banner and a pair of lateral wings that project forward to enclose the keel. The broad banner is white to pale greenish yellow, while the wings are deep rosy pink. The pedicels of the flowers and their calyces are light green and pubescent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by widely spreading seedpods about 1½-3″ long. These seedpods are initially light green, but later turn brown; they are silky-hairy. The seedpods are narrowly cylindrical and slightly flattened in shape; each pod contains several seeds that are reniform and somewhat flattened. The root system consists of a deep taproot.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
A deep rooted plant, requiring a dry to moist light or medium very well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -25° when given a suitable position. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer
Medicinal Uses:
The root is anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and tonic. A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

At various times it was used to treat rheumatism, fevers, pulmonary problems, bladder disorders, coughing, hair loss, and reproductive disorders. The root of this plant alone, or in combination with other agents, has been reputed a very efficient remedy in syphilis. The decoction is also much used as a vermifuge, and is said to be as efficient and powerful as spigelia. The plant is a mild, stimulating tonic, having a slight action on the bowels, and the secretive organs generally, and applicable in the treatment of many diseases, especially in a certain stage of typhoid fever, where there is little use of active medicine. The recommendation was a compound fluid extract of tephrosia: Take of Tephrosia virginiana (the plant), 8 ounces; Rumex acutus (dock), 2 ounces; water, 4 quarts. Place the plants in the water, and boil until reduced to 1 quart. Strain, and when intended to be kept, mix with an equal bulk of brandy or diluted alcohol, and half its weight of sugar, macerate for several days, and strain through muslin. The dose is from 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce, 2, 3, or 4 times a day A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Hair; Insecticide……….The root is a source of the insecticide ‘rotenone. This is especially effective against flying insects but appears to be relatively harmless to animals. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo by women in order to prevent hair loss.

Known Hazards : Contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. The seeds are toxic.

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/Tephrosia_virginiana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tephrosia+virginiana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/goat_rue.htm

 

Black cohosh

Botanical Name : Cimicifuga racemosa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Actaea
Species: A. racemosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms : Actaea racemosa

Common Names: Black cohosh, Black bugbane, Black snakeroot, Fairy candle,, Bugbane

Habitat : Black cohosh is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings. (Moist, mixed deciduous forests, wooded slopes, ravines, creek margins, thickets, moist meadowlands, forest margins, and especially mountainous terrain from sea level to 1500 metres)

Description:
Black cohosh is a smooth (glabrous) herbaceous perennial plant that produces large, compound leaves from an underground rhizome, reaching a height of 25–60 cm (9.8–23.6 in). The basal leaves are up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) long and broad, forming repeated sets of three leaflets (tripinnately compound) having a coarsely toothed (serrated) margin. The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on a tall stem, 75–250 cm (30–98 in) tall, forming racemes up to 50 cm (20 in) long. The flowers have no petals or sepals, and consist of tight clusters of 55-110 white, 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long stamens surrounding a white stigma. The flowers have a distinctly sweet, fetid smell that attracts flies, gnats, and beetles. The fruit is a dry follicle 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with one carpel, containing several seeds….....CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Woodland garden. Prefers a moist humus rich soil and some shade. Grows well in dappled shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil and tolerates drier soils. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. A very ornamental species. The flowers have an unusual, slightly unpleasant smell which is thought to repel insects. Plants grow and flower well in Britain, though they seldom if ever ripen their seed. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. It germinates in 1 – 12 months or even longer at 15°c[. The seed does not store well and soon loses its viability, stored seed may germinate better if given 6 – 8 weeks warm stratification at 15°c and then 8 weeks cold stratification. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. 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 summer or following spring.
Edible Uses: …Leaves – cooked. Some caution is advised,   see the notes below   on Known Hazards.

Medicinal Uses:
Black cohosh is a traditional remedy of the North American Indians where it was used mainly to treat women’s problems, especially painful periods and problems associated with the menopause. A popular and widely used herbal remedy, it is effective in the treatment of a range of diseases. The root is alterative, antidote, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator. It is harvested in the autumn as the leaves die down, then cut into pieces and dried.

