Tag Archives: Northern Hemisphere

Potentilla fruticosa

Botanical Name: Potentilla fruticosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Dasiphora
Species: D. fruticosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Dasiphora fruticosa. Pentaphylloides fruticosa.

Common Names: Shrubby cinquefoil, Potentilla, Golden hardhack,Bush cinquefoil, Shrubby five-finger, Tundra rose

Habitat : Potentilla fruticosa is native to the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, often growing at high altitudes in mountains. It grows on damp rocky ground, usually on limestone.
Description:
Potentilla fruticosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1.2 m (4ft in) at a medium rate. The habit is variably upright to sprawling or prostrate, but stems are often ascending especially those stems with many long branches. The bark of older stems is shreddy with long thin strips. The plants are densely leafy, the leaves divided into five or seven (occasionally three or nine) pinnate leaflets. The leaflets are linear-oblong, 3–20 mm (0.1–0.8 in) long, with entire margins and more or less acute ends. The foliage (both leaves and young stems) is pubescent, variably covered in fine silky, silvery hairs about 1 mm long. The flowers are produced terminally on the stems and are 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) cm across, buttercup-shaped, with five petals and 15–25 stamens; the petals are pale to bright yellow (orange to reddish in some western Chinese populations). The fruit is a cluster of achenes covered with long hairs. The species is variably dioecious or bisexual; flowering is typically from early to late summer… from Jun to July. 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, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Prefers a light well-drained soil. Established plants are drought tolerant. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. A very ornamental shrub, there are many named varieties. Polymorphic. A good bee plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Dislikes growing under trees, especially Juglans species. Plants are usually dioecious but hermaphrodite forms are also known. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn 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, 3 – 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn if possible and overwinter in a cold frame. Softwood cuttings taken in the early summer. Easy.

Edible Uses: Tea.
A tea is made from the dried leaves. Used as a substitute for China tea, especially by people living at high elevations in the Himalayas.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.
The leaves are astringent. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of indigestion.
Other Uses:
Hedge; Hedge; Incense; Packing; Soil stabilization; Tinder.

Can be grown as a medium size informal hedge. Trim in spring. Some forms, notably ‘Longacre’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Gold Drop‘ have a dense spreading habit and make good ground cover plants. A useful plant for controlling soil erosion. The dry, flaky bark is used as a tinder for friction fires. (fires started by rubbing 2 pieces of wood together very fast). The powdered plant is used as an incense. The leaves are used as a packing material in pillows.

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/Dasiphora_fruticosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Potentilla+fruticosa

Equisetum fluviatile

Botanical Name : Equisetum fluviatile
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. fluviatile
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms: E. heliocharis. E. limosum.

Common Name : Water horsetail , Swamp Horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum fluviatile is native to arctic and temperate Northern Hemisphere, from Eurasia south to central Spain, northern Italy, the Caucasus, China, Korea and Japan, and in
North America from the Aleutian Islands to Newfoundland, south to Oregon, Idaho, northwest Montana, northeast Wyoming, West Virginia and Virginia.. It grows on shallow water in lakes,
ponds and ditches and other sluggish or still waters with mud bottoms.

Description:
Equisetum fluviatile is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 30–100 cm (rarely 140 cm) tall with erect dark green stems 2–8 mm in diameter, smooth, with about 10–30 fine ridges. At
each joint, the stem has a whorl of tiny, black-tipped scale leaves 5–10 mm long. Many, but not all, stems also have whorls of short ascending and spreading branches 1–5 cm long, with the   longest branches on the lower middle of the stem. The side branches are slender, dark green, and have 1–8 nodes with a whorl of five scale leaves at each node. The water horsetail has the
largest central hollow of the horsetails, with 80% of the stem diameter typically being hollow. The stems readily pull apart at the joints, and both fertile and sterile stems look alike.

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The water horsetail reproduces both by spores and vegetatively by rhizomes. It primarily reproduces by vegetative means, with the majority of shoots arising from rhizomes. Spores are
produced in blunt-tipped cones at the tips of some stems. The spore cones are yellowish-green, 1-2 cm long and 1 cm broad, with numerous scales in dense whorls.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jun to July.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best   kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation :
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very
difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Edible Uses:
The water horsetail has historically been used by both Europeans and Native Americans for scouring, sanding, and filing because of the high silica content in the stems. Early spring shoots were eaten.

Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute, though it is neither palatable nor nutritious. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – cooked.
The roots contain a nutritious starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Medically it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to stop bleeding and treat kidney ailments, ulcers, and tuberculosis, and by the ancient Chinese to treat superficial visual obstructions. Horsetails absorb heavy metals from the soil, and are often used in bioassays for metals.

Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is styptic. The
barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the plant are used. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and
promote healing.

Other Uses: Rootstocks and stems are sometimes eaten by waterfowl.

Known Hazards:
Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_fluviatile
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+fluviatile

Coptis trifolia

Botanical Name: Coptis trifolia
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis
Species: C. trifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Helleborus triflius or trilobus. Helleborus pumilus. Coptis. Anemone grcenlandica. Coptide. Mouthroot. Vegetable Gold. Chrusa borealis.

Common Names: Coptis groenlandica, Cankerroot , the threeleaf goldthread or savoyane

Habitat:Coptis trifolia is native to Northern America and Asia. Greenland and Iceland.

Description:
Coptis trifolia is a small, perennial, evergreen herb, 4″ – 6″ tall. Leaves are dark, evergreen; divided like those of wild strawberries. The plant has many stems, wiry, branched, and frequently matted. Rhizome is long, slender creeping; bright golden yellow. Flowers are ½” wide, white, bloom in early summer. They form endomycorrhizal associations..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES.

Parts Used: The dried rhizome, with roots, stems, and leaves.

Constituents: Its bitterness is imparted to both water and alcohol, but more readily to the latter. As there is neither tannic nor gallic acid, the activity is due to berberia or berberine, which is associated with another alkaloid called Coptine or Coptina, resembling hydrastia. It also contains albumen, fixed oil, colouring matter, lignin, extractive, and sugar. Authorities differ as to the presence of resin.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots and rhizomes of cankerroot chewed raw or boiled, have been used to treat canker sores, fever blisters, and other mouth irritations and to treat indigestion and sore throats. A medicinal brew from the roots has been used as an eyewash. The effectiveness of all these uses is due to the presence of the alkaloid berberine, a mild sedative, in the plant. A decoction of equal parts of cankerroot and goldenseal has acquired the reputation of eliminating the craving for alcoholic beverages

It may be used as other pure bitters. In New England it is valued as a local application in thrush, for children.

It is stated to be good for dyspepsia, and combined with other drugs is regarded as helpful in combating the drink habit.

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/Coptis_trifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/golthr25.html
http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/herbs/coptis.html

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

Tilia Europoea

Botanical Name :Tilia Europoea
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Tilioideae
Genus: Tilia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Tilia vulgaris. Tilia intermedia. Tilia cordata. Tilia platyphylla. Linden Flowers. Linn Flowers. Common Lime. Flores Tiliae. Tilleul.

Common Names:Lime trees, (they are not closely related to the lime fruit. Other names include linden and basswood) Small Leaved Lime, Littleleaf linden

Habitat: Tilia Europoea is native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere  especially British Isles. It grows in woods on most fertile soils, especially limestone, it is commonly found on wooded limestone cliffs

Description:
Tilia Europoea is a  deciduous tree  reaching typically 20 to 40 metres (66 to 130 ft) tall, with oblique-cordate leaves 6 to 20 centimetres (2 to 8 in) across  and when in bloom perfumes its whole neighbourhood. The leaves are obliquely heart-shaped, dark green above, paler below, from 2 1\2 to 4 inches long and sharply toothed. The  yellowish-white flowers. They have five petals and five sepals. The original five stamens have each developed a cluster, and there is a spoon-shaped false petal opposite each true one.
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The Tilia’s sturdy trunk stands like a pillar and the branches divide and subdivide into numerous ramifications on which the twigs are fine and thick. In summer, these are profusely clothed with large leaves and the result is a dense head of abundant foliage.

In particular, aphids are attracted by the rich supply of sap, and are in turn often “farmed” by ants for the production of the sap which the ants collect for their own use, and the result can often be a dripping of excess sap onto the lower branches and leaves, and anything else below. Cars left under the trees can quickly become coated with a film of the syrup (“honeydew”) thus dropped from higher up. The ant/aphid “farming” process does not appear to cause any serious damage to the trees.

