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Herbs & Plants

Cistus salviifolius

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Botanical Name : Cistus salviifolius
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus
Species:C. salviifolius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms:
*Cistus macrocalyx Sennen & Pau
*Cistus paui Sennen
*Cistus salomonis Sennen & Malag.
*Cistus salviifolius   macrocalyx Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   longipedunculatus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   vulgaris Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   biflorus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   cymosus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   grandifolius Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius var. fissipetalus Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius var. occidentalis Rouy & Foucaud
*Cistus salviifolius var. rierae Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius var. schizocalyx Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius L.
*Ledonia peduncularis var. salviifolia (L.) Spach
*Ledonia peduncularis Spach

Common Names: Sage-leaved rock-rose, Salvia cistus or Gallipoli rose,Rock Rose, Salvia cistus, Sage Leaf Rock Rose

Habitat: Cistus salviifolius is native to Europe – Mediterranean. It grows on dry woods, thickets and banks, often on acid soils and on limestone, from sea level to 1200 metres in the Alpes Maritimes.
Description:

Cistus salviifolius is an evergreen Shrub.It has spreading stems covered by clumpy hairs. This bushy shrub reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) in height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in). The oval-shaped green leaves are 1 to 4 centimeters long, opposite, reticulate, tomentose on both sides, with a short petiole (2–4 mm).

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The inflorescence holds one or more round flowers, long-stalked, arranged at the leaf axils. The five white petals have a yellow spot at the base, forming a corolla 4–6 cm in diameter. The stamens are also yellow and the anthers shed abundant yellow pollen. This plant is pollinated by insects entomophily, especially bees. It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in August. The fruit is a pentagonal capsule, 5–7 mm long.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Chemistry:
Cistus salviifolius contains flavan-3ols, oligomeric proanthocyanidins and prodelphinidins such as epigallocatechin-3-O-(4-hydroxybenzoate), epigallocatechin-(4??8)-epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin -3-O-gallate-(4??8)-epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin-(4??6)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, 1-O-?-d -(6?-O-galloyl)-glucopyranosyl-3-methoxy-5-hydroxybenzene, epigallocatechin-(4??8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, 1-O-?-d- glucopyranosyl-3-methoxy-5-hydroxybenzene and rhododendrin (betuloside). It also contains ellagitannins of the punicalagin type

Edible Uses:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The dried leaves are used as an adulterant for marjoram (Origanum majorana).
Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.

Other Uses:
A good ground cover plant for the milder areas of Britain. The form ‘Prostratus’ has been recommended
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/Cistus_salviifolius
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cistus+salviifolius

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Herbs & Plants

Ceanothus ovatus

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Botanical Name : Ceanothus ovatus
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus
Specie:s:   C. americanus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : C. herbaceus. Raf.

Common Name : Smaller Red-Root

Habitat: Ceanothus ovatus is native to Eastern and Central N. America – western Maine and Quebec to Manitoba, south to Texas. It grows on sandy or rocky plains, prairies and slopes.

Description:
Ceanothus ovatus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) with smooth narrow oval leaves & short-stalked, rounded clusters of white flowers in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen. The seeds are eaten by Bob-White (quail) and many other birds……… CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: 

Prefers a warm sunny position but tolerates light shade. Tolerates some lime, but will not succeed on shallow chalk. Plants dislike root disturbance, they should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. Dislikes heavy pruning, it is best not to cut out any wood thicker than a pencil. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. Fast growing, it flowers well when young, often in its second year from seed. Closely related to C. americanus. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Some members of this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants 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 – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then given 1 – 3 months stratification at 1°c. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 2 months at 20°c. One report says that the seed is best given boiling water treatment, or heated in 4 times its volume of sand at 90 – 120°c for 4 – 5 minutes and then soaked in warm water for 12 hours before sowing it. The seed exhibits considerable longevity, when stored for 15 years in an air-tight dry container at 1 – 5°c it has shown little deterioration in viability. The seed is ejected from its capsule with some force when fully ripe, timing the collection of seed can be difficult because unless collected just prior to dehiscence the seed is difficult to extract and rarely germinates satisfactorily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 7 – 12 cm with a heel, October in a cold frame. The roots are quite brittle and it is best to pot up the callused cuttings in spring, just before the roots break. Good percentage

Edible Uses:… Tea…..The young leaves and flowers are steeped in boiling water for about 5 minutes. The resulting liquid is yellowish in colour and tastes similar to Oriental tea but is considered milder and sweeter.

