Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Viola adunca

Botanical Name : Viola adunca
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. adunca
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms : Lophion aduncum. Viola bellidifolia. Viola clarkiae. Viola cordulata. Viola desertorum.
Common Names: Hookedspur violet, Early blue violet, Sand violet, and Western dog violet, Kirk’s violet, Hooked Spur violet

Habitat: Viola adunca is native to Eastern and Western N. America – Alaska to California, also Ontario to Quebec and New Brunswick. It grows on damp banks and edges of meadows in most forest communities, 1500 – 2400 metres from Alaska to N. California.
Description:
Viola adunca is a perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in). This is a hairy, compact plant growing from a small rhizome system. The leaves are spade- or heart-shaped, sometimes with broadly wavy margins. They are generally 1 to 4 centimeters long. The single-flowered inflorescence grows at the end of a long, very thin peduncle. The nodding flower is a violet with five purple petals, the lower three with white bases and purple veining. The two side petals are white-bearded near the throat. The upper two petals may have hooked spurs at their tips.

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It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, cleistogamous.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5[200]. All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities. There is at least one named form selected for its ornamental value. ‘Alba’ has white flowers. Flowers formed late in the season are cleistogamous (lacking petals, the flowers do not open but are self-pollinated).

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and flower buds – raw or cooked. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. A tea can be made from the dried leaves.
Medicinal Uses:
Early blue violet was used medicinally mostly by the Blackfoot and Bella Coola Indians. An infusion of the leaves and roots has been used to treat stomach problems and asthma in children, and also as a wash and poultice on sore and swollen joints. The roots and leaves have been chewed by women during childbirth. A poultice of the chewed leaves was applied to sore eyes. A poultice of the crushed flowers was applied to the side or chest in the treatment of pain.

Other Uses : A blue dye can be obtained from the flower.

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/Viola_adunca
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viola+adunca

Alnus serrulata

Botanical Name : Alnus serrulata
Family:    Betulaceae
Genus:    Alnus
Subgenus:Alnus
Species:A. serrulata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Fagales

Synonyms: Alnus rubra (obsolete). Smooth Alder. Red Alder.

Common Names: Hazel alder, Oregon Alder

Habitat: Alnus serrulata  is native to eastern North America and can be found found from western Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick south to Florida and Texas. It grows on moist rich soils in woods, usually below 600 metres and within 50 km of the coast.

Description:
Alnus serrulata is a large shrub or small tree that may grow up to 2.5-4 m (8-12 ft) high and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter. The scientific name originates from alnus which is an old name for alder; serrulata points to the finely-toothed leaf margins which it possesses. It takes about 10 yrs to mature. The plant prefers moist soil near streams, pond margins, and riversides. It usually has multiple stems from its base and reddish-green flowers. The broad, flat, dark green leaves are about 2 to 4 inches long.

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Leaf: The simple, round leaves are obovate, 2 to 5 in long, 1.2 to 2.8 in wide, obtuse, wider at middle, and V-shaped base. Veins are pinnate and conspicuous. Leaves have a smooth texture above and hairy texture below. The upper side of the leaves are dark green and the undersides are pale green.

Flower: The flowers are monoecious, meaning that both sexes are found on a single plant. Male (Staminate) catkins are 1.6-2.4 in long; female (Pistillate) catkins are 1/2 in long. Reddish-green flowers open in March to April.

Fruit: The ovate, dark brown, cone-like fruit is hard with winged scales. Seeds are produced in small cones and do not have wings. Fruit usually matures during fall and is quite persistent.

Twig: The twigs are reddish-brown and have a 3-angled-pith; young twigs are covered with hairs.

Bark: The bark is brownish gray, smooth, and has a bitter and astringent taste.

Cultivation:
Alnus serrulata can be found in a habitats such as stream streambanks, riversides, and swamps. Water use is high and it requires sun or part-sun. It also requires moist soil that has a PH of 6.8-7.2. Alnus serrulata needs 5-10 foot spacing in wildlife habitat.

Medicinal Uses:  Alterative, tonic, astringent, emetic. A decoction or extract is useful in scrofula, secondary syphilis and several forms of cutaneous disease. The inner bark of the root is emetic, and a decoction of the cones is said to be astringent, and useful in haematuria and other haemorrhages.

When diarrhoea, indigestion and dyspepsia are caused by debility of the stomach, it will be found helpful, and also in intermittent fevers.

It is said that an excellent ophthalmic powder can be made as follows: bore a hole from 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, lengthwise, through a stout piece of limb of Tag Alder. Fill the opening with finely-powdered salt, and close it at each end. Put into hot ashes, and allow it to remain until the Tag is almost charred (three to four days), then split it open, take out the salt, powder, and keep it in a vial. To use it, blow some of the powder upon the eye, through a quill.