Cultivation :
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pollard, Screen, Specimen, Street tree. Prefers a good moist loamy alkaline to neutral soil but it also succeeds on slightly acid soils. Grows poorly on any very dry or very wet soil. Tolerates considerable exposure. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade. Plants can be transplanted quite easily, even when large, trees up to 60 years old have been moved successfully. Trees are very amenable to coppicing or pollarding. They produce numerous suckers from the base. Suckers are produced but not freely according to another report. This species produces far less suckers than T. platyphyllos or T. x vulgaris. This species grows well in Britain, but it rarely produces viable seed in areas with cool summers. Lime trees tend to hybridise freely if other members of the genus are growing nearby. If growing plants from seed it is important to ensure the seed came from a wild source or from an isolated clump of the single species. Grows best in a woodland situation, young plants tolerate a reasonable level of side shade. Mature trees cast a dense shade. A very valuable bee plant, producing an abundance of nectar. A valuable species for wildlife, there are 31 species of insects associated with this tree. The leaves are very attractive to leaf aphis and these aphis produce an abundance of sweet secretions which drip off the leaves to the ground below and also attract sooty mould fungus. This makes the tree unsuitable for street planting. This species, however, is less likely to become infested with aphis than T. platyphyllos or T. x vulgaris. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features:Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – much of the seed produced in Britain is not viable, cut a few seedcases open to see if there is a seed inside. If possible, obtain fresh seed that is ripe but has not as yet developed a hard seed coat and sow it immediately in a cold frame. It may germinate in the following spring though it could take 18 months. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate. It has a hard seed coat, embryo dormancy and a hard coat on the pericarp. All these factors mean that the seed may take up to 8 years to germinate. One way of shortening this time is to stratify the seed for 5 months at high temperatures (10°c at night, up to 30°c by day) and then 5 months cold stratification. 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. Layering in spring just before the leaves unfurl. Takes 1 – 3 years. Suckers, when formed, can be removed with as much root as possible during the dormant season and replanted immediately

Edible Uses: Linden Tea is much used on the Continent, especially in France, where stocks of dried lime-flowers are kept in most households for making ‘Tilleul.’

Young leaves  make an excellent salad or sandwich filling, they are mild tasting and somewhat mucilaginous. The leaves can be available from spring until early autumn from the young growths at the base of the tree. A very acceptable chocolate substitute can be made from a paste of the ground-up flowers and immature fruit. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste is very apt to decompose. A popular herb tea is made from the flowers, it has a sweet, fragrant pleasant flavour. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Sap – harvested in the spring, it is sweet and can be used as a drink or concentrated into a syrup

Medicinal Uses:
Most medicinal research has focused on Tilia cordata, although other species are also used medicinally and somewhat interchangeably. The dried flowers are mildly sweet and sticky, and the fruit is somewhat sweet and mucilaginous. Limeflower tea has a pleasing taste, due to the aromatic volatile oil found in the flowers. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the Tilia flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants) and volatile oils. The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent.

Linden flowers are used in herbalism for colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), and as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. In the traditional Austrian medicine Tilia sp. flowers have been used internally as tea for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, fever and flu. New evidence shows that the flowers may be hepatoprotective. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.

Usually, the double-flowered species are used to make perfumes. The leaf buds and young leaves are also edible raw. Tilia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera; see List of Lepidoptera that feed on Tilia.

Lime-flowers are only used in infusion or made into a distilled water as household remedies in indigestion or hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. Prolonged baths prepared with the infused flowers are also good in hysteria.

In the Pyrenees they are used to soothe the temporary excitement caused by the waters, and M. Rostan has used them with success against spasms. The flowers of several species of Lime are used.

Some doctors prefer the light charcoal of lime wood to that of the poplar in gastric or dyspeptic disturbances, and its powder for burns or sore places.

If the flowers used for making the tisane are too old they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication.

Other Uses:
The honey from the flowers is regarded as the best flavoured and the most valuable in the world. It is used exclusively in medicine and in liqueurs.

The wood is useful for small articles not requiring strength or durability, and where ease in working is wanted: it is specially valuable for carving, being white, close-grained, smooth and tractable in working, and admits of the greatest sharpness in minute details. Grinley Gibbons did most of his flower and figure carvings for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, and Chatsworth in Lime wood.

It is the lightest wood produced by any of the broad-leaved European trees, and is suitable for many other purposes, as it never becomes worm-eaten. On the Continent it is much used for turnery, sounding boards for pianos, in organ manufacture, as the framework of veneers for furniture, for packingcases, and also for artists’ charcoal making and for the fabrication of wood-pulp.

The inner bark or bast when detached from the outer bark in strands or ribands makes excellent fibres and coarse matting, chiefly used by gardeners, being light, but strong and elastic. Fancy baskets are often made of it. In Sweden, the inner bark, separated by maceration so as to form a kind of flax, has been employed to make fishing-nets.

A  fibre from the inner bark is used to make mats, shoes, baskets, ropes etc. It is also suitable for cloth. It is harvested from trunks that are 15 – 30cm in diameter. The fibre can also be used for making paper. The stems are harvested in spring or summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The outer bark is removed from the inner bark by peeling or scraping. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill. The paper is beige in colour. Wood – soft, white, easily carved. It is very suitable for carving domestic items and small non-durable items. A charcoal made from the wood is used for drawing.

The sap, drawn off in the spring, affords a considerable quantity of sugar.

The foliage is eaten by cattle, either fresh or dry. The leaves and shoots are mucilaginous and may be employed in poultices and fomentations.
Known Hazards : If the flowers used for making tea are too old, they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/limtre28.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tilia+cordata

Scutellaria galericulata

Botanical Name :Scutellaria galericulata
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:     Scutellaria
Species: S. galericulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms:  Greater Scullcap. Helmet Flower. Hoodwort.
(French) Toque.

Common Names: Common skullcap, Marsh skullcap or Hooded skullcap,

Habitat :Scutellaria galericulata is  native to northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and much of North America.It grows on moist acid or calcareous soils on the edges of streams, in water meadows and fens, ascending to 360 metres in Britain.

Description:
Scutellaria galericulata is a hardy perennial herb. It is a member of the mint family. The form is upright and is usually 20 to 45 centimeters in height, sometimes reaching up to 80. It is a wetland-loving species and grows along fens and shorelines. The blue flowers are 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are in pairs and are all on the same side of the stem. The flowers do not appear at the top of the stem.
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The plant is native to many parts of the world and, as such, is known by a variety of names. The Latin galericulata means “hooded”, relating to the length of the flower’s tube being much longer than the calyx. The variation epilobiifolia translates as leaves like willow-herb, and refers to the slightly serrated long thin leaves which look similar to those of the genus Epilobium.

The root-stock is perennial and creeping. The square stems, 6 to 18 inches high, are somewhat slender, either paniculately branched, or, in small specimens, nearly simple, with opposite downy leaves, oblong and tapering, heart-shaped at the base, 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, notched and shortly petioled.

The flowers are in pairs, each growing from the axils of the upper, leaf-like bracts, which are quite indistinguishable from the true leaves, and are all turned one way, the pedicels being very short. The corollas are bright blue, variegated with white inside, the tube long and curved, three or four times as long as the calyx, the lips short, the lower lip having three shallow lobes.

Soon after the corolla has fallen off, the upper lip of the calyx, which bulges outward about the middle, closes on the lower as if on a hinge, and gives it the appearance of a capsule with a lid. When the seed is ripe, the cup being dry, divides into two distinct parts, and the seeds, already detached from the receptacle, fall to the ground.

The plant is in flower from July to September. It is subglabrous, with the angles of the stem, the leaves and flowering calyx finely pubescent.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season.

 Propagation :    
Seed – sow in situ outdoors in late spring. If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Basal cuttings in early summer in a frame. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Febrifuge;  Nervine;  Tonic.

The herb is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, slightly astringent, febrifuge, nervine and strongly tonic. In the home an infusion is sometimes used in the treatment of throat infections. The plant is harvested in the summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. This plant is rarely if ever used in herbal medicine, though it is said to have the same applications as S. lateriflora. These applications are:- Skullcap was traditionally used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquillisers, and neuralgia. An infusion of the plant has been used to promote suppressed menstruation, it should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage. This plant should be used with some caution since in excess it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching.

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/s/scullc34.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutellaria_galericulata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Scutellaria+galericulata