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Herbs & Plants

Allium acuminatum

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Botanical Name : Allium acuminatum
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. acuminatum

Common Name: Tapertip onion or Hooker’s onion


Habitat
: Allium acuminatum is native to  Western N. America – Washington to N. California.It grows in amongst dry sunny rocks on hills and plains.

Description:
Plant:  perennial
; scape terete full length, 10-35 cm. Traditionally, bulbs were dug in the spring and eaten by the Thompson.
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It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from May to June. Its bulbs are small and spherical and smell like onions. The flowers are pink to purple on a long stem which appear after the leaves have died.

Flowers: 10-20 flowers per scape; outer tepals commonly purple-rose, lanceolate, 8-15 mm, becoming involute margined and keeled, tips spreading to recurved; inner tepals smaller than outer series

Bulb: Bulb growing to 0.3m by 0.08m.    New bulb is formed inside of the bulb coat of the parent bulb, bulb coat maked with squarish reticulations

The long, narrow basal leaves typical of the Onion Family can be seen dried in the lower part of the picture at left.  Many wild animals eat the bulbs and the onion-flavored leaves of this and other Alliaceae.

Leaves: slightly channeled or V-shaped in cross section

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The onions were eaten by first peoples in southern British Columbia. They were harvested in either early spring or late fall and usually cooked in pits.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 :
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil.  The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage. This species is best in a cold frame and given a dry summer rest.  The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

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

Bulb – raw or cooked.   Eaten in spring and early summer. A strong flavour . The bulb is 10 – 15mm wide .  Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a relish. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The seed heads can be placed in hot ashes for a few minutes, then the seeds extracted and eaten.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses : …Repellent.....The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards :  Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.

Other Uses
Repellent.

The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles . The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible .

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+acuminatum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_acuminatum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ALAC4&photoID=alac4_005_ahp.jpg
http://www.cwnp.org/photopgs/adoc/alacuminatum.html
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Pink%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/allium.htm
http://www.penstemon.org/Idaho07PreviewPartTwo.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Camel Thorn(Alhagi maurorum)

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Botanical Name :Alhagi maurorum
Family: Fabaceae/Leguminosae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Genus: Alhagi
Species: A. maurorum
SynonymsAlhagi camelorum – Fisch.,Alhagi persarum – Boiss.&Buhse., Alhagi pseudalhagi – (M.Bieb.)Desv. ex B.Keller.&Shap., Hedysarum pseudalhagi – M.Bieb.
Common Name : Camelthorn. Manna tree,

Habitat: This shrub is native to the region extending from the Mediterranean to Russia but has been introduced to many other areas of the world, including Australia, southern Africa, and the western United States.   Edges of ditches, waste and often saline places etc in Turkey. Grows in dry barren places.

Description:
The decidious perennial plant grows from a massive rhizome system which may extend over six feet deep into the ground. New shoots can appear over 20 feet from the parent plant. Above the ground the plant rarely reaches four feet in height. It is a heavily-branched gray-green thicket with long spines along the branches. It bears small bright pink to maroon pea flowers and small legume pods which are brown or reddish and constricted between the seeds. The seeds are mottled brown beans.
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The plant, which is grayish green and hairless, has simple, entire leaves that are alternately arranged. The leaf shape is oval to lance-shaped. The small (3/8 inch), pea-like flowers are pinkish purple to maroon and are borne on short, spine-tipped branches that arise from the leaf axils. The reddish-brown to tan fruits are constricted between the seeds, with a short narrow beak at the end.

Camelthorn is a noxious weed in its non-native range. It is a contaminant of alfalfa seed and grows readily when accidentally introduced to a cultivated field. It has a wide tolerance of soils, thriving on saline, sandy, rocky, and dry soils. It does best when growing next to a source of water, such as an irrigation ditch. It is unpalatable to animals and irritating when it invades forage and grazing land.

It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained light or medium soil. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, they can be grown outdoors in the summer but require protection in the winter. The stems of the plant are covered in sharp spines. Like the closely related gorse (Ulex europaea) the flowers have a pineapple scent. (A slightly strange report because the gorse flowers have a strong coconut fragrance.) This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots 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.

Propagation
:-
Seed – pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow March/April in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in the summer. Cuttings of young shoots in a frame.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Manna.

A sweet-tasting manna is exuded from the twigs at flowering time. It is exuded during hot weather according to one report. It contains about 47% melizitose, 26% sucrose, 12% invert sugar. Another manna is obtained from the pods – it is sweet and laxative. Root – cooked. A famine food, it is only used in times of need .

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
:-
Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative.

The whole plant is diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and laxative. An oil from the leaves is used in the treatment of rheumatism. The flowers are used in the treatment of piles.


Scented Plants

Flowers: Fresh
The flowers have a pineapple scent.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Alhagi+maurorum
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/plant.asp?ID=183
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhagi_maurorum

http://www.texasinvasives.org/invasives_database/detail.php?symbol=ALMA12

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