Tag Archives: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Amelanchier bartramiana

Botanical Name : Amelanchier bartramiana
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species: A. bartramiana
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : A. oligocarpa. Pyrus bartramiana.

Common Names: Mountain serviceberry, Mountain shadbush, Bartram‘s serviceberry, Mountain juneberry, Bartram juneberry, and the Oblongfruit serviceberry

Habitat :Amelanchier bartramiana is native to N. America – Labrador to Minnesota and south to Pennsylvania. It grows on the Peaty or boggy thickets, sphagnum bogs, bushy and mountain slopes to the sub-alpine zone.

Amelanchier bartramiana is a deciduous perennial Shrub or a tree growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). The leaves of Amelanchier bartramiana are either brown or green coloured, are egg-shaped and tapered at both ends with fine teeth almost to the base. It has 6–12 teeth while its lateral veins comes 10–16 pairs. Its petioles are 2–10 millimetres (0.079–0.394 in) long while its blades are ovate and elliptic. The flowers have five white petals, appearing singly or in clusters of up to four blossoms. The pomes are red, ripening to dark purple and are pear-shaped.


The plant is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade but thrives in any soil, including chalk, so long as it is not too dry or water-logged. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. 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. This species hybridises with A. sanguinea, A. humilis, A. stolonifera, A. fernaldii and A. canadensis. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing.

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 fruits are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit contains a few small seeds at the centre, it is sweet but rather dry according to one report whilst others have found it to be sweet and juicy. The fruit can be added to pancakes or dried for later use. Fruits are oval or pear shaped unlike other members of this genus that have round fruits. They are 15mm long. 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.


Ceanothus integerrimus

Botanical Name : Ceanothus integerrimus
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus
Species: C. integerrimus
Order: Rosales

Common Name : Dear Brush

Habitat : Ceanothus integerrimus is native to Western N. America – Washington to California. It grows on dry slopes and ridges in pine and mixed evergreen forests, 300 – 2000 metres.

Ceanothus integerrimus is a deciduous shrub from 1–4 metres (3.3–13.1 ft) tall with an open ascending to erect branch habit.   It is a drought-tolerant phanerophyte. Nitrogen-fixing actinomycete bacteria form root nodules on Ceanothus roots. Its stems are round yellow to pale green in color with either small soft to straight stiff sharp hairs parallel to or in contact with the surface of the stem,.

The leaves are glossy, deciduous and 2.5–8 cm long. Leaves grow alternately on stems. The leaf petioles are less than 15 mm in length and the stipules are also deciduous. The leaf blade is lanceolate, elliptical or oblong to widely ovate in shape. Leaves can have one to two ribs from the base; they are also generally thin and have an acute to obtuse tip. Leaf margins are either entire or slightly dentate, more so towards the leaf tip. Leaf surfaces are light green and are ciliate or contain hairs visible only by magnification. The lower leaves are also hairy and lighter in color.

The flowers are white or blue and rarely pink in color. They are produced in raceme clusters of 15 centimeters or less and contain both male and female organs. The fruit is a sticky valved capsule about 4–5 mm in diameter with a slight crest; the seed is ejected from the capsule after splitting.


It regenerates by seed, shoot formation from the crown and stem, and also by layering when branches come in contact with soil. It has been suggested that some Ceanothus species do not resprout from the root after the crown has burned as a result of fire where most other species are able to regenerate. Pollination of flowers is primarily by bees.

Seed production occurs after about four years of age. High densities of seeds occur in the upper soil of Ceanothus communities. Seeds remain viable up to 24 years or more. Seed dormancy is broken by the removal of the seed coat by fire scarification or physical disturbance. Seeds germinate best at about 1 inch soil depth in shady areas in the spring following fire scarification.

There are four weakly defined varieties of Ceanothus integerrimus. Identification is primarily by leaf morphology and flower color.

*Ceanothus integerrimus var. californicus. Leaves elliptic, lanceolate or oblong to ovate in shape and are three ribbed, from the leaf base. Leaf surfaces have small hairs and the undersides are less hairy than the surface. Flowers generally white or blue.

*Ceanothus integerrimus var. integerrimus.

*Ceanothus integerrimus var. macrothyrsus. Leaf blades oblong or ovate. Leaf bases are three ribbed at the base. Leaf surfaces are pubescent on both the surface and undersides. Flowers are white.

