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Herbs & Plants

Fritillaria pallidiflora

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Botanical Name : Fritillaria pallidiflora
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. pallidiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonymys:
*Fritillaria bolensis G.Z.Zhang & Y.M.Liu
*Fritillaria halabulanica X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. halabulanica (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) G.J.Liu
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. plena X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. pluriflora Regel
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. uniflora Regel

Common Names: Siberian fritillary, Pale-Flowered Fritillary
Habitat : Fritillaria pallidiflora is native to E. Asia – China to E. Siberia.(Xinjiang, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) It grows in the Alpine meadows, woods and scrub. Slopes in the sub-alpine zone. Forests, thickets, meadows, grassy slopes, mountain steppes, 1300 – 2500 metres in NW Xinjiang, China.

Description:
Fritillaria pallidiflora is a bulb growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are yellow, and nodding (hanging downward).

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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:
One of the best species in this genus for growing outdoors in Britain, it is easily grown in a moderately fertile well-drained soil so long as it is not allowed to dry out. Prefers a rich peaty soil in semi-shade. Another report says that it succeeds outdoors when grown in a bed of river sand and leafmould about 60cm deep. A very ornamental plant. Cultivated for medicinal use in China.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales.
Medicinal Uses:
The bulbs are antitussive, expectorant, febrifuge and pectoral. They contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium. An infusion of the dried powdered bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use.
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/Fritillaria_pallidiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+pallidiflora

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Herbs & Plants

Allium angulare

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Botanical Name: Allium angulare
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. angulosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Allium angulosum, Allium angulatum Pall

Common Names: Mouse garlic

Habitat : Allium angulare is a species of garlic native to a wide region of central Europe and northern Asia, from France and Italy to Siberia and Kazakhstan.

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Description:
Allium angulosum is a perennial herb up to 50 cm tall. It is a is a bulb which is narrow and elongated, about 5 mm in diameter. The plant produces a hemispherical umbel of small pink flowers on long pedicels. It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
The plant prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

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Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

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Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. A winter food. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

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Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses :
Allium angulosum is cultivated as an ornamental and also as an herb for kitchen gardens.The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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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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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_angulosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+angulare

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Herbs & Plants

Polemonium caeruleum

Botanical Name : Polemonium caeruleum
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Polemonium
Species: P. caeruleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Jacob’s-ladder or Greek valerian, Charity

Habitat : Polemonium caeruleum is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows on the margins of woods and swamps, by streams, especially on turf and usually in limestone hills.

Description:
Polemonium caeruleum is a hardy perennial flowering plant. The plant usually reaches a height from 45 to 60 centimeters (18 to 24 inches), but some occasionally will be taller than 90 centimeters (35 inches.) The spread of the plant is also 45 to 60 centimeters. It can grow in North American hardiness zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Dislikes damp or heavy soils, though it tolerates alkaline conditions. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species, there are several sub-species and many named forms. Plants are fairly short-lived in cultivation unless they are divided regularly and moved to fresh soil. They can self-sow to the point of nuisance, however and will also survive when growing in lush grass. Cats are strongly attracted by the smell of this plant and will frequently roll on it and injure it.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed is best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring or early autumn. 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.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent and diaphoretic.It was first used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used the root to treat dysentery, toothaches and animal bites. The plant was also found in a few European pharmacies during the nineteenth century and was used as an antisyphilitic agent and to treat rabies. It was used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later used. Today, the plant is not usually used medically.

Other uses:
Polemonium caeruleum was voted the County flower of Derbyshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.

Today, the plant is usually used in potpourris and is boiled in olive oil to make black dyes and hair dressing, but it has few other significant uses.

Bees work the flowers for both pollen and nectar. Flowers of other species of Polemonium are also useful honey bee forage.
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/Polemonium_caeruleum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polemonium+caeruleum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Gentiana triflora

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Botanical Name : Gentiana triflora
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. triflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names : San hua long dan in Chinese, Clustered Gentian in English

Habitat : Gentiana triflora is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Siberia. It grows on grassy places, especially along roadsides, from sea level to the mountains.((to higher-elevation (600-1000 m) meadows and forests of China (Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol), Mongolia, Eastern Russia, Korea and Japan. )

Description:
Gentiana triflora is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).Several erect thick stems radiate from the crown of this rather magnificent plant. At the end of each sprouts a truss of large puckered blue trumpets. It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species requires a lime-free, peaty, moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.

Constituents: Gentian blue petals predominantly contain the unusually blue and stable anthocyanin gentiodelphin (delphinidin 3-O-glucosyl-5-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucosyl)-3?-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucoside))

Medicinal Uses:
Gentian roots contain some of the most bitter compounds known and make an excellent tonic for the digestive system, working especially on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. The root is antibacterial and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore throat, acute infection of the urinary system, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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/Gentiana_triflora
http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/592
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+triflora

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Herbs & Plants

Illicium floridanum

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Botanical Name : Illicium floridanum
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species: I. floridanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales

Common Names: Aniseed Tree, Florida anisetree, Purple Anise, Star Anise, Florida anise, Stink-bush

Habitat : Illicium floridanum is native to South-eastern N. America – Florida to Louisiana. It grows in lowland wet areas, often in sandy soils along streams, swamps and at the head of bays, in light woodland and thickets.

Description:
Illicium floridanum is an upright, rounded, aromatic, evergreen shrub that grows to 6-10′ tall. Smooth, glossy, elliptic, dark olive-green leaves (to 6″ long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Nodding, dark red flowers (to 2″ diameter), each with 20-30 strap-shaped petals, bloom in spring (April-May). Flower aroma is malodorous. Fruit is a star-shaped cluster of follicles. Purple anise is protected in Florida as a threatened species.

CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are a deep carmine red or maroon with narrow widely separated petals. The whole plant and especially the flowers have a fishy smell, hence the common names stink-bush, dead fish tree, or wet dog bush. The crushed foliage, however, has an aroma akin to lemon-lime or aniseed.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. A plant of woodland shade in its native habitat, in the less sunny British climate it succeeds in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c, only succeeding outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain. A slow-growing tree, the whole plant is very aromatic. The bruised leaves have a strong scent of aniseed, whilst the flowers have a powerful spicy odour. Suckers can spring up at some distance from the parent plant. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts. Suckers are sometimes produced at some distance from the parent plant. These suckers can be potted up in early spring, then grown on for a year before planting them out into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses: Not known.

Other Uses: Not known.

Known Hazards: Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous in quantity.

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/Illicium_floridanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+floridanum
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e647