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Herbs & Plants

Lactuca indica laciniata

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Botanical Name: Lactuca indica laciniata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. laciniata. L. squarrosa. Miq.

Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Lactuca indica L. var. laciniata (Houttuyn) Hara; Lactuca laciniata (Houttuyn) Makino; Lactuca saligna Loureiro, non L.; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel var. laciniata Kuntze; Lactuca mauritiana Poiret; Lactuca brevirostris Champion ex Bentham; Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Leontodon acutissimus Noronha; Prenanthes laciniata Houttuyn; Prenanthes squarrosa Thunberg; Pterocypsela indica (L.) C. Shih.
Common name: (Japanese common name) aki-no-no-geshi [autumn wild poppy]
(English common name) Indian lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca indica laciniata is native to E. Asia. It grows on the grassy places in lowland all over Japan.

Description:
Lactuca indica laciniata is a perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil

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Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Cultivation:
A plant of the moist tropics, where it can be grown at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 34°c, but can tolerate 10 – 40°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 – 2,500mm, but tolerates 1,000 – 3,000mm. Grows best in a sunny position. Prefers a light sandy loam, but succeeds in a wide range of well-drained, fertile soils. Prefers a pH in the range 5 – 6, tolerating 4.5 – 6.5.

It takes about 60 days from seed sowing until the first leaves are harvested. A first harvest of leaves can be taken after 30 – 60 days, when the plants are about 50cm tall. Yields of the leaves may be up to 10 – 20 tonnes per hectare.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually rapid, prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Make sure each piece of root has a leaf bud. Root cuttings in late winter.
Edible Uses:  Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or soups.

Medicinal
The plant is digestive and tonic.The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used.

The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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://findmeacure.com/2016/08/02/71841/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://flowers.la.coocan.jp/Asteraceae/Lactuca%20indica.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Hymenoxys richardsonii

Botanical Name : Hymenoxys richardsonii
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Hymenoxys
Species:H. richardsonii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Picradenia richardsonii Hook. 1833
*Actinea richardsonii (Hook.) Kuntze
*Actinella richardsonii (Hook.) Nutt.
*Hymenoxys floribunda (A.Gray) Cockerell
*Hymenoxys olivacea Cockerell

Common Names: Pingue Hymenoxys, Pingue rubberweed, Colorado rubberweed

Habitat :Hymenoxys richardsonii is native to Western N. America – Colorado to Saskatchewan and Alberta. It grows on dry, open often rocky hillsides and plains.
Description:
Hymenoxys richardsonii is a polycarpic, perennial sub-shrub or herbaceous perennial plant, usually 7-40 cm tall, with a multi-branched woody base. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Stem is distally branched or multi-stemmed at the woody caudices, normally about 20+cm, either smooth or hairy with uniform coloring.
Leaves are sually divided into 3 linear lobes, rarely simple, smooth or hairy, with an even scattering of small resin glands. Leaves concentrated around the base of the stems.

Inflorescence/flowers are several or many radiate yellow heads, involucres in series of 2 or more with stiff phyllaries with the outer phyllaries united at base; yellow ray flowers, papery yellow disc flowers.

Fruits are 2-3 mm achene topped with white translucent aristate pappus scales.
Varieties:
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. floribunda (A.Gray) K.F.Parker – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. richardsonii – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Cultivation:
We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is likely to require a sunny position in a dry to moist well-drained soil.
Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in late winter or early spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division.
Edible Uses: Gum…..A latex obtained from the root is used as a chewing gum. The skin of the root is used, the gum is obtained by pounding the roots.
Medicinal Uses: Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied as a dressing on sores and rashes. Among the Zuni people of New Mexico, a poultice of the chewed root applied to sores and rashes, and an infusion of the root is used for stomachache.

Other Uses: …Dye; Gum; Latex…..The latex obtained from the root is a potential commercial source of rubber. A yellow dye is obtained 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/Hymenoxys_richardsonii
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/plants-c/bio414/species%20pages/Hymenoxys%20richardsonii%20.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hymenoxys+richardsonii

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Herbs & Plants

Aplopappus laricifolius

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Botanical Name: Aplopappus laricifolius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Ericameria
Species: E. laricifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Aplopappus. Bigelovia Veneta.Haplopappus laricifolius Gray, Ericameria laricifolia

Common Names: Turpentine bush, or Turpentine-brush
Habitat: Aplopappus laricifolius is native to the southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California) and northern Mexico (Chihuahua). It grows in desert scrub and woodlands.

Description:
Aplopappus laricifolius is a shrub reaching 50-100 cm (20-40 inches) in height, is generally hairless, somewhat glandular, and aromatic. It sometimes has naked stems at the base but the upper branches are densely foliated in needlelike, pointed leaves one to three centimeters (0.4-1.2 inches) long. The many erect branches bear inflorescences of bright golden yellow flower heads, each with up to 16 long disc florets and as many as 6 ray florets

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Part Used in medicine :  The leaves.

Constituents: A volatile oil, also a fatty oil which has the smell of the plant, brown acid, resin, tannin. The resin is peculiar in containing other resins.

Medicinal Uses:
It is used as a stimulant in flatulent dyspepsia and chronic inflammation with haemorrhage of the lower bowel. It is very useful in dysentery and in genito-urinary catarrh and as a stimulant expectorant; the tincture is useful for slowly healing ulcers.

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/Ericameria_laricifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/damian06.html

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Herbs & Plants

Solanum elaeagnifolium

 

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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.

click to see the pictures......(01)....(1).…....(2)..…...(3)..……..(4).…..…….
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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Herbs & Plants

Catalpa bignonioides

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Botanical Name : Catalpa bignonioides
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Catalpa
Species: C. bignonioides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:  Bignonia catalpa – L., Catalpa syringaefolia – Sims.

Common Names:Southern Catalpa,Common Catalpa, Cigartree, and Indian Bean Tree

Habitat : Catalpa bignonioides is native to the southeastern United States in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Despite its southern origins, it has been able to grow almost anywhere in the United States and southernmost Canada, and has become widely naturalized outside its restricted native range.
It grows in rich moist soils by the sides of streams and rivers.

Description:
It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15-18 meters tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter with brown to gray bark, maturing into hard plates or ridges. The short thick trunk supports long and straggling branches which form a broad and irregular head. The roots are fibrous and branches are brittle. Its juices are watery and bitter.

click to see the pictures……>......(01).......(1).…….(2).…...(3)…...(4)...

The leaves are large and heart shaped, being 20-30 cm long and 15-20 cm broad. The bright green leaves appear late and as they are full grown before the flower clusters open, add much to the beauty of the blossoming tree. They secrete nectar, a most unusual characteristic for leaves, by means of groups of tiny glands in the axils of the primary veins.

The flowers are 2.5-4 cm across, trumpet shaped, white with yellow spots inside; they grow in panicles of 20-40. In the northern states of the USA, it is a late bloomer, putting forth great panicles of white flowers in June or early in July when the flowers of other trees have mostly faded. These cover the tree so thickly as almost to conceal the full grown leaves. The general effect of the flower cluster is a pure white, but the individual corolla is spotted with purple and gold, and some of these spots are arranged in lines along a ridge, so as to lead directly to the honey sweets within. A single flower when fully expanded is two inches long and an inch and a half wide. It is two-lipped and the lips are lobed, two lobes above and three below, as is not uncommon with such corollas. The flower is perfect, possessing both stamens and pistils; nevertheless, the law of elimination is at work and of the five stamens that we should expect to find, three have aborted, ceased to bear anthers and have become filaments simply. Then, too, the flowers refuse to be self-fertilized. Each flower has its own stamens and its own stigma but the lobes of the stigma remain closed until after the anthers have opened and discharged their pollen; after they have withered and become effete then the stigma opens and invites the wandering bee. The entire Pink family behave in this way.

The fruit is a long, thin bean like pod 20-40 cm long and 8-10 mm diameter; it often stays attached to tree during winter. The pod contains numerous flat light brown seeds with two papery wings.

It is closely related to the Northern Catalpa (C. speciosa), and can be distinguished by the flowering panicles, which bear a larger number of smaller flowers, and the slightly slenderer seed pods.

*Bark: Light brown tinged with red. Branchlets forking regularly by pairs, at first green, shaded with purple and slightly hairy, later gray or yellowish brown, finally reddish brown. Contains tannin.

*Wood: Light brown, sapwood nearly white; light, soft, coarse-grained and durable in contact with the soil.

*Winter buds: No terminal bud, uppermost bud is axillary. Minute, globular, deep in the bark. Outer scales fall when spring growth begins, inner scales enlarge with the growing shoot, become green, hairy and sometimes two inches long.

