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Herbs & Plants

Plantago australis

Plantago-altissima_1
Plantago-altissima_1 (Photo credit: amadej2008)

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Botanical Name : Plantago australis
Family: Plantaginaceae– Plantain family
Genus: Plantago L.– plantain
Species:Plantago australis Lam.– Mexican plantain
Subspecies: Plantago australis Lam. ssp. hirtella (Kunth) Rahn– Mexican plantain
Kingdom: Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Plantaginales

Synonyms:
*Plantago australis Lam. ssp. hirtella (Kunth) Rahn
*PLHI4 Plantago hirtella Kunth
*PLHIG2 Plantago hirtella Kunth ssp. galeottiana (Decne.) Thorne
*PLHIG Plantago hirtella Kunth var. galeottiana (Decne.) Pilg.
*PLHIM Plantago hirtella Kunth var. mollior Pilg.

Common Name: Mexican Plantain

Habitat : Plantago australis is Native to
NORTHAN AMERICA:
*South-Central U.S.A.: United States – New Mexico [s.]
*Southwestern U.S.A.: United States – Arizona [s.]
*Northern Mexico: Mexico – Baja Sur, Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora
*Southern Mexico: Mexico – Chiapas, Federal District, Hidalgo, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz

SOUTHERN AMERICA :
*Mesoamerica: Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama
*Northern South America: Venezuela
*Brazil: Brazil
*Western South America: Bolivia; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru
*Southern South America: Argentina; Chile; Paraguay [s.]; Uruguay

It grows in Cultivated Beds.

Description:
Plantago australis is a Perennial plant growing to 0.2m by 0.2m.
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It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species but it has been growing successfully with us since 1990 and seems to be fully hardy. It succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Laxative; Poultice.

Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds. A poultice of the leaves has been used in the treatment of cuts and boils.

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:
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Plantago_australis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Plantago+australis
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Plantago+australis
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PLAUH
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?316970

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Speedwell

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Botanical Name: Veronica officinalis
Family: Plantaginaceae
Common Names/Synonyms :- Fluellin, ground-hele, gypsy weed, low speedwell, Paul’s betony, upland speedwell, veronica.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. officinalis

Habitat:Meadows, boarders and thin woods. Generally in the mountains. Grows in damp, open woodlands and grassy areas; found along a forest path.Native  to Europe.  It has been introduced to North America and is widely naturalised there.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long.   The hairy stem trails along the ground often forming dense mats.  and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and softly hairy. The leaf arrangement is opposite.Leaves can reach 5cm in length (2inches). Each elliptical leaf is toothed with a very short petiole or none. It flowers from May until August.The flowers are irregular in shape and are up to 0.5cm wide (0.2 inches). They are violet or lavender. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into mid summer. Close examination of the flowers says  that they are light, sometimes almost white with darker markings. The are in erect racemes
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Cultivation and uses

This speedwell grows in fields and takes hold in areas that have been disturbed. It is a potential weed if its seed gts into collections of agricultural seed, such as alfalfa. Historically the green parts of the plant have been used medicinally for coughs, otitis media, and gastrointestinal distress.

Constituents:
The plant is rich in vitamins, tannins, and the glycoside aucuboside. Aucuboside, which is also found in many other Plantaginaceae species, is thought to have antiinflammatory properties. Extracts are widely sold as herbal remedies for sinus and ear infections.


Medicinal Uses:

The plant has long been used medicinally. The stems leaves and roots are used. Considered to be an astringent, expectorant and diuretic it was used to treat coughs, stomach and urinary disorders, rheumatism and as a general tonic. The Cherokee used it thusly and treated earache with the juice. Tannins, bitters, essential oil and the glycoside aucuboside along with vitamin C are responsible for the medical effects.

In modern herbal medicine, speedwell tea, brewed from the dried flowering plant, sometimes serves as a cough remedy or as a lotion applied to the skin to speed wound healing and relieve itching.

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.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.ontariowildflower.com/deciduous.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_officinalis
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H325.htm
http://www.midwestherbs.com/bulk_herbs/speedwell.htm