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Osmunda claytoniana

 

Botanical Name :Osmunda claytoniana
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section: Claytosmunda
Species: O. claytoniana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda interrupta.

Common Name : Interrupted Fern

Habitat : Osmunda claytoniana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. Eastern N. America. It grows on wet places in C. Japan. Open slopes, rarely in forests, 2800 – 3300 metres in Kashmir.

In eastern North America it occurs in: the Great Lakes region; eastern Canada – in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (north to tree line); and east to Newfoundland; eastern United States – upper New England south through the Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic seaboard, into the Southeastern United States in Georgia and Alabama; and west across the Southern United States to Mississippi River, and back up the Mississippi embayment through the Midwestern United States to the Great Lakes.
Description:
Osmunda claytoniana is a fern. It’s fronds are bipinnate, 40–100 cm (16–39 in) tall and 20–30 cm (8–12 in) broad, the blade formed of alternate segments forming an arching blade tightening to a pointed end. The lower end is also slightly thinner than the rest of the frond because the first segments are shorter. Three to seven short, cinnamon-colored fertile segments are inserted in the middle of the length, giving the plant its name.

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In their absence, the plant in all its stages appears similar to Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern). The base of the segments distinguishes the two species: where O. cinnamomeum has typical felt-like hairs, the few hairs present on O. claytoniana are extremely short, usually requiring a magnifying glass to see well.

Like other species in the family Osmundaceae, it grows a very large rhizome, with persistent stipe bases from previous years. It forms small, dense colonies, spreading locally through its rhizome, and often forming fairy rings
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Requires a shady position. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots.

Edible Uses:
The young fronds are eaten. Cooked as a vegetable. The centre of the clump, below ground level, is the source of a small edible pith called ‘fernbutter’

Unlike those of the ostrich fern, the interrupted fern’s fiddleheads are not readily edible, due to their bitter taste and a tendency to cause diarrhea. The base of the stipe and very young buds are edible. Overuse may kill the crown.
Medicinal Uses: The roots are used as an adulterant for Dryopteris felix-mas in the treatment of internal worms.Resources The Iroquois used the plant as treatment for blood disorders and venereal diseases.

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/Osmunda_claytoniana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+claytoniana

Solidago graminifolia

Botanical Name : Solidago graminifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Euthamia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Euthamia graminifolia. (L.)Nutt.

Common Names: Grass-leaved goldenrod or Flat-top goldentop

Habitat : Solidago graminifolia is native to much of Canada (from Newfoundland to British Columbia), and the northern and eastern United States (primarily the Northeast, the Great Lakes region, and the Ohio Valley, with additional populations in the Southeast, the Great Plains, and a few scattered locations in the Pacific Northwest). There are also introduced populations in Europe and Asia.

Description:
Solidago graminifolia is a perennial herbaceous plant on thin, branching stems, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). Leaves are alternate, simple, long and narrow much like grass leaves (hence the name of the species). One plant can produce many small, yellow flower heads flat-topped arrays sometimes as much as 30 cm (1 foot) across. Each head has 7-35 ray florets surrounding 3-13 disc florets. The species is very common in fallow fields, waste places, fencerows, and vacant lots in many places.

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It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A rather greedy plant, it is apt to impoverish the soil. This plant has become a weed in its natural range and can be invasive under cultivation. The plant attracts various beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies to the garden, these insects will help to control insect pests in the garden.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. 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.
Edible Uses: …….Tea…….The fresh or dried leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiseptic. An infusion of the dried powdered herb can be used. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of chest pains and lung problems. An infusion of the blossoms has been used in the treatment of some types of fevers.
Other Uses: Mustard, orange and brown dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

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/Euthamia_graminifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solidago+graminifolia

Geranium robertianum

Botanical Name :Geranium robertianum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Geranium
Species: G. robertianum

Common Name :Herb Robert ,Herb Robert, Red Robin, Death come quickly, or (in North America) Robert Geranium

Habitat:Geranium robertianum is found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa where it grows on a variety of soils, rocks, tree trunks, and decaying organic matter such as logs (Falinska and Pironznikow 1983). It is a component of   virtually all forest types there. In the Pacific Northwest it is primarily found west of the Cascade crest although it extends along the Columbia River in Klickitat County. In some western counties it is widespread, although  still expanding fast into new territory. In other areas it appears in only a few to no populations.

Geranium robertianum can grow at altitudes of up to 1,500 metres (4,921 ft).

English: Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). P...

English: Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). Photo by sannse, Tapeley Park, Instow, North Devon, 14 May 2004.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Description:
Geranium robertianum is both a winter and spring annual. The light green leaves are deeply dissected. In late fall the foliage turns red. The stems fork and are brittle at the joints. They are pubescent and under high light conditions are red and up to 25 cm long. The roots are shallow. The pink flowers are perfect with five petals that are 7-10 mm. The receptacle is elongated into a structure called a “torus”. The fruit is a capsule. The seeds are brown and about two mm long. Herb Robert propagates by seed. A distinguishing characteristic of the species is the pungent odor of the crushed leaves and another common name for this plant is stinky Bob.

