The violet-red flowers are borne in a loose, terminal spike. The leaves are lanceolate, broadest at the center and unspotted; the ones at the bottom level are structured in a rosette, those at the summit are sheathed and upright. A perennial herb with spherical tubers and an erect leafy stem. The side petals are curved upward to form a helmet-shaped structure with conspicuous green veins; the lower lip is three-lobed. The fruit is a capsule with numerous very small seeds.
They are collected for therapeutic needs only where they still grow abundantly but they have been replaced by other, less-expensive herbal remedies.
Green-winged Orchid is reasonably plentiful in the south of Britain but is rarer in other places. Another indigenous British orchid, Broad-leaved Marsh Orchid [Dactylorhiza majalis), has a far more scattered and local distribution. It can be distinguished from Green-winged Orchid by its split tubers, usually spotted leaves, pinkish-mauve flowers and the side petals which are spreading and not formed into a helmet.
These species along with other orchids are declining in quantities in the wild and many are now protected.
At one time orchids were utilized as aphrodisiacs and the generic name, Orchis, from a Greek word for testicle, pertains to the appearance of the tubers. Green-winged Orchid’s specific name, morio, however, means ‘fool’! A nutritious drink known as salep is still produced from the dried tubers of some orchids, chiefly species of Orchis.
The tubers are the medicinal elements. Their constituents include about 50 per cent of mucilage that changes by hydrolysis to mannose and glucose, as well as 30 per cent of starch and proteins.
These elements give Green-winged Orchid emollient, stomachic and antidiarrhoeal characteristics and it was previously used for intestinal and abdominal disorders. For more information, check out Online Biology Degree to find classes that can teach you more about the usage of this herbal viagra.
Green-winged Orchid grows patchily throughout Europe in dry meadows and pastures, especially on lime-rich earth.
Flowering period: May to June.(Northern hemisphere)
Nyymphaeaceae nuphar lutea
The substantial yellow blossoms , which have a scent of liquor and are pollinated by insects , grow on long stalks above the water’s surface . The petals are considerably smaller compared to the sepals . The fruit is a fleshy , flask-shaped capsule , which includes air bladders in its body tissues making sure that it will remain afloat for some time .
A perennial aquatic botanical herb with a strong creeping rhizome having long-stalked , widely ovate to cordate , robust , leathery leaves that drift on the water’s surface area .
The plant has actually received its unconventional designation , brandy bottle , due to the contour of the seed capsules as well as the vaguely alcoholic odour of its blooms. The generic name – nuphar – originates from the ancient latin word nenuphar for a waterlily , which in turn is a corruption of the arabic ninufar as well as Sanskrit nilot-pala with yet another water plant , the Indian blue lotus ( nelumbo nucifera ). And yes, it can be confusing!
The rhizomes are employed medicinally – they comprise tannins, glycosides, alkaloids ( nupharine , nupharidine ) together with other elements which are currently being researched for their physiological effects. In minimal doses these ingredients possess a cardiotonic effect so they are included in some medical preparations recommended by doctors on the continent .
They influence the core neurological system and in large amounts they can cause paralysis .
Yellow waterlily is not employed in herbal remedies however tinctures are employed is homeopathy .THIS MUST BE MADE USE OF EXCLUSIVELY UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION ; IT IS NEVER RECOMMENDED FOR SELF-MEDICATION .
It is usually farmed for the pharmaceutical industry on the Continent . Always remember that it is best to consult a professional pharmacy technician for more information about this poisonous yet medicinal herb.
Yellow Waterlily is protected in many countries , although not in the British Isles where it continues to be quite common , particularly in the southern and eastern regions. It grows across Europe and Asia in nutrient-rich , still or gently moving water .
Flowering season : June to September
Artemisia absinthium (Compositae)
Herb Garden Plant Appearance
The light green deeply slashed leaves (which are silvery when young) provide a highly attractive feature in the herb garden. lt is a touch woody and appears to glimmer during the rain. Circular shrubs achieve 90-120 cms (3-4 ft) in height and produce tiny greenish-yellow flowers in summer time.
Include new grown leaves in poutpourri and herbal sachets, and spread dehydrated sprigs inside drawers as well as cupboards to maintain fresh air. The essential oil of wormwood is manufactured from this plant in both France and America. Although aromatic, wormwood has a very bitter taste.
In large herb gardens a striking impact can be attained by grouping a number of plants together.
Known as Artemisia from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana. The Herbarium of Apuleius proclaims: “Of these worts that we name Artemisia, it is said that Diana did find them and delivered their powers and leechdom to Chiron the Centaur, who first from these Worts set forth a leechdom, and he named these worts from the name of Diana, Artemis, that is Artemisias.”
