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Herbs & Plants

Petasites palmatus

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Botanical Name :Petasites palmatus
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Petasites Mill. – butterbur
Species : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Variety : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. var. palmatus (Aiton) Cronquist – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass:  Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Names :Sweet Butterbur ,Western Coltsfoot,Sweet Coltsfoot

Habitat :Petasites palmatus is native to  N. America – Newfoundland to Massachusetts, west to Alaska and south to California. It grows in Low woods, glades and damp clearings. Swamps and along the sides of streams.

Description:
Petasites palmatus is a deciduous  perennial plant growing to 1’h x 3’w   at a fast rate. 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 Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Leaves – round to heart- or kidney-shaped at stem base. 5 – 20 cm wide, deeply divided (more than halfway to centre), into 5 to 7 toothed lobes, green, essentially hairless above, thinly white-woolly below; stem leaves reduced to alternate bracts.

Flowers – in clusters of several to many white, 8 – 12 mm wide heads on glandular, often white-woolly stalks, mostly female or mostly male; ray flowers creamy white; disc flowers whitish to pinkish; involucres 7 – 16 mm high, bracts lance-shaped, hairy at base.; appearing early-summer.

Fruit – hairless, linear achenes, about 2 mm long, 5 to 10 ribs; pappus soft, white; appearingmid-summer.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, but prefers a deep fertile humus-rich soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, succeeding in shade, semi-shade or full sun. Requires a moist shady position. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A very invasive plant, too rampant for anything other than the wild garden. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:   
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in early spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses   :
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Salt.

Young flower stalks, used before the flower buds appear, are boiled until tender and seasoned with salt. Flower buds – cooked. Leafstalks – peeled and eaten raw. The ash of the plant is used as a salt substitute. To prepare the salt, the stems and leaves are rolled up into balls whilst still green, and after being carefully dried they are placed on top of a very small fire on a rock and burned.

Medicinal Uses:

Pectoral;  Salve;  TB.

The roots have been used in treating the first stages of grippe and consumption. The dried and grated roots have been applied as a dressing on boils, swellings and running sores. An infusion of the crushed roots has been used as a wash for sore eyes. A syrup for treating coughs and lung complaints has been made from the roots of this species combined with mullein(Verbascum sp.) and plum root (Prunus sp.).

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Petasites+palmatus
http://www.borealforest.org/herbs/herb27.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=pefrp

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Herbs & Plants

Cymopterus fendleri

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Botanical Name : Cymopterus fendleri
Family : Apiaceae – Carrot family
Genus: Cymopterus Raf. – springparsley
Species: Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. – plains springparsley
Variety : Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. var. fendleri (A. Gray) Goodrich – Fendler’s springparsley
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Cymopterus glomeratus,Cymopterus acaulis variety fendleri.  (Biscuitroot)

Common Names: Chimaja

Habitat :Cymopterus fendleri is native to  South-western N. America – Arizona.  Found at an altitude of 1500 – 1800 metres in Arizona.

Description:
Cymopterus fendleri is a perennial plant.  It is the most common of the spring Parsleys in the Four Corners area and one finds them scattered over much of the high desert trails in small or large patches.  This tiny Parsley is similar to a number of spring blooming members of this family. The half-sphere of tightly packed clusters of flowers, often golden, is characteristic of a number of flowers in this genus and family.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…….

click to see the pictures
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Edible Uses:        
Edible Parts: Leaves.
.
Leaves – cooked. The plant has a particularly strong and pleasant odour, it is used as a flavouring in soups and stews. Root – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. An aromatic flavour.

Medicinal Uses:  
The leaves and seeds are brewed as a tea for weak stomach and indigestion with gas. Steeped in whiskey or tequila, a sip serves the same purpose. Simple tea of leaves and seeds.