Black cohosh root improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure and body temperature by dilating blood vessels and increasing peripheral circulation. The constituents responsible for these actions are so resinous, the traditional virtues of this herb are best extracted by using hot water and preferably alcohol on the fresh root. A central nervous system depressant, black cohosh directly inhibits vasomotor centers that are involved with inner ear balance and hearing. One of the uses for black cohosh recognized by doctors is for relief of ringing in the ears. The Native Americans knew that it encouraged uterine contractions and used it to facilitate labor. It is also used to reduce the inflammation and muscular pain of rheumatism and inflammatory arthritis, especially when it is associated with menopause and to treat problems of the respiratory system. Chinese physicians use several related plants to treat headache, to ripen and bring out skin rashes such as measles, diarrhea, bleeding gums and some gynecological problems.

Black cohosh has estrogenic effects, meaning it acts like the female sex hormone estrogen. This may lend support to its traditional use for menstrual complaints. It is thought to reduce levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries’ production of progesterone. A German trial published in 1995, revealed that black cohosh in combination with St. John’s wort was 78% effective at treating hot flashes and other menopausal problems. Black cohosh is used to optimize estrogen levels perhaps by competing with estrogen receptor sites when estrogen is overabundant but may promote estrogen production when estrogen is low. It is the prime women’s tonic for any uterine condition involving inflammation, pain, or low estrogen. It promotes fertility and softens the impact of menopause. Using black cohosh during menopause can reduce intensity and frequency of hot flashes, support and ease the body’s changes, helps counteract menopausal prolapses, improves digestion, relieves menstrual pain and irregularity, relieves headaches, relieves menopausal arthritis and rheumatism.

Cimicifugin, the ranunculoside in black cohosh, exhibits antispasmodic and sedative properties in the fresh root. When the root is cut or bruised, an enzyme is released which reacts with cimicifugin to produce protoanemonine, which is unstable in water but, when dried, is readily oxidized to an anemonic acid which has no physiological activity. The antispasmodic and sedative properties of black cohosh are only present in the whole, fresh root. The dried, powdered black cohosh in common use today contains only the irritating principles.

The root is toxic in overdose, it should be used with caution and be completely avoided by pregnant women.   The medically active ingredients are not soluble in water so a tincture of the root is normally used. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, as a sedative and an emmenagogue. It is traditionally important in the treatment of women’s complaints, acting specifically on the uterus it eases uterine cramps and has been used to help in childbirth. Research has shown that the root has oestrogenic activity and is thought to reduce levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries production of progesterone. The root is also hypoglycaemic, sedative and anti-inflammatory. Used in conjunction with St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) it is 78% effective in treating hot flushes and other menopausal problems. An extract of the root has been shown to strengthen the male reproductive organ in rats. The root contains salicylic acid, which makes it of value in the treatment of various rheumatic problems – it is particularly effective in the acute stage of rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica and chorea. Its sedative action makes it useful for treating a range of other complaints including tinnitus and high blood pressure. The roots are used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is used mainly for women, especially during pregnancy. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cimicifuga racemosa (Actaea racemosa) for climacteric (menopause) complaints & Premenstrual syndrome.

Other Uses : Both the growing and the dried plant can be used to repel bugs and fleas

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous in large doses. Large doses irritate nerve centres and may cause abortion. Gastrointestinal disturbances, hypotension, nausea, headaches. Not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Do not take concomitantly with iron.
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/Actaea_racemosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cimicifuga+racemosa+(Actaea+racemosa)
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail67.php

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

 

Mahonia bealei

Botanical Name : Mahonia bealei
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Mahonia
Species: M. bealei
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Beale’s barberry, Leatherleaf Mahonia, Leatherleaf Holly, Mahorina

Habitat : Mahonia beal is native to E. Asia – W. China in Hupeh, Hubei, Sichuan and Taiwan. It grows in damp woodlands in uplands around 2000 metres.