A native of Europe, wormwood is one of the truly magical shrubs from the herb garden. lt was long been introduced into America as a cultivated plant which has naturalized in some areas.
Wormwood is primarily a flavorant designed for liqueurs and aperitifs – such as absinth and vermouth – since it has a unique fragrance. The leaves are sweetest in aroma when gathered early on in the summer. Absinthe, popular in the 19th century in Europe, caused several cases of brain damage and even death and was banned in many countries in the early 20th century. There is some controversy about this today, as it is claimed that prohibitionists in America started the rumours of brain damage or death. At present, there is no definitive study to prove either theory.
It was previously regarded as a useful remedy for liver and gallbladder problems.
Wormwood oil is still used as a flavoring agent for foods, although in very much smaller quantities than were found in the original absinthe.
The plant’s typical scent can help make it helpful with regard to making a plant spray to combat unwanted insects. In the technique of companion plants, it puts an inhibiting influence on the growth of surrounding plants, therefore inhibiting weeds. It can always be helpful to reject insect larvae although it need only to be located on the border of the area of planting. It has also ended up being employed to repel indoor pests.
Cultivation In The Herb Garden
Propagate through summer season cuttings or from seed sown as soon as it’s ripe, and protect through
the winter season. Both dappled shade or full-blown sunshine are well suited for wormwood, but bushes do appreciate a little shelter from robust winds.
It may be grown within containers and where winter weather icy temperatures pose problems, taken into shelter during a severe spell.
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Rosa gallica officinalis is the apothecary’s rose, identified somewhat ambiguously in England as the damask rose because it was introduced to Europe by the crusaders from Damascus. Within America it’s known as the French rose, or rose of Provins
The plant is a bush generally 60 to 120 cms (2-4 ft) in height, typically thick and wide, frequently used on trellises and a great plant for a casual border around the herb garden. The leaves are a strong darkish green, made up of five leaflets, and the stiff bristly stems are virtually without thorns. The petals are bright red with a golden cluster of anthers at the open centre.
Numerous mythological as well as charming associations have followed the rose through the centuries and a belief in its potent capabilities resulted in its cultivation in herb gardens fof its uses in medicine and confections.
The apothecarys rose is sometimes referred to as the queen of aromatic herbs.
Mainly because the dried out petals hold their fragrance it has been extensively employed in the production of numerous fragrances – particularly in the region of the town of Provins, south of Paris, during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Previously, rose honey, lozenges, rose perfumed snuff and rose scented tapers, rose scented wine, rose vinegar and rose sauces were almost all widely available. Fresh or dried out petals may be spread on salads and desserts or strewn in drinks: the hips can be lightly boiled until tender, strained, and the fluid used like a tisane.
ln perfumery, because the petals preserve so strong an aroma on drying out, they were very helpful for sweet waters and sweet smelling bags and they are the predominant ingredient of pot pourri.
Roses adore the sunlight and require a bit of moisture at the roots. Basic cultivation is actually the exact same for all roses, although the complex pruning regimen connected with modern roses will not have to be adopted for the apothecary’s rose. Just get rid of dead and ageing branches; in the event that too much pruning is undertaken the vitality of the plant will end up being directed into producing growth instead of producing blossoms.
In The United States the rose will flourish in all except the really northerly areas, and likes some winter season cold in order to get its winter break. Numerous gardeners regard its cultivation impractical, and it is definitely not for the southern and western seaboard states.
Choose good garden loam, and prepare the soil well before planting in the autumn (fall) or spring. It is actually a good idea for you to acquire smaller plants since propagation from cuttings can be a somewhat sluggish process. In regions where the winter temperature falls beneath minus l2°C (l0°F) shrubs planted in autumn (fall) should be protected during their initial winter with a shielding mulch (which can easily be taken off the following spring).
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Herb Garden Plants – Iris.
Iris is really a category of some two hundred and fifty-odd species of flowering plants with flamboyant blooms. Although Iris may not be generally seen as a ‘herb garden plant‘ it nevertheless fits both the definition and spirit of beneficial herbs.
It borrows its label from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide selection of blossom hues found among the numerous varieties. As well as being the scientific title,’ iris’ is also very widely used as a common label; for one thing, it refers to all Iris varieties, though a number of plants called thus fit in better with some other closely connected genera.
Throughout North America, the popular name for irises is ‘flags’. The true yellow flag bears compact, elegant, golden yellow flowers in summer, and it is a fairly widespread plant found in waterway borders and marshy terrain in Great Britain. Flowering stems and sword-like leaves reach a height of 60 to 150 cms (2 to 5 ft) and the plants can form extensive colonies. ln America this plant is known as a blue flag, the blossoms being violet azure and variegated with yellow, and the flower stems attaining 60 to 90 cms (2-3 ft) in height.
The particular name pseudacorus acknowledges its resemblance (when not in flower) to the sweet sedge or sweet flag, Acarus calamus. Nevertheless, the leaves as well as the root base of iris are typically odourless whilst sweet sedge is fragrant.
Two or three native European irises have been used in remedies, the best known, the yellow flag iris, is British and ended up being the type taken to America by the early settlers.
Universally known as fleur de luce, fleur de lys or fleur-de-lis, it was the heraldic logo associated with the kings of France and legends abound on that score.
- lris has long been grown in America for its roots which are applied in order to treat bumps and also bruises, and as iridin or irisin with regard to its action on the liver and bowels.
- The powdered root is an additive to snuff, and if chopped up may offer a cure for toothache.
- Culpeper extolled its use, when distilled, as a treatment for weak and tired eyes and asserted that a salve made from the flowers was beneficial for managing ulcers or even syphilitic sores.
- The flowers produce a very good yellow dye and the roots, along with the addition of an iron dye mordant, create a black dye.
Yellow flag can only be grown really successfully as a water plant. ln the ornamental herb garden it needs a marsh-like location where it can accompany watercress, water mints and sweet sedge. Settle the rhizomes straight into the borders of a muddy pool and, if needed, tie some rhizomes collectively in a string or wire basket which can be ballasted to avoid the clumps from sailing off.
The irises tend to be such a large family that growing conditions and garden soil needs vary substantially. Numerous types have adapted to regional conditions when transported afar. I remember visiting a long-deserted farmhouse where the only visible flowers were purple irises growing happily in hard dry soil.
For most typical irises though, position your rhizomes just below the surface of the ground with the roots well spread out below so the rhizome is within reach of the heat of the sun’s rays while the roots beneath tend to be in damp (not soggy) soil.
Work your dirt properly to a depth of 25 to 30 cm. In the event that your soil is heavy, incorporate sand so that wetness drains quickly. Irises will develop in the majority of garden soils.
Be certain to firm the earth snugly about every rhizome when planting. Follow the ordinary good gardening procedure of applying water and settling soil on newly set plants.
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Nowadays Jacobs Ladder, although demoted from its high position in the medical herb garden plants hall of fame, is still popular as a decorative perennial plant. The cultivated version is around 30cm tall sporting regularly spaced leaves and flowers of a striking blue which reveal themselves in a series of blossoms for a month around midsummer. Left to its own devices, it will grow up to 60cm (2′) tall.
Named after Polemon of Cappadocia for a medicinal herb associated with him, the true species is common to the northern hemispere, growing best, if thinly, in the temperate regions. The so-called false jacobs ladder – Greek Valerian – is widespread in America where it roots in damp soil.
Modern medicine has largely over-shadowed the virtues for which Jacobs Ladder was previously cultivated. These once-popular herb garden plants were cultivated as recently as the 19th century for use as an astringent, an anti-syphilitic measure, as an antidote to snakebite and in the treatment of rabies. Currently popular as an addition to a cat basket as a sort of potpourri or just by rubbing over the bedding. The plant is beloved by felines, who will roll on the young herb garden plants and damage any that are not protected in some fashion.
Choosing a sunny spot with a damp soil – possibly laced with clay pellets – will reward you with healthy happy and attractive plants. For this is the new virtue of jacobs ladder; simply its beauty. Divide the ground creeping roots and replant as necessary. The established plants will seed themselves and reward gardeners with an ever increasing population.
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Symphytum officinale (Boraginaceae)
Comfrey produces strongly arched, hairy hollow stems with hanging bunches of bell-like pink, blue and white flowers in early summer. This popular herb garden plant achieves some 70 to 80cms. (2′to 2’6′)
Oftentimes compared to a foxglove in appearance, comfrey is differentiated by its hairlike growths, moist clammy feel and close-set veins in its leaves.
The generic name Symphytum comes from symphuo, the Greek word for planting next to something, possibly from often finding plants next to a river. Comfrey was long known as ‘Saracens Root’ due to Crusaders discovering it’s therapeutic and healing powers whilst on crusade in the holy land. So impressed with the healing powers of this newly discovered herb garden plant were these crusaders that they brought numerous examples back to Europe.
Settlers bound for the New World took Comfrey along as part of their pharmacological arsenal. It’s increasing cultivation was noted by Josselyn in his 1672 book, “New England Rarities Discovered”.
Comfrey’s claim to pharmacological fame derives from the abundant mucilage it contains. Revered for its several virtues as a healing herb garden plant; its mucilagenous yield was used as a bone-setting plaster.
Fresh leaves of comfrey formed a poultice or compress for sprained or twisted joints, but needed to be enclosed in cloth to prevent skin irritation from the hairy leaves.
The sticky pulverised root provided plasters for the easing of pulmonary and throat disorders as well as being a specific for stomach ulcers.
The fresh flowers and leaves produced a commonly used yellow dye.
Always position comfrey in a moist loose soil capable of being penetrated by the black skinned roots.
Although comfrey is happy in most environments, it does not like colder climes, but with care will survive all but the coldest regions.
Growth derived from seed is slow. Root division in spring is the preferred propagation route. Choose moisture-retentive or poorly drained soil for good long term results and plants lasting up to a quarter century.
Unlike most herb garden plants, comfrey roots should be harvested in spring.
Bulbinella or bulbine
Several varieties of Bulbinella Frutescens exist, some with long, thin racing green leaves, and some having a more yellowish leaf. The most common one is the yellow-flowered plant which looks a bit like a garlic chive but has round succulent leaves and grows to about 150mm (6ins)This is the bulbinella most commonly used as herb garden plants in many gardens as well as in rockeries.
Bulbinella has long been considered the pharmocopeia plant of the herbal world; the fleshy leaves yield a jelly like sap that has multiple virtues and applications – as you will see under the ‘usage’ section. Bushmen and iron age dwellers of Southern Africa knew and understood its virtues. It has long been a part of the traditional healers arsenal.
1. Medicinal Usage – Express some sap from a leaf to get immediate relief from:
- Fever blisters
- Itchy spots
- Cracked skin
- Cracked lips
- Cold sores
- Mouth ulcers
- Sores and rashes on domestic and farm animals
- Painful insect stings
2. Aesthetic Usage
Although referred to as herb garden plants, bulbinella is also regarded as a valuable landscaping plant for its reliable growth pattern and bright all year round colour. Drought and pollution resistant, it is almost impervious to frost.
3. Cosmetic Usage
Just like the better known and much vaunted Aloe Vera, extracts of bulbinella sap can be used as a basis for skin creams.
Bulbinella is a gardeners dream; simply split a bunch and replant without missing a beat. Wind resistant, drought tolerant and a prodigious grower – bulbinella is all this and more. Equally responsive to landscapers filling those awkward spots where nothing else can thrive and to apartment window sills, bulbinella responds well to light composting and regular watering and will reward the diligent gardener with hosts of flowers.
Propagation is so easy that I feel guilty about including a sub-heading on the subject. Split a bunch of bulbinella and plant out or break off a leaf and plant. How about that.
Help yourself whenever you want but stop short of denuding the plant.
Appearance: They resemble trim tufts of grass and are thus ideal for use as a path edging for both the kitchen garden and herb garden. As they mature the leaves become circular and hollow, and reach about 30 to 40 cms (l2 to l5 in) in length. (Giant chives grow a little taller).
Description: Chives (sometimes known as onion chives) are one of the most widely grown herbs, their reliability makes them excellent material for cultivation in pots for yards and balconies, or window—boxes with good drainage. The flavour is refined and onion~like and is best before the plants flower, or in plants that are prevented from flowering.
Chinese chives or garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) form clumps in the same manner as their onion chive cousins, but the grass-like leaves are flat. The flavour is pleasant and close to garlicy. They will grow up to 60 cms (2ft) tall with mauve/pink flower heads all Summer.
Chives are known to attract bees to the garden.
Usage: When chopped as a garnish for cheese and egg dishes, soups, salads, sandwiches and quiches, the grassy strips are added fresh just prior to serving. Chives are rarely used in cooking as the mild flavour is overwhelmed. ln the garden allow at least two or three plants to flower for the sheer beauty of the purple—pink bobbed heads. Place flowers as a garnish in soups or use to decorate the cheese board or cold buffets.Flowers and leaves can be incorporated in salads and herb butters.
According to one of my herb garden information sources, chives are widely held to be a blood cleansing tonic and to fight flu or a cold.
Cultivation: Divide established clumps of bulbs every three years in the spring, and transplant clusters from the outer edges of the clumps. Alternatively, chives can be raised afresh from seed. Although they thrive in any good garden loam, they show a marked preference for slightly acid soil and need to be kept moist throughout the growing season. Choose a place where they can enjoy some shade during the day and remove the flower heads to maintain a continuous supply of flavoursome leaves. The foliage dies down in the winter, so cover a plant or two with dry leaves to encourage a few early spikes for their fresh flavour. Alternatively, pot up a clump of bulblets in the autumn (fall) to keep in a porch or on the apartment windowsill for fresh early spikes. In those regions where the summer temperature remains above 32°C (90°’F) clumps can be planted out afresh in the autumn (fall) to provide a winter supply of leaves.
Harvesting: Although several herb garden information authorities hold mildly differing views on this, you can safely use as required – no special rules apply. The flowering heads appear in Summer and can be used for salads.
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