Tag Archives: Southern California

Robinia neomexicana

Botanical Name: Robinia neomexicana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Robinieae
Genus: Robinia
Species: R. neomexicana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names: New Mexican locust, New Mexico, Southwest, Desert, Rusby’s locust, Locust Pink, or Rose locust

Habitat :Robinia neomexicana is native to South-western N. America – Texas to New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. It grows on mountain canyons and plains, generally in sunny positions in moist soils by streams, 1200 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Robinia neomexicana is a deciduous Tree growing to 2 m (6ft 7in) at a medium rate. It grows with bristly shoots. The leaves are 10–15 cm long, pinnate with 7–15 leaflets; they have a pair of sharp, reddish-brown thorns at the base. The flowers are showy and white or pink, produced in spring or early summer in dense racemes 5–10 cm long that hang from the branches near the ends. The fruits are brown bean-like pods with bristles like those on the shoots. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

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

In California, it is uncommon below 1500 m (5000 ft) in canyons in the Mojave Desert and its sky island pinyon-juniper habitats (Pinus monophylla and Juniperus californica). Farther east, it is typically found between 1200 and 2600 meters (4000 and 8500 feet) along streams, in the bottoms of valleys, and on the sides of canyons.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in any soil, preferring one that is not too rich. Requires a well-drained soil, succeeding on dry barren sites. Plants are tolerant of drought and atmospheric pollution. The branches are brittle and very liable to wind damage. When plants are grown in rich soils they produce coarse and rank growth which is even more liable to wind damage. Plants can be coppiced. Any pruning should be done in late summer in order to reduce the risk of bleeding. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. 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. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 48 hours in warm water and sow the seed in late winter in a cold frame. A short stratification improves germination rates and time. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the following summer. The seed stores for over 10 years. Suckers taken during the dormant season
Edible Uses:
Flowers – raw or cooked. They can be used as a flavouring in cooked dishes. The flowers can be boiled, then dried and stored for later use. Seedpods – raw or cooked. They are gathered in the fall and eaten when fresh. The pods can also be cooked then dried and stored for later use. Seed – cooked. In New Mexico, Pueblo Native Americans traditionally ate the flowers uncooked.
Medicinal Uses :
Antirheumatic. An emetic, it is used to clear the stomach.

Other Uses:
Plants succeed in dry barren sites, their suckering habit making them suitable for stabilizing banks. Wood – tough, elastic and durable. Used for fence posts etc . Mule deer, cattle, and goats browse the plant foliage. Squirrels and quail eat the locust’s seeds

Known Hazards : The bark, root and seed are said to be poisonous
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/Robinia_neomexicana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Robinia+neomexicana

Rhus diversiloba

Botanical Name : Rhus diversiloba
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Toxicodendron
Species: T. diversilobum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:Toxicodendron diversilobum. (Torr.&Gray.)Greene, Rhus diversiloba Torr. & A.Gray

Common Names: Western Poison Oak, Pacific poison oak

Habitat : Rhus diversiloba is native to western North America – Vancouver to California. Thickets and wooded slopes in foothills, along streams, in washes and hedgerows below 1500 metres.
Description:
Rhus diversiloba is extremely variable in growth habit and leaf appearance. It grows as a dense 0.5–4 m (1.6–13.1 ft) tall shrub in open sunlight, a treelike vine 10–30 feet (3.0–9.1 m) and may be more than 100 feet (30 m) long with an 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) trunk, as dense thickets in shaded areas, or any form in between It reproduces by spreading rhizomes and by seeds.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant is winter deciduous, so that after cold weather sets in, the stems are leafless and bear only the occasional cluster of berries. Without leaves the stems may sometimes be identified by occasional black marks where its milky sap may have oozed and dried.

