Tag Archives: Species

Amelanchier confusa

Botanical Name : Amelanchier confusa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species:A. canadensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Amelanchier canadensis auct., Amelanchier grandiflora auct.

Common Names: Service berry, Shadblow, Shadbush, Sugarplum, Shad

Habitat:Amelanchier confusa is native to Europe – S. Sweden. This species is only known from plants naturalised in Sweden, its origin is uncertain.

Description:
Amelanchier confusa is a deciduous woody perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). It has smooth, ovate leaves which are irregularly serrated. The autumn colour is inconspicuous.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid or neutral soil. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. A suckering plant, the suckers are formed very close to the original stem so the plant forms a gradually expanding clump. Plants growing at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire were 4 metres tall in early April 1999, they were suckering quite freely in a tight clump and flowering very freely. This species is closely related to A. laevis. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing.
Propagation:
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
The fruit is  edible both raw and cooked. It is 7 – 9mm in diameter. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.

Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.
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=Amelanchier+confusa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier_canadensis
https://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/plants/1105
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/plants/amelanchier/confusa.html

Thapsia garganica

Botanical Name : Thapsia garganica
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Thapsia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonym: Drias, Thapsia decussata.

Common Name : Drias Plant ,Deadly carrots

Habitat :Thapsia garganica is native to EuropeMediterranean. It grows in rocky places, fields and sunny slopes.
Description:
Thapsia garganica is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 50 to 200 cm high. The inflorescences are large, regularly distributed umbels. The seeds have four wings, and are the main characteristic of the genus, which is distributed in the Mediterranean, on the Iberian peninsula, and North Africa. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species, it probably requires a well drained light fertile soil in a sunny position. One report says that it is not hardy in Britain requiring greenhouse or half-hardy treatment. We have grown it in the past in Cornwall, it survived 3 winters in a cold greenhouse with us before succumbing to slugs.

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. Root cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Purgative.

The root is diuretic, emetic and purgative. A resin is extracted with alcohol from the bark of the root. The plant has been considered specific in treating pain, though caution is advised since it is poisonous to some mammals. The plant is also strongly rubefacient, producing blisters and intense itching.

Other Uses:…Resin……Yields a resin that is used in plasters. No further details are given.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thapsia_(plant)
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thapsia+garganica

Black Alder Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Botanical Name: Ilex verticillata
Family:    Aquifoliaceae
Genus:    Ilex
Species:    I. verticillata
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Aquifoliales

Synonyms:Prinos verticillatus

Common Names:  Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, Canada holly ,Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly.

Habitat : Black Alder is  native to eastern North America in the United States and southeast Canada, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Minnesota, and south to Alabama. It grows on swamps, pond margins and damp thickets.

Description:
Black Alder  or Ilex verticillata is a  multi-stemmed shrubshrub growing to 1–5 metres (3.3–16.4 ft) tall. It is one of a number of hollies which are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall. In wet sites, it will spread to form a dense thicket, while in dry soil it remains a tight shrub. The leaves are glossy green, 3.5–9 cm long, 1.5–3.5 cm broad, with a serrated margin and an acute apex. The flowers are small, 5 mm diameter, with five to eight white petals.

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The fruit is a globose red drupe 6–8 mm diameter, which often persists on the branches long into the winter, giving the plant its English name. Like most hollies, it is dioecious, with separate male and female plants; the proximity of at least one male plant is required to pollenize the females in order to bear fruit. The Bark is dark gray to brown  generally smooth with some lenticels

Cultivation:
It is a tough plant which is easy to grow, with very few diseases or pests. Although wet acidic soils are optimal, the winterberry will grow well in the average garden. Numerous cultivars are available, differing in size and shape of the plant and color of the berry. At least one male plant must be planted in proximity to one or more females for them to bear fruit.

Propagation:
*Early summer cuttings are easily rooted
*Seeds possess a dormancy making germination tricky

Constituents: The bark contains about 4-8 per cent tannin, two resins, the one soluble and the other insoluble in alcohol, albumen, gum, sugar, and a bitter principle and a yellow colouring matter not yet isolated. There is no berberine.

Medicinal Uses:
Native American herbal tradition regarded the bark as a botanical aid for relieving occasional constipation. In fact, later herbalists describe its action similar to Cascara Sagrada.The berries were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes, the origin of the name “fever bush”.

This remedy is a stimulant to the digestive and blood-making organs, and may be advantageously employed for the general purposes of a tonic. But beyond this, it influences the vegetative processes, probably through the sympathetic system of nerves, strengthening the circulation, aiding nutrition, and the removal of waste. We have used it but little, yet the testimony in its favor is such, that we strongly recommend its trial.

Other Uses:
Ornamental plant:
Ilex verticillata – the American Winterberry – is prized as an ornamental plant in gardens for the midwinter splash of bright color from densely packed berries, whose visibility is heightened by the loss of foliage; therefore it is popular even where other, evergreen, hollies are also grown. The bare branches covered in berries are also popular for cutting and use in floral arrangements.

Known Hazards:   Although no specific reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stupor if eaten in quantity. The fruit is 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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_verticillata
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/spec-med/prinos.html
http://www.pennherb.com/black-alder-bark-powder-16oz-6p16
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=221
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/alder018.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ilex+verticillata

 

Greater Knapweed

Botanical Name :Centaurea Scabiosa
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe:     Cynareae
Genus:     Centaurea
Species: C. scabiosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Hardhead. Ironhead. Hard Irons. Churls Head. Logger Head. Horse Knops. Matte Felon. Mat Fellon. Bottleweed. Bullweed. Cowede. Boltsede.

Common Name: Greater Knapweed. (This larger species of Knapweed was in olden times called ‘Matte Felon,’ from its use in curing felons or whitlows. As early as 1440 we find it called ‘Maude Felone,’ or ‘Boltsede.’)

Habitat: Frequent in the borders of fields and in waste places, being not uncommon in England, where it is abundant on chalk soil, but rare in Scotland.

Description:
Greater Knapweed  is a perennial plant, the rootstock becomes thick and woody in old plants. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high, generally branched, very tough. The leaves, which are firm in texture, are very variable in the degree of division, but generally deeply cut into, the segments again deeply notched. The lower leaves are very large, often a foot or even more in length, making a striking looking rosette on the ground, from which the flowering stems arise. The whole plant is a dull green, sparingly hairy. It flowers in July and August. The flowers are terminal, somewhat similar to those of the Cornflower in general shape, though larger. All the florets are of the same colour, a rich purplish-crimson, the outer ray ones with the limb divided nearly to the base into narrow, strap-shaped segments. The flower-head is hard and solid, a mass of bracts lapping over each other like tiles, each having a central green portion and a black fringe-like edge. In some districts the plant is called from these almost round heads, ‘Hardhead,’ and the ordinary English name, Knapweed, is based on the same idea, Knap, being a form of Knop, or Knob.

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This species is very common and generally distributed in pastures, borders of fields and roadsides throughout Britain, and flowers from early June till well into September. Both species of Knapweed may readily be distinguished from Thistles by the absence of spines and prickles.

click to see the pictures

Cultivation: 
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils[200]. Does well in the summer meadow. An important nectar plant for bees and butterflies. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:     
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in 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 summer or following spring. This should be done at least once every three years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Root, seeds.

The roots and seeds are diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. The plant once had a very high reputation as an ingredient of the Medieval ‘salve’, an ointment applied to heal wounds and treat skin infections.

It is good for catarrh, taken in decoction, and is also made into ointment for outward application for wounds and bruises, sores, etc.

Culpepper tells us: ‘it is of special use for soreness of throat, swelling of the uvula and jaws, and very good to stay bleeding at the nose and mouth.’
Greater Knapweed has been used in traditional herbal healing as either a vulnerary or an emollient.

Other Uses:
This species is very valuable to bees. It is also a magnet for many species of butterfly. Among them is the Marbled White.

This is the only known foodplant for caterpillars of the Coleophoridae case-bearer moth Coleophora didymella....click to see

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/Centaurea_scabiosa
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/k/knagre06.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Centaurea+scabiosa

 

Erythrasma

Definition:
Erythrasma is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum. It occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, but it can also frequently be found in the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. Because of it’s color and location, it’s often confused with a fungal infection like jock itch. Erythrasma is more common in the following populations:

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It is prevalent among diabetics, the obese,elderly, and People in warm, moist climates   and is worsened by wearing occlusive clothing.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.

Erythrasmic patches are typically found in intertriginous areas (skin fold areas – e.g. armpit, groin, under breast) – with the toe web-spaces being most commonly involved.

The patient is commonly otherwise asymptomatic.

Causes:
Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

The patches of erythrasma are initially pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed).

Diagnosis:
At times, your doctor can diagnose erythrasma based on its typical appearance. But more often, your doctor will need to perform other tests to help make the diagnosis. The best way for your doctor to tell the difference between erythrasma and a fungal infection is to do a Wood’s Lamp examination on the rash. Under the UV light of a Woods Lamp, erythrasma turns a bright coral red, but fungal infections do not.

Other tests that may help include:
*A simple side-room investigation with a Wood’s lamp:It is additionally useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The ultraviolet light of a Wood’s lamp causes the organism to fluoresce a coral red color, differentiating it from fungal infections and other skin conditions.

•Gram Stain: A way to identify bacteria from a sample of the scale. Unfortunately, this bacteria is difficult to get to stick to the slide so it requires a special technique.

•KOH Test: This is a test used to identify fungal elements. This test might be done to confirm that there is no fungus present.

•Skin Biopsy: A sample of tissue is removed and evaluated under a microscope. In erythrasma, the bacteria can be seen in the upper layer of the specimen.

Treatment:
Since this is a bacterial infection, erythrasma is best treated with antibiotics, and fortunately several antibiotics fit the bill.

The following are antibiotics that are typically prescribed for erythrasma:
•Erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 5 days
•Clarithromycin 1gm once
•The antifungal creams miconazole, clotrimazole and econazole, but not ketoconazole
•Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin twice a day for 2 weeks

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away.

Prognosis:
Complete recovery is expected following treatment.

Prevention:
These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

•Maintaining good hygiene
•Keeping the skin dry
•Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
•Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
•Maintaining healthy body weight

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/erythrasma1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001470.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/od/infectionbacteria/a/erythrasma.htm

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