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cymopterus+fendleri
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CYACF
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/yellow%20enlarged%20photo%20pages/cymopterus%201.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Castela erecta

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Botanical Name : Castela erecta
Family : Simaroubaceae – Quassia family
Genus : Castela Turp. – castela
Species:  Castela erecta Turp. – goatbush
Kingdom:  Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Castela nicholsoni Hook, Castelaria micholsoni (Hook.) Small

Common Names :Cockspur, Amargosa,Goat-bush, Retama, and Urupagüita

Habitat :Castela erecta is native to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Curacao, Aruba, northern Venezuela and northern Colombia (Howard 1988, Little and others 1974).  It is not known to have been planted or naturalized  elsewhere.

Castela erecta is a coastal species. It grows in beach strand vegetation, in sandy soils behind it, and on rocky escarpments and hills somewhat inland (Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales 2002), a dominant to minor part of local xeric scrub communities (Locklin 2002). It occurs to an elevation of about 100 m in Puerto Rico (Little and others 1974).

Description:
Castela erecta is an evergreen, spiny shrub 1 to 4 m in height and up to 10 cm onstem diameter. The plant is multi-stemmed and branchy. The twigs are stiff, sometimes zig-zag, whitish from fine hairs, and end in spines. There are also short spines at the leaf bases. The foliage is sometimes dense, composed of alternate simple oblong to elliptic, almost sessile leaves, 0.6 to 2.5 cm long by 0.3 to 1.2 cm broad, dark green and glabrous above, and hairy below. The foliage and twigs are bitter. Flowers are tiny, whitish to red and tightly clustered in the leaf axils. The fruits are 6- to 10-mm, red, fleshy drupes, one to four developing from a flower. Each fruit contains one hard seed.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Medicinal Uses:
Internally it is used as a tea for amebic dysentery, possibly hepatic amebiasis and for loss of appetite and nonulcer dyspepsia with fullness, flatulence

Other Uses:
Castela erecta  helps protect the soil and furnishes food and cover for wildlife. The sister species C. texana (T.&G.) Rose, once considered a part of cockspur as C. erectas subsp. texana (T. & G.) Cronq., is considered an important browse species (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. 2002). The common name, goat-bush, suggests that it is browsed by goats.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/pdf/shrubs/Castela%20erecta.pdf
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAER3
http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/8598577v5315713-amargosa-goatbush-castela-erecta-blossom-starr-county
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/204731/

http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=26929

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Cnicus benedictus

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Botanical Name : Cnicus benedictus
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Cnicus L. – cnicus
Species: Cnicus benedictus L. – blessed thistle
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales

Common Names ;Blessed Thistle,St. Blessed thistle, Holy thistle or Spotted thistle

Habitat :Cnicus benedictus is  native to the Mediterranean region, from Portugal north to southern France and east to Iran,S. Europe to W. Asia. An infrequent casual in Britain. Dry sunny places in arable, stony and waste ground.  It is known in other parts of the world, including parts of North America, as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.

Description:
Cnicus benedictus is an annual plant growing to 60 cm tall, with leathery, hairy leaves up to 30 cm long and 8 cm broad, with small spines on the margins. The flowers are yellow, produced in a dense flowerhead (capitulum) 3-4 cm diameter, surrounded by numerous spiny basal bracts.

The related genus Notobasis is included in Cnicus by some botanists; it differs in slender, much spinier leaves, and purple flowers.

 

click to see the pictures....(01)....(1).…….(2)…..…(3)..……..(4)…..

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a dry soil and a sunny position. Grows best in a well manured soil. A very ornamental plant, it is often cultivated in Europe as a medicinal herb and for its oil yielding seed.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in the spring or early autumn. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 10°c

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent;  Bitter;  Cholagogue;  Contraceptive;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Emmenagogue;  Galactogogue;  Homeopathy;  Stimulant;
Stomachic;  Tonic;  VD.
Blessed thistle has been used as a treatment for liver disorders, as well as menstrual problems.  It seems to detoxify the liver.  In many European countries blessed thistle tablets are prescribed along with acetaminophen or aspirin to counterbalance the potential liver damage these drugs can cause. Many women take blessed thistle to regulate their periods.  It seems to stimulate the appetite and many herbalists prescribe it to their anorexic patients.  It is often combined with other herbs that are beneficial to the liver, such as milk thistle, artichoke or red clover.  The leaves are considered one of the best herbs for increasing mother’s milk.  Blessed thistle is antibiotic, destroying staph and other infections, although it has not proved very effective against harmful intestinal bacteria.  Externally used as a healing balm for wounds and ulcers.  Combines well with turtlehead and cola for anorexia and with meadowsweet, agrimony and cinquefoil for diarrhea.

Other Uses:
Oil.

A good quality oil is obtained from the seed. It has been used in emergencies when other oils were not available.

Known Hazards :  May cause allergic reaction if sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Possible eye irritation. Excess of 5g per cup of tea may cause stomach irritation and vomiting. Possible cross-reactivity with mugwort and echinacea (also bitter weed, blanket flower, chrysanthemum, colt’s foot, dandelion and marigold. Increases stomach acid secretion so caution needed with gastric ulcers and heartburn. Possible increase in bleeding – care needed with anticoagulants or blood thining agents

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cnicus+benedictus
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CNBE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnicus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Angelica sylvestris

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Botanical Name : Angelica sylvestris
Family : Apiaceae – Carrot family
Genus : Angelica L. – angelica
Species : Angelica sylvestris L. – woodland angelica
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order : Apiales

Synonyms:Angelica montana. Brot.

Common Names : Wild Angelica

Habitat :Angelica sylvestris grows in  Most of Europe, including Britain, to W. Asia and Siberia.It is  found in  Moist fields and hedgerows, open woods, marshes and fens, not usually found on acid soils.

Description;
Angelica sylvestris is a bennial plant. The umbels of tiny white flowers, often tinged with pink, are carried upright on tall (up to 2.5m) downy or hairless stems from June to September, giving a frothy appearance from a distance. The much divided, slightly glossy pinnate leaves add to the open, airy appearance. The flat, oval fruit have thin papery wings to aid their wind-borne dispersal.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June  to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. Succeeds in deep shade. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed.

Propagation
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Leaves, young shoots and stems – used as an aromatic addition to salads, or cooked and used as a vegetable. The taste is somewhat bitter. The chopped leaves are a good addition to cooked acid fruits, especially rhubarb. The stem and leafstalks are used in candies and sweetmeats. Seed – used as an aromatic flavouring in confections and pastries. Root – cooked.

Medicinal Uses :
Antispasmodic;  Carminative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Parasiticide;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The root and the seeds are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic. This plant is less rich in active principles than A. archangelica and so is much less used medicinally than that species, but a decoction is sometimes used in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, coughs and dyspepsia. Large doses have the effect of depressing the central nervous system.

As angelica increases the output or urine and relieves flatulence, as well as inducing sweating, its applications are: a tea prepared from leaves, seeds and roots, is recommended for indigestion or stomach pains.  ½ glass of tea 3 times a day improves digestion.  Powdered root is used in cases of catarrh of the respiratory tract, as well as in cases of severe indigestion.  It may be used as a gargle and as an additive to bath-water.  Water-extract mixed with white vinegar, is used for rubbing down in cases of gout and rheumatics, as well as backache. A decoction is sometimes used in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, coughs and dyspepsia.  It is used as a substitute for Angelica archangelica, but is less rich in active principles and so is much less used medicinally than that species.

Other Uses :
Dye;  Parasiticide.

The pulverized fruits are used to kill head parasites. A good yellow dye is obtained from the plant (the report does not specify which part of the plant).

Known Hazards : All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis.

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Angelica+sylvestris
http://wildseed.co.uk/species/view/16
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ANSY2

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

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