Tag Archives: Missouri

Betula papyrifera

Botanical Name: Betula papyrifera
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. papyrifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Betula alba var. papyrifera, Betula lenta var. papyrifera

Common Names: Paper Birch, Mountain paper birch, Kenai birch, white birch and canoe birch

Habitat: Betula papyrifera is native to Northern N. America to Greenland. It grows in woods, usually on slopes, edges of ponds, streams and swamps etc. Found in a wide range of soil conditions, but the best specimens are found in well-drained sandy-loam soils.
Description:
Betula papyrifera is a medium-sized deciduous tree typically reaching 20 metres (66 ft) tall, and exceptionally to 130 feet (40 m) with a trunk up to 30 inches (0.76 m) diameter. Within forests it is often grows with a single trunk but when grown as a landscape tree it may develop multiple trunks or branch close to the ground.

Paper birch is a typically short lived species. It handles heat and humidity poorly and may only live 30 years in zones six and up, while trees in colder-climate regions can grow over 100 years. B. papyrifera will grow on many soil types, from steep rocky outcrops to flat muskegs of the boreal forest. Best growth occurs on deeper, well drained to dry soils depending on the location.

In older trees the bark is white, commonly brightly so, flaking in fine horizontal strips to reveal a pinkish or salmon colored inner bark. It is often with small black marks and scars. In individuals younger than five years, the bark appears a brown red color with white lenticels, making the tree much harder to distinguish from other birches. The bark is highly weather-resistant. The bark has a high oil content and this gives it its waterproof and weather resistant characteristics. Often, the wood of a downed paper birch will rot away leaving the hollow bark intact.

* The leaves are dark green and smooth on the upper surface, the lower surface is often pubescent on the veins. The leaves are alternately arranged on the stem, oval to triangular in shape, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and about 2/3 as wide. The leaf is rounded at the base and tapering to an acutely pointed tip. The leaves have a doubly serrate margin with relatively sharp teeth. Each leaf has a petiole ~2.5 cm (1 in) long which connects it to the stems.

* The fall color is a bright yellow color which contributes to the bright colors within the northern deciduous forest.
* The leaf buds are conical and small and green-colored with brown edges.
* The stems are a reddish brown color and may be somewhat hairy when young.

* The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, the female flowers are greenish and 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long growing from the tips of twigs. The male (staminate) flowers are 2–4 inches (5.1–10.2 cm) long and a brownish color. It flowers from mid-April to June depending on location.Paper birch is monoicous meaning that one plant has both male and female flowers.

* The fruit matures in the fall. The mature fruit is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts. They drop between September and spring. At 15 years of age the tree will start producing seeds but will be in peak seed production between 40–70 years. The seed production is irregular with a heavy seed crops being produced typically every other year and with at least some seeds being produced every year. In average seed years, 1 million seeds/acre are produced but in bumper years 35 million/acre may be produced. The seeds are light and blow in the wind to new areas, they may also blow along the surface of the snow.

* The roots are generally shallow and occupy the upper 24 inches (61 cm) of the soil and do not form taproots. High winds are more likely to break the trunk than to uproot the tree.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays. Fairly wind tolerant. This species is very unhappy on our windy site in Cornwall. A fast-growing but short-lived species. It is often a pioneer species of areas ravaged by fire. The trunk and branches are easily killed by fire, though the tree usually regenerates from the roots. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species was an exceedingly important tree for the Indians – they utilized it for a very wide range of applications and it was a central item in their economy. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. 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. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Edible Uses:
Inner bark – raw or cooked. Best in the spring. The inner bark can also be dried and ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups or be added to flour and used in making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. Harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on warm sunny days following a hard frost. The sap usually runs freely, but the sugar content is lower than in the sugar maples. A pleasant sweet drink, it can also be concentrated into a syrup or sugar by boiling off much of the water. The sap can also be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”[269]. Very young leaves, shoots and catkins – raw or cooked. A tea is made from the young leaves and also from the root bark.
Medicinal Uses:
Paper birch was often employed medicinally by many native North American Indian tribes who used it especially to treat skin problems. It is little used in modern herbalism. The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative. The dried and powdered bark has been used to treat nappy rash in babies and various other skin rashes. A poultice of the thin outer bark has been used as a bandage on burns. A decoction of the inner bark has been used as a wash on rashes and other skin sores. Taken internally, the decoction has been used to treat dysentery and various diseases of the blood. The bark has been used to make casts for broken limbs. A soft material such as a cloth is placed next to the skin over the broken bone. Birch bark is then tied over the cloth and is gently heated until it shrinks to fit the limb. A decoction of the wood has been used to induce sweating and to ensure an adequate supply of milk in a nursing mother. A decoction of both the wood and the bark has been used to treat female ailments. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism.

