Tag Archives: Shrub

Aralia hispida

Botanical Name:Aralia hispida
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Aralia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name: Bristly Sarsaparilla, Elder, Dwarf

Habitat :Aralia hispida  is native to Eastern and Central N. America – E. Canada to Virginia, west to Illinois and Minnesota.It grows on Rocky or sandy sterile soils, Alberta to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

Aralia hispida is a perennial & deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). The lower part of the stem is woody and shrubby, beset with sharp bristles, upper part leafy and branching. Leaflets oblongovate, acute serrate, leaves bipinnate, many simple umbels, globose, axillary and terminal on long peduncles, has bunches of dark-coloured nauseous berries, flowers June to September. The whole plant smells unpleasantly. Fruit, black, round, one-celled, has three irregular-shaped seeds. The bark is used medicinally, but the root is the more active.


Prefers a moderately fertile deep moisture-retentive well-drained loam and a position in semi-shade but also succeeds in a sunny position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown on poorer soils. This species is especially tolerant of poor dry soils. Prefers an acid soil. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -15°c. 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. The whole plant has an unpleasant smell.

Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame[11, 78]. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:   It used as Tea. & Drink;  A tea is made from the roots. The roots are also used for making ‘root beer’

Medicinal Uses: A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic. The root is alterative and tonic. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases. The bark, and especially the root bark, is diuretic and tonic. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root. It has alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic properties and is considered to be a good treatment for dropsy.

Very valuable in dropsy, gravel, suppression of urine, and other urinary disorders. The bark of the root is the strongest, but that of the stem is also used. It is a relaxant and mild stimulant, acting with but moderate promptness, leaving behind gentle tonic effect, and influencing the kidneys chiefly. A portion of its power is unquestionably expended upon the uterus, and slightly upon the circulation toward the surface; both of which effects have usually been overlooked. It has a slightly warming, bitter taste, and is rather pleasant to the stomach.

It is mostly used in compounds for dropsy, and is one of the best of its class; but for any sub-acute or chronic torpor of the renal organs, with aching back and scanty urine, it is an agent of peculiar value. In high-colored urine, and in chronic aching and weakness of the bladder, it is equally beneficial. It promotes menstruation a little; and is a good adjunct to other remedies in the treatment of mild leucorrhea, amenorrhea, and other female disorders. It is generally prepared in decoction, two ounces to the quart; of which two or three fluid ounces may be given three times a day. Used warm, it will promote gentle diaphoresis.

A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases.

Elder, Mexican (Sambucus mexicana): An infusion of the blossoms has been used in the treatment of upset stomachs, fevers, sore throats, colds and flu. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of constipation. A widely used treatment for fever, combined with equal parts of Brook Mint or Pennyroyal as a tea. A tea of the flowers and/or dried berries acts as a simple diuretic to treat water retention. As a face wash for acne and pimples, use a tea of the flowers. Take as a tea up to 3 times a day.

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




Ruscus aculeatus

Botanical Name: Ruscus aculeatus
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Ruscus
Species: R. aculeatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:  Ruscus flexuosus. Ruscus laxus. Ruscus parasiticus. Ruscus ponticus

Common Names:Butcher’s Broom,Kneeholy, Knee Holly, Kneeholm,Jew’s Myrtle,Sweet Broom,Pettigree, Hare’s apple (in greek)

Habitat :Ruscus aculeatus is native to western and southern Europe from Britain to Switzerland, south to the Mediterranean. It occurs in woodlands and hedgerows, where it is tolerant of deep shade, and also on coastal cliffs. It is also widely planted in gardens, and has spread as a garden escape in many areas outside its native range.

Ruscus aculeatus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate  with flat shoots known as cladodes that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to April, and the seeds ripen from Aug to March. 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 Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.


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The female flowers are followed by a red berry, and the seeds are bird-distributed, but the plant also spreads vegetatively by means of rhizomes

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 and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Tolerant of most soils, including chalky and heavy clay soils. Prefers a shady position, tolerating dense dry shade and bad growing conditions, including the drip-line of trees. Dislikes much wetness at the roots. Established plants are drought resistant. A very hardy plant, when fully dormant it can tolerate temperatures down to about -25°c. Plants have a slowly creeping tough rootstock and eventually form large clumps. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Plants are unusual in that the flowers are produced from the middle of the leaf. Although normally dioecious, some hermaphrodite forms are known. One of these is called ‘Sparkler’. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.

Seed – sow the seed thinly in early spring in a cold frame in light shade. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification. Germination can be rather slow, sometimes taking 12 months or more. Grow the seedlings on in the pot in light shade in the greenhouse for their first growing season, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure they do not suffer nutrient deficiencies. Prick them out into individual pots in the following spring and grow them on for at least another year in the pots before planting them out in early summer. Be very sure to protect the seedlings from slugs. Division as the plant comes into growth in early spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Young shoots – cooked. They are harvested in the spring as they grow through the soil and used as an asparagus substitute. The taste is pungent and rather bitter. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic;  Aperient;  Deobstruent;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Vasoconstrictor.

Butcher’s broom has been known to enhance blood flow to the brain, legs, and hands. It has been used to relieve constipation and water retention and improve circulation. Since Butcher’s broom tightens blood vessels and capillaries, it is used to treat varicose veins.

It is also used for hemorrhoids. In a 1999 open-label (not blinded) clinical trial, the herb was tested as a hemorrhoid treatment and showed statistically significant positive results It also showed reduction in venous insufficiency in two other studies. It was approved by the German Commission E guidelines for hemorrhoids treatment It is occasionally prescribed for varicose veins which can be a complication of pregnancy. However, since it is classified as a natural product, there is no evidence or trials to suggest complete safety for the fetus. A qualified healthcare practitioner should be consulted prior to using this compound during pregnancy.

A study published in 1999 suggested that Butcher’s Broom may also improve symptoms of postural hypotension without increasing supine blood pressure. Suggested mechanisms to explain this include stimulation of venous alpha 1 and 2 adrenoreceptors and decreased capillary permeability.

Other Uses  
Broom;  Scourer.

Mature shoots are bound into bunches and used as scourers or as besoms.

Known Hazards:   The berries are purgative. Caution required if used in patients on treatment for high blood pressure. An increase in tone of veins can influence blood pressure allowing more blood to flow to the heart.

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


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Callistemon rigidus

Botanical nameCallistemon rigidus
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Callistemon
Species: C. rigidus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Name :Stiff Bottlebrush,Flowering Bottlebrush, Red Cluster Bottlebrush . In bengali :Bottlebrush  (botol  burush)

Habitat :It is native to tropical countries     It is endemic to the state of New South Wales in Australia.

Description:This spectacular, and unexpectedly hardy shrub, bears dense spikes of flamboyant red bottle-brush flowers that appear in late spring and early summer. Narrow, sharply pointed leaves adorn this dazzling shrub that is possibly the hardiest of all bottle brushes.

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It grows to between 2 and 3 metres in height and has a stiff, erect habit. The leaves are mostly 50 to 70 mm long and 3 to 4 mm wide. Red flower spikes with darker anthers are produced in summer. Flowers are Showy  and the  leaves have  Fragrant and  are Evergreen.

Medicinal Uses:
The essential oil from the leaves of Callistemon rigidus R. Br., a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, has been analyzed and found to contain thirteen compounds. The oil was predominantly 1, 8-cineole (89.9%).

From stem bark of Callistemon rigidus (Myrtaceae), piceatannol and scirpusin B were isolated as components that exhibit inhibitory effects on alpha-amylase activity in isolated mouse plasma. In particular, scirpusin B also inhibited alpha-amylase in mouse gastrointestinal tract. Thus, we expect the depressive effect on the elevation of postprandial blood glucose may be a new medicinal use of this compound as well as the plant itself.

Other Uses:
Architectural, city courtyard garden, coastal/seaside suitable, container plant, cottage informal garden, drought resistant, flowering shrub, low maintenance, mediterranean, mixed shrub border and fragrance.

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


Loropetalum chinense

Botanical Name :Loropetalum chinense
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Loropetalum
Species: L. chinense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms  :  L. indicum. Hamamelis chinensis.

Common Name:Lacquer Tree, Fringe Flower, Chinese fringe flower.

Habitat :Loropetalum chinense is native to Japan and southeastern Asia including southern China. It grows on the rocky hills and dry open woods, often on limestone.  Stream banks, hilly slopes and roadsides.

Loropetalum is a finely textured evergreen shrub. It has a loose open form and will grow as high as 12 ft (3.7 m) and 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) wide. Loropetalum has a spreading habit with branches arranged in horizontal layers. Young shrubs have greater spread than height and are densely branched. When vertical stems are periodically removed loropetalum makes an effective large scale groundcover with some newer varieties selected especially for that purpose. The flowers are arranged in small clusters with each having 4 narrow straplike petals that droop downward. Flowers resemble those of its close relative the witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana). There are white and red flowered forms of loropetalum and both bloom prolifically beginning in late winter into spring and then continue sporadically throughout the summer. The green-leafed varieties have fragrant flowers that are white or yellowish. ‘Rubra’ and ‘Razzleberri’ are among several named red flowered forms and tend to bloom earlier than the white form. The red forms are much showier in bloom than the white whose flowers tend to get lost with the effect that the shrub just looks like it has lighter foliage color when in bloom….

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The leaves of loropetalum are oval, 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) long and about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and are held alternately on the stem. Foliage of the white form is light green to yellowish-green and lighter on the underside. Red forms typically have leaves that are darker green and have burgundy, red or copper tints depending on the selection.

Landscape Uses:Border, Screen, Standard, Superior hedge, Specimen. Requires a rich well-drained neutral to acid soil in full sun or light shade. Requires a lime-free humus-rich soil. One report says that it succeeds on a sheltered north wall whilst another says that it needs a sunny position and another says it needs warm summers. Prefers a cool root run. This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain, it is also slow growing. It succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Plants do not flower well if the temperature drops below 5°c. The Japanese form of this species might be hardier. Plants grow taller in their native habitat, reaching a height of 3 metres. The flowers emit a delicate sweet perfume. Some named forms have been developed in Japan for their ornamental value. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Seed – sow in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair to good percentage. Layering in the spring .

In the past few years loropetalum has become increasingly popular and is now seen everywhere from commercial properties to streetside plantings to residential. Everyone seems to be discovering the charms of this beautiful and robust shrub. Its graceful, horizontally layered shape makes it a perfect foundation plant and with periodic pruning can be used in hedges. The red flowered forms add beautiful contrasting color and texture in shrub borders and look great massed together. Lower growing varieties are now available for use as large scale ground cover.

Attractive evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers and low maintenance requirements are just a few of loropetalum’s talents. Due to its vigor and adaptability, many new selections have become available in the past several years. This is the only member of the genus Loropetalum which is in the witchhazel family Hamamelidaceae. Other well known members of this large family are witch-alder (Fothergilla major), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and parrotia (Parrotia persica).

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of coughing in tuberculosis, dysentery, enteritis etc. The leaves can be crushed and pulverized for external application on wounds.

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.



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Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

Botanical Name : Chamaedaphne calyculata
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Chamaedaphne Moench
Species: C. calyculata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Cassandra ,Leatherleaf :(The name Chamaedaphne comes from the Greek for “ground laurel“; the common name comes from its tough, leather-like leaf.)

Habitat :This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . It has a wide distribution throughout the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.wet; bogs; in acidic soil

The Leatherleaf (Calyculata) is generally described as a perennial shrub.
It is a low-growing shrub up to 1.5 m tall. The leaves are alternately arranged on the branch and elliptical to oblong shaped, 3–4 cm long, with minute scales and lighter coloration on the underside, and an entire or irregularly toothed margin. They are evergreen but often turn red-brown in winter. The flowers are small (5–6 mm long), white, and bell-like, produced in panicles up to 12 cm long. The species site is restricted to bogs, where they naturally form large clonal colonies.
Fruit – persistent, many-seeded, 5-chambered, round, capsules, 3-5 mm wide, split open along lengthwise slits.

Cultivation and Care
Leatherleaf reproduces by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes. Seed set is usually high (50-95%) when the flowers are open-pollinated but low (1-15%) when flowers are self-fertilized. After cold stratification to break dormancy, the seeds germinate on sphagnum or sedge mats. Moist sphagnum surrounding leatherleaf shoots, roots, and rhizomes causes vigorous vegetative growth. Leatherleaf is the first shrub to enter a bog after sphagnum is established and it is a primary species in extending the bog mat. It remains characteristic of the mature and late stages of moss/low ericaceous shrub communities as open water disappears and may remain dominant for 50 years in some communities. Leatherleaf is shade intolerant and begins to thin as tall shrubs or bog forest species such as tamarack (Larix laricina) and/or black spruce (Picea mariana) establish.

Persistence of leatherleaf in bogs over long periods has been attributed to its regeneration following recurrent fire, which is a primary factor in maintaining early successional stages in these communities. Leatherleaf may show a strong increase in stem density following spring burning and may be only slightly injured by summer or autumn fires. Leatherleaf probably survives severe fires because rhizomes are deep in water-saturated substrates and its root crowns and stems are matted in debris. Division is the most successful method of propagation for leatherleaf. Plants may be divided in early fall, planting each rooted clump as a new shrub. Transplanting in summer or autumn stimulated shoot production more than spring transplanting. The ends of shoots also may be bent down to the soil and layered. Young plants should be partially shaded.

Medicinal Uses:
A poultice of the leaves has been applied to inflammations.  An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat fevers.

Other Uses:
Cassandra  is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Coleophora ledi.

Known Hazards :  A toxin, called ‘andromedotoxin’ can be released from the plant if it is infused in boiling water[183]. See notes below regarding use of the plant for tea.

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.


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