The leaves are divided into three (rarely 5, 7, or 9) leaflets, 3.5 to 10 centimetres (1.4 to 3.9 in) long, with scalloped, toothed, or lobed edges. They generally resemble the lobed leaves of a true oak, though tend to be more glossy. Leaves are typically bronze when first unfolding in February to March, bright green in the spring, yellow-green to reddish in the summer, and bright red or pink from late July to October.

White flowers form in the spring, from March to June. If they are fertilized, they develop into greenish-white or tan berries.

Botanist John Howell observed that the toxicity of T. diversilobum obscures its merits:

“In spring, the ivory flowers bloom on the sunny hill or in sheltered glade, in summer its fine green leaves contrast refreshingly with dried and tawny grassland, in autumn its colors flame more brilliantly than in any other native, but one great fault, its poisonous juice, nullifies its every other virtue and renders this beautiful shrub the most disparaged of all within our region.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Plants do not require a rich soil. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. This species is closely related to R. toxicodendron. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Medicinal Uses:
Californian Native Americans used the plant’s stems and shoots to make baskets, the sap to cure ringworm, and as a poultice of fresh leaves applied to rattlesnake bites. The juice or soot was used as a black dye for sedge basket elements, tattoos, and skin darkening.

An infusion of dried roots, or buds eaten in the spring, were taken by some native peoples for an immunity from the plant poisons.

Chumash peoples used T. diversilobum sap to remove warts, corns, and calluses; to cauterize sores; and to stop bleeding. They drank a decoction made from the roots to treat dysenter

In view of the potential toxicity of the plant, extreme caution is advised in any use of it. See the notes below on toxicity. A leaf has been swallowed in the spring as a contraceptive. A tincture of the fresh leaves has been used in the treatment of eczema and skin diseases. It is also used in the treatment of warts, ringworm etc. A poultice of the fresh leaves has been applied to rattlesnake bites. The leaf buds have been eaten in the spring in order to obtain immunity from the plant poisons A moxa of the plant has been used in the treatment of warts and ringworm. The juice of the plant has been used as a treatment for warts. An infusion of the dried roots has been taken in order to give immunity against any further poisoning. A decoction of the roots has been used as drops in the eyes to heal tiny sores inside the eyelids and to improve vision.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Dye; Ink; Mordant; Oil.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The supple stems are used as the warp in basket making. Slender stems are used as circular withes in basket making. An excellent black dye is obtained by exposing the sap to air

Known Hazards :  All parts of the plant contain resinous phenolic compounds known as urushiols. Direct contacr with the plant, exposure to smoke or fumes from a burning plant or even contact with pets or animals that have touched the plant can cause severe allergic dermatitis in some individuals. There is usually a latent period of about 12 – 24 hours from the moment of contact, this is followed by a reddening and severe blistering of the skin. Even plant specimens 100 or more years old can cause problems

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/Toxicodendron_diversilobum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+diversiloba

Ericameria parishii

Botanical Name : Ericameria parishii
Family: Asteraceae / Compositae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Ericameria
Species: E. parishii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Chrysoma parishii. Haplopappus parishii. (Greene)Blake.

Common Names: Heath Goldenrod, Parish’s rabbitbrush,Parish’s rabbitbrush

Habitat : Ericameria parishii is native to southern Southern California in the United States and to the State of Baja California in Mexico. It is found in the San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, eastern Santa Monica Mountains, and San Bernardino Mountains of the Transverse Ranges; and in the Peninsular Ranges. It grows on the outwash fans and exposed hillsides, 450 – 2100 metres.

Description:
Ericameria parishii is an evergreen Shrub or small tree grows up to 12 feet (3.7 m) tall. It has lance-shaped leaves up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. The plant can produce many small flower heads, each with up to 12 golden yellow disc florets but no ray florets. It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Varieties:

*Ericameria parishii var. parishii – northern Baja California; California in the mountains from San Diego County north to eastern Ventura County and southwestern San Bernardino County
*Ericameria parishii var. peninsularis (Moran) G.L.Nesom — Peninsular Ranges of northern Baja California state.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil in a sunny position. Requires a well-drained deep gritty or gravelly soil, preferably of low fertility.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.
Edible Uses: Seed may be eatable.

Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used for medical purposes, but the details we could not yet find. .

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/Ericameria_parishii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ericameria+parishii

Eriodictyon crassifolium

Botanical Name :Eriodictyon crassifolium
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Eriodictyon
Species: E. crassifolium
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name :Thick-leaved Yerba Santa

Habitat : It is endemic to California, where it grows in several types of habitat, including chaparral, in the coastal and inland hills and mountains, mainly in the Southern California part of the state.

Description:
Thick leaved Yerba Santa is a fuzzy grey perennial herb that can grow to 5′. The leaves are up to 17 centimeters long by 6 wide, gray-green with a coat of woolly hairs, and sometimes toothed along the edges. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers.

click to see the pictures….(01)…(1)..….…(2)………..(3)..….

Flowers are 1/2″ wide and 1″ long pale blue. Sun, good drainage, doesn’t need water after first year if your rainfall is greater than 14″. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers. Felt leaved Yerba Santa will grow in most gardens and can be quite the butterfly magnet.

Medicinal Uses:
It was traditionally used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.

Other Uses:
Eriodictyon crassifolium is great for a butterfly garden.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriodictyon_crassifolium
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/eriodictyon-crassifolium

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Pachira aquatica

Botanical Name: Pachira aquatica
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Pachira
Species: P. aquatica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names :Malabar chestnut, Guiana chestnut, provision tree, saba nut, Monguba (Brazil), Pumpo

Habitat : Pachira aquatica is native to Central and South America where it grows in swamps.. It is cultivated in many tropical regions, including Hawaii and Southern California. In the wild, Pachira aquatica is a wetland tree that grows in freshwater swamps associated with tropical estuaries. It often grows alongside rivers, where its branches arch out over the water.

Description:
Guiana chestnut is a spreading tree that grows to 60 ft (15 m) in the wild, but it is usually more like a large shrub in cultivation. It has greenish bark and shiny, dark green, compound, 8-10 in (20-25 cm) leaves that look like those of a schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla). The flowers emerge from 14 in (35.6 cm) long buds. They are usually almost hidden by the dense foliage, which stays on the tree during the bloom period, unlike that of similar Bombax and Chorisia species. The cream colored petals of the large flowers droop and disappear to show off dramatic clusters of 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm) crimson-tipped, off-white stamens. They are followed by football shaped woody pods which may reach 12 in (30.5 cm) in length and 5 in (12.7 cm)inches in diameter. Tightly packed nuts within the pod enlarge until about a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in diameter and the pod bursts open.

You may click to see the pictures…>...(01)....(1)…..(2)……...(3)…...(4)..

Propagation: Plants are easily started from seed and will root from cuttings. The tree grows well as a tropical ornamental in moist, frost-free areas, and can be started from seed or cutting. It is a durable plant and will adapt very well to different conditions. The pachira needs plenty of sunlight though it is important to avoid direct sunlight during the summer months as the leaves may get sunburned.

 

Edible Uses:
The nuts taste sort of like peanuts. They are harvested when the seed pods burst and eaten raw, roasted, or fried. They also can be ground into a flour for baking bread. The young leaves and flowers may be cooked and used as a vegetable.

Medicinal Uses:
A popular beverage tea to build the blood in old age, to treat anemia and exhaustion, and for low blood pressure.  For kidney pain, cut a seed form the fruit in quarters; boil in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes and drink before breakfast for 3 consecutive days.  Boil a piece of bark 2.5 x 10 cm in 3 cups water for 10 minutes; drink ½ cup 6 times daily as a general tonic to build blood and strength.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachira_aquatica
http://www.floridata.com/ref/p/pach_aqu.cfm
http://www.plantcreations.com/pachira_aquatica.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm