Herbs & Plants

Crataegus crus-galli

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Botanical Name : Crataegus crus-galli
Family:    Rosaceae
Genus:    Crataegus
Series:    Crus-galli
Species:C. crus-galli
Order:    Rosales

Crataegus acutifolia Sarg.
Crataegus albanthera Sarg.
Crataegus arborea Beadle
Crataegus barrettiana Sarg.
Crataegus calophylla Sarg.
Crataegus candens Sarg.
Crataegus cherokeensis Sarg.
Crataegus consueta Sarg.
Crataegus hamata E.J.Palmer
Crataegus hannibalensis E.J.Palmer
Crataegus infera Sarg.
Crataegus leptophylla Sarg.
Crataegus limnophylla Sarg.
Crataegus ludovicensis Sarg.
Crataegus monosperma Sarg.
Crataegus pachyphylla Sarg.
Crataegus paradoxa Sarg.
Crataegus parkiae Sarg.
Crataegus permera Sarg.
Crataegus phaneroneura Sarg.
Crataegus polyclada Sarg.
Crataegus pyracanthoidesBeadle
Crataegus regalis Beadle
Crataegus rubrifolia Sarg.
Crataegus rudis Sarg.
Crataegus severa Sarg.
Crataegus strongylophylla Sarg.
Crataegus tantula Sarg.
Crataegus tardiflora Sarg.
Crataegus tenax Ashe
Crataegus tenuispina Sarg.
Crataegus truncata Sarg.

Common Names: Cockspur Thorn, Cockspur hawthorn, Dwarf Hawthorn

Habitat : Crataegus crus-galli is native to  Eastern N. America – Quebec to Georgia, west to Louisiana. Locally naturalized in Europe.  It grows in  thickets and open ground, especially in dry or rocky places. Usually found on the slopes of low hills in rich soils.

Crataegus crus-galli  is a small deciduous tree growing up to about 10 meters tall and 8 meters wide, rounded in form when young and spreading and flattening as it matures. The leaves are 5 to 6 centimeters long, glossy dark green in color and turning gold to red in the fall. The flowers are white and have a scent generally considered unpleasant. The fruits are small pomes that vary in colour, usually a shade of red. Most wild varieties of the tree are heavily armed in sharp thorns several centimeters long. This species is a popular ornamental tree, especially var. inermis, which lacks thorns. Many other wild forms would be very suitable for landscaping if better known, and yellow-fruited forms exist.


It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. 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.

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Pollard, Screen, Specimen, Street tree. 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. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -18°c. A very ornamental plant. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. 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. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted. This plant is often confused in cultivation with C. prunifolia. ‘Splendens’. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Blooms are very showy.

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[80]. 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. A dry flesh, it is used in jellies. The fruit is about 1cm in diameter and is borne in small clusters. It often persists on the tree until spring. This suggests that it does not make very good eating. 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.

Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic;  Hypotensive.

Although no 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:
Hedge;  Hedge;  Wood.

Very amenable to trimming, the plant can even be cut right back into very old wood and will resprout freely. It is often used as a hedge. Wood – fine-grained, hard and heavy. Used for tool handles etc.

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

Arabis caucasica

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Name : Arabis caucasica
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species:A. caucasica
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms : A. albida.

Common Names: Rock Cress, Wall Rockcress, Garden arabis, Mountain rock cress or Caucasian rockcress.

Habitat : Arabis caucasica is native to S.E. Europe – Mediterranean. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on the mountain rocks and dry sites.

Arabis caucasica is an evergreen perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in leaf 12-Jan and in flower from Jan to May, and the seeds ripen from Apr to June. It has white hermaphrodite flowers, pollinated by bees.

Easily grown in ordinary well-drained soil. Prefers a poor soil. Succeeds in partial shade though it tends to become straggly. Established plants are very tolerant of drought and grow very well on a dry bank, they also succeed when grown in walls. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to about -15°c, but can be rather invasive. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. A good butterfly and moth plant[30]. Bees are attracted to the flowers. Plants resent root disturbance and are best put in their final positions whilst still small. This species is closely related to A. alpina. Special Features: Attractive foliage.

Seed – it is best to surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division after flowering. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required. Cuttings in a shady border in summer.
Edible Uses:….The leaves are used as a garnish in much the same way as watercress. They are also sometimes used as a potherb.

Medicinal Uses: Could not find anywhere.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Ground cover, Rock garden.A good ground cover plant for sunny positions, forming a carpet

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

Pontederia cordata

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Botanical Name ; Pontederia cordata
Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Pontederia
Species: P. cordata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Commelinales

Common Name ;Pickerelweed (USA) or Pickerel weed (UK)

Habitat ;Pontederia cordata is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Florida andTexas. A garden escape occ naturalized in Britain.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Pontederia cordata is a perennial herb  growing to 0.75m by 0.45m.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
The species grows as an emergent plant, that is, in flooded conditions, so the plant is generally dependent upon aerenchyma in the stem to carry oxygen into the roots. Its metabolism, is, however, also tolerant of low soil oxygen. It is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate naturally, with spring flooding and later summer emergence. Apart from flooding, the species is also influenced by soil fertility, tending to grow in the more fertile bays of large lakes, for example. Like many aquatic plants, it is negatively affected by salinity and grazing. It is also negatively affected by competition from other wetland plants. Like many wetland plants, it can survive infavorable conditions as buried seeds in the soil.

The plant flowers in late summer. The purple flowers have yellow markings which may assist in attracting bees for pollination.One bee species known to pollinate the flowers is Dufourea (Halictoides) novaeangliae. Once the plant begins to produce seeds, the stem supporting the infloresence bends to submerse the fruits and seeds. Seeds are dormant at the time of dispersal and will not germinate without stratification for 6-8 weeks.