Other Uses :
Dye; Fuel; Hair; Miscellany; Paper; Pioneer; Waterproofing; Wood.

The thin outer bark is used to make drinking vessels, canoe skins, roofing tiles, buckets etc. This material was very widely used by various native North American Indian tribes, it is waterproof, durable, tough and resinous. Only the thin outer bark is removed, this does not kill the tree. It is most easily removed in late spring to early summer. The outer bark has also been used as emergency sun-glasses in order to prevent snow-blindness. A strip of bark 4 – 5cm wide is placed over the eyes, the natural openings (lenticels) in the bark serving as apertures for the eyes. A brown to red dye can be made from the inner bark. A pioneer species, it rapidly invades deforested areas (such as after a forest fire or logging) and creates suitable conditions for other woodland trees to follow. Because it cannot grow or reproduce very successfully in the shade it is eventually out-competed by the other woodland trees. The tree has an extensive root system and can be planted to control banks from erosion. The bark is a good tinder. An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair shampoo, it is effective against dandruff. The thin outer bark can be used as a paper substitute. It is carefully peeled off the tree and used as it is. A fibre is obtained from the inner bark and another from the heartwood, these are used in making paper[189]. The heartwood fibre is 0.8 – 2.7mm long, that from the bark is probably longer. The branches of the tree can be harvested in spring or summer, the leaves and outer bark are removed, the branches are steamed and the fibres stripped off. Wood – strong, hard, light, very close grained, elastic, not durable. It weighs 37lb per cubic foot and is used for turnery, veneer, pulp etc. It is also used as a fuel. It splits easily and gives off considerable heat even when green, but tends to quickly coat chimneys with a layer of tar.
Known Hazards : The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with oedema or with poor kidney or heart functions.

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/Betula_papyrifera
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+papyrifera

Frasera caroliniensis

Botanical Name: Frasera caroliniensis
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Frasera
Species: F. caroliniensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: American Calumba.  Radix Colombo Americanae. Frsera Walteri. Frasera Canadensis. Faux Colombo.

Common Name : American Columbo

Habitat: Frasera caroliniensis grows in dry upland areas, rocky woods and areas with calcareous soil, though it is not limited by soil texture or other soil characteristics.The species ranges from deciduous forest regions in southern Ontario, through southern Michigan, northern Indiana, southern Illinois, southern Missouri, southeast Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas, and northern Louisiana. This plant is native to Eastern N. America – New York to Ontario and Wisconsin, south to Georgia and Tennessee
Description:
Frasera caroliniensis is a monocarpic perennial plant, meaning it flowers once after multiple seasons, and then dies. It is a plant of from 4 to 9 feet in height, with a smooth, erect stem, bearing lanceolate leaves in whorls, and yellowish-white flowers in terminal panicles. The roots are triennial, horizontal, long, and yellow. They should be collected in the autumn of the second or the spring of the third year and cut into transverse slices before being dried. When sliced longitudinally they have been put on the market as American Gentian, and when fresh, their properties closely resemble Gentiana Lutea, the European Yellow Gentian. The sliced root as found in the market has a reddish-brown epidermis, yellow cortex and spongy centre. The taste is slightly bitter and saccharine. It may be distinguished from true Colombo Root by the absence of concentric circles, and the smaller, thicker slices….click  & see the picture

When it reaches the flowering stage, the leaves develop in whorls on an elongated stem, and approximately 50 to 100 flowers will develop a panicle, with the fruits maturing soon after. The flowers that it produces are folious (tall and “spike”-like), green to yellow in colour with purple speckles. It is a perfect and complete flower, with four stamens and two carpels. The entire plant can reach heights over 2 metres (7 ft). Though it is monocarpic, the plant may live for up to 30 years before flowering.

The roots of F. caroliniensis are a taproot system, with a thick and fleshy taproot, and in some Frasera species, this may be modified into a branched rhizome. The leaves of F. caroliensis are carried on stalks (“petiolate”) and have a thick, waxy texture.

Cultivation: Requires a moist but well-drained position and a stony peaty soil. Requires an acidic soil. Plants are hardy to at least -12°c. Plants can be grown in a woodland garden.

Propagation: : Seed – sow 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 in late winte

Part Used in medicine : The dried root.

Constituents: The root contains a peculiar acid, bitter extractive, gum, pectin, glucose, wax, resin, fatty matter, and yellowcolouring matter.

