Tag Archives: Root

Astragalus exscapus

Botanical Name : Astragalus exscapus
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Astragalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Habitat :Astragalus exscapus is native to Central EuropeMoldavia and the Ukraine. It grows on steppe and foothills, on limestone soils.
Description:
Astragalus exscapus is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
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It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. This plant is a sub-shrub and although it produces woody stems these tend to die back almost to the base each winter. 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. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is 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 into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of syphilitic sores.

Other Uses:
A gum called morea tragacanth is obtained from the stem (see above). It has a wide range of uses including:- a thickening agent in preparing dyes for calico printing, textile dyes and for dressing fabrics, it is also a thickener in making glues, water colours, ink (where it supplies a gloss), it is a binding agent in paper making, a culture medium in laboratories etc

Known Hazards : Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.

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/Astragalus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+exscapus

Vicia gigantea

Botanical Name: Vicia gigantea
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. nigricans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms : V. nigricans gigantea. (Hook.)Lassetter.&Gunn.

Common Names: Black vetch, Giant Vetch

Habitat: Vicia gigantea is native to Western N. America – Alaska to California. It grows on moist places in California, especially in redwood forests.

Description:
Vicia gigantea is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) with stout, hollow, and ridged climbing stems that may reach two meters in length. It attaches to objects and other plants by its large branched tendrils for support. The leaves are made up of 9 to 13 pairs of lance-shaped or elongated oval leaflets that may measure up to 4 centimeters in length. The inflorescence is a one-sided raceme of up to 15 or 20 flowers which have pale pink to dark reddish purple or sometimes yellowish to orange corollas. The flowers, each with a calyx about half as long as the corolla, are 1 to 2 centimeters long. They yield fruits which are legume pods measuring up to 4 centimeters long by 1.5 wide. As they dry they turn black.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation: The plant Prefers a fairly heavy loam but succeeds in a sunny position in most soils that are well-drained. Grows well in heavy clay soils.

Propagation: Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in spring or autumn.
Edible Uses:
Young seed – raw or cooked. The seeds are produced in pods 2 – 5cm long, each pod containing 3 – 4 round seeds the size of small peas. They are eaten, when young, like green peas, the flavour even of young seeds is rather strong, like old garden peas. Some native North American Indian tribes regarded the seeds as poisonous, though other tribes would eat them as a snack. The pods were harvested when green and then roasted in an open fire until the pods started to split open. The seeds were then removed and eaten.
Medicinal Uses :
Antidandruff; Laxative.

The roots are laxative. An infusion of the roots has been used as a tonic hair wash and anti-dandruff treatment.

Other Uses : An infusion of the roots has been used as a tonic hair wash and anti-dandruff treatment.

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/Vicia_nigricans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vicia+gigantea

Zanthoxylum simulans

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum simulans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Z. simulans

Synonyms: Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum bungei

Common Names: Szechuan Pepper, Chinese-pepper, Prickly Ash

Habitat:Zanthoxylum simulans is native to eastern China and Taiwan. It grows on virgin wilds, hillsides and open woods.

Description:

Zanthoxylum simulans is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. The leaves are 7-12.5 cm long, pinnate, with 7-11 leaflets, the leaflets 3–5 cm long and 1.5–2 cm broad. There are numerous short (3–6 mm) spines on both the stems and the leaf petioles, and large (several cm) knobs on the branches. The flowers are produced in slender cymes, each flower about 4–5 mm diameter. The 3–4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that splits open to release the black seeds from inside.

It is in flower in June, 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)The plant is not self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Massing. Easily grown in loamy soils in most positions, but prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A plant has been growing well for many years in deep woodland shade at Cambridge Botanical gardens, it was fruiting heavily in autumn 1996. Cultivated for its seed, which is used as a condiment in China. Flowers are formed on the old wood. The bruised leaves are strongly aromatic. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions
Edible Uses:
The fruit is dried and used as a condiment. A pepper flavour, it is stronger and more pungent than black pepper. It can be used whole or ground into a powder and used as a table seasoning. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. It is an ingredient of the famous Chinese ‘five spice’ mixture.
Medicinal Uses:
Astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue. The pericarp is anaesthetic, diuretic, parasiticide and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. It has a local anaesthetic action and is parasiticide against the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium). The pericarp contains geraniol. In small doses this has a mild diuretic action, though large doses will inhibit the excretion of urine. There is a persistent increase in peristalsis at low concentration, but inhibition at high concentration.  The leaves are carminative, stimulant and sudorific. The fruit is carminative, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The seed is antiphlogistic and diuretic. A decoction of the root is digestive and also used in the treatment of snakebites. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

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.

