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Herbs & Plants

Cryptotaenia canadensis

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Botanical Name : Cryptotaenia canadensis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus:Cryptotaenia
Species: Cryptotaenia canadensis (L.) DC.
Kingdom :Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order:Apiales

Synonyms: Deringa canadensis – (L.)Kuntze.

Common Names: Honewort

Habitat :Cryptotaenia canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – Western New Brunswick to Manitoba and south to Alabama. Arkansas and Texas. Grows in rich woods and thickets. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Description:
Cryptotaenia canadensis is a herbaceous perennial plant  growing to 1m by 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 5. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

Flowers are in irregular flat clusters (umbels) 2 to 3 inches across, made up of 3 to 8 groups (umbellets) of 3 to 10 flowers each. Individual flowers are about 1/8 inch across with 5 white petals that are usually curled up, and 5 stamens with creamy yellow tips. The flower stalks in an umbellet are varying lengths and there is no bract at the base of an umbellet. A plant may have a few clusters at the top of the plant, and at the end of branching stems in the upper part of the plant.

You may click to see different pictures of Cryptotaenia canadensis 

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Leaves are compound in groups of 3. Leaflets near the base of the plant are largest, to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide on long stems that are sheathed where they join the main stem. Leaves and their stems become smaller as they ascend the plant, with those near the flowers having little or no leaf stem. Leaflets are double toothed, with small teeth on the edges of larger teeth, have pointed tips, and taper abruptly at the base. The larger leaflets are often cleft or lobed in 2 or 3 parts. The main stem is light green and hairless.

Fruit is a 2-sectioned ribbed seed, about ¼ inch long, pointed at the tip. It ripens from green to dark brown.

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

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a rich moist soil, preferring to grow in dappled shade. Closely related to C. japonica, a species that is cultivated as a vegetable in Japan. This species is being cultivated in America to supply the Japanese market with a chervil-like herb. Slugs are extremely fond of this plant, especially when the new growth emerges in spring.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a greenhouse. Germination is usually rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. The ideal temperature for sowing is about 25°c, though seed does germinate at higher and lower temperatures. Seed can also be sown in early autumn. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Stem.

Young leaves, stems and flowers – raw or cooked. Used as a potherb or added to salads. A flavour that is somewhat like celery, if you use your imagination. Root – cooked. The seeds are used as a flavouring for cakes, breads and biscuits.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional herbalists in New England use an infusion as a diuretic and urinary tract tonic, to strengthen and cleanse the kidneys and to relieve frequent urination.  In the Orient it is held in especially high esteem to treat menstrual and puerperal diseases of women.  Honewort root has been prescribed for Chinese women who wish to conceive.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Cryptotaenia+canadensis
http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/canadian-honewort
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CRCA9

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Great Masterwort(Astrantia major )

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Botnical Name : Astrantia major
Family : Umbelliferae/Apiaceae
Genus : Astrantia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Species: A. major

Synonyms : Astrantia biebersteinii – Trautv.  Astrantia carinthiaca – Hoppe. ex Mart.&Koch.,  Astrantia carniolica – Hort. non Wulfen.,Astrantia trifida – Hoffm.Great_Masterwort

Common Name: Great Masterwort(

Habitat : C. and E. Europe. Naturalized in Britain.  Moist woodlands and the banks of streams. It grows on  Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge.

Description:
Perennial growing to 0.8m by 0.5m.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Beetles, insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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Masterwort produces many small, ivory flowers that are flushed pink and bloom continuously throughout the summer and fall, wafting a sweet scent. Like Queen Anne’s lace, each masterwort blossom is an umbel of tiny flowers, framed by a collar of papery bracts.

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

Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile moisture-retentive soil. Succeeds in most well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Succeeds in an open woodland and along the sides of streams so long as the soil is well above the water level. Plants are hardy to at least -17°c. Plants spread by means of underground runners. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value. The flowers are sometimes dried and used for winter decoration.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed as early in the year as you can obtain it. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ either as soon as it is ripe or in the following spring. Division in spring. Large clumps can be planted out straight into their permanent positions. Smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well and can then be planted out in the summer.

Cultivars
There are some named forms for this species, but these have been developed for their ornamental value and not for their other uses. Unless you particularly require the special characteristics of any of these cultivars, we would generally recommend that you grow the natural species for its useful properties. We have, therefore, not listed the cultivars in this database

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Diuretic; Purgative.
The rhizomes and flowering stems have medicinal action.  Their main constituent is an essential oil that acts as a stomachic.  In herbal medicine the dried herb is used in an infusion or as a powder to promote the flow of digestive juices and thus stimulate the appetite.  Great masterwort is also included in diuretic tea mixtures.  A decoction of the root is purgative.

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/plants.php?Astrantia+major
http://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/astrantia-major-masterwort.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Masterwort
http://www.heronswood.com/perennials_perennials-a_astrantia/astrantia-major-sunningdale-variegated/

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

 

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