Tag Archives: Plant stem

Eriophorum angustifolium

Botanical Name : Eriophorum angustifolium
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Eriophorum
Species: E. angustifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms : Eriophorum polystachyon – L.

Common Name:Cotton Grass, Common cottonsedge,  Bog cotton.

Habitat :Eriophorum angustifolium is native to  Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and N. America.It is common in the Manchester area of the United Kingdom, officially the County flower of the Greater Manchester region. It grows in peat bogs, acid meadows and marshes

Description:

In the wild, Eriophorum angustifolium is a creeping rhizomatous perennial sedge, with an abundance of unbranched, translucent pink roots. Fully grown, it has a tall, erect stem shaped like a narrow cylinder or triangular prism; it is smooth in texture and green in colour. Reports of the plant’s height vary; estimates include up to 60 cm (24 in),   15–75 cm (5.9–29.5 in),and up to 100 cm (39 in). E. angustifolium has “stiff grass-like foliage” consisting of long, narrow solidly dark green leaves, which have a single central groove, and narrow from their 2–6-millimetre (0.08–0.24 in) wide base to a rust-coloured triangular tip. Up to seven green and brown aerial peduncles and chaffs, roughly 4–10 millimetres (0.16–0.39 in) in size, protrude from umbels at the top of the stem from which achenes are produced after fertilisation, each with a single pappus; these combine to form a distinctive white perianth around 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long.

Eriophorum angustifolium is described as “a rather dull plant” in winter and spring, but “simply breathtaking” in summer and autumn, when 1–7 conspicuous inflorescences – composed of hundreds of white pappi comparable to cotton, hair, tassels, and/or bristles – stand out against naturally drab surroundings.

Eriophorum angustifolium differs from other species within the genus Eriophorum in its habitat and morphology. Its multiple flower heads and growth from rhizomes distinguish it from E. vaginatum, which has a single flower head and grows from dense tussocks. Although E. latifolium has 2–12 flower heads, it has laxly caespitose (tufted) growth, and its pappi are forked. The smooth peduncles and preference for acidic soil pH distinguishes E. angustifolium from E. gracile, which grows in swamp with a neutral pH and has scabrid (rough) peduncles


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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June,and the seeds ripen from July to August.The flowering stem is 20–70 cm tall, and has three to five cotton-like inflorescences hanging from the top. It is also sometimes referred to as multi-headed bog cotton.   The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid soils and can grow in very acid soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation:
Requires boggy conditions or a pond margin and an acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Quite invasive.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in spring in a moist soil in light shade. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 6 weeks at 15°c. If the seed is in short supply it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. Place the pots in a try of water to keep the compost moist. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root; Stem.

Young stem bases – raw or cooked. Usually cooked and eaten with oil. Root – raw or cooked. The blackish covering should be removed.

Medicinal Uses:

Astringent.

The leaves and roots are considerably astringent and have been used in the past as a treatment for diarrhoea. Some native North American Indian tribes would eat the stems raw in order to restore good health to people in generally poor health.

Other Uses
Paper; Stuffing; Tinder; Weaving; Wick.

The cottony seed hairs are used to make candle wicks. They are also used for stuffing pillows, paper making etc and as a tinder. Experiments have been made in using the hairs as a cotton substitute, but they are more brittle than cotton and do not bear twisting so well. The dried leaves and stems have been woven into soft mats or covers.

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/Eriophorum_angustifolium
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Eriophorum+angustifolium

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Typha angustifolia

Botanical Name : Typha angustifolia
Family: Typhaceae
Genus: Typha
Species: T. angustifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names:Lesser Bulrush , Narrowleaf Cattail , Lesser Reedmace,Small Reed Mace, Cattail

Habitat : Typha angustifolia  grows  throughout the world from the Arctic to latitude 30° S, including Britain but absent from Africa.This is found in  water up to 15cm deep, avoiding acid conditions. Often somewhat brackish or subsaline water or wet soil in America, growing from sea level to elevations of 1900 metres.

Description:
Typha angustifolia is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). The plant’s leaves are flat, very narrow (¼”-½” wide), and 3′-6′ tall when mature; 12-16 leaves arise from each vegetative shoot. At maturity, they have distinctive stalks that are about as tall as the leaves; the stalks are topped with brown, fluffy, sausage-shaped flowering heads. The plants have sturdy, rhizomatous roots that can extend 27″ and are typically ¾”-1½” in diameter.

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It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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.

Cultivation :
A very easily grown plant, it grows in boggy pond margins or in shallow water up to 15cm deep. It requires a rich soil if it is to do well. Succeeds in sun or part shade. A very invasive plant spreading freely at the roots when in a suitable site, it is not suitable for growing in small areas. Unless restrained by some means, such as a large bottomless container, the plant will soon completely take over a site and will grow into the pond, gradually filling it in. This species will often form an almost complete monoculture in boggy soil. The dense growth provides excellent cover for water fowl.

Propagation : 
Seed – surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop, increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer. Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached, and plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses  :    
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  PollenRoot;  Seed;  Stem.

Roots – raw or cooked. They can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The roots can also be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein, this powder is used to make biscuits etc. Young shoots in spring – raw or cooked. An asparagus substitute. Base of mature stem – raw or cooked. It is best to remove the outer part of the stem. Young flowering stem – raw, cooked or made into a soup. It tastes like sweet corn. Seed – cooked. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, but it has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop. Pollen – raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making bread, porridge etc. It can also be eaten with the young flowers, which makes it considerably easier to utilize. The pollen can be harvested by placing the flowering stem over a wide but shallow container and then gently tapping the stem and brushing the pollen off with a fine brush. This will help to pollinate the plant and thereby ensure that both pollen and seeds can be harvested.

Medicinal Uses:

Anticoagulant;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Haemostatic;  Lithontripic;  Miscellany.

The pollen is diuretic, emmenagogue and haemostatic. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, internal haemorrhage of almost any kind, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel.

In Chinese herbal medicine, the astringent pu huang pollen has been employed chiefly to stop internal or external bleeding.  The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes hemostatic. The pollen may be mixed with honey and applied to wounds and sores, or taken orally to reduce internal bleeding of almost any kind—for example, nosebleeds, uterine bleeding, or blood in the urine.  The pollen is now also used in the treatment of angina.  Pu huang does not appear to have been used as a medicine in the European herbal tradition.  The dregs remaining after the pollen has been sifted from the stamens and sepals can be browned in an oven or hot skillet and then used as an internal or external astringent in dysentery and other forms of bowel hemorrhage.  It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, internal hemorrhage of almost any kind, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries.  An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel.

Other Uses  :
Biomass;  Insulation;  Miscellany;  Oil;  Paper;  Soil stabilization;  Stuffing;  Thatching;  Tinder;  Weaving.

The stems and leaves have many uses, they make a good thatch, can be used in making paper, can be woven into mats, chairs, hats etc. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent addition to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc. The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have good insulating and buoyancy properties. The female flowers make an excellent tinder and can be lit from the spark of a flint. The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks. This plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing wet banks of rivers, lakes etc.

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/Typha_angustifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Typha+angustifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Sphagneticola trilobata

Botanical Name : Sphagneticola trilobata
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Sphagneticola
Species: S. trilobata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Bay Biscayne Creeping-oxeye,Rabbit’s Paw,Wedelia trilobata

Habitat ;Native to tropical countries.Occurs in agriculture areas,coastland,natural forests

Description
Wedelia is a mat forming perennial herb with rounded stems. Leaves are fleshy, usually 2 to 4 inches long and 1 to 5 inches wide, with irregularly toothed margins. Flowers are solitary, one inch in diameter and yellow-orange in color. New plants arise from nodes that root at the soil surface. Seed production is low and generally does not reproduce prolifically via seed. However, wedelia is able to escape from gardens to nearby areas via runners and fragmentation.
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Medicinal Uses:
Used for hepatitis, indigestion due to sluggish liver, white stools, burning in the urine and stopping of urine, and for infections – boil 1 cup of fresh herb (stems, leaves, and flowers) in 3 cups water for 5 minutes and drink 1 cup warm before each meal.  To bathe those suffering from backache, muscle cramps, rheumatism, or swellings, boil a large double handful of fresh stems and leaves in 2 gallons of water for 10 minutes.  Said to pull  “heat” out of the body.  For painful joints of arthritis, mash fresh leaves and stems; spread on a cloth and apply to area, wrapping securely with a warm covering.   Also used to clear the placenta after birth.

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://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/468
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphagneticola_trilobata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Polygonum aviculare

Botanical Name :Polygonum aviculare
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Species: P. aviculare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms :  P. heterophyllum. P. littorale.

Common Name:Birdweed, Pigweed and Lowgrass,Prostrate Knotweed

Habitat :Polygonum aviculare  is native to   throughout Europe, including Britain, to Temperate Asia. It grows in the waste places, roadsides, railway embankments and the coast. A common garden weed.

Description:
A Polygonum aviculare annual with small, elliptic leaves that is primarily found in compacted areas of turfgrass such as pathways or sports fields.

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Seedlings: Cotyledons are narrow, linear in outline, often resembling and being mistaken for a grass.  The stem below the cotyledons (hypocotyl) is often reddish in color.

Roots: A taproot.

Leaves: Arranged alternately along the stem, lanceolate in outline, approximately 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long and 1 to 8 mm wide.  Leaves have short petioles and a distinctive thin membranous sheath (ocrea) that encircles the stem at the leaf base.

Fruit: A dark red to brown achene.

Stems: Branching, growing prostrate along the ground, ranging from 4 to 24 inches in length.  Stems are swollen at the nodes with a thin membranous sheath (ocrea) encircling the stem at each leaf base.

Flowers: Occur in the area between the stems and leaves (leaf axils).  From 1 to 5 flowers occur in clusters and are very small and inconspicuous, white to pinkish-white in color.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and plants are eaten raw or cooked. Used as a potherb, they are very rich in zinc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seeds are also eaten raw or cooked. Rather small and fiddly to utilize, they can be used in all the ways that buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is used, either whole or dried and ground into a powder for use in pancakes, biscuits and piñole. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment, in good soils the plant will cover an area up to a metre in diameter. Prefers an acid soil. Dislikes shade. Knotweed is a common and invasive weed of cultivated ground. It is an important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies[. It also produces an abundance of seeds and these are a favourite food for many species of birds. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. The flowers have little or no scent or honey and are rarely visited by pollinating insects. Self-fertilization is the usual method of reproduction, though cross-fertilization by insects does sometimes occur. The plant also produces cleistogomous flowers – these never open and therefore are always self-fertilized. The plant is very variable and is seen by most botanists as an aggregate species of 4 very variable species, viz. – P. aviculare. L.; P. boreale. (Lange.)Small.; P. rurivacum. Jord. ex Box.; and P. arenastrum. Box.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. 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.

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

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 81.6%
*Protein: 1.9g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 10.2g; Fibre: 3.5g; Ash: 3.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; *Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg;

*Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is an astringent, coagulant, diuretic and expectorant.

