Plant used for/Skin
Please add more about plants that are used for Skin here!
- Plants used in miscellaneous treatments for the skin.
For more information
Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Skin:
|ID||common name||family||latin name||date||quantity||action||days to germ||propagation||days to maturity||habitat||sun||drainage||soil||inventory||notes||nutrients||needs||use|
|262||Balsam, Chinese||Direct seed in midspring. Probably one of the easiest germinators worldwide. Fast-growing, quick to flower. Space plants 1 foot apart. Grows 2 to 3 feet.||70||full sun||moist||rich||50 each||Native to China. The fleshy stems bear masses of highly decorative pink, purple, and lavender flowers that remain comely throughout the summer. The entire plant is loaded with healing mucilage. Because the seed of Chinese Balsam retains its germinability much more reliably than its American cousin Jewelweed (e.g. Impatiens capensis), we really recommend growing this plant for the same spontaneous anti-itch poulticing that has made Jewelweed so famous. Got poison ivy on your leg? Rub on the fresh juice of Impatiens -- it is astringent, anti-itch, and healing. And, you know in your heart, the fastest way to make it go away is to STOP ITCHING IT! Plant prefers full sun, rich soil, water.||Antipruritic, Astringent, Stings|
|237||Basil, Holy||Lamiaceae||Ocimum sanctum||2013-03-15 00:00:00||400 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||250 each||Adaptogen, Antidermatosic, Antipyretic, Antitussive, Cardiac, Febrifuge, Lithontripic, Mouthwash, Ophthalmic, Pectoral, Seasoning, Stings|
|248||Butterfly Weed; Pleurisy Root||Apocynaceae||Asclepias tuberosa||30||Seed best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly.
Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Prefers a well-drained light, rich or peaty soil. Prefers a sandy soil and a sunny position. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Prefers a dry soil. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.Plants should be pot-grown from seed and planted out in their permanent positions when young. Plants are particularly at risk from slugs, however, and some protection will probably be required until the plants are established and also in the spring when the new shoots come into growth. The flower can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant.
|sun or partial shade||well drained||rich||0 each||*Flower buds - cooked. They taste somewhat like peas.
Pleurisy root is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It was much used by the North American Indians and acquired a reputation as a heal-all amongst the earlier white settlers. Its main use in present day herbalism is for relieving the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. The root was very popular as a medicinal herb for the treatment of a range of lung diseases, it was considered especially useful as an expectorant.
It has also been used internally with great advantage in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, rheumatism etc. Use with caution; this remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women.The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers, lameness etc.
|Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Insectiary, Latex, Oil, Ornamental, Pollution, Poultice, Stuffing, Sweetening, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|6||Camelina; Gold of Pleasure; Wild Flax; German Sesame; Siberian Oilseed||Brassicaceae||Camelina sativa||2012-04-12 00:00:00||50% germ||Prepare a weed-free seedbed in spring. Sprinkle the seed on the surface of the bed and press in. Keep evenly moist until germination. Harvest when the seed is fully mature and hard.||Easy to grow and high yielding, even on marginal land. Requires little or no input of fertilizer or water to achieve a good crop. Excellent choice for dryland farming and as a rotation crop for wheat or other grains.||full sun||drought tolerant||poor||10 each||Hardiness: All zones. Annual native to Northern Europe.
An ancient oilseed crop that is experiencing a resurgence of popularity due to three major factors:
1) easy to grow and high yielding, even on marginal land. Requires little or no input of fertilizer or water to achieve a good crop. Excellent choice for dryland farming and as a rotation crop for wheat or other grains.
2) a heat stabile and deliciously edible oil that has excellent shelf life can be cold pressed from the seeds. Very high in unsaturated fatty acids, the oil is loaded with health promoting Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. The oil is a delicious raw condiment, and is a stabile and tasty cooking oil. The seeds themselves are excellent for feeding to poultry, giving exceptional egg production. Other stock can benefit from the feed value of this seed, as well.
3) this is one of the best crops for producing biodiesel. The plant is hardy to the temperate north and gives high yields of clean burning fuel. Interestingly, there are efforts afoot to limit the distribution of Camelina seed, and producers have worked out complex multi-level contracts aimed at cornering the market and fueling corporations instead of promoting self-sufficiency. We take issue with such things.
The plant has been used by humans for at least 4,000 years (remains in Switzerland date it to the Neolithic). Making this little weedy wonder into an exclusive botanical in modern times is not moving in the direction of cooperation. We offer the seed up to the public domain, and hope that many of you will grow it experimentally, and work your clean little patches up into commercially viable fields within a few years.
Camelina gives fast turnaround and high yield per input. The photo is of our recent germ test of this seed.
