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Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum

Botanical Name : Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Allium sibiricum.

Common Name : Giant Chives

Nome italiano: Erba cipollina
English name: Wild Chives
U.S. name: Wild Chives
French name: Civette
Spanish name: cebollino común
Portuguese name: cebolinha-francesa
German name: Schnittlauch
Swedish name: gräslök

Habitat : Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum is native to N. America to E. Asia – Siberia, Japan. It grows on calcareous or basic rock, gravels and shores, Alaska and southwards.

Description:
Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum is a bulb growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August.
Leaf arrangement:- basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade shape: the leaf blade is filiform (extremely narrow, thread-like). the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
Leaf blade length: 200–600 mm.

Flower petal color: blue to purple, pink to red
Flower petal length: 7–15 mm
Petal fusion: the perianth parts are separate

Inflorescence type: the inflorescence is an umbel (with an axis so short it appears the flowers all originate from the same point)

Ovary position: the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment

Fruit type (specific): the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
Fruit length : Up to 4 mm

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich moist but well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils and in light shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. This is a more robust form of A. schoenoprasum, the chive. It is often grown in the garden for its edible leaves which are available from late winter to the beginning of the next winter. The bulbs divide rapidly and large clumps are quickly formed. There are some named varieties. Regular cutting of the leaves ensures a continuous supply of young leaves and prevents flowering. Plants can be moved into a frame or other protected environment in the autumn and will then produce leaves throughout the winter. Do not do this every year or it weakens the plants. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. A good bee plant. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. Helps to reduce the incidence of scab when it is grown under apple trees. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy, pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle easily and plant out in the following spring. Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year but is probably best done in spring. The clumps should be divided at least every 3 or 4 years in order to maintain vigour, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw, cooked or dried for later use. The leaves have a mild onion flavour and are an excellent addition to mixed salads, they can also be used as a flavouring in soups etc. This form has a stronger garlic flavour than common chives The leaves are often available from late winter and can continue to produce leaves until early the following winter, especially if the plant is in a warm, sheltered position. A good source of sulphur and iron. The bulbs are rather small but can be used as spring onions. They can be harvested with the leaves still attached and be used as spring onions. They have a pleasant mild onion flavour. The flowers can be used as a garnish in salads etc. The flowers of this species are rather dry and less desirable than the flowers of many other species.

Medicinal Uses:

Appetizer; Digestive; Hypotensive; Tonic.

The whole plant has a beneficial effect on the digestive system and the blood circulation. It improves the appetite, is digestive, hypotensive and tonic. It has similar properties to garlic (A. sativum), but in a much milder form, and it is rarely used medicinally.

Other Uses:
Fungicide; Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as an insect repellent, it also has fungicidal properties and is effective against scab, mildew etc. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chives
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+schoenoprasum+sibiricum

http://luirig.altervista.org/flora/taxa/index1.php?scientific-name=allium+schoenoprasum

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/allium/schoenoprasum/

Synsepalum dulcificum

Botanical Name: Synsepalum dulcificum
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Synsepalum
Species: S. dulcificum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names:  Miracle fruit, Miracle berry, Miraculous berry, Sweet berry, and in West Africa, where the species originates, Agbayun, Taami, Asaa, and Ledidi.

Habitat: Synsepalum dulcificum is native to West Africa. When European explorer the Chevalier des Marchais provided an account of its use there. Marchais, who was searching West Africa for many different fruits in a 1725 excursion, noticed that local people picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals.
Description:
Synsepalum dulcificum is a shrub that grows between 6 to 15 feet in height and has dense foliage. Its leaves are 5–10 cm long, 2-3.7 cm wide and glabrous below. They are clustered at the ends of the branchlets. The flowers are brown. It carries red, 2 cm long fruits. Each fruit contains one seed……..CLICK & SEE
The fruit or the berry when eaten, causes sour foods (such as lemons and limes) subsequently consumed to taste sweet. This effect is due to miraculin.

The berry itself has a low sugar content and a mildly sweet tang. It contains a glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. At neutral pH, miraculin binds and blocks the receptors, but at low pH (resulting from ingestion of sour foods) miraculin binds protons and becomes able to activate the sweet receptors, resulting in the perception of sweet taste. This effect lasts until the protein is washed away by saliva (up to about 60 minutes).

The names miracle fruit and miracle berry are shared by Gymnema sylvestre and Thaumatococcus daniellii, which are two other species of plant used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.
Cultivation:
The plant grows best in soils with a pH as low as 4.5 to 5.8, in an environment free from frost and in partial shade with high humidity. It is tolerant of drought, full sunshine and slopes.[4]
The seeds need 14 to 21 days to germinate. A spacing of 4 m between plants is suggested.
The plants first bear fruit after growing for approximately 3–4 years, and produce two crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. This evergreen plant produces small, red berries, while white flowers are produced for many months of the year.The seeds are about the size of coffee beans.In Africa, leaves are attacked by lepidopterous larvae, and fruits are infested with larvae of fruit-flies. The fungus Rigidoporus microporus has been found on this plant. Miraculin is now being produced by transgenic tomato plants.

Edible Uses:
In tropical West Africa, where this species originates, the fruit pulp is used to sweeten palm wine. Historically, it was also used to improve the flavor of soured cornbread.The Miracle berry has a very unusual effect when the fruit is absorbed over the tongue. It makes food and drinks which normally taste sour or bitter, taste sweet. The sweet taste is similar to that of artificial sweeteners. If you chew the fruit, and then eat a lemon, it will not taste sour at all, it actually tastes like lemonade. Sour2Sweet.com is our preferred Miracle Fruit vendor

Medicinal Uses:
Attempts have been made to create a commercial sweetener from the fruit, with an idea of developing this for patients with diabetes. Fruit cultivators also report a small demand from cancer patients, because the fruit allegedly counteracts a metallic taste in the mouth that may be one of the many side effects of chemotherapy. This claim has not been researched scientifically, though in late 2008, an oncologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida, began a study, and by March 2009, had filed an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In Japan, miracle fruit is popular among patients with diabetes and dieters.

The shelf life of the fresh fruit is only 2–3 days. Because miraculin is denatured by heating, the pulp must be preserved without heating for commercial use. Freeze-dried pulp is available in granules or in tablets, and has a shelf life of 10 to 18 months.

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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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synsepalum_dulcificum
http://www.synsepalumdulcificum.net/