Herbs & Plants

Hedera nepalensis

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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.)

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.
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.
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.


Herbs & Plants

Menispermum Canadense

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Botanical Name : Menispermum Canadense
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Menispermum
Species: M. canadense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Canadian Moonseed. CoTexas Sarsaparilla. Moonseed Sarsaparilla. Vine Maple.

Common Names :Canadian Moonseed, Common Moonseed, or Yellow Parilla

Habitat:  Menispermum Canadense  is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec and New England to Georgia, west to Arkansas and Oklahoma.  It grows on moist woods and hedges near streams. Deciduous woods and thickets, along streams, bluffs and rocky hillsides, fencerows, shade tolerant from sea level to 700 metres.

It is a woody deciduous climbing vine growing to 6 m tall. The leaves palmately lobed, 5–20 cm diameter with 3-7 shallow lobes, occasionally rounded and unlobed.  It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November The fruit are produced in 6–10 cm diameter clusters of purple-black berries, each berry is 1-1.5 cm in diameter. The seed inside the berry resembles a crescent moon, and is responsible for the common name. The fruit is ripe between September and October, the same general time frame in which wild grapes are ripe.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)The plant is not self-fertile.


Both the leaves and fruit resemble that of the Fox Grape (Vitis labrusca); confusion can be dangerous as Moonseed fruit is poisonous, unlike the edible Fox Grape fruit.

The root is a rhizome, with a very long root of a fine yellow colour, and a round, striate stem, bright yellowgreen when young; leaves, roundish, cordate, peltate, three to seven angled, lobed. Flowers small, yellow, borne in profusion in axillary clusters. Drupes, round, black, with a bloom on them, one-seeded. Seed, crescent-shaped, compressed, the name Moonseed being derived from this lunate shape of the seed. The rhizome is wrinkled longitudinally and has a number of thin, brittle roots; fracture, tough, woody; internally reddish; a thick bark encloses a circle of porous, short, nearly square wood wedges and a large central pith. The root is the official part; it has a persistent bitter, acrid taste and is almost inodorous.

Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil that does not dry out excessively in summer, in sun or partial shade. Prefers a position in full sun[219]. This species is hardy to about -30°c, but, due to a lack of summer heat, the plants usually produce soft growth in mild maritime areas and this can be cut to the ground at temperatures around -5 to -10°c. The plants do not require pruning, but can benefit from being cut back to ground level every 2 – 3 years in order to keep them tidy. A vigorous and fast-growing climbing plant that twines around supports, it also spreads freely by underground suckers. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse. Two months cold stratification speeds up germination so it might be better to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Germination is usually good. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of mature wood, autumn in a frame. Division of suckers in early sprin. The suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we prefer to pot them up and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are established.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: The rhizome and roots.
Constituents: Berberine and a white amorphous alkaloid termed Menispermum, which has been used as a substitute for Sarsaparilla, some starch and resin.

Canada moonseed has occasionally been used in the past for its medicinal virtues, though it is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The roots are a bitter tonic, diuretic, laxative, nervine, purgative (in large doses), stomachic and tonic. A tea made from the root has been used in the treatment of indigestion, arthritis, bowel disorders and as a blood cleanser. The root is applied externally as a salve on chronic sores.

In small doses it is a tonic, diuretic, laxative and alterative. In larger doses it increases the appetite and action of the bowels; in full doses, it purges and causes vomiting. It is a superior laxative bitter; considered very useful in scrofula, cutaneous, rheumatic, syphilitic, mercurial and arthritic diseases; also for dyspepsia, chronic inflammation of the viscera and in general debility. Externally, the decoction has been applied as an embrocation in cutaneous and gouty affections.

Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity.

 Other Uses:Cultivated in Britain as a hardy, deciduous, ornamental shrub. A closely allied species is indigenous to the temperate parts of Eastern Asia.

Known Hazards:  All parts of these plants are known to be poisonous. The principal toxin is the alkaloid dauricine. The fruit of Canada Moonseed are poisonous and can be fatal. While foraging for wild grapes one should examine the seeds of the fruit to make sure one is not eating moonseeds: moonseeds have a single crescent-shaped seed, while grapes have round seeds. Differences in taste should also be an indicator of whether or not a specimen is grape or Moonseed, moonseeds have a taste that is described as “rank”. Also, the moonseed vine lacks tendrils, whilst the vine of the wild grape has forked tendrils.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Air potato

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Botanical Name :Dioscorea bulbifera
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. bulbifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dioscoreales

Common Names :  Air potato, Varahi in Sanskrit, Kaachil in Malayalam and Dukkar Kand in Marathi

Habitat :The Air potato plant is native to Africa and Asia.

History: A native to tropical Asia, air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera, was first introduced to the Americas from Africa. In 1905 it was introduced to Florida. Due to its ability to displace native species and disrupt natural processes such as fire and water flow, air potato has been listed as one of Florida?s most invasive plant species since 1993, and was placed on the Florida Noxious Weed List by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 1999.

US Habitat: Rapid growing and occurring on open to semishady sites: extending from Florida to adjacent states. All dying back during winter but able to cover small trees in a year, with old vines providing trellises for regrowth. Spread and persist by underground tubers and abundant production of aerial yams, which drop and form new plants and can spread by water.

Air potato is a herbaceous perennial vine with broad leaves and   high climbing vines to 65 feet (20 m) long, infestations covering shrubs and trees. It has two types of storage organs,twining and sprawling stems with long-petioled heart-shaped leaves. Spreading by dangling potato-like tubers (bulbils) at leaf axils and underground tubers. Monocots.

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A distinguishing characteristic of air potato is that all leaf veins arise from the leaf base, unlike other herbaceous vines such as smilax and morningglories. Flowers are inconspicuous, arising from leaf axils in panicles 4 inches long, and are fairly uncommon in Florida. Vegetative reproduction is the primary mechanism of spread. This is through the formation of aerial tubers, or bulbils, which are formed in leaf axils. These vary in roundish shapes and sizes. In addition, large tubers are formed underground, some reaching over 6 inches in diameter.

Edible Uses:
These tubers are like small, oblong potatoes, and they are edible and cultivated as a food crop, especially in West Africa. The tubers often have a bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling. They can then be prepared in the same way as other yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The air potato is one of the most widely-consumed yam species.

Medicinal Uses:
In folk medicine it has been used to ease the pain on sprained ankles, and certain other uses that is in combination with other plants.  In healing the sprained angle, the fruit of the vine, which is brownish in color is cut in have and the insides are scraped out and put into a cloth or something that will easily let the fluid out of it we massaging the sprained ankle with it. Always massage down toward the ground and outwardly of the foot.  TCM: Indications: rid of toxin, relieves swelling, reduces phlegm, cools blood, stops bleeding.

Air potato has been used as a folk remedy to treat conjunctivitis, diarrhea and dysentery, among other ailments.

Uncultivated forms, such as those found growing wild in Florida can be poisonous. These varieties contain the steroid, diosgenin, which is a principal material used in the manufacture of a number of synthetic steroidal hormones, such as those used in hormonal contraception. There have been claims[3] that even the wild forms are rendered edible after drying and boiling, leading to confusion over actual toxicity.

Invasive species:
In some places, such as Florida, it is an invasive species because of its quick-growing, large-leafed vine that spreads tenaciously and shades out any plants growing beneath it. The bulbils on the vines sprout and become new vines, twisting around each other to form a thick mat. If the plant is cut to the ground, the tubers can survive for extended periods and send up new shoots later.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Artabotrys hexapetalus (Bengali :kantali champa)

Botanical Name : Artabotrys hexapetalus
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Artabotrys (ar-TAY-bot-riss) (Info)/Cananga
Species: hexapetalus/C. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales
Synonym:Artabotrys odoratissimus, Artabotrys uncinatus

Common Name :Harichampa, Madanmast, Katchampa, Climbing Ylang-Ylang, Lilo champo, Harachampa, Manoranjini, Manoranjitham, Hirvaa chaphaa, Harita champaka, Manoranjidam, Aakusampenga.

Vernacular Names:
Bengali: kantali champa,  kaanthaali chaanpaa • Burmese: kada ngan, padat ngan, tadaing hmwe • Chinese: ying zhao hua, ying zhao lan • English: bhandari vine (India), ilang ilang, tail grape, ylang ylang vine • French: coq du levant, coque du levant, ilang-ilang grimpant, liane ilang-ilang • Hawaiian: lanalana • Hindi:  hari champa, madanmast, madmanti*,  manorangini • Japanese: iraniran noki, tsuru iraniran • Kannada: kandaala sampige*, kandalisampage*, manoranjani hu balli*, manoranjini (manorangini), manoranjini hoovu • Malayalam: madanakameswari*, manoranjitam* • Manipuri: chini champa • Marathi: hirva champa, hirva chapa • Oriya: kalomuro • Portuguese: artabrotis trepador • Russian: artabotris,  ilang-ilang • Sanskrit: hara champa, harachampaka, madanah* • Tamil: akkurotam*, antakam*, kanankay*, kulakayam*, kunarancitam*, makaticam*, manoranjidam*, manorancitam*, manoranjitham*, matanakamappu* • Telugu: manoranjidamu*, manoranjitamu*, muddasampenga*, phala sampenga*, phalasampangi*, sakalaphala sampenga*, sakalaphalasampangi*, sampangipurugu*, tiga sampangi • Thai: karawek (Central Thailand), kradang nga chin, saban nga chin.

Habitat:Origin: Tropical Asia

A medium size vine 8 to 10′, producing flowers that are greenish in color and fade to yellow with age, and are extremely fragrant. When young, this climber grows just like a regular shrub but at 5-6 ft, will start to vine. It is not an aggressive vine.