It may be distinguished from Calumba by the absence of starch (though it contains tannin), and by its change of colour when treated with sulphate of iron, remaining unchanged by tincture of iodine or galls. It has not the pectine of gentians.

Medicinal Uses: Tonic, cathartic, emetic stimulant. When dried it is a simple bitter that may be used in a similar way to gentian. In its fresh state it is cathartic and emetic.

Medicinal uses for American columbo have mostly been rebutted. However, it was a common belief in the early 19th century that the root of the plant might be externally used for gangrene. It was also claimed to be useful in treating jaundice, scurvy, gout and rabies.
The powdered plant is applied externally to ulcers as a poultice. The plant is a feeble simple bitter. The root is cathartic, emetic, stimulant and tonic. When dried it is a simple bitter that can be used as a digestive tonic in a similar way to gentian root (Gentiana spp), but the fresh root is cathartic and emetic. The root is used in the treatment of dysentery, stomach complaints and a lack of appetite. It should be harvested in the autumn of its second year, or the spring of its third year.

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/Frasera_caroliniensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/coluam90.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Frasera+caroliniensis

Teucrium scorodonia

Botanical Name :Teucrium scorodonia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Teucrium
Species: T. scorodonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Wood Sage. Large-leaved Germander. Hind Heal. Ambroise. Garlic Sage.

Common Name: wood sage or woodland germander

Habitat: Teucrium scorodonia is  native of Europe and Morocco, found in woody and hilly situations among bushes and under hedges, where the soil is dry and stony. It is frequent in such places in most parts of Great Britain.

Description;
Teucrium scorodonia is a perennial and creeping herb. It reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) of height. It is a hairy shrub with erect and branched stems. The leaves are petiolate, irregularly toothed, triangular-ovate to oblong shaped, lightly wrinkled. The inflorescence is composed by one-sided (all flowers “look” at the same side) pale green or yellowish flowers bearing four stamens with reddish or violet filaments. These flowers grow in the axils of the upper leaves and are hermaphrodite, tomentose and bilabiate but lack an upper lip, as all Teucrium ones. The flowering period extends from June through August. These plants are mainly pollinated by Hymenoptera species.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The whole plant is softly hairy or pubescent. The small labiate flowers are in onesided spike-like clusters, the corollas greenish-yellow in colour, with four stamens, which have yellow anthers, and very noticeable purple and hairy filaments. The terminal flowering spike is about as long again as those that spring laterally below it from the axils of the uppermost pair of leaves.

Cultivation: Teucrium scorodonia is generally collected in the wild state, but will thrive in any moderately good soil, and in almost any situation.

It may be increased by seeds, by cuttings, inserted in sandy soil, under a glass, in spring and summer; or by division of roots in the autumn.

Edible Uses: Condiment……..The plant resembles hops in taste and flavour. An infusion of the leaves and flowers is used as a hop substitute for flavouring beer in some areas. It is said to clear the beer more quickly than hops, but imparts too much colour to the brew

Parts Uses:The whole herb, collected in July.

Constituents: A volatile oil, some tannin and a bitter principle.
Medicinal Uses:
Alterative; Appetizer; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Skin; Tonic; Vulnerary.

The herb is alterative, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, tonic and vulnerary. It is harvested in July and can be dried for later use. The herb is often used in domestic herbal practice in the treatment of skin afflictions, diseases of the blood, fevers, colds etc. It is an appetizer of the first order and is equal to gentian root as a tonic.
Teucrium scorodonia or wood sage may be used for all infections of the upper respiratory tract, especially for colds and influenza. It may be used as a diaphoretic in all fevers. It can prove beneficial in some cases of rheumatism. There is a marked stimulation of gastric juices, thereby aiding digestion and relieving flatulent indigestion. It’s equal to gentian root as a bitter tonic. Externally wood sage will speed the healing of wounds, boils and abscesses.

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/g/gersag10.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teucrium_scorodonia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Teucrium+scorodonia

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Buffalo gourd

Botanical Name :Cucurbita foetidissima
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: C. foetidissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names : Buffalo gourd, Calabazilla, Chilicote, Coyote gourd, Fetid gourd, Missouri gourd, Stinking gourd, Wild gourd, Wild pumpkin

Habitat :Buffalo gourd is a xerophytic tuberous plant found in the southwestern USA and northwestern Mexico

Description:
Buffalo gourd is a large plant which is sprawling and prostrate. The leaves can reach large dimensions. The flowers are large and yellow orange with a fringed or rolled margin. The fruits are ovoid and marked with light and dark green when fresh. Cucurbita foetidissima is found at lower to middle elevations. The crushed leaves of this plant have a foul smell, said to resemble the odor of a sweaty armpit. Other members of this family include pumpkin, cucumber and various squashes. Most of these have seeds that look similar to pumpkin or cucumber seeds.
Click to see the picture…...(01).…..(1)………...(2)

Click to enlarge the pictures

Edible Uses:
A member of the cucumber family, the fruit is consumed by humans and animals. The fruit is eaten cooked like a squash when very young. As the fruit becomes fully mature, it is too bitter for humans to eat.

