Herbs & Plants

Potentilla glandulosa

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Botanical Name: Potentilla glandulosa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Drymocallis
Species: D. glandulosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Potentilla glandulosa Lindl.

Common Names: Gland Cinquefoil, Sticky cinquefoil, Arizona cinquefoil, Ashland cinquefoil, Ewan’s cinquefoil, Hans

Habitat : Potentilla glandulosa is native to western North America from southwestern Canada through the far western United States and California, into Baja California. It grows on Rocky hillsides, Black Hills on Sioux quartzite in eastern South Dakota. It is widespread and can be found in many types of habitats.

Potentilla glandulosa is a perennial herb. It is generally erect in form but it may be small and tuftlike, measuring just a few centimeters high, or tall and slender, approaching 1 metre (3.3 ft) in height. It may or may not have rhizomes. It is usually coated in hairs, many of which are glandular, giving the plant a sticky texture. The leaves are each divided into several leaflets, with one long terminal leaflet and a few smaller ones widely spaced on each side.

The inflorescence is a cyme of 2 to 30 flowers which are variable in color and size. Each has usually five petals up to a centimeter long which may be white to pale yellow to gold. It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.


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.

Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – sow early spring or autumn 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. Division in spring. 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.

Edible Uses: Tea.
A tea-like beverage is made by boiling the leaves or the whole plant in water.
Medicinal Uses:

Astringent; Stimulant; Tonic.

All parts of the plant are astringent. An infusion has been drunk, and a poultice of the plant applied externally in the treatment of swollen parts. An infusion of the plant has been used as a 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.

Herbs & Plants

Iris japonica

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Botanical Name: Iris japonica
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Section: Lophiris
Species: I. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales


* Evansia chinensis (Curtis) Salisb.
* Evansia fimbriata (Vent.) Decne.
* Evansia japonica (Thunb.) Klatt
* Iris chinensis Curtis
* Iris fimbriata Vent.
* Iris japonica f. japonica (none known)
* Iris japonica f. pallescens P.L.Chiu & Y.T.Zhao
* Iris squalens Thunb. [Illegitimate]
* Moraea fimbriata (Vent.) Loisel.
* Xiphion fimbriatum (Vent.) Alef.
Common Names: Fringed iris, Shaga or Butterfly flow

Habitat : Iris japonica is a native of China and Japan. It grows on woodland hills, grassy and rocky slopes and among rocks by streams.

Iris japonica is a rhizomatous perennial plant, with pale blue, lavender or white flowers with an orange or yellow crest. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions. It has wiry, stout stems, that can grow up to between 25–80 cm (10–31 in) tall. It has 5-12 short, slender branches, (or pedicels) near top of the plant. The stiff pedicels can reach between 1.5–2.5 cm (1–1 in) long. The flowering stem (and branches) grow higher than the leaves. The stems have 3-5 spathes (leaves of the flower bud), which are lanceolate, and 9.5–2.2 cm (4–1 in) long.


The flowers are like Iris cristata flowers but paler and fancier. The short lasting flowers open in succession (one after another), for between 2, and 5 weeks. These flowers have a clove pinks aroma.

The flattish, flowers are 4.5–6 cm (2–2 in) in diameter, and come in shades of pale blue, or pale lavender, or lilac, or purple, to white.

It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’). The falls are elliptic or obovate, with a spreading limb and blue or purple/violet blotching, spots, (or dots) around a central yellow signal patch around a visible yellow, or orange crest. They are 2.5–3 cm (1–1 in) long and 1.4–2 cm wide. The standards are elliptic or narrowly obovate. They are 2.8–3 cm (1–1 in) long and 1.5-2.1 cm wide. The standards spreading to the same plane as the falls, creating the ‘flat’ look. All the petals are fringed (fimbriated) around the edges.

It has a 1.1–2 cm long perianth tube, 0.8-1.2 cm long stamens, white anthers and 7-10mm ovary. It has 0.5-0.75 long and pale blue style branches. The terminal lobes are fimbriated (fringed).

After the iris has flowered, between May and June, it produces an ellipsoid-cylindric, non-beaked seed capsule, which is 2.5–3 cm long and 1.2-1.5 cm wide. Inside the capsule, it has dark brown seeds with a small aril.

Prefers a gritty well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in summer and shelter from early morning sun. Prefers a lime-free soil but succeeds in most good soils. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade, but plants flower better in a hot sunny position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Cultivated for its edible root in Japan. A number of named varieties have been selected for their ornamental value. It is best to lift the plant in October, store in sand in a cool frost-free place over winter and plant out in March. Plants have creeping aerial rhizomes that root at intervals. The flowers are susceptible to damage by late frosts, the plants failing to flower after an exceptionally cold winter. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering in July/August. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – the source of an edible starch. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:

The rhizome is used in the treatment of injuries. A decoction of the plant is used in the treatment of bronchitis, internal injuries, rheumatism and swellings.

Other Uses :
Plants can be grown for ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way.

Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

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.


News on Health & Science

100 Steps to Healthy Heart

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Counting 100 steps a minute may be an easy way to maintain pace during brisk walks, burning calories and reducing the risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, a study suggests.

The study by researchers at the San Diego State University in the US has shown that 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise translates into 3,000 steps on a pedometer, a device that helps count steps.
Doctors typically prescribe 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day for at least five days a week as a means to check obesity, improve blood pressure readings and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In the new study, Simon Marshall at the department of exercise and nutritional sciences and his colleagues at the San Diego university monitored oxygen uptake and heart rates of 58 women and 39 men walking a treadmill at different speeds. They found moderate-intensity exercise was achieved by women at counts between 91 and 115 steps per minute and by men at 92 to 102 steps per minute.

The study will appear shortly in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“This data supports the general recommendation of walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain,” said Marshall, who is investigating the use of step counts in the promotion of physical activity.

Preventive medicine specialists believe many people who exercise routinely don’t derive full benefits because they don’t push their hearts to required activity levels.

“To achieve moderate-intensity exercise, the heart rate has to touch 60 to 70 per cent of the maximum rate, which is linked to the age of a person,” said Dorairajan Prabhakaran, a cardiologist at the Centre for Chronic Diseases in New Delhi.

The maximum heart rate is computed by subtracting the age from 220. A 40-year-old would thus have a maximum heart rate of 180, and moderate-intensity exercise at that age would mean pushing the rate to 108 beats a minute.

The difference in the counts of women and men emerge because of stride lengths — men are taller and take fewer steps in 30 minutes, Marshall said. Step counts would be a simple method to help people gauge exercise intensity, Prabhakaran told The Telegraph.

But doctors warn that the 100-steps-a-minute target may not be appropriate for all.

“People above 40 who may have undetected cardiovascular risk or who have previous heart disease should ideally consult doctors before they embark on an exercise plan that is appropriate for them,” said Prabkaharan.

For otherwise healthy people, while the target should be 3,000 steps in 30 minutes, doctors say it may be approached gradually — starting with 1,000 steps in 10 minutes and increasing it steadily to reach 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.

The actual calories burnt depend on several factors, including the pace of exercise, body mass, the proportion of muscle mass, age and gender. But the burn-up rate is about 3kcal per kg per hour. A 70kg man will, therefore, expend 105 kcal during a 30-minute walk.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)