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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Rhus sempervirens

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Botanical Name:Rhus sempervirens
Family:Anacardiaceae
Genus:Sumaker
Division: vascular plants
Class: Dicotyledonous angiosperms
Order:Sapindales

Synonyms: Toxicodendron sempervirens Kuntze, Schmaltzia pachyrrhachis ( Hemsl. ) FA
Habitat :Rhus sempervirens is native to Southern N. America – Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. It grows on dry slopes, rocky hillsides and cliffs, 600 – 2250 metres.
Description:
Rhus sempervirens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on the hardiness of this species and do not know if it will succeed outdoors in Britain. It is unlikely to succeed anywhere outside the mildest areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[200]. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[78, 200]. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is small with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are used in domestic medicine for relieving asthma. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes below on toxicity.

Other Uses:
Dye; Mordant; Oil.
An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant.

Known Hazards:There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in ‘Cultivation Details’.
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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+sempervirens
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_virens

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Ribes inebrians

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Botanical Name: Ribes inebrians
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms : R. cereum pedicellare. Brewer.&S.Wats. R. cereum inebrians.

Common Names: Whisky Currant

Habitat : Ribes inebrians is native to Western N. AmericaCalifornia to Idaho, Nebraska and New Mexico. It grows in dry slopes to 3700 metres in California.

Description:
Ribes inebrians is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Hardy to about -20°c. This species is closely related to R. cereum. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust‘, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit can also be dried for later use or made into preserves. One report says that although the fruit was eaten by the Hopi Indians, it could make you ill. Another report says that the fruit was highly relished. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter.  Leaves – cooked.
Medicinal Uses: A poultice of the plant has been applied to sores.

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/Ribes
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+inebrians

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Herbs & Plants

Forestiera neomexicana

Botanical Name : Forestiera neomexicana
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Oleeae
Genus: Forestiera
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : F. pubescens glabrifolia. Adelia neo-mexicana.

Common Name : Wild Olive

Habitat : Forestiera neomexicana is native to South-western N. AmericaTexas to New Mexico, west to California. It grows on dry slopes and ridges below 2000 metres.

Description:
Forestiera neomexicana is a upright spiny branching deciduous perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).It blooms before grayish-green foliage emerges. Leaves mature to bright green and contrast beautifully with one-year-old black bark. Small, attractive black berries appear in autumn.

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Flower color is yellow. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. 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.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Tolerates dry sites. Flowers are produced in the axils of the previous years leaves. Plants do not fruit well in Britain, probably due to a lack of sunshine.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Easy. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.
Edible Uses: Fruit. Although only 4 – 8mm long, it has been suggested as a substitute for the true olive, Olea europaea.
Medicinal Uses: Miscellany.

Other Uses: Plants growing in the wild are used as indicators of underground water. Common uses for New Mexico Forestiera are in shrub borders, native plantings, hedges, xeriscapes and as an accent. They can be pruned into a small tree. This plant is ideal for the environment of New Mexico because it requires little water or shade to survive. It is known to be a low maintenance plant.

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/Forestiera
http://www.finegardening.com/new-mexico-privet-forestiera-neomexicana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Forestiera+neomexicana
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pes/lowwaterplants/new-mexico-forestiera.html

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Herbs & Plants

Crataegus chrysocarpa

Botanical Name : Crataegus chrysocarpa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Rotundifoliae
Species:C. chrysocarpa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Goldenberry hawthorn, Fireberry Hawthorn, Red haw, Piper’s hawthorn

Habitat :Crataegus chrysocarpa is native to North-eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Pennsylvania, west to the Rocky Mountains. It grows in the thickets and rocky ground along streams.

Description:
Crataegus chrysocarpa is a deciduous Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

HCLICK & SEE TE PICTURES

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. A ten year old tree was seen at Kew Gardens in 2002. It was about 2.5 metres tall and was bearing a very good crop of fruit. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years

 

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Used mainly as a famine food. A very pleasant flavour when ripe, with the added bonus of ripening in late summer before most other members of the genus. The fruit can be used in making pies, preserves, etc, and can also be dried for later use. It is about 1cm in diameter and borne in small clusters. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed. A tea can be made from the twigs. (This probably means the young shoots with leaves.)
Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic; Hypotensive; Laxative.

A decoction of the dried berries has been used as a mild laxative. A compound decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Although no other specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses:
Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handlesses , mallets and other small items.

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/Crataegus_chrysocarpa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+chrysocarpa

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia nova

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Botanical Name : Artemisia nova
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. nova
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Seriphidium novum (A.Nelson)

Common Names: Black Sagebrush

Habitat : The native range of Artemisia nova is from the Mojave Desert mountains in southern California and in the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah, north to Oregon, Idaho and Montana, east to Wyoming and Colorado, and south to Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. It grows in forest, woodland, and grassland habitats.Dry plains and hills, 1500 – 2400 metres.

Description:
In general, Artemisia nova is a small, erect evergreen shrub producing upright stems branched off a central trunklike base. It is usually no taller than 20 to 30 centimeters but it has been known to exceed 70 centimeters in height.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in leaf 12-Jan. The aromatic leaves are green, short, narrow, and sometimes toothed at the tip. This species can sometimes be distinguished from its similar-looking relatives by glandular hairs on its leaves.

The inflorescence bears clusters of flower heads lined with shiny, oily, yellow-green phyllaries with transparent tips. The fruit is a tiny achene up to a millimeter long.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. This species has some affinity for calcareous soils. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Unlike several closely related species, this plant does not layer or sprout from the stump if it is cut back. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the soil does not dry out. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and headaches.

Known Hazards  :Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions 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/Artemisia_nova
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+nova