You may click to see the pictures;.>…..(1)…….(2)…..;.(3)

Artabotrys are very interesting, medium sized vines from Asia. They are quite sturdy and easy to grow. Any location from full sun to filtered light would be good. Good drainage is important and the soil has to be moderately moist. Artabotrys are vines that can climb on a trellis fence or on top of other shrubs by special structures on the stems that resemble hooks. If left by themselves, the vine will grow on top of itself forming a mound.
Most people that expect large, colorful flowers will be disappointed with the Artabotrys. The flowers appear during the warmer months and are greenish/yellow and very often hidden by the leaves.
These beautiful vines with shiny green leaves are not really grown for the flowers. People like them for their the unusual fragrance. They are also called “juicy fruit vine.” Artabotrys are tropical vines and have to be protected against freezing temperatures. They can also be grown in containers with proper trimming and brought indoors during the cold spells.

Click to see :
Studies on the chemical constituents of the leaves from Artabotrys hexapetalus:

Medicinal Uses:
The oil from the flower is extensively used in aromatherapy.

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.

Artabotrys hexapetalus

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Herbs & Plants

Money Plant

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Botanical Name :  Epipremnum aureum
Family:Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Monsteroideae

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Tribe: Monstereae
Genus: Epipremnum
Species: E. aureum

Synonyms: Epipremnum pinnatum, Pothos aureus, Scindapsus aureus, Raphidophora aurea.

Common Names: Pothos (once classified under the genus Pothos),Golden pothos, Silver Vine, Money Plant, Centipede tongavine, Devil’s Ivy and Solomon Islands‘ Ivy

Habitat : Native to southeastern Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia) and New Guinea. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron in plant stores.

Description  :
It is a liana growing to 20 m tall, with stems up to 4 cm diameter, climbing by means of aerial roots which hook over tree branches. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, heart-shaped, entire on juvenile plants, but irregularly pinnatifid on mature plants, up to 100 cm long and 45 cm broad (juvenile leaves much smaller, typically under 20 cm long). The flowers are produced in a spathe up to 23 cm long.(Bloom Time: Rarely flowers)

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This plant produces trailing stems when it climbs up trees and these take root when they reach the ground and grow along it. The leaves on these trailing stems grow up to 10cm long and are the ones normally seen on this plant when it is cultivated as a pot plant.

You may click to see more variety of money plant
It is a popular houseplant with numerous cultivars selected for leaves with white, yellow, or light green variegation. It is often used in decorative displays in shopping centers, offices, and other public locations largely because it is a very hardy plant that requires little care and is also attractively leafy. It is also efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene A study found that this effect became less the higher the molecular weight of the polluting substance.

As a houseplant it can reach a height of two meters or more, given suitable support. For best results it requires medium indirect light; bright light is tolerated, but lengthy spells of direct sun will scorch the leaves. The plant prefers a temperature of between 17 to 30 °C (63 to 86 °F). Generally it only needs water when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch. For best results a liquid fertilizer can be added in spring, and they should be repotted every couple of years. However, this is a robust plant that can stand a very high degree of abuse. It will grow hydroponically quite readily.

(1) Evergreen (2) Has showy flowers. (3)  Leaves colorful (4) Has showy fruit .
Because of its tolerance of low-light conditions, this easy-growing and hardy plant, E. aureum make excellent house plants in vases, pots and hanging baskets, allowing the stems to tumble down. Ideal as an indoor plant in greenhouse or conservatory in temperate regions. Its fabulous variegated foliage are used popularly for interiorscape in homes, offices, shopping malls and public places, as well as cut foliage to complement floral arrangement, while at the same time, cleansing the indoor air of pollutants.
Outdoors, Pothos is most suitable as a groundcover in garden beds and borders with its sprawling habit, or grown in above-ground planter or small to large containers raised on a pedestal for a cascading effect. Very suitable as a climbing vine on trellis, poles, fences, trees or wires. It can also be espaliered against the wall for landscapping or allowed to cascade down a wall for that something extra to spruce and beautify your garden.

The plant is listed as “toxic to cats, toxic to dogs” by the ASPCA, due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates. Care should be taken to ensure the plant is not consumed by house pets. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Popular E. aureum cultivars include:

•‘Golden Pothos’ – green waxy leaves, irregularly variegated with splashes and streaks of golden yellow and creamy white;
•‘Marble Queen’ – white to creamy leaves that are smooth and waxy, blotched and streaked with green and grey-green;
•‘Tricolor’ – green leaves marbled with deep yellow, cream and pale green;
•‘Jade Pothos’ – solid green leaves without variegation;
•‘Hawaiian Pothos’ – similar to ‘Golden Pothos’ in variegation, though the yellow is more striking and brilliant;
•‘Neon’ (or ‘Goldilocks’) – lime-green leaves without variegation, small and compact;
•‘Wilcoxii’ – with sharply-defined variegations of green and white;


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