Medicinal Uses:....A decoction of the roots has been used as a cough remedy.

Other Uses:
Dye; Miscellany; Soap.
A green dye is obtained from the flowers. All parts of the plant are rich in saponins – when crushed and mixed with water they produce a good lather which is an effective and gentle soap. This soap is very good at removing dirt, though it does not remove oils very well. This means that when used on the skin it will not remove the natural body oils, but nor will it remove engine oil etc The flowers are a very good source, when used as a body soap they leave behind a pleasant perfume on the skin. The developing seed cases are also a very good source of saponins.

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/Ceanothus_americanus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceanothus+ovatus
https://www.forestfarm.com/product.php?id=5186

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Herbs & Plants

Momordica balsamina(Bengali : Uchchhe)

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Botanical Name :Momordica balsamina
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Momordica
Species: M. balsamina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Synonyms: Balsamina.
Part Used: The fruit deprived of the seeds.

Common Names:Balsam pear,Balsam apple,African cucumber , Balsamina,in Mozambique as cacana and in South Africa as nkaka. laloentjie (Afr.); mohodu (Sotho); nkaka (Thonga); intshungu, intshungwana yehlathi (Zulu)  Bengali name : Uchchhe

Habitat :Momordica balsamina  is native to tropical Africa and Asia, Arabia, India and Australia.  (East India.)  It grows in white, yellow, red and grey sandy soil, also loam, clay, alluvial, gravelly and calcareous soil. It thrives in full sun and semi-shade in grassland, savanna, woodland, forest margins, coastal dune forests and in river bank vegetation as well as disturbed areas.

In southern Africa it grows from about sea level to 1465 m altitude, in dry to wet areas with a rainfall of 200-1200 mm annually. It seems to be frost hardy.

Description:
Momordica balsamina is glabrous to slightly hairy perennial herb with a tuberous rootstock, whole plant bad-smelling (rather like the common thorn apple or Datura stramonium ), more so when bruised. Stems mostly annual, prostrate or climbing, to 5 m long, cut twigs exude clear sap. Tendrils simple. Leaves waxy, lower surface paler than upper, deeply palmately 5-7-lobed, to 12 cm long, margin toothed, stalked.
click to see the pictures…>.…(01)....(1)....(2).....(3).…...(4).…...(5).....(6).
Flowers solitary, male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious). Male flowers prominently bracteate (subtended by a leaflet), bract ± ovate, to 18 mm long, pallid, green-veined, calyx green to purplish-black, corolla white to yellow, apricot or orange, green-veined, with grey, brownish or black spots near the bases of the three inner petals, 10-20 mm long, anthers orange. Female flowers inconspicuously bracteate, corolla rather smaller than males.

Fruit spindle shaped, dark green with 9 or 10 regular or irregular rows of cream or yellowish short blunt spines, ripening to bright orange or red, 25-60 mm long, opening automatically more or less irregularly into three valves that curl back (also opens when the tip is touched). Seeds ovate in outline, rather compressed, up to 11 mm long, light brown, surface sculptured; encased in a sticky scarlet red fleshy covering that is edible and sweet, tasting like watermelon.

Edible Uses:
Cooked and eaten in different forms.The leaves and green fruit are cooked and eaten as spinach, sometimes with groundnuts, or simply mixed with porridge. The young leaves contain vitamin C. The raw ripe fruits are also eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
A liniment is made by adding the pulped fruit (without the seeds) to almond oil. This is useful for piles, burns, chapped hands, etc. The pulp is also used as a poultice. The fluid extract is used for dropsy

According to Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk (1962), the plant contains a bitter principle momordicin. They report that ‘overseas a liniment, made by infusing the fruit (minus the seed) in olive or almond oil, is used as an application to chapped hands, burns and haemorrhoids and the mashed fruit is used as a poultice’. This practice probably explains the species name balsamina. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk also list many medicinal and other uses of M. balsamina  in tropical Africa and elsewhere.

