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Herbs & Plants

Picea glauca

Botanical Name : Picea glauca
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Picea
Species: P. glauca
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms : Picea alba.
Common Names: White spruce. It is also known as Canadian spruce, skunk spruce, cat spruce, Black Hills spruce, western white spruce, Alberta white spruce, and Porsild spruce.
Habitat : Picea glauca is native to the northern temperate and boreal forests in North America. Picea glauca was originally native from central Alaska all the east across southern/central Canada to the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. It now has become naturalized southward into the far northern USA border states like Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine; there is also an isolated population in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. It grows in woods in good soils. Along streams and lakes and also on rocky hills and slopes, succeeding in a variety of soil conditions.
Description:
Picea glauca is a large coniferous evergreen tree which grows normally to 15 to 30 metres (49 to 98 ft) tall, but can grow up to 40 m (130 ft) tall with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m (3.3 ft). The bark is thin and scaly, flaking off in small circular plates 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) across. The crown is narrow – conic in young trees, becoming cylindric in older trees. The shoots are pale buff-brown, glabrous (hairless) in the east of the range, but often pubescent in the west, and with prominent pulvini. The leaves are needle-like, 12 to 20 millimetres (0.47 to 0.79 in) long, rhombic in cross-section, glaucous blue-green above with several thin lines of stomata, and blue-white below with two broad bands of stomata.

The cones are pendulous, slender, cylindrical, 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long and 1.5 cm (0.59 in) wide when closed, opening to 2.5 cm (0.98 in) broad. They have thin, flexible scales 15 mm (0.59 in) long, with a smoothly rounded margin. They are green or reddish, maturing to pale brown 4 to 8 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 2 to 3 mm (0.079 to 0.118 in) long, with a slender, 5 to 8 mm (0.20 to 0.31 in) long pale brown wing.

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Bloom Color is Red, Yellow. Main Blooming time is early spring, late spring, mid spring and the form is columnar, pyramidal.

It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in September. 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 Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil. Tolerates poor peaty soils. Succeeds in wet cold and shallow soils but is not very wind-firm in shallow soils. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6. Dislikes shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Resists wind exposure to some degree. A fast growing tree, especially when young with annual increases of up to 1 metre in height. New growth takes place from April to July. Growth slows considerably as the trees grow older. It is an important forestry tree in N. America and is also planted for timber in N. Europe. It is sometimes used as a ‘Christmas tree’, but is unsuited for this because its leaves quickly fall. Seed production begins at approximately 20 years, though reliable crops make take twice that long. Heavy crops are produced every 2 – 5 years. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[200]. The crushed leaves are quite aromatic. Some people find the smell distasteful saying that it is like skunks, whilst others say it has a pleasant smell like blackcurrants or mouldy grapefruit. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A position in light shade is probably best. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Seed; Seedpod.

Young male catkins – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. Immature female cones – cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy. The cones are about 5cm long. Inner bark – raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. Usually harvested in the spring, it is an emergency food that is only used when all else fails. Seed – raw. The seed is about 2 – 4mm long and is too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips. The trunk yields a gum, used for chewing. Spruce oil, distilled from the leaves and twigs, is used in the food industry to flavour chewing gum, ice cream, soft drinks and sweets.
Medicinal Uses:
White spruce was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who valued it especially for treating chest complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. An infusion of the cones has been used in the treatment of urinary troubles. The inner bark is pectoral. It has been chewed, and an infusion drunk, in the treatment of TB, influenza, coughs and colds. An infusion is also drunk in the treatment of rheumatism. The inner bark has also been used as a poultice on sores and infected areas, and has also been used to bandage cuts. The tea made from the young shoot tips has antiseptic properties. It is used in the treatment of respiratory infections. A decoction of the stems is used as a herbal steam bath in the treatment of rheumatism. The gum is antiseptic, digestive, laxative, pectoral and salve. A decoction has been used in the treatment of respiratory complaints. The gum obtained from the trunk (probably pitch) has been used as a salve on sores and cuts. A poultice of the gum mixed with oil has been used to treat skin rashes, scabies, persistent scabs, growing boils etc, and has also been used on wounds where there is blood poisoning. The rotten, dried, finely powdered wood has been used as a baby powder and as a treatment for skin rashes.

