Tag Archives: University of New Mexico

Rhus sempervirens

Botanical Name:Rhus sempervirens
Family:Anacardiaceae
Genus:Sumaker
Division: vascular plants
Class: Dicotyledonous angiosperms
Order:Sapindales

Synonyms: Toxicodendron sempervirens Kuntze, Schmaltzia pachyrrhachis ( Hemsl. ) FA
Habitat :Rhus sempervirens is native to Southern N. America – Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. It grows on dry slopes, rocky hillsides and cliffs, 600 – 2250 metres.
Description:
Rhus sempervirens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. 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 Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :  
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 dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on the hardiness of this species and do not know if it will succeed outdoors in Britain. It is unlikely to succeed anywhere outside the mildest areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[200]. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[200]. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[78, 200]. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is small with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are used in domestic medicine for relieving asthma. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes below on toxicity.

Other Uses:
Dye; Mordant; Oil.
An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant.

Known Hazards:There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in ‘Cultivation Details’.
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=Rhus+sempervirens
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_virens

Ribes inebrians

Botanical Name: Ribes inebrians
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms : R. cereum pedicellare. Brewer.&S.Wats. R. cereum inebrians.

Common Names: Whisky Currant

Habitat : Ribes inebrians is native to Western N. AmericaCalifornia to Idaho, Nebraska and New Mexico. It grows in dry slopes to 3700 metres in California.

Description:
Ribes inebrians is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: 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. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Hardy to about -20°c. This species is closely related to R. cereum. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust‘, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit can also be dried for later use or made into preserves. One report says that although the fruit was eaten by the Hopi Indians, it could make you ill. Another report says that the fruit was highly relished. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter.  Leaves – cooked.
Medicinal Uses: A poultice of the plant has been applied to sores.

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/Ribes
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+inebrians

Fighting Melanoma in the Mirror

Skin self-exams are the most direct method for detecting potentially deadly melanoma, though the benefits remain unproved. Moles that are smaller than a pencil eraser are rarely cancerous.

click & see

90 percent of melanoma growths are curable if caught early and removed; untreated, survival rates are worse than for lung cancer. When it comes to melanoma, vanity may be a virtue. The most direct method for detecting this deadly skin cancer is to face a mirror, clothes off, and check for suspicious moles from head to toe.

Melanoma is the biggest no-brainer for screening,” said Myles Cockburn, a preventive medicine expert at the University of Southern California. “You’re looking right at the tumor.”

Moles at least the size of a pencil eraser are of greatest concern, since smaller spots are rarely cancerous, said Dr. David Polsky, a dermatologist at New York University School of Medicine. “To get hung up on the real small stuff is missing the bigger picture,” he said.

But changes to the color, size or shape of any mole may be an early indication of trouble, especially for someone who has a family history of melanoma or lots of unusual moles.

And while sun-drenched areas on the head or legs are likely sites for other forms of skin cancer, melanoma can develop anywhere on the body.

About 90 percent of melanoma growths are curable if caught early and surgically removed, putting the impetus on people at home to look for cancerous spots. When growths are left unchecked, the chances of surviving the disease for long are worse than for lung or colon cancer.

But in the push to make everyone better skin cancer detectives, tough obstacles — and questions — remain.

To locate the first signs of danger requires studious attention, and few people seem willing to bother. Nine to 18 percent of Americans regularly examine their own skin for melanoma, surveys show. Dermatologists, typically the first responders for skin cancer, may be quicker to schedule a Botox appointment than to verify a patient’s concern about changing moles, research shows.

Furthermore, there is no proof so far that such screening will ultimately help save any of the estimated 8,400 lives lost to melanoma each year in the United States.

“It’s still an open question,” said Dr. Marianne Berwick, a melanoma specialist at the University of New Mexico who led the largest and most rigorous investigation so far on skin self-exams. That study found that fastidious skin watchers had no better chance of surviving cancer after five years than those who did not check for moles. Two decades of follow-up have failed to show any improvement, she said.

The stakes are high. The chance of surviving melanoma turns sharply for the worse once the tumors have spread beyond their original site on the skin, making it critical to find changes early.

“There’s no really good proven therapy for advanced disease,” said Dr. Martin Weinstock, a professor of dermatology at Brown University Medical School.

Researchers have tested various treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation and the drug interferon, which show only modest effects against the later stages of melanoma. Newer drugs and vaccines are undergoing testing now. But the main reasons that melanoma survival rates have improved at all over the past 30 years are earlier detection and better screening.

Yet in the rush to get the cancer out fast, experts say they are noticing a relaxing of standards in diagnosing melanoma. Doctors these days are more likely to take out any suspicious mole out of fear of missing a cancerous one, and possibly getting sued for a missed diagnosis, these experts say.

A separate study conducted by Dr. Berwick found that 40 percent of the melanomas detected in 1988 would not have been considered cancerous 10 years earlier.

This could mean that surgeons are removing a fair share of lesions that aren’t melanoma, though even pathologists examining the same skin biopsy samples often disagree on whether the diagnosis is melanoma. At the same time, doctors who aren’t trained in spotting may be leaving harder-to-detect, slow-growing tumors behind.

“Unless you’re specifically trained as a clinician to do a skin exam, you can’t necessarily do a good one,” said Dr. Cockburn of U.S.C.

Nonetheless, like many doctors, Dr. Cockburn still believes that the odds can improve by teaching “your average Joe” to look for melanoma spots, a view shared by the American Cancer Society and other medical groups.

Enlisting the help of a spouse or partner may make it easier to track evolving moles on the body. A camera may also help. One study found that people who took photos of their skin improved their chances of detecting possible melanomas by 12 percent.

The only downside to home screening is in creating a nation of skin cancer hypochondriacs who further tilt the balance to unnecessary operations, experts warn.

But in this age of plastic surgery, the chance to overcome a deadly, but treatable, cancer is worth the risk, Dr. Cockburn said. “With the amount of stuff that gets chopped off these days,” he said, “I don’t really think there’s a problem.”

Sources:
The New York Times:Oct.19.’08

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]