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Herbs & Plants

Osmunda claytoniana

 

Botanical Name :Osmunda claytoniana
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section: Claytosmunda
Species: O. claytoniana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda interrupta.

Common Name : Interrupted Fern

Habitat : Osmunda claytoniana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. Eastern N. America. It grows on wet places in C. Japan. Open slopes, rarely in forests, 2800 – 3300 metres in Kashmir.

In eastern North America it occurs in: the Great Lakes region; eastern Canada – in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (north to tree line); and east to Newfoundland; eastern United States – upper New England south through the Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic seaboard, into the Southeastern United States in Georgia and Alabama; and west across the Southern United States to Mississippi River, and back up the Mississippi embayment through the Midwestern United States to the Great Lakes.
Description:
Osmunda claytoniana is a fern. It’s fronds are bipinnate, 40–100 cm (16–39 in) tall and 20–30 cm (8–12 in) broad, the blade formed of alternate segments forming an arching blade tightening to a pointed end. The lower end is also slightly thinner than the rest of the frond because the first segments are shorter. Three to seven short, cinnamon-colored fertile segments are inserted in the middle of the length, giving the plant its name.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

In their absence, the plant in all its stages appears similar to Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern). The base of the segments distinguishes the two species: where O. cinnamomeum has typical felt-like hairs, the few hairs present on O. claytoniana are extremely short, usually requiring a magnifying glass to see well.

Like other species in the family Osmundaceae, it grows a very large rhizome, with persistent stipe bases from previous years. It forms small, dense colonies, spreading locally through its rhizome, and often forming fairy rings
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Requires a shady position. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots.

Edible Uses:
The young fronds are eaten. Cooked as a vegetable. The centre of the clump, below ground level, is the source of a small edible pith called ‘fernbutter’

Unlike those of the ostrich fern, the interrupted fern’s fiddleheads are not readily edible, due to their bitter taste and a tendency to cause diarrhea. The base of the stipe and very young buds are edible. Overuse may kill the crown.
Medicinal Uses: The roots are used as an adulterant for Dryopteris felix-mas in the treatment of internal worms.Resources The Iroquois used the plant as treatment for blood disorders and venereal diseases.

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/Osmunda_claytoniana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+claytoniana

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Herbs & Plants

Collinsonia Canadensis

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Botanical Name: Collinsonia Canadensis
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Collinsonia
Species: C. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Horseweed. Richweed. Richleaf. Knob-Root. Knobweed. Horsebalm. Hardback. Heal-all. Oxbalm. Knot-Root. Baume de Cheval. Guérit-tout.

Common Names; Canada Horsebalm, Richweed, Hardhack, Heal-All, Horseweed, Ox-Balm and Stone root

Habitat:Collinsonia Canadensis is native to eastern North America from Quebec south to Florida and as far west as Missouri, although it is mainly found east of the Mississippi River. It is endangered in Wisconsin. It grows in rich damp woods

Description:
Collinsonia canadensis is a perennial herb.The plant has a four-sided stem, from 1 to 4 feet in height, and bears large, greenish-yellow flowers. It grows in moist woods and flowers from July to September. The rhizome is brown-grey, about 4 inches long, knobby, and very hard. The whole plant has a strong, disagreeable odour and a pungent and spicy taste. The chief virtue of the plant is in the root, which should always be used fresh. The name is derived from its discoverer, Peter Collinson….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy peat in a moist situation but it is easily grown in ordinary garden soils so long as they are not dry. Prefers dappled shade. The whole plant has a strong disagreeable odour and a pungent spicy taste. Another report says that the foliage is strongly aromatic, with a lemon scent.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in the spring, though it might be slower to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant them out in spring or early summer of their second year. Division in spring.

Parts Used: Whole plant, fresh root.
Constituents: In the root there is resin, starch, mucilage and wax. In the leaves, resin, tannin, wax and volatile oil. The alkaloid discovered in the root appears to be a magnesium salt.

Medicinal Uses:
Alterative; Antispasmodic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Tonic; Vasodilator; Vulnerary.

The whole plant, but especially the fresh root, is alterative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. A tea made from the roots is strongly diuretic, it is valuable in the treatment of all complaints of the urinary system and the rectum and is used in the treatment of piles, indigestion, diarrhoea, kidney complaints etc. It has proved of benefit in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, mucous colitis and varicose veins. The root is seldom used on its own but is contained in remedies with other herbs, especially Aphanes arvensis, Eupatorium purpureum and Hydrangea arborescens. The roots contain more than 13,000 parts per million of rosmarinic acid, the same anti-oxidant that is found in rosemary. The fresh leaves are strongly emetic. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity. A poultice of the leaves or roots is applied to burns, bruises, sores, sprains etc
A decoction of the fresh root has been given in catarrh of the bladder, leucorrhcea, gravel and dropsy. It is largely used by American veterinary surgeons as a diuretic. It is valuable in all complaints of urinary organs and rectum, and is best combined with other drugs.

It can be used externally, especially the leaves, for poultices and fomentations, bruises, wounds, sores, cuts, etc., and also as a gargle, in the strength of 1 part of fluid extract to 3 of water.

Known Hazards : Minute doses of the fresh leaves can cause vomiting, though the root is well-tolerated by the body. Possible blood pressure elevation

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/Collinsonia_canadensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/stoner92.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Collinsonia+canadensis