It is also used to treat astringent, diuretic, emetic, ophthalmic, and purgative symptoms. A tea made from the bark is said to work as a treatment for diarrhea, coughs, toothaches, sore mouth, and the pain of birth.

Other Uses:
Because the plant resides in riversides or stream streambanks, it usually functions as a stabilizer and restorer for those habitats.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/alder021.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnus_serrulata

Helminthia echioides

Botanical Name :  Helminthia echioides
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe:     Cichorieae
Genus:     Helminthotheca
Species: H. echioides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:     Magnoliopsida
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms : Picris echioides

Common Names ;Ox-Tongue, Bristly ox-tongue

Habitat : Helminthotheca echioides is native to the Mediterranean Basin, but has become widely naturalised outside that range. In the British Isles, it is widely distributed in the south and east, but more patchily distributed to the north and west. In Northern Ireland, H. echioides is only found on the north side of Belfast Lough.

It has been introduced to North America, where it can now be found from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and California.

Description:
Helminthia echioides is an annual/biennial plant growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in), with a thick, furrowed stem and spreading branches. The leaves are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long, oblanceolate with a short petiole. The leaves, branches and stem are all covered in thick bristles. The inflorescences are 2–3.5 cm (0.8–1.4 in) wide and subtended by between 3 and 5 large ovate-cordate involucral bracts. These large bracts are the defining feature of the genus Helminthotheca.
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A number of infraspecific taxa are recognised, varying in their leaf shape.

It is somewhat stout and coarse, the sturdy stems attaining a height of from 2 to 3 feet, branching freely and covered with short, stiff hairs, each of which springs from a raised spot and is hooked at the end.

The lower leaves are much longer than the upper, of lanceolate or spear-head form, with their margins coarsely and irregularly toothed and waved. The upper leaves are small and stalkless, heart-shaped and clasping the stem with their bases. All the leaves are of a greyish-green hue and very tough to the touch.

The flower-heads are ordinarily somewhat clustered together on short stalks and form an irregular, terminal mass at the ends of the main stems. The involucre, or ring of bracts from which the florets spring, is doubled outside the ring of eight to ten narrow and nearly erect scales, simple in form and thin in texture, is an outer ring composed of a smaller number of spiny bracts of a broad heart-shape, in their roughness of surface and general character resembling the leaves of the plant. The combination of the inner and outer bracts may be roughly compared to a cup and saucer, and gives the plant a singular appearance.

The Ox Tongue is in blossom during June and July; all the florets of the flower-heads, as in the Dandelion, are of a rich golden yellow.

Cultivation:    
Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade. Wild plants are an indicator of calcareous soils. Seed is often produced apomictically. Any seedlings from this seed will be genetically identical to the parent plant.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in situ, only just covering the seed. Germination should take place quite quickly.

Medicinal Uses:
Information is not available.

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/Helminthotheca_echioides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/oxtong17.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Picris+echioides

Hardhack

Botanical Name : Spiraea tomentosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus:     Spiraea
Species: S. tomentosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Rosales

Synonyms: Steeple Bush. White Cap. White Leaf. Silver Leaf.

Common Name: Steeplebush or hardhack

Habitat:Hardhack is native to Canada. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia to the mountains of Georgia westward. It  grows to up to four feet high, and prefers moist to wet soil and full sun.

Description:
Hardhack is a deciduous Shrub, it grows to up to four feet high, with leaves ovate, lanceolate, serrate, greenish-white and downy.. It blooms in summer.  The rose-coloured flowers are in panicles underneath.Individual Hardhack flowers are about 1/16 of an inch wide and are arranged in narrow, pyramid-shaped clusters that can be up to eight inches long.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects find the flowers highly attractive. The flowers are followed by small, dry, brown fruit. It has a dense white-woolly tomentum which covers its stem and the underside of its leaves. It is noted for its astringent properties, which cause it to be used medicinally.
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Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Leaves, root, flowers.
Constituents: The root is said to contain gallic and tannic acid, and, when freshly dug, some volatile oils.

The flowers give feebly the medicinal action of salicylic acid (aspirin) and are used in decoction for their diuretic and tonic effect. An infusion of the flowers is used as an astringent. An infusion of the leaves can be used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the flowers and the leaves has been used to counteract the sickness of pregnancy and also to facilitate childbirth. The roots are astringent and have been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the leaves is also used.

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/h/hardha02.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Spiraea+tomentosa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiraea_tomentosa

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Thuja occidentalis

Botanical Name : Thuja occidentalis
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus:     Thuja
Species: T. occidentalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class:     Pinopsida
Order:     Pinales

Synonyms:  Tree of Life. Arbor Vitae. American Arbor Vitae. Cedrus Lycea. Western Arbor Vitae. False White Cedar. Hackmatack. Thuia du Canada. Lebensbaum.

