Tag Archives: October

Eupatorium cannabinum

Botanical Name :Eupatorium cannabinum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium
Species: E. cannabinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Holy Rope. St. John’s Herb.

Common Name: Hemp-agrimony

Habitat :Eupatorium cannabinum is grows in most of   Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, western and central Asia.they are found by streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Eupatorium cannabinum is a Perennial  herbaceous  plant.The root-stock is woody and from it rises the erect round stems, growing from 2 to 5 feet high with short branches springing from the axils of the leaves, which are placed on it in pairs. The stems are reddish in colour, covered with downy hair and are woody below. They have a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. It is dioecious, with racemes of mauve flowers which are pollinated by insects from July to early September. The flowers are tiny, fluffy and can be pale dusty pink or whitish.It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The fruit is an achene about 2 or 3 mm long, borne by a pappus with hairs 3 to 5 mm long, which is distributed by the wind. The plant over-winters as a hemicryptophyte. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
click to see the pictures

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant,   it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or part shade. Prefers a rich moist soil. Grows well in marshy soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it has a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. Often found as a weed in British gardens, it can be allowed to naturalize in short grass in the wild garden. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. An excellent bee and butterfly plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:The Herb.

Constituents: The leaves contain a volatile oil, which acts on the kidneys, and likewise some tannin and a bitter chemical principle which will cut short the chill of intermittent fever.

It is Alterative; Antitumor; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Laxative; Purgative; Tonic.

Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for fevers, colds, flu and other viral conditions. It also stimulates the removal of waste products via the kidneys. Due to its content of alkaloids, the plant should only be used under professional supervision. The leaves and flowering tops are alterative, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, purgative and tonic. The plant has a long history of use as a gentle laxative that does not provoke irritation, though excessive doses cause purging and vomiting. A tea made from the dried leaves will give prompt relief if taken at the onset of influenza. Recent research has shown that the plant might have anti-tumour activity, though the plant also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause damage or cancer to the liver. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The roots are diaphoretic, laxative and tonic. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. Recently the plant has been found of use as an immune system stimulant, helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other infections. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of influenza and feverish chills and also for disorders of the liver, spleen and gall bladder.

Other Uses:
Preservative; Repellent.

The leaves have been laid on bread in order to prevent it from becoming mouldy. The leaf juice has been rubbed onto the coats of animals as an insect repellent.
Scented Plants

Plant: Crushed
All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell when bruised. This has been likened to the smell of cedar when it is burnt.

Toxity : Eupatorium cannabinum contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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/Eupatorium_cannabinum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/agrim016.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Eupatorium+cannabinum

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Rumex crispus

Botanical Name :Rumex crispus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Rumex
Species: R. crispus

Synonym: Curled Dock.Lapathum crispum Garsault [Invalid]. Lapathum crispum (L.) Scop. Rumex elongatus Guss.

Common Name :Curly dock” or “yellow dock

Habitat :Rumex crispus is native to Europe and Western Asia. It grows freely in  roadside ditches and waste places.
Description:
Rumex crispus is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The mature plant is a reddish brown color, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges.The leaves are crisped at their edges. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high and branched, the leaves, 6 to 10 inches long.  On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations.
click to see the pictures
The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. The roots are 8 to 12 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, fleshy and usually not forked. Externally they are of a rusty brown and internally whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It has little or no smell and a rather bitter taste.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. The plant does not need any help in growing, it is doing very nicely in Britain where it is a serious weed of agriculture. A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[30].

Propagation:   
Seed – this plant does not require any help in its propagation.

Edible Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups. Only the very young leaves should be used, preferably before the stems have developed, and even these are likely to be bitter. If used in early spring and in the autumn they can often be fairly pleasant tasting. The leaves are very rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and the vitamins A and C. A nutritional analysis is available. Stems – raw or cooked. They are best peeled and the inner portion eaten.

