Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Cord Fish

 


Description:
Cod is the common name for the genus Gadus of demersal fishes, belonging to the family Gadidae. Cod is also used as part of the common name for a number of other fish species, and some species suggested to belong to genus Gadus are not called cod (the Alaska pollock).

The two most common species of cod are the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which lives in the colder waters and deeper sea regions throughout the North Atlantic, and the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), found in both eastern and western regions of the northern Pacific. Gadus morhua was named by Linnaeus in 1758. (However, G. morhua callarias, a low-salinity, nonmigratory race restricted to parts of the Baltic, was originally described as Gadus callarias by Linnaeus.)

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Cod is popular as a food with a mild flavour and a dense, flaky, white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice.

Species:
At various times in the past, taxonomists included many species in the genus Gadus. Most of these are now either classified in other genera, or have been recognized as simply forms of one of three species. All these species have a number of common names, most of them ending with the word “cod”, whereas other species, as closely related, have other common names (such as pollock and haddock). However, many other, unrelated species also have common names ending with cod. The usage often changes with different localities and at different times.

Some fish commonly known as cod are unrelated to Gadus. Part of this name confusion is market-driven. Severely shrunken Atlantic cod stocks have led to the marketing of cod replacements using culinary names of the form “x cod”, according to culinary rather than phyletic similarity. The common names for the following species have become well established; note that all inhabit the Southern Hemisphere.

Perciformes:
Fish of the order Perciformes that are commonly called “cod” include:

*Blue cod Parapercis colias
*Eastern freshwater cod Maccullochella ikei
*Mary River cod Maccullochella peelii mariensis
*Murray cod Maccullochella peelii peelii
*Potato cod Epinephelus tukula
*Sleepy cod Oxyeleotris lineolatus
*Trout cod Maccullochella macquariensis
*The cod icefish family, Nototheniidae, including:
#Antarctic cod Dissostichus mawsoni
#Black cod Notothenia microlepidota
#Maori cod Paranotothenia magellanica
#Rock cod, reef cod, and coral cod

Almost all coral cod, reef cod or rock cod are also in order Perciformes. Most are better known as groupers, and belong to the family Serranidae. Others belong to the Nototheniidiae. Two exceptions are the Australasian red rock cod, which belongs to a different order (see below), and the fish known simply as the rock cod and as soft cod in New Zealand, Lotella rhacina, which as noted above actually is related to the true cod (it is a morid cod).

Scorpaeniformes:
From the order Scorpaeniformes:

*Ling cod Ophiodon elongatus
*Red rock cod Scorpaena papillosa
*Rock cod Sebastes
Ophidiiformes:
The tadpole cod family, Ranicipitidae, and the Eucla cod family, Euclichthyidae, were formerly classified in the order Ophidiiformes, but are now grouped with the Gadiformes.

Marketed as cod:
Some fish that do not have “cod” in their names are sometimes sold as cod. Haddock and whiting belong to the same family, the Gadidae, as cod.

*Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus
*Whiting Merlangius merlangus

Characteristics:
Cods of the genus Gadus have three rounded dorsal and two anal fins. The pelvic fins are small, with the first ray extended, and are set under the gill cover (i.e. the throat region), in front of the pectoral fins. The upper jaw extends over the lower jaw, which has a well-developed chin barbel. The eyes are medium-sized, approximately the same as the length of the chin barbel. Cod have a distinct white lateral line running from the gill slit above the pectoral fin, to the base of the caudal or tail fin. The back tends to be a greenish to sandy brown, and shows extensive mottling, especially towards the lighter sides and white belly. Dark brown colouration of the back and sides is not uncommon, especially for individuals that have resided in rocky inshore regions.

The Atlantic cod can change colour at certain water depths. It has two distinct colour phases: gray-green and reddish brown. Its average weight is 5–12 kilograms (11–26 lb), but specimens weighing up to 100 kilograms (220 lb) have been recorded. Pacific cod are smaller than Atlantic cod[2][6] and are darker in colour.
Distribution:
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) live in the colder waters and deeper sea regions throughout the North Atlantic. Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) is found in both eastern and western regions of the Pacific.

Atlantic cod divide into several stocks, including the Arcto-Norwegian, North Sea, Faroe, Iceland, East Greenland, West Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador stocks. There seems to be little interchange between the stocks, although migrations to their individual breeding grounds may involve distances of 200 miles (320 km) or more.