Other Uses:
Baby care; Dye; Gum; Musical; Pitch; Repellent; Shelterbelt; String; Tannin; Waterproofing; Wood.

A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting. The cultivar ‘Denstat’ has been recommended[200]. The leaves have been burnt to repel insects. Various native North American Indian tribes made a string from the long roots of this species and used it to stitch the bark of their canoes and to make baskets etc. The rotten, dried, finely powdered wood has been used as a baby powder and as a treatment for skin rashes. The bark is a source of tannin. A yellow-brown dye can be obtained from the rotten wood. The pitch obtained from the trunk can be used as a waterproofing sealant in canoes. Wood – straight-grained, resilient, light, soft, not strong. Used for construction and as a source of pulp for paper making. The resonance of the wood, and its capacity to transmit vibrations, make it an ideal wood for guitars, violins, piano soundboards etc

Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Firewood, Screen, Specimen.

White spruce is the provincial tree of Manitoba and the state tree of South Dakota.

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/Picea_glauca
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Picea+glauca

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Herbs & Plants

Fragaria vesca

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Botanical Name : Fragaria vesca
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. vesca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Fragaria vesca californica. (Cham.&Schldl.)Staudt.

Common Names: Wild strawberry, Woodland strawberry, Alpine strawberry, European strawberry, or Fraise des bois

Habitat: Fragaria vesca is native to South-western N. AmericaCalifornia. It grows in Shaded, fairly damp places in woodland.

Description:
Fragaria vesca is a perennial plant , growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. Five to eleven soft-hairy white flowers are borne on a green, soft-hairy 3–15 centimetres (1.2–5.9 in) stalk that usually lifts them above the leaves. The light-green leaves are trifoliate (in threes) with toothed margins. The plant spreads by means of runners (stolons)The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. A vigorous plant, spreading rapidly by means of runners. It flowers freely with us, but has not set fruit on our Cornwall trial ground as yet, possibly because all our plants are one clone.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Tea.

Fruit – raw. Aromatic, sweet and succulent. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter. The fresh or dried leaves are used to brew an excellent tea.
Medicinal Uses:

Antidiarrhoeal; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Laxative; Tonic.

America Indians and Europeans found multiple medicinal uses for this plant. The leaves are mildly astringent so that they can be used as a gargle to treat sore throats. The leaves as well as the fruit contain a diuretic.

The leaves are astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Teeth.

Its leaves serve as significant food source for a variety of ungulates, such as mule deer and elk, and the fruit are eaten by a variety of mammals and birds that also help to distribute the seeds in their droppings.

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=Fragaria+vesca
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_vesca

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Fragaria moschata

Botanical Name: Fragaria moschata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. moschata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Fragaria elatior.

Common Names: Hautbois Strawberry, Musk strawberry,   French Name : Hautboy strawberry

Habitat : Fragaria moschata grow wild to a limited extent in the forests of Central Europe, north into Scandinavia, and east into Russia. The musk strawberry is found growing along the edges of forests and requires moist and sheltered sites since they do not tolerate temperature fluctuations.

Description:
Fragaria moschata is a perennial plant,  growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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All strawberries have a base haploid count of 7 chromosomes. Fragaria moschata is hexaploid, having three pairs of these chromosomes for a total of 42 chromosomes.

Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. Another report says that this species prefers shade. Succeeds in acid and alkaline soils. Likes a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. At one time this species was widely cultivated for its edible fruit, but it is fairly low yielding and has now been almost totally superseded by cultivars of F. x. ananassa. There are some named varieties. The flowers are usually unisexual. (This report does not say if the plants are dioecious or monoecious.) This species produces few or no stolons.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses: ….Fruit  eaten  raw. Sweet and succulent. The fruit is small but has an excellent flavour and is very aromatic. It is greatly superior to the cultivated strawberries, but is not very freely produced

Medicinal Uses: Not known.