Common names: white cedar, northern white cedar, yellow cedar,Atlantic white cedar,
eastern white cedar, swamp cedar,false white cedar, arborvitae, American arborvitae,eastern arborvitae

The name Arborvitae is particularly used in the horti,cultural trade in the United States. It is Latin for “tree of life” – due to the supposed medicinal properties of the sap, bark and twigs. Despite its common names, it does not belong to the cedar genus, nor is it related to the Australian white cedar, Melia azedarach.

Habitat :Thuja occidentalis is native to Manitoba east throughout the Great Lakes region and into Québec, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Isolated populations exist to the south in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West VirginiaThuja occidentalis is native to Manitoba east throughout the Great Lakes region and into Québec, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Isolated populations exist to the south in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginiaetres (0.12–0.20 in) long. The cones are slender, yellow-green ripening brown, 10–15 millimetres (0.39–0.59 in) long and 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) broad, with 6-8 overlapping scales. The branches may take root if the tree falls.

Description:
Thuja occidentalis  has fan-like branches and scaly leaves. Unlike the closely related species Thuja plicata, it is only a small tree, growing to a height of 10–20 metres (33–66 ft) tall with a 0.4 metres (1.3 ft) trunk diameter, exceptionally to 30 metres (98 ft) tall and 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) diameter, the tree is often stunted or prostrate. The bark is red-brown, furrowed and peels in narrow, longitudinal strips. The foliage forms in flat sprays with scale-like leaves 3–5 millimetres (0.12–0.20 in) long. The cones are slender, yellow-green ripening brown, 10–15 millimetres (0.39–0.59 in) long and 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) broad, with 6-8 overlapping scales. The branches may take root if the tree falls.
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Part Used:  The recently-dried, leafy young twigs

Constituents:  The bitter principle, Pinipicrin, and the tannic acid, said to beidentical with Pinitannic acid, occur also in Pinus sylvestris. Thuja also contains volatile oil, sugar, gelatinous matter, wax, resin, and Thujin. The last is a citron-yellow, crystallizable colouring principle, soluble in alcohol. It has an astringent taste, is inflammable, and can be split up into glucose, Thujigenin and Thujetin (probably identical with Quercitin).

The leaves and twigs are said to yield also a camphor-like essential oil, sp. gr. 0.925, boiling point 190-206 degrees C., easily soluble in alcohol and containing pinene, fenchone, thujone, and perhaps carvone.

Medicinal Uses:     A yellow-green volatile oil can be distilled from the leaves and used as a vermifuge.
Aromatic, astringent, diuretic. The twigs may produce abortion, like those of savin, by reflex action on the uterus from severe gastrointestinal irritation. Both fenchone and thujone stimulate the heart muscle. The decoction has been used in intermittent fevers, rheumatism, dropsy, coughs, scurvy, and as an emmenagogue. The leaves, made into an ointment with fat, are a helpful local application in rheumatism. An injection of the tincture into venereal warts is said to cause them to disappear. For violent pains the Canadians have used the cones, powdered, with four-fifths of Polypody, made into a poultice with lukewarm water or milk and applied to the body, with a cloth over the skin to prevent scorching.

In the 19th century, Thuja was in common use as an externally applied tincture or ointment for the treatment of warts, ringworm and thrush. “An injection of the tincture into venereal warts is said to cause them to disappear.

Other Uses:
White Cedar is a tree with important uses in traditional Ojibwe culture. Honoured with the name Nookomis Giizhik (“Grandmother Cedar”), the tree is the subject of sacred legends and is considered a gift to humanity for its myriad uses, among them crafts, construction and medicine. It is one of the four plants of the Ojibwe medicine wheel, associated with the south. The foliage of Thuja occidentalis is rich in Vitamin C and is believed to be the annedda which cured the scurvy of Jacques Cartier and his party in the winter of 1535–1536. Due to the presence of the neurotoxic compound thujone, internal use can be harmful if used for prolonged periods or while pregnant.

Northern white cedar is commercially used for rustic fencing and posts, lumber, poles, shingles and in the construction of log cabins, White cedar is the preferred wood for the structural elements, such as ribs and planking, of birchbark canoes and the planking of wooden canoes.

The essential oil within the plant has been used for cleansers, disinfectants, hair preparations, insecticides, liniment, room sprays, and soft soaps. There are some reports that the Ojibwa made a soup from the inner bark of the soft twigs. Others have used the twigs to make teas to relieve constipation and headache.

T. occidentalis is widely used as an ornamental tree, particularly for screens and hedges, in gardens, parks and cemeteries. click to see   Over 300 cultivars exist, showing great variation in colour, shape and size, with some of the more common ones being: ‘Degroot’s Spire’, ‘Ellwangeriana’, ‘Hetz Wintergreen’, ‘Lutea’, ‘Rheingold’, ‘Smaragd’ (a.k.a. ‘Emerald Green’), ‘Techny’, and ‘Wareana’. It was introduced into Europe as early as 1540.

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/Thuja_occidentalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cedyel41.html

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