This species is a bad companion plant, depressing the growth of nearby plants. It has become a noxious weed of cultivated fields in some of the areas into which it has been introduced.An oil from the seed is used as a luminant and as an emollient for softening the skin. A fibre is obtained from the stems. The stems are used for making brooms.
|Fat, Fat: Omega-3||Emollient, Fibre, Food, Forage, Fuel, Oil|
|260||Comfrey||Boraginaceae||Symphytum officinale||Seed: sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed you can try an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring.
Division: succeeds at almost any time of the year. Simply use a spade to chop off the top 7cm of root just below the soil level. The original root will regrow and you will have a number of root tops, each of which will make a new plant. These can either be potted up or planted out straight into their permanent positions.Tolerates most soils and situations but prefers a moist soil and some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Best grown in an open sunny site in a deep rich soil if it is being grown for compost material. Plants can be invasive, often spreading freely by means of self-sown seed. The root system is very deep and difficult to eradicate, even small fragments of root left in the soil can produce new plants.
|Damp, often shady localities, in meadows, woods etc, especially near streams and rivers.||partial shade||moist||clay||Comfrey is a commonly used herbal medicine with a long and proven history in the treatment of various complaints. The root and the leaves are used, the root being more active, and they can be taken internally or used externally as a poultice. Comfrey is especially useful in the external treatment of cuts, bruises, sprains, sores, eczema, varicose veins, broken bones etc, internally it is used in the treatment of a wide range of pulmonary complaints, internal bleeding etc.
The plant contains a substance called 'allantoin', a cell proliferant that speeds up the healing process. This substance is now synthesized in the pharmaceutical industry and used in healing creams.
Some caution is advised, however, especially in the internal use of the herb. External applications and internally taken teas or tinctures of the leaves are considered to be completely safe, but internal applications of tablets or capsules are felt to have too many drawbacks for safe usage.
The leaves are harvested in early summer before the plant flowers, the roots are harvested in the autumn. Both are dried for later use.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested before the plant flowers. This has a very limited range of application, but is of great benefit in the treatment of broken bones and eye injuries.
Edible: young leaves, cooked or raw. The leaf is hairy and the texture is mucilaginous. It may be full of minerals but it is not pleasant eating for most tastes. It can be chopped up finely and added to salads, in this way the hairiness is not so obvious. Young shoots can be used as an asparagus substitute, as are blanched stalks. Older leaves can be dried and used as a tea. The peeled roots are cut up and added to soups. A tea is made from the dried leaves and roots. The roasted roots are used with dandelion and chicory roots for making coffee.
|Anodyne, Astringent, Beverage, Compost, Demulcent, Emollient, Expectorant, Haemostatic, Homeopathy, Refrigerant, Vulnerary|
|3||Dang-gui; Tang-kuei; Dong-quai||Apiaceae||Angelica sinensis||2013-04-26 00:00:00||116 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Sow seed in fall or early spring, on surface of soil, and press in well, and keep moist until germination. Cold soil germinator. Very trustworthy seed.
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.Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. This species is not fully hardy in colder areas, tolerating temperatures down to at least -5°c. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed.
|Plant prefers part shade and moist soils.||sun or partial shade||moist||garden||Hardy to all temperate zones. Herbaceous monocarp native to China. Deeply cut leaves unfold from the meaty crown, subtended by the characteristically smoky smelling root, giving rise to the flowers that unfold and adorn the plant in late fall and sometimes make their seed after winter has commenced.
One of the most useful women's herbs of all times -- balances and regulates hormones. Dang Gui is a well-known Chinese herb that has been used in the treatment of female ailments for thousands of years. Its reputation is perhaps second only to ginseng (Panax ginseng) and it is particularly noted for its 'blood tonic' effects on women.
The root has a sweet pungent aroma that is very distinctive and it is often used in cooking, which is the best way to take it as a blood tonic. One report says that the root contains vitamin B12 and can be used in the treatment of pernicious anaemia. It is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of women's complaints where it regulates the menstrual cycle and relieves period pain and also to ensure a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery.
However conflicting information suggests it should not be used during pregnancy and should not be used if menstrual flow is heavy or during menstration. It is an ideal tonic for women with heavy menstruation who risk becoming anaemic. The water-soluble and non-volatile elements of the root increase the contraction of the uterus whilst the volatile elements can relax the muscle of the uterus. Its use prevents the decrease of liver glycogen and protects the liver. Used for menopausal symptoms (hot flushes).
It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus typhi, B. comma, B. cholerae and haemolytic streptococci.
The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China. The other species used are Rehmannia glutinosa, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora.The root is harvested in the autumn or winter and dried for later use. It has been used to treat pulmonary hypertension in combination with the allopathic medication nifedipine. Other uses include: constipation (a laxative), trauma injuries, ulcers, rheumatism and malaria.
|Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)||Alterative, Analgesic, Anticholesterolemic, Antiinflammatory, Antispasmodic, Deobstruent, Emollient, Hepatic, Laxative, Ornamental, Seasoning, Sedative, Vasodilator|
|2||Elderberry, Black; Black Elder; Elder Berry||Caprifoliaceae||Sambucus nigra||2013-04-23 00:00:00||182 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Soak berries overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. Sow in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the seeds from the fruits and then store the seeds in moist medium in a sealed plastic bag or jar in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 90 days, then remove from fridge and sow. The best conditions for germination are cool, moist shade. We find that this method is pretty reliable. Elderberries will not grow properly in sterile soil. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium. The breakdown of fungi in the soil will produce gibberellic acid, a growth hormone which is helpful for germination. Once germinated, the seedling grows very rapidly into a handsome bush or small tree. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed.
Division of suckers in the dormant season.
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and situations, growing well on chalk, but prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations.
The elder is very occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties though most of these have been developed for their ornamental value. The sub-species S. nigra alba has white/green fruits that are nicer than the type species and are quite nice raw.
The elder also has a very long history of folk use, both medicinally and for a wide range of other uses. All in all it is a very valuable plant to have in the garden. The leaves often begin to open as early as January and are fully open in April. The leaves fall in October/November in exposed sites, later in sheltered positions. Young stems can be killed by late frosts but they are soon replaced from the ground level.
Very tolerant of pruning, plants can be cut back to ground level and will regrow from the base.
The flowers have a sweet, almost overpowering smell, not exactly pleasant for it has fishy undertones, but from a distance its musky scent is appealing.
Very resistant to the predations of rabbits. The flowers are very attractive to insects. The fruit is very attractive to birds and this can draw them away from other cultivated fruits.The elder is an early colonizer of derelict land, the seed arriving in the defecations of birds and mammals. It is a very good pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|127||It's probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation. Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.||sun or partial shade||moist||loam||50 each||Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed bush to small tree native to Europe. Wild form. This is the most tried-and-true species for medicinal use, and the berries are very tasty, and about twice as big as the berries of other species. Elderberry berries are rich in anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants.
The syrup, tincture or glycerite of the berries is excellent for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity. The fresh green leaves may be infused in olive oil to make an emollient embrocation for treating sunburn, rough skin, age spots, and/or diaper rash (normally individuals will not have both age spots and diaper rash, but it can happen). Truly, all parts of the plant may be used in herbal medicine, and this is much expanded upon in my book "Making Plant Medicine."
Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.
Elder has a very long history of household use as a medicinal herb and is also much used by herbalists. The plant has been called 'the medicine chest of country people'.
The flowers are the main part used in modern herbalism, though all parts of the plant have been used at times. The inner bark is collected from young trees in the autumn and is best sun-dried. It is diuretic, a strong purgative and in large doses emetic. It is used in the treatment of constipation and arthritic conditions.
An emollient ointment is made from the green inner bark.
The leaves can be used both fresh or dry. For drying, they are harvested in periods of fine weather during June and July. The leaves are purgative, but are more nauseous than the bark. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and haemostatic.
The juice is said to be a good treatment for inflamed eyes. An ointment made from the leaves is emollient and is used in the treatment of bruises, sprains, chilblains, wounds etc.
The fresh flowers are used in the distillation of 'Elder Flower Water'. The flowers can be preserved with salt to make them available for distillation later in the season. The water is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant. It is mainly used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions. The dried flowers are diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue and pectoral. An infusion is very effective in the treatment of chest complaints and is also used to bathe inflamed eyes. The infusion is also a very good spring tonic and blood cleanser.
Externally, the flowers are used in poultices to ease pain and abate inflammation. Used as an ointment, it treats chilblains, burns, wounds, scalds etc. The fruit is depurative, weakly diaphoretic and gently laxative. A tea made from the dried berries is said to be a good remedy for colic and diarrhoea.
The fruit is widely used for making wines, preserves etc., and these are said to retain the medicinal properties of the fruit. The pith of young stems is used in treating burns and scalds.
The root is no longer used in herbal medicine but it formerly had a high reputation as an emetic and purgative that was very effective against dropsy.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh inner bark of young branches. It relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup in children.
The plant is a valuable addition to the compost heap, its flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator and the roots of the plant improve fermentation of the compost heap when growing nearby.
The leaves are used as an insect repellent, very effective when rubbed on the skin though they do impart their own unique fragrance. They can be powdered and placed amongst plants to act as a deterrent, or made into a spray when they act as an insecticide. This is prepared by boiling 3 - 4 handfuls of leaves in a litre of water, then straining and allowing to cool before applying. Effective against many insects, it also treats various fungal infections such as leaf rot and powdery mildew. The dried flowering shoots are used to repel insects, rodents etc.
The flowers are used in skin lotions, oils and ointments. Tolerant of salt-laden gales, this species can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime areas, it is rather bare in the winter though.
This is an excellent pioneer species to use when re-establishing woodlands. It is very tough and wind-resistant, grows quickly and provides shelter for longer-lived and taller woodland species to establish. It will generally maintain itself in the developing woodland, though usually in the sunnier positions.
A dye is obtained from the fruit and the bark. The bark of older branches and the root have been used as an ingredient in dyeing black. A green dye is obtained from the leaves when alum is used as a mordant. The berries yield various shades of blue and purple dyes. They have also been used as a hair dye, turning the hair black.
The blue colouring matter from the fruit can be used as a litmus to test if something is acid or alkaline. It turns green in an alkaline solution and red in an acid solution.
The pith in the stems of young branches pushes out easily and the hollow stems thus made have been used as pipes for blowing air into a fire. They can also be made into musical instruments. The pith of the wood is used for making microscope slides and also for treating burns and scalds. The mature wood is white and fine-grained. It is easily cut and polishes well. Valued highly by carpenters, it has many used, for making skewers, mathematical instruments, toys etc.
Fruit eaten raw or cooked. The flavour of the raw fruit is not acceptable to many tastes, though when cooked it makes delicious jams, preserves, pies and so forth. It can be used fresh or dried, the dried fruit being less bitter. The fruit is used to add flavour and colour to preserves, jams, pies, sauces, chutneys etc, it is also often used to make wine.
The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Flowers eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The flowers are crisp and somewhat juicy, they have an aromatic smell and flavour and are delicious raw as a refreshing snack on a summers day, though look out for the insects. The flowers are used to add a muscatel flavour to stewed fruits, jellies and jams (especially gooseberry jam). They are often used to make a sparkling wine.A sweet tea is made from the dried flowers. The leaves are used to impart a green colouring to oils and fats.
|Antiinflammatory, Aperient, Beverage, Compost, Cosmetic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emollient, Expectorant, Food, Forage, Fungicide, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Immunostimulant, Insect Repellant, Insecticide, Laxative, Litmus, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Pipes, Purgative, Salve, Stimulant, Wood|
|26||Empresss Tree; Foxglove Tree||Scrophulariaceae||Paulownia tomentosa||2013-04-12 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||64||Like willow, will sprout from cuttings stuck in the ground.
Germination note on this seed: I sowed one packet of out seed on the surface, pressed it in and kept it moist, at 65 degrees F, and ended up with over 100 seedlings after an extended germination time of 64 days. Even I was beginning to wonder. Faith, faith, faith is the most essential ingredient!
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a greenhouse at 15 - 20°c. The seed requires light for germination. Fair to good germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse 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, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Overwinter in a cold frame for its first year and plant out in late spring. Root cuttings 4cm long in December. Good percentage survival.
Requires a deep moderately fertile moisture retentive but well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered position. Plants are tolerant of atmospheric pollution. A very ornamental and fast growing plant.
The flower buds are formed in autumn and can be excited into premature growth during mild winter weather, this growth is then more susceptible to frost damage. The flower buds are hardy to about -15°c when dormant.
Plants, and especially seedlings less than 2 years old, are frost tender when young.They do not flower reliably in maritime zones, this is probably due to insufficient warmth and dryness in the summer. Branches tend to be brittle. The flowers have a delicate sweet fragrance. Trees can be coppiced annually, they will then produce very vigorous growth with leaves up to 1 metre wide. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|sun or partial shade||moist||200 each||Deciduous, dioecious tree native to Central and Western China.
This is one of the most signficant of all permaculture trees. It is used extensively in China as a divider between fields. Instant shade in the summer, with leaves as big as elephant ears and much greener. Every year it gets harder for me to get the seed pods, as they occur many feet up in the trees here on our farm (trees that were started from seed some years ago -- these babies grow fast!). Anyhow I was putting off the harvest this year because its dangerous and all, and then finally got up the courage to go out and grab the ladder and a long pole to try to knock down some pods, and when I came to the trees, one of them had BENT OVER ITS TOP and was offering me the pods, completely ripe and ready to go, right there at head level. I said "Thank You" and took some of them. Talk about a giving tree...
Later, I cut some empress tree twigs to use as stakes to hold up impressotags in the greenhouse (for marking plants). I had built a giant, waist-high raised bed out of rocks and dirt, and was marking rows of newly planted seeds (Tulsi, Jiao-gu-lan, White Sage, Spicebush, and others) and I shoved these twigs into the dirt and twisted the tags around the tips, and thought nothing more about it. Then, the seeds started to come up, and I also noticed something a bit surprising -- the buds on the empress tree stakes were swelling, too. I thought, "well, that's all very nice, but of course a twig like that will not spring roots. Wrong again, Mr. Green Man -- not only did they sprout roots, but they started to territorialize quite vigorously. This reminded me of the story of "Robinson Crusoe" that I read as a kid, and how he made a fence of green poles (to protect himself from a footprint in the sand, I seem to remember -- not his) which then sprouted and made an impenetrable fortress. Empress tree would be good for this. Actually, I believe DeFoe wrote this book based on a sailor left behind on one of the ill-fated botanical voyages headed up by no less than the infamous Captain Bligh, later memorialized by several movies usually entitled something like "Mutiny on the Bounty." Breadfruits, it turned out, were not preferred food among the Caribbean slave population...
Afternote: The tree is increasing in popularity, as it has become evident that the fast growth and the great surface area of the leaves makes this one of the most significant "carbon sinks" available on the planet. Removes carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and replaces this gas with breathable oxygen at approximately twice the rate of a "normal" tree. Grow Empress Tree, People, and take a deep breath!The wood is resistant to insects. This is a fast growing tree, suitable for relatively quick fuel or lumber production.
|Astringent, Charcoal, Mulch, Ornamental, Skin, Vermifuge, Warts, Wood|
|266||Goji; Wolfberry; Chinese Matrimony Vine; Box Thorn||Solanaceae||Lycium barbarum||2012-03-31 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||7||Plant prefers full sun and fast-drying soils. High desert conditions are quite conducive. Goji plants are drought-tolerant.
Seeds lose viability when removed from fruit. Soak dried berries in water overnight and remove the seeds from the softened fruits in the morning and plant them. Use a sandy potting soil medium. Sow the seeds just beneath the surface, tamp in, and keep in strong light. Water well to start, but back off on watering after germination, which occurrs in 1 to 2 weeks. Pot up seedlings and plant out to the landscape only after they are well-established.
Grow in greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Pinch out the shoot tips of the young plants in order to encourage bushy growth.
Cuttings: half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel if possible, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, autumn to late winter in a cold frame. High percentage.
Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
An easily grown plant, it does not require a rich soil, flowering and fruiting better in a well-drained soil of moderate quality. Succeeds in impoverished soils, but more fertile soils are best if the plant is being grown for its edible young shoots.
Requires a sunny position. Tolerates maritime exposure. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value.Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can regrow from old wood. Any trimming is best carried out in the spring. Plants produce suckers freely and can become invasive when in a suitable position. Otherwise they can be difficult to establish.
|730||Native to Northern China. Viney, likes something to grow on. Will spread on ground.||sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||300 each||Goji berries are used fresh, juiced or (more commonly) dried and used like raisins.
They are a yin tonic, immune enhancing, and excellent for the overall health.
There is much confusion over the naming of this species. Most, if not all, of the plants being grown as L. chinense or L. europaeum are in fact this species.
Fruit: edible raw or cooked. The fruit is a berry about 2cm in diameter. A mild sweet liquorice flavour. Only the fully ripe fruits should be eaten.
Young shoots: edible cooked. Used mainly as a flavouring, they can also be lightly cooked for 3 - 4 minutes and used as a vegetable, the flavour is somewhat cress-like but has also been described as peppermint-like.
Leaves: wilt rapidly once they have been harvested; used as a tea substitute.
A sweet tonic decoction made from the fruits is used to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It acts mainly on the liver and kidneys. The fruit is taken internally in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, poor eyesight, vertigo, lumbago, impotence and menopausal complaints.
The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for later use.
The root bark is a bitter, cooling, antibacterial herb that controls coughs and lowers fevers, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It is taken internally in the treatment of chronic fevers, internal haemorrhages, nosebleeds, tuberculosis, coughs, asthma etc. It is applied externally to treat genital itching. The bark is harvested in the winter and dried for later use.
The plant has a long history of medicinal use, both as a general, energy restoring tonic and also to cure a wide range of ailments from skin rashes and eyesight problems to diabetes. A tonic tea is made from the leaves.The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
|Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E||Antibacterial, Anticholesterolemic, Antipyretic, Beverage, Cancer, Diuretic, Food, Hedge, Hypoglycaemic, Ophthalmic, Purgative, Skin, Soil stabilization, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|34||Gotu Kola; Brahmi||Apiaceae||Hydrocotyl asiatica||30||Gotu kola is actually somewhat difficult to start from seed. Remember, it is a pioneer successional plant, with seeds that may remain dormant in the soil for decades until the right conditions occur for germination. Use a very well-draining mix (I've had zero germination in pots containing regular potting soil, except for one seed that was pinched between two pots and sprouted there -- clearly a situation of "excellent drainage." So, the best approach is to plant in greenhouse conditions in very excellently drained soil, just pressed into the surface of the soil, in which case the seeds will probably germinate in 30 to 90 days. Seed sown in the unheated greenhouse in the fall may give substantially better germination rates, but the germination time is likely to be up to 6 months. Division is simple at any time in the growing season, though the spring is probably best. We find that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are rooting away well, though in selected mild gardens it should be possible to plant the divisions out directly into their permanent positions.||Old stone walls and rocky sunny places in lowland hills and especially by the coast in central and southern Japan. Shady, damp and wet places such as paddy fields, and in grass thickets.||sun or partial shade||moist||poor||50 each||Gotu kola is an outstandingly important medicinal herb. Its Indian name is 'Brahmi' which means 'bringing knowledge of the Supreme Reality' and it has long been used there medicinally and as an aid to meditation.
It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders. In India it is chiefly valued as a revitalizing herb that strengthens nervous function and memory.
The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system.
It has been suggested that regular use of the herb can rejuvenate the nervous system and it therefore deserves attention as a possible cure for a wide range of nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis. Recent research has shown that gotu kola reduces scarring, improves circulatory problems in the lower limbs and speeds the healing process.
It is used internally in the treatment of wounds, chronic skin conditions (including leprosy), venereal diseases, malaria, varicose veins, ulcers, nervous disorders and senility.
Externally, the herb is applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and rheumatic joints.The plant can be harvested at any time of the year, fresh or dried. Some report the dried herb quickly loses its medicinal properties and so is best used fresh.
|Adaptogen, Antiinflammatory, Cardiac, Depurative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hypotensive, Nervine, Sedative, Skin, Tonic|
|46||Ku-shen||Fabaceae||Sophora flavescens||Scarify and soak seed overnight and sow fall to early spring. Work up seedlings in pots until they are big enough to withstand the rigors of planting outdoors.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year.
Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. A polymorphic species. 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.CUTTINGS of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Also, air-layering.
|The plant itself does well in the same habitat as Sea Buckthorn (Hippophaea rhamnoides), with an ability to improve poor soil and stabilize loose, sloping ground. Relatively cold-hardy broadleaf evergreens brighten the dreary drears of winter. Plant prefers full sun and is not picky about soil.
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower, and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold.Although hardy to at least -15°c, this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring.
|full sun||well drained||poor||50 each||Evergreen perennial shrub to 5 feet, native to China and Japan. The dried root of this handsome, nitrogen-fixing subshrub is one of the Chinese herbs that clears heat, having a bitter and cold nature, used for jaundice, diarrhea, vaginal discharge and sores. It is a relatively important herb in the Chinese materia medica.||Nitrogen||Anthelmintic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antipruritic, Astringent, Bitter, Carminative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Insect Repellant, Parasiticide, Pectoral, Stomachic, Tonic|
|265||Rye, Fall||Poaceae||Secale cereale||Seed: sow March or October in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained light soil in a sunny position.
It thrives on infertile, submarginal areas and is renouned for its ability to grow on sandy soils.
Established plants are drought tolerant. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of of 22 to 176cm, an annual temperature in the range of of 4.3 to 21.3°C and a pH of 4.5 to 8.2.
Rye is a widely cultivated temperate zone cereal crop. It is able to withstand severe climatic conditions and can be grown much further north and at higher altitudes than wheat.
Average yields vary widely from country to country, the world average is around 1.6 tonnes per hectare with yields of almost 7 tonnes per hectare achieved in Norway.
There are many named varieties. Rye is a rather variable species and botanists have divided it into a number of sub-species, all of which could be of value in breeding programmes. These sub-species are briefly listed below:
S. cereale afghanicum (Vavilov.) K.Hammer. Native to the Caucasus, western Asia and India.
S. cereale ancestrale Zhuk. Native to western Asia.
S. cereale dighoricum Vavilov. Native to the Caucasus and eastern europe.
S. cereale segetale Zhuk. Native to temperate Asia.Rye grows well with cornflowers and pansies, though it inhibits the growth of poppies and couch grass.
|full sun||well drained||poor||25000 grams||Edible seed: cooked. A common cereal, it is used especially in N. Europe to make bread. The seed contains about 13% protein. The grain also contains some gluten, though not as much as wheat, so it makes a heavier bread than wheat. It can also be used to make cakes etc. The seed can be sprouted and added to salads.
Malt, a sweet substance produced by germinating the seed, is extracted from the roasted germinated seed and used as a sweetening agent and in making beer etc. The roasted (ungerminated) seed is used as a coffee substitute.
The straw is used as a fuel or as a biomass in industry. It is quite strong and can also be used in thatching, for paper making, weaving mats and hats etc. Other uses for the straw include as a packing material for nursery stock, bricks and tiles, for bedding, archery targets, and mushroom compost.The plant is a good green manure crop. It is fast growing with an extensive and deep root system. It is especially useful if sown in late autumn. Its growth over the winter will prevent soil erosion and the leaching of nutrients from the soil, it can then be incorporated into the soil in the spring. The extensive root system also makes this a good plant to use for soil stabilization, especially on sandy soils.
|Carbohydrate, Phosphorous, Potassium, Protein||Beverage, Cancer, Fibre, Fuel, Green manure, Laxative, Oil, Poultice, Soil stabilization, Sweetening|
|69||Sumac, Smooth; Sumach Tree||Anacardiaceae||Rhus glabra||Scarify and sow in spring.||Plant prefers part shade to full sun and will flourish in any soil, including clay.||sun or partial shade||Small deciduous tree to 15 feet, with a flattened, spreading crown. All zones. Throughout North America, the several species of Sumac decorate field, roadside and yard with their deep-red, fall colors and erect, cone-like clusters of fruit. The fruit is covered with fuzz, rich in malic and ascorbic acid crystals, very high in vitamin C. You can make tasty sun tea from these fruits.||Alterative, Antiseptic, Appetizer, Astringent, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Mordant, Oil, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Refrigerant, Rubefacient, Salve, Shelterbelt, Soil stabilization, Tannin, TB, Tonic, Wood|
|74||Uva Ursi; Bearberry; Kinnikinik||Ericaceae||Arctostaphylos uva-ursi||60||Scarify seed vigorously on sandpaper. Fire dependent germinator. Sow in fall, spring, or summer. Space plants 1 foot apart.
Seed: best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak dried seed in boiling water for 10 - 20 seconds or burn some straw on top of them and then stratify at 2 - 5°c for 2 months. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of side shoots of the current season's growth, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August to December in a frame. The cuttings are very slow and can take a year to root.
Division in early spring. Take care because the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and keep them in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing away actively.
Layering of long branches in early spring.
Requires a deep moist well-drained light or medium lime-free loam in sun or semi-shade. Shade tolerant but plants produce less fruit when they are grown in the shade. Prefers a cool damp position.
A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its medicinal uses.
There are a number of named varieties developed for their ornamental interest. The form 'Massachusetts' is an especially prostrate, free-flowering and free-fruiting form. 'Anchor Bay', 'Point Reyes' and 'Vulcan's Peak' have all been mentioned as good groundcover forms.This is one of the first plants to colonize bare and rocky ground and burnt over areas. It is often an indicator of poor soils in the wild. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their final positions as soon as possible. Hybridizes with other members of this genus, especially A. columbiana.
|Plant prefers acid soils, full sun to part shade.||partial shade||moist||loam||30 each||Hardy to: All zones. Spreading perennial evergreen groundcover. Circumpolar. The herb covers entire hillsides and has been adopted by landscapers for use in the city as a drought tolerant, glossy leaved groundcover. Does well in pots.
Smokeable. Tea or tincture treats mild urinary infections.
Bearberry was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, it is one of the best natural urinary antiseptics. The leaves contain hydroquinones and are strongly antibacterial, especially against certain organisms associated with urinary infections. The plant should be used with caution, however, because hydroquinones are also toxic.
The dried leaves are used in the treatment of a variety of complaints. These leaves should be harvested in early autumn, only green leaves being selected, and then dried in gentle heat.
A tea made from the dried leaves is much used for kidney and bladder complaints and inflammations of the urinary tract such as acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, but it should be used with caution and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The tea is more effective if the urine is alkaline, thus it is best used in combination with a vegetable-based diet.
Externally, a poultice of the infused leaves with oil has been used as a salve to treat rashes, skin sores etc, and as a wash for a baby's head. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an eyewash, a mouthwash for cankers and sore gums and as a poultice for back pains, rheumatism, burns etc.
The dried leaves have been used for smoking as an alternative to tobacco.
The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease. Other uses: fluid retention and bed wetting. Claimed to strengthen the heart muscle and urinary tract and to return the womb to its normal size after childbirth. Treatment should be short (seven days) and used with an alkaline diet. Not recommended for children under 12.