Atlantic cod occupy varied habitat, favouring rough ground, especially inshore, and are demersal in depths between 20 and 200 feet (6.1 and 61.0 m), 80 metres (260 ft) on average, although not uncommonly to depths of 600 metres (2,000 ft). Off the Norwegian and New England coasts and on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, cod congregate at certain seasons in water of 30–70 metres (98–230 ft) depth. Cod are gregarious and form schools, although shoaling tends to be a feature of the spawning season.

Life cycle:
Spawning of northeastern Atlantic cod occurs between January and April (March and April are the peak months), at a depth of 200 metres (660 ft) in specific spawning grounds at water temperatures between 4 and 6 °C (39 and 43 °F). Around the UK, the major spawning grounds are in the middle to southern North Sea, the start of the Bristol Channel (north of Newquay), the Irish Channel (both east and west of the Isle of Man), around Stornoway, and east of Helmsdale.

Prespawning courtship involves fin displays and male grunting, which leads to pairing. The male inverts himself beneath the female, and the pair swim in circles while spawning. The eggs are planktonic and hatch between eight and 23 days, with larva reaching 4 millimetres (0.16 in) in length. This planktonic phase lasts some ten weeks, enabling the young cod to increase its body weight by 40-fold, and growing to about 2 centimetres (0.79 in). The young cod then move to the seabed and change their diet to small benthic crustaceans, such as isopods and small crabs. They increase in size to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) in the first six months, 14–18 centimetres (5.5–7.1 in) by the end of their first year, and to 25–35 centimetres (9.8–13.8 in) by the end of the second. Growth tends to be less at higher latitudes. Cod reach maturity at about 50 centimetres (20 in) at about 3 to 4 years of age.

As Food:
Cod is popular as a food with a mild flavor and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice. Cod’s soft liver can be tinned (canned) and eaten. Cod is mainly consumed in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Brazil.

Health Benefits Of Eating Cod Fish:

*The most known health benefit of cod is that it is an excellent source of protein, while being low on calories at the same time. It also contains a variety of other essential nutrients.

*Studies have proved cod to be very useful for people suffering from atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. People, who eat cod fish regularly, are at a much lower risk of suffering from heart diseases and heart attack. More specifically, cod fosters cardiovascular health, as the omega-3 fatty acids contained in it are a good source of blood thinning.

*Cod is also a rich source of Vitamin B12 and B6. Both the vitamins are beneficial in keeping the homocysteine levels low in the body. Homocysteine is a molecule which is capable of damaging the walls of blood vessels in the body. High levels of homocysteine increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

*Cod is known to bring down the cholesterol levels, because it contains Niacin, which is another B vitamin. This vitamin plays a significant role in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body.

*The risk of arrhythmia and/or sudden death is significantly reduced by consuming the Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, both of which are present in cod liver oil.

*Studies have also put forward strong claims to establish that the omega 3 fatty acids present in cod can effectively treat depression. Continued consumption of cod liver oil can greatly help in mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. Sufferers of bipolar disorder, who struggle to control their moods, are suggested to consume cod liver oil.

*A regular dose of cod liver oil helps fight rickets in children, which is a bone softening condition. It also prevents ear infections in children. It has been witnessed that babies of mothers who regularly consume cod liver oil are less prone to type-1 diabetes.
Known Hazards:
*Omega 3 fatty acids contained in cod can interfere with the ability of blood to clot, which increases the risk of hemorrhagic strokes.

*While cod makes for a low cal food, cod liver oil is high on calories and therefore, its consumption needs to be moderate and well regulated. Large amount of cod consumption can prove dangerous for other reasons as well. As it is very rich in many vitamins, over-consumption can be risky.

Some Cooking Tips:
*Cod is best cooked in moist heat, because of its lean meat. The ways to cook cod may include boiling, frying, baking, sauté and steaming.
*Cod fish can be made very succulent by poaching or steaming it. Slow cooking works best on cod to heighten its delicious flavor.
*Cod also cooks early due to its lean meat.

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/Cod
http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-cod-6179.html

Digitalis grandiflor

Botanical Name : Digitalis grandiflor
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Large Yellow Foxglove or simply Yellow Foxglove

Habitat : Digitalis grandiflor is native to Europe to W. Asia. It grows in the woods in mountains and in drier stonier habitats.
Description:
Digitalis grandiflora is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in September.

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Arising in midsummer from neat clumps of fine-toothed foliage, a mass of soft yellow open bells, speckled brown inside, blooms along one side of a 3-foot-tall stem. Usually described as a perennial, it is more accurate to call it a biennial or short-lived perennial. If the flowering stalk is cut down after blooms have faded, it may rebloom in the fall. When a few flower stalks are left, the plant self-seeds.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter. It also succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant. It prefers semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A short-lived perennial or biennial. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer and rabbits. Special Features: Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses: The leaves are cardiac, stimulant and tonic. They are often used in the treatment of certain heart complaints.

Other Uses: The plant is used as Landscaping ( Border, Specimen.)

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are 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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitalis
http://www.finegardening.com/yellow-foxglove-digitalis-grandiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Digitalis+grandiflora

Picea mariana

Botanical Name: Picea mariana
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Picea
Species: P. mariana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms: P. nigra. Abies mariana. Pinus nigra.

Common Names: Black Spruce, Swamp Spruce

Habitat :Picea mariana is native to Northern N. America – Alaska to Newfoundland and south to British Columbia and W. Virginia. It grows on the cool slopes and bogs. Found on well-drained soils in the north of its range and swamps in the south.Found on a variety of soil types, it grows best in those that are moist and acidic.
Description:
Picea mariana is a slow-growing, small upright evergreen coniferous tree (rarely a shrub), having a straight trunk with little taper, a scruffy habit, and a narrow, pointed crown of short, compact, drooping branches with upturned tips. Through much of its range it averages 5–15 m (15–50 ft) tall with a trunk 15–50 cm (6–20 in) diameter at maturity, though occasional specimens can reach 30 m (98 ft) tall and 60 cm (24 in) diameter. The bark is thin, scaly, and grayish brown. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The leaves are needle-like, 6–15 mm (1/4–9/16 in) long, stiff, four-sided, dark bluish green on the upper sides, paler glaucous green below. The cones are the smallest of all of the spruces, 1.5–4 cm (1/2–1 1/2 in) long and 1–2 cm (1/2–3/4 in) broad, spindle-shaped to nearly round, dark purple ripening red-brown, produced in dense clusters in the upper crown, opening at maturity but persisting for several years. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.

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The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Tolerates poor peaty soils. Succeeds in wet cold and shallow soils but is not very wind-firm in shallow soils. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6 and dislikes shallow chalky soils. Dislikes shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Resists wind exposure. This tree is one of the most widespread and abundant species in N. America where it is extensively utilized as a timber tree. A short lived and slow growing tree both in the wild and in cultivation. New growth takes place from early May to the end of June and rarely exceeds 60 cm even when young and is less as the tree grows old. Trees have been planted experimentally as a timber crop in N. Europe (this appears to contradict the previous statement that the tree is slow growing. The reason is probably that it is either planted in areas too harsh for most trees to grow or it is only slow growing in milder areas such as Britain). A prolific seed-producer, usually beginning to bear cones at around 10 years of age. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain. Closely related to P. rubens. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Lower branches often self-layer and form a ring of stems around the parent plant. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. The crushed foliage has a strong scent of balsam or lemon balm. Special Features: North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A position in light shade is probably best. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure. Layering. Lower branches often layer naturally in the wild.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Seed; Seedpod.

Young male catkins – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. Immature female cones – cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy. The cones are 1 – 4cm in diameter. Inner bark – cooked. It is usually harvested in the spring and can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. Seed – raw. The seed is about 2 – 4mm long and is too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips. A tea is also made from the needles and the bark. A gum obtained from the bark is collected in considerable quantities and used for chewing. Hardened blobs make an excellent chewing gum. It should be aged for 3 days or more before using it. The best gum is obtained from the southern side of the tree. Another report says that the gum, called ‘spruce gum’, is a resinous exudation collected from the branches. A source of ‘spruce oil’, used commercially for flavouring. The young twigs are boiled with molasses, sugar etc and then fermented to produce ‘Spruce beer’. The beer is ready to drink in a week and is considered to be a good source of minerals and vitamins.
Medicinal Uses:
A poultice of the inner bark has been applied to inflammations. A tea made from the inner bark is a folk remedy for kidney stones, stomach problems and rheumatism. An infusion of the roots and bark has been used in the treatment of stomach pains, trembling and fits. A resin from the trunk is used as a poultice and salve on sores to promote healing. The resin can be mixed with oil and used as a dressing on purulent wounds, bad burns, skin rashes, scabies and persistent scabs. The resin can be chewed as an aid to digestion. A decoction of the gum or leaves has been used in treating respiratory infections and kidney problems. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a bath or a rub in treating dry skin or sores. A decoction of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of coughs. A decoction of the cones has been drunk in the treatment of diarrhoea. A decoction has been used externally as a gargle to treat sore throats. The cones have been chewed to treat a sore mouth and toothaches.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Screen, Specimen. Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil.

A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the cones. Various native North American Indian tribes made a string from the long roots of this species and used it to stitch the bark of their canoes, to sew baskets etc. The pitch obtained from the trunk has been used as a sealing material on the hulls of canoes. Wood – light, soft, not strong. It weighs 28lb per cubic foot. Since it is a smaller tree than the other spruces, it is not an important lumber source for uses such as construction. However, it is widely used for making boxes, crates etc, and is valued for its use in the pulp industry to make paper, plus it is also used as a fuel.

Known Hazards : The sawdust, the resin from the trunk and even the needles can cause dermatitis in some people.

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/Picea_mariana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Picea+mariana

Simarouba glauca

 

Botanical Name : Simarouba glauca
Family: Simaroubaceae
Genus: Simarouba
Species: S. glauca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Quassia simarouba, Zwingera amara, Picraena officinalis, Simarouba medicinalis

Common Names: Simarouba, Gavilan, Negrito, MarubA, marupa, Dysentery bark, Bitterwood, Paradise tree, Palo blanco, Robleceillo, Caixeta, Daguilla, Cedro blanco, Caju-rana, , Malacacheta, Palo amargo, Pitomba, Bois amer, Bois blanc, Bois frene, Bois negresse, Simaba

Habitat : Simarouba glauca is native to Florida in the United States, Southern Florida, South America, and the Lesser Antilles. . The tree is well suited for warm, humid, tropical regions. Its cultivation depends on rainfall distribution, water holding capacity of the soil and sub-soil moisture. It is suited for temperature range of 10 to 40 °C (50 to 104 °F). It can grow at elevations from sea level to 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Description:
Simarouba glauca is an evergreen perennial tree which can grows 40 to 50 ft (12 to 15 m) tall and has a span of 25 to 30 ft (7.6 to 9.1 m). The tree has bright green leaves 20 to 50 cm in length, It bears yellow flowers and oval elongated purple colored fleshy fruits.
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The tree forms a well-developed root system and dense evergreen canopy that efficiently checks soil erosion, supports soil microbial life, and improves groundwater position. Besides converting solar energy into biochemical energy all round the year, it checks overheating of the soil surface all through the year and particularly during summer. Large-scale planting in wastelands facilitates wasteland reclamation, converts the accumulated atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse effect or global warming.
Cultivation & Propagation:
It can be propagated from seeds, grafting and tissue culture technology. Fruits are collected in the month of April / May, when they are ripe and then dried in sun for about a week. Skin is separated and seeds are grown in plastic bags to produce saplings. Saplings 2 to 3 months old can be transplanted to a plantation.

Chemical Constituents:
The main plant chemicals in simarouba include: ailanthinone, benzoquinone, canthin, dehydroglaucarubinone, glaucarubine, glaucarubolone, glaucarubinone, holacanthone, melianone, simaroubidin, simarolide, simarubin, simarubolide, sitosterol, and tirucalla.

Medicinal Uses:
Researchers have confirmed strong antiviral properties of the bark in vitro against herpes, influenza, polio, and vaccinia viruses. Another area of research on simarouba and its plant chemicals has focused on cancer and leukemia. The quassinoids responsible for the anti-amebic and antimalarial properties have also shown in clinical research to possess active cancer-killing properties.

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/Simarouba_glauca
http://www.rain-tree.com/simaruba.htm#.VsPyripTffI
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Arum maculatum

Botanical Name : Arum maculatum
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe:     Areae
Genus:     Arum
Species: A. maculatum
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order:     Alismatales

Synonyms: Lords and Ladies. Arum. Starchwort. Adder’s Root. Bobbins. Friar’s Cowl. Kings and Queens. Parson and Clerk. Ramp. Quaker. Wake Robin.

Common Names : snakeshead, adder’s root, arum, wild arum, arum lily, lords and ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, cuckoo-pint, Adam and Eve, bobbins, naked boys, starch-root, wake robin, friar’s cowl and jack in the pulpit. The name “lords and ladies” and other gender related names refer to the plant’s likeness to male ? and female ? genitalia symbolising copulation.

Arum maculatum is also known as Cuckoo Pint or Cuckoo-pint in the British Isles and is named thus in Nicholas Culpepers’ famous 16th Century herbal. This is a name it shares with Arum italicum (Italian Lords-and-Ladies) – the other native British Arum. “Pint” is a shortening of the word “pintle”, meaning penis, derived from the shape of the spadix. The euphemistic shortening has been traced to Turner in 1551.

Habitat :Arum maculatum is widespread across most of Europe, south and east of Sweden, including Britain, south to N. Africa.It grows in hedges, woodlands, copses etc, especially on base-rich substrata

The Arum family, Aroidae, which numbers nearly 1,000 members, mostly tropical, and many of them marsh or water plants, is represented in this country by a sole species, Arum maculatum (Linn.), familiarly known as Lords and Ladies, or Cuckoo-pint.

Description:

Arum maculatum is a perennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Flies.

The purple spotted leaves of Arum maculatum appear in the spring (April–May) followed by the flowers borne on a poker shaped inflorescence called a spadix. The purple spadix is partially enclosed in a pale green spathe or leaf-like hood. The flowers are hidden from sight, clustered at the base of the spadix with a ring of female flowers at the bottom and a ring of male flowers above them.

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Above the male flowers is a ring of hairs forming an insect trap. Insects, especially owl-midges Psychoda phalaenoides, are attracted to the spadix by its faecal odour and a temperature up to 15 degrees celsius warmer than the ambient temperature. The insects are trapped beneath the ring of hairs and are dusted with pollen by the male flowers before escaping and carrying the pollen to the spadices of other plants, where they pollinate the female flowers. The spadix may also  be yellow, but purple is the more common.

All parts of the plant can produce allergic reactions in many people and the plant should be handled with care. Many small rodents appear to find the spadix particularly attractive and it is common to find examples of the plant with much of the spadix eaten away. The spadix produces heat and probably scent as the flowers mature and it may be this that attracts the rodents.

Cultivation:
Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Prefers a shady damp calcareous soil. Succeeds in sun or shade. Plants are very shade tolerant  and grow well in woodland conditions. The inflorescence has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. Temperature rises of 11°c have been recorded. At the same time, the flowers emit a foul and urinous smell in order to attract midges for pollination. The smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Edible Uses:
Tuber is cooked and used as a vegetable. A mild flavour, the root contains about 25% starch. A farina can be extracted from the root. Roots can be harvested at any time of the year, though they are best when the plant is dormant. At one time, the tubers of this plant were commonly harvested and used for food, but they are very rarely used nowadays. The root must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten. (see the Known Hazards below) . Leaves – must be well cooked. Available from late winter. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Root.

Antirheumatic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Purgative; Vermifuge.

Arum maculatum  has been little used in herbal medicine and is generally not recommended for internal use. The shape of the flowering spadix has a distinct sexual symbolism and the plant did have a reputation as an aphrodisiac, though there is no evidence to support this. The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, strongly purgative and vermifuge. It should be harvested in the autumn or before the leaves are produced in the spring. It can be stored fresh in a cellar in sand for up to a year or can be dried for later use. The plant should be used with caution. The bruised fresh plant has been applied externally in the treatment of rheumatic pain. A liquid from the boiled bark of the stem has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the root and leaves. It has been used in the treatment of sore throats.

Other Uses:
Arum maculatum is cultivated as an ornamental plant in traditional and woodland shade gardens. The cluster of bright red berries standing alone without foliage can be a striking landscape accent. The mottled and variegated leaf patterns can add bright interest in darker habitats.

Starch from the root has been used as a laundry starch for stiffening clothes. Its use is said to be very harsh on the skin, producing sores and blisters on the hands of the laundresses who have to use it, though another report says that the powdered root makes a good and innocent cosmetic that can be used to remove freckles.

Known Hazards: In autumn the lower ring of (female) flowers forms a cluster of bright red berries which remain after the spathe and other leaves have withered away. These attractive red to orange berries are extremely poisonous. The berries contain oxalates of saponins which have needle-shaped crystals which irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, and result in swelling of throat, difficulty breathing, burning pain, and upset stomach. However, their acrid taste coupled with the almost immediate tingling sensation in the mouth when consumed mean that large amounts are rarely taken and serious harm is unusual. It is one of the most common causes of accidental plant poisoning based on attendance at hospital A & E departments.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cucko122.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arum_maculatum
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Arum+maculatum

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