*Ceanothus integerrimus var. puberulus. Leaf blades elliptical or lanceolate and oblong to obovate in shape. Leaf base is three ribbed from the leaf base. Leaves are also pubescent on both sides. Flowers white…….CLICK & SEE

Ceanothus integerrimus hybridizes with Ceanothus tomentosus (Lemmon’s ceanothus) and Ceanothus cordulatus (mountain whitethorn).
Prefers a warm sunny position but tolerates light shade. Tolerates some lime, but will not succeed on shallow chalk. Requires a well-drained soil. This species is hardy to about -10°c according to some reports whilst another says that it requires a sheltered position or the protection of a wall when grown outdoors in Britain. Plants dislike root disturbance, they should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. Dislikes heavy pruning, it is best not to cut out any wood thicker than a pencil. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. Fast growing but short lived, it flowers well when young, often in its second year from seed. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Some members of this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then given 1 – 3 months stratification at 1°c. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 2 months at 20°c. Another report says that the seed is best given boiling water treatment, or heated in 4 times its volume of sand at 90 – 120°c for 4 – 5 minutes and then soaked in warm water for 12 hours before sowing it. It then requires a period of chilling below 5°c for up to 84 days before it will germinate. The seed exhibits considerable longevity, when stored for 15 years in an air-tight dry container at 1 – 5°c it has shown little deterioration in viability. The seed is ejected from its capsule with some force when fully ripe, timing the collection of seed can be difficult because unless collected just prior to dehiscence the seed is difficult to extract and rarely germinates satisfactorily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, taken at a node,   July/August in a frame[11]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 7 – 12 cm with a heel, October in a cold frame. The roots are quite brittle and it is best to pot up the callused cuttings in spring, just before the roots break. Good percentage.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Seed.

Seed – raw or cooked. Used as pinole.
Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used by some native North American Indian tribes to treat women who have suffered injury in childbirth.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Dye; Miscellany; Soap.

A green dye is obtained from the flowers. Young flexible shoots can be used for the circular withes of baskets. All parts of the plant are rich in saponins – when crushed and mixed with water they produce a good lather which is an effective and gentle soap. This soap is very good at removing dirt, though it does not remove oils very well. This means that when used on the skin it will not remove the natural body oils, but nor will it remove engine oil etc. The flowers are a very good source, when used as a body soap they leave behind a pleasant perfume on the skin. The developing seed cases are also a very good source of saponins.

C. integerrimus is an important part of forest regeneration after wildfires by providing nitrogen. It does this by creating nitrogen rich patches in the soil. The nitrogen source is created by its root association with nitrogen fixing bacteria.

Deer and specifically mule deer feed on C. integerrimus. Porcupines and quail have also been observed eating the stems and seeds. Nutritionally leaves are a good source of protein and stems and leaves also contain high levels of calcium. However, nutritional quality of leaves is seasonal and appears to be best from fall to early spring.

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.


Anthemis arvensis

Botanical Name : Anthemis arvensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Anthemis
Species: A. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Corn Chamomile

Habitat : Anthemis arvensis is native to most of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. It is a locally common calcicolous plant of arable land and waste places throughout Britain.

Anthemis arvensis is a annual plant , growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Stems – Herbaceous, erect to ascending, from fibrous roots, multiple from the base, branching, arachnoid pubescent (less so near base), carinate at apex, green to red in strong sun.

Leaves Alternate, pinnately divided. Divisions of leaf pinnatifid. Ultimate leaf divisions acute, minutely mucronate. Leaves to 5cm long, 2cm broad, sparse pubescent and punctate (use lens) adaxially, arachnoid pubescent below. Petiole with fimbriate divisions.

Inflorescence – Single pedunculate flower clusters terminating stems.

Involucre – 1.2cm in diameter, 4-5mm tall. Phyllaries in one or two series, slightly imbricated, to 5mm long, 2mm broad, scarious, with a green midvein, arachnoid pubescent externally, glabrous internally.

Ray flowers – Pistillate, fertile, +/-15 per head. Ligule white, -1.5cm long, 5-6mm broad, glabrous, 2-3-notched at apex, oblong. Corolla tube to 2mm long, greenish. Style bifurcate, exserted. Achene 1.5mm long in flower, light green, glabrous, truncate at base. Pappus none.

Disk flowers – Disk to 1.2cm broad, becoming globose with age. Corolla -3mm long, translucent at base, becoming yellow at apex, 5-lobed, expanded in apical 1/2. Lobes acute, to .6mm long, recurved. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube constriction. Filaments very short. Anthers yellow, included, 1.1mm long, connate around style. Style barely exserted beyond anthers, translucent-yellow. Stigmatic portion of style .5mm long. Achene translucent in flower, 1.3mm long, glabrous. Pappus none. Receptacle conic. Chaff thin, translucent, 3mm long, .4mm broad, slightly folded, glabrous, acuminate, linear.

Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly acid. Succeeds in heavy clay soils.

Seed – best sown outdoors as soon as it is ripe. Most of the seed germinates in the autumn.

Medicinal Uses:
This species is considered to be one of the best febrifuge species indigenous to France. The flowers and leaves are used. Employed in fevers, colds, and to produce perspiration.

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.


Nabalus serpentarius

Botanical Name: Nabalus serpentarius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Nabalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Prenanthes serpentarium.

Common Names; Lion’s Foot, Canker Weed

Habitat: Nabalus serpentarius is native to Eastern N. America – Massachusetts to New York, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. It grows in fields and thickets.

Nabalus serpentarius is a perennial plant, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

It produces branching, tuberous roots and a flowering stem about 45-190 cm tall with milky latex sap. The stem is green or often purplish in color and glabrous or often rough-hairy in its uppermost portion. Its leaves are alternately arranged on the stem and become smaller in size toward the top. Their overall shape is typically longer than wide with pinnate lobes. Basal leaves may be trifoliate and further divided (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Very wide leaves may appear palmate (Milstead 1964). Milstead (1964) has sketched leaves of the American Nabalus species, and Nabalus serpentarius is distinguished from other species by leaves that are longer than wide and pinnately lobed. Identification of this species based on leaf shape may be possible if these characteristics are clear. Leaf petioles are often winged, especially the lower ones, and there may be fine, small hairs on the veins of the lower surfaces. Those plants with leaves entire or dentate and with short winged petioles are named forma simplicifolia (Fernald 1942; illustrated in Holmgren 1998). This form has been collected in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.


Cultivation : Succeeds in shade or semi-shade in a moist but well-drained humus-rich neutral to acid soil.

Seed – surface sow in a greenhouse in spring. 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.

Medicinal Uses:.…….Useful as a mouthwash or gargle.   The plant is said to be an antidote for snake bites.

Other Uses:.…..Repellent…….The juice of the plant repels snakes.

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.


Calotropis procera

Botanical Name : Calotropis procera
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Calotropis
Species: C. procera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names ; Calotrope, Apple of Sodom, Sodom apple, Stabragh, Kapok tree, King’s crown, Rubber bush, or Rubber tree, Akund Crown flower and Dead Sea Fruit

Bengali Name : Akondo

Habitat :Calotropis procera is native to North Africa, Tropical Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, and Indochina.

Calotropis procera is a woody perennial shrub or tree with cork-like bark that carries white or lavender flowers. The branches are twisting and cork-like in texture. The plant has ash colored bark covered with white fuzz. The plant has silver-green large leaves that grow opposite on the stems. The flowers grow at the tops of apical stems and produce fruits....CLICK & SEE

The fruit of Calotropis procera is oval and curved at the ends of the pods. The fruit is also thick and, when opened, it is the source of thick fibers that have been made into rope and used in a multitude of ways…....CLICK & SEE 

Chemical properties:
The milky sap contains a complex mix of chemicals, some of which are steroidal heart poisons known as “cardiac aglycones”. These belong to the same chemical family as similar chemicals found in foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea). The steroidal component includes an hydroxyl group in the C3(bita) position, a second attached to the C14 carbon, a C/D-cis ring junction and an (alpha,bita)-unsaturated-v-lactone in the C17 position. In the plants, the steroidal component is commonly attached via a glycosidic link to a 2-desoxy or a 2,6-didesoxy sugar molecule. The features described are those required for toxicity but in addition there can be other substitutions into the steroid nucleus. These can be a C19-aldehyde in place of the more usual methyl group in this position as well as additional hydroxyl functions and sometimes epoxide structures.

In the case of the Calotropis glycosides, their names are calotropin, calotoxin, calactin, uscharidin and voruscharin (the latter two involve rare sugars with nitrogen and sulphur in the structures). The steroidal moiety (known as “calotropagenin”, formula C23H32O6) has one of the more unusual structures. The C-19 formyl (CHO) group is present and there is an additional secondary alcohol as well as the common C3 and C14 hydroxyl functions. The position of this third hydroxyl function remains in some doubt. It was apparently established by the Swiss group under Thadeus Reichstein as being in the C2 position with an equatorial configuration. However, this assignment does not explain some of the known features and behaviours of this molecule, in particular the absence of spin-spin coupling of the two axial protons associated with their geminal hydroxyl groups and the failure to react with iodate in a cleavage reaction which the presence of such a viscinal 1,2-diol would require.
Medicinal Uses:
Calotropis procera is considered a weed in its native India but has also been used traditionally as a medicinal plant. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional Indian practice of healing. The Indian Journal of Pharmacology has produced a study on the effectiveness of extracted latex from Calotropis upon fungal infections caused by Candida. These infections usually lead to morbidity and are common in India so the promise of properties in Calotropis procera is welcome news.

Mudar root bark is the common form of Calotropis procera that is found in India. It is made by drying the root and then removing the cork bark. In India the plant is also used to treat leprosy and elephantiasis. Mudar root is also used for diarrhea and dysentery.

In India it has been used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea and other conditions, and topically for eczema. It has also long been used in India for abortive and suicidal purposes. Mudar root-bark is very largely used there as a treatment for elephantiasis and leprosy, and is efficacious in cases of chronic eczema.
Other Uses:
The wood yields a fibrous substance that is used for rope, fishing line and thread. It also has tannins, latex, rubber and a dye that are used in industrial practices.

Calotropis procera grows as a weed in many areas of India, but it is also purposefully planted. The plant’s root system has been shown to break up and cultivate cropland. It is a useful green manure and will be planted and plowed in before the “real” crop is sown.

Calotropis procera improves soils nutrients and improves moisture binding, an important property in some of the more arid croplands of India. The plant is tolerant of dry and salty conditions and can easily be established in over cultivated areas to help improve the soil conditions and reinvigorate the land.

The green globes are hollow but the flesh contains a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating resistant to soap.

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.