*Leaves: Opposite, or in threes, simple, six to ten inches long, four to five broad. Broadly ovate, cordate at base, entire, sometimes wavy, acute or acuminate. Feather-veined, midrib and primary veins prominent. Clusters of dark glands, which secrete nectar are found in the axils of the primary veins. They come out of the bud involute, purplish, when full grown are bright green, smooth above, pale green, and downy beneath. When bruised they give a disagreeable odor. They turn dark and fall after the first severe frost. Petioles stout, terete, long.

*Flowers: June, July. Perfect, white, borne in many-flowered thyrsoid panicles, eight to ten inches long. Pedicels slender, downy.

*Calyx: Globular and pointed in the bud; finally splitting into two, broadly ovate, entire lobes, green or light purple.

*Corolla: Campanulate, tube swollen, slightly oblique, two-lipped, five-lobed, the two lobes above smaller than the three below, imbricate in bud; limb spreading, undulate, when fully expanded is an inch and a half wide and nearly two inches long, white, marked on the inner surface with two rows of yellow blotches and in the throat on the lower lobes with purple spots.

*Stamens: Two, rarely four, inserted near the base of the corolla, introrse, slightly exserted; anthers oblong, two-celled, opening longitudinally; filaments flattened, thread-like. Sterile filaments three, inserted near base of corolla, often rudimentary.

*Pistil: Ovary superior, two-celled; style long, thread-like, with a two-lipped stigma. Ovules numerous.

*Fruit: Long slender capsule, nearly cylindrical, two-celled, partition at right angles to the valves. Six to twenty inches long, brown; hangs on the tree all winter, splitting before it falls. Seeds an inch long, one-fourth of an inch wide, silvery gray, winged on each side and ends of wings fringed

 

Cultivation:
Prefers a good moist loamy soil and a sunny position that is not exposed. Tolerates heavy clay soils. Very resistant to atmospheric pollution[188]. Plants become chlorotic on shallow alkaline soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c, probably more in continental climates, they grow best in areas with hot summers. Protect plants from late frosts when they are young. A very ornamental plant, it is fast-growing in the wild where it often flowers when only 6 – 8 years old. The sweetly-scented flowers are borne in forked panicles at the end of branches. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. The trees transplant easily. The crushed foliage has an unpleasant smell. Another report says that the leaves are attractively scented when bruised. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown outdoors, or in a cold frame, as soon as it is ripe. Stratify stored seed for 3 weeks at 1°c and sow in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Softwood cuttings, 10cm long, in a frame. They should be taken in late spring to early summer before the leaves are fully developed. Root cuttings in winter

 

Medicinal Uses:
Antidote; Antiseptic; Cardiac; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Sedative; Vermifuge.

A tea made from the bark has been used as an antiseptic, antidote to snake bites, laxative, sedative and vermifuge. As well as having a sedative effect, the plant also has a mild narcotic action, though it never causes a dazed condition. It has therefore been used with advantage in preparations with other herbs for the treatment of whooping cough in children, it is also used to treat asthma and spasmodic coughs in children. The bark has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria. The leaves are used as a poultice on wounds and abrasions. A tea made from the seeds is used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis and is applied externally to wounds. The pods are sedative and are thought to have cardioactive properties. Distilled water made from the pods, mixed with eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and rue (Ruta graveolens) is a valuable eye lotion in the treatment of trachoma and conjunctivitis.

Other Uses:
Wood.
A fast-growing tree with an extensive root system, it has been planted on land that is subject to landslips or erosion in order to stabilize the soil. Wood – coarse and straight-grained, soft, not strong, moderately high in shock resistance, very durable in the soil. It weighs about 28lb per cubic foot. It is highly valued for posts and fencing rails, and is also used for interior finishes, cabinet work etc.

Scented Plants:
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers have a sweet perfume.
Leaves: Crushed
The crushed foliage has an unpleasant smell. Another report says that the bruised leaves have an attractive aroma.

Known Hazards: The roots are highly poisonous

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Catalpa+bignonioides
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/cabi.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa_bignonioides

http://woodyplants.nres.uiuc.edu/plant/catbi70

http://www.plantcare.com/encyclopedia/catalpa-2150.aspx

http://www.vilmorin-tree-seeds.com/seeds/broadleaved-trees/entry-12923-catalpa-bignonioides.html

http://www.rarewoodsandveneers.com/images/productimages/rarewood/Catalpa%20bignonioides,%20Southern%20Catalpa.jpg

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