Description:
Leatherleaf mahonia is an evergreen shrub with large, pinnately compound leaves. It grows in an upright, open and loose, multi-stemmed clump 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) tall and 3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) wide. It can get as large as 10 ft (3 m) tall and 8 ft (2.4 m) wide. The erect stems are stiff and unbranched, and the leaves come out in horizontal tiers. The leaves are about 18 in (46 cm) long with 9 to 13 stiff, sharply spiny, hollylike leaflets. The leaflets are dull grayish blue-green above and pale yellowish green below, and about 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long and 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide. The terminal leaflet is larger than the lateral leaflets. The fragrant lemon-yellow flowers, appearing in late winter, are borne in erect racemes 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) long. The fruit is a berry, first green, then turning bluish black with a grayish bloom. They are about a half inch long and hang in grapelike clusters.

click to see the pictures…>..…(01)..…....(1)..…..(2)…..…(3)...………………………

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. Thrives in any good garden soil[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Survives under quite heavy tree cover, thriving in dense shade. Prefers a semi-shaded woodland position in a damp, slightly acid to neutral humus-rich soil. The fully dormant plant is hardy to about -20°c, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Scarcely distinct from M. japonica, differing mainly in its broader leaflets which are placed closer together on the stem and its erect flower raceme. It is often treated as a subspecies of M. japonica, despite the fact that this species is found in the wild whilst M. japonica is a cultigen and not a wild plant. Plants of the two species are often confused in cultivation. The flowers are sweetly scented. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It usually germinates in the spring. ‘Green’ seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 – 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division of suckers in spring. Whilst they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established. Leaf cuttings in the autumn.

Edible Uses:.....Fruit raw or cooked. A pleasant acid flavour, it is nice when added to muesli or porridge. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds. The fruit is about 10mm long and 6mm wide, it ripens in April/May and if the plant is in a sheltered position the crops can be fairly heavy.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the root and root bark is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, recurring fever and cough in rundown body systems, rheumatoid arthritis, backache, weak knees, dysentery and enteritis. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects and is used as a bitter tonic. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumor activity. The taste is bitter.  The plant detoxifies, reduces inflammations and breaks fevers. Anti-influenza effect of alkaloids from roots of Mahonia bealei. was studied in vitro. The experiment in embryo indicated that the alkaloids at concentration of 0.25 mg/ml obviously inhibited the proliferation of influenza virus Al, and at concentration of 20 mg/ml showed no side-effect on embryo.

The leaf is febrifuge and tonic. A decoction of the root and stems is antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, recurring fever and cough in rundown body systems, rheumatoid arthritis, backache, weak knees, dysentery and enteritis. The root and root bark are best harvested in the autumn. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects  and is used as a bitter tonic. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine.  Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Other Uses:
The shade tolerant leatherleaf mahonia is a popular shrub in the southern US and similar climates, producing dense clusters of very fragrant, golden yellow flowers. These showy blossoms stand above its evergreen foliage in late winter or early spring when few other plants are blooming. Use this spiny, gangly shrub on the north side of a building, where shade excludes most flowering shrubs. You can plant a leatherleaf mahonia in front of a window, and still be able to see out between the vertical stems and horizontal layered foliage. It often is used as a border or foundation plant as well. The coarse texture and clumsy form may not suit well in a neat, formal garden, but leatherleaf mahonia can be pruned to a single-stemmed specimen. To keep a denser form, prune out a few of the tallest stems each spring to encourage new stem growth from the base. Prune out a few leaves to accentuate the layered effect. With creative pruning, leatherleaf mahonia has a dramatic silhouette.

The fruits are much relished by birds, and are usually devoured within days of ripening. Leatherleaf mahonia can be grown in containers and can be used as a large houseplant.

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.floridata.com/ref/m/maho_bea.cfm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mahonia+bealei

 

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