Hutchings et al. (1996) report that the Zulu use infusions of this plant for stomach and intestinal complaints. It is also used in a poultice for burns and is reputed to be used to treat diabetes. The Vhavenda take leaf infusions as anti-emetics. There are conflicting reports on the toxicity of the fruit, both green and ripe. The green fruit contains a resin, toxic alkaloids and a saponic glycoside that cause vomiting and diarrhoea; these substances are denatured in the cooking process. The fruit is suspected of poisoning dogs and pigs.

Roodt (1998) states that the medicinal action of the fruit results from the saponic glycosides present. She reports uses in the Okavango delta and elsewhere for abortion, boils, burns, chapped hands and feet, external sores, frostbite, haemorrhoids, headache, and as a purgative.

Medicinally, the plant has a long history of uses by the indigenous people of the Amazon. The fruit juice and/or a leaf tea is employed for diabetes, colic, sores and wounds, infections, worms and parasites, as an emmenogogue, and for measles, hepatitis, and fevers. The unripe fruit is used mainly as a treatment for late-onset diabetes. The ripe fruit is a stomach tonic and induces menstruation. In Turkey, the fruit is employed to treat ulcers. The fruit is much used in the West Indies as a cure-all for worms, urinary stones, and fever. The juice of the fruit is used as a purgative. It is also prescribed for colic and gas. A decoction of the leaves is taken for liver problems and colitis, and may be applied to eruptive skin conditions. The leaves are also used for fevers. Externally the fruit is used for hemorrhoids, chapped skin and burns. The seed oil is used on wounds. Cerasee seeds were investigated in China in the 1980s as a potential contraceptive. Some research suggests that the plant may be harmful to the liver. The fruit demonstrably lowers sugar levels in the blood and urine. It is traditionally used by Ayurvedic doctors to treat anorexia, and to dissolve kidney stones resulting from dehydration during the Indian summer. In the past, the vegetable was crushed with black pepper and applied around the eyes as an aid to night blindness. Although this cure is no longer used, the whole plant is still powdered and used as a highly effective herbal dusting powder for wounds and skin diseases. The gourd is renowned not just for its antidiabetic action, but for its capacity to lower exaggerated sexual drive. The ripe fruit of bitter melon has been shown to exhibit some remarkable anticancer effects, especially leukemia.

Two proteins, known as alpha- and beta-momorcharin which are present in the seeds, fruit and leaves have shown to inhibit the AIDS virus in vitro (in the test tube only). In 1996, scientists performing this research filed patent on a novel protein found and extracted from the fruit and seeds of Bitter Melon and which they named “MAP 30.” The patent states it’s invention, MAP 30, is: “useful for treating tumors and HIV infections… In treating HIV infections, the protein is administered alone or in conjunction with conventional AIDS therapies.” A clinical study was also published showing MAP 30’s antiviral activity also was relative to the herpes virus in vitro. A novel phytochemical in bitter melon has clinically demonstrated an ability to inhibit the enzyme guanylate cyclase, which is thought to be linked to the pathogenesis and replication of not only psoriasis but leukemia and cancer as well. Over the years other scientists have documented other in vitro antimicrobial benefits of Bitter Melon against numerous pathogens including Helicobacter pylori, Epstein-Barr virus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The immunosuppressive effect of the plant may be of benefit in the management of graft rejections and organ transplants and could benefit the management of several common autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Other Uses:
The leaf sap is said to be an effective metal cleaner. In the past, the green fruit had been used as an ingredient of arrow poison. In the Okavango delta, the fruit can be used in cursing one’s enemy; his/her stomach will burst in the same way that the ripe fruit bursts open spontaneously!

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/Momordica_balsamina
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantklm/momordbalsam.htm
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/apple045.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Rhus chinensis

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Botanical Name : Rhus chinensis
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. chinensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms : Rhus javanica – Thunb. non L., Rhus osbeckii – Decne., Rhus semialata – Murray.