Seed are also eaten raw or cooked. It can be used as a piñole or can be ground into a powder and used as a flour for making pancakes etc. The seed is very fiddly to harvest and prepare. The roasted seed has been used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Rumex crispus has a long history of domestic herbal use. It is a gentle and safe laxative, less powerful than rhubarb in its action so it is particularly useful in the treatment of mild constipation. The plant has valuable cleansing properties and is useful for treating a wide range of skin problems. All parts of the plant can be used, though the root is most active medicinally. The root is alterative, antiscorbutic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, laxative and mildly tonic. It used to be sold as a tonic and laxative. It can cause or relieve diarrhoea according to the dose, harvest time and relative concentrations of tannin(astringent) and anthraquinones (laxative) that are present. It is used internally in the treatment of constipation, diarrhoea, piles, bleeding of the lungs, various blood complaints and also chronic skin diseases. Externally, the root can be mashed and used as a poultice and salve, or dried and used as a dusting powder, on sores, ulcers, wounds and various other skin problems. The root has been used with positive effect to restrain the inroads made by cancer, being used as an alterative and tonic. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in its use since excess doses can cause gastric disturbance, nausea and dermatitis. The seed is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested in the autumn before frost has touched the plant. It is only used in the treatment of a specific type of cough

The Zuni people apply a poultice of the powdered root to sores, rashes and skin infections, and use infusion of the root for athlete’s foot.

Other Uses:
Dye & Compost

Yellow, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots. They do not need a mordant. An alternative ingredient of ‘QR‘ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.

Known HazardsPlants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition. Avoid during pregnancy & breast feeding.

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.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rumex+crispus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumex_crispus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html

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Ruta graveolens

Botanical Name:Ruta graveolens L.
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Ruta
Species: R. graveolens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common name:Rue, Common rue or Herb-of-grace

Habitat:Ruta graveolens is native to the Balkan Peninsula, southeastern Europe. It is now grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially because of its bluish leaves, and also sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions. It in nature grows on rocks, old walls and dry hills, mainly on limestone.

Description:
Ruta graveolens    is a small evergreen subshrub or semiwoody perennial plant which is 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) tall and almost as wide. The stems become woody near the base, but remain herbaceous nearer the tips. The 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long leaves are dissected pinnately into oblong or spoon shaped segments. They are somewhat fleshy and usually covered with a powdery bloom. The sea green foliage has a strong, pungent, rather unpleasant scent when bruised. The paniculate clusters of small yellow flowers appear in midsummer, held well above the foliage and often covering most of the plant. Each flower is about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) across with four concave notched petals. Rue usually grows in a compact, rounded mound.click to see the pictures.>…..(01).……..(1).…...(2)..(3)…...(4)…(5).....(6)…...(7)...

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor 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 and can tolerate drought.

Edible Uses: Rue does have a culinary use if used sparingly, but it is extremely bitter and severe gastric discomfort may be experienced by some individuals. Although used more extensively in former times, it is not a herb that typically suits modern tastes, and thus its use declined considerably over the course of the 20th century to the extent that it is today largely unknown to the general public and most chefs, and unavailable in grocery stores. In Italy, it is eaten in salads and used to make the alcoholic drink grappa all ruta. It can be simmered in coffee as they do in Ethiopia to add a lemony flavor. Small snippets of fresh rue can be added to meat and egg dishes during cooking
It is a  Roman cuisine (according to Apicius).
Rue leaves and berries are an important part of the cuisine of Ethiopia.

Rue is used as a traditional flavouring in Greece and other Mediterranean countries.
In Istria (a region in Croatia), and in Northern Italy, it is used to give a special flavour to grappa/raki and most of the time a little branch of the plant can be found in the bottle. This is called grappa alla ruta.

Seeds can be used for porridge.
The bitter leaf can be added to eggs, cheese, fish, or mixed with damson plums and wine to produce a meat sauce.
In Italy in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, the young branches of the plant are dipped in a batter, deep-fried in oil, and consumed with salt or sugar. They are also used on their own to aromatise a specific type of omelette.

Cultivation:   
Succeeds in any soil but is hardier in a poor dry soil. Prefers an open sunny position. Prefers a partially shaded sheltered dry position but succeeds in full sun. Prefers a well-drained or rocky soil. Likes some lime in the soil. Established plants are drought tolerant. Hardy to about -10°c, possibly to lower temperatures when it is grown in a dry soil. Often cultivated as a culinary and medicinal herb, there are some named varieties. The bruised leaves have a pleasant orange-like fragrance. It is one of the most pleasant herbs to inhale. Rue releases its scent in a remarkable way. The essential oil is contained in a cavity immediately beneath the surface of the leaf, above which is a thin layer of cells pierced by a cavity in the middle. The cells swell up and bend inwards, pressing on the essential oil beneath, which is driven to the surface of the leaf and there released. Rue is a poor companion plant for many other species, growing badly with sage, cabbage and sweet basil. It is a good companion for roses and raspberries. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:      
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it can also be sown in early to mid spring 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 their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of young shoots in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Layering in early summer. Old plants often self-layer

Chemical Constituents:
A series of furanoacridones and of two acridone alkaloids (arborinine and evoxanthine) can be isolated from Ruta graveolens.[9] It also contains coumarins and limonoids.

