Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lemon Thyme

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Botanical Name: Thymus citriodorus
Family:Lamiaceae
Kingdom :Plantae
Division :Magnoliophyta
Class :Magnoliopsida
Order :Lamiales
Genus :Thymus

SynonymsThymus serpyllum var. albus ,   Thymus serpyllum ssp. chamaedrys

Common Names:  Lemon Thyme, Creeping Lemon Thyme, Lemon-Scented Thyme
Habitat:It is not  native to USA but introduced and now grows in Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), New Hampshire (NH), New York (NY), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VA) and Washington (WA) .

Description: The lemon thyme is generally described as a Perennial Subshrub or Shrub.It is a compact, upright shrub that grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches. The leaves are tiny and heart shaped, ringed with a splash of yellow. As the name implies, lemon thyme has a bit of a citrus tang, but is milder than most other thyme. This makes it a natural choice for seasoning seafood dishes and even sweets. The citrus flavor also helps to lighten fatty dishes.
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Bees are attracted to lemon thyme and it gives honey a good flavor. It grows on dry, well drained soil. It produces dark pink flowers which bloom in late summer and it is the small green leaves that smell strongly of lemon. It is not as hardy as other thymes so may need protecting in winter with a layer of leaf mold or straw. This is a good variety for growing in containers. The dried, scented leaves make a useful, fragrant addition to pot pourri or scented sachets.

Cultivation :
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Requires a light well-drained preferably calcareous soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils. Thymes dislike wet conditions, especially in the winter. A layer of gravel on the soil around them will help protect the foliage from wet soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other. Often cultivated in the herb garden for its leaves, there are some named varieties. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees. A good companion for most plants. Special Features:Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Suitable for dried flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. 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. This species is a hybrid and will not breed true from seed. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible Uses : Leaves – raw in salads or added as a flavouring to cooked foods. A delicious lemon flavour. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. An aromatic tea is made from the leaves. It has a pleasant lemon-like flavour and is very refreshing

Its light perfume fills the air as it hangs drying from hooks.Both grilled fish dishes and creamy potato gratins are perfect blank canvases for lemon thyme. This wonderful, aromatic herb is also amazing with chicken.

A sweetly scented, evergreen herb and a cultivated form of wild thyme. It is a popular culinary herb due to its mild citrus flavor and is often used in stuffings, with chicken dishes or added to fruit salads and jellies.

Medicinal Uses: Herbal tea made from thyme is said to help speed recovery from a hangover.
Used to make pediatric oral preparations that are tasty and sweet to relieve an “upset tummy”.  It is also in ointments and in “sleep pillows”.
The natural, volatile oils also work as a digestive aid. These same pungent oils make lemon thyme a favorite in aroma therapy for the treatment of asthma. – Sally’s Place.

The leaves, and especially the essential oil contained in them, are strongly antiseptic, deodorant and disinfectant. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. The leaves contain an antioxidant and regular use of the raw leaves has been shown to increase average life expectancy by about 10%. The essential oil obtained from this plant is thought to be less irritant than other thyme oils .

Other Uses :  The essential oil obtained from the leaves and flowering stems is used in perfumery, as a mouth wash, medicinally etc. The aromatic leaves are dried and used in pot-pourri and herbal pillows. The plant makes an attractive ground cover for a sunny position. They are best spaced about 30cm apart each way[

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.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.liketocook.com/50226711/weekend_herb_blogging_lemon_thyme.php
http://www.info-galaxy.com/Herbs/General_Index/Filter/Lemon_Thyme/lemon_thyme.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thymus+x+citriodorus

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Duchman’s Breeches

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Botanical Name:Dicentra cucullaria
Family : Fumariaceae
Other Name: Dicentra cucullaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. cucullaria

Syninyms:Bicuculla cucullaria[B,P] Corydalis cuccularia[H] D. cuccularia[H] D. cucullaria var. occidentalis[B,P] D. occidentalis[B,P] Fumaria cucullaria[G]

Common Names: Dicentra cucullaria , Dutchman’s breeches (derives from their white flowers that look like white breeches.)

Habitat :Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge, Deep Shade. Native to North America.It occurs mainly in the eastern half of the continent, from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to eastern North Dakota, and south to northern Georgia and eastern Oklahoma; there is also a disjunct population in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It typically grows in rich woods. The common name Dutchman’s breeches derives from their white flowers that look like white breeches.

Description: It is a perennial herbaceous plant, reaching a height of 15-40 cm. The leaves are 10-36 cm long and 4-18 cm broad, with a petiole up to 15 cm long; they are trifoliate, with finely divided leaflets. The flowers appear during spring; they are white, 1-2 cm long, and are born on flower stalks 12-25 cm long. Both the leaf stalks and the flower stalks rise from an underground, scaly bulb.

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Dutchman’s breeches is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant nest debris.

This delicate spring flower is well know to those who visit the southern mountains in the early spring. It is sometimes found in abundance on a northern slope or shaded blank that has remained undisturbed for a very long time. It is very rare in the south except for the mountains and in bloom for a very short time.
Lore: Among some northern tribes it may have been used as a love charm or for seduction. Imagine a young man chewing the root and circling the intended female breathing out the fragrance in the belief that once she smells it she will follow him even against her will.(Erichsen-Brown)Flowering time: April to May

Medical Uses: Alterative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Poultice; Tonic; VD.

Alterative, tonic.

The dried tubers were used as a tonic and were recommended in the treatment of VD.

A tea made from the roots is diaphoretic and diuretic.

A poultice made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of skin ailments and as a muscle rub to make them more limber.

The plant contains an alkaloid that depresses the central nervous system – it is used in the treatment of paralysis and tremors.

Native Americans and early white practitioners considered this plant useful for several conditions including syphilis, skin conditions and as a blood purifier. There are several alkaloids that may have effects on the brain and heart. Warning: May be toxic and may cause contact dermatitis in some people.

Native Americans and early white practitioners considered this plant useful for syphilis, skin conditions and as a blood purifier. Dutchman’s breeches contains several alkaloids that may have effects on the brain and heart.

However, D. cucullaria may be toxic and may cause contact dermatitis in some people.The plant is potentially poisonous and can also cause skin rashes.

Similar Species: Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis) has more rounded flowers. Turkey Corn or Wild Bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia) has pink rounded flowers.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicentra_cucullaria
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H289.htm
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Dicentra+cucullaria