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Hedera nepalensis

Botanical Name : Hedera nepalensis
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Hedera
Species: Hedera nepalensis
Varieties: H. n. var. nepalensis – H. n. var. sinensis

Common Names: Himalayan ivy, Nepal Ivy

Habitat :Hedera nepalensis is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows on moist stones and tree stems at elevations of 1600 – 3000 metres in Nepal.
(It is primarily native to forested areas, roadsides and rocky slopes in Nepal and Bhutan but may also be found in Afghanistan, India, China, and Southeast Asia.)

Description:
Hedera nepalensis is an evergreen perennial Climber growing to 15 m (49ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate with gray-green foliage. It is primarily grown in cultivation as a climbing vine or trailing ground cover. As a vine, it climbs by aerial roots and may, over time, grow upwards to a height of 50-100’ in wild areas, but is more often seen much shorter (10-50’) in cultivated areas. As a ground cover, it typically grows to 6-9″ tall but spreads over time to 50’ or more unless trimmed shorter……CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Ivy is a very easily grown plant that dislikes waterlogged, very dry or very acid soils but otherwise succeeds in all soil types. It grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers some lime in the soil. Tolerates very dense shade, though it may not flower in such a position. This species is not hardy in all parts of Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5 to -10°c. Ivy is a rampant climbing plant, clinging by means of aerial roots and often trailing on the ground in woods and hedges. It is of benefit rather than harm when growing on a wall because it keeps the wall dry and acts as an insulation. It does not damage the structure of a wall. Similarly, it does not harm large trees when climbing into them, though it can shade out smaller and ailing trees. It is not a parasitic plant, but instead obtains all its nutrient from the sun and the soil. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – remove the flesh, which inhibits germination, and sow the seed in spring in a cold frame.  Four weeks cold stratification will improve germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame 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, July/August in a shady position in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, 12cm long, November in a cold frame. Layering. Plants often do this naturally.
Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Diaphoretic; Skin; Stimulant.
The leaves and the berries are said to be cathartic, diaphoretic and stimulant. A decoction of the plant is used to treat skin diseases

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the following notes are for the closely related Hedera helix and quite possibly are relavent here. The plant is said to be poisonous in large doses although the leaves are eaten with impunity by various mammals without any noticeable harmful affects. The leaves and fruits contain the saponic glycoside hederagenin which, if ingested, can cause breathing difficulties and coma. The sap can cause dermatitis with blistering and inflammation. This is apparently due to the presence of polyacetylene compounds.
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.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=276621&chr=12
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hedera+nepalensis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedera_nepalensis

Humans walk upright to save energy

: Chimpanzees scampering on a treadmill have provided support for the notion that ancient human ancestors began walking on two legs because it used less energy than quadrupedal knuckle-walking, scientists said.

Writing on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said people walking on a treadmill used just a quarter of the energy relative to their size compared to chimpanzees knuckle-walking on four legs.

The scientists equipped five chimpanzees and four people with face masks to track oxygen usage and looked at other measures to assess energy expenditure and biomechanics on a treadmill.

Chimpanzees are the closest genetic cousins to people. They are thought to have a common ancestor with humans dating back anywhere between 4 million and 7 million years.

Some scientists for decades have advanced the hypothesis that millions of years ago, human ancestors began walking upright because it used less energy than quadrupedal walking, gaining advantages in things like food foraging. But there has been scant data on this notion, aside from a 1973 study looking at locomotion energy in juvenile chimps.

“This paper provides strong support for the fact that energy savings played a role in the evolution of bipedalism,” one of the scientists, University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, said in a telephone interview. The chimpanzees were taught to walk on the treadmill both quadrupedally and bipedally, the scientists said.

“These guys are smart enough that they would hit the stop button on the treadmill when they were done. If they didn’t want to walk on the treadmill, they’d just hit the stop button or they’d jump off,” Raichlen said.

Overall, the chimpanzees used about the same amount of energy walking on two legs compared to four legs, but the researchers saw differences among the individual animals in how much energy they used based on their gaits and anatomy.

Source: The Times Of India