Edible fruit, raw or cooked. Insipid, dry and mealy, it becomes sweeter when cooked. Added to stews etc, it is a good source of carbohydrates.
The fruit can also be used to make a cooling drink or used for preserves etc. It can be dried and stored for later use. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the dried leaves.
A yellowish-brown dye is obtained from the leaves, it does not require a mordant. A grey-brown dye is obtained from the fruit.
The dried fruits are used in rattles and as beads on necklaces etc.The leaves are a good source of tannin. The mashed berries can be rubbed on the insides of coiled cedar root baskets in order to waterproof them. A good ground-cover for steep sandy banks in a sunny position or in light shade. A carpeting plant, growing fairly fast and carpeting as it spreads. It is valuable for checking soil erosion on watersheds. This is also a pioneer plant in the wild, often being the first plant to colonize burnt-over areas, especially on poor soils.
|Antiseptic, Astringent, Beads, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Hypnotic, Kidney, Lithontripic, Ornamental, Pioneer, Poultice, Skin, Soil stabilization, Tannin, Tonic, Waterproofing|
|77||Vetch, Kidney||Fabaceae||Anthyllis vulneraria||7||Scarify the seed on medium sandpaper and sow in spring. An overnight soak will speed germination, which takes 1 to 3 weeks. Barely cover with soil, tamp well. Easy to sow in place, or if you like, sow in pots. Excellent for open garden, grasslands, rock gardens, or potted culture.
Seed: sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. If there is sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Pre-soak the seed for about 12 hrs or scarify the seed. It usually germinates in 1 -2 months at 10°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring or autumn.
Prefers a sunny position and an alkaline soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8. Prefers a sandy loam. Thrives in poor soils.A rich food source for bees, butterflies and caterpillars.
|This easy creeper fixes nitrogen and provides nectar for an extended time period from midspring through midsummer, and again, sometimes, with the fall rains.||sun or partial shade||poor||50 each||Herbaceous perennial native to Europe and flowering yellow to about 8 inches. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and calcerous soils or regular garden soils. I frequently see this growing in the wild on the Pacific Coast, and it is relatively famous for doing well around beaches, sea cliffs, etc.
With its soft and pretty, globular flowers and forgiving, slightly downy foliage, Kidney Vetch is a natural choice as an emollient treatment for the skin, and has been used as such since time immemorial. The plant may be poulticed, or dried and made into an infused oil and incorporated in that way into cosmetics, lotions, or salves. The plant detoxifies, and it soothes inflammations.
This plant is an ancient remedy for skin eruptions, slow-healing wounds, minor wounds, cuts and bruises, it is applied externally.
Internally, it is used as a treatment for constipation and as a spring tonic. The plant can be used fresh in the growing season, or harvested when in flower and dried for later use.The dried flower heads are a tea substitute.
|Boron, Nitrogen||Antitussive, Astringent, Beverage, Emollient, Insectiary, Laxative, Vulnerary|
|258||Wild Hollyhock||Malvaceae||Alcea rosea||14||Seed: sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division after flowering. Only use rust-free specimens.
Root cuttings in December.
Basal cuttings at almost any time of year.
Succeeds in most soils. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -15°c.A very ornamental plant, it is usually grown as a biennial due to its susceptibility to the fungal disease 'rust'. There are many named varieties. Young plants, and also the young growth in spring, are very attractive to slugs.
|sun or partial shade||moist||clay||0 each||The flowers are demulcent, diuretic and emollient. They are useful in the treatment of chest complaints, and a decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhage etc.
The flowers are harvested when they are open and are dried for later use. The shoots are used to ease a difficult labour. The root is astringent and demulcent. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery. The roots and the flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are said to have a sweet, acrid taste and a neutral potency. They are used in the treatment of inflammations of the kidneys/womb, vaginal/seminal discharge, and the roots on their own are used to treat loss of appetite.
The seed is demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge.
Edible: young leaves, raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired. They have been used as a pot-herb, though they are not particularly palatable. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads.
Inner portion of young stems, raw. Flower petals and flower buds, raw. Added to salads.
A nutritious starch is obtained from the root.
A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals.
A fibre obtained from the stems is used in papermaking. The fibres are about 1.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be removed. The fibres are cooked with lye for 2 hours and then ball milled for 3 hours or pounded with mallets. The paper is light tan in colour.
The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.
The seed contains 12% of a drying oil.
The red anthocyanin constituent of the flowers is used as a litmus.A brown dye is obtained from the petals.
|Antiinflammatory, Astringent, Beverage, Compost, Demulcent, Diuretic, Dye, Emollient, Febrifuge, Fibre, Litmus, Oil, Ornamental|
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