Respources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_simulans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+simulans

Alnus nitida

Botanical Name: Alnus nitida
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : Clethropsis nitida.

Habitat :Alnus nitida is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows by rivers and streams, 600 – 1200 metres, occasionally to 2700 metres.

Description:
Alnus nitida is a deciduous Tree growing 20 m or more tall. Young shoots pubescent, becoming glabrescent when old. Leaves ovate to elliptic-ovate, 5-15 cm x 3-9 cm, acute or acuminate, remotely serrate to sub-serrate, pubescent to pilose, often villous at the angles of the veins on the under surface, base cuneate to rounded; petiole 1-4 cm long, glabrous to pubescent. Male flowers in catkins, up to 19 cm long; peduncle 5-6.5 mm long; bract c. 1.2 mm long, more or less ovate, bracteoles smaller, suborbiculate. Tepals oblong-obovate to spathulate, c. l mm long, apex and margin minutely toothed. Anthers c. 1 mm long, filament slightly shorter than the tepals, scarcely forked. Female flowers in erect ‘woody cones’, 3-3.5 cm x c. 1.2 cm; bract broadly ovate, bracteoles suborbiculate. Styles 2, linear. Fruiting scale 5-lobed, 5-6 mm long, apex obliquely truncate. Nut 2.5-4 mm long, fringed by the narrow and more or less leathery wings.

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It is in flower in September. 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 can fix Nitrogen.

Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates drier soils than most members of this genus. Succeeds in very infertile sites. Trees probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and so will not succeed outdoors in the colder areas of the country. A very ornamental tree. This species has 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 in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.

Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the bark is applied externally to treat swellings and body pains.

Other Uses: Tannin is obtained from the bark, it is used in dyeing. Wood – soft, even grained, hard to cut. Used for construction and furniture

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/Alder
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242420274
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+nitida

 

Betula kenaica

Botanical Name : Betula kenaica
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Species: B. kenaica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Betula papyrifera kenaica (W.H.Evans.)Henry

Common Names: Kenai birch

Habitat : Betula kenaica is native to North-western N. AmericaAlaska. It grows along the coast. Rocky slopes in the subalpine zone from sea level to 300 metres.

Description:
Betula kenaica is a deciduous Tree growing up to 12 m (39 ft) tall, with reddish-brown bark that may become pink or grayish-white. The leaf blades are ovate and grow in 2-6 pairs which are 4–5 cm (1.6–2.0 in) (sometimes up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in)) long and 2.5–4.5 cm (0.98–1.77 in) wide. The leaf margins are cuneated and serrated with rounded base and acute apex. The flowers bloom in late spring while fruits fall in autumn.

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.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays. Fairly wind tolerant. A fast-growing but short-lived species. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process[20]. This plant is closely related to B. papyrifera, and possibly no more than a sub-species of that species. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.

Edible Uses:
The buds and twigs of the plant are used as a stew flavor while its inner bark can be eaten either raw or cooked and can be used as soup thickener. The sap is used to make honey.

Young leaves and catkins are eaten raw. Inner bark – raw or cooked. Best in spring. Inner bark can be dried and ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap is eaten raw or cooked. It can be used as a refreshing drink, or can be concentrated by boiling to make a syrup. It is tapped in late winter, the flow is best on sunny days following a heavy frost. The sap can be fermented into a beer. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”

Medicinal Uses: The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative. An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment.

Other Uses: Wood – close-grained, light, strong, hard, tough. It makes a good fuel, whilst the bark makes a good kindling.

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/Betula_kenaica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+kenaica