Medicinal Uses:
Several  plant parts of buffalo gourd have medicinal attributes that tribes implement into their culture. The Isleta-Pueblo Indian boiled the roots applying the infusion to chest pains. The Tewa grind the root into a powder drinking it with cold water for laxative effects (not safe: can cause diarrhea and irritation of the digestive tract). Cahuilla Indians used to chew the pulp of the gourd and apply the pithy mass to open sores, or boil the dried root and drink the decoction as either an emetic or a physic.  A poultice of the mashed plant has been used to treat skin sores, ulcers etc. The complete seed, together with the husk, is used as a vermifuge. This is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purgative afterwards in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. As a remedy for internal parasites, the seeds are less potent than the root of Dryopteris felix-mas, but they are safer for pregnant women, debilitated patients and children. The juice of the root is also disinfecting and remedies toothache. The baked fruit rubbed over rheumatic areas will relieve pain. The seeds and flowers help control swelling. The seed also acts as an effective vermicide (kills worms– Grind seed into a fine flour; mix with water and drink). The poultice of the smashed plant will remedy skin sores and ulcers.  Mix root with olive oil; apply to infected area. The pulp of the gourd was mixed with soap and applied to sores and ulcers that other poultices and plasters had failed to cure.  The supperating parts were liberally dusted with a quantity of pulverized dried seeds.  The root was used to cure a bad case of piles or kill a mass of maggots infesting an open wound.

Other Uses:
When the fruit  gets fully matured   it is used for decorative purposes or in making musical instruments, particularly rattles. The seeds are the source of buffalo gourd oil.

It grows fast (including a massive underground tuber) with little water, and some have proposed growing it for fuel or biofuel ethanol

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.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/cucurbita_foetidissima.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Antelope Horn

Botanical Name :Asclepias viridis
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. viridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name : Antelope Horn, milkweed,  Green antelopehorn and Spider milkweed

Habitat:Antelope Horn is  Native to U.S. The plant is very common in Missouri, especially in the southern half of the state. Grows in  rocky prairies and glades, fields, roadsides.

Description:
This plant is a beauty and should be cultivated more. The slightly spreading nature and big flower clusters make the plant (I think) very desirable in the garden. The plant would need no care once established. Milkweed is a Perennial herb from a thickened, cylindrical to fusiform, vertical rootstock.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Stems – To +50cm long, erect or ascending, multiple from base, from thick roots, herbaceous, with milky sap, glabrous, often purple-green.

Leaves – Alternate, short petiolate. Petioles to 6mm long, minutely pubescent. Blade ovate-lanceolate, typically truncate at base but also slightly rounded, entire, to 12cm long, 5cm broad, sparse appressed pubescent, apex blunt to emarginate or rounded. Veins often pinkish above.

Inflorescence – Axillary and terminal umbellate cymes. Peduncles glabrous, green, to -5cm long. Pedicels to 3cm long, puberulent, subtended by linear bracts to 6mm long, -1mm broad.
Flowers – Petals 5, erect, lanceolate-ovate, -2cm long, to 8mm broad, glabrous. Hoods purple, 5-6mm long, margins infolded. Horns absent. Anther head 3mm in diameter, 3mm tall, blackish and green. Pollinia purple and gold, 2-3mm long. Carpels 2, 3.5mm long, enclosed by column. Sepals 5, 5mm long, 2mm broad, lanceolate, pubescent externally. Follicles to 13cm long, sparse pubescent. Seed to +6mm long, broadly ovate to suborbicular. Coma to 4cm long, whitish.

Medicinal Uses:
Used to relieve fever, it was drunk as a decoction of the root in cold water.  To relieve palpitation, the powdered root is rubbed over the heart area.  A poultice of the powdered root is used to treat neck and rib pains and a tea made from it is used to alleviate asthma and shortness of breath.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.asclepias.org/viridis.html
http://www.missouriplants.com/Greenalt/Asclepias_viridis_page.html
http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/guide/viridis.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta