Tag Archives: Southern Hemisphere

Potentilla fruticosa

Botanical Name: Potentilla fruticosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Dasiphora
Species: D. fruticosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Dasiphora fruticosa. Pentaphylloides fruticosa.

Common Names: Shrubby cinquefoil, Potentilla, Golden hardhack,Bush cinquefoil, Shrubby five-finger, Tundra rose

Habitat : Potentilla fruticosa is native to the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, often growing at high altitudes in mountains. It grows on damp rocky ground, usually on limestone.
Description:
Potentilla fruticosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1.2 m (4ft in) at a medium rate. The habit is variably upright to sprawling or prostrate, but stems are often ascending especially those stems with many long branches. The bark of older stems is shreddy with long thin strips. The plants are densely leafy, the leaves divided into five or seven (occasionally three or nine) pinnate leaflets. The leaflets are linear-oblong, 3–20 mm (0.1–0.8 in) long, with entire margins and more or less acute ends. The foliage (both leaves and young stems) is pubescent, variably covered in fine silky, silvery hairs about 1 mm long. The flowers are produced terminally on the stems and are 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) cm across, buttercup-shaped, with five petals and 15–25 stamens; the petals are pale to bright yellow (orange to reddish in some western Chinese populations). The fruit is a cluster of achenes covered with long hairs. The species is variably dioecious or bisexual; flowering is typically from early to late summer… from Jun to July. 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 Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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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 and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. 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. Prefers a light well-drained soil. Established plants are drought tolerant. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. A very ornamental shrub, there are many named varieties. Polymorphic. A good bee plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Dislikes growing under trees, especially Juglans species. Plants are usually dioecious but hermaphrodite forms are also known. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
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 at least 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, 3 – 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn if possible and overwinter in a cold frame. Softwood cuttings taken in the early summer. Easy.

Edible Uses: Tea.
A tea is made from the dried leaves. Used as a substitute for China tea, especially by people living at high elevations in the Himalayas.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent.
The leaves are astringent. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of indigestion.
Other Uses:
Hedge; Hedge; Incense; Packing; Soil stabilization; Tinder.

Can be grown as a medium size informal hedge. Trim in spring. Some forms, notably ‘Longacre’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Gold Drop‘ have a dense spreading habit and make good ground cover plants. A useful plant for controlling soil erosion. The dry, flaky bark is used as a tinder for friction fires. (fires started by rubbing 2 pieces of wood together very fast). The powdered plant is used as an incense. The leaves are used as a packing material in pillows.

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/Dasiphora_fruticosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Potentilla+fruticosa

Mimosa tenuiflora

Botanical Name :Mimosa tenuiflora
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Genus: Mimosa
Species: M. tenuiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:Mimosa hostilis

Common Names;Jurema, Tepezcohuite

Habitat : Mimosa tenuiflora is native to the northeastern region of Brazil (Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Pernambuco, Bahia) and found as far north as southern Mexico (Oaxaca and coast of Chiapas). It is most often found in lower altitudes, but it can be found as high as 1000 m

Description:
The fern-like branches have leaves that are Mimosa like, finely pinnate, growing to 5 cm long. Each compound leaf contains 15-33 pairs of bright green leaflets 5-6  mm long. The tree itself grows up to 8 m tall and it can reach 4–5 m tall in less than 5 years. The white,  fragrant flowers occur in loosely cylindrical spikes 4–8 cm long. In the Northern Hemisphere it blossoms and produces fruit from November to June or July. In the Southern Hemisphere it blooms primarily from September to January. The fruit is brittle and averages 2.5–5 cm long. Each pod contains 4–6 seeds that are oval, flat, light brown and 3–4 mm in diameter. There are about 145 seeds/g. In the Southern Hemisphere, the fruit ripens from February to April.

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The tree’s bark is dark brown to gray. It splits lengthwise and the inside is reddish brown.

The tree’s wood is dark reddish brown with a yellow center. It is very dense, durable and strong, having a density of about 1.11 g/cm³.

Medicinal Uses:
In Mexico, the bark of the tree is used as a remedy for skin problems and injuries such as burns, and it is now used in commercial skin and hair products which are promoted as being able to rejuvenite skin. Research has shown that it has some useful activities which support the traditional uses. The bark is rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones, and kukulkanins. In vitro studies on bacterial cultures have shown it is three times more effective as a bacteriocide than streptomycin, although in vivo studies have not been as positive.

