Tag Archives: Plant pathology

Rosa rugosa

Botanical Name : Rosa rugosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. rugosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : R. ferox.

Common Names: Rugosa rose, Wrinkled Rose, Japanese rose, or Ramanas rose

Habitat: Rosa rugosa is native to E. Asia – N. China, Japan, Korea. Naturalized in several places in Britain. It grows in sandy sea shores.
It has naturalized itself in the sand dunes of the New England seacoast.

Description:
Rosa rugosa is a suckering shrub which develops new plants from the roots and forms dense thickets 1–1.50 m tall with stems densely covered in numerous short, straight prickles 3–10 mm long. The leaves are 8–15 cm long, pinnate with 5–9 leaflets, most often 7, each leaflet 3–4 cm long, with a distinctly corrugated (rugose, hence the species’ name) surface. The flowers are pleasantly scented, dark pink to white (on R. rugosa f. alba (Ware) Rehder), 6–9 cm across, with somewhat wrinkled petals; flowering occurs in spring

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The hips are large, 2–3 cm diameter, and often shorter than their diameter, not elongated; in late summer and early autumn the plants often bear fruit and flowers at the same time. The leaves typically turn bright yellow before falling in autumn.The plant is not frost tender.

Cultivation:
Prefers a light well-drained soil but succeeds in most soils including dry ones. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Dislikes water-logged soils. Tolerates maritime exposure. Plants are said to withstand temperatures down to -50°c without damage. The foliage is said to resist disease. A very ornamental plant, it suckers freely but these are fairly easily controlled. There are a number of named varieties. ‘Scabrosa’ is said to be larger in all its parts, including the fruit, though it has not proved to be much larger with us. The flowers have a clove-like perfume. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Dislikes boxwood. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation :
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate[80]. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested[80]. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit – raw or cooked. They are very sweet and pleasant to eat, though it takes quite a bit of patience to eat any quantity. The fruit is a fairly large size for a rose with a relatively thick layer of flesh. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter. Rich in vitamin C, containing up to 2.75% dry weight. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. Flowers – raw or cooked. An aromatic flavour, they are also used in jellies and preserves. Remove the bitter white base of the petals before using them. Young shoots – cooked and used as a potherb. Harvested as they come through the ground in spring and are still tender. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured tea is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C. A tea is also made from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses:

The leaves are used in the treatment of fevers. The flowers act on the spleen and liver, promoting blood circulation. They are used internally in the treatment of poor appetite and digestion, and menstrual complaints arising from constrained liver energy. The root is used in the treatment of coughs. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

In China, the flowers are used to make tea to improve the circulation and to “soothe a restless fetus”. Tea and Jelly made from the rose hips are a very rich source of Vitamin C. The rose hips of this plant have the highest natural concentration of Vitamin C of any other natural source of Vitamin C, including all of the citrus fruits. For the sufferer of scurvy, the Rosa rugosa is a medicinal plant; for the rest of us, it is a nutritional plant.
Other Uses: The plant makes a good low hedge. It is very tolerant of maritime exposure, but is very bare in winter

Known Hazards : There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested

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.

Resours:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_rugosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+rugosa
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
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Zea Mays

Botanical Name: Zea Mays
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Zea
SpeciesZ. mays
Subspecies: Z. mays subsp. mays
KingdomPlantae
Order: Poales

Synonym:  Maize.

Common Name:  Corn

Habitat: Zea Mays or maize is native to South America; also cultivated in other parts of America, in the West Indian Islands, Australia, Africa, India, etc., and now in France and many other countries in the world.

Description:
Zea Mays is a monoecious plant. Male flowers in terminal racemes; spikelets, two-flowered glumes nearly equal, herbaceous, terminating in two sharp points; females, axillary in the sheaths of the leaves. The spikes or ears proceed from the stalls at various distances from the ground, and are closely enveloped in several thin leaves, forming a sheath called the husk; the ears consist of a cylindrical substance, a pith called the cob; on this the seeds are ranged in eight rows, each row having thirty or more seeds. From the eyes or germs of the seeds proceed individual filaments of a silky appearance and bright green colour; these hang from the point of the husk and are called ‘the silk.’ The use of these filaments or stigmata is to receive the farina which drops from the flowers, and without which the flowers would produce no seed. As soon as this has been effected, the tops and ‘the silk’ dry up. The maize grains are of varying colour – usually yellow, but often ranging to black.

