Herbs & Plants

Thapsia garganica

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Botanical Name : Thapsia garganica
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Thapsia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonym: Drias, Thapsia decussata.

Common Name : Drias Plant ,Deadly carrots

Habitat :Thapsia garganica is native to EuropeMediterranean. It grows in rocky places, fields and sunny slopes.
Thapsia garganica is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 50 to 200 cm high. The inflorescences are large, regularly distributed umbels. The seeds have four wings, and are the main characteristic of the genus, which is distributed in the Mediterranean, on the Iberian peninsula, and North Africa. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

We have very little information on this species, it probably requires a well drained light fertile soil in a sunny position. One report says that it is not hardy in Britain requiring greenhouse or half-hardy treatment. We have grown it in the past in Cornwall, it survived 3 winters in a cold greenhouse with us before succumbing to slugs.

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 their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Root cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Purgative.

The root is diuretic, emetic and purgative. A resin is extracted with alcohol from the bark of the root. The plant has been considered specific in treating pain, though caution is advised since it is poisonous to some mammals. The plant is also strongly rubefacient, producing blisters and intense itching.

Other Uses:…Resin……Yields a resin that is used in plasters. No further details are given.


Herbs & Plants

Sonchus arvensis

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Botanical Name: Sonchus arvensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Sonchus
Species: S. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Corn sow thistle, Dindle, Field sow thistle, Gutweed, Swine thistle, Tree sow thistle, Field sowthistle, Perennial sow-thistle or Field milk thistle

Habitat : Sonchus arvensis is native to Europe, where it is widespread across most of the continent. It has also become naturalized in many other regions, and is considered an invasive noxious weed in some places.It grows in arable and waste land, ditches and on the drift line of salt and brackish margins, avoiding acid soils. A persistent weed of cultivation

Sonchus arvensis is a perennial plant. The plant has a large fleshy, creeping root. It is found in similar situations as the common species, though mainly in cornfields, where its large, bright golden flowers, externally tinged with red, showing above the corn, make it a conspicuous plant. It is readily distinguished from the Common Sow-Thistle by its stem, which is 3 to 4 feet high – being unbranched and by the much larger size of its flowers, the involucres and stalks of which are covered by numerous glandular hairs. The leaves, like those of the Common Sow-Thistle, applied outwardly by way of cataplasm, have been found serviceable in inflammatory swellings…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The plant produces conspicuous yellow flowers that are visited by various types of insects, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, beetles, self. The plant is self-fertile.
A common garden weed, see notes on its habitat if you want to encourage it. This species has been cultivated for its edible leaves by the Maoris of New Zealand, in Indonesia there are improved varieties selected for their edible leaves. A good companion for onions, tomatoes, corn as well as the cucumber and squash family.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in situ. A common garden weed, this species should not normally need any assistance.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A slightly bitter taste, they can be added to salads or cooked like spinach. The leaves are rich in mineral salts and vitamin C, they contain about 47mg of vitamin C per 100g and 2% protein (dry weight). It might be best, though it is not necessary, to remove the marginal prickles. Stems – cooked like asparagus or rhubarb. Young root – cooked. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses :
Antiinflammatory; Pectoral; Sedative.

The leaves are used as a poultice and are said to have anti-inflammatory activity. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of caked breasts. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs and other chest complaints. A tea made from the leaves is said to calm the nerves.

Other Uses: :…..Insecticide…..The plant is said to have insecticidal properties

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.

Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name :Antirrhinum
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Antirrhinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :snapdragons or dragon flowers

Habitat :Antirrhinum  resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. They are   native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and North Africa

Snapdragons are often considered as cold-season annual plants and do best in full or partial sun, in well drained soil (although they do require regular watering. They are classified commercially as a range of heights: dwarf (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches) and tall (30-48 inches).

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Snapdragon is a typical example of incomplete dominance by the red allele with the anthocyanin pigment. Any cross between red-flowered and white-flowered snapdragons, give an intermediate and heterozygous phenotype with pink flowers, that carries both the dominant and recessive alleles.

Antirrhinum used to be treated within the family Scrophulariaceae, but studies of DNA sequences have led to its inclusion in a vastly enlarged family Plantaginaceae. The taxonomy of this genus is unresolved at present. At one extreme, the USDA Plants Database recognises only the Old World species of sect. Antirrhinum in the genus, listing only A. majus (the garden snapdragon, the only species in the section naturalised in North America).[3] At the other, Thompson (1988) places 36 species in the genus; many modern botanists accept this circumscription. New species also continue to be discovered (see e.g. Romo et al., 1995).

Recent research in the molecular systematics of this group, and related species, by Oyama and Baum (2004), has confirmed that the genus as described by Thompson is monophyletic, provided that one species (A. cyathiferum) is removed to a separate genus, and two others (previously listed as Mohavea confertiflora and M. breviflora) are included. The species list at the right follows these conclusions. It is widely agreed that this broad group should be subdivided into three or four subgroups, but the level at which this should be done, and exactly which species should be grouped together, remain unclear. Some authors continue to follow Thompson in using a large genus Antirrhinum, which is then divided into several sections; others treat Thompson’s genus as a tribe or subtribe, and divide it into several genera.

If the broad circumscription is accepted, its sections are as follows:

*Section Antirrhinum: about 20 Old World species of perennial plants, the type Antirrhinum majus, mostly native to the western Mediterranean region with a focus on the Iberian Peninsula.

*Section Orontium: two to six species, also Mediterranean. The species in this section, including the type Lesser Snapdragon A. orontium, are often treated in the genus Misopates.

*Section Saerorhinum: about 16 New World species, mostly annual plants and mostly native to California, though species are found from Oregon to Baja California Sur and as far east as Utah. Like other authors, Thompson placed A. cyathiferum in this section, but Oyama and Baum, following earlier authors, suggest that it should be reclassified in genus Pseudorontium, while Mohavea confertiflora and M. breviflora should be included. Some authors classify the species in this section into the genera Sairocarpus, Howelliella and Neogaerrhinum.

The Garden Snapdragon is an important garden plant; cultivars of this species have showy white, crimson, or yellow bilabiate flowers. It is also important as a model organism in botanical research, and its genome has been studied in detail.

While Antirrhinum majus is the plant that is usually meant of the word “snapdragon” if used on its own, many other species in the genus, and in the family Scrophulariaceae more widely, have common names that include the word “snapdragon”.

Several species of Antirrhinum are self-incompatible, meaning that a plant cannot be fertilised by its own pollen. Self-incompatibility in the genus has been studied since the early 1900s. Self-incompatibility in Antirrhinum species is controlled gametophytically and shares many important features with self-incompatibility systems in Rosaceae and Solanaceae.

Medicinal Action and Uses:  The plant has bitter and stimulant properties, and the leaves of this and several allied species have been employed on the Continent in cataplasms to tumours and ulcers.Preparations made from leaves and flowers are used to reduce fever and inflammation. In a poultice, it be applied to the body surface to treat burns, infections and hemorrhoids.

It was valued in olden times like the Toadflax as a preservative against witchcraft.

The numerous seeds yield a fixed oil by expression, said to be little inferior to olive oil, for the sake of which it has been cultivated in Russia.

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


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