Powdered tepezcohuite bark contains large amounts (16%) of tannins, which act as an astringent, making the skin stop bleeding. This helps protect the body from infection, while the skin builds new protective tissue.

Tannins in the bark diminish capillary permeability. It contains antioxidant flavonoids.

Extensive research has been performed in labs in Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is now used in commercial hair and skin products that claim to rejuvenate skin. The bark is known to be rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones and kukulkanins. In vitro studies have shown three times more bacteriocidal activity on bacterial cultures than streptomycin, and it works to some degree in vivo

Other Uses:
Mimosa tenuiflora does very well after a forest fire, or other major ecological disturbance. It is a prolific pioneer plant. It drops its leaves on the ground, continuously forming a thin layer of mulch and eventually humus. Along with its ability to fix nitrogen, the tree conditions the soil, making it ready for other plant species to come along.

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/Mimosa_tenuiflora
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.tabaccheria21.net/PsicoWeb/piantepsicovarie/html/pagimage009.shtml

Sambucus mexicana

Botanical Name : Sambucus mexicana
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Sambucus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Syn: Sambucus cerulea var. cerulea
Common Names: elder or elderberry,Elder, Mexican,Blue Elderberry

Habitat : The genus is native in temperate-to-subtropical regions of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere; its Southern Hemisphere occurrence is restricted to parts of Australasia and South America.

Description:
Sambucus mexicana is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees.The leaves are pinnate with 5–9 leaflets (rarely 3 or 11). Each leaf is 5–30 cm (2.0–12 in) long, and the leaflets have serrated margins. They bear large clusters of small white or cream-colored flowers in late spring; these are followed by clusters of small black, blue-black, or red berries (rarely yellow or white).

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Flowers are inflorescence more or less flat-topped, not pyramidal; white to cream petals. Fruits  are dark blue-black and strongly white glaucous, appearing blue and leaves are pinnately compound; leaflets serrate, 3 to 20 cm long

Medicinal Uses:
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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.landscape-resources.com/portfolio/treesx/pages/Sambucus%20mexicana-1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
http://www.cwnp.org/photopgs/sdoc/samexicana.html

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Common Moonwort( Botrychium lunaria)

 

Botanical Name:: Botrychium lunaria’
Family : Ophioglossaceae
Genus : Botrychium
Subgenus: Botrychium (syn. Eubotrychium)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
Order: Ophioglossales
Species: B. lunaria
Ploidy: Diploid

Synonyms : Osmunda lunaria – L.

Common Name :Common Moonwort

Habitat: It is the most widely distributed moonwort, growing throughout the Northern Hemisphere across Eurasia and from Alaska to Greenland, as well as parts of the Southern Hemisphere including South America and Australia. Widely distributed in arctic . It grows on dry grassland and rock ledges, usually on peaty soils. Meadow; East Wall In; West Wall In;

Description:

Fern growing to 0.1m. . This is a small plant growing from an underground caudex and sending one fleshy, dark green leaf above the surface of the ground. The leaf is 6 to 10 centimeters tall and is divided into a sterile and a fertile part. The sterile part of the leaf has 4 to 9 pairs of fan-shaped leaflets. The fertile part of the leaf is very different in shape, with rounded, grapelike clusters of sporangia by which it reproduces. It dies down at the end of summer; it frequently lies dormant for several seasons before re-appearing.
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Trophophore stalk 0-1 mm; blade dark green, oblong, 1-pinnate, to10 x 4 cm, thick, fleshy. Pinnae to 9 pairs,spreading, mostly overlapping except inshaded forest forms, distance between 1st and 2nd pinnae not or slightly more than between  2nd and 3rd pairs, basal pinna pairapproximately equal in size and cutting to  adjacent pair, broadly fan-shaped, undivided  to tip, margins mainly entire or undulate, rarely   dentate, apical lobe usually cuneate to  spatulate, notched, approximate to adjacent  lobes, apex rounded, venation like ribs of fan,  midribs absent. Sporophores 1-2 pinnate, 0.8- 2 times length of trophophore. 2n = 90.(Wagner and Wagner 1993)

It is hardy to zone 2. The seeds ripen from June to August.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.


Cultivation

Prefers a moist free-draining soil. The prothalli (small plants formed when the spores germinate) of this species form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in much the same way as orchid seedlings. Plants can be hard to establish, they can be naturalized in a meadow or cultivated in the border where they should be left undisturbed. Unlike most species of ferns, the fronds of this species grow up straight and not curled inward, crozier fashion. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation
Spores – best surface sown as soon as they are ripe in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. Placing the pot in a plastic bag helps to maintain a humid atmosphere which promotes germination and growth. Prick out small clumps into pots when they are large enough to handle and keep moist until established. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter and plant out in late spring. Division. It is best not to try and disturb this plant.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Moonwort has a long reputation as a vulnerary herb, the leaves are used externally as an ointment or taken internally. They are also used in the treatment of ruptures and dysentery.

*Botrychium plants have been used as stomach medicines and tonics to stop bleeding in cancer, tuberculosis, diarrhea, inflamation of the eye, ruptures, snake bite, sores and wounds.
*According to the Doctrine of Signs, Moonwort cured lunacy, epilepsy, and sleep walking, if associated with the phases of the moon.
*Leaves also boiled in red wine, this then drank to stop beeling, vomiting, and other fluxes and to heal blows, bruises, fractures, and dislocations.
*Leaves mashed in oil to produce a salve used to stop bleeding.

Othe Uses:
Folklore:
*Ancients regaurded B. lunaria (moonwort) as a plant of magical power if it was gathered by moonlight.
*It was used by witches and necromancers in thier incantations.
*Silver was the metal used to influence Luna (the moon) because of her silvery colour.
*Some said that it would open locks and unshoe horses that chanced to tread upon it.
*The crecent shaped leaflets were said to indicate that this plant was governed by the moon and alchemists used it to convert quicksilver (mercury) into silver.

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?Botrychium+lunaria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botrychium_lunaria
http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=bolu_002_avp.tif
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~herbarium/botrychium/B-lunaria.pdf

http://www.flora.dempstercountry.org/0.Site.Folder/Species.Program/Species.php?species_id=Botry.luna

Blueberry

Botanical Name:Vaccinium
Family:Ericaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Vaccinium
Section: Cyanococcus

Habitat:The genus Vaccinium has a circumpolar distribution with species in North America, Europe and Asia.

Many commercially sold species whose English common names include “blueberry” are currently classified in section Cyanococcus of the genus Vaccinium and come predominantly from North America. Several other plants of the genus Vaccinium also produce blue berries such as the predominantly European bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), which in many languages has a name that means “blueberry” in English.

Many North American native species of blueberries are now also commercially grown in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia, New Zealand and South American countries.

Description:
Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue, -purple or black berries. Species in the section Cyanococcus are the most common fruits sold as “blueberries” and are mainly native to North America.  They are usually erect but sometimes prostrate shrubs varying in size from 10 cm tall to 4 m tall. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), and the larger species as “highbush blueberries”. The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and from 1–8 cm long and 0.5–3.5 cm broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish.

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The fruit is a false berry 5–16 mm diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally blue on ripening. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit from May through June though fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude.

The Chippewa Indians used the flowers to treat psychosis. The fruit contains anthocyanosides. These chemical compounds are very powerful antioxidants that are very effective in the prevention of heart disease and cancer.

Species
Vaccinium angustifolium (Lowbush Blueberry)
Vaccinium boreale (Northern Blueberry)
Vaccinium caesariense (New Jersey Blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (Northern Highbush Blueberry)
Vaccinium darrowii (Southern Highbush Blueberry)
Vaccinium elliottii (Elliott Blueberry)
Vaccinium formosum (southern blueberry)
Vaccinium fuscatum (Black Highbush Blueberry; syn. V. atrococcum)
Vaccinium hirsutum (Hairy-fruited Blueberry)
Vaccinium myrtilloides (Canadian Blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (Dryland Blueberry)
Vaccinium simulatum (Upland Highbush Blueberry)
Vaccinium tenellum (Southern Blueberry)
Vaccinium virgatum (Rabbiteye Blueberry; syn. V. ashei)

Some other blue-fruited species of Vaccinium:

Vaccinium koreanum
Vaccinium myrsinites (Evergreen Blueberry)
Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry)

Cultivation:
Blueberries may be cultivated, or they may be picked from semi-wild or wild bushes. In North America, the most common cultivated species is V. corymbosum, the Northern highbush blueberry. Hybrids of this with other Vaccinium species adapted to southern U.S. climates are known collectively as Southern highbush blueberries.

Blueberry flowersSo-called “wild” (lowbush) blueberries, smaller than cultivated highbush ones, are prized for their intense color. The lowbush blueberry, V. angustifolium, is found from the Atlantic provinces westward to Quebec and southward to Michigan and West Virginia. In some areas, it produces natural blueberry barrens, where it is the dominant species covering large areas. Several First Nations communities in Ontario are involved in harvesting wild blueberries. Lowbush species are fire-tolerant and blueberry production often increases following a forest fire as the plants regenerate rapidly and benefit from removal of competing vegetation. Wild has been adopted as a marketing term for harvests of managed native stands of low-bush blueberries. The bushes are not planted or genetically manipulated, but they are pruned or burned over every two years, and pests are “managed”.

There are numerous highbush cultivars of blueberries, each of which have a unique and diverse flavor. The most important blueberry breeding program has been the USDA-ARS breeding program based at Beltsville, Maryland, and Chatsworth, New Jersey. This program began when Frederick Coville of the USDA-ARS collaborated with Elizabeth Coleman White of New Jersey. In the early part of the 20th Century, White offered wild pickers cash for large-fruited blueberry plants. Rubel, one such wild blueberry cultivar, is the origin of many of the current hybrid cultivars.

Rabbiteye Blueberry (V. virgatum, syn. V. ashei) is a southern type of blueberry produced from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast states.

Other important species in North America include V. pallidum, the Hillside or Dryland Blueberry. It is native to the eastern U.S., and common in the Appalachians and the Piedmont of the Southeast. Sparkleberry, V. arboreum, is a common wild species on sandy soils in the southeastern U.S. Its fruits are important to wildlife, and the flowers important to beekeepers.

Uses:
Blueberries are sold fresh or processed as individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or dried or infused berries which in turn may be used in a variety of consumer goods such as jellies, jams, pies, muffins, snack foods, and cereals.

Blueberry jam is made from blueberries, sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Premium blueberry jam, usually made from wild blueberries, is common in Maine, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Nutrients and phytochemicals:
Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber (table). One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases, including inflammation and certain cancers.

Medicinal Uses:
Blueberries have become highly popularized by their new-found medicinal properties. However, this native American fruit has been in use for thousands of years as part of the native Indian diet. The blueberry is not only sweet and delicious, but is rich in Vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. being in the same fruit family as cranberry, the blueberry is equally high in antioxidants. The high grocery store price of blueberries is a great reason to grow your own bushes. Blueberry plants are easy to grow and have a long productive life. Just a few bushes would provide adequate berries for a small family. There are many blueberry varieties, so Willis Orchard Company has made it easy for you by offering only the best varieties. Choose any of our varieties and you will be pleased with abundant crops of delicious, healthy blueberries.

Researchers have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development and inflammation in vitro. Similar to red grape, some blueberry species contain in their skins significant levels of resveratrol, a phytochemical.

Although most studies below were conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), content of polyphenol antioxidants and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush species.

At a 2007 symposium on berry health benefits were reports showing consumption of blueberries (and similar berry fruits including cranberries) may alleviate the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of aging.

Feeding blueberries to animals lowers brain damage in experimental stroke. Research at Rutgers  has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.

Other animal studies found that blueberry consumption lowered cholesterol and total blood lipid levels, possibly affecting symptoms of heart disease. Additional research showed that blueberry consumption in rats altered glycosaminoglycans which are vascular cell components affecting control of blood pressure.

Blueberry has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Common cold/sore throat,  Diarrhea and Urinary tract infection

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/Blueberry
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.willisorchards.com/category/Rabbiteye+Blueberry+Plants?gclid=CIiy5KjI5JsCFRghDQodaR3zxw

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