The flowers of the species are tristylous, meaning the styles of individual plants occur in three different morphs, with most populations containing all three. Leaf shape, which varies considerably across populations, within populations, and even within individuals, has been the source for many taxonomic synonyms. Like many wetland and aquatic plants, the species can reproduce asexually by means of branching rhizomes, and hence can form large clonal stands.

A water or bog garden plant, it requires a rich soil[56] and prefers growing in water 15 – 30 cm deep. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it forms spreading patches by means of a thick creeping rhizome. There is a species of bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) which visits this plant for nectar and pollen and does not visit any other species of plant. The reproductive biology of Pontederia cordata has been well studied. It is a tristylous species, and most populations contain all three forms. At least some degree of self-incompatibility exists, being strongest with the short-style forms and weakest with the midstyle forms.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots standing in 2cm of water in a cold frame. Cover the seed lightly with silver sand. Submerse in 3cm depth of water after the seedlings emerge. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in water 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. Division is best in April but it can be done at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Lateral shoots.

Edible Uses  :    
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed – raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder. A very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven. Young leafstalks – raw or cooked. The whole plant is edible cooked or raw. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups.

Medicinal Uses:  
An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive.

Other Uses:
Pickerelweed near Ottawa, OntarioThis plant is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit

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


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Herbs & Plants

Clintonia borealis

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Botanical Name :Clintonia borealis
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Clintonia
Species: C. borealis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names : Blue-bead lily or Clintonia, also Clinton’s Lily, Corn Lily, Cow Tongue, Yellow Beadlily, Yellow Bluebeadlily, Snakeberry, Dogberry, Straw Lily

Habitat : The plant is native to the boreal forest in eastern North America, but is also found in other coniferous or mixed forests and in cool temperate maple forests. It is not found in open spaces, and only grows in the shade.

Clintonia borealis is a small (5–10 in) perennial plants, usually found in homogeneous colonies. At full growth, a shoot has 2–4 clasping and curved, slightly succulent leaves with parallel venation. The flowers are arranged in small umbels at the extremity of a long stalk. They have 6 stamens and 3 identical sepals and petals (tepals). In rare cases more than one umbel is found on a shoot or shoots from a clone. The fruits are small dark blue, lurid berries. A white-berried form (f. albicarpa) also exists.

Click to see the pictures

Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture

The plant reproduces via seed or vegetatively by rhizomes. Flowering in May and June and the bloom color is  Yellow , Green , Brown.  It takes over a dozen years for a clone to establish and produce its first flower, 2 years of which are dedicated solely to germination. The rhizome starts to mold after approximatively 15 years, but a colony often covers several hundred m². Few specimens establish new colonies.

Clintonia borealis is extremely slow to spread, but established clones can usually survive many later modifications, as long as sunlight remains limited. Whereas crossed pollination is more efficient in producing seeds, self-pollination will still produce seeds, allowing the plant to propagate.

Like other slow-growing forest plants, such as Trilliums, Blue-bead lily is extremely sensitive to grazing by White-tailed Deer.

Propagation: Usually propagated by dividing underground runners in fall or early spring, but may also be grown from seed planted immediately after ripening. Plant divisions 1 in. deep. Be careful when handling the rhizomes and roots, because they are brittle. Pulp-

Edible Uses:  The young leaves of the plant are edible while still only a few inches tall. The fruit however, is mildly toxic, and is quite unpleasant tasting.

Medicinal Uses:
The rhizome contains diosgenin, a saponin steroid with estrogenic effects.The plant contains diosgenin a chemical from which progesterone is manufactured. It is anti-inflammatory and Native Americans used it to treat injuries of various kinds from bruises to burns and infections. A root tea was used as a tonic and to aid in childbirth. The leaves are cardiac and disinfectant. A poultice has been applied to open wounds, burns, ulcers, scrofulous sores and infections.

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


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Herbs & Plants

Aglaia odorata Lour

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Botanical Name :Aglaia odorata Lour
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Aglaia
Species: A. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Common Name :Pisshthparni, Pithavan, Chinese rice flower, Cinamomo (Span.) , Cinamomo de China (Span.) ,Sinamomong-sungsong (Tag.) ,Chinese perfume plant (Engl.) Mi zan lau (Chin.)

Local names in Borneo :
Bunga maniran, Mai tsai lan, Segera, Tjulan.

Habitat : It is found in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Laos.Cultivated as an ornamental tree for its fragrant flowers.

It is a small, much-branched, smooth tree growing from 4 to 7 meters high. Stipules absent. Leaves are 5 to 12 cm long, alternate, compound, leaflets penni-veined, glabrous  with the rachis slightly winged.

Leaflets are five, obovate to oblong, 2 to 7 cm long, the lower ones being smaller than the upper.. Flowersborne on axillary, lax panicles, 5 to 10 cm long, numerous, yellow, very fragrant, and about 3 mm in diameter. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, about 12 mm long. ca. 1.5 mm diameter, white-yellowish, placed in panicles. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, 14 mm diameter, orange, fleshy capsule. Seeds with aril.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used: Roots, flowers, leaves.

Roots and leaves considered pectoral, stimulant, febrifuge, tonic and anti-convulsive.


*Infusion of flowers given as a cooling drink for eruptive fevers.
*In China, flowers and roots used as a tonic.
*In Java, infusion of leaves taken as tonic for excessive menses and for venereal diseases.

Other Uses:
Strongly perfumed flowers used for scenting tea or clothes. Ornamental tree.

Usually planted as an ornamental in gardens and along roads, but some specimens found in mixed dipterocarp forests up to 800 m altitude.

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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