Cell cultures produces the coumarins umbelliferone, scopoletin, psoralen, xanthotoxin, isopimpinellin, rutamarin and rutacultin (6,7-dimethoxy- 3-(1,1-dimethylallyl)coumarin), and the alkaloids skimmianine, kokusaginine, 6-methoxydictamnine and edulinine (1-methyl-4-methoxy-3-[2,3-dihydroxy-3-methylbutyl]-2-quinolone).

The ethyl acetate extract of Ruta graveolens leaves yields two furanocoumarins, one quinoline alkaloid and four quinolone alkaloids.

The chloroform extracts of the root, stem and leaf shows the isolation of the furanocoumarin chalepensin.

The essential oil of R. graveolens contains two main constituents undecan-2-one (46.8%) and nonan-2-one (18.8%

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient;  Anthelmintic;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Antidote;  Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Carminative;  Emetic;  Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Haemostatic;
Homeopathy;  Ophthalmic;  Rubefacient;  Stimulant;  Stomachic.

Rue has a long history of use as a domestic remedy, being especially valued for its strengthening action on the eyes. The plant contains flavonoids (notably rutin) that reduce capillary fragility, which might explain the plants reputation as an eye strengthener. Some caution is advised in its use internally, however, since in large doses it is toxic and it can also cause miscarriages. The whole herb is abortifacient, anthelmintic, antidote, antispasmodic, carminative, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, haemostatic, ophthalmic, rubefacient, strongly stimulant, mildly stomachic and uterotonic. The tops of fresh shoots are the most active medicinally, they should be gathered before the plant flowers and can be used fresh or dried. An infusion is used in the treatment of hysterical affections, coughs, flatulence etc. The juice of the plant has been used in treating earaches and chewing a leaf or two is said to quickly bring relief from giddiness, nervous headaches, palpitations etc. An alkaloid found in the plant is abortifacient, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh herb, harvested in early summer shortly before flowering begins. This is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints including eye strain, headache and sprains

Other Uses:
Rue is also grown as an ornamental plant, both as a low hedge and so the leaves can be used in nosegays. Most cats dislike the smell of it, and it can therefore be used as a deterrent to them . Dried rue repels insects such as fleas and lice and is good to tuck into pet bedding.

Caterpillars of some subspecies of the butterfly Papilio machaon feed on rue, as well as other plants.

Caterpillars of some subspecies of the butterfly Papilio machaon feed on rue, as well as other plants.

Known Hazards   All parts of this plant are poisonous in large quantities.  It should not be used at all by pregnant women since it can induce abortions.  The sap contains furanocoumarins, sensitizing the skin to light and causing blistering or dermatitis in sensitive people.

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/Ruta_graveolens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ruta+graveolens

http://www.motherearthliving.com/in-the-garden/ruta-graveolens-growing-common-rue.aspx

http://www.floridata.com/Plants/Rutaceae/Ruta%20graveolens/908

Carthamus tinctorius

Botanical Name:Carthamus tinctorius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Carthamus
Species: C. tinctorius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Carduus tinctorius. Carthamus glaber. Centaurea carthamus.

Common Name :Safflower

Habitat :Carthamus tinctorius grows in  N. Africa – Egypt. A rare casual in Britain .It is native to arid environments having seasonal rain.(Poor dry soils in full sun.)

Description:
Carthamus tinctorius is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in leaf 10-May It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.  It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head.  It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments.

click to see the pictures.>..…(01)...(1)..

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Cultivation:  
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Safflower thrives in heavy clays with good water-holding capacity, but will also grow satisfactorily in deep sandy or clay loams with good drainage[269]. It needs soil moisture from the time of planting until it is flowering[269]. It requires a well-drained soil and a position in full sun.  Safflower is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 20 to 137cm, an annual average temperature range of 6.3 to 27.5deg.C and a pH in the range of 5.4 to 8.2. Plants are reported to tolerate bacteria, disease, drought, frost, fungus, high pH, phage, salt, sand, rust, virus and wind[269]. Safflower grows in the temperate zone in areas where wheat and barley do well, and grows slowly during periods of cool short days in early part of season. Seedlings can withstand temperatures lower than many species; however, varieties differ greatly in their tolerance to frost; in general, frost damages budding and flowering thus reducing yields and quality[269]. Safflower is a long-day plant, requiring a photoperiod of about 14 hours. It is shade and weed intolerant, will not grow as a weed because other wild plants overshadow it before it becomes established. It is about as salt tolerant as cotton, but less so than barley[269]. Safflower matures in from 110-150 days from planting to harvest as a spring crop, as most of it is grown, and from 200 or more days as an autumn-sown crop. It should be harvested when the plant is thoroughly dried. Since the seeds do not shatter easily, it may be harvested by direct combining. The crop is allowed to dry in the fields before threshing[269]. Plants are self-fertile, though cross-pollination also takes place . Plants have a sturdy taproot that can penetrate 2.5 metres into the soil. Safflower has been grown for thousands of years for the dye that can be obtained from the flowers. This is not much used nowadays, having been replaced by chemical dyes, but the plant is still widely cultivated commercially for its oil-rich seed in warm temperate and tropical areas of the world. There are many named varieties. A number of spineless cultivars have been developed, but at present these produce much lower yields of oil than the spiny varieties. Safflower is unlikely to be a worthwhile crop in Britain since it only ripens its seed here in long hot summers. There is more chance of success in the drier eastern part of the country with its usually warmer summers, the cooler moister conditions in the west tend to act against the production of viable seed.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in gentle heat in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 4 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in April/May but plants may not then mature their seed.

Edible Uses:   
An edible oil is obtained from the seed. It contains a higher percentage of essential unsaturated fatty acids and a lower percentage of saturated fatty acids than other edible vegetable seed oils. The oil, light coloured and easily clarified, is used in salad dressings, cooking oils and margarines. A very stable oil, it is said to be healthier than many other edible oils and its addition to the diet helps to reduce blood-cholesterol levels. Seed – cooked. They can be roasted, or fried and eaten in chutneys. Tender young leaves and shoots – cooked or raw. A sweet flavour, they can be used as a spinach. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails. An edible yellow and a red dye are obtained from the flowers. The yellow is used as a saffron substitute to flavour and colour food. The (fried?) seeds are used as a curdling agent for plant milks etc .

Medicinal Uses:
Safflower is commonly grown as a food plant, but also has a wide range of medicinal uses. Modern research has shown that the flowers contain a number of medically active constituents and can, for example, reduce coronary heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, haemopoietic. Treats tumours and stomatitis. The flowers are anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, laxative, purgative, sedative and stimulant. They are used to treat menstrual pains and other complications by promoting a smooth menstrual flow and were ranked third in a survey of 250 potential anti-fertility plants. In domestic practice, the flowers are used as a substitute or adulterant for saffron in treating infants complaints such as measles, fevers and eruptive skin complaints. Externally, they are applied to bruising, sprains, skin inflammations, wounds etc. The flowers are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months. It is possible to carefully pick the florets and leave the ovaries behind so that seed can be produced, though this procedure is rather more time-consuming. The plant is febrifuge, sedative, sudorific and vermifuge. When combined with Ligusticum wallichii it is said to have a definite therapeutic effect upon coronary diseases. The seed is diuretic, purgative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and tumours, especially inflammatory tumours of the liver. The oil is charred and used to heal sores and treat rheumatism. In Iran, the oil is used as a salve for treating sprains and rheumatism.

Other Uses:  
The seed yields up to 40% of a drying oil, it is used for lighting, paint, varnishes, linoleum and wax cloths. The oil can also be used as a diesel substitute. It does not yellow with age. When heated to 300°c for 2 hours and then poured into cold water, the oil solidifies to a gelatinous mass and is then used as a cement for glass, tiles, stones etc or as a substitute for ‘plaster of Paris’. If the oil is heated to 307°c for 2½ hours, it suddenly becomes a stiff elastic solid by polymerization and can then be used in making waterproof cloth etc. A yellow dye is obtained by steeping the flowers in water, it is used as a saffron substitute. A red dye can be obtained by steeping the flowers in alcohol. It is used for dyeing cloth and, mixed with talcum powder, is used as a rouge to colour the cheeks

Known Hazards :  Avoid during pregnancy. Use with caution if suppressed or decreased immunity.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Carthamus+tinctorius
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safflower
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail86.php

