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Herbs & Plants

Allium macropetalum

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Botanical Name: Allium macropetalum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. macropetalum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Synonyms:
*Allium deserticola (M.E. Jones) Wooton & Standl.
*Allium reticulatum var. deserticola M.E. Jones

Common Name: Largeflower Wild Onion, Desert onion

Habitat : Allium macropetalum is native to the desert regions of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It is known from desert plains and hills in Sonora, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, at elevations up to 2500 m. It grows on desert plains and hills at elevations of 300 to 2500 metres.

Description:
Allium macropetalum forms egg-shaped bulbs up to 2.5 cm long. Leaves are green, long (6 inches) and thin; half-cylindrical (semiterete) in cross-section. Flowers are attractive bell-shaped, mostly light pink but with a distinct, dark pink or purple vertical stripe along the middle. Each flower has 6 tepals, and they occur in clusters (umbels) of between 10 and 20 heads. Tepals are lanceolate in shape, and approximately equal in size. Tepal tips may be pointed or obtuse. Anthers are yellow or purplish.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes.  This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. They can be dried and stored for winter use. The North American Indians would singe the bulb to reduce the strong flavour and then eat it immediately or dry it for later use. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles
Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_macropetalum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+macropetalum
http://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/wildflowers/allium-macropetalum.html

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Achillea coarctata

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Botanical Name : Achillea coarctata
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Achillea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Yellow Yarrow

Habitat : Achillea coarctata is native to Southeastern Europe to the Ukraine on dry hillsides and sandy places. Rather too large for the average rock garden.
Description:
Achillea coarctata is a flowering plant. Basal leaves 15-30cm long, pinnatisect with pinnatifid lobes; stem leaves to 8cm and less dissected; all fern-like and silky white-downy. Flowerheads about 5mm in diameter, yellow, densely arranged in broad corymbs, summer.
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Medicinal Uses:
Yarrow plants have astringent properties and act as a mild laxative.

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/Achillea
http://encyclopaedia.alpinegardensociety.net/plants/Achillea/coarctata

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

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Herbs & Plants

Epilobium glabellum

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Botanical Name : Epilobium glabellum
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Epilobium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:
*Boisduvalia
*Chamaenerion
*Pyrogennema
*Zauschneria

Common Names: Willowherbs;

Habitat : Epilobium glabellum is native to Australia, New Zealand.It grows on the loamy soils, flats and hillsides in eastern Australia.

Description:
Epilobium glabellum is an evergreen Perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position or in partial shade. Succeeds in most soils. Possibly hardy to about -15°c. Plants are semi-evergreen.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. 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: Young leaves and shoots – cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses: The herb is used is as a herbal supplement in the treatment of prostate, bladder (incontinence) and hormone disorders.

Other Uses: A useful ground cover plant.

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/Epilobium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+glabellum

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Abies balsamea

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Botanical Name: Abies balsamea
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. balsamea
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names: Balsam Fir , Christmas tree, North American fir

Habitat ;Abies balsamea is native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central British Columbia) and the northeastern United States (Minnesota east to Maine, and south in Appalachan death to West Virginia) It grows in low swampy grounds where it is often the major component of forests. Also found on well-drained hillsides.

Description:
Abies balsamea is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically 14–20 metres (46–66 ft) tall, rarely to 27 metres (89 ft) tall, with a narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters (which tend to spray when ruptured), becoming rough and fissured or scaly on old trees. The leaves are flat needle-like, 15 to 30 millimetres (½–1 in) long, dark green above often with a small patch of stomata near the tip, and two white stomatal bands below, and a slightly notched tip. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but with the leaf bases twisted to appear in two more-or-less horizontal rows. The cones are erect, 40 to 80 millimetres (1½–3 in) long, dark purple, ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in September…….CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES

Varities:
There are two varieties:

*Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir) – bracts subtending seed scales short, not visible on the closed cones. Most of the species’ range.

*Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis (bracted balsam fir or Canaan fir) – bracts subtending seed scales longer, visible on the closed cone. The southeast of the species’ range, from southernmost Quebec to West Virginia. The name ‘Canaan Fir‘ derives from one of its native localities, the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. Some botanists regard this variety as a natural hybrid between balsam fir and Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), which occurs further south in the Appalachian mountains.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Screen, Specimen. Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about5, though the cultivar ‘Hudsonia’ is more tolerant of alkaline conditions. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. A shallow-rooted plant, making it vulnerable to high winds. Balsam fir is estimated to tolerate an annual precipitation of 60 to 150cm, an annual temperature range of 5 to 12°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 7.5. The balsam fir is a fast-growing tree in its native environment, but it is fairly short-lived and slow growing in Britain, becoming ungainly after about 20 years. It grows best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland. New growth takes place from late May to the end of July. Trees are very cold hardy but are often excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to damage by late frosts. Female strobili may be wholly or partially aborted up to 6 to 8 weeks after bud burst by late spring frosts. Pollen dispersal can be reduced by adverse weather. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Trees have a thin bark and are therefore susceptible to forest fires. This species is closely related to A. fraseri. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. The cones break up on the tree and if seed is required it should be harvested before the cones break up in early autumn. Whilst the typical species is too large for most gardens, there are some named slow-growing dwarf forms that can be grown. Whilst these will not provide the resin, their leaves can be used medicinally. The leaves are strongly aromatic of balsam when crushed. The tree is sometimes grown and used as a ‘Christmas tree. Special Features: North American native, There are no flowers or blooms.
Propagation :
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seeds should be moist stratified 14 – 28 days at 1 – 5°C, though fresh seed may be sown in autumn without stratification, with target seedling densities in the nursery ca 450 – 500/m2, often mulched with sawdust. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Of slow initial growth, the stock is usually outplanted as 2- to 3-year-old seedlings or 3- to 4-year-old transplants Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position. Trees often self-layer in the wild, so this might be a means of increasing named varieties in cultivation.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Inner bark.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Gum; Tea.

Inner bark – cooked. It is usually dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. Fir bark is a delight to chew in winter or early spring, slightly mucilaginous and sweetish, better raw than cooked[269]. Another report says that it is an emergency food and is only used when all else fails[183]. An aromatic resinous pitch is found in blisters in the bark[64]. When eaten raw it is delicious and chewy. Another report says that the balsam or pitch, in extreme emergency, forms a highly concentrated, though disagreeable, food[269]. An oleoresin from the pitch is used as a flavouring in sweets, baked goods, ice cream and drinks[183]. Tips of young shoots are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Antiscorbutic; Antiseptic; Diuretic; Poultice; Stimulant; Tonic; VD.

The herb is used in Aromatherapy * Bronchitis * Christmas * Colds * Congestion * Cough * Cuts & Wounds * North American * Pain Relief * Rheumatoid_arthritis * Sore Throat

The resin obtained from the balsam fir has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores. It is also used to treat sore nipples and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat. The buds, resin, and/or sap are used in folk remedies for treating cancers, corns, and warts. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. It is used internally in propriety mixtures to treat coughs and diarrhoea, though taken in excess it is purgative. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea. A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use. This plant was widely used medicinally by various North American Indian tribes. The resin was used as an antiseptic healing agent applied externally to wounds, sores, bites etc., it was used as an inhalant to treat headaches and was also taken internally to treat colds, sore throats and various other complaints.

Other Uses :
Adhesive; Fibre; Gum; Kindling; Microscope; Repellent; Resin; Stuffing; Waterproofing; Wood.

CLICK   & SEE THE  PICTURES

The balsamic resin ‘Balm of Gilead’ or ‘Canada Balsam’ according to other reports is obtained during July and August from blisters in the bark or by cutting pockets in the wood. Another report says that it is a turpentine. The term Canada Balsam is a misnomer because balsams are supposed to contain benzoic and cinnamic acids, both absent from the Canada oleoresin. Turpentine is also a misnomer, implying that the oleoresin is entirely steam volatile. Actually it contains 70 – 80% resin, only 16 – 20% volatile oil. Canada Balsam yields 15 – 25% volatile oil, the resin being used for caulking and incense. It is used medicinally and in dentistry, also in the manufacture of glues, candles and as a cement for microscopes and slides – it has a high refractive index resembling that of glass. The pitch has also been used as a waterproofing material for the seams of canoes. The average yield is about 8 – 10 oz per tree. The resin is also a fixative in soaps and perfumery. “Turpentine” is usually collected during July-August by breaking the turpentine blisters into small metal cans with sharp-pointed lids. Trees are then allowed to recuperate for 1 – 2 years before being harvested again. The leaves and young branches are used as a stuffing material for pillows etc – they impart a pleasant scen and also repel moths. The leaves contain an average of 0.65% essential oil, though it can go up to 1.4% or even higher. One analysis of the essential oils reports 14.6% bornyl acetate, 36.1% b-pinene, 11.1% 3-carene, 11.1% limonene, 6.8% camphene, and 8.4% a-pinene. To harvest the oil, it would appear that the branches should be snipped off younger trees in early spring. Fifteen year old trees yield 70% more leaf oil than 110-year-old trees; oil yields are highest in January – March and September, they are lowest from April to August. A thread can be made from the roots. Wood – light, soft, coarse grained, not strong, not very durable. Weighs 24lb per cubic foot. Used mainly for pulp, it is not used much for lumber except in the manufacture of crates etc. The wood is commercially valuable for timber even though it is relatively soft, weak, and perishable. Balsam fir is used in the US for timber and plywood, and is the mainstay of the pulp wood industry in the Northeast. The wood, which is rich in pitch, burns well and can be used as a kindling.

Known Hazards: The oleoresin (Canada balsam) is reported to produce dermatitis when applied as perfume. The foliage has also induced contact dermatitis.

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/Abies_balsamea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Abies+balsamea
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail561.php

 

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Herbs & Plants

Castilleja linariaefolia

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Botanical Name : Castilleja linariaefolia
Family  : Scrophulariaceae / Orobanchaceae
Genus
;  Castilleja

KingdomPlantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: 
C. linariifolia

Synonym:Castilleja linearis/Castilleja traainii

Common Name: Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Habitat :Native to United States and is the state flower of Wyoming. South-western N. America.   It grows on dry plains and hills, usually with sagebrush, and in hills to 3,000 metres.

Description:
Castilleja linariaefolia  is a  perennial   herbaceous   plant , grows up to 1 meter in height and has linear leaves which are between 20 and 80 mm in length and have up to 3 lobes. The flowers, which consist of a red to yellow calyx and yellow-green floral tube, appear in panicles or spikes between June and September in its native range.

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It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping.

Cultivation:The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil: Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season. Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Propagation: From seed; direct sow after last frost

Edible Uses
Flowers

Medicinal Uses
Treats skin diseases, kidney disorders and leprosy. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of excessive menstrual discharge and other menstrual difficulties, and also to prevent conception. A decoction of the leaves has been used during pregnancy in order to keep the baby small and thus lead to an easier labour. The root is cathartic. A decoction has been used as a blood purifier. When taken over a long period of time, a decoction of the root is said to be an effective treatment for venereal disease. The plant has been used to treat stomach aches.

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?Castilleja+linariaefolia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castilleja_linariifolia

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/73750/index.html

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