Other Uses: An excellent ground cover plant, spreading vigorously by means of surface stolons and forming a dense carpet of growth. It grows well amongst shrubs but is likely to suffocate smaller plants.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musk_strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+moschata

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Fragaria chiloensis

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Botanical Name: Fragaria chiloensis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. chiloensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Synonyms : F. cuneifolia.

Common Name: Beach Strawberry, Pacific beach strawberry, Sandwich beach strawberry, Chilean strawberry, or coastal strawberry,

Habitat : Fragaria chiloensis occurs from S. America to N. America and also Hawai?i. Migratory birds are thought to have dispersed F. chiloensis from the Pacific coast of North America to the mountains of Hawai?i, Chile, and Argentina. It grow well in 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. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Description:
Fragaria chiloensis is a perennial evergreen plant growing to 15–30 centimetres (5.9–11.8 in) tall, with glossy green trifoliate leaves, each leaflet around 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long. The flowers are white, produced in spring and early summer. The fruit is edible, red on the surface, white inside.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen 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 Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. Grows best near the coast. Plants like a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. Cultivated for its edible fruit in the Andes. This species, along with F. virginiana, is probably a parent of the cultivated strawberries. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit. and as Tea…….Fruit – raw or cooked. Large, sweet and succulent with a delicate flavour. A delicious treat. The berries can be used to make jams, preserves etc. A tea can be made from the leaves.
Medicinal Uses:

Antiseptic; Astringent; Emmenagogue; Galactogogue; Odontalgic.

The plant is antiseptic, astringent, emmenagogue, galactogogue and odontalgic. It has been used to regulate the menstrual cycle. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to treat burns.

Other Uses :   Plants spread by means of runners and can be grown as a ground cover[
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/Fragaria_chiloensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+chiloensis

 

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Strawberry Blite(Chenopodium capitatum)

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Botanical Name:Chenopodium capitatum
Family : Chenopodiaceae/Amaranthaceae
Genus : Chenopodium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Species: C. capitatum

Synonyms: Blitum capitatum – L.
Other Names :Blite Goosefoot, Strawberry Goosefoot, Strawberry Spinach, Indian Paint, and Indian Ink.

SIMILAR SPECIES
: C. capitatum is the only species of the genus in Ohio with large, succulent, bright red, globular fruits.

Habitat:  It is native to most of North America throughout the United States and Canada, including northern areas. It is considered to be endangered in Ohio. It is also found in parts of Europe and New Zealand.  Strawberry Blite is found in moist mountain valleys.

Description:

Erect annual or biennial herb growing to 0.6m. It is an edible annual plant.Flowers are small, pulpy, bright red and edible, resembling strawberries. Flowers: May-Aug., fruits June-Sept. The juice from the flowers was also used as a red dye by natives. The fruits contain small, black, lens-shaped seeds that are 0.7-1.2 mm long. The greens are edible raw or as a potherb, but should be eaten in moderation.
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but disliking shade.  It prefers a moderately fertile soil. A very ornamental plant, strawberry blite has at times been cultivated for its edible leaves.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in situ. Most of the seed usually germinates within a few days of sowing.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Colouring.

Leaves – raw or cooked.   Used like spinach, they are a good source of vitamins C and A. The young leaves are best. Poor quality. The raw leaves have been used in salad mixtures, but should only be eaten in small quantities, see the notes above on toxicity. Fruit – raw or cooked. An insipid but sweet flavour, they can be added to salads. The fruit is about 12mm in diameter. A red food colouring can be obtained from the fruit. Seed – cooked. It can be ground into a meal and mixed with cereal flours in making bread etc. The seed is small and fiddly, it should be soaked in water overnight and thoroughly rinsed before it is used in order to remove any saponins.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses

Antiphlogistic; Pectoral.
The plant has been used as a lotion for treating black eyes and head bruises. The juice of the seeds and an infusion of the plant has been used to treat lung congestion.

Other Uses
Dye.

Gold/green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant. A red dye is obtained from the fruit, it is used in cosmetics and as a paint.


Known Hazards:
The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K]. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plants will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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?Chenopodium+capitatum
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Chenopodium_capitatum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_capitatum
http://www.em.ca/garden/native/nat_Chenopodium%20capitatum.html

Click to access Chenopodium_capitatum.pdf

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