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Herbs & Plants

Dicentra Canadensis

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Botanical Name: Dicentra Canadensis
Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Fumarioideae
Tribe: Fumarieae
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Turkey Pea. Squirrel Corn. Staggerweed. Bleeding Heart. Shone Corydalis. Corydalis. Corydalis Canadensis (Goldie). Bicuculla Canadensis (Millsp.).
Common Name: Squirrel corn
Habitat:Dicentra Canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – S. Quebec, Minnesota, N. Carolina, Tennessee. It grows in rich woods. Deciduous woods, often among rock outcrops, in rich loam soils from sea level to 1500 metres.
Description:
Dicentra canadensis is a perennial plant, growing 6 to 10 inches high, with a tuberous root, flowering in early spring (often in March) having from six to nineteen nodding, greenish-white, purple-tinged flowers, the root or tuber small and round. It should be collected only when the plant is in flower and it is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The tubers are tawny yellow-coloured, the colour being a distinctive character. The plant must not be confounded with Corydalis (Dicentra) Cuccularia (Dutchman’s Breeches), which flowers at the same time and very much resembles it (though smaller), except in the root, the rind of which is black with a white inside, and when dried, turns brownish-yellow, and under the microscope is full of pores. It has also a peculiar faint odour, the taste at first slightly bitter, then followed by a penetrating taste, which influences the bowels and increases the saliva; the differences in the colour after drying may be caused by the age of the root. Under the microscope, it is porous, spongy, resinous, with a glistening fracture. Another Corydalis also somewhat like Turkey Corn is C. Formosa, the fresh root of which is darkish yellow throughout and has a fracture much resembling honeycomb. The true Turkey Corn is much used by American eclectic practitioners. It is slightly bitter in taste and almost odourless. Tannic acid and all vegetable astringents are incompatible with preparations containing Turkey Corn, or with its alkaloid, Corydalin..
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

Cultivation: Easily grown in a rich light soil, preferably neutral to slightly acid. Prefers light shade and a sheltered position according to one report whilst another says that it prefers heavier shade. Grows well in a sheltered corner of the rock garden. The seed is very difficult to harvest, it ripens and falls from the plant very quickly. This species is closely related to D. cucullaria. After fruit set, the bulblets of Dicentra canadensis remain dormant until autumn, when stored starch is converted to sugar. At this time also, flower buds and leaf primordia are produced below ground; these then remain dormant until spring. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation : Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown in early spring. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Two weeks warm stratification at 18°c followed by six weeks at 2°c can shorten up the germination time. 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 early spring. 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. Root cuttings 7 – 10cm long in sandy soil in a cold frame
Edible Uses: The root is known to be edible.

Part Used: Dried tubers.
Constituents: The amount of alkaloids in the dried tubers is about 5 per cent; they have been found to contain corydalin, fumaric acid, yellow bitter extractive, an acrid resin and starch. The constituents of the drug have not been exactly determined, but several species of the closely allied genus Corydalis have been carefully studied and C. tuberosa, cava and bulbosa have been found to yield the following alkaloids: Corycavine, Bulbocapnine and Corydine; Corydaline is a tertiary base, Corycavine is a difficult soluble base; Bulbocapnine is present in largest amount and was originally called Corydaline. Corydine is a strong base found in the mother liquor of Bulbocapnine and several amorphous unnamed bases have been found in it. All these alkaloids have narcotic action. Protopine, first isolated from opium, has been found in several species of Dicentra and in C. vernyim, ambigua and tuberosa.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Diuretic; Tonic; VD.

The dried tubers are alterative, diuretic and tonic. The tubers are useful in the treatment of chronic cutaneous affections, syphilis, scrofula and some menstrual complaints. Turkey Corn is often combined with other remedies, such as Stillingia, Burdock or Prickly Ash.

Known Hazards : The plant is potentially poisonous and can also cause skin rashes.

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/Dicentra_canadensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turkey29.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dicentra+canadensis

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Herbs & Plants

Ophrys apifera

 

Botanical Name: Ophrys apifera
Family: Orchidaceae
Genus: Ophrys
Order: Asparagales
Species: O. apiferay
Species: O. apifera
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name: Bee orchid

Habitat : Ophrys apifera is native to Central and southern Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa . It generally grows on semi-dry turf, in grassland, on limestone, calcareous dunes or in open areas in woodland, also on base-rich clays and calcareous dunes. It prefers calcareous soils, in bright light or dim light.

Description:
Ophrys apifera is a perennial herbaceous orchid plant. It grows to a height of 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in). This hardy orchid develops small rosettes of leaves in autumn. They continue to grow slowly during winter. Basal leaves are ovate or oblong-lanceolate, upper leaves and bracts are ovate-lanceolate and sheathing. The plant blooms from mid-April to July producing a spike composed from one to twelve flowers. The flowers have large sepals, with a central green rib and their colour varies from white to pink, while petals are short, pubescent, yellow to greenish. The labellum is trilobed, with two pronounced humps on the hairy lateral lobes, the median lobe is hairy and similar to the abdomen of a bee. It is quite variable in the pattern of coloration, but usually brownish-red with yellow markings. The gynostegium is at right angles, with an elongated apex...CLICK  &  SEE  THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Plants can be grown in a lawn, but the lawn must not be cut until the plants have set seed. When well-suited, the plants can multiply rapidly. Grows well in a sunny dry border or on a scree. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. This species can often appear in disturbed habitats well away from its normal preferred sites on chalk and limestone hills. The flowers resemble a female insect and also emit a scent similar to female pheremones. This species is unique in the genus, however, in that it is not pollinated by insects but is self-pollinated. Tubers should be planted out whilst they are dormant, this is probably best done in the autumn. They should be planted at least 5cm below soil level.
Propagation :
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. This species only rarely forms new offsets and so division is seldom feasible, the following methods can be tried, however. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally

Edible Uses:     Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day. The salep can also be made into a drink.

Medicinal Uses:    Demulcent; Nutritive.
Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting 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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ophrys+apifera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophrys_apifera

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Ophrys araneola

 

 

Botanical Name: Ophrys araneola
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Ophrys
Species: O. sphegodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Habitat : Ophrys araneola is native to S. and C. Europe.
Description:
Ophrys araneola is a parennial orchid plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Plants can be grown in a lawn, but the lawn must not be cut until the plants have set seed. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. This symbiotic relationship makes them very difficult to cultivate, though they will sometimes appear uninvited in a garden and will then thrive. Transplanting can damage the relationship and plants might also thrive for a few years and then disappear, suggesting that they might be short-lived perennials. The flowers resemble a female insect and also emit a scent similar to female pheremones, they are pollinated by a male insect of that species attempting to copulate with the flower. Tubers should be planted out whilst they are dormant, this is probably best done in the autumn. They should be planted at least 5cm below soil level.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. This species only rarely forms new offsets and so division is seldom feasible, the following methods can be tried, however. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally
Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder[200]. Salep is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or added to other cereals and used in bread etc[183]. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day[100, 115]. The salep can also be made into a drink

Medicinal Uses:
Demulcent; Nutritive.

Salep is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting 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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ophrys_araneola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ophrys+araneola

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Herbs & Plants

Calypso bulbosa

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Botanical Name : Calypso bulbosa
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Calypsoeae
Genus: Calypso
Species: C. bulbosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : C. borealis. Cytherea bulbosa.

Common Names: Calypso orchid, Fairy slipper orchid or Venus’s slipper orchid

Habitat : Calypso bulbosa is native to N. Europe, N. America – Alaska to California, east to New York. It grows in Soils rich with decaying leaves and wood, in moist pine or spruce woods and by cool shady streams from sea level to the mid-montane zone.

Description:
Calypso bulbosa is a parennial orchid plant. It grows to 10 to 14 cm in height.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf 7-Oct and it is in flower from May to June. It’s little purple blooms can be a pleasant sporadic sight on hiking trails from late March onwards, though in the more northerly parts of their range they do not bloom until May and June. The plants live no more than five years.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by InsectsCLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

.
Cultivation:  Grows well in half shade in a light moist organic-rich soil. Requires a lime-free soil, doing best in full shade. The plant comes into growth in the autumn and, although fairly hardy, is best grown in a frame or unheated greenhouse. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. Plants can be naturalized in the woodland or bog garden. Apply a good organic mulch in the winter. Plants do not always grow every year, the bulb can remain dormant in the soil for 2 years.

Propagation :
Seed – we have no information on this species but, like all members of the orchid family, the seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. Surface sow the seed, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf. Grow on for at least the first year before potting up and do not plant out until the plants are 2 – 4 years old. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

Edible Uses: Bulb – raw or cooked. Rather small. The corms have a rich, butter-like quality. They were usually boiled by the North American Indians before being eaten, though young maidens would eat them raw as they were believed to increase the size of the bust.

Medicinal Uses : Antispasmodic……The bulbs have been chewed or the flowers sucked in the treatment of mild epilepsy.

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/Calypso_bulbosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calypso+bulbosa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Typhonium trilobatum (Bengali Name:Ghet kachu)

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Botanical Name :Typhonium trilobatum
Family:    Araceae (Arum family)
Subfamily:Aroideae
Tribe:    Areae
Genus:    Typhonium
KingdomPlantae
Order:    Alismatales

Synonyms: Arum trilobatum, Arum orixense

Common names: Bengal Arum, Lobed Leaf Typhonium • Tamil: karunai-k-kilanku, pitikarunai, karunai, karu karunai kilanku • Bengali: Ghat kanchu, Kharkon, Ghet kachu or Gher Kochu. • Assamese: Chema kachu

Tribal Names: Kharbas, Sarakao (Chakma); Kalman (Garo).

Habitat :Typhonium trilobatum is an aroid distributed throughout India,Burma & Bangladesh

Description:
Typhonium trilobatum is a  tuberous herb, with subglobose tuber up to 4 cm diam. Petiole 25-30 cm long; lamina hastate-subtrisect, segments all acuminate, front segment ovate, 8-18 cm long, lateral ones obliquely ovate, shorter, subbilobed at base. Peduncle thin, 5-7 cm long; tube of spathe oblong, 2.5 cm long, lamina oblong-ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 15 or more cm long, 5-7 cm broad, inside rose-purple. Spadix nearly 15 cm long. Female inflorescence short-cylindric, about 7 mm long; male inflorescence 1.25-1.5 cm long, rose-pink, situated above the female. Flowering: August.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant has very narrow 3 ft flower heads emerging before leaves in spring, then unfurl into only kind of narrow, with intricate maroon and cream patterning. When the leaves do appear, they’re large and compound, similar to Cobra Lily, on a stalk that is light green and black-patterned. It emits a distinctive odour for a few hours when it first blooms, like most arums.

Edible Uses: Tubers are eaten in some tribal societies and the plant also has various medicinal uses.

Chemical Constituents:
Tubers and roots contain a volatile acrid principle, ?-sitosterol, two unidentified sterols and an unidentified crystalline compound (Ghani, 2003).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is hypnotic. Fresh corms are very acrid and a powerful stimulant; employed as a poultice in tumours. The corms are reported to relax the bowels and provide relief in haemorrhoids and piles. They are eaten with bananas to cure the stomach complaints. The Garo of Madhupur applies root paste locally on ulcer of cattle.

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/Typhonium
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/typhonium-trilobatum.php
http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Bengal%20Arum.html