Common Names : Chinese gall, Galla Chinensis or Wu Bei,Chinese Sumac

Habitat : Rhus chinensis is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. Grows in  lowland, hills and mountains in Japan. Also found in the Himalayas (as R. semialata) where it grows in secondary forests to 2100 metres

Description:
Rhus chinensis forms a loose, spreading small tree, reaching up to 25 feet in height . Most specimens only grow to about 12 to 15 feet tall. Theshiny, pinnately compound, five inches long leaves change to a brilliant orange, red, or yellow in the fall before dropping. The yellowish-white, summertime flowers appear in 6 to 10-inch-long and wide, terminal panicles and are quite showy. The hairy fruits which follow are orange/red and mature in October.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is not 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 :
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. A very ornamental plant, it is not fully hardy in all parts of Britain and needs a hot summer in order to fully ripen its wood, suffering winter damage to late growth if the temperature falls below about -7°c. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus and any winter damage will exacerbate the situation. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Curdling agent; Salt.

Fruit – cooked. An acid flavour. It is also used medicinally. The fruit can be used as a salt or a rennet substitute.

Medicinal Uses :

Anthelmintic; Antiphlogistic; Antiseptic; Astringent; Cholagogue; Depurative; Haemostatic.

The leaves and the roots are depurative. They stimulate blood circulation. A decoction is used in the treatment of haemoptysis, inflammations, laryngitis, snakebite, stomach-ache and traumatic fractures. The stem bark is astringent and anthelmintic. The fruit is used in the treatment of colic. The seed is used in the treatment of coughs, dysentery, fever, jaundice, malaria and rheumatism. The root bark is cholagogue. Galls on the plant are rich in tannin. They are used internally for their astringent and styptic properties to treat conditions such as diarrhoea and haemorrhage. They are a frequent ingredient in polyherbal prescriptions for diabetes mellitus. An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan (this report probably refers to the galls produced by the plant in response to the insect) is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic. It s used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is used applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses:
Dye; Ink; Mordant; Oil; Tannin; Wax.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. A blue dye is obtained from insect galls on the plant, it can also be used as an ink. The galls are formed as a result of damage by the greenfly, Aphis chinensis. The galls contain up to 77% tannin. The reports do not say if the galls are harvested before or after the insect has left the gall. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The wood is soft and is not used.

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/Rhus_chinensis
http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/rhuchia.pdf
http://www.plantplaces.com/perl/viewplantdetails.pl?filter=plant&plant_ID=42&Region=&Region_Search=&fullname=Rhus%20chinensis%20’September%20Beauty’%20September%20Beauty%20Sumac

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Diospyros kaki

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Botanical Name : Diospyros kaki
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. kaki
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names :Japanese Persimmon, Kaki Persimmon  or Asian Persimmon

Habitat :Diospyros kaki is native to   E. Asia – China, Japan.Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s[3], and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.Now in North America, is the most widely cultivated species of the Diospyros genus. Although its first published botanical description was not until 1780, the kaki is also among the oldest plants in cultivation, known for its use in China for more than 2000 years.

Not known in a truly wild situation, it is found in broad leafed woodland but probably as an escape from cultivation.

Description:
Diospyros kaki is a deciduous tree  with broad, stiff leaves. It grows  to 12 m (39ft) by 7 m (23ft).
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

..CL.ICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>.(1)…..(2)………(3).…..….(4)…

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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

The persimmon (kaki) is a sweet, slightly tangy fruit with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s, and numerous cultivars have been selected. A variety is Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino.

In many cultivars, known as the astringent varieties, the fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. It is not edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften after harvest. It has a delicious soft jelly-like consistency, and is best eaten with a spoon. The Japanese cultivar ‘Hachiya’ is a widely grown astringent cultivar. Some cultivars, such as Fuyu, do not contain tannins when firm, and can be eaten like an apple, or can be allowed to go to any stage of ripeness, including to the jelly-like stage. These non-astringent varieties are considered to have a less complex flavor.

When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. “Sharon Fruit” (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is the trade name for D. kaki fruit whose astringency has been chemically removed.[5] It is also known as the “Korean mango”.