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A coarse annual, culms 60-80 cm high, straight, internodes cylindrical in the upper part, alternately grooved on the lower part with a bud in the groove. The stem is filled with pith. Leaf-blades broad. Has separate staminate (male) and pistillate (female) inflorescences. The staminate inflorescence is a tassel borne at the apex, the pistillate flowers occur as spikes (cobs) rising from axils of the lower leaves. The ovary develops a long style or silk which extends from the cob and receives the pollen from the tassel.

Cultivation :
Requires a warm position a well drained soil and ample moisture in the growing season[16, 33]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6.8[200]. Requires a rich soil if it is to do well[201]. Corn is widely cultivated for its edible seed, especially in tropical and warm temperate zones of the world[200], there are many named varieties. Unfortunately, the plant is not frost tolerant and so needs to be started off under glass in Britain if a reasonable crop is to be grown. There are five main types:- Sweetcorn is of fairly recent development. It has very sweet, soft-skinned grains that can be eaten raw or cooked before they are fully ripe. Cultivars have been developed that can produce a worthwhile crop even in the more northerly latitudes of Britain if a suitable warm sunny sheltered site is chosen K. Popcorn is a primitive form with hard-skinned grains. When roasted, these grains ‘explode’ to form the popular snack ‘popcorn’. Waxy corn is used mainly in the Far East. It has a tapioca-like starch. Flint corn, which shrinks on drying, can have white, yellow, purple, red or blue-black grains. It is not so sweet and also takes longer to mature so is a problematic crop in Britain. There are many other uses for this plant as detailed below. Dent corn has mostly white to yellow grains. This and Flint corn are widely grown for oils, cornflour, cereals and silage crops. Corn grows well with early potatoes, legumes, dill, cucurbits and sunflowers, it dislikes growing with tomatoes.
Propagation:
Seed – sow April in individual pots in a greenhouse. Grow on quickly and plant out after the last expected frosts. A direct outdoor sowing, especially of some of the less sweet varieties, can be tried in May.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Oil; Oil; Pollen; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil; Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Corn is one of the most commonly grown foods in the world. The seed can be eaten raw or cooked before it is fully ripe and there are varieties especially developed for this purpose (the sweet corns) that have very sweet seeds and are delicious. The mature seed can be dried and used whole or ground into a flour. It has a very mild flavour and is used especially as a thickening agent in foods such as custards. The starch is often extracted from the grain and used in making confectionery, noodles etc. The dried seed of certain varieties can be heated in an oven when they burst to make ‘Popcorn’. The seed can also be sprouted and used in making uncooked breads and cereals. A nutritional analysis is available. The fresh succulent ‘silks’ (the flowering parts of the cob) can also be eaten. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is an all-purpose culinary oil that is frequently used as a food in salads and for cooking purposes. The pollen is used as an ingredient of soups. Rich in protein, it is harvested by tapping the flowering heads over a flat surface such as a bowl. Harvesting the pollen will actually help to improve fertilisation of the seeds. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. The pith of the stem is chewed like sugar cane and is sometimes made into a syrup

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Fresh weight)

*361 Calories per 100g
*Water : 10.6%
*Protein: 9.4g; Fat: 4.3g; Carbohydrate: 74.4g; Fibre: 1.8g; Ash: 1.3g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 9mg; Phosphorus: 290mg; Iron: 2.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 140mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.43mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.1mg; Niacin: 1.9mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Part Used in Medicines:  The Seeds.

Constituents:  Starch, sugar, fat, salts, water, yellow oil, maizenic acid, azotized matter, gluten, dextrine, glucose, cellulose, silica, phosphates of lime and magnesia, soluble salts of potassa and soda.

Medicinal    Uses: 

A decoction of the leaves and roots is used in the treatment of strangury, dysuria and gravel. The corn silks are cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, lithontripic, mildly stimulant and vasodilator. They also act to reduce blood sugar levels and so are used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus as well as cystitis, gonorrhoea, gout etc. The silks are harvested before pollination occurs and are best used when fresh because they tend to lose their diuretic effect when stored and also become purgative.  A decoction of the cob is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and menorrhagia. The seed is diuretic and a mild stimulant. It is a good emollient poultice for ulcers, swellings and rheumatic pains, and is widely used in the treatment of cancer, tumours and warts. It contains the cell-proliferant and wound-healing substance allantoin, which is widely used in herbal medicine (especially from the herb comfrey, Symphytum officinale) to speed the healing process. The plant is said to have anticancer properties and is experimentally hypoglycaemic and hypotensive.