 

 

 

Sandhyamaloti ( Mirabilis jalapa )

Botanical Name : Mirabilis jalapa
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Genus: Mirabilis
Species: M. jalapa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names:Four o’clock flower or Marvel of Peru. In Pakistan it is called “Gul Abas” (Urdu:). In Sri Lanka it is called “Hendirikka”. In Southern India it is called “Anthi Mandhaarai” (Tamil:). In Andhra Pradesh it is called “Chandrakantha”(Telugu:). In Kerala it is called ‘Naalumani poovu’ (Malayalam: . In Maharashtra it is called “Gulabakshi” (Marathi:. In Assamese it is called ‘Godhuli Gopal’, ‘godhuli’ meaning evening. In Bengali it is called “sandhyamaloti” OR Sandhyamani, .In Maithili it is called “sanjhaa phool” as it blooms in evening . In Oriya it is called ‘Rangani’. In China it is called the “shower flower”

Habitat : M. jalapa hails from tropical South America, but has become naturalised throughout tropical and warm temperate regions. In cooler temperate regions, it will die back with the first frosts, regrowing in the following spring from the tuberous roots. The plant does best in full sun.

Desacription:
Mirabilis jalapa is a perennial plant  grows to approximately 0.9 m in height. The single-seeded fruits are spherical, wrinkled and black upon maturity , having started out greenish-yellow. The plant will self-seed, often spreading rapidly if left unchecked in a garden. Some gardeners recommend that the seeds should be soaked before planting, but this is not totally necessary. In North America, the plant perennializes in warm, coastal environments, particularly in USDA Zones 9–10.
 Click to see the pictures….>……...(01)......(1)....(2).....(3).....(4)....(5)..……………….
. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Genetic Studies:
Around 1900, Carl Correns used Mirabilis as a model organism for his studies on cytoplasmic inheritance. He used the plant’s variegated leaves to prove that certain factors outside the nucleus affected phenotype in a way not explained by Mendel’s theories. Correns proposed that leaf color in Mirabilis was passed on via a uniparental mode of inheritance.

Also, when red-flowered plants are crossed with white-flowered plants, pink-flowered offspring, not red, are produced. This is seen as an exception to Mendel’s Law of Dominance, because in this case the red and white genes are of equal strength, so none completely dominates the other. The phenomenon is known as incomplete dominance.

Cultivation:   
Succeeds in almost any ordinary garden soil. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil in full sun or part day shade. This species is not very hardy in Britain. The top growth is cut back by frost but the tuber survives the winter outdoors if the temperature does not fall much below -5°c, a good mulch would be beneficial. Tubers can be lifted and stored over winter in a cool frost free place in the same way that dahlia tubers are stored. The marvel of Peru is usually grown as a half-hardy annual in temperate zones, it flowers freely in its first year. Plants also self-sow freely in warmer areas (these seedlings can be easily transplanted) and they can become a weed in such situations due to their deep rooting habit. This species was cultivated as a medicinal plant by the Aztecs prior to the Spanish conqust. The flowers are sweetly scented and do not open until the afternoon. The young growth is particularly susceptible to aphis infestation. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation  :
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed remains viable for several years[196]. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth

Edible Uses:
Tender young leaves – cooked as a vegetable. An emergency food, only eaten when all else fails. An edible crimson dye is obtained from the flowers. It is used for colouring cakes and jellies. The seed is crushed and used as a pepper substitute

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic;  Purgative;  Vulnerary.

The root is aphrodisiac, diuretic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of dropsy. A paste of the root is applied as a poultice to treat scabies and muscular swellings. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, indigestion and fevers. The powdered root, mixed with corn flour (Zea mays) is baked and used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. The leaves are diuretic. They are used to reduce inflammation. A decoction of them is used to treat abscesses. The leaf juice is used to treat wounds

Other Uses;
The flowers are used in food colouring. The leaves may be eaten cooked as well, but only as an emergency food.

An edible crimson dye is obtained from the flowers to colour cakes and jellies.

The leaves are used to reduce inflammation. A decoction of them (mashing and boiling) is used to treat abscesses. Leaf juice may be used to treat wounds.

Powdered, the seed of some varieities is used as a cosmetic and a dye.

 Known Hazards :  The seeds and the rots are reported to cause digestive disturbances .The seeds are considered poisonous

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/Mirabilis_jalapa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mirabilis+jalapa

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