Tag Archives: Pollination

Gaura parviflora

Botanical Name: Gaura parviflora
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Gaura
Species: G. parviflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Synonyms: G. mollis James; velvetweed, velvety gaura, downy gaura, or smallflower gaura

Common Names: Velvetweed

Habitat : Gaura parviflora is native to the central United States and northern Mexico, from Nebraska and Wyoming south to Durango and Nuevo Leon. It grows on upland prairies, abandoned fields, vacant lots, areas along railroads, and barren waste areas. Open areas with a history of disturbance are preferred.
Description:
Gaura parviflora is an annual or biennial wildflower  plant  which  is 2-6′ tall and either unbranched or sparingly branched. The central stem is light green to reddish brown, terete (round in cross-section), and covered with fine hairs. Ascending alternate leaves occur along the lower to middle sections of the stem. Individual leaves are 2-5″ long and ¼-1″ across; they are narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, sessile (or nearly so), and either entire (smooth) or sparsely denticulate with barely perceptible teeth. Leaf surfaces are light gray-green and either glabrous or sparsely to moderately covered with appressed fine hairs. Leaf venation is pinnate. The upper stem (or stems) terminates in a narrow spike of flowers about ½-2½’ long. Only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time, beginning at the bottom of the spike and ending at its apex. Each flower is about ¼” across, consisting of 4 spreading petals, 4 drooping sepals, an inferior ovary, 8 stamens, and a single style with an X-shaped stigma. The petals are white, pink, or magenta (often becoming more deeply colored with age); they are oblanceolate in shape. The sepals are light green to red and linear-lanceolate. The ovary is light green to red and narrowly cylindrical. The central stalk of the floral spike is light green to red and glabrous. The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 2 months. The flowers open during the evening and close during the morning. However, on cloudy days, they may remain open later. Each flower lasts only 1-2 days. In the absence of cross-pollination, the flowers are self-fertile. They are replaced by ellipsoid seed capsules that become about 1/3″ (9 mm.) in length at maturity. Each capsule contains 2-4 seeds about 2-3 mm. in length that are lanceoloid and somewhat flattened. The root system consists of a stout taproot.

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The flowers are cross-pollinated by bees and moths. Both nectar and pollen are available as floral rewards. The foliage, flowers, and other parts of Small-Flowered Gaura and similar species are sometimes eaten by various insects, including the flea beetle Altica foliaceae, the aphid Macrosiphum pseudorosae, Hippiscus ocelote (Wrinkled Grasshopper), Melanoplus keeleri luridus (Keeler’s Grasshopper), and some moth caterpillars. These moth species include Proserpinus guarae (Proud Sphinx), Proserpinus juanita (Green-Banded Day Sphinx), and Schinia gaurae (Clouded Crimson). The foliage is palatable to goats and probably other mammalian herbivores.

Cultivation: The preference is full sun, mesic to dry conditions, and almost any kind of soil that is well-drained. Resistance to hot dry weather is excellent, although some of the lower leaves may wither away. This wildflower is somewhat weedy.

Medicinal Uses:
Among the Zuni people, fresh or dried root would be chewed by medicine man before sucking snakebite and poultice applied to wound.
A poultice made of the crushed plant has been used to treat muscular pains and arthritis.
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/Gaura_parviflora
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/sf_gaura.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Hibiscus trionum

 

Botanical Name : Hibiscus trionum
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species:H. trionum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Flower-of-an-hour, Bladder hibiscus, Bladder ketmia, Bladder weed, Flower-of-the-hour, Modesty, Puarangi, Shoofly, and Venice mallow

Habitat : Hibiscus trionum is native to the Levant. It has spread throughout southern Europe both as a weed and cultivated as a garden plant. It has been introduced to the United States as an ornamental where it has become naturalized as a weed of cropland and vacant land, particularly on disturbed ground.

Description:
Hibiscus trionum is an annual/perennial plant.It grows to a height of 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in), sometimes exceeding 80 centimetres (31 in), and has white or yellow flowers with a purple centre. In the deeply pigmented centre of the flower, the surface features striations, which were previously considered to act as a diffraction grating, creating iridescence. Because of the irregularities of the plant cells and surface, the periodicity of the striations is however too irregular to create clear iridescence and thus the iridescence is not visible to man and flower visiting insects. The visual signal of the flower’s of H. trionum to flower visiting insects is thus determined by the white and red pigmentary coloration. The pollinated but unripe seedpods look like oriental paper lanterns, less than an inch across, pale green with purple highlights.