Cultivation :
Prefers a good deep loamy soil in sun or light shade but succeeds in most soils. Dislikes very acid or wet and poorly drained soils. Requires a sheltered position[200]. Dormant plants are quite hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -14°c, but they require warmer summers than are normally experienced in Britain in order to ripen their fruit and wood. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A warm sunny wall improves the chance of producing ripe fruit and trees fruit freely when grown under glass. Fruits are frequently produced outdoors at Kew. A tree seen in a open position with afternoon shade at Kew in November 1993 (after a cool summer) had about 200 almost ripe fruits around 8cm in diameter. The same tree, after a fairly warm summer in 1996, had a large quantity of fruit just about ready for harvesting in the middle of December. Trees produce a long taproot and should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible. The young trees require some winter protection for their first winter or two. The persimmon is widely cultivated for its edible fruit in warm temperate areas of the world, especially in Japan and China, there are many named varieties. Some cultivars, such as ‘Fuyu’, lack the usual astringency and can be eaten whilst still firm, though they develop a richer flavour if allowed to become soft. These non-astringent forms require a warmer climate and do not ripen in cooler areas. The astringent cultivars are somewhat hardier and ripen well in cooler climates than the non-astringent forms. The fruit colours better and is sweeter in warmer areas but in hot conditions has a poor texture and deep black spots develop. If allowed to become very ripe (almost to the point of going rotten), they develop a better flavour than non-astringent forms. Dioecious, but the female tree can produce seedless fruits in the absence of a pollinator. However, unfertilized fruit tends to be smaller and more astringent. This astringency is due to the high content of tannin but once the fruit is fully ripe it loses this astringency and becomes sweet. If fertilized fruit is required, then growing one male for every 8 – 10 females is usually adequate.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed requires a period of cold-stratification and should be sown as early in the year as possible[78]. It usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into fairly deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Give them some protection from winter cold for their first year or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.
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Edible Uses: Coffee; Condiment; Sweetener.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit has an exquisitely rich flavour when it is very soft and fully ripe (almost at the point of going bad), but the fruit of many cultivars is very harsh and astringent before then[K]. In Britain, the fruit needs to be harvested whilst it is still very hard. This is done very late in the season (in December or even January if possible), it is then stored in a cool but frost-free place until very soft and fully ripe[K]. The fruit can also be used in pies, cakes, bread, desserts etc. It contains 25% sugars. A fuller nutritional analysis is available. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 7.5cm in diameter. The peel of the fruit can be powdered and used as a sweetener. The leaves are used to improve the flavour of pickled radishes. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

*Fruit (Dry weight)  :350 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 3.6g; Fat: 1.5g; Carbohydrate: 91g; Fibre: 7.7g; Ash: 4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 80mg; Phosphorus: 100mg; Iron: 8mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 20mg; Potassium: 950mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 5600mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.2mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.15mg; Niacin: 0.9mg; B6: 0mg; C: 75mg;

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Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Antitussive;  Antivinous;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Hypotensive;  Laxative;  Sialagogue;
Stomachic;  Styptic.

Appetizer, sialagogue. The stem bark is astringent and styptic. The fruit is said to have different properties depending on its stage of ripeness, though it is generally antitussive, astringent, laxative, nutritive and stomachic. The fresh fully ripe fruit is used raw in the treatment of constipation and haemorrhoids and when cooked is used to treat diarrhoea. The dried ripe fruit is used in the treatment of bronchial complaints, whilst when ground into a powder it is used to treat dry coughs. Juice from the unripe fruit is used in the treatment of hypertension. The fruits, picked green and ripened in containers with the leaves, become very sweet and are considered to be antifebrile, antivinous and demulcent. The fruits are also peeled and then exposed to sunlight by day and dew by night. They become encrusted with a white powder and are then considered to be anthelmintic, antihaemorrhagic, antivinous, expectorant, febrifuge and restorative. The peduncle is used to treat coughs and hiccups. The calyx is used to treat hiccups.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic;  Wood.

The pulp of unripe fruits is used in cosmetics to make face-packs because of its firming qualities. Wood – hard and durable with a beautiful grain. Used for making fine furniture

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/Diospyros_kaki
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diospyros+kaki

The Kaki Tree (Diospyros kaki)

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