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In Great Britain is commonly found in hedgerows. It has been introduced into other temperate parts of the world, probably through its use as a ornamental plant, such as in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. In the state of Washington, it is known as Stinky Bob and classified as a noxious weed.(WSNWCB 2005, p. 8)(WSNWCB 2007)

 

Constituents:
The active ingredients are tannins, bitters, and essential oils.

Medininal Uses:
In the past Herb Robert was used mostly in veterinary medicine, especially fore the treatment of blood in the urine and infectious diseases.  An application for melancholy and sadness was recommended.  It stimulated the metabolism. It is now occasionally employed in much the same way as American cranesbill as an astringent and wound healer.  More investigation is needed as according to one authority it is also effective against stomach ulcers and inflammation of the uterus, and it has potential as a treatment for cancer.  To treat chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal trace, try administering Herb Robert in the form of a medicinal wine.  A simple one is made by filling a large jar half and half with freshly plucked, chopped Herb Robert and a good red wine.  Let the mixture stand for two weeks before straining it into a corked bottle.  Sip by snifter before meals.  For external applications, the freshly pressed juice of Herb Robert is best.  You can either apply the juice directly to the area being treated or use it In compresses.  Herb Robert is available as “Herba Geranii Robertiani and the homeopathic mother tincture “Geranium robertianum is prepared from the fresh flowering plant.

In traditional herbalism, Herb Robert is used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds. An infusion made from the whole plant, minus the root, has been used for its diuretic and tonic effect and as a remedy for dysentery. It is also used on wounds for healing and to prevent scarring, having both an antiseptic and a styptic effect.

Other Uses:
Freshly picked leaves have an odor resembling burning tires when crushed, and if they are rubbed on the body the smell is said to repel mosquitoes.

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.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/Written_findings/Geranium_robertianum.html
http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/herb-robert.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geranium_robertianum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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Populus trichocarpa

Botanical Name :Populus trichocarpa
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Section: Tacamahaca
Species: P. trichocarpa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Name :Black cottonwood; Western balsam poplar or California poplar

Habitat : Populus trichocarpa is native to western North America.

Description:
Populus trichocarpa is a deciduous broadleaf  large tree, growing to a height of 30-50 m and a trunk diameter of over 2 m, which makes it the largest poplar species in the Americas. It is normally fairly short-lived, but some trees may live for up to 400 years (Forbes 2006). A cottonwood discovered in Haines, Alaska set the national record at 101 ft (31 m) tall and 32.5 ft (9.9 m) around.

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The bark is grey and covered with lenticels, becoming thick and deeply fissured on old trees. The bark can become hard enough to cause sparks when cut with a chainsaw. The stem is grey in the older parts and light brown in younger parts. The crown is usually roughly conical and quite dense. In large trees the lower branches droop downwards. Spur shoots are common. The wood has a light coloring and a straight grain.

The leaves are 7-20 cm long with a glossy dark green upper side and glaucous light grey-green underside; larger leaves, up to 30 cm long, may be produced on stump sprouts and very vigorous young trees. The leaves are alternate, elliptic with a crenate margin and an acute tip, and reticulate venation (see leaf terminology). The petiole is reddish. The buds are conical, long, narrow and sticky, with a strong balsam scent in spring when they open.

Populus  trichocarpa has an extensive and aggressive root system, which can invade and damage drainage systems. Sometimes the roots can even damage the foundations of buildings by drying out the soil.

Cultivation:
It is also grown as an ornamental tree, valued for its fast growth and scented foliage in spring, detectable from over 100 m distance. The roots are however invasive, and it can damage the foundations of buildings on shrinkable clay soils if planted nearby (Mitchel 1996).

Branches can be added to potted plants to stimulate rooting

Medicinal Uses:
The gum from the buds was used in preparations for baldness, sore throats, whooping cough and tuberculosis. Some tribes placed the gum that exudes from the burls of cottonwood directly on cuts and wounds. Western balsam poplar has a long history of herbal use. It was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its antiseptic and expectorant properties, using it to treat lung complaints, wounds, skin conditions etc. It is still commonly employed in modern herbalism with much the same uses.

The leaf buds are covered with a resinous sap that has a strong turpentine odor and a bitter taste. They also contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The buds are antiscorbutic, antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. They are taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. They should not be prescribed to patients who are sensitive to aspirin. Externally, the buds are used to treat colds, sinusitis, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain and dry skin conditions. They can be put in hot water and used as an inhalant to relieve congested nasal passages. The buds are harvested in the spring before they open and are dried for later use.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the bark of most, if not all members of the genus contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The bark is therefore anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.

Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest used P. trichocarpa for a variety of purposes. The inner bark was sometimes eaten but most of its uses were medicinal or practical. Because of its salicin content it was often used raw or in salves to treat a number of ailments including baldness, tuberculosis, rheumatism, and treating wounds. The wood, roots and bark were used for firewood, canoe making, rope, fish traps, baskets and structures. The gum-like sap was even used as a glue or as waterproofing.

Commercial extracts are produced from the fragrant buds for use as a perfume in medicines and cosmetics.

‘P. trichocarpa contains salicin, and has been used medicinally as an antipyretic, analgesic and to control inflammation.

Other Uses: It is used for timber, and is notable as a model organism in plant biology. Its full genome sequence was published in 2006.

P. trichocarpa wood is light-weight and although not particularly strong, is strong for its weight. The wood material has short, fine cellulose fibres which are used in the production of high-quality book and magazine paper. The wood is also excellent for production of plywood. Living trees are used as windbreaks.

Populus trichocarpa grows very quickly; trees in plantations in Great Britain have reached 18 m (59 ft) tall in 11 years, and 34 m (112 ft) tall in 28 years (Mitchell 1996). It can reach suitable size for pulp production in 10–15 years and about 25 years for timber production.

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/Populus_trichocarpa
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/populus-trichocarpa
http://www.nazflora.org/Populus_trichocarpa.htm

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Botanical Name :Cupressus sempervirens
Family :CUPRESSACEAE Cypress Family
Genus: Cupressus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Species: C. sempervirens
Other names:Mediterranean Cypress, Italian, Tuscan, or Graveyard Cypress, or Pencil Pine

Habitat : Native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southeast Greece (Crete, Rhodes), southern Turkey, Cyprus, Northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran.

Description:
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets[1]. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in colour. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25-40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter.

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It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common.

The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

Cupressus sempervirens was known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as “the mournful tree”, sacred to the rulers of the underworld and to their associates, the Fates and the Furies. It was customary to plant it by a grave, and, at the time of a death, to place it either before the house of the decedent or in the vestibule, to warn those about to perform a sacred rite against entering a place polluted by a dead body. No Roman funeral was complete without cypress. Mourners carried its branches as a sign of respect and the bodies of the great were laid upon cypress branches before interment. According to Ovid, the tree was named after Kyparissos, a favorite of Apollo. The young boy accidentally slew Apollo’s beloved stag. He became so remorseful that he besought the gods to punish him with everlasting gloom. In compliance they transformed him into a cypress tree. The cypress is the principal cemetery tree in the Muslim world as well as in ancient and modern European cultures.

Medicinal Uses:

Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Cellulite Reduction * Facial and Skin care * Influenza * Varicose veins *
Properties:  Antispasmodic* Antiperspirant/Deodorants* Astringent* Deodorant* Diuretic* Hepatic* Skin tonic* Vasoconstrictor* Depurative* Antirheumatic* Muscle Relaxant* Aromatic*
Parts Used: Needles and twigs

Cypress oil is best known for it’s use in oily and over hydrated skin, poor circulation problems and it’s ability to relieve excess fluid retention. It is one of the essential oils often recommended for cellulite massage blends, treatment of varicose veins and wounds. The oil has a skin-tightening, pore-reducing effect and is used for these

Remedies using : Cypress Aromatherapy foot powder* Aromatherapy foot spray* Detoxifying Bath* Environmental Stress* Firewood oils* Negative Ion Spray* Nosebleed tissue* Spice and Lemon Forest* Vaginitis Formulation* Vein and Hemorrhoid Blend*

Other Uses:
Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the central and western Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in south Florida as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the U.S., it is known inaccurately as “Italian” or “Tuscan Cypress”; although the species is very commonly cultivated in Italy, it is not native there.

The vast majority of the trees in cultivation are selected cultivars with a fastigiate crown, with erect branches forming a narrow to very narrow crown often less than a tenth as wide as the tree is tall. The dark green ‘exclamation mark’ shape of these trees is a highly characteristic signature of Mediterranean town and village landscapes. Formerly, the species was sometimes separated into two varieties, the wild C. sempervirens var. sempervirens (syn. var. horizontalis), and the fastigiate C. s. var. pyramidalis (syn. var. fastigiata, var. stricta), but the latter is now only distinguished as a Cultivar Group, with no botanical significance.

It is also known for its very durable, scented wood, used most famously for the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome.

Cypress used to be used in distilleries as staves to hold mash ferments to make alcohol before the invention of stainless steel.

Commonly seen throughout New Mexico, the Mediterranean Cypress is also known as the “drama tree” because of its tendency to bend with even the slightest of breezes.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail21.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_sempervirens

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