It has been used in the treatment of chronic urinary tract infections.  It is claimed to be useful in the prevention of the formation of renal calculi.  It stops bleeding and alleviates colics and catarrhs (usually combined with silverweed and ribwort plantain).  It is an ingredient in many herbal teas.  It operates in the basal metabolism as an adjuvant in diabetic, expectorant and antidiarrheic preparations.  It is used to treat bronchitis with bleeding.  It is used for pulmonary complaints since its silicic acid content helps strengthen connective tissue within the lungs.  It is also used in combination with other herbs to treat rheumatic conditions, gout, and skin disease.  It is regarded as a “blood purifying’ remedy.  Knotgrass has also been used to treat inflammations of the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract and has been useful in cases of flatulence and biliary insufficiency.  Externally it has been used to treat sore throats and vaginal inflammation.  Dosage is a decoction of the root from 10-20g to 2 glasses of water, half a glass 3 times a day.  Can be used for douches, compresses, rinses.  Alcoholic extracts prevent the crystallization of mineral substances in the urine and are antiphlogistic, bacteriostatic and diuretic.  Research is being done on the efficacy of the plant in reducing the fragility of blood capillaries, especially in the alimentary canal.

In the Chinese tradition, knotgrass is given for intestinal worms, to treat diarrhea and dysentery, and as a diuretic, particularly in cases of painful urination.  Chinese research indicates that the plant is a useful medicine for bacillary dysentery.

 Other Uses  :……Dye…….Yields a blue dye that is not much inferior to indigo. The part used is not specified, but it is likely to be the leaves. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the whole plant. The roots contain tannins, but the quantity was not given.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. 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.

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/Polygonum_aviculare
http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/polav.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+aviculare

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Pedicularis groenlandica

Botanical Name : Pedicularis groenlandica
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Species: P. groenlandica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Elephant’s head and Elephanthead

Habitat :This plant is found in the high mountain ranges of western North America, particularly the Cascades and High Sierra, much of Canada and Greenland. It grows in wet environments such as riverbanks.

Description:
General: erect perennial, 15-70 cm tall, coarsely fibrous-rooted, sometimes with an evident stem base, mostly  hairless throughout. The stems reddish-purple, often  clustered.

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Leaves:    basal leaves 5-25 cm long, the blade equaling or exceeding the stalk, 0.5-4 cm wide, the pinnate segments narrow, sharply toothed, often with somewhat firm but elastic edges. Stem leaves alternate, several, gradually reduced upward.

Flowers: many in a dense, elongate, spike-like cluster. Bracts mostly much shorter than the flowers, at least the lower more or less cleft into narrow segments. Calyx lobes  5, short, entire, almost equal, often edged with minute hairs.Corolla pink-purple or almost red, 1-1.5 cm long, the galea  short and strongly hooded, tipped with a slender, elongate,
conspicuously upturned beak, like an elephant trunk. Lower  lip rather small.

Flowering time: June-August.

Fruits: capsules, hairless, curved and flattened.

Like other louseworts and related broomrape genera, this is a root parasite which obtains nutrients from the roots of other plants by piercing them with haustoria.

You may click to see more pictures of Pedicularis groenlandica :

Medicinal Uses:
The Cheyenne Drug used a tea of powdered leaves and stems taken to stop or loosen a coughs. They also used a tea of smashed leaves and stems taken for coughs.  All of the Pedicularis’ are tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, powerful aphrodisiacs, and sedatives. They are often employed medicinally for muscle pain and tension, particularly back pain. . It is also used for muscle strain due to overwork, sprains, joint pain, night-time cramps, and as a preliminary before bodywork such as massage. It is very relaxing to voluntary muscles, but large amounts can make a person goofy and lethargic.  Pedicularis are also used for their psychological effects, good for anger, fear, pain, anxiety. The whole flowering herb is harvested for the tincture, but only the flowers, fresh or dried, are made into a tea.  At least one Native American tribe is known to smoke the flowers of certain Pedicularis species for their medicinal effects and narcotic effects. These plants are a welcome addition to any smoking mixture both as flavor and a narcotic. Elephant’s Head is claimed to have the best flavor but is the mildest, but every Pedicularis has an excellent taste. P. Densiflora being the most potent species

Known Hazards: Louseworts can be eaten in small quantities in an emergency, but contain enough poisonous glycosides to cause severe illness if they are eaten in quantity.

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/Pedicularis_groenlandica
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PEGR2&photoID=pegr2_009_ahp.tif
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/pedi_groenla.htm

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