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Alangium Platanifolium

Botanical Name:Alangium platanifolium
Family :        Alangiaceae
Genus :          Alangium
Synonyms : Marlea platanifolia – Siebold.&Zucc.

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan.  Woodland thickets, 1200 – 2100 metres in W. China. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

Description:
A decidious Shrub growing to 3m by 2m.  This outstanding understory shrub can become a small, wide-spreading tree of considerable beauty at maturity. The large (16-21cm long by 13-15cm wide), broadly ovate yellowish green leaves resemble those of the London plane (Platanus × hispanica). They are variable in shape but are generally tri-lobed, forward pointing toward the apex, with cordate bases. Often the acuminate lobes are twisted, adding to the distinctive foliar texture of this plant. In the spring the leaves unfold in the manner of hands in prayer and then turn a glorious yellow in the autumn. The flowers are white and appear in late June along the undersides of main horizontal branches often hidden by the verdant foliage. They are borne in 1- to 4-flowered cymes from the leaf axils of the previous year’s growth. Each flower consists of 6 petals narrowly strap-shaped and slightly twisted, forming a corolla tube at the base. Each petal reflexes to the midpoint to expose the bright yellow stamens and style. The pendulous, fleshy, egg-shaped fruit, coloured porcelain blue to dark violet, provides a stunning contrast to the golden fall leaf display.

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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200]. Requires full sun and a sheltered position. A fairly hardy plant, but it does not succeed outdoors at Kew, the soft pithy shoots being cut back by winter cold. It grows well in Gloucestershire. This species is closely related to A. chinense.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When 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 in early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a frame.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves – cooked.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses:-
Antirheumatic.

The root is used in the treatment of rheumatism and other bone diseases.

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.

Other Uses
:
Insecticide.

The leaves and the bark of the root are used as an insecticide. The leaves and stem bark according to another report.


Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Alangium+platanifolium
http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2005/06/alangium_platan.php
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/121802/

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Herbs & Plants

Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum – Lam.)

Botanical Name: Acer spicatum – Lam.
Family : Aceraceae/Sapindaceae

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Acer
Species: A. spicatum
COMMON NAMES : mountain maple, low maple, moose maple, water maple, moosewood, plaine batarde, erable ,fouereux

Habitat:
North-eastern N. America – Saskatchewan to Labrador, south to Wisconsin and Georgia.The tree lives in moist woods in rich, well-drained soils on rocky hillsides and along streams. It also grows on ravines, cliff faces, and forested bogs. During ecological succession, it colonizes the understory as pioneer species die.  Deep rich moist soils in cool habitats such as the edges of mountain streams, ravines or woodlands.Woodland Garden; Canopy; Secondary;

Description:
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 3-8 m tall, forming a spreading crown with a short trunk and slender branches. The leaves are opposite and simple, 6-10 cm long and wide, with 3 or 5 shallow broad lobes. They are coarsely and irregularly toothed with a light green hairless surface and a finely hairy underside. The leaves turn brilliant yellow to red in autumn, and are on slender stalks usually longer than the blade. The bark is thin, dull gray-brown, and smooth at first but becoming slightly scaly. The fruit is a paired reddish samara, 2-3 cm long, maturing in late summer to early autumn.
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It is hardy to zone 2. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation :
Of easy cultivation, it prefers a sunny position and a good moist well-drained soil but succeeds on most soils, especially those on the acid side, and dislikes alkaline soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -35°c when fully dormant. The lower branches of trees often self-layer, the trees then forming an impenetrable thicket. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Plants often self-layer in the wild. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. Strong plants are usually produced by this method.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Sap.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.
A sugar is obtained from the sap. The sap can be used as a drink or boiled down to make maple syrup. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The sap can be harvested in late winter, the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost. Trees on southern slopes in sandy soils give the best yields. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.

Medicinal Action & Uses :
Astringent; Ophthalmic; Poultice.
The North American Indians made an infusion of the pith of young twigs and used this as eye drops to soothe irritation caused by campfire smoke. The pith itself was used to remove foreign matter from the eyes. An infusion or poultice made from the outer bark has been used to treat sore eyes. A poultice made from boiled root chips has been applied externally to wounds and abscesses. A compound infusion of the roots and bark is used to treat internal haemorrhage.

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.

Other Uses
Preservative; Soil stabilization; Tannin.
The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The bark contains tannins, but the report does not say in what quantity. The trees have an extensive root system that can be used to bind the soil. They are often grown on banks in order to prevent soil erosion. The wood is close-grained, soft and light, weighing 33lb per cubic foot.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acer+spicatum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACSP2&photoID=acsp2_002_ahp.tif
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/acespi/all.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_spicatum

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Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum – L.)

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Botanical Name :Acer saccharinum – L.
Family : Aceraceae
Common name: silver maple
Synonyms: A. saccharinum var. laciniatum, A. saccharinum var. wieri, A. dasycarpum, Argentacer saccharinum
Genus :   Acer
Règne : sion Magnoliophyta
Classe : Magnoliopsida
Sous-classe :  Rosidae
Ordre : Sapindales
Habitat : Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to Florida, west to Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Banks of rivers, usually in sandy soils. Trees are occasionally found in deep often submerged swamps.Woodland Garden; Canopy;

Description:
It is a perennial deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65 ft) tall and 60 cm (2 ft) diameter, usually with a short thick trunk. Bark gray and thin, becoming furrowed into long shaggy scaly ridges on older trunks and branches. Twigs long, light green to brown, glabrous, with small reddish blunt buds. Leaves opposite, long-petioled, blades 7.5-13 cm (3-5 in) long and usually about as wide, deeply 5-lobed with 5 main veins from base, doubly serrate, dull green and glabrous above, silvery white below, turning yellow in fall. Flowers crowded in clusters along twigs in late winter or early spring, usually greenish or yellow from reddish buds, about 6 mm (0.25 in) long. Fruits light brown paired samaras 4-6 cm (1.6-2.4 in) long maturing in late spring.
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It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from February to March, and the seeds ripen from April to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

Cultivation :-
Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but does well in much wetter soils than most member of the genus. Succeeds in most soils including chalk . Another report says that this species is liable to become chlorotic as a result of iron deficiency when it is grown on alkaline soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moderately sunny position. Tolerates atmospheric pollution. Fairly wind-tolerant. The wood is brittle and branches are liable to break off the tree in high winds. Trees can tolerate short periods of flooding, but are very susceptible to fire. A very ornamental and fast growing tree , but it is short-lived, seldom surviving longer than 125 – 140 years. The tree has invasive roots and these often interfere with sewer pipes and drainage tiles around houses. The silver maple is a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

 

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the spring in a cold frame. It usually germinates immediately and by the end of summer has formed a small tree with several pairs of leaves. Stored seed quickly loses its viability. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Leaves; Sap; Seed.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.
The sap contains sugar and can be used as a drink or be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The yield is only half that of A. saccharum. It is said to be sweeter and whiter than A. saccharum. The sap can be harvested in the late winter, the flow is best on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use. Seeds – cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot. Good crops are produced nearly every year in the wild. The seed is about 12mm long and is produced in small clusters. Inner bark – cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.

Medicinal Uses:-
Antispasmodic; Astringent; Ophthalmic; Skin; VD.
An infusion of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, cramps and dysentery. The infusion is also applied externally to old, stubborn running sores. A compound infusion is used in the treatment of ‘female complaints’. The inner bark is boiled and used with water as a wash for sore eyes. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the root bark has been used in the treatment of gonorrhea.

Other Uses
Dye; Preservative; Rust; Shelterbelt; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings. The branches are rather brittle, however, and can break off even in minor storms. The stems are used in making baskets. The boiled inner bark yields a brown dye. Mixed with lead sulphate this produces a blue/black dye which can also be used as an ink. A black dye is obtained from the twigs and bark. The bark can be boiled, along with hemlock (Tsuga spp]) and swamp oak bark (Quercus bicolor) to make a wash to remove rust from iron and steel, and to prevent further rusting. Wood – rather brittle, close-grained, hard, strong, easily worked but not durable. It weighs 32lb per cubic metre. It has many uses such as veneer, cooperage, furniture, flooring and pulp.

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.

Resource:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acer+saccharinum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACSA2&photoID=acsa2_002_ahp.tif
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/shrub/acsa2.htm

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Maple

Botanical Name: Acer

Family: N.O. Aceraceae

Habitat: The Maples, belonging to the genus Acer, natural order Aceraceae, are for the most part trees, inhabitants of the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly North America, Northern India and Japan. There are approximately 125 species, most of which are native to Asia, but several species also occur in Europe, northern Africa, and North America.

Description: The leaves are long-stalked, placed opposite to one another, and palmately lobed; the flowers, in fascicles appearing before the leaves as in the Norway Maple, or in racemes appearing with, or later than, the leaves as in the Sycamore Some of the flowers are often imperfect.

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The dry fruit, termed a ‘samara,’ is composed of two one-seeded cells, furnished with wings, which divide when ripe, the winged seeds being borne by the wind to a considerable distance.