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The flowers of the Hibiscus trionum can set seed via both outcrossing and self-pollination. During the first few hours after anthesis, the style and stigma are erect and receptive to receive pollen from other plants. In the absence of pollen donation, the style bends and makes contact with the anthers of the same flower, inducing self-pollination. Although outcrossing plants seem to perform better than self-pollinating plants, this form of reproductive assurance might have contributed to the success of H. trionum plants in several environments.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun   A very ornamental plant[1], it is an annual or short-lived perennial. Not very frost-tolerant, if started off early in a warm greenhouse it can be grown as an annual in Britain, flowering and setting seed in its first year.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic; Skin; Stomachic.

The flowers are diuretic. They are used in the treatment of itch and painful skin diseases. The dried leaves are said to be stomachic

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/Hibiscus_trionum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+trionum

Amphicarpaea bracteata

Botanical Name : Amphicarpaea bracteata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Amphicarpaea
Species: A. bracteata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms :  A. monoica. (L.)Ell. Falcata comosa. (L.)Kuntze.

Common Name :Hog-peanut,  American hogpeanut

Habitat :Amphicarpaea bracteata is native to Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to Florida, west to Manitoba and Louisiana.Grows in   Cool damp woodlands

Description:
Amphicarpaea bracteata is a perennial climber growing to 1.5 m (5ft).Leaves have three leaflets and are held alternately on twining stems.Flowers are pink to white and bloom from late summer to autumn. The flowers are either open for cross-pollination or closed and self-pollinating. The closed flowers may be above or below ground.

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Seeds from open flowers are held in a flat pod, pointed at both ends, that dries when mature and twists to release the seeds. Seeds from closed flowers are held in round pods with a single seed each. The roots and seeds are edible.   The seeds from underground flowers give it the name peanut.

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 10-May It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland)or semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:  
Requires a moist humus-rich soil in a shady position. The young shoots in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The hog peanut has occasionally been cultivated for its edible seed which has been used as a peanut substitute. Yields at present, however, are rather low. Two types of blossom are produced by the plant – those produced from the leaf axils mostly abort but a few seeds are produced. Solitary, inconspicuous cleistogamous flowers are produced on thread-like stems near the root and, after flowering, the developing seedpods bury themselves into the soil in a manner similar to peanuts. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a semi-shaded position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within a few weeks. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Division. We have been unable to divide this plant because it only makes a small taproot. However, many of the seeds are produced under the ground and these can be harvested like tubers and potted up to make more plants.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed – raw or cooked. Two types of seed are produced – flowers produced near the ground produce a pod that buries itself just below soil level. These pods contain a single seed are up to 15mm in diameter which can be used as a peanut substitute. They can be harvested throughout the winter and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are sweet and delicious raw with a taste that is more like shelled garden beans than peanuts. Yields are rather low, and it can be a fiddle finding the seeds, but they do make a very pleasant and nutritious snack. Other flowers higher up the plant produce seed pods that do not bury themselves. The seeds in these pods are much smaller and are usually cooked before being eaten. They can be used in all the same ways as lentils and are a good source of protein. The overall crop of these seeds is rather low and they are also fiddly to harvest. Root – cooked. The root is peeled, boiled and then eaten. Fleshy and nutritious according to one report, whilst another says that the root is too small to be of much importance in the diet. Our plants have only produced small and stringy roots.

Medicinal Uses  
An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Externally, the root has been applied to bites from rattlesnakes. A poultice of the pulverized leaves has been applied with any salve to swellings.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amphicarpaea+bracteata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphicarpaea_bracteata
http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=AMPBRA

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Cypripedium pubescens

Botanical Name :Cypripedium pubescens
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Genus: Cypripedium
Species: C. pubescens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Large yellow lady’s slipper, Yellow moccasin-flower, Nerveroot, Noah’s ark, American valerian, Whippoorwill’s-shoe,Lady’s Slipper
(The specific epithet calceolus is the Latin meaning “little shoe,” in reference to the slipper-like shape of the labellum. The varietal name pubescens is the Latin meaning “downy” or “hairy,” in reference to the hairy nature of the plant.)

Habitat : Cypripedium pubescens is  native to northern North America.In the southern part of Wisconsin, this variety is typically found growing in moist, rich deciduous woods. Further north it occurs in similar habitat but may also occur in boggy or swampy areas (where it also occasionally found in the south). The plant is rarely found in clayey soils, and shows a distinct preference for areas of limestone. In Door County, where this taxon is particularly numerous, it often grows in limestone gravel along roadsides.

Description:
Plant arising from a rhizome with a fascicle of numerous fibrous roots, 15-80 cm high; several to many stems may arise from the same rhizome. Leaves 3-5 (-6), ovate to ovate-lanceolate, plicate, 5-20 cm long and 4-10 cm wide; pubescent. Flowers 1-2, each subtended by a ovate to ovate-lanceolate, green foliaceous bract 4-10 cm long by 1-4 cm wide. Sepals apparently two (the result of the fusion of the two lateral sepals behind the labellum), green streaked with brown to brown (but highly variable in coloration); dorsal sepal ovate, 3-7 cm long and 1-3.5 cm wide; lateral sepals united and similar to dorsal sepal but typically spirally twisted, tip typically divided. Petals colored as sepals, linear-lanceolate, 4-9.5 cm long and typically less than 1 cm wide; petals usually spirally twisted. Labellum pouch-shaped, inflated, obovate, 1.5-6 cm long, opening above with inrolled edges; yellow streaked or spotted inside with madder-purple.
FLOWERING TIME: May 10-July 15.

 

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POLLINATION: According to Stoutamire (1967), plants are pollinated by a number of different species of small bees, primarily adrenid and halictid bees. The plants are also visited and sometimes pollinated by a variety of Diptera.

Medicinal Uses:
Cypripedium pubescens used to be a specific remedy to overcome depression, mental anxiety, and troubled sleep.  It was often recommended for women for both emotional and physical imbalances relating to menopause or menstruation, such as nervous tension, headaches, or cramps.  Cypripedium pubescens is said to increase nervous tone after a long disease and to relax nervous muscle twitches.  It is almost always given as an alcoholic tincture, since some constituents are not water-soluble.  Cypripedium pubescens is often compared to valerian, although valerian doesn’t create the uncomfortable side effects.

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.botany.wisc.edu/orchids/pubescens.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypripedium_pubescens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula)

Botanical Name :Asclepias asperula
Family :  Asclepiadacea

Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Species: A. asperula
Genus : Asclepias
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common names: Inmortal,   antelope horns, green-flowered milkweed, and spider antelope horns.

Habitat:Asclepias asperula is   native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. and South-western N. America.   It grows in  sandy or rocky calcareous soils.


Description:

Asclepias asperula is a clump-forming, 1-2 ft. perennial with an upright or sprawling  plant. Stems are densely covered with minute hairs. The leaves are 4–8 inches long, narrow, and irregularly grouped. The long, thick, narrow leaves are often folded lengthwise. As the green seed pods grow in length and begin to curve, they resemble antelope horns. Its pale, greenish-yellow flowers, tinged maroon, are crowded in round, terminal clusters 3–4 inches across at the end of the flower stem and are intricately arranged. Inside the partially divided petals is a crown, out of which extend 5 white stamens with large, ball-like anthers, all symmetrically arranged.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any good soil. Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil. Requires a moist peaty soil and a sunny position . A good bee plant . The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant . Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring , though stored seed might need 2 – 3 weeks cold stratification . Germination usually takes place in 1 – 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Seed; Seedpod.

Edible Uses: Gum; Oil; Sweetener.

The following reports refer to other members of this genus and are possibly also appropriate for this species. Unopened flower buds – cooked. They taste somewhat like peas. They are used like broccoli. Flowers and young flower buds – cooked. Used as a flavouring and a thickener in soups etc. The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup. The flowers are harvested in the early morning with the dew still on them. When boiled up it makes a brown sugar. Young shoots – cooked. An asparagus substitute. They should be used when less than 20cm tall. A slightly bitter taste. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach. Young seed pods, 3 – 4 cm long, cooked. They are very appetizing. Best used when about 2 – 4cm long and before the seed floss forms, on older pods remove any seed floss before cooking them. If picked at the right time, the pods resemble okra. The sprouted seeds can be eaten. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The latex in the stems is made into a chewing gum. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost. Yields are higher on dry soils.

Medicinal Uses:-
Expectorant.

The plant is used as a snuff in the treatment of catarrh.

Other Uses:-
Fibre; Latex; Oil; Pollution; Stuffing; Wick.

The following reports refer to other members of this genus and are possibly also appropriate for this species. A good quality fibre is obtained from the bark, used in making twine, cloth, paper etc[95, 112, 169]. It is of poor quality in wet seasons. It is easily harvested in late autumn after the plant has died down by simply pulling the fibres off the dried stems. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material. Very water repellent, it can yield up to 550 kilos per hectare. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Candlewicks can be made from the seed floss. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost. Yields are higher on dry soils. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance. The seed contains up to 20% of an edible semi-drying oil. It is also used in making liquid soap.

Known Hazards :  Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. They are usually avoided by grazing animals. This species is said to be poisonous to livestock.

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.pfaf.org/database/search_use.php?K[]=Flowers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_asperula
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=asas
http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=13859

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