Other Uses:
Adhesive; Fuel; Oil; Oil; Packing; Paper.

A glue is made from the starch in the seed. This starch is also used in cosmetics and the manufacture of glucose. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has many industrial uses, in the manufacture of linoleum, paints, varnishes, soaps etc. The corn spathes are used in the production of paper, straw hats and small articles such as little baskets. A fibre obtained from the stems and seed husks is used for making paper. They are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a light greenish cream paper. Be careful not to overcook the fibre otherwise it will produce a sticky pulp that is very hard to form into paper. The dried cobs are used as a fuel. The pith of the stems is used as a packing material
In addition to use as a human food, the seed head and whole plant are used forage and silage, an important source of feed for livestock. Corn has become an increasingly important biofuel, both in the form of corn oil (used as bio-diesel) and ethanol (an alcohol fermented and distilled from the processed kernels), which is blended with petroleum-based gasoline in various proportions for use as fuel.

With Although grown in temperate and tropical countries worldwide, the U.S. alone produces more than one third of the global total of dried corn (316.2 metric tons), with China, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina also producing significant amounts. Corn production increased by 42% worldwide over the past decade, associated with the increased demand and prices for corn as biofuel.

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/Maize
http://media.eol.org/pages/1115259/overview
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corni103.html
http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/data/pf000342.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zea+mays

Fish Oil Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

A substance found in fish oil may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, researchers reported yesterday…….click & see

The scientists found that people with the highest blood levels of an omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, were about half as likely to develop dementia as those with lower levels.

The substance is one of several omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fatty fish and, in small amounts, in some meats. It is also sold in fish oil or DHA supplements. The researchers looked for a reduced risk associated with seven other omega-3 fatty acids, but only DHA had any effect.

The study, in the November’06 issue of The Archives of Neurology, used data from the Framingham Heart Study to follow 899 initially healthy participants, with a median age of 76, for an average of more than nine years.

The scientists assessed DHA and fish intake using a questionnaire and obtained complete dietary data on more than half the subjects. They took blood samples from all the participants to determine serum levels of fatty acids.

Ninety-nine people developed dementia over the course of the study, including 71 cases of Alzheimer’s disease. The average level of DHA among all the participants was 3.6 percent of all fatty acids, and the top 25 percent of the population had values above 4.2 percent. People in this top one-quarter in DHA levels had a 47 percent reduced risk of developing dementia, even after controlling for body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, smoking status and other known or suspected risks. Risk reduction was apparent only at that top level of DHA — those in the bottom three-quarters in DHA level showed no detectable difference in risk.

People who ate two or more servings of fish a week reduced their risk for dementia by 39 percent, but there was no effect on the risk for dementia among those who ate less than that.

The finding that DHA alone reduces risk, the authors write, is consistent with earlier data showing high levels of DHA in healthy brain tissue and low levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Ernst J. Schaefer, the lead author of the study, was cautious in interpreting the results.

“This study doesn’t prove that eating fish oil prevents dementia,” he said. “It’s an observational study that presents an identified risk factor, and the next step is a randomized placebo-controlled study in people who do not yet have dementia.” Dr. Schaefer is chief of the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University.
The study was financed in part by Martek, a concern that manufactures DHA, and one author received a grant from Pfizer, France.

Eating fish is not a guarantee of having high levels of DHA. In fact, fish intake accounted for less than half of the variability in DHA levels. Other dietary intake and genetic propensities probably account for the rest. Dr. Schaefer pointed out that the kind of fish consumed is important. Fatty fish, he said, is best, and frying will cause DHA to deteriorate.

Supplements may be an additional source of DHA, but an editorial in the same issue, by Dr. Martha Clare Morris, an associate professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, points out that there are no published human studies of the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. The Food and Drug Administration does not endorse DHA or fish oil capsules, but recognizes doses of up to 3 grams a day of fish oil as generally safe. High intakes of fish oil can cause excessive bleeding in some people.

Dr. Morris writes that there are few human studies examining the effect of mercury intake from eating seafood, and it is not known if the risks of eating fish outweigh the benefits.

But, she adds, epidemiological studies consistently show positive health effects from fish consumption on mortality, cardiovascular risk factors and, now, dementia.

Source:The New York Times