The leaves of the Maples commonly exhibit varnish-like smears, of sticky consistence, known as honey-dew. This is the excretion of the aphides which live on the leaves; the insect bores holes into the tissues, sucks their juices and ejects a drop of honeydew, on an average once in half an hour. In passing under a tree infested with aphides the drops can be felt like a fine rain. The fluid is rich in sugar. When the dew falls, the honey-dew takes it up and spreads over the leaf; later in the day evaporation reduces it to the state of a varnish on the leaf surface, which aids in checking transpiration. Many other trees exhibit this phenomenon, e.g. lime, beech, oak, etc.
Most of the Maples yield a saccharine juice from the trunk, branches and leaves. The wood of almost all the species is useful for many purposes, especially to the cabinetmaker, the turner and the musical instrument-maker, and for the manufacture of alkali the Maples of North America are of great value.

Many species with finely-cut or variegated leaves have been introduced, especially from Japan, as ornamental shrubs, most of them remarkable for the coppery-purple tint that pervades the leaves and younger growths.

The Common Maple (Acer campestre, Linn.) is the only species indigenous to Great Britain. This and the Sycamore, or Great Maple, were described by Gerard in 1597, the latter as ‘a stranger to England.’

MAPLE, COMMON:
Botanical Name: Acer campestre
Though a native tree, Acer campestre is not often seen growing freely for the sake of its timber, being chiefly looked upon as a valuable hedge-tree, and is therefore frequently found in hedgerows.
When growing alone it is a small tree, seldom attaining more than 20 feet, but the wood is compact, of a fine grain, sometimes beautifully veined and takes a high polish. For this reason, it is highly praised by the cabinet-maker and has always been used much for tables, also for inlaying, and is frequently employed for violin cases. The wood makes excellent fuel and affords very good charcoal.

The wood of the roots is often knotted and is valuable for small objects of cabinet-work.
The young shoots, being flexible and tough, are employed in France as whips.
Sap drawn from the trees in spring yields a certain amount of sug.

MAPLE, BIRD’S EYE :-
Botanical Name:Acer saccharinum (LINN.)
Acer saccharinum (Linn.), the Sugar or Bird’s Eye Maple, is an American species, introduced into Britain in 1735.
It bears a considerable resemblance to the Norway Maple, especially when young, but is not so hardy here as our native Maple and requires a sheltered situation.

So far it has only been grown as an ornamental tree, the vivid colours of its foliage in winter ranging from bright orange to dark crimson. Sometimes it attains a height of 70, or even 100 feet, though more commonly it does not exceed 50 or 60 feet. It is remarkable for the whiteness of its bark.

Where the tree is plentiful in America, the timber is much used for fuel and is extensively employed for house-building and furniture, used instead of Oak when the latter is scarce, being also employed for axletrees and spokes, as well as for Windsor chairs, shoe-lasts, etc. The wood is white, but acquires a rosy tinge after exposure to light. The grain is fine and close and when polished has a silky lustre.

The wood of old trees is valued for inlaying mahogany. The name ‘Bird’s Eye Maple’ refers to the twisting of the silver grain, which produces numerous knots like the eyes of birds. Considerable quantities of this Maple are imported from Canada for cabinetmaking.

The wood forms excellent fuel and charcoal, while the ashes are rich in alkaline principles, furnishing a large proportion of the potash exported from Boston and New York.

Large quantities of sugar are made from the sap of this species of Maple. The sap is boiled and the syrup when reduced to a proper consistence is run into moulds to form cakes. Trees growing in moist and low situations afford the most sap, though the least proportion of sugar.

The trees are tapped in early spring, just before the foliage develops, either by making a notch in the stem, about 3 feet from the ground, with an axe, or by boring a hole about 2 inches deep and introducing a spout of sumach or elder, through which the sap flows into a trough below. The sap is purified and concentrated in a simple manner, the whole work being carried on by farmers, who themselves use much of the product for domestic and culinary purposes.

A cold north-west wind with frosty nights and sunny days tends to incite the flow, which is more abundant during the day than during the night. The flow ceases during a south-west wind and at the approach of a storm, and so sensitive are the trees to aspect and climatic variations that the flow of sap on the south and east sides has been noticed to be earlier than on the north and west sides of the same tree.

The sap continues flowing for five or six weeks, according to the temperature. A tree of average size yields 15 to 30 gallons of sap in a season, 4 gallons of sap giving about 1 Ib. of sugar. The tree is not at all injured by the tapping operation.

The quality of Maple Sugar is superior to that of West Indian cane sugar: it deposits less sediment when dissolved in water and has more the appearance of sugar candy.

The profits of the Sugar Maple do not arise from the sugar alone: it affords good molasses and excellent vinegar. The sap which is suitable for these purposes is obtained after that which supplies the sugar has ceased to flow.

MAPLE, GREAT:-

Botanical Name: Acer pseudo-Platanus (LINN.
Acer pseudo-Platanus (Linn.), the Sycamore or Great Maple (the Plane-tree of the Scotch), grows wild in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. It is remarkably hardy and will grow with an erect stem, exposed to the highest winds or to the sea-breezes, which it withstands better than most timber trees, being often planted near farmhouses and cottages in exposed localities for the sake of its dense foliage.
Description: It is a handsome tree, of quick growth, attaining a height of 50 or 60 feet in 50 years. Though not a native, it has been cultivated here for four or five centuries, and has become so naturalized that self-sown examples are common.

The timber was formerly much used by the turner for cups, bowls and pattern blocks; and is still in repute by the saddlemakers and the millwright, being soft, light and tough.

In spring and autumn, if the trunk is pierced, it yields an abundance of juice, from which a good wine has been made in the Highlands of Scotland. Sugar is to a certain extent procured from it by evaporation, but 1 ounce to 1 quart of sap is the largest amount of sugar obtainable.

The leaves may be dried and given to sheep in winter.

The lobed shape of its leaf and its dense foliage caused it to be confounded with the True Sycamore (Ficus sycamorus) of Scripture.

MAPLE, NORWAY:-
Botanical Name: Acer Platanoides

Acer Platanoides, the Norway Maple, grows on the mountains of the northern countries of Europe, descending in some parts of Norway to the seashore. It abounds in the north of Poland and Lithuania, and is common through Germany, Switzerland, and Savoy.
It was introduced into Great Britain in 1683. It is a quick grower and on a tolerable soil it attains a large size (from 40 to 70 feet).

Description: The leaves are smooth and of a shining green, as large or larger than those of the Sycamore, and are seldom eaten or defaced, because the tree is full of a sharp, milky juice disliked by insects. In the spring, when the flowers, which are of a fine yellow colour, are out, this tree has great beauty.

The wood is used for the same purposes as that of the Sycamore.

Sugar has been made from the sap in Norway and Sweden.

MAPLE, RED :-

Botanical: Acer rubrum (LINN.)
Synonyms:
Swamp Maple. Curled Maple.

Acer rubrum (Linn.), the Red or Swamp Maple, is another American species, a middle-sized tree, introduced here in 1656, but so far only cultivated in England as an ornamental tree, for the sake of its striking bright scarlet flowers, which appear before the leaves in March and April, its red fruit and leaves rendering it very attractive also in autumn.
The wood is applicable to many purposes, such as the seats of Windsor chairs, turnery, etc. The grain of very old trees is sometimes undulated, which has suggested the name of ‘Curled Maple’: this gives beautiful effects of light and shade on polished surfaces.

The most constant use of Curled Maple is for the stocks of fowling pieces and rifles, as it affords toughness and strength, combined with lightness and elegance, but on the whole the wood is considered inferior to that of the Bird’s Eye Maple, both in strength and as fuel.

Sugar has been made from the sap by the French Canadians, and also molasses, but the yield is only half as great as that from the Sugar Maple.

The inner bark is dusky red: on boiling, it yields a purple colour, which with sulphate of lead affords a black dye. It makes a good black ink.


Medicinal Action and Uses: The bark has astringent properties and has been used medicinally as an application for sore eyes, a use which the early settlers learnt from the Red Indians.

It occurs in long quilled pieces 6 to 12 inches or more in length, 1/4 to 3/4 inch wide, externally blackish brown, slightly polished, with innumerable fine transverse lines and scattered, brownish, warts. The inner bark is in very tough and fibrous layers, pale reddish brown or buff. The bark has an astringent and slightly bitter taste.

The CHINESE SUGAR MAPLE is Sorghum saccharatum (known also asAndropogon arundinaceus, var. saccharatus), a cane-like plant containing sugary sap, belonging to the Grass family Graminaceae.

It somewhat resembles Indian corn, or maize, from which it is distinguished by producing large heads of small grains.

It is cultivated in the United States to some extent as a forage crop, but is not used in the manufacture of sugar, owing to the difficulty of effecting its crystallization.

Click to learn more about Maple Tree..……………....(1)……...(2)………(3)

Resources:
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/maples14.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple

http://www.supersodtrees.com/trees/maple/

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