Tag Archives: Sowing

Amorphophallus rivieri

Botanical Name: Amorphophallus rivieri
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideaen f
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Conophallus konjak.

Common Names: Devil’s Tongue, Umbrella Arum, Leopard Palm, Snake Palm

Habitat: Amorphophallus rivieri is native to E. Asia – Cochin China, East Indies. Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats. It grows in forest margins and thickets at elevations of 830-1200 metres in western Yunnan.

Description:
Amorphophallus rivieri is a tuberous herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.6 m (2ft). It is foul-smelling somewhat fleshy tropical plant of southeastern Asia cultivated for its edible corms or in the greenhouse for its large leaves and showy dark red spathe surrounding a large spadix.

It is frost tender. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Flies.

Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Late spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container. Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain. This species is being increasingly cultivated for its edible tubers in Japan and Chin The plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display. It is also said to make a good house plant. The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep. The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant flowers, Flowers have an unpleasant odor.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture. It usually germinates in 1 – 8 months at 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly. Division of offsets. These are rarely produced

Edible Uses:
Rhizome – cooked. The root must be thoroughly boiled or baked, it is acrid when raw. Very large, it can be up to 30cm in iameter. In Japan the large brown tubers are peeled, cooked and pounded to extract their starch, which is solidified with dissolved limestone into an edible gel called ‘Konnyaku’. Konnyaku is a type of flour valued for its use in many dietary products. The flour is valued for its ability to clean the digestive tract without being a laxative. A nutritional analysis is available. This root is very high in water and low in calories, so it is being promoted as a diet food in N. America.

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•308 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 3.8g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 88.5g; Fibre: 3.8g; Ash: 7.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 654mg; Phosphorus: 269mg; Iron: 11.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses: The root is oxytoxic and sialagogue. It is used in the treatment of cancer. The flowers are febrifuge.

Other Uses : The plant has insecticidal properties.

Known Hazards: We have one report that this plant is very toxic raw, though no more details are given. It belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amorphophallus+rivieri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphophallus

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Amorphophallus+rivieri

 

Astragalus floridus

Botanical Name : Astragalus floridus
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Astragalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name : Duo Hua Huang Qi

Habitat : Astragalus floridus is native to East AsiaHimalayas. It grows in the forests and alpine meadows at elevations of 3800-4400 metres in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim and western China.

Description:
Astragalus floridus is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.   CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. Whilst it is likely to tolerate low temperatures it may not be so happy with a wet winter. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. This plant is a sub-shrub and although it produces woody stems these tend to die back almost to the base each winter. 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. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing – but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 – 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sweet taste and a heating potency. Antihydrotic, diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic, it is used in the treatment of body weakness from prolonged illness, renal inflammation from lack of exercise, lack of appetite, excessive perspiration (especially when asleep), diabetes, boils/sores, diarrhoea, irregular menses and vaginal/seminal discharge.
Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Astragalus+floridus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus

Lactuca indica laciniata

Botanical Name: Lactuca indica laciniata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. laciniata. L. squarrosa. Miq.

Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Lactuca indica L. var. laciniata (Houttuyn) Hara; Lactuca laciniata (Houttuyn) Makino; Lactuca saligna Loureiro, non L.; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel var. laciniata Kuntze; Lactuca mauritiana Poiret; Lactuca brevirostris Champion ex Bentham; Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Leontodon acutissimus Noronha; Prenanthes laciniata Houttuyn; Prenanthes squarrosa Thunberg; Pterocypsela indica (L.) C. Shih.
Common name: (Japanese common name) aki-no-no-geshi [autumn wild poppy]
(English common name) Indian lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca indica laciniata is native to E. Asia. It grows on the grassy places in lowland all over Japan.

Description:
Lactuca indica laciniata is a perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
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

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Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Cultivation:
A plant of the moist tropics, where it can be grown at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 34°c, but can tolerate 10 – 40°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 – 2,500mm, but tolerates 1,000 – 3,000mm. Grows best in a sunny position. Prefers a light sandy loam, but succeeds in a wide range of well-drained, fertile soils. Prefers a pH in the range 5 – 6, tolerating 4.5 – 6.5.

It takes about 60 days from seed sowing until the first leaves are harvested. A first harvest of leaves can be taken after 30 – 60 days, when the plants are about 50cm tall. Yields of the leaves may be up to 10 – 20 tonnes per hectare.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually rapid, prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Make sure each piece of root has a leaf bud. Root cuttings in late winter.
Edible Uses:  Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or soups.

Medicinal
The plant is digestive and tonic.The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used.

The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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://findmeacure.com/2016/08/02/71841/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://flowers.la.coocan.jp/Asteraceae/Lactuca%20indica.htm

Helianthus strumosus

Botanical Name : Helianthus strumosus
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus
Species:H. hirsutus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower

Habitat :Helianthus strumosus is native to N. America – Quebec to N. Dakota, south to Arkansas and Oklahoma It grows on dry woods and banks.

Description:
Helianthus hirsutus is a perennial sometimes as much as 200 cm (almost 7 feet) tall, spreading by means of underground rhizomes. Leaves and stems are covered with stiff hairs. One plant can produce 1-7 flower heads, each with 10–15 yellow ray florets surrounding 40 or more yellow disc florets. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The species grows in sunny locations in open forests or along the edges of forests.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Requires a rich soil. Dislikes shade. Prefers a moist soil[200]. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. Plants have a running root system and can be invasive.

Propagation:
Seed – sow 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. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: Root. No more details but it is probably used raw or cooked like the Jerusalem artichoke.
Medicinal Uses:A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems. The sunflower has many common uses.  Indians applied the crushed root to bruises.  The seeds have been used to increase urine flow and to clear phlegm.  A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung 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/Helianthus_hirsutus

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+strumosus

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

Crataegus acclivis

Botanical Name : Crataegus acclivis
Family: Rosaceae
Division:Magnoliophyta – Flowering Plants
Class:Magnoliopsida
Sub Class:Rosidae
Order:Rosales
Genus :Crataegus
Species: Crataegus coccinea L. var. coccinea

Common Name:Scarlet hawthorn

Habitat : Crataegus acclivis is native to North-eastern N. America – New York to the borders of southern Canada. It grows in banks of streams and steep gorges.
Description:
Crataegus acclivis is a deciduous Tree growing to 8 m (26ft) by 7 m (23ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

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It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Plants are hardy to at least -18°c. We have very little specific information on this plant, and it is regarded as no more than a form of C. pedicellata by most botanists. However, a tree seen at Kew in early September 1997 had a good crop of almost ripe fruit. This fruit was more elongated than C. pedicellata and was also ripe about 4 weeks before that species. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit ripens in early September, it is about 18mm long with a pleasantly sweet juicy flesh and makes an excellent dessert fruit. The fruit contains up to 5 seeds in the centre, these usually stick together and so the effect is like eating a cherry with its single large seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Cardiac; Hypotensive